Thursday, April 2, 2009

Winners Round 7 !! Certificate Winners

Here are the Certificate of Achievement Winners and the Short Lists in three categories:

Category: What Some Might Think Is Closest to What Is in the Box

@BrianPike: / Two bent slivers / Of soap: / Comedy and Tragedy /
- WINNER: This is not only a lovely guess, but it is the only guess that mentions soap. The object in the box is not soap, but is something that is strongly associated with soap. The object is also something potentially both hilarious and troubling, therefore possibly requiring two different kinds of soap.

@1sjcorbett: An ashtray from the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair featuring the Space Needle. I think that would be pretty cool, that's all.
- That would be pretty cool, and is the sort of thing that might catch my eye as a potential prize. However, this guess makes the short list for “What Some Might Think ...” for the more prosaic reason of physical similarity. The object is shaped a bit like some ashtrays, and it could be used as one.

@1sjcorbett: A protective device along the lines of a set of drink coasters.
- I have not been able to reach a satisfactory conclusion in my own mind whether the object in the box is a protective device. I am certain that some would consider it so, and therefore this guess is in this category. Given the ambiguities in this guess, I cannot judge it closer to a win in this category.

@myracles: The object itself is a containment unit, in which the user can place either fluid or memories.
- A similar problem to the guess above. I cannot decide whether this object is properly considered a containment unit. If it is, there is the further question of whether it contains fluid. Some might have memories to place in it, but again, given the ambiguities, I cannot judge this guess closer to a win.

@1sjcorbett: A 25' tape measure. Just one element of the well stocked tool box. With a good tool box, most problems can be solved.
- This guess squeaks into this category solely through invocation of problem-solving. The object in the box is associated with cleanliness, which solves or avoids many problems.

@d_g_: A modicum of hope
- Another squeaker. The word “hope” rhymes with “soap,” and also puts one in mind of preparation for the future, which I associate with cleanliness. A disjointed argument, perhaps, but enough to place this guess in the “What Some Might Think ...” category.

@TraceyGW: @carterbob2 if I didn't know what you were tweeting about I would think you had a stroke or were on crack
- It is pretty obvious that @TraceyGW did not intend to enter the contest, but this tweet was tagged #gwiitb and therefore counts. It is in this category because I can’t help wondering whether there are a great many people who don’t know about the contest who see the guesses and think we are all deranged.

@toldorknown: A wooshing deadline, barely met.
- This is another difficult-to-categorize guess. Given the number of usual entrants who missed this round, and the number of folks who entered in the last few hours, it was a general acting-as-though-there-were a wooshing deadline in the box.

Category : Guesses with Ancient or Archeological Overtones

@lindstifa: A reminder of my mortality.
- WINNER: There are two reasons this guess is the winner in this category: 1) Ancient things remind us that eventually our times will be ancient times, and we will all be long dead by then; and 2) The object in the box is (at least symbolically) brimming with ever-renewed life, and that can make one feel old and mortal.

@toldorknown: Like a smoldering ember, it is both the remainder of what was and the seed of its rebirth, given the right catalyst.
- Others might not agree, but I think of seeds as somewhat archeological. I have seen many, many television programs about digs and such in which scientists are able to figure out what ancient people ate by what pollen or seeds were still just hanging out in some pot that had gotten buried. This guess misses the top spot because this object is in a state of ongoing, vibrant luminescence, not smoldering.

@toddadamson: The Pogues. Freeze-dried.
- The “Freeze-dried” portion of this guess is notable. The object in the box is of a durable man-made material that I believe was liquid at one point in its manufacture and then cooled to its present dry and durable state. It is not, however, the Pogues. I was just thinking of the Jim Jarmusch film “Straight to Hell” the other day (the whole band is in it), and was tickled to see the Pogues mentioned in a guess. But there is not anything musical about the object, nor anything “kissy” or even “kiss-my-ass-y” about it. (The Pogues’ full name in Irish translates to “Kiss My Ass,” I understand.)

@icecolbeveridge: It's a child's toy, rescued from an attic where it had been abandoned for many years.
- Like the next guess, this one is archeological in shorter “personal-life-span” sense. This object is not a toy at all, and is clearly designed for an adult concept of what is desirable decor (and I do not mean that in a smutty way).

@TheStepster: My stack of old-school posters that were thrown out by my old man. It has to be them.
- This is in many ways similar to the guess above. The object in the box has no obvious ties to pop culture, and is a rather mundane object. It is incidentally decorative and is primarily an object of utility that would be selected by an adult.

@fistsoffolly: A wing and a prayer. (Probably in more of a figurative sense.)
- I keep going around in circles on what category I like for this guess. I considered the Grand Prize short list and the “What Some Might Think ...” short list (cleanliness being next to Godliness), but kept coming back to the ancient lineage of both the phrase “A wing and a prayer” and of prayer itself. This conclusion will possibly never satisfy either me or @fistsoffolly, but I hope we will both continue to enjoy the contest and future guesses.

@whlteXbread: I'm pretty sure it's the shrunken head of my truly unfortunate elementary school gym teacher.
- The discussion of this guess must necessarily echo that of @toddadamson’s guess above. A preserved head is an undoubtedly archeological item, placing this guess firmly in this category. A person’s head, however, especially a known person’s head from an industrial society, just does not connect with any of the essential characteristics of the object in the box.

@carterbob2: Crawling thru the sandstorm of daily existence it burrows deeply into its tomb, and waits.
- Again, here is a clearly archeological guess. There is even a bit of a resonance between the word “sand” and the environment evoked by the object. However, this is an inanimate object that is not at all creepy, and I simply cannot judge this guess the winner.

@odat: An object of nostalgic import, a reliquary of memory.
- This guess was entered past the deadline, and would be ineligible to win. Reliquaries are often ancient or at least archeological. Reliquaries are also containers. This item is arguably a container (as discussed above) but not of memories. At least, that is, not of my memories. It is a relatively anonymous item.

Category: Guesses with the Word “Something” In Them

@AndrewLoeb: Something that glitters, but may not necessarily be gold. Something that wanders, but may not necessarily be lost.
- WINNER: The object in the box is a bit gaudy and very translucent, which brings it close to glitteriness without being gold, and its evocation of exotic places suggests wandering despite its mundane intended use in the home. Further, it is not lost, because I know exactly where it is.

@TheStepster: Something that brings comfort to the mind and body.
- This guess is a strong contender. The object has, in its physical appearance, qualities that might comfort someone’s mind. It its practical application, it might indirectly bring comfort to the body in the form of cleanliness, but the connections are not quite direct and definite enough to judge this the winner.

@KT30003k: It is something used for decision-making/values-clarification purposes.
- I have actually thought of a way this object could (quite indirectly) assist someone other than the owner of the object in decision-making or values-clarification with regard to the owner of the object. Again, without a more direct connection, this guess cannot be judged the winner.

@suelyn: Something to spark the imagination, individual items taken together to make things. Building blocks.
- While this object does indeed spark the imagination, it is a single one-piece item I expect would not be useful at all in making things. It is triumphantly solitary, like a grand plinth for a measly statue. So I cannot judge it the winner.

@trelvix: Something lonely but constant. Like a calendar gifted mid-year.
- As discussed above, this item is alone, but not lonely. It might be lacking something in its current failure to fulfill its practical purpose (revealed below), but that is temporary and of no concern. This object is awesome just the way it is. Yes constant, but not poignant.


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