Through my profile on MySpace.
Date: Jan 2 2007 10:32 PM
even know i think god is real and go to a phycic once a year can i still take you out on a date?
In my living room, I have a bookcase. Sitting on the bookcase atop a stack of DVDs is a medium-sized metal rectangular lunch box decorated with vintage magic posters. Within this lunch box, I have placed a single item of personal significance to me. If you tell me what that item is, you can take me on a date.
Feel free to use your resources, including but not limited to your annual psychic, Jesus/god, or any latent remote viewing abilities you may possess.
Please note that I will most likely open this offer to others, and I will post all results to my blog.
Best of luck! Thanks for writing.
Date: Jan 2 2007 11:58 PM
Is it a tiny figurine of your favorite care bear â€œAnarchy Bear? You have the figurine and not the stuff animal because within a week of introducing Anarchy Bear onto the show the fundamentalists Christians threatened to boycott and Hasbro was forced to write him off the show. Today you are still hoping for the day where you will find an affordable stuft Anarchy bear on eBay. But until then there is always the tiny figurine that you put in your red A-Team lunch box.
Soâ€¦ will I be taking you to Johnny Rockets for a milk shake or not?
Wow, that was a very good (and detailed) guess, but sadly you are incorrect. If you’d like to try again for that shared milkshake, feel free. I’ll keep the lunch box closed until the end of the month, so you have plenty of time to check with your magical resources.
Other guesses are welcome. “Winners” pay all expenses for date.
A small buddy jesus.
Is it a pony?
I always wanted a pony…
Is it your "souvenir" from China?
Let's see…I'm really gonna have to warm up my ol' remote viewing batteries for this one, since I'm all the way across the Atlantic, but I will do my best…
Hmm. No luck there. I know! I'll talk to some communication-challenged spirits. Time to find out what THEY have to say.
I'm getting an 'R'. They're indicating the letter 'R,' naturally meaning 'Rebecca.' I'm on the right track!
Oh. OK. Here we go. They're indicating to me that it's in water. That's why I can't find it. It's covered in water. Also, don't worry about the money. Does that mean anything to you? Well, keep thinking about it. We'll come back to that later.
How am I doin' so far? :)
She drowned the pony?!? In china?!?! I thought 'R' for Rebecca was an animal lover!!!
"She drowned the pony in China" sounds like:
A) Spy Talk
B) Dirty Euphemism
A snow ball with Santa Claus the reinders and a lot of eleves dancing all around :)
Hell, I'll buy you a milkshake with no strings attached or pretensions that the purchase constitutes a "date". I'm horrible at romance, but I like to make friends.
I tried that "remote viewing" trick, but all I could see was a Doonesbury action figure of Uncle Duke, gritting his cigarette holder between his teeth as if to say, "Death before unconsciousness." Then the doll began to scream, "Honey, I'm trapped inside this little box. Check my Rolodex and see what I ate this morning!"
I don't think my psychic powers are working.
Thanks Expat, now I've gone and snarfed.
From a quick persusal of Rebecca's myspace account I can confidently proclaim that contained within is either
a. A minuture A-Team van
c. The 3 of Clubs
My dear Rebecca.
Your box contains air.
What night is good for you?
Is it your secret stash of hooch?
Or maybe the harvest of your last STADP-check?
Itâ€™s the thermos, I mean come on it wouldnâ€™t be a lunch box with out the matching thermos.
I'm gonna guess a copy of "Why People Believe Weird Things"
Either that or something very naughty indeed, but you might want that before the month is up.
(using his resources)
Hey, Rebecca—what's in the lunch box?
Thus far, you are all very, very wrong. Someone must be blocking the view with negative skeptical energy!
And no, I'm not telling.
A coffee mug in an envelope with "YOU GUESSED WRONG" written on it.
It is a signed copy of Evolution V. Creationism by Eugenie Scott. I can be in Boston in 4 or 5 hours I guess, but I am not buying you a shake unless you send ME a marriage proposal…Just to tick off Perry…
It's your soul! Or maybe Marcellus' soul.
