Oct 31 2008

Contest #18: Finalists

Category: Uncategorized @ 5:13 pm

This week’s contest was ambitious.  Some said we were Icarus flying too close to the sun.  I think we proved that, no matter how formidable a contest is, the MM mob will rise to the occasion.

Now that we have our pool of entries, we have to decide which author composed the best fakelore and which fakelore we want to spread around the internet (possibly, but not necessarily, the same entry).

We just have a few extra people to mention this week, but I’d like to thank everyone who competed.  Staff or fan favorites included Billard’s Jacqueline Dowell, Garrett’s Uncle Jack (and S.G.N.Doug’s Uncle Jack song), greg’s night before All Saints Day, and Mach3′s sobering-perspective-lore, (as named by giraffe1089).

The five fakelore finalists this week are Ian Randal Strock (with his dentist-engineered Halloween), jupchu’s kin of pumpsBarnaby Hayes’ regifting Santa, Tiago’s mad arab Al-o-ween, and Alex’s more macabre Hansel & Gretel.

[poll id="23"]

photo by flickr user joroen020

Oct 30 2008

Photo Contest #1: Creative Halloween Costume

Category: Uncategorized @ 12:52 pm

The time has come for Mental Magma to enter a new era and a new medium for contests: the photo.  You’ve got cameras, we’ve got a website; it just makes sense.

We’re starting you out with something you were probably going to take pictures of already…Halloween costumes.  So don your most creative costume and snap a photo of yourself (please read the rules below).

Rules: You may only submit photos of yourself.  If you see someone else with a creative costume, tell them about the contest and get them to join MM.  If they register, list your name in the “referral” field, and then win the contest, you will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate as a referral bonus.

You must have something that says “Mental Magma” or “MentalMagma.com” in the picture (not photo-shopped in). It can be hand written on a poster, printed out paper, spelled out in toothpaste, shaved into your head or whatever.  As long as something in the photo legibly says those words, you’ll be within the rules.

To upload your photo, just go to the contest entries section of this post like usual and you’ll notice a new button there labeled “browse” under the words “Add an image”.  Click that button then find & select your photo on your computer.  You’ll still be able to type in a comment and when you click submit, the photo will be underneath what you wrote.  We’ll still be able to rate the entries like usual.

[Edit] Apparently the upload function is not working in Internet Explorer (or Chrome) right now.  Please use Firefox when uploading.  If don’t have access to Firefox for some reason, you can email the pics to MentalMagma (at) gmail.com and we’ll post them for you. [/Edit]

Standard contest rules apply for this contest (but the timeline is different). By leaving an entry you are agreeing to those rules. The entry voted the favorite by MM users will earn its author a $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate.

photo by flickr user pt

Contest Summary
: Snap a picture of yourself in a creative Halloween costume (make sure to read the above rules)
How to enter: Post your photo in the Contest Entries section 
Deadline: Tuesday, November 4th at 9pm EST
Prize: a $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate

Announcement: This contest is closed. Feel free to continue to leave your entries here, but you'll be doing so strictly for our edification. Why don't you see what's going on in the forum or check out the latest update or contest?

Oct 28 2008

Game: Kwizmaster

Category: Uncategorized @ 6:55 pm

With some of us at MM being trivia aficionados, we’ve wanted to do a game involving trivia for a while. However, it’s a difficult idea to implement on a blog.

Fortunately, one of our very own users (Misha G) runs a quiz/trivia website called Kwizmaster and has worked out all the messy technical details.

It’s self explanatory, but you just go to the site, register with a user name (I suggest the same one you use here so we’ll be able to spot you), and start taking quizzes. The quizzes are timed, so users aren’t able to cheat and use the Internet for answers.

The meta-game here is that we MM users can try to outscore one another. I’ve already gone and gotten the top score on 9 of the quizzes: The periodic table of elements, video games, advertising, the Simpsons character quiz, Stephen King, Seinfeld characters, information technology, movie trivia, and believe it or not…dentistry.

It’s not quite as impressive as it may sound; some of the quizzes are new and/or haven’t been taken many times. The later you go to the site and compete, the harder it will be achieve a top score. So, you should go now (www.kwizmaster.com), take some quizzes, and then post in the comments section telling us how many top scores you got (and on what quizzes).

Oct 27 2008

Contest #18: Halloween Fakelore

Category: Uncategorized @ 12:11 am

Sometimes in life, you read a word on Wikipedia and you just know that you’re going to make a blog contest about it.  This week I came across the word fakelore.  Fakelore is manufactured folklore that is presented as if it is genuinely traditional.

Your assignment this week is to whip up some Halloween fakelore. This can take many forms.  You could come up with a fictitious origin for the holiday.  You could create a fake tradition and describe it.  You could even invent a faux-historical Halloween mascot.

