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November 2009 Archives

It's the most wonderful time of the year: when we run a zillion contests just to ploy you into entertaining the internets with your creativity and multi-faceted awesomeness. And in that spirit of sharing, we proudly present:

The ThinkGeek Electronic Guitar Shirt Contest!!

We already know you rock. But do you RAWK!? We're calling on all wanna-be wailers to shred an Electronic Rock Guitar Shirt in a YouTube music video.

The rules are simple, just like power chords: shoot a video of you rockin' out our Electronic Guitar shirt, playing whatever music you like (even with a band, if that's how you roll), upload the video to YouTube, and give us the url by January 15th, 2010.

The first prize rocker will win a $500 ThinkGeek gift certificate, a Super Bundle of Band Hero gear from the folks at Neversoft, a spot on our homepage, and our undying fanchimp admiration. Second place will snag a Guitar Hero bundle, Eviltrons, a Plush Beating Heart, a Heavy Metal t-shirt, and a $250 gift certificate; third place will win a Cantina Band t-shirt and a $100 gift certificate.

Visit the contest page for more details and the entry form. Thrash, glam, punk, pop, we'll take it all. Just do our fragile psyches a favor and make sure you're fit enough for the leather pants, okay?

The ThinkGeek Brick Construction Shirt Contest!!

Sure, Nathan Sawaya may be able to build pretty much anything on the planet out of bricks, but you've got some mad skillz too, right?

Now's your chance to prove it, 'cause the baron of the brick has come on board as an honorary ThinkGeekling for our first-ever Brick Shirt Contest.

Here's what you do: grab a 14x20 stud plate and go crazy on a pile of LEGO(TM), PixelBlocks, Mega Bloks, or K'NEX Bricks(TM). Be creative, but don't include other stuff (like twigs, rodents, or dairy products) and be sure you get a photo of your entry to us by January 15, 2010.

The prize for first place is a custom brick sculpture by Mr. Sawaya himself and a $500 ThinkGeek gift certificate. The second place winner will receive a $250 gift certificate and a 1,200 piece set of Pixel Blocks; third place will win a $100 gift certificate and a Glennz LEGO Evolution t-shirt.

Visit the contest page for more details and the entry form. Happy bricklaying!

But wait, for there is more from which these contests came from! Don't forget about our very sad, very blank wall over in Customer Service monkey land.


Let's Wall of Awesome Happy for ThinkGeek!!

To help alleviate the depressing effects of taupe, we're turning it into The Wall of Awesome Happiness, and we'd like to slap your postcard on it! Each week the monkeys will choose their favorite postcard, whose creator will win a $50 gift certificate and a spot in our newsletter. We've received a pile already but there is much, much more wall to go!

andrea-leia-small.jpg

Andrea's one of the monkeys here at ThinkGeek that makes sure you like what you see on our site. (The all edges brownie pan? That's her.)

She's also a very good friend to have. For example, if you want a knit cap for your birthday, she might just whip you up a Leia hat, complete with braided ear muff buns. It's a lot more comfortable in the winter than the slave costume.

Even if you're only a moderately skilled needle ninja, Andrea says you can tackle this one.

Here's how you make the Princess Leia hat:

  1. Get some comfy, Carrie-Fisher-esque brown yarn. Bulky, wooly yarn works best (especially for the optional felting step below) to make sure the braids are chunky enough, and you'll probably need two skeins.
  2. Procure circular or double pointed knitting needles. (Andrea used size 10 double pointed needles on her hat.) Grab a big ol' tapestry needle while you're at it; you'll need it for the braids.
  3. Knit a bit of your yarn see how the stitches add up, find a hat pattern you like, size it to fit your noggin (if you want to felt it later on, make it a little bigger than you think you'll need it!), and knit up a simple hat. Andrea says hers took about 10 hours (but that's with plenty of TV and food breaks).
  4. Now it's time to make your luxurious hair. Knit 6 tubes (or "idiot cords," which are basically just 5 stitches effed up over and over--see video below) approximately 35" long.
  5.  

    Andrea shows us how to knit "Idiot Cords"

  6. This step is optional and will only work if you chose wool or another animal fiber, but makes your knitted hair look more like actual hair: felting. After you've knitted the hair and the hat, toss them into the washer for a hot wash followed by a cold rinse. The pieces will lose that knitted look and will feel fuzzy all over. (You can do this by hand if you like, but Andrea used her washer. Hit up Google for some options.)
  7. harley-leia-small.jpg

    Harley, Andrea's pit bull, rockin' the hat.

