#solo13 Caption Competition

14 November 2013 by Alex Brown, posted in speaking science

[TL;DR: #solo13 caption competition and NEW photo-editing competition, deadline = 1pm CET on Thursday 21 November;  prize = postcard from CERN.]

UPDATE: the deadline has passed. Thanks to everyone who took part. I'll go over the entries and come up with a winner soon.

Last week, I was at the Science Policy, Outreach and Tools Online (SpotOn) conference in London. This post may not be of much interest to any of you who weren't also there. Why not read this instead?

SpotOn London logo

I really enjoyed the conference and got out more than I put in, both in terms of professional development and fun. Case in point: apart from writing about my session (twice! see the before & after posts), I also set up a bit of fun on the side in the form of a game of buzzword bingo.

As with many such events, there was a professional photographer present to capture the atmosphere of the discussions, workshops, breaks, and fringe events. You can see many of them here. These pictures often capture people mid-speech, pulling faces and waving their hands about. This is hardly surprising, of course. Equally, I think we can have a little fun with it.

So it's time for a caption competition. To make it interesting, there is a prize: whoever submits the "best" caption wins a postcard from CERN featuring an image from the world of particle physics research (however I decide to define "best", which is "whatever happens to please me at the time"). I might even ask Salvatore Mele to sign it for you, if that's your kind of thing.

Captions could be inspired by one of the following pictures (or any of the others in the Flickr group if you're feeling creative - there are some real gems in there that I just had to leave out to keep this post manageable!)

UPDATE: inspired by the wonderful folk of Twitter, I'm opening up a second category: image edits. Use your favourite photo editing software (such as GIMP) to "improve" one of the pictures below. Same rules, same deadline. Post a link to your picture in the comments section.

Picture 1


Picture 2


Picture 3


Picture 4


Picture 5


Picture 6


Picture 7

(All pictures featured here were taken by Jason Wen.)

You can see a slideshow of more pictures from the conference, featuring the unofficial theme tune, at this link (Thanks to Graham for making that!)

Some rules:

  • The dealine is 1pm CET (that's noon in the UK) on Thursday, 21 November 2013 (i.e. in just under a week from my posting this). Submissions received after that time will not be considered for the prize (I'll use the timestamp on the submission's comment to judge the time of submission).
  • You can enter as many times as you like, submitting as many captions for as many pictures as you can come up with.
  • The winner gets a postcard from CERN (NB this competition is not sponsored or endorsed in any way by CERN, I just happen to be able to walk into the gift shop and buy the postcards) which I will post (at my own expense) anywhere in the world.
  • The criteria for picking a winner are entirely at my discretion and I haven't decided what they are yet. To give you some indication: humour, puns, surprises, obscure cultural references, use of foreign languages are all likely to be assets. You are allowed, dare I say encouraged,  to try to influence my decision by pointing out the strengths of your entry at considerable length through any means you see fit, such as tweets, carrier pigeons, postcards from scientifically interesting locations (hint, hint) and so on. Go ahead, make my day. Refer to past competitions I have run to see the kind of thing I like.
  • I might decide to pick more than one winning entry.
  • Other rules that I haven't thought of yet may apply.

Over to you:

  1. Choose a picture from the list above (or from the Flickr group, or one of your own (please include a link))
  2. Submit your caption in the comments below (remember to mention the picture's number!)
  3. Spread the word!
  4. Watch this space (or follow me on Twitter) to read more entries and to find out who wins!

17 Responses to “#solo13 Caption Competition”

  1. Andrew Swale Reply | Permalink

    Picture 2: *seductive voice* "Your hairbrush or mine?"

  2. Rich Johnston Reply | Permalink

    Pic 2: "tadaaa"

  3. Kirsty Jackson Reply | Permalink

    Picture 7: Suzi was wondering if anyone else could see her 12 o'clock shadow.

  4. Sue Pearson Reply | Permalink

    Picture 6: Writers get in character for the reporting on Richard III themed workshop.

  5. Graham Steel (@McDawg) Reply | Permalink

    One moar - Picture 5. During the #solo13alt session, an audience member quotes a section from The Bible about blogging to Prof David Colquhoun.

  6. Jonathan Lawson Reply | Permalink

    Because time's almost up and I might as well try:

    Pic 1: I like it, but does it come in any other colours?
    Pic 2: It’s really hard to talk to you when I’m giving an off-screen mon[k]ey a backscratch.
    Pic 3: Say ‘hi’, mum.
    Pic 4: That’s a tough question. Where’s that bloody hitman when you need him.
    Pic 5: Nooo! Don’t drop the cake!!
    Pic 6: Wait! What’s my name again?
    Pic 7: I knew orange juice at this time was a really bad idea…

  7. #solo13 caption competition – the results › Do you speak science? Reply | Permalink

    [...] #solo13 caption competition – the results 21 November 2013 by Alex Brown, posted in speaking science I recently attended the SpotOn conference in London. As well as running a workshop, I set up a game of buzzword bingo, and a caption competition. Below are the results of the latter. You can read all the entries in the comments section under the competition post. [...]

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