Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ALS - Ice Bucket Challenge

Well, by now you must have seen a ton of videos of everyone doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, and if not, wow, where have you been? Everyone from random strangers in their pool or back yard to big name celebrities such as Bill Gates, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Misha Collins have partaken in this event of epic proportions. Whole casts of shows to sports teams to families! We spent an hour clicking from one YouTube video to another watching all our favorite actors and big names getting doused with buckets of ice water.
But do you know why? I knew it was for ALS but was unsure of what that was exactly. Then I heard Lou Gehrig's Disease and I was a little less unsure, but still in the dark. Jareth had no clue what it was about. So we sat down to find out what this was all for. Let me share what we found out:
What is ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)?Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.(Straight from the ALSA.org website.)Need a visual to go with this explination? The following link is one man's challenge video. It starts out silly and fun, but soon takes a more serious turn. I agree with everyone who says this one video may be all you need to see to understand not only the reasons behind the Ice Bucket Challenge but the disease behind it.It is being called  The last Ice Bucket Challenge video you need to seeOther stories, testimonies, realities of those that live with ALS can be found on the ALSA.org site under See The Faces of ALS.


Why the Ice Bucket Challenge?
So, from what I have gathered, here is the origin story, more or less. (Please note that if you know any of my information to be incorrect you can comment and I will make sure it is changed! Thank you!) The Ice Bucket Challenge has a very ambiguous beginning. However it seems to have stepped to the forefront in mid-2013 as a way for participants to raise awareness and donations for cancer charities. However,on June 30 of this year Morning Drive hosted the first on air challenge, attributing the event to golfers as it began to spread throughout that community. Suddenly former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who has ALS began to take to Twitter to get the word out. With his connections not only through sports but the organization itself, Frates gave the challenge a face for people to rally behind.  Soon the challenge began gaining ground as people began to revel in the thought of watching others partake in this shivvering event! Bigger names began to be tossed into the mix; even President Obama was challenged, although he declined, instead giving money.


How does it help ALS?
That answer is two-fold. The rules of the challenge state that participants have two choices: They can take the challenge and challenge others or they can donate $100 to ALS charities. Most participants choose to do both, most simply giving a smaller donation once they have been doused in water. (Us for example could only give $20, but we gave.) So either way, the cause is receiving much needed funds. 
This challenge is also raising awareness. As I stated, I did not know what ALS was in the beginning. Not only do I now know, my son does, and my stepmom, and my husband, and my sister. Hopefully the gamers my son challenged now know, along with their YouTube followers. Many of my friends have partaken in this, challenging their friends and family. The pastor at our Cowboy church joked about the challenge at a Sunday baptism because the water was so cold. He was challenged within the week and posted the video to the church's Facebook page, now the congregation knows.
By no means was ALS a secret before all this! However, with the average number of cases in the US only being around 30,000, not enough people seem to be effected by the reality of it to bring it the attention it needs. This disease slowly eats away at the host, leading to paralysis over the years. And yet there is only one medication out there to modestly slow the progress. That is not enough! 


Does the challenge work?
Last year $2.6 million dollars were raised over the course of time that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has brought in new donors this year. It may seem like a lot but it is nothing compared to what needs to be done to help research and development of medicines. How much has been raised this year? In the same amount of time? Due to the publicity of the Ice Bucket Challenge?:


$88.5 Million (number as of Aug. 26th)


1.9 million NEW donors have given to the cause. That means that between last year and this 1.9 million people have been informed and convinced to donate to the cause. 


Let that sink in for a moment.


It's not just ALS!
I must also say that this is not all about ALS. There have been numerous people that have taken the challenge and given to charities that mean more to them. As I said, ALS does not effect everyone. 
ALS does not effect my family. Do you know what does? Parkinson's. My grandmother has been diagnosed and dealt with it for many years now. My father's hands shake more than may be normal. I will one day be tested and may have to watch my children develop signs as they get old. So why did I give to ALS? Because Parkinson's has some big names in their ranks who make it a point to give a lot to the cause. Many advances have been made in the years since Michael J. Fox stepped up and showed people what this disease was. (Much like the Ice bucket Challenge is doing now!) ALS is also a neurodegenerative disease, as is Parkinson's, which means that any advances in discovering how it acts could potentially aid those studying Parkinson's. This sounds like a win/win to me. 


How do you help?
You don't have to wait to be challenged! Step up and dump your own bucket of ice on yourself and call out 3 friends! Or just donate! Go to ALSA.org and find out what you need to know and do what you need to do! Every bit helps! Get the ball rolling!


Or make the turn and bring another cause to the forefront! Who says that ALS should be the only cause we call out. I think it would be absolutely wonderful if as all the hype dies down we pick another insanely fun thing to do (people complain but stepping into ice water in this Texas heat was refreshing for Jareth) for another cause! Get out there and be the one that says "This effects me and this is what I want to do about it!" 


Our Challenges:
As I said, my stepmother took the challenge from a friend. She called out my son! Here is her video. That's my Dad taking too much pleasure from dousing her!

video




 And so Jareth did it. He challenged two gamers that he follows on YouTube and Twitter as well as my sister, Amanda! And boy did he have fun!

video





Further Links:
Forbes Talks About Why it's not Stupid
The Numbers by ALSA.org
More Info from Wiki
Some other Ice bucket challenges

Saturday, August 9, 2014

GISHWES

Ok, so this year we did the Summer List, trying to tackle a ton of items for family fun over the course of the summer. With only two weeks to go we know we are not going to be making it as far as we had hoped. This does not, however, stop us from looking for new and exciting things to do to fill next summer. Maybe we will try and finish the list, we are not sure yet. But what we do know is that next August we are going to be partaking in a week of awesome!

GISHWES - or The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen
It was started in 2010 by Misha Collins, an actor and founder of Random Acts, a non-profit that encourages people to perform small and large acts of kindness around the world to improve it. Taking place over several days in the beginning of August, GISHWES encourages people to do crazy, random, exciting things to beat the boredom and discover new things. Like any other scavenger hunt each item on the list, that Collins works on throughout the year, has a point value. The team, made of 15 people, with the most points at the end gets a prize; past winners have gone to Rome, a haunted castle in Scotland, and British Columbia, with this years winners going on a trip to King's Island in Croatia to ride on a pirate ship captained by Misha himself.

