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The World's Largest Scavenger Hunt Returns 102

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the still-haven't-found-what-i'm-looking-for dept.
mresolver writes "University of Chicago students have once again emerged from the library after a long winter to participate in the world's largest scavenger hunt. The multiple day event is famous for the working breeder reactor that students managed to build during the 1999 hunt. This year, the official list (PDF) includes a superconductor, working wood refrigerator, hot air balloon made to Montgolfier specifications, one-way funhouse mirror, and a walk-in Kaleidoscope."
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The World's Largest Scavenger Hunt Returns

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  • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nerdguy0 (101358) <lwalkera AT ieee DOT org> on Friday May 12, 2006 @04:10AM (#15315965)
    They have a book bound in human skin (#143). Skin is an organ, right?
  • Re:How dare they! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WalterGR (106787) on Friday May 12, 2006 @05:52AM (#15316167) Homepage
    But how dare they violate the valuable IP of patent #6,368,227? Don't bother letting these hardened criminals rot in jail- just shoot them for their crimes against humanity.

    In reference to the patent you mention, this text is from a New Scientist article on the patent: [newscientist.com]

    A five-year-old kid from Minnesota has patented a way of swinging on a child's swing...

    Peter Olson[, his father,] told New Scientist: "I had told him that if he invented something he could file a patent." His son had not seen sideways swinging because the swings at his school are closely spaced, so he asked his father to file the application.

    But that's coo, Slashdot. Mock away. That's what you do best.

  • Re:How dare they! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kansas1051 (720008) on Friday May 12, 2006 @09:47AM (#15316897)
    There is actually a interesting history behind that patent. It was subject to a "director" ordered reexamination, which means that the USPTO itself thought the patent was so bad that it had to be withdrawn and prosecuted again. Director ordered reexaminations are incredibly rare, particularly when there isn't a lot of money at stake.

    As the patented swinging method had been long known in the art, the USPTO invalidated all claims of the patent (as it should have the first time around), rendering it unenforceable. Because a patent with no claims is worthless, its owner allowed it to expire on 5/10/2006 by nonpayment of issue fees.

  • by cmcfaul (853765) on Friday May 12, 2006 @11:49AM (#15318164) Homepage
    The key is the line, "Think S.P.C.A guidelines." I don't know the guidlines all that well, but my understanding is that bees are not considered worth protecting. At any rate, the enforcement of the list rules is done by our ORCSA advisor, who checks the List to make sure we're not doing anything dangerous/illegal. I'm not sure where exactly they would draw the line, but it appears to be somewhere between insects and mammals.

    OTOH, the story I've heard from judges older than myself is that the original source of the no-animals rule is a Little Bo Peep item gone awry several years ago.

    Finally, and for what it's worth, Item #228 ("T Bee A") has been revealed: Catch a bee.

    --colin, Keeper of the Scrolls

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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