New contest for Week 1128: Drone for a loop
A swarm of CICADAs: the perfect birthday gift for people who could use a little discreet help in blowing out the candles.
Geography classes in Cleveland would have international CICADA contests: Who can drop a micro-drone into Kim Jong Un’s bed?
If you’re impressed (a.k.a. creeped out) by the prospect of having your porn-book order delivered directly to your front porch from the sky, now there’s something that can impress you even more: A few weeks ago, the Pentagon’s Naval Research Lab showed off its latest cool gadget: a micro-drone that can fit in your hand yet can be dropped — by the thousands — from 57,000 feet up, undetectable by radar, to deliver “payloads to precise waypoints.”
Described by Phys.org as basically “a paper airplane with a circuit board,” and named pseudo-acronymically for a swarming insect that seems to appear from nowhere, the CICADA currently is outfitted with just a few sensors. But of course it won’t be long until the little bugsters — already costing only a few hundred dollars — can carry cameras, deliver micro-packages . . . what else?
This is what Longtime Loser Jeff Brechlin was wondering. The eternally childlike Jeff, whose obit promises to name him as the author of the Style Invitational-winning and wildly viral Hokey Pokey Sonnet, suggested this contest: Give us some novel uses for a CICADA micro-drone, assuming that anyone can get one, and that it can have a micro-camera, micro-grips, etc. Entertaining scenarios may be described in up to 75 words.
Winner gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives, in the vein of this week’s contest, our Micro Twofer, consisting of a keychain with a little plastic piece of sushi (brought back from Japan by Cheryl Davis) and an inch-tall white ceramic coffee mug, advertised as Squirrel Coffee Cup (from Bruce Alter).
Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet designed by Bob Staake: either “The Wit Hit the Fan” or “Hardly HarHar.” First Offenders receive a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to email@example.com or, if you were born in the 19th century, fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday night, June 22; results published July 12 (online July 9). You may submit up to 25 entries per contest. Include “Week 1128” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline for this week’s results is by Brendan Beary; the honorablementions subhead is by Jon Gearhart. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday.
THE STYLE CONVERSATIONAL The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at wapo.st/styleconv.