  8. Once they're dry, take up 3 cords, tightly wrap and tie the ends off with extra yarn, and braid. When you reach the end, fasten them again so the braid stays put. Repeat on other 3 cords, and shoot for the same length.
  9. Hold the end of one braid and begin to wrap it in a spiral, using a bit of extra yarn and a tapestry needle to sew it in place as you go. Try not to leave stitches showing on the last bit of the spiral--you want it to look like it's magically holding itself together. Repeat on the other braid.
  10. Lastly, securely sew the buns to the hat. You'll want the center part of the bun (your spiral's starting point) to point forward on each side, with the spiral going counterclockwise over the left ear and clockwise over the right. (Here's a closeup of Leia's hair for reference.) Flip buns accordingly before sewing them on. Secure the bun at the edge of the hat and at the top, too; otherwise they'll flop over like mouse ears.
  11. Place finished Leia hat on head, parade around haughtily, tease a droid, take a photo, and send us a link!

What craftery have you been up to lately? Link up your work in the comments!

Wall of Awesome Happiness!!

UPDATE: There has been new photos for to viewing on 11/23/09!

REUPDATE: FIRST WINNAR CHOSEN!! In postmail, Santa endures many hardships by foreign planet people.

There exists lonesome wall which make customer service monkeys cry. It is so blank and sad truly.

The magnificent high group ruled we need special thing from you! We need your things that are sent in antique mail and are level and small. It is postcard yes! Not email no!

sad monkeys do cry

READ THIS:
Send us a postcard! Every week, our customer service monkeys will choose their favorite, and the winner will receive a $50 gift certificate, appear on our website, and get mentioned in our newsletter. The only rule: entrants from outside the US aren't eligible for the gift certificate part of the prize. The address is below, and our IRL mailbox is excited!

When postman deliver your awesomeness to headquarters, monkeys pleased! Monkeys will affix message to blank wall for to fill it up!

The accumulation of postcard with your gorgeous nonsense we call it WALL OF AWESOME HAPPINESS!! and will cause us to be smiling rainbows.

Every week our customer service monkeys read your obedience and discuss awesomeness of every one. Most especially postcard receive $50 gift certificate of loving and as well posting on site and picture in our big email we send! We love it so much!

The rule: Postcard from outside U.S. cannot to win the monies and can win only love. (We do love outside U.S.!) Sorry please understand and cooperate for your safety.

Attention you!! We have special limited offer for a time: they are giving first 10 postmails into ThinkGeek office $25 gift certificates, or maybe super secret prize of stuff!

Fastest wins! Go send to here:

WALL OF AWESOME HAPPINESS!!
c/o ThinkGeek
11216 Waples Mill Rd, Suite 100
Fairfax, VA 22030

Remmembering write your email address on your postmail! It will give us place to tell if you won.

Our blue faces require your awesomeness completely! Rush!

(Do not understand what is here? It is okay. Read this in a box.)


UPDATE!!

Your postmails of loving do make us smile! It grows like fungus across the wall and will eat us with joy at last! Here are pictures of some of them and our gorgeous wall:


The first ten postmails to attack wall won $25 gift certificates! They are: Jessi, Virginia; Pam, Pennsylvania; Mab, Just Mab; DNA, Virginia; Alan, Virginia; Jeremy, Virginia; Laura, Oregon; Tony, Washington DC; Daryl, Maryland; Lisa Kay, Missouri.

But we could not stop with the winners, so we picked 10 more by randomness and they are: Eric, New York; Bryan, Idaho; Alisa, Virginia (?); Kelsey, New York; Rachel, Pennsylvania; Brian, California; Michael, North Carolina; Carmen, Hawaii; Andrew, Virginia; Sharon, Virginia.

Please to keep sending postmails for which to grow happy fungus! There is more blank sadness to cover and we rely on your obedience. Next week customer service monkeys will choose their most favoritest postmail to win a $50 gift certificate. This will happen every week, so do mail!

As you may know, we were on a pumpkin annihilation tear last month.

But there's no better way to take care of a pumpkin than throwing it three-quarters of a mile, so a ThinkGeek monkey did some recon at the World Championship Punkin Chunkin in Sussex County, Delaware where engineering meets pumpkin guts.

Punkin Chunkin '09: Sights and sounds and ATVs

The championship started back in 1986, pretty much on a dare, and the winning pumpkin throw was just 126 feet. (The current World Record distance for any kind of chunk is 4483.51 feet, or .84 miles, or approximately 36 times more kickass.)

In all, there's 5 kinds of chunkers: Air Cannon, Centrifugal, Catapult, Trebuchet, Human Powered, and Torsion. The longest shot this year was 4162.65 feet by an air cannon named "Big 10 Inch," and "Yankee Siege" set a new world trebuchet record of 2034.21 feet.

Which is to say: it's amazing to watch.

Basically, they line up the cannons along two sides of a rectangular (formerly corn) field, and they chunk from 9 am to dusk for 3 days. Those who aren't chunking are almost certainly drinking--some spectators (coughcollegekidscough) brought couches, grills, and beer pong tables--and there was lots of fair-type food, including kettle corn, BBQ, sausages, and pumpkin funnel cake.

