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Category Archives: Contests

Based on the overwhelming success of this blog’s last competition (a grand total of 1.5 entries, one of which was mine), I’ve decided to launch a new one. Without further ado, here’s the brief:


Contestants must come up with a marketing slogan/tagline for some kind of physical phenomenon, as though it were a product that could be sold to customers.

Marks will be awarded for:

– the degree to which phenomena are related to actual products/taglines/marketing stereotypes;

– the ability to highlight obscure phenomena or to present a novel view on more commonplace phenomena;

– and finally, for humour, too. 


The prize? Get ready for this: the winner gets… to laugh at the losers. No, seriously!

Anyway, since my entries are likely to be the only ones, I’ve decided to come up with three. Here they are:

Oh, I would SO buy that.


Hmm, there's gotta be a catch. Usually it's the unreliable products that have long warranty periods...

And finally, my favourite:

For a short explanation of how optical interference makes bubbles pretty, click here.

For details on the proton-proton chain reaction and on Cherenkov radiation, click here, and here respectively.



I hereby announce the inception of The Folly of Human Conceit’s first-ever writing contest!

You may (or may not) have noticed in the last post that my attention has been drawn to a certain kind of writing known as constrained writing. This is where an author attempts to create meaningful stuff while operating under certain self-imposed restraints. In particular, it’s lipogrammatic writing that has piqued my interest, so this is going to be a lipogram-writing contest! Read on for particulars.


1) All entries must be lipograms that exclude the letter “e”. A lipogram is, by definition, a work of writing that excludes a particular letter of the alphabet. Any letter could be excluded, but since “e” is the most commonly used letter in the English language, this probably makes “e”-excluded lipograms the most challenging- and fun!

2) Entries can be as long or as short as you like. But they do have to make some sense- random disjointed sentences won’t do.

3) I see no particular reason why there should be a last date for entries. I mean, it’s really not like I’m gonna be inundated by the sheer volume of entries any time soon. So feel free to send something in whenever you come across this post. You can write in the “Comments” section of this post, or email me at

4) Everybody wins! Well, what I mean is that everybody who actually sends in an entry that is a true “e”-excluded lipogram, does make some sense, and doesn’t contain anything too offensive will have his/her work featured on The Folly of Human Conceits. Plus, every featured writer will also receive an awesome mystery gift! No, seriously, you will; but you’ll have to include an email address for that.

To get things started, here’s my hasty attempt:


I wish you and I could hold hands to allay our fright, as in past occasions. I still look skyward at night, but it’s not what it was, not without you. A million points of light, but no shining star to show what I should do. That shining star was you.

I know, its horrible, right? But it really isn’t easy working without “e”s. And anyway, if you think you can do better, prove it!