Actually, my official guess is that it's Binky the Bunny. (I'll admit I had to search your archives to get the bunny's name.)
"â€œShe drowned the pony in Chinaâ€ sounds like:
A) Spy Talk
B) Dirty Euphemism
A) She hid(drowned) the letter(prize pony) in a deep hole(china).
B) ….oh man is that a doozy. Wow. It involves a lar…well….and it's in the…no, no I just can't. Sharing that idea is interwebs illegal.
Oh, also, my guess is the first can of mace Rebecca ever sprayed a psychic with.
I regret that I cannot participate in this exercise, because I may not use my mighty psychical powers for shallow personal gain or profit.
Anyway, the promise of taking Rebecca out on a date is fraudulent, and she keeps changing the goalposts so that it would be impossible to answer in any case.
Why must you shut your eyes to the true wonders of the Universe, Rebecca? Why must something be untrue simply because you cannot explain it to your satisfaction?
I am disappointed.
I will pray for you.
Is it an Aleph?
I know what you keep there. I can't say it here on this respectable board. Suffice it to say that most of my single female friends own one :)
Now it won't do me any good that I guessed right – Mrs. GreenNeck says horrible things will occur to me if I date younger women. And unlike those of psychics, her predictions are accurate.
It's a human head.
You're all way off. The trick to remote viewing is to follow the air. Once you know where the air is, you know where the object isn't. And once you know where it isn't, you can flip this into where it is. From this, we can get a perfect outline of the shape of the object.
Now, the problem is that I'm in no position (geographically) to actually go out on a date with Rebecca, so I'll refrain from giving it away and allow the next person to guess it to take her out. Purely out of chivalry, of course, not out of some way to weasel out of guessing and being wrong. I do know what it is, I'm just not saying :P.
I'm guessing it's a personal item that runs on batteries….. :D
I love that thus far the number one most guessed item is "sexual aid."
Which I'm convinced it's not, because it's too obvious …
You don't have Schrodinger's cat in there, do you?
If it is Schroedinger's cat, anthrosciguy, then the whole experiment will be ruined if anyone looks inside the box, clairvoyantly or otherwise!
Rebecca, I don't want a date with you, but I'd like to guess:
A copy of the skepdude calendar.
It's weed. You put your weed in it, man!
Well, those spirts weren't terribly helpful before. Let's see if I can hazard a guess somehow using these dousing rods…
Oh, WHY?? WHY DOES IT HURT SO MUCH??!
Well, at least I know there've been plenty of blind prophets throughout literature, so maybe this turn of events isn't as unfortunate as I first thought!
I think it is a troll doll (the ones with the crazy hair) possibly one that sits atop a pencil.
Ooh ooh, I know! It's the squid you're going to use in PZ Myers's skepdude calendar photo!
I could guess.
But I won't.
If I REALLY knew, I'd screw the milk shake and go for that cool million from James Randi. (However, I DO love that juke box, were else can you hear Patsy Cline, these days…)
I think I'll just join the dark side and start my own religion (NOT!!!)
How about: "The church of the Continuous, Holy, Bonk on the Head"?
Let Oscar De La Hoya, show us the way…
If I wasn't already happily married, I'd be tempted to guess…
Hm. Unlike Tiresias, my dousing rod-blinded eyes don't see the future or other people's thoughts any clearer than before. Unless…Yes, I've got it!
Very clever, Rebecca, surely no one would have thought of that! Good work.
Oh, who am I kidding? Got nothing.
It felt good to admit that. Take it from me, the rest of you: it takes more caricature to admit when your wrong. Truth will set you free :-P
The person never said anything about him/her being
a psychic,so I don't understand your asking
him to become one..
the offer is tempting,however I insist we have a sealed
answer,somewhere out of your hands?
Also If I were to guess,your date would involve 3hrs
of god praising church popele…lol
can't wait to play
Take care M.Dmon
I'm going to guess that it contains a small replica of the Venus de Milo. Why? Because a large replica wouldn't fit in the lunchbox. Unless it's an unusually large lunchbox, but my powers tell me it's not.
