Third Caption Contest Finalists!

[There's still time to get the vote out! Contest closes Friday.]

Thanks to all those who came up with captions for our third Caption Contest. We had a record number of entries this time.

Many fantastic captions had to be ruled out ultimately because the wrong turtle was talking, or the brilliant dialogue didn't really fit with the second turtle's expression. Because we're getting so many entries now, we can afford to be a little pickier. And, as stated in the rules, those who drop a little trivia along the way always get special consideration.

Now the fun really begins: it's up to YOU to pick the winner. As with last time, each finalist is labeled with a letter. All you have to do is decide which is the best (whatever your definition of "best" is), and drop your ballot in the comments below. As always, one vote per person.

And the 10 finalists are"¦

a) Ed entered: "Agoraphobia is something we can overcome together!"

b) Lee entered: "With the rising cost of gasoline, I decided to stop using Shell. Now I use BP - Bare Pleurodira."
c) Xixita entered: "I have two words for you: Pre Nup!"
d) Jason entered: "Well, ever since I saw that therapist about my chelonaphobia, I think I've really been able to come out of my shell with you guys."
e) BuggyQ entered: "I'm tellin' ya, Bill, you wanna compete with the monkeys, you gotta be willing to think outside the shell."
f) Suzzane entered: "The last five pounds are always the hardest to lose."
g) Dan entered: "Well, I thought the interest only mortgage was a good idea at first"¦"
h) Ken entered: "Didn't you get the memo? Fridays are business casual now."
i) Suzanne (not F Suzanne) entered: ""¦yeah, so just flip over and I'll look and see if yours was made in China too."
j) Monica entered: "Think about it Marge! They say he's only taking 2 of each and the Johnsons are already aboard! It's our only hope!"

Scandal! 12 Camels Were Disqualified from a Saudi Arabia Beauty Contest Over Botox Allegations

Saudi Arabia’s central Riyadh Region has been roiled by an animal show scandal straight from a Christopher Guest film. As NPR reports, around a dozen camels were disqualified from a beauty contest at the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival because their handlers illegally plumped their features with Botox injections.

The month-long Camel Festival in Al Dhana, Saudi Arabia, runs through February 1, 2018, and features around 30,000 camels. The animals participate in races, an obedience competition, and a beauty contest. Nearly $57 million in prize money rides on these high-stakes events, and owners preen their prized steeds accordingly with massages, hairspray, and—as it turns out—banned cosmetic surgery procedures, according to The Telegraph.

Camels in the ungulate pageant are judged on whether they have long necks, enlarged lips and noses, a big head, and defined humps. The criteria evidently drove some owners to desperate measures: Shortly before the Camel Festival kicked off, officials discovered that a vet had been injecting some participating camels with botulism.

The vet is receiving heat, but he’s by no means the only competitor to use illegal tactics, according to United Arab Emirates-based newspaper The National. In addition to Botox injections and collagen fillers, some sneaky handlers darken their animals’ coats with oil, rely on hormone injections for enhanced muscularity, and stretch the camels' lips by hand to elongate their appearance. And while large facial features are considered desirable, large lobes aren’t, so the guilty vet’s humped charges also received ear reductions.

Officials can ban enhanced camels from entering future beauty competitions, and owners can face possible legal recourse for violating animal welfare laws. Some breeders have called for cheaters to face stronger punishments, like a fine, which is already applied to drug-enhanced racing camels. As for now, the 12 camels who went under the needle are now under the microscope.

[h/t NPR]

LEGO Wants to Turn Your Space-Themed Design Into a New Set

LEGO wants to turn your out-of-this-world brick design into a reality as part of a new contest calling for space exploration-themed concepts. The winning entry in the LEGO Moments in Space competition will be transformed into a real-life LEGO set that the company will give away as a promotional "gift with purchase" product.

As part of the contest, LEGO is inviting designers ages 13 and up to create what the company describes as “the ultimate space model." The design can be realistic or based on science fiction, as long as it follows a few important guidelines. The final assembled product must be made from around 300 basic pieces, and it can't be too big. It has to be able to fit on a 16-stud-by-16-stud LEGO baseplate inside one of the smaller LEGO boxes. The designs can feature stickers, but they have to be decals from old LEGO sets.

Participants can submit entries for the “LEGO Moments in Space” contest either in the form of digital renderings or photos of real-life projects through February 9, 2018. Fans can vote for the top 25 builds on the LEGO Ideas site, and then a special panel will select the grand-prize winner and 10 runner-ups. The results will be revealed to the public on March 2, 2018.

The winner will not only have the opportunity to see their design made into a real product in 2019, but will also receive a $250 online LEGO shopping spree and a curated collection of LEGO's previous "gift with purchase" sets. Get more information about entering the contest on the LEGO Ideas website.


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