With items as simple as performing a socket puppet show at a children's hospital to pool cleaning as a Storm Trooper next to a sunbather, this hunt provides items for people of all ages and levels of crazy! This is right up our alley!

This year we decided to hold back due to our own Summer List and hopes that we had held onto for life changes. We took this time to watch other GISHERs post their photos at the end of the week, watch who on our own Twitter posted their ideas toward helping, and basically just seeing what everything was about before we decided to take the plunge with two kids! And about a day into it, after getting a look at the list this year, we were set on joining for 2015! So we are going to be taking up the challenge next year, and we wanted to give everyone a heads up of plenty of time! I am going to be probably spending the next year convincing as many people as I can to join us in the fun.

Right now I have the list of items for this year. It is a long one, so I am posting it at the end of the post for those that want to take the time to read through it. I don't believe I will be posting pictures or videos of this year's participants to the page, since I didn't take them, but I will leave a link to the page where they will put them up in the testimonies. Please, take a minute, go look at the page, and mark your calendar for next year! This is said to change people's lives! Wouldn't it be nice to change the world!

LINKS -
GISHWES
Random Acts
Misha Collins

GISHWES 2014 List
1.        IMAGE. I’m certain the elderly love mud wrestling, but they must do it in private because I never see it! Let’s fix this. Catch your grandparents or great grandparents in a mud-wrestling match.61 POINTSSubmit
2.        VIDEO (20 seconds). You (and a friend if you wish) enlist with a local volunteer organization and have yourself filmed doing one of the following: planting a tree, working at a food bank or soup-kitchen, collecting trash, or helping out at a retirement facility. You must be wearing something that shows you seriously know how to party.51 POINTSSubmit
3.        IMAGE. It’s “me time.” Spoil, pamper and be decadent to yourself like you never have before. Oh, and P.S., you’re dressed as a Stormtrooper.48 POINTSSubmit
4.        VIDEO or IMAGE. Clearly your bicycle is underwhelming you with its current performance. Convert your bicycle into a warp-speed spacecraft. Ride it.41 POINTSSubmit
5.        IMAGE. You and your four friends are a five-headed monster with all of your heads poking out of one collar of a giant shirt. Now do yard work.32 POINTSSubmit
6.        IMAGE or VIDEO. As GISHWHES certainly isn’t all about dog-eat-dog competition, find someone on another GISHWHES team and surprise them with an act of thoughtful generosity. Make us tear up. We must see the team name or Username of the individual you are helping.66 POINTSSubmit
7.        IMAGE. Find an object that you’re holding onto for all the wrong reasons. Destroy it mightily.17 POINTSSubmit
8.        VIDEO. A lot of politicians oppose minimum wage laws. Let’s expand their horizons: pay an elected official less than minimum wage to do at least 1 hour of yard work for you.42 POINTSSubmit
9.        VIDEO (time-lapse 20 seconds). Assemble a puzzle with a minimum of 50 pieces in one sitting. The video must show the box with more than 50 pieces and then you putting the puzzle together. For ease of assembly you must be wearing wool mittens or gloves throughout the assembly of the puzzle.28 POINTSSubmit
10.     VIDEO. Go through a drive-through at a fast food restaurant in your invisible car. Order, among other things, a Diet Water. You must have a passenger in your invisible car, and you both must be “seated.”36 POINTSSubmit
11.     VIDEO (slow motion). Set to opera music, stage a water balloon fight between 10 or more participants all wearing business suits.44 POINTSSubmit
12.     IMAGE. GISHWHES has taken its toll this year. You deserve a break. Hit the hot tub with a couple of friends… wearing hats made of ice cream.37 POINTSSubmit
13.     IMAGE. Time flies like a Wooster gone wild. There’s someone in your life - an older family member or an older friend - that will someday be gone. There’s something you used to do with them that you enjoyed or have been meaning to do with them, but never have. Do it now, before it’s too late.31 POINTSSubmit
14.     IMAGE. File a Freedom of Information Act request for any available government files on your parents.19 POINTSSubmit
15.     VIDEO. Have an elderly person teach you an “old-school” skill now considered obsolete. For example, how to operate a telegraph or a mechanical typewriter (those examples are now off-limits). - Jennifer Kristiansen.33 POINTSSubmit
16.     IMAGE. A family of at least four enjoying a formal dinner. All of the place settings, serving utensils, dishes - basically every non-food item above the tablecloth - must be made from Legos.63 POINTSSubmit
17.     IMAGE. You are off to a most elegant formal evening gala. Disaster strikes! Your outfit is ruined! Dress yourself in an outfit fit for such an evening, using only items found in your bathroom. -Hutchinson49 POINTSSubmit
18.     IMAGE. As you well know, all the actors who work on the CW network collect hand-painted paper-mache models of their own heads. Get one of these actors to post a photo on Twitter or FB of them holding your team’s painted paper-mache creation of their likeness. (I understand that what I just wrote was grammatically cumbersome. If you have a hard time understanding what I just wrote, don’t be hard on yourself, you’re not the only one. Join a support group. Just to be clear the image with the celebrity is the GISHWHES item here, not the support group. The support group is just for you.)65 POINTSSubmit
19.     VIDEO (8 seconds). Stand in front of a recognizable landmark or monument, wear something magnificent, and in whatever your native language is, complete the following sentence: “Gishwhes makes me feel_____”28 POINTSSubmit