Something very central to this contest is the idea that fakelore must be intentionally deceptive.  This means that we must never speak of this contest again.  The fakelore generated herein must, after the contests ends, be spoken of only with the hushed and reverent tones of true believers.  We must make other people believe it is real in order for it to qualify as fakelore.  Maybe we can even have some games later involving spreading our new Internet memes.

Standard contest timeline and contest rules apply this week. By leaving an entry you are agreeing to those rules. The entry voted the favorite by MM users will earn its author a $25 Amazon.com Gift Certificate.

photo by flickr user carbonated

Contest Summary
: Invent some Halloween fakelore.
How to enter: Write your entry in the Contest Entries section.
Deadline: Friday, October 31st at 5pm EST
Prize: a $25 Amazon.com Gift Certificate

Announcement: This contest is closed. Feel free to continue to leave your answers here, but you'll be doing so strictly for our edification. Why don't you see what's going on in the forum or check out the latest update or contest?

Oct 26 2008

Contest #17: Winner

Category: Uncategorized @ 5:13 pm

I’m glad that we have so many close finalist polls here at MM.  That probably means that all of you have as much trouble as I do when trying to figure out which entry is the best.

The 17th member of the exclusive MM Champions Club is Lalaith.  The number 17 is indivisible (you know, mostly) and her answer was invincible.  Should you find yourself in medieval Britain pitching bumper sticker ideas, remember Lalaith’s brainchild:

I York

The winner of the the MM participation reward this week is Greg.  We’re giving him a $10 credit for the MM Online Store.  

Next week is going to be an unprecedented one for MM.  We’ll be having 2 contests;  a standard contest will be announced tomorrow and then the Halloween photo contest (with further rules description) will be announced later in the week.  Prime your minds for the workout.

Oct 24 2008

Contest #17: Finalists

Category: Uncategorized @ 5:03 pm

In the very early days of MM, we were on easy street when whittling down the entries into five finalists.  Usually there would only be about five that were really standouts anyway.  This is a stark contrast to recent contests, which have taken a herculean effort to narrow the field down.

With an increasing number of people showing off their prodigious contest skills, it increases the pool of entries that are in the category amazing-yet-not-chosen-for-the-finals.  Some good news is that we’ve decided this will be a merch contest.  We’ll announce our selections for those in a few weeks.

We have a ton (tonion?) of entries to mention this week.  The following were either staff or user favorites: fuzz on the concept’s Lady-in-Waiting, jakutzclergyman, Zabo’s plague, fooly cooly’s weird Cornwall, R.E.D.’s 100 miles/bale horse, jupchu’s saddle law, lisa’s fly on ass, Shirin’s prima noctaGreg’s (as anonymous) regulare spelementMike Fo’ Sho’s bubonic, Diavo’s heliocentric & geocentric, rudolfs00 joust, iaoai’s journeyman, Alex’s indulgences, Misha G’s 20 farthing, and Michele’s trebuchet.

This week’s top of the class were: Lalaith, Mach 3, Garrett, Arkansas, and fyrtygr.  The poll will be open until Sunday 5pm EST.  Don’t forget to log in when you vote to be eligible for the MM participation rewards.

[poll id="22"]

Photo by flickr user one luck guy

Oct 23 2008

Alternative Hazard Merch Announcement: Round 1

Category: Uncategorized @ 12:12 pm

Mental Magma Online Store

Introducing six designs from:

Contest #13: Alternative Hazards.

Rapture by dlawhon Waves by SomeGuyNamedDoug

Robot by fooly cooly KoolAid by Zabo

Stairs by Mrs. Sanchez Dreams by R.E.D.

Feedback is appreciated. Let us and the users who came up with the ideas know what you think. Post your thoughts in the comments section (of this post) & the forum.

Oct 23 2008

A thousand pardons

Category: Uncategorized @ 12:05 am

We’re making some last minute adjustments to the merch. We should have the announcement up late tonight or tomorrow. In the interim, let me show you just one of the merch selections. This was from one of fooly cooly’s entries: (not available in the store at the time of this writing)

Oct 22 2008

MM User Leaderboard Update (through Contest #16)

Category: Uncategorized @ 12:01 am


1 Jakutz 42
2 Greg 27
3 Zabo 26
4 Fooly Cooly
5 Bunny Slippers 21
6 SomeGuyNamedDoug 20.5
7 Brendan
8 nmrboy 17.5
9 R.E.D. 16.5
10 Alex 15
11 Mrs. Sara
12/13 Vlad 14
12/13 Sherry Baker
14 Ian Randal Strock
15 c2 11.5
16/17 Padma
16/17 dlawhon 10.5
18 Shiradee
19 Mrs. Sanchez
20 Mach3 7

Oct 21 2008

Photo Contest Pre-Announcement

Category: Uncategorized @ 11:18 am

As we’ve hinted around on the forums, we’re going to host our first photo contest soon.  We’ve decided that our first contest is going to be a competition for the most creative Halloween costume.  We thought that this would be a good choice because many of you will already be making creative costumes and taking pictures.  This is not the kind of photo contest we imagine having in the future, but this is sort of a fun first attempt.