How am I gonna guess what's there when I couldn't even correctly guess my password onto this website within three tries?
So, in the absence of a guess, and with no hope of ever having a milkshake with you, I'll just leave this brief message: You simply rock.
If I REALLY knew, Iâ€™d screw the milk shake and go for that cool million from James Randi.
Hmm… Million from Randi or date from Rebecca…?
Personally, I'd take the date. All a million dollars gets me in a PS3 a couple months earlier, and I can live without that (though if I see the words "Disc Read Error" one more time I may change my mind).
Expat: Well, I at least admitted that I was guessing. (Apparently, I guessed incorrectly. Oh, well.)
Hmm oh oh oh! Is it air? I bet there is air in there. And Air is important.
Indeed NR! If it wasn't for air and sunlight, I'd have to eat!
That is worthy of a loud ZING!
Actually, the question of how Schroedinger's
cat would react to remote viewing is still unsolved.
Especially if one uses remote viewing backwards in time.
On the other hand cats seem to know when they are being stared at…
Anyway, my mental powers tell me it is a Mobius strip made from a yellow
post-it note, inscribed with the word 'HADDOCK'.
Is it a key? Or something else having to do with Harry Houdini?
Perhaps the ashes of a loved one?
A rosary necklace?
An aluminum foil hat, which is why all attempts at scrying are being thwarted?
Is it the One Ring? No, no, that was destroyed by nasty hobbitses!
Look, I have a weakness for all things ice cream and I'm going to have me a milkshake regardless. You may as well let me buy you one, too.
I'm getting the phrase 'p-e-n'… Perhaps it's a pendant. A letter from a pen-pal? A lucky penny? A Penn and Teller DVD? The Pirates of Penzance? A map of Phnom Penh?
None of my guesses really count anyway, since I'm in England until at least September and then I have no idea where I'll be. But, if you should ever find yourself in London-town, you've got a free date on me regardless. :-P
A cunning person would have nothing in there – any real psychic should be able to realise you're fibbing after all.
THERE IS NO BOX!
Well there is no box because there is a .19 second delay between the nurons in your probobility wave.
At this rate, I'll never drink a milkshake again. One of you, I'll say, was close enough to make me gasp, though far enough away for it not to count. I'll give it a few more days before I reveal the item!
If I post a link to the dictionary, does that count?
Wow, sometimes I realise what I say just doesnt make sense.
The problem is I'd say that in real life, people would give me a strange look and then I'd get pissy at them for not getting it.
well what i mean was that every word in the dicitonary would then be my guess(es).
"Iâ€™ll say, was close enough to make me gasp"
But that'd been a hit for ol' Sylvia.
Wow. I really can't shut up today.
Is it a gag for N.R. Miller? Handcuffs?
Well, it should be …
I know, a pack of condoms for the lucky guy who guesses right.
You must be desperate :P
A charm bracelet with healing blue energy crystals and a little silver FSM charm?
Or one of those little pom-pom creatures with the antennae and the googly eyes and the little flag message stuck to its behind? What were they called, Weebles?
"One of you, Iâ€™ll say, was close enough to make me gasp, though far enough away for it not to count."
Perhaps said person, if nobody steps up to claim the Grand Prize, can take you out for a milkshake minus the "date" stipulations? ;)
Is it the caricature? He's always shouting "Untie me Rebecca!" – do you keep him tied up in the box?
Is it bacon? Lots and lots of bacon to be few to Jay?
A hard one for the psychics, it's a mirror! When searching for answers we sometimes forget to look inside ourselves and this is a gentle reminder that perhaps one of our greatest treasures is ourself.
I think you've solved the mystery! 'Untie me,' indeed! Now it makes sense!
So anyone who said a minature troll was correct too? :)
It's time for me to pretend I was the person close enough to produce a gasp, my reasoning based in no small part on my history of making women gasp in a bad way upon my expressing interest in them. Rebecca's seen my picture, she knows how bad a deal my victory would be! :-P
Self-deprecation aside…If I WERE the close one, I'd guess that you've hidden away some correspondence (perhaps your first?) from the Amazing Randi (in connection to my facetious 'letter from a pen-pal' guess)
Though, in all likelihood, I can find a couple people who might be the 'close' ones, and one of them in particular leads me to hazard a slightly different guess, which I will withhold for the moment in the hopes that someone who can actually collect their 'prize' will make the same connection.