20.     IMAGE. Based on the Internet, which is always super reliable and never wrong, each year almost 100,000 people are saved by out-of-hospital CPR in the US alone… from everything from choking on food to heart attacks. Get an online or offline CPR certification. It only takes an hour or two to do it online (Internet search for “online CPR certification”); however, the Interwebs say it’s more thorough if you go into an actual class (among many other organizations, the Red Cross and YMCA’s host classes). Your choice. Submit an image of you holding up your Certificate. Bonus points if you do it with a friend.80 POINTSSubmit
21.     VIDEO (20 seconds). Get everyone on a subway, bus or train car to sing “Over the River and Through the Woods.” There must be at least 8 passengers and it must not be staged (i.e. this must be a random collection of commuters, not your friends).77 POINTSSubmit
22.     VIDEO (20 seconds). Because of our subversive influence, most governments have declared GISHWHES to be a national security threat. Have a uniformed officer explain to a unit of servicemen how to neutralize a hostile GISHER.26 POINTSSubmit
23.     IMAGE. Facts: (1) Orlando Jones’s father played for the Philadelphia Phillies, (2) Orlando’s first acting experiences involved playing a werewolf in a haunted house, and (3) Orlando is currently starring in “Sleepy Hollow”. Let’s see you, dressed as a werewolf baseball player, riding a horse while holding a sign that reads, “We are all Orlando!”36 POINTSSubmit
24.     VIDEO. Challenge a professional athlete to a game of hopscotch and win. The image must include both of you hopscotching and the professional athlete’s name.72 POINTSSubmit
25.     IMAGE. Get all of the checkout employees at a supermarket to wear “Mishacolypse” masks as they ring up customers. They all must be working their individual registers when you take the picture. There must be a minimum of four checkout workers. The more cashiers, the more points.46 POINTSSubmit
26.     IMAGE (two images edited side-by-side). Table Mountain, South Africa; Mount Snowdon Wales; Mount Sinai, Egypt; Mt. Fuji, Japan; and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania are epic peaks. Climb one of them. You must submit two images side by side, one of you in front of the mountain, and the second, with you at the summit, wearing the same clothes, holding up a sign that says: “Everything is easy when you GISHWHES!”147 POINTSSubmit
27.     VIDEO (20 seconds). Surprise a soldier stationed in a remote location. While you’re Skyping with them, surprise them by having one or more of their close friends or family members that they haven’t seen since deployment, pop up behind you.64 POINTSSubmit
28.     IMAGE. Stage a mini-newspaper boat regatta in a public fountain with at least four competing vessels. We must see intense competitiveness and gambling.23 POINTSSubmit
29.     IMAGE. If you’re like me, you’re sick of the go-to barista foam-art. If I have to sip at another latte adorned with a fern or clover shape, I’m going to cry. Let’s see the Elopus professionally recreated in the foam of a café’s hot drink.24 POINTSSubmit
30.     VIDEO. Aisha Tyler is a formidable thumb wrestler. Get a WWE or WWF Wrestler (former or current) to publicly challenge her to a thumb war. Triple points if the match-up actually happens. -Jess Richardson48 POINTSSubmit
31.     IMAGE. Get married. If you’re married, renew your vows. For this ceremony, the marital partners must be adorned in this season’s hottest, stunning and elegant… kitchenware. Make sure your ceremony is well attended and set outside in a stunning location befitting such a momentous occasion. The officiant must be a ship’s captain.82 POINTSSubmit
32.     VIDEO (20 seconds). Get one of the 2014 Gishwhes items you accomplish mentioned and/or shown on a TV news station.108 POINTSSubmit
33.     IMAGE. Batman or another superhero playing bingo at a crowded recreation center.71 POINTSSubmit
34.     IMAGE. Well done! You’ve just managed to catch a rare “Popcorn Child Monster” on camera.27 POINTSSubmit
35.     IMAGE. Suck blood from a doughnut.10 POINTSSubmit
36.     IMAGE. You at the beach, pool or on a boat, wearing a homemade, 99% edible, candy bathing suit. (The remaining 1% can be inedible thread or wire, but we don’t want to see it.)53 POINTSSubmit
37.     IMAGE. “When I grow up, I want to be…” Have a child dress up as what they want to be when they grow up (lawyer, doctor, ballerina, dragon-slayer, etc.). Then stage the photo in the environment they would be working in.61 POINTSSubmit
38.     VIDEO or IMAGE. It’s time the Internet’s bourgeoning Culinary Master was recognized… or panned. Prepare West Collins’ “Pasta with Jam Sauce” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90tZUltzRBc) and have a noted food critic review it. It must be a qualified, published critic. If they’re not a published critic, don’t submit.102 POINTSSubmit
39.     VIDEO. Use climbing gear - grappling hooks, ropes, and carabiners - to summit the mighty ascent of the sidewalk of Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde.33 POINTSSubmit
40.     VIDEO. Collect 100 clusters of dandelion fluff balls, and with the help of friends, blow them all clean within 8 seconds. While you’re at it, you might as well wish for world peace.21 POINTSSubmit
41.     VIDEO or IMAGE. Go through a TSA (or your country’s equivalent) checkpoint dressed for snorkeling.71 POINTSSubmit
42.     IMAGE or VIDEO. Some regions have legendary monsters like the Loch Ness Monster in Loch Ness, Scotland or the Abominable Snowman in… well, wherever that creature lurks. Catch the mystery monster on camera that haunts your hometown.41 POINTSSubmit
43.     IMAGE. Let’s see a flattering mosaic of one of Misha’s crushes: Dilma Rousseff, Michelle Obama or Sarah Palin, on the window of an office-supply store. The mosaic is made from multi-colored Post-Its.38 POINTSSubmit
44.     IMAGE. Two people kissing across the Russia/Ukraine Boarder.112 POINTSSubmit
45.     VIDEO (up to 30 seconds). Create a Rube Goldberg machine that includes “Eye of the Tiger”, an image of John Travolta, a toilet plunger, and acorns, among other things. - Inspired by Presley and Mike91 POINTSSubmit
46.     VIDEO (up to 30 seconds). Let’s hear “Carry on My Wayward Son” on a giant pipe organ (antique preferred) in a cathedral or church, played by someone wearing a sock monkey hat. - April Carpenter-McVay41 POINTSSubmit
