Bad Ideas weekend a surprising success

Eating contests, frosh dog sledding draw students from across campus

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A banner announcing Bad Ideas appeared in Lobby 7 Saturday morning. The annual IAP competition celebrates unwise and misguided plans and contraptions.
Greg Steinbrecher—The Tech
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Team Krotus competes in the annual East Campus Freshmen Dogsled Race.
Photo by Robin Deits
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As part of Bad Ideas weekend, students in East Campus baked 10,000 cookies.
Arthur Petron—The Tech

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: This article incorrectly states that the Bad Ideas weekend homemade sledding hill was 20 feet tall. It was 8 feet tall. This article's sub-headline incorrectly characterizes an event as “frosh dog sledding.” The dog sledding event was open to all participants, and students from all classes participated.

Frosting eating contest; human dogsledding; 104 cookies; the Green Building Challenge; the 7-11 Challenge. At East Campus this weekend, it was all about bad ideas.

Students from all dorms flocked to East Campus to compete and participate in over 20 events for the Bad Ideas Competition, held every IAP. Champions were crowned for feats that seem ridiculous — to the normal world.

Running up the Green Building is a bad idea. Cameron S. McAlpine ’13 did it anyway — 40 times, that is. And he still had varsity lightweight crew practice the following morning.

Spelling out python programs in your head is also a bad idea, but not to Benjamin E. Barenblat ’13. Barenblat outspelled his competitors when he enunciated a program to verify parenthesis matching, winning the Nth Annual Python Bee — and taking home a new Kindle.

Taco Bell is unhealthy. A Taco Bell eating contest is even more unhealthy. Elliot Avila ’14 thought differently, consuming 10 tacos and a KFC Double Down to take 1st place. He later ran in the Human Dogsledding Race.

Baking 10 batches of cookies might be a bad idea. But thinking exponentially and baking 104 cookies is an even worse idea. Nevertheless, students defied all odds and baked 104 snickerdoodles in under 12 hours — that’s about 0.23 cookie per second. There were still leftovers as of 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Putting frosting on cakes is a good idea. Eating frosting as a meal is a bad idea. Victoria M. Enjamio ’14 did the latter, snagging a victory at the Frosting Eating Contest.

When it snows outside, you go sledding on a hill. At Bad Ideas, you build a 20-foot-high ramp, pack it with snow, and call it a ”homemade sledding hill.”

Other schemes featured at Bad Ideas included a live-action first-person shooter, an over-9000 watt halogen array, a solar furnace, and a TurBacon Epic — five kinds of poultry stuffed in a pig, wrapped in bacon, and served with a Dr. Pepper butter glaze, garnished with Wendy’s Baconators.