Wait, I've got it. It's your brand new James Randi voodoo doll, which you have somehow gotten ahold of in advance of TAM.
Rebecca wrote at January 3, 2007 at 11:33 am that everyone was very very wrong, so every suggestion from before then is wrong. That includes air, water, a pony, a thermos, hootch and porn. Then she writes at January 3, 2007, 2:08 pm that she loves the guess that its a personal device. We cannot conclude anything about posts made in the interval between these times, but since she didn't say "one of you is close" at that time, we can as a first approach direct most of our attention to the sugesstions from January 3, 2007, 2:08 pm until January 4, 2007 at 6:16 am. Those include a troll doll, a skepdude calendar, a squid, Schroedingers cat, anything with the word 'pen', weed, a statue of Venus de Milo, a moebius strip, rosary necklace, ashes from a loved one, a key or a tinfoil hat.
I would like to expand my guess to include all caledars, including skepchick calendars and fireman calendars.
Out of the choices enumerated by astrogirl2100, I would select the ashes of a loved one. I mean, the squid won't keep for a month, we can't say anything about Schroedinger's cat one way or the other, "anything with the word 'pen'" is too vague for Rebecca to joke about, and it seems foolish to run a public test with something illegal.
What is "close enough" to a Moebius strip? Perhaps one of those wine glasses in the shape of a Klein bottle. . . but on the whole, I think a hidden item either is a Moebius strip or isn't. The same goes for the key. What could be "close enough" to a key and yet not a key — a lockpick?
The miniature Venus de Milo has possibilities. Perhaps Rebecca is concealing a postcard of the Venus, instead of a tiny statue, or perhaps she put a replica of some other, closely related artwork into her metal box. Winged Victory (la Victoire de Samothrace)? Rodin's "Thinker"? Surely, that last one is appropriate for a skepchick!
On the whole, though, "ashes from a loved one" sounds the most promising. They'd have personal significance, yet one does not expect to find them cavalierly placed somewhere like an old lunchbox. Ashes belong in urns, no? Well, the dead are not in a position to complain (or at least they have been spectacularly poor at making their displeasure known to us). Yet everyone's default reaction is to imagine that Rebecca chose a souvenir with a little meaning and history but no effluvium of the sacred.
So, what resembles ashes but is not ash? In Hot Shots, Charlie Sheen had his father's eyes and carried them around in a case to prove it. That sounds a little too esoteric. What about a lock of hair?
I will guess and say it's a tautology– The thing that's in Rebecca's lunchbox is the thing that's in her lunchbox!
There! Absolutely correct (though utterly meaningless– much like myself, really…).
The ashes of Schroedinger's Cat? ;)
It's a redwood.
Well, when my pet was cremated, they gave me her ashes in a plastic bag. I bought a pretty decorative little box for it. So it's possible that Rebecca might keep such a thing in an old lunchbox. She did say, though, that the guess wasn't really close enough to count. So if she was refering to the ashes guess, what could be close to ashes?
Also, if someone makes a guess stemming from the one that made you gasp, does the original guesser get anything?
Got it! It's a woodchuck, or if you prefer, a groundhog. Remember how Rebecca said "I'll keep the lunchbox closed until the end of the month"? Well, that will be close enough to February 2, no?
Believing a woodchuck can predict weather is another piece of woo-woo nonsense Rebecca wants to debunk.
Now we need a name for Rebecca's pet groundhog. How about Skepchuck?
It's some form of matter.
Josh are the ashes are both dead and alive?
Oh man! I hope Skepchuck has breathing holes! I knew Rebecca likes to "kick wildlife," but keeping it in a box is a little mean. ;o)
I still think it has something to do with a lost loved one.
Of course, it _could_ just be her lunch…
. . . and now I want a skepchuck.