47.     IMAGE. Cavemen get a bad rap, but really, they’re no different from you and me. They like to dine at fine restaurants just like us!53 POINTSSubmit
48.     IMAGE. Four people use their bodies to form a table. Enjoy an elegant dinner for two at this body table. -Carianne Steinman29 POINTSSubmit
49.     IMAGE. Make a 5-foot in diameter bird’s nest on a sidewalk in an upscale neighborhood. Nest in it.47 POINTSSubmit
50.     VIDEO. Perform a competing “Shakespeare in the Park” in Central Park, right before the real show.33 POINTSSubmit
51.     IMAGE. Create the next hip facial hair look or hipster accessory.14 POINTSSubmit
52.     IMAGE. Someone ranked on IMDb’s Starmeter in the top 2,000 wearing a t-shirt with your team name and “GISHWHES 2014” written on it.66 POINTSSubmit
53.     IMAGE. Not to throw around big words, but “Hirsute” means “goat-like or hairy.” Shave a recognizable corporate logo onto a hirsute man’s back or chest hair. Bonus points if the man is holding a product emblazoned with the same logo.23 POINTSSubmit
54.     IMAGE. Covering your unmentionables with something you deem appropriate, how many clothespins can you fit (pinched) on the rest of your body? We know; it hurts. We’re sorry, but no pain, no gain!32 POINTSSubmit
55.     IMAGE or VIDEO. Create the famous “Spider-hair-knot.” Eight long-haired people lying on their backs with their hair tied all together in one big beautiful weave or a nasty knot. Photograph from above.41 POINTSSubmit
56.     IMAGE (two images edited side-by-side). Find someone with the exact same name as you who lives in another state, province, or country. We must see two photos together: the two faces and two ID cards with all private/contact information blacked out except for your names and birth dates.18 POINTSSubmit
57.     IMAGE. Capture the elusive NASCAR with a pink unicorn decal on camera. Must be a bonafide NASCAR.61 POINTSSubmit
58.     IMAGE. Register to be a bone marrow donor: you could save a child’s life or someone’s mom’s life. As a sign of solidarity on this item, I (Misha) pledge to register to be a bone-marrow donor myself during the week of the hunt. This item requires you filling out a form, receiving a “cheek swab test” in the mail, and mailing it back in. The registration process cannot be completed in just one week, but if you show us the photo of your online registration confirmation or email, you will qualify for points on this item. ONLY do this item if you’re serious about going through with the whole process. There are certain requirements, which you must meet (for example, if you are too overweight or have certain health or psychological issues, you cannot be a donor). Also, before proceeding, you should know that the process is much more involved than donating blood. So, if you choose to do this item, don’t lie about your weight, health or willingness to follow through. If, in the future, you do get selected as a donor match (a very very very slim chance - on average less than 1/2 of 1%), and you turn it down, you will be incurring terrible karma and may be harming someone and their family. Even though we consider this one of the more valuable items on the list we are assigning a low point value to it. Really this item is not about points, it’s about trying to help a stranger. We need to see a screenshot of your application. Each application will be worth 3 points. If you edit several screenshots into one image of you and your teammate’s applications, we will grant 3 points for each application for up to 10 applications making this item worth between 3 and 30 points.3 POINTSSubmit
59.     IMAGE. Fograt, Wooster, Elopus or Marge Simpson tummy-art. The “tummy” canvas in question must be that of a woman who is at least 7 months pregnant.43 POINTSSubmit
60.     IMAGE. Reenact the dramatic death of the Dyerville Giant. You must be standing next to or in front of the real Dyerville Giant.27 POINTSSubmit
61.     IMAGE. Go to your local animal shelter/rescue and hold a photo shoot for one of its residents. Make an adoption flyer promoting the animal using the photos you’ve taken and post them on telephone poles. Prove that your campaign was successful. (It can be multiple images photoshopped into one submission).52 POINTSSubmit
62.     IMAGE. Office art. The boss is away. Take this treasured time to create a beautiful, museum-worthy sculpture in your cubical comprised entirely of company office supplies. If the artist in you feels it is imperative to use a coworker as a base or as an integral part of the piece of work, go ahead and indulge. The world deserves it.39 POINTSSubmit
63.     VIDEO. A brass band quartet performing “Carry On My Wayward Son” from a median strip, while commuter cars are stuck in terrible traffic.59 POINTSSubmit
64.     IMAGE. Pose for a multigenerational, gender-swapping Sears-style family portrait. Take it seriously.27 POINTSSubmit
65.     VIDEO. Let’s see The Flash stuck behind commuters on an escalator. Quintuple points if your Flash is portrayed by Grant Gustin himself.49 POINTSSubmit
66.     IMAGE. Four human heads (alive!) popping out of the sand - each expressing a different emotion.31 POINTSSubmit
67.     VIDEO. On a pool or billiards table, sink at least 4 balls with one shot. So we know it’s you doing it, wear a t-shirt displaying your GISHWHES team name. The more balls that go in, the more points.39 POINTSSubmit
68.     IMAGE (two images edited side-by-side). In Washington State, USA there is a woman whose legal name is “Life Has Meaning.” Another woman has legally renamed herself, “Table.” Find someone whose name is a noun, verb or a phrase, and take a photo with him or her and his or her driver’s license with everything blacked out except for his or her name.28 POINTSSubmit
69.     IMAGE (one image with 15 images edited into it). An image of each of the members of your team in Brady-Bunch style grid format. Photos should be mug-shot style with each team member holding a black and white sign stating their city and country of residence.72 POINTSSubmit
