Introduction: Take Thanksgiving to the Next Level! -- How to Enter the Instructables Thanksgiving Contest

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to learn …
For most, Thanksgiving might stir peaceful images of families sitting down to a meal and feeling content, maybe even a little sleepy. Not here! Around my family and friends, Thanksgiving has become another venue for outright competition as we struggle to make the biggest, tastiest, most outrageous creations we can, and then further compete about how they were made or consumed.

Whose turkey is the most heirloom, organic, and local? Whose pumpkin pie is the richest? Who can eat the most Thanksgiving dinner? (Two years ago, I ate 7 lbs and Saul beat me with 10 lbs that he claims he still hasn’t lost!)

So, for this Thanksgiving, to help celebrate a cornucopia stuffed way beyond its limit and literally exploding with excess, Instructables is holding a Take Thanksgiving to the Next Level contest. Anything and everything Thanksgiving related is eligible and great documentation counts just as much as great concepts. Some ways you could take Thanksgiving to the next level:

  • Triple-decker pumpkin pie, topped by a double-decker pecan pie, with homemade icecream on top.
  • How, where, and why you found a specific breed of turkey that is raised only by one farm, fed only organic grubs, and sung lullabies every evening before it went to sleep. Or, how to hunt a turkey -- whichever, really.
  • Thanksgiving games, particularly unruly, rowdy ones, or games that lead to even more excess, like “increase in body-fat during Thanksgiving dinner” competitions.
  • Unique recipes, especially secret family recipes, or recipes not usually considered part of Thanksgiving. What better way to bring more excess than to increase the potential list of things to make?
  • Elaborate, solar-powered, blinking LED, DIY Thanksgiving centerpieces.
  • Standard recipes documented so lovingly, beautifully, exactingly that they raise the bar for the already awesome recipe keyword. Use macro-mode pictures when appropriate!

Need some inspiration? turkey tek’s Thanksgivings sound about perfect to me with a recirculating gravy fountain, giant pies, and liquid nitrogen ice cream. Chicken Salad and Salmon Tartare Coronets set the bar for documentation; see if you can meet or exceed that level.

Prizes for the Instructables that really take Thanksgiving to the next level are:

Grand Prize
The three super-best Instructables will win beta Eye-fiEye-Film. These SD cards are 802.11g wifi enabled and will upload your pictures directly a some of the major photo sharing and storage services. More information here.

First Prize Package!
The three best Instructables will win On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee and a Tanita UM080 Scale with Body Fat and Body Water Monitor. With this prize pack you can read about the savory amino acids, learn how wine is made, and better understand long-chain polysaccharide networks all while charting exactly where that turkey ended up.

Second Prize
10 projects will win one year magazine subscriptions to your choice of Make (digital or print version), Craft (digital or print version), or ReadyMade.

Honorable Mention
15 Projects will be selected for honorable mention and will win an Instructables patch to sew onto your bag, jacket, turkey, or wherever.

All entries must be published and entered in the Thanksgiving group by end of the day November 30th (one week after Thanksgiving).

Step 1: Contest Overview

How do I enter the Thanksgiving Project Contest?
Any project related to Thanksgiving posted publicly and entered in the Thanksgiving group on the Instructables website during the month of November 2006 will be automatically entered in the Thanksgiving Project Contest. If you have questions about specific project ideas, post them as comments and we will respond publicly. Users who wish to post a project and not be considered for the contest will be given the opportunity to decline any award they might win.

How to Win
All contest entries will be judged for merit. Projects will be evaluated for at least the following:

  • instruction quality, including:
    • completeness (photos and text for all important steps)
    • clear, concise text description
    • clear photographs (2+ megapixel preferred), use macro mode for close up shots
    • use of photo-notes where appropriate
    • list of parts and tools required (if appropriate)
    • safety notes (if appropriate)
    • usefulness
    • originality
    • technical merit

See: Tips for Project Authors

Projects not written in English will be considered at the discretion of the judges.

Project Contest Prizes:
Grand prize
Beta Eye-fiEye-Film cards.

The prize packs including On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee and a Tanita UM080 Scale with Body Fat and Body Water Monitor.

Second Prize
10 one year magazine subscriptions to Make (digital or print version), Craft (digital or print version), or ReadyMade.

Honorable Mention
15 Instructables patches

May I submit multiple entries?
Yes. You may submit as many entries as you want. Each project posted to the Instructables website during November 2006 that is related to Thanksgiving is a separate eligible entry in the contest. Entries may also be split into multiple Instructables Projects when appropriate.

Who is eligible for the contest?
The Contest is open anyone who is 18 years or older as of their date of entry, regardless of your place of residence. (see notes in contest rules for foreign entrants).

Step 2: Official Rules

And the lawyers make us say...