The prize for the photo contest will be a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.  We’ll specify the full rule list soon.  Don’t start snapping the actual photos yet or submitting them because the rule list will specify the procedures you’ll need to follow for your picture to be eligible.  

The contest will run concurrent with our normal contests and you’ll have 2 weeks or so to submit and rate them.  So get started on your costume today.

photo by flickr user conor lamb

Oct 20 2008

Contest #17: Swords don’t kill people, witches & dragons kill people

Category: Uncategorized @ 12:01 am

One thing all historians of the middle ages agree on is that there was a scarcity of bumper stickers. Sure, a knight would occasionally slap one on his horse’s rump. However, if you had a clever quip you wanted everyone to know about, you probably just had to yell it in the town square.

The contest this week is to write a bumper sticker that would have been appropriate for the middle ages. Whether you want to choose a historically accurate view of the period or a more fantasy-novel view is up to you.

This contest may be a merch contest. We’re not really sure. Time-traveling-medieval-peasants aren’t exactly a huge market, but some of your entries may be so clever that we have to print them up for present-day folks. We’re leaving our options open.

Standard contest timeline and contest rules apply this week. By leaving an entry you are agreeing to those rules. The entry voted the favorite by MM users will earn its author a $25 Amazon.com Gift Certificate and a $15 Mental Magma Online Store gift certificate.

photo by flickr user declan anderson

Contest Summary
: Describe a bumper sticker that would be appropriate for the middle ages.
How to enter: Write your entry in the Contest Entries section.
Deadline: Friday, October 24th at 5pm EST
Prize: a $25 Amazon.com Gift Certificate AND a $15 Mental Magma Online Store gift certificate.

Announcement: This contest is closed. Feel free to continue to leave your answers here, but you'll be doing so strictly for our edification. Why don't you see what's going on in the forum or check out the latest update or contest?

Oct 19 2008

Contest #16: Winner

Category: Uncategorized @ 5:24 pm

Not to steal any thunder from our finalists and contest winner, but how about our new winner logo here? It’s so shiny & sophisticated; I feel like I should avert my eyes.

The vote totals were tight between our finalists this week, but when five o’clock came, nmrboy stood atop the heap. Should you be the recipient of a colossal check that you’re nervous about cashing, just look the teller in the face and say:

The sultan of brunei's left eye twitches when he's bluffing.

The winner of our MM participation rewards this week is Taylor. He will receive a $10 gift certificate to the MM online store. He was eligible for the prize just by voting in the finals (while logged in) and participating in this week’s game.

Thanks to everyone who participated this week. Be sure to return tomorrow when we announce contest #17 and news about our first photo contest.

Oct 17 2008

Contest #16: Finalists

Category: Uncategorized @ 5:19 pm

This week we learned that Short Round has some strong support, that you thought Contest #16 was a good break from our more complicated contests, and that Jakutz is actually all but 3 of the people on MM.

I’m happy to report that we had a bunch of new people enter the contest this week, some of which made the special-mentions and the finalists.  In addition to lauding the finalists, each week, we also mention entries that didn’t make the top 5, but were either crowd or staff favorites.

There were Greg’s menial magnifier blogy-thingy, Alex’s cash only gas station, David’s one-man China, Taylor’s swear jar, Gig’s bailout bucket, Misha G’s Ethiopian baby adoptions, Katie’s superstring theory, and jbirdpower’s Pac-man goal.

The top 5 entries this week were written by nmrboy, jupchu, Arkansas, Jakutz, and Iaoai.  Will perrenial favorite Jakutz take down his 2nd prize, will nmrboy be rewarded for his inimitable style, or will one of the newcomers claim the top prize and be plunged into internation fame and glory?  The poll will be open until 5pm EST.  Don’t forget to log in when you vote (if you want to be eligible for the MM participation prize).

[poll id="21"]

Oct 15 2008

Game: Line-Item Veto (for movies/books)

Category: Uncategorized @ 9:01 pm

The goal of this game is identify an individual character from a movie or book whose absence would improve the audience/reader experience.  You get to play editor/producer and remove all references in the book/script to this character.  The Jar Jar example is uncreative, but I wanted to get it out of the way (although I did just download The Phantom Edit).

I’m hoping we can come up with interesting and unusual examples rather than just ranting.  Please post your line-item vetoes in the comments section of this post.

As a secondary question, what other areas do you wish you had line-item veto power over?

Oct 14 2008

This guy should have waited to see this week’s contest winner

Category: Uncategorized @ 11:35 pm