70.     VIDEO. You know how at Starbucks they ask your name and write it on the cup so that when your latte is done, they can say, “Misha, skinny decaf grande latte - extra foam, extra hot, lightly sweet!” When they ask for your name, give the most ridiculous name you can think of when you order your Starbucks beverage. The video is of the barrista announcing your drink and your absurd name.40 POINTSSubmit
71.     VIDEO. Let’s see what a fighter jet passenger or pilot POV looks like. The video must be shot during a flight and the aircraft must do a complete “roll” during the video. After completing the roll, you or the pilot must hold up a hand or arm on which is written, “GISHWHES does Mach 2”, “I flip for GISHWHES,” or a similar phrase.169 POINTSSubmit
72.     IMAGE. Smoke and mirrors. Awe us.17 POINTSSubmit
73.     VIDEO. Throw someone a surprise party with friends they haven’t seen in more than 10 years. Film the first moment of their surprise re-encounter.72 POINTSSubmit
74.     IMAGE. Be the messiah you were always meant to be. Walk on water (must be a lake or pool). We must not see anything under your feet except for water. Not that we need to say this, but: no photoshopping!56 POINTSSubmit
75.     VIDEO. Create a magnificent piece of GISHWHES or Elopus-related art and have it displayed in a gallery art show. The video should show the gallery space, patrons attending the show and viewing the piece. It must be a real art gallery - not your living room attended by friends. - Shannon Vincent57 POINTSSubmit
76.     IMAGE. In case the show needs cast replacements, dress up two barnyard animals like SPN characters (you may not harm the animals).43 POINTSSubmit
77.     IMAGE. It’s August and in much of the world we’re sweating right now. In a region with plentiful water, let’s see gleeful children and firemen playing in an elaborate, temporary water park built by your town’s firemen using fire department equipment.52 POINTSSubmit
78.     IMAGE. Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus. -Annie Houston59 POINTSSubmit
79.     VIDEO. Visit an orphanage, a children’s hospital or a juvenile detention center dressed as Cookie Monster and distribute cookies to the children living there. - Voldie Quirell68 POINTSSubmit
80.     IMAGE. Supernatural nail art. With Glitter. On hairy toes. - Natalie Springhart19 POINTSSubmit
81.     IMAGE. Erect a tribute to Horris Packard, the inventor of Rubber Gloves.14 POINTSSubmit
82.     VIDEO. As you know, William Shatner loves horses and clocks. Modify a cuckoo clock so that when the hour strikes, instead of a bird appearing, a tiny Captain Kirk on a horse pops out.36 POINTSSubmit
83.     IMAGE. The writers and producers of the TV series, “Supernatural”, sometimes pretend they don’t like the limelight. Of course this is false-modesty. Immortalize one of them with a stately portrait done in sidewalk chalk art.18 POINTSSubmit
84.     IMAGE (two images edited side-by-side). Send a military care package. One image is the box with all the items in it; the other image is you delivering it to the post office. (Here’s an example of but one link that can help you find out how to do this: http://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/military-resources/how-to-support-our-troops.html.) - Leah Plath & Lisa Allen27 POINTSSubmit
85.     VIDEO (up to 20 seconds). Ask a senior citizen for their “bucket list.” Help them achieve one of the items on their bucket list.48 POINTSSubmit
86.     VIDEO. Catch a fish, with a fish while dressed as a fish. - Lisa Boals44 POINTSSubmit
87.     IMAGE. Have attendants at a professional sporting event hold up signs spelling out a message. Each sign is one letter. The message must not be sports-related and must be something inspirational and kind. Get your group on the arena’s jumbo-tron holding up the sign.101 POINTSSubmit
88.     IMAGE. Make a mosaic Elopus, 2 meters in diameter, made entirely of natural objects (i.e. no plastic, human-made materials, only leaves, rocks, dirt, flowers, wood, etc).27 POINTSSubmit
89.     VIDEO (20 seconds). Create an Oscar-worthy love scene between William Shatner and Larry King using creative editing of existing footage of each of them.21 POINTSSubmit
90.     IMAGE. Gingerbread Villages are always so cute and quaint. Make a gingerbread village that shows urban blight: needle exchanges, prostitution, heavy police presence, etc.97 POINTSSubmit
91.     IMAGE. Using public transportation, commute to work wearing only the trash your household produced the previous day. (Note: recyclables do not count as trash.)62 POINTSSubmit
92.     IMAGE. Forgive someone with whom you have been holding a grudge against.18 POINTSSubmit
93.     VIDEO. Give one of your favorite and most valued objects to a homeless person.31 POINTSSubmit
94.     IMAGE. Make a tiny adorable mouse from boogers. Must be constructed from real, bonafide boogers.29 POINTSSubmit
95.     VIDEO. Which is faster: a baby learning to crawl or a turtle? Let’s see a race.26 POINTSSubmit
96.     IMAGE. Many people go their whole lives without really getting to know their neighbors. Find a neighbor you’ve never met and offer to sweep their patio, mow their lawn or help them with some other task they have to do.27 POINTSSubmit
97.     VIDEO (30 seconds, edited). Have the proprietor of a crowded sports bar turn off all the televisions. Then, you must serenade the patrons with a song accompanied by an acoustic guitar. The video must show the proprietor turning off the TVs, and the patrons’ reactions as you (and a friend if you wish) sing the song.74 POINTSSubmit
98.     VIDEO. Act/dress like a mannequin, shrub or a trashcan in a shopping center. Suddenly come to life and scare a passing consumer by shouting, “GISHWHES!”56 POINTSSubmit
99.     IMAGE. Zombies need to buy toilet paper too, right? What does that transaction look like?67 POINTSSubmit
100.  IMAGE. Provide visual evidence that unicorns really do fart rainbows. No photoshopping! - Jennifer Cates.49 POINTSSubmit
101.  IMAGE. Submit a TRUE story (less than 50 words) of something nice a stranger did for you to https://podio.com/webforms/8915166/658998. Screenshot the form preview after you submit.16 POINTSSubmit
102.  VIDEO. Do a maypole dance in a bus station (pilgrim attire and flower garlands required).49 POINTSSubmit