A few recommendations if you go next year:

  • Plan on the drive taking an extra hour or more at the end. Traffic was stop and go for 3 miles outside of the chunk on Saturday afternoon this year.
  • Wear stout shoes. You'll be walking in a furrowed field.
  • Be prepared for crowds. Drunken crowds. (Alternatively: bring booze.)
  • If you want a good picture of punkins in flight, bring a decent camera. They get very tiny, very fast.

Another option:

Watch Punkin Chunkin: Born to Chunk on the Science Channel this Thanksgiving. Apparently they're making a television event out of footage from last year's chunk. The footage alone would be worth the watch, but we're betting the local color makes for good viewing, too.

surveyresults.jpg

We just asked our email subscribers a few questions about themselves--age, location, favorite OS, PC vs console, that sorta thing. (Didn't get the email? You should sign up!)

Some might've called it a "survey." We call it "holy crap you people are nuts and we heart you so much for it."

And to prove our love, here's a random sampling of your responses to our extremely opened ended question:

"Here is some optional space for telling us things we wouldn't otherwise know, like what you had for breakfast."

Cereal and milk with a shot of hydrocodone cough syrup. I'm ready for my day!

I have porridge every morning. It keeps you regular.

I had five buffalo wings and...three inches of a Spicy Italian sandwich from Subway.  Because I wake up at four in the afternoon.

I live on Arizona tea and soybeans. I think I have a problem.

Bacon. I had bacon.

COFFEE COFFEECOFFEE!!!HEHEHEHEHEHEE!!!!!


Some were answers to questions we couldn't even begin to ask:

I enjoy rollerskating and going to Chick-Fil-A grand openings.

Urine is sterile, you can drink it.

Can you please provide to us, a simple, PC-based, artificial intelligence, for doing our jobs? Thank you very much.

I'm an electrical designer in the biopharm industry. 

I met my girlfriend on my favorite torrent tracker.

my dsl is with a great company buy my service recently went from an already super-weak 170Kdown 30up to 22K down and 30k up... i havn't had much time to call tech support and find out what the problem is so i figured this survey was the next logical choice.  I have done nothing and i'm all out of ideas.  how should i proceed

I just dyed my bangs hot pink.

I'm considering joining a Buddhist monastery.

I test video games for a living. Not much of a living, but eh, what'er you going to do. *shrugs blissfully*

i drink dr pepper as if it is the only thing that sustains my life. and i'm currently on a search for a comfortable pair of non-leather cowboy boots.

H1N1 shots make you tired, just so you know.

I can put an arrow in your tires at a 100 paces so be nice!


Brilliant. Thanks for keeping it interesting, guys.

Timmy's Board of Pumpkin Modification Oversight is pleased to announce its top picks in ThinkGeek's First Perhaps Annual but Let us Settle for 2009 Geeky Pumpkin Template Design Contest Extravaganza and do hereby decree:


FIRST and most awesomely prized:

Star Trek Enterprise pumpkin template Star Trek Enterprise pumpkin template

NCC-1701, by maddoghoek, who wins a $100 gift certificate, Tauntaun Sleeping bag, Zombie Shooting Gallery, Eviltron, and Dismember Me Plush Zombie


SECOND and hopefully carved by a lightsaber:

Star Wars pumpkin template Star Wars pumpkin template

Star Wars, by merit, who wins a $50 gift certificate, Eviltron, and Dismember Me Plush Zombie


THIRD and most clever use of a pumpkin top:

King Boo pumpkin template King Boo pumpkin template

King Boo, by Thejehosephat, who wins a $25 gift certificate, Eviltron, and Dismember Me Plush Zombie


But we got more than 3 entries, and many of them were too good to pass up without showering them with blog affection. The best of the rest:

Most Helpful when Attacked By Goblins

d20 by backslashdave

Most Awesome 'Cause Timmy Says So

Timmy by whataslacker

Most Joss Whedon-Approved

Blue Sun by Shimo

Most Evil

Cthulhu by bobarobes

Most Clever Use of Negative Space (& Crow)

MST3K 3-D by littlebitocd

Most Complicated/Zombied

Lumber Jack vs. Zombies by meizme

Most Blatantly Childhood-Reverent

Thundercats & Transformers by jhliu

Cutest Couple (Awwwww)

One Pumpkin to Rule Them All by PuckByter & Eye of Sauron by Tinnurien


You might have heard all this thrilling news during our Halloween Spooktacular show on JTV last Friday, October 30th, but if you didn't, you may watch us yammer and parade our costumes and pumpkins, IRL:


If you'd like to seem more pics of our pumpkin successes (we torched the failures, like usual), we've got a whole Flickr set for your perusal.

So, how was your Halloween? Pics or it didn't happen.