The 27th annual University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt kicked off at midnight Thursday in Ida Noyes Hall, with the teams’ first task: solving 10 clues related to the theme song of the movie Space Jam in order to procure the list. Each team designated a “Scav Virgin,” who was held hostage by Scav judges until each clue was solved. The “Scav Virgin” then delivered the list to his/her team.
13 registered teams will be competing in this year’s Hunt, which runs through Sunday.
Part of the list typically involves team members embarking on a road trip. This year’s Scav Road Trip destinations include Graceland, Abraham Lincoln’s tomb, and New Orleans’ French Quarter.
Here are some notable items and oddities on this year’s list of 318 items:
Highest point totals:
Item #140: The first ten minutes of the movie Up were great, weren't they? But from there, the movie really took off in the wrong direction. We'd prefer something more... anchored. show us your Down house, where a famous and recognizable dwelling, made entirely of inflated balloons, is held to the ground--safe, secure, and with no spirit of adventure--by wooden balloon-shaped moorings. (175 points)
Item #208: An aquagraphic-style water curtain that displays your team name or logo (250 points)
Politics & Government:
Item #43: Correct the greatest tonsorial tragedy of our time by donating your mustaches to the Institute of Politics. (4 points per mustache transferred to an index card and delivered to the I.O.P., up to 20 points)
Item #53: Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 character sheets depicting level 15 characters based on the first six current members of the POTUS line of succession, including the President. Sheets must include appropriate custom feats, skills and special abilities. Characters will be judged on balance, usability, and badassery. Creator must accompany characters. (10 points)
Item #59: Libertarian gentlewo/men, start your engines! The trailer for Logo's next big show: Ron Paul's Drag Race. It's the gold standard of drag! (7 points)
Item #124: Do you know your senators by memory? Do you know what committees they sit on? What about my senator? What about every US Senator? (100/5 points)
Item #148: A two minute video explaining 2012's fiscal cliff negotiations, with narration and images in the style of Teen Girl Squad. (10 points)
Item #243: An official sign that still proclaims Richard Daley Mayor of Chicago (3 points for M. Daley; 10 points for J. Daley)
Item #264: About a year ago, Glenn Beck promised that he would be producing a counter version of Glee that would promote traditional conservative values. Nothing much ever came of it. But I think it would go something like THIS! (7 points)
Item #275: The Spiro T. Agnew American History Challenge. Bonus points if it is presented to us by Saturday at 1:30 p.m., in which case we can have a competition Saturday at 3:00 p.m. (25th Amendment points)
Item #5: Someone has placed a rock at 53rd and Kenwood to mark the site of Barack and Michelle Obama's first kiss, which apparently "tasted like chocolate". But Hyde Parkers don't have enough information about where and when other major personal events in Barack Obama's life occurred in our neighborhood. Add your rock, complete with etched, illustrated plaque, to the site of another Barack Obama landmark of your choice. (15 points)
Item #154: Set up a cheering station along Lakeshore Trail between 53rd and 55th streets from 3:00 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. Root for confused runner and bikers who pass you. (10 points, plus 3.1 points if your team is deemed most enthusiastic)
Item #157: What local building still bears its original City of Hyde Park street number? (4 points)
Item #214: Sure we've got Angies's List, Yelp, and Zagat, but where are the review aggregators for the things that are really important? It's a wide world of study spaces, bathrooms, drinking fountains, and rooftops, and we need a way to effectively navigate the many options before us. Create a map, app, zine, or alternate publication of your choosing that reviews and ranks one category of service or location on campus or in Hyde Park. (6 pts. 15 additional pts for an app. )
Item #3: Those sexy Halloween costumes never seem to pander to University of Chicago interests. Create two of the following: Sexy gargoyle, Sexy Ratner, sexy cMore, sexy Simone de Beauvoir, sexy Arley D. Cathey. (5 points each)
Item #12: Sorry Windows 95 users, no Stellar Souvenirs for you! The Space Jam website's downloads only work for Macintoshes running Netscape. Replace the "N" in your Netscape browser logo with a hypercool spinning basketball, using the download from the original website. (12.95 points)
Item #102: Thomas the Tank Engine and Theodore the Tugboat both adequately prepared me for the world of terrestrial and aquatic vehicles but times are changing. Create at 30-second video for today's preschoolers that literally and figuratively puts a human face on Predator drones. (12 points)
Item #127: In his famous essay "Consider the Lobster:, David Foster Wallace investigates lobsters' capacity to feel pain, but surely the pain of being boiled alive is only secondary to the many indignities of modern life. To that end, prove that lobsters really do feel pan by subjecting a live lobster to: heartbreak, work-related stress, existential dread, civil rights inequality, and sexual objectification. (11 points)
Item #150: We know that, as much as we hope they don't, some Scavvies wear out during the Hunt and start to get a little sad. What if no one is in Headquarters when that happens!?! The solution? A hug machine! Must be platonic, but not cold, firm, but not uncomfortable. (<33 points. 10 more points if your team's machine hugs another team's machine before Judgment.)
Item #199: They say you eat with your eyes first. have your team's best food stylists arrange and photograph a meal from a U of C dining hall that makes it look good enough to eat. Fake steam, acrylic ice, food coloring... all the usual tricks of the trade are fair game, but please provide a before photo of what the dish usually looks like for comparison. (12 points)
Item #252: Why isn't there a comprehensive Wild Wild West wiki? Ideally called, "Wiki Wild Wild West". Wiki wiki wild. Wiki wild. Wiki wild wild west. Like all good wikis, collaboration is encouraged. (3 points)
The complete list can be found here.