103.  IMAGE. Using charcoal or chalk, stencil the term “D2N” on the exterior of a factory. (The “2” must be backwards, but I can’t figure out how to do that on this keyboard.)27 POINTSSubmit
104.  IMAGE. Create a geoglyphic sock monkey in a public space at least 15 meters across. - Frances Mills101 POINTSSubmit
105.  IMAGE. You’ve heard of Ronald Reagan’s “Trickle-down Economics”? The idea is that when rich people get richer, they spend more money doing things like getting their nails done and having their Porches waxed, and that in turn creates more jobs for pedicurist and car washers and other lower income families. Show us what trickle-down ice-cream-onomics looks like: One person on top, messily eating an enormous, melting Sunday, with two people on the floor below, trying to catch the drippings in their mouths as they fall. This needs to be a real mess.38 POINTSSubmit
106.  IMAGE. Let’s see a fully dressed, face-painted geisha mowing the lawn. - Anni Kauniskangas62 POINTSSubmit
107.  VIDEO. Install an official-looking velvet rope on a sidewalk (roping the sidewalk closed). When people approach, prove that chivalry is not dead by graciously holding the stanchion open for them. Note: in the absence of a stanchion you can use a doorway that you installed in the middle of the sidewalk with an operable door, which you politely open.52 POINTSSubmit
108.  Get NASA (@NASA), the CIA (@CIA), or the official twitter feed of another nation or any country’s large federal agency to show their “fun side” in a twitter reply to you that mentions your twitter handle and #GISHWHES.53 POINTSSubmit
109.  IMAGE. Obviously, everyone’s favorite Captain of the USS Enterprise was Jean-Luc Picard. Create a heroic Captain Picard using condiments (mustard, relish, ketchup, etc.) for paint.19 POINTSSubmit
110.  VIDEO (20 seconds). The NSA is watching us. They’re reading our texts and emails and listening to our phone calls. The post office is just another branch of the government, so we can’t trust them either. There is really only one truly secure way to send messages these days… carrier pigeon. Using a carrier pigeon, send a GISHWHES shopping list with your team name on it from one location to another. We must see the pigeon arriving at its destination with the shopping list and see the list unfurled.114 POINTSSubmit
111.  VIDEO. There is a retirement home in Baltimore, MD called Rolland Park Place. My grandmother lives there. Bring flowers, chocolate or funny homemade or store-bought cards for some of the residents. Since this is a bit nepotistic, if Rolland Park Place is out-of-the-way for you, do the same at another retirement home. You must interact with the residents.68 POINTSSubmit
112.  IMAGE. Outside in nature, read “Huck Finn” by the light of a lantern made entirely from lightning bugs.59 POINTSSubmit
113.  VIDEO. Pressure wash something you really shouldn’t pressure wash. -Cassidy Johnson33 POINTSSubmit
114.  IMAGE or VIDEO. You’ve heard of Crop Circles. Let’s see a “Crop Elopus” or “Crop Wooster” or “Crop Fograt” or the word, “GISHWHES” cut into a field of corn or wheat or another crop. The artwork must be at least 1 acre across and should be photographed from an aircraft or from a point of high elevation.178 POINTSSubmit
115.  VIDEO (.WAV FILE). Get NPR to do a story that’s NOT super boring on “All Things Considered” or “Morning Edition” or “Weekend Edition.” The story must mention your team or your name to prove that you inspired the story.148 POINTSSubmit
116.  IMAGE. Food trucks are all the rage, but I think they tend to be a bit speciesist. Get a food truck to sell cat food. It must be on the menu and we must see a cat placing the order.28 POINTSSubmit
117.  IMAGE (three edited side-by-side-by-side images). Collect fruit from a tree on from which the fruit hangs over a public sidewalk. Make jam from the fruit. Eat it. (Provide 3 photos edited into one image).38 POINTSSubmit
118.  VIDEO. More Youtube videos should be close-captioned. Using YouTube’s close-captioning, close-caption one of the videos you submitted for another item. It must have significant dialogue in it. - Kim Palmer26 POINTSSubmit
119.  VIDEO. “Jump the shark”. You will be penalized if you are bitten or eaten by a shark, so plan accordingly. (Liberal interpretations of this item are encouraged.)21 POINTSSubmit
120.  IMAGE. Feed your demons. You are not permitted to submit an image of you eating desert.22 POINTSSubmit
121.  IMAGE (edited side-by-side image). Challenge a movie theater employee: If you beat them in an arm-wrestling competition, they have to give you a free ticket. If they beat you, you’ll buy one. Either way, you get to see a movie. The images should be of you arm-wrestling across the counter and then you enjoying your movie.40 POINTSSubmit
122.  IMAGE. Create a piece of furniture that hasn’t been created yet but would be very useful. Demonstrate its use. - Alex white34 POINTSSubmit
123.  IMAGE. Some things should be broken. Let’s see if we can crash williamshatner.com: get all your friends to visit the site at precisely 9:02 AM PST, Monday August 4th. You must show a screencap of the ensuing error message including the URL in the URL bar. (Hint: Don’t visit the site before that exact time, as it will give the servers time to take on the load.)65 POINTSSubmit
124.  IMAGE. If Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki, Misha Collins, or Mark Sheppard were part man/part animal, what would it look like and what would its name be? Example: “Jensen Catkles” would be ½ cat, ½ Jensen. Tweet the image with the twitter handle of the actor your hybridizing and the hashtag: #GISHWHESspecieshybridization. You only have to amalgamate one of the aforementioned men. Edit the tweet and photo into one image.31 POINTSSubmit
125.  VIDEO. Sing a harmonized duet rendition of “Eye of the Tiger” with someone standing 30 yards away from you. The camera should be centered between the two singers and we should be able to see both in the frame. -Stefanie Bumbaru26 POINTSSubmit
126.  VIDEO (time-lapse up to 20 seconds). Watch grass grow as you work on GISHWHES items on your lawn. We want to see it in time-lapse: grass must visibly grow. Hint: make sure your camera is positioned in exactly the same place over time and that we can see both you working on the item and the grass, otherwise this won’t work. If we don’t see the grass getting longer you’ll get no points.89 POINTSSubmit
