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December 22, 2005

Win Big!


Guess where and what this thing is and you'll receive the grand prize... the admiration of Tinselman (and your peers).

Update: I've decided to up the ante. The first person who discovers the exact name, location and purpose of this large thing will win a sporty Ambo-face Messenger Bag. This contest will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges (me and my dog). If there is no clear winner by January 1st, Nutmeg and I will simply choose the most inventive answer. So good luck (and good cheer)!

Important... please remember the name, location and purpose of the mystery object. State all three at once or you may end up giving away vital clues to the other participants.


December 22, 2005 | Permalink


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Some big bling.

Posted by: Kyle | Dec 23, 2005 12:29:44 AM

A telescope, perhaps?

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 23, 2005 5:27:51 AM

Yes, a telescope... of sorts. But so much more. And where is it?

Perhaps a better prize is needed...

Posted by: Robyn | Dec 23, 2005 10:54:25 AM

It appears to be somewhere in the desert... there isn't alot of geographical information to go off of. I also see a railing at the top where the eye opens...man, I like puzzles and this one is worthy!

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 23, 2005 11:04:37 AM

You know, it also smacks vaguely of a Doppler or NEXRAD radar tower...maybe some kind of weather monitoring station or SETI listening post... but now I'm just wildy guessing.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 23, 2005 11:15:15 AM

Found this thanks to Wohba. And Google isn't helping. Closest I could come up with was the Griffith Observatory (an interesting looking place in and of itself), but that's not it. This is a real challenge!

Posted by: David | Dec 23, 2005 4:19:58 PM

Okay, final answer, official guess. I'm going to say that this is most likely a prototype ground to sky laser, designed to signal based messages to orbital satellites, most likely located in Edwards Air Force Base, California...hey, that sounds good, why not?

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 24, 2005 3:38:05 PM

Next, on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom... witness the eggs of the fabulous Mechagodzilla--and, oh look! The one nearest to us is about to hatch--AIIIIIEEEEE! RUN AWAY!

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Dec 24, 2005 10:20:46 PM

I’m a little surprised to see this on a public forum. To my knowledge this program is still classified. What you’re looking at is an installation at Groom Lake as part of an operation named Silver Sombrero. It is a research program investigating the theory of EMF reflectivity in the range currently employed in the manipulation of human brain waveforms – that’s right, mind control rays. It turns out that all that talk about tin foil hats has an element of truth to it. Of course the government ridicules these people, a common tactic I’m sure your familiar with.

The clamshell dome on the right serves as experimental control, and is open to the beams directed from a highflying U2 overhead. The dome on the left is in full protection configuration. Within each dome there are “volunteers” composed largely of migrant workers who have been collected up during illegal border crossings and brought here to “watch a short instruction film” on how they might acquire a genuine US drivers license.

Posted by: Chris G | Dec 25, 2005 5:53:36 PM

I...er... yeah, I suppose its probably too late to change my answer to the Epcot Center...?

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 25, 2005 6:29:48 PM

Oh... starting to get some fun answers. I'm already smiling and we're still a few days away.

And of course you're allowed as many entries as you have the time to post.

Posted by: Robyn | Dec 26, 2005 2:26:33 PM

Since I'm envious of Chris G's entry, and since it's okay to submit more than one, I'll have another:

Pregnant. Daleks.

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Dec 26, 2005 5:50:17 PM

What would any posting be without a Dr. Who thread? Okay, fine... I guess I'm left with the obvious references of calling them Star Destroyer Shield emitters, or enormous golf balls and tees...take your pick.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 26, 2005 8:06:29 PM

Face it, guys. We'll never know what those things truly are. It won't be until years later, that we'll all know the horrid truth. That, in fact, those structures are Robyn Miller's heavy water nuclear weapons construction facility designed to elevate himself to the Lord of the Republic of Tinselman.

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 26, 2005 8:17:36 PM

Jim Henson's Death Star Babies!

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Dec 27, 2005 2:12:35 AM

(But would he really need nuclear weapons to take over 6000 square feet of floorspace? Think about it. All you really need is some brushes and a couple buckets of _paint_.)