Huh… You know I can't find a website that sells woodchcuks. (even a scruple-less one) and if you search for groundhogs all I get is groundhog day sales, and offers for a great movie staring the man whom wished to staple antlers to mice heads.
. . . but no skep or even credulous chucks.
Strange, this talk of 'skepchucks' and groundhogs. Groundhog Day is, in actuality, my birthday (and yes, wise-asses, I get stuck reliving it over and over again each and every year until I learn something :-P ). If I'm a skeptic, born on Groundhog Day, does that, in fact, make me a skepchuck by default? And if so, have I been writing these missives from inside the box on Rebecca's stack of DVDs all along, WITHOUT KNOWING IT???
Wait, I've got it! We've been SO CLOSE.
Inside the box, you will find the ashes of Schroedinger's skepchuck, Phineas! This was, naturally, before he settled on cats as the proper animal to subject to an impossible thought-experiment about quantum phenomena. As it turns out, Phineas simply spontaneously combusted when exposed to such arcane and non-intuitive forms of scientific thought and, as such, was not fit for Schroedinger's use. Hence, the ashes.
It all makes SO MUCH sense. Rebecca, I'll pick you up at eight.
So until we open the lunchbox (even though it is smokeing and hot to the touch) Phineas is both alive, drinking appletinis and burned to cinders.
He's drinking appletinis only becuase it is an unwritten super-law that all woodchucks must drink some sort of apple flavored martini. Of which the appletini is the most accesible. The Martapple is hard to find. . . and where would a woodchuck, a skeptical one at that, find a Martapple, because as everyone knows you have to have deep faith in homeopathic malting practices to get a Martapple. . . I carried this one to far didnt I?
Well I havn't slept in two days… so it's either sleep or play more videogames.
I choose videogames.
I can think of something "miniature Venus De Milo" related that rebecca owns, although I think she keeps it on her desk at work, so it's probably not that.
Any other weird "souvenirs" are probably on her desk at work too (apart maybe from the Asian penis).
My guess is on a key. But it's probably not a key related to Harry Houdini.
Maybe it's the key to her hart (awwww).
Then again, maybe not …
Oddly enough, my previous post doesn't show up in the "recently posted" list.
How, peculiar …
A toy rocket or possibly the remnant of an old science project.
It's a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Rasberry jellie.
And since I'm too far away for a date, can you just send me the sandwich?
I believe what is contained in the box, which is of great importance to you, is the truth.
Let me explain.
Any guess as to what the item is, no matter how close, will (at least by playing the odds) not have nearly as precise a description as one created from the emperical evidence gained from opening the box and examining the item. As a skeptic, true knowledge of the real world (including real-world objects) is what is most important and exciting. Therefore, true knowlegde of the item inside the box must be most important to you.
What the hell. I'll guess too. A book of some kind? Carl Sagan's Demon-Haunted World?
A stapler that looks like a yellow shark?
I must join in this lottery. It would be a great pleasure to meet you… *and* the odds are more in my favor than with most lotteries!
First off, it is obvious that you would choose something quirky. Anyone who has read Skepchick for any length of time would also find this obvious (it is a complement). Also, you wouldn't want to make the item too easy to guess. Unless of course you're trying to pull some reverse-psychology trick on us (which I wouldn't put past you, you tricky little devil).
So now the question is, what types of quirky items might you have laying about your apartment? Much more difficult to answer.
Being a free thinking skeptic myself, we would then think *somewhat* alike. We may even have some similar items laying around our respective apartments.
My only option then is to roll the proverbial dice and hope I get lucky… and choose something that I would place in a similar box, in a similar situation.
Looking about at the ephemera in my apartment, there are many possibilities. Damn you vkacademy for taking my toy rocket… so that's out.
I could just list items I might choose, though this would not be fair… it would be similar to one of the "speak to the dead" frauds doing a cold reading… keep spewing words until you hit upon something close. So I'll just go ahead and buy my lottery ticket.
Therefore, my answer is… a lovely little doubly-refracting crystal of calcite (I'm a sucker for items of beauty & light).
I like your approach to handling Evan's original request… though I hope I win the lottery.