127.  IMAGE. Have an image of Pope Francis permanently tattooed on yourself.64 POINTSSubmit
128.  IMAGE. Bite Luiz Suarez, Gently.103 POINTSSubmit
129.  IMAGE. Improve my (Misha Collins’) Erdős number. Hint: it’s currently lower than 1000.29 POINTSSubmit
130.  IMAGE. An angel made from feminine hygiene products - Rachel Shelby31 POINTSSubmit
131.  VIDEO. Convenience stores need much more oversight. Give Red Cards to customers in a convenience store while dressed as a referee. You must explain their infraction after handing them the card. Whistle optional.40 POINTSSubmit
132.  VIDEO. Launch a protest outside a McDonalds claiming the superiority of post-and-lintels to arches.39 POINTSSubmit
133.  IMAGE. Draw a New-Yorker-style cartoon for the caption “I told them he was half-elephant!”19 POINTSSubmit
134.  IMAGE. You or your pet, in period costume, seated on a Game of Thrones-style kale throne. Make it so good that GOT producers would want it as a marketing poster.62 POINTSSubmit
135.  VIDEO. Choreograph and perform The Dance of the Acyclic Graph.34 POINTSSubmit
136.  IMAGE. The NSA staff has been outed as sharing inappropriate photos discovered during Internet surveillance. Submit the photo you think is most likely to have come from Misha’s computer.26 POINTSSubmit
137.  IMAGE. Lots of new Internet shorthand has evolved: “LOL,” “IMHO,” “OMFG” Come up with the meaning for the Internet abbreviation “IDGHP” and use it in social media. If you get it to catch on, extra points.31 POINTSSubmit
138.  VIDEO. It turns out that jellyfish will be big winners in global warming. Create a PSA to help the humans prepare for a future with jellyfish overlords.23 POINTSSubmit
139.  VIDEO. Play “Carry On My Wayward Son” on acorn tops. - Ana Kauniskangas31 POINTSSubmit
140.  IMAGE. Build a miniature fairy house in Kensington Gardens. It must be constructed entirely from natural objects found in the park, no synthetic materials. If you build next to another team’s fairy house, extra points.18 POINTSSubmit
141.  IMAGE. A museum-quality installation exhibition of the dishware in your cupboard. Artist Statement is NOT optional.27 POINTSSubmit
142.  IMAGE. Develop a parallel algorithm for efficiently inverting a trillion-by-trillion matrix.14 POINTSSubmit
143.  VIDEO. Sing “Dust in the Wind” in a dust storm.47 POINTSSubmit
144.  IMAGE. Find an odd integer other than 1, that is the sum of its divisors (e.g., 6 = 1+2+3 and (1,2,3) are the divisors of 6).24 POINTSSubmit
145.  VIDEO. (Time-lapse). Dress as a Matryoshka doll then strip layers off.51 POINTSSubmit
146.  IMAGE. Create an image of the Elopus and Wooster in an epic battle for mascot supremacy.23 POINTSSubmit
147.  IMAGE. It’s summertime and everyone loves a lemonade stand. But then again, every Tom, Dick and Harry is setting up a lemonade stand in the summertime and the market is flooded. Respond to consumer demand and carve out your own niche. Let’s see two children manning a “Hot Pasta With Jam Sauce” stand.43 POINTSSubmit
148.  IMAGE. GISHWHES rock band album cover including one, some or all of your teammates.25 POINTSSubmit
149.  VIDEO. Shoot a potted plant off a fence post with a potato canon. Not a potato gun, a potato canon.50 POINTSSubmit
150.  IMAGE. Tweed Porn. Let’s see it with an appropriate porn sound track played on a lone kazoo. (No nudity required.)23 POINTSSubmit
151.  VIDEO. Larry King started his career by doing interviews on a morning show at Pumpernik’s Restaurant in Miami Beach where he would interview random customers and staff. Interview Larry King at a diner about his incredible journey since Pumpernik’s.192 POINTSSubmit
152.  VIDEO. Make a children’s Pop-Up book about the CROATOAN Virus ending the world.43 POINTSSubmit
153.  IMAGE. Last year on the GISHWHES winner’s trip, we met some very cheerful members of the Duncan Toyota sales team, around a bonfire. Michael, perhaps the manager of the place (I don’t remember as I was still in a post-Ouija-board-séance fog) is a big fan of Easter eggs. Deliver a dozen decorated eggs to an employee at Duncan Toyota on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada with one of the eggs displaying one of your Usernames.29 POINTSSubmit
154.  IMAGE. Sculpt John Barrowman’s head from duct tape.41 POINTSSubmit
155.  IMAGE. Get a legitimate Term Sheet from a professionally-listed venture capital firm (with their contact information on their official letterhead) detailing their investment in your startup app called “Granny-Grinder” - Grinder for seniors. We will be confirming with the VC firm that the Term Sheet is legitimate.69 POINTSSubmit
156.  IMAGE. Recreate a scene from the cinematic masterpiece “Stonehenge Apocalypse” in miniature - measured to the HO Scale, 1:87 ratio (humans should be around 2cm/20mm tall). Use whatever materials you desire but YOU MUST make everything yourself - No store-brought Stonehenge kits! -Kristy Louise Gibbs71 POINTSSubmit
157.  IMAGE. Get photos of each of your team members printed on microfilm.53 POINTSSubmit
158.  IMAGE or VIDEO. A novel life form.42 POINTSSubmit
159.  IMAGE. Get “GISHWHES” and something identifying your team, captured in Google street view. Edit the exact coordinates of the street-view image over your screen cap.64 POINTSSubmit
160.  VIDEO. Use a 3-D printer to make a quill pen. Write, “Buy new toner cartridge” with your new pen. We must see the pen being printed and the note being written with it.57 POINTSSubmit
161.  VIDEO (20 seconds). The most popular Youtube videos are of cute animals, people falling unexpectedly, twerking, drunken debauchery, politicians doing embarrassing things, the Harlem Shake, video games, and cooking. It stands to reason that if you were to create a video with all of these elements, it would be a viral phenomenon.26 POINTSSubmit
162.  IMAGE. This or any past year’s GISHWHES mascot recognizable in topiary.99 POINTSSubmit
163.  VIDEO. A cheerleading team cheering for the employees of a car wash.65 POINTSSubmit
