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Goldberg Contest Winner

Last Saturday, we announced our first-ever "Feel Art Again" contest, challenging our readers to design Rube Goldberg devices. Entrants were asked to "draw as complex a device as you can think of for a very simple task. The more complex the device or the funnier the device/task/situation, the better." And the winner is....

The Winner: Victor

"My design is for a cheese powered well. The clock has a knife as the minute hand so that every hour it cuts a slice of cheese off that falls into the basket in front of the hampster. The hampster then runs in his cage which has a wedge wrapped around it so that it pumps the bellows for the fire under the tea kettle. The fire makes the water boil and the steam goes through a pipe outside to push against a paddle wheel. As the steam turns the paddle wheel the gears on the wheel turn another gear which in turn turns another gear that turns a spindle the raises and lowers a bucket into a well."

ThePrize.jpgVictor wins a copy of Secret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You About Master Painters and Sculptors by Elizabeth Lunday, who writes the "Masterpieces" column for mental_floss magazine. You can pick up your own copy from Quirk Books.

Honorable Mention: Therese

GoldbergHonorableMention.jpg"This is a Wind-Powered Page-Turner. The user sits in the comfortable armchair. He can either place his copy of mental_floss magazine (or other reading material) into the holder that attaches to the sides of the chair or hold it in his hand. When he is ready to turn the page, he simply pedals with his feet on the pedals that extend out from the bottom of the chair. The pedals are attached to a bar that rises and falls as he pedals, in turn powering a gear that, in turn, powers a fan. The wind from the fan is directed, by means of an attached funnel, toward the magazine. The burst of air coming through the properly adjusted funnel will turn the page. This enables the reader to keep his hands free for drinking and snacking... and may even help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome that could result from repeated page-turning."

Thanks go out to everyone who entered! If you'd like to see more "Feel Art Again" contests (or just drawing contests in general), let us know in the comments.

To learn more about Rube Goldberg, read our two Saturday posts: The Incomparable Rube Goldberg and Rube Goldberg, part 2. To watch some Rube Goldberg devices in action, head to Jason English's video-packed post.

"Feel Art Again" appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can e-mail us at feelartagain@gmail.com with details of current exhibitions, for sources or further reading, or to suggest artists.

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Scandal! 12 Camels Were Disqualified from a Saudi Arabia Beauty Contest Over Botox Allegations
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

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]

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