Wait a second… there's only one possible answer here: Inside the box is an unresolved superposition of quantum states, as is always the case when something is outside of any inspection. Of course, this wasn't the case when she placed it in the box, nor will it be the case when the box is opened, but it's the case now. Hmm, I guess this also implies that no one else has successfully observed the contents, otherwised they'd have resolved.
(Okay, my personal theory on quantum mechanics has it not working quite that way, but this interpretation lends itself to humor better.)
The choices given by astrogirl2100 were a troll doll, a skepdude calendar, a squid, Schroedingers cat, anything with the word â€˜penâ€™, weed, a statue of Venus de Milo, a moebius strip, rosary necklace, ashes from a loved one, a key or a tinfoil hat.
I don't have any psychic powers, but let's try using the powers of deduction.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that it probably isn't a troll doll. I also think most calendars wouldn't fit inside of a lunchbox. It is probably not Schroedinger's cat. I am not sure whether or not it's considered generally tasteful to put ashes from a loved one inside of a lunchbox. I doubt it's a tinfoil hat. Or weed. Or rosary beads.
So, a statue (possibly of Venus), a moebius strip or something similar (or perhaps a moebius strip that doesn't have HADDOCK written on it or is made of a post-it note), or a key.
A moebius strip is unlikely enough of a guess for it to actually be surprising if it were close to the object inside of the lunchbox (statue or key are pretty obvious guesses). Maybe some other topologically interesting object?
featherheadfop: yes, I too think that Blake Stacey dismissed the moebius strip to soon. We need a guess that would not quite be right, but surprising enough to make Rebecca gasp. I am thinking Origami, maybe a paper sphere or donut (in celebration of the Poincarre conjecture proof). Or maybe it is just post-it notes.
I think, working from Astrogirl's logic, that it is an Acme Klein bottle from: http://www.kleinbottle.com
How about a post it note that says: "You're right", or "You just won a date".
I know: the post-it note has your phone number on it. Anyone who can remote-view it can call you and set up the date. The number is … hmm, … better not post it here.
Hey, longtimelurker, I already called the Klein bottle! ;-)
I'm so curious as to who will get a date with Rebecca! I'm too old, too straight, and too far away to take her out for a milkshake, but I want to guess anyway. Maybe then I could sell my date on EBay!
First, I wanted to think it was a mummified Barbie doll (because I grew up with those and then later abused them), but since she has the lunchbox decorated with vintage magic posters, I thought maybe it has something to do with magic (or skepticism of it, thereof). Like a sentimental object like a bent key or bent spoon from a TAM meeting…a magic wand…something of that nature. But since she *gasped* at something already, I'm not sure what would be close to those except for a bent key or bent spoon.
Mostly we save items (or at least I do) from significant events in our lives – concert tickets, seeds, et al.
I thought about a bent fork or spoon from Randi, but I don't think rebecca has one.
>>Mostly we save items (or at least I do) from significant events in our lives – concert tickets, seeds, et al.
Sorry for that poor half-asleep construction – should be "etc." – and seeds? What's wrong with me? ;-)
Well, someone said a 3 of Clubs, too. Some kind of magic cards or cards from a TAM meeting – something from Randi, who after all, tied himself up in chains for her Skepdude calendar. I would hope that by saying how the lunchbox was decorated that it would be a slight clue. But then, that's just how I'd do it, and I like puzzles.
I want a vicarious date! ;-)
Melusine: the 3 of Clubs was suggested prior to Rebecca saing that everybody was wrong, so that is not the right answer (I think that excludes other playing cards as well).
Astrogirl, I meant some kind of cards – heck they could be tarot cards. I did see your reply and hence, reasoning, but I wanted to go that route. ;-)
Hmm, my nefarious plan didn't quite work out the way I intended, but in essence it did. Sort of…but it could have had a more interesting outcome.
Didn't close that italics tag…oopsy…was supposed to be around "some."
It's a ring. And from the looks of it, a very nice and very old ring. When can I pick you up?
If I remember correctly, it was a stuffed octopus. And the deadline for the contest and the date have long since passed I'm sure.
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