164.  VIDEO. Your friend is in bed, not feeling well. Feed them a big bowl of warm (not hot) chicken noodle soup. One caveat: instead of feeding them with a spoon, use a leaf-blower.73 POINTSSubmit
165.  IMAGE. On Sunday, August 3rd, at 12:00 PST, someone from your team or a representative of your team, go to Miller Community Center (http://www.seattle.gov/parks/centers/miller.htm) 330 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112. You must follow the directions for this event posted on our UPDATES page. Submit an image here for your team that Misha directs you to at the event.89 POINTSSubmit
166.  VIDEO. Time-lapse: Re-enact the 1980’s “Pepsi Challenge” with a twist. Take two human molars and put each in a glass. Pour Pepsi into one glass and coke into the other and allow them to sit for 72 hours. Remove. Which is better for discoloring/dissolving teeth? Coke or Pepsi?32 POINTSSubmit
167.  IMAGE. If GISHWHES were a destination vacation, what would the brochure look like? - Misty Figueiredo35 POINTSSubmit
168.  IMAGE. Photograph an Israeli and a Palestinian holding hands and their country’s respective flags (or drawings of their flags).56 POINTSSubmit
169.  IMAGE. Jared Padelecki does not love Excel Documents. Post one to him on twitter that might change his opinion of Excel.41 POINTSSubmit
170.  IMAGE. Trolling for fish is when you drag your line slowly through the water hoping to fool a fish into snatching your bait. On your favorite social media site, create a new user. Your profile avatar will be a photo or drawing of Orlando Jones. Your user name will be evocative of “Orlando Jones.” Now, masquerading as Orlando Jones, troll for—and hook—at least 400 followers.53 POINTSSubmit
171.  IMAGE. You know the expression, “spice up your sex life?” Let’s see how hot sauce can bring a little fire back into a relationship. P.S., the couple in question must be in their 80s or older.69 POINTSSubmit
172.  IMAGE. One of my big pet peeves is that parades only seem to happen on certain designated holidays or for special events. Obviously, it is our god-given right to have a parade anytime we want. Build a Mardi Gras-style parade float and drive it down main street. We must see something related to GISHWHES on the float (a mascot, an item, etc.).108 POINTSSubmit
173.  VIDEO. You see people holding up signs from time to time that say “free hugs.” I have always been wary of those people. I don’t know what it is they’re after. Are they trying to cop a feel? Get me to buy a timeshare? I avoid them. But your “free hugs” sign won’t leave any doubt in the readers’ minds… Wearing a bathing suit, cover every inch of your exposed skin with honey, peanut butter, syrup or jam. Hold a sign on a busy public sidewalk that reads, “Free Hugs.” Enthusiastically attempt to recruit hug-victims.98 POINTSSubmit
174.  IMAGE. Find 19 year-old Alex Wedow and have him make you a “Mega Ice Cream Sundae.” He’ll know what you mean. Then eat the whole thing. Photo must show you holding your empty mega Sunday dish in one hand while Alex holds your hand over your heads as if you were the victor, he’s the referee and the empty dish is the trophy.39 POINTSSubmit
175.  VIDEO or IMAGE. Rollerblade through a museum - Steve Martin style - but wearing a sock monkey hat.64 POINTSSubmit
176.  IMAGE. Try to make yourself look exactly like an iconic local statue (in every detail) and stand next to it. - Gina Cardazone62 POINTSSubmit
177.  VIDEO. A NYT best-selling author or Tony-award winning actor or actress doing a dramatic reading of a section of this:http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/right_of_way.htm112 POINTSSubmit
178.  IMAGE. Birds have style too. Create an architecturally-significant GISHWHESESQUE birdhouse. Hang it on a tree in a public park. On the photo, write the name of the park and the city and country in which it is installed.45 POINTSSubmit
179.  VIDEO. Ride an in-line bicycle-built-for-4.47 POINTSSubmit
180.  IMAGE. This is an item, the outcome of which, will rear its head later and you may have an opportunity to participate in something very strange and wonderful: complete workable architectural drawings for a beautiful, 9 foot by 9 foot, post and beam, open-air teahouse of redwood construction. The teahouse is to be built on an existing 9’X9’ concrete pad. The structure must be designed to be comfortable and accessible to humans, must require no plumbing or electrical, have no doors (just an open entrance), and instead of windows, just openings. Design must call for no nails or screws, only mortises, tenons and pegs (with steel bolts to tie it to the slab).115 POINTSSubmit
181.  VIDEO (20 seconds). The 1980s were great for break-dancing and neon clothing. Remember the “backspin?” Have a junker car do a “backspin” (upside down) on a piece of cardboard set to 1980s rap. The car must have some neon decoration.167 POINTSSubmit
182.  IMAGE. What do Lake Baikal, Lake O’Higgins-San Martin, Lake Hornindalsvatnet, Lake Toba, and Lake Mjosa all have in common? They are all wet and they are part of the “Top 10 Deepest Lakes in the World” list. Float on a raft completely covered in flowers on one of the world’s top 10 deepest lakes near an identifying marker of the lake.82 POINTSSubmit
183.  VIDEO or IMAGE. Last year, NASA used their official twitter account to politely ask us to stop bothering the astronauts on the space station. NASA has undoubtedly spent the past 12 months regretting this hastily-made decision, so we are giving them a second chance to get in on the fun… Get “GISHWHES conquers space” or “GISHWHES [insert other clever phrase]” written on or in something orbiting in space. 400 points if an astronaut poses with the inscription. No photoshopping allowed! A couple of teams cheated last year on the space item and were disqualified.289 POINTSSubmit
184.  IMAGE. Design a sci-fi movie poster with the stars played by Misha Collins and the Queen of England. You may not use existing altered media images. It must be drawn or painted (digitally painted is acceptable). - Jenn Kirschner.62 POINTSSubmit

185.  IMAGE. Get “GISHWHES” spelled out at night by using the effect of lit and unlit office windows in a skyscraper. We must be able to clearly see the word and it must span at least 30 stories.291 POINTSSubmit