SteelyKid has a bit of flu, so we’re all a little discombobulated in Chateau Steelypips. I’m going to be trying to get a full day’s worth of work before noon, which won’t leave room for much blogging.

But here’s something for you to think about/ comment on: the day after tomorrow is October 1, which means another year’s DonorsChoose blogger challenge. Last year, I famously got $6,000 in contributions by offering to dance like a monkey, but I’m not sure what would follow that. So,

What should I offer to do if I manage to reach the overall challenge goal of several thousand dollars in total contributions?

I’m obviously not going to do anything illegal or immoral, but I’m willing to sacrifice a little dignity for a good cause, as you can see at the link above. So, what can I offer to do that would get you to donate money to help school kids through DonorsChoose?

There will, of course, be some smaller incentives for individual donors, including advance copies of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. But what should I offer as an overall incentive for meeting the overall challenge goal? If you’ve got an idea, leave me a comment.


  1. #1 ktbug ladydid
    September 29, 2009

    Shave your head and paint it blue! (kudos to anyone who knows this reference)

  2. #2 Lauren
    September 29, 2009

    Do you and Emmy have any tricks together, like frisbee catching or bunny chasing?

    I’ll donate whatever you do – Donors Choose has been my #1 charity of choice for years now.

  3. #3 Dr. Free-Ride
    September 29, 2009

    Once again, I’m lobbying for growing (of facial hair) rather than shaving anything. I believe I suggested mutton chop whiskers last year, but a Van Dyke beard would also work.

  4. #4 Kate from Iowa
    September 29, 2009

    I’m with Dr.Free-Ride on this one, but I’d prefer a handlebar moustache. That one takes (hair-growing) talent AND skill!

  5. #5 Tim Eisele
    September 29, 2009

    How about [some period of time greater than a month] of beard growing, with weekly photos using Steelykid and/or Appa for scale?

    Or, alternatively, construct and carry out some particularly goofy physics demonstration.

  6. #6 Chad Orzel
    September 29, 2009

    I am not enthusiastic about anything involving facial hair, for two reasons:

    1) I’m going to be doing book publicity not all that long after the fundraiser ends, and I’d rather not look like more of a doofus than usual when I do that.

    2) Kate doesn’t like it. And her vote carries more weight with me than everyone else put together.

  7. #7 fizzchick
    September 29, 2009

    If facial hair is out, something along the lines of “I believe in physics” might be fun. Two examples are the bowling ball pendulum and hot coal walking, though they have been done before. For most hits, though, let Steelykid and/or Queen Emmy do something surprising to you. Tow you around with appropriate mechanical advantage?

  8. #8 Romeo Vitelli
    September 29, 2009

    Two words: physics tat.

  9. #9 radha
    September 29, 2009

    The tat’s been done (over at Bad Astronomy, amongst others…)
    I like the fire-walking idea. Or bungee jumping.

  10. #10 Kate Nepveu
    September 29, 2009

    There may be enough money in the word to induce Chad to get a tattoo. However, I am pretty damn sure it is more than even remotely feasible to raise on the Internet.

  11. #11 Ewan
    September 29, 2009

    Re-enact several of the sillier scenes from Star Trek. To music. As an interpretative dance. With Chad singing the lyrics in iambic pentameter. While wearing a wig.

    OK, maybe not. Something along the line of Scalzi’s review of the Creation Museum would work if we could find an appropriate target. If I were cruel enough, I’d suggest joining Scientology for a period and reporting back accurately; but I think this is more likely than a tattoo.

    [Hey, would Emmy consent to a tattoo? For real money, a tattoo of a cat? :-)]

  12. #12 Dennis
    September 29, 2009

    Not suggesting this for Chad, but for all the people who are looking to satisfy their facial hair growth for charity fix: Movember ( ) is coming up.

  13. #13 ERV
    September 29, 2009

    Trade dinners with Emmy.

    *ducks and runs*

  14. #14 perry
    September 29, 2009

    Watch Glenn Beck for a week and not scream…..

    Video impression of the gang from Big Bang Theory??

  15. #15 Dr. Free-Ride
    September 29, 2009

    OK, if facial hair is out, perhaps you can recreate a great dispute in physics.

    With hand puppets.

  16. #16 Elijah
    September 29, 2009

    Get a hold of/make a Jacob’s Ladder, get some white smoke around, grab a couple of nice, strong lasers to put through the smoke, possibly an undergrad on a slab and giggle, cackle and guffaw like a proper mad scientist.

    Well, it relieves the tension down our way…

  17. #17 tcmJOE
    September 29, 2009

    “OK, if facial hair is out, perhaps you can recreate a great dispute in physics.

    With hand puppets.”


  18. #18 Elliot is not a Physics major
    September 29, 2009

    You should do an almost naked nott run. This should be done at either 12:55 pm on a MWF or 12:45 pm on a TTh. It will only help with your book publicity and is not as drastic as facial hair.

  19. #19 Colleen for Dept. Chair
    September 29, 2009

    I think either can be partial. Either partially naked on a full Nott run or fully naked on a partial Nott run.

  20. #20 Ewan
    September 30, 2009

    Hmm. Don’t know what a Nott run, is – should I? – but if Chad’s knees are up for it, running a marathon would actually be a win-win scenario.

    Plus it would give me someone to share misery with as I aim for running my first next May!

  21. #21 becca
    October 1, 2009

    An interpretative dance for one of your physics lectures, delivered to your students and captured on video, then posted online? Must include colorful scarves.

  22. #22 Susan B.
    October 1, 2009

    For those not up on Union traditions, a naked Nott run is a run around the Nott Memorial, naked. But I’m guessing that would be vetoed, so how about painting the Idol? Or dressing Chester A. Arthur up to look like a famous physicist?

  23. #23 HP
    October 1, 2009

    I think you should have to shave Ethan Siegel’s chest hair.

  24. #24 cicely
    October 2, 2009

    Combine two of the above suggestions? Maybe a re-enactment of a scene from The Big Bang Theory with hand puppets? (Must involve a Sheldon puppet.)

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