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Dec 27, 2005 2:20:12 AM

Do you think Robyn is accepting applications for the Republic of Tinselman? Personally, I’ll be holding out for a managerial position, like Secretary of Continuous Blog Posting, or maybe Chairman of the Department of Unemployed XBOX playing…wow, and to think this post started as something completely different. Robyn will NEVER let us speak again...

Posted by: Adam Wilmer | Dec 27, 2005 7:02:37 AM

Russian space dome

Posted by: reader | Dec 28, 2005 7:01:17 PM

Russian space dome


Posted by: winner | Dec 28, 2005 7:02:11 PM

heishehui: Woo!
[03:14] heishehui: http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/297​84
[03:14] heishehui: that is a thread asking for help on this contest posted on another blog
[03:14] heishehui: so someone came up with the answer and I posted it anonymously on the original blog
[03:14] heishehui: WOOT pwnd
[03:15] heishehui: Wait, did I say I did that?
[03:15] heishehui: I mean some jerk did that and ruined everyone's fun.

Posted by: gnargh | Dec 28, 2005 7:17:09 PM


Posted by: heishehui | Dec 28, 2005 8:14:22 PM


S'cool to know what it is, though. And to learn I'm an _idiot_, apparently, since "Soviet space dome" is possibly the only word combo I didn't try in a google images search.

Conga rats to the winnah!

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Dec 28, 2005 8:35:45 PM

Huh? That's not sporting at all. And, yeah, it did spoil the fun.

Posted by: udumbass | Dec 28, 2005 10:06:12 PM

mmmmmm, conga rats.

Posted by: dorian | Dec 28, 2005 10:11:31 PM

You're right, Scott. I am as stupid as you are...but at least now we know all about observatories, domes, clamshells, telescopes, radar and weather stations, orbs (like the Orb of Chatham heehee), spheres, St.Peters, aliens, minigolf and Hawaii...right?

I think Google misses an important feature: Searching for pictures on pictures and not only on words.

Gosh, with the telephone bill I have to pay now while searching for the domes I could've BOUGHT the price myself. ;-)
But it certainly was fun! what's next?

Oh, and congratulations to the winner! You have my admiration too.

Posted by: Bir | Dec 29, 2005 5:28:00 AM

Much congratulations to "Winner", the winner (whoever you are. I have no idea how you found the link but i'm infinitely impressed. Look for an email from me within the next couple of days so you can claim your highly valued prize.

And thanks to all who participated!

Posted by: Robyn | Dec 29, 2005 11:44:25 AM

so you're giving the bag to heishehui despite it being iconomy over on mefi who solved the puzzle? that seems kinda stinky.

Posted by: andrew cooke | Dec 29, 2005 12:19:27 PM

I acted hastily. I'm sorry. As official referee of this contest, I'm throwing down a flag and calling a foul. That means there is no winner yet and the game is on pause while I figure what went wrong. Stick with me.

Posted by: Robyn | Dec 29, 2005 5:15:16 PM

Okay... now it's over. Sorry for the confusion. We have a winner... Iconomy. I'll post more later.

Posted by: Robyn | Dec 29, 2005 5:34:50 PM

Thing about fun is there's always more to be made.

(Minigolf: didn't even think. Clamshells: this might refer to something structural and inorganic, but what that might be, I may never know.)

Regardless, I managed to beef up my photo morgue considerably through the search, finding things which will directly influence future work (including the contest images themselves). So: hah!

But yes, I now know more about RADAR than I ever expected to learn. But even that has its uses.

Posted by: Scott Elyard | Dec 30, 2005 2:09:07 AM

Oh, I missed all the drama. Well done everyone on your interesting suggestions! But shame someone tried to be sneaky and spoil it for the rest.

I do like the clamness of these metal clams. ;-) Space-age Soviet seafood.

Posted by: iain | Dec 30, 2005 3:06:58 PM

hmmmmmmmmmm. i'm guessing the orb of chatham???

Posted by: ed stein | Feb 7, 2006 4:24:44 PM

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