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On the future of contests

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Every so often, we get a comment on our site that inspires a whole new posting. Last week, for instance, a reader from Portland who goes by the handle "natlynn" left a comment on my funny sounding words/bobbleheads Weekend Word Wrap post. She wanted to alert us to the fact that the Portland Beavers, a minor league baseball team in her hometown, recently held a competition in which they invited anyone named Bob L. Head to apply for a chance to be immortalized with a bobblehead giveaway made in the winner's image.

Humored, yet bemused, I actually went to the Beavers' website to clarify. As it turns out, natlynn wasn't just bobbling our heads. Not only did the contest exist, but dozens of men named Bob L. Head from all over the country applied! The Beavers narrowed it down to three finalists, who they profiled on their website and asked the country to cast votes.

From the press release on the Beavers' site:

Backed by a wealth of regional and national media exposure, almost 30,000 votes were cast over the two-week period. Bob Leroy Head [Maquoketa, Iowa] received 14,886 votes (51 percent), Bob Lee Head (Evansville, Ind.) got 9,855 (34 percent) and Bob Louis Head (Vallejo, Calif.) tallied 4,368 (15 percent).

Besides a smile, what I take away from this crazy story is this: contests like these could've never existed before the explosion of the Internet, which got me wondering "“ what kind of contests might exist in another 25 years?

While some version of the Olympic games might be the longest running contest in Western Civilization (they began in 776 BC), and Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld and gangs' "Contest," might be the most riotous in history, what will we think up next? When technology makes it possible to __________what???? It's hard to think up the next big development in contest design. But that doesn't mean we can't try, right?

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
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Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

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