Instructables Project Contest
Official Rules and Regulations

General Submission Rules
Projects must be entered using the Instructables web service. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Decisions of Instructables (Contest Administrator) are final. All taxes including but not limited to national, federal, state and local are the responsibility of Contest Participants. No responsibility assumed for lost or misdirected entries. By virtue of participation, the Participant:

*represents and warrants:
1. that the Participant is not bound by any intellectual property agreement or any other agreement or obligation, with an employer or otherwise, that prohibits or limits in any way the Participant's right to participate and/or the Participant's right to submit material, or that may limit the Contest Administrator's rights in any way to such submission in the event the Entry is chosen as a winner.
2. that the Participant or Participants are over the age of eighteen (18).
3. that the Participants submission does not contain or incorporate the intellectual property and/or confidential information of any third party;

  • releases the Contest Administrator, affiliates, employees and agents from any form of action or claims of damages, costs or losses of any kind resulting from participation.

Who may enter
Any individual or group of individuals, age 18 and over as of the date of entry, may enter the Contest. Direct employees of the Contest Administrator, contest judges, or their affiliates, advertising, promotion, production agencies, members of their immediate families, or those with whom they are domiciled are not eligible. In addition, anyone living in a country, province, or state where the Contest is prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted under national, federal, provincial, state and local laws, rules, or regulations is ineligible. Participants who are residents of a country, state, or province that prohibits unregistered contests or requires the Contest Administrator to post a bond are ineligible. The Contest Administrator expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for any Participant who enters when it is illegal for them to do so. By entering this Contest, Participants agree to waive any additional rights granted in regard to Contests by the country, state, or province in which they are domiciled. Foreign entrants are cautioned to review the laws in the country or province in which they reside to determine if they are prohibited from participating.

How to Enter
Each Project entered in the Contest must be the original work and sole and exclusive property of the person or team who submits it. Entries must be submitted using the Instructables website.

Participants may enter more than one Project.

All Entries must be made publicly visible on the Instructables website on or before 11:59 PM ET on November 30, 2006. The Contest Administrator assumes no responsibility for lost, late, or misdirected entries.

How to Win
All Contest entries will be judged by a panel of judges selected by the Contest Administrator on the following:

  • instruction quality
  • originality
  • usefulness
  • technical merit

Participants agree to abide by all decisions of the Contest Administrator and the judges, which shall be final and binding with respect to all issues relating to the Contest.

Winners will be notified via e-mail by the Contest Administrator using the e-mail address associated with their Instructables user account. Winners will be notified on or about December 15, 2006. Winners may choose whether to accept any award. The list of winners, identifying only Instructables username, will be posted on the Instructables website. If you are chosen as a winner, you will be asked to supply your name and mailing address and other details needed to transfer your prize to you. Failure to respond within 10 days will constitute a forfeiture of any award.

The following prizes will be awarded: 3 beta Eye-fiEye-Film cards, 3 Book and Scale prize packs, 10 Magazine subscriptions, and 15 Instructables Logo patches. The contest administrator will make every effort to award all prizes, however if insufficient projects are submitted, not all prizes will be awarded. Total cash value of all Contest prizes is $2,000. Foreign entrants may be responsible taxes and import fees on any prize they might win. We may substitute cash or a gift certificate at instead of a prize when shipping a prize is impractical.

To contact us:

Legal Considerations
The odds of winning depend on the number of acceptable entries received and the decision of the judges. The prizes will be awarded and mailed to the winners. The Administrator is solely responsible for the payment of all prizes. Upon delivery to the winner's address, the Administrator will be deemed to have awarded the prize to the winner with the winner assuming full responsibility for the prize. There will be no substitution for prizes other than as offered. Each winner, and not the Contest Administrator, is solely responsible for all other arrangements, costs and expenses associated with and receiving their prize, including without limitation, any taxes or other fees imposed by a government authority. All participants and winners agree that entering a project into the Instructables website constitutes agreement to the terms and conditions of the Entry rules. Winners will be notified by e-mail on or about December 15, 2006. The Contest Administrator's decision is final. If a winner fails to respond within 10 days of notification, an alternate winner will be selected. Prizes are not transferable.

Entries made on the Internet will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of Entry. In the event of a dispute, potential winners may be required to provide proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the potentially winning Entry. By submitting an Entry, the Participant certifies that the Project entered in the Contest is their work, or that they have written legal permission from the property owner. Furthermore, they have read and understand the complete rules of the Contest and agree to abide by them.

By entering, Participants agree to release and hold harmless the Contest Administrator and their affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, representatives, agents, and employees, from any and all liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising from or in connection with, either directly or indirectly, 1) the awarding, acceptance, receipt, possession, use, and/or misuse of any prize awarded herein; or 2) participation in the Contest or any prize related activities, including but not limited to traveling to or from any prize related activity. The Contest Administrator is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry of information including, but not limited to, technical malfunctions, human error, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software or any combination thereof, Entry materials that have been tampered with, or e-mail or mail-in entries that are illegible, late, lost, damaged, postage due, or misdirected. The Contest Administrator is not responsible for any injury or damage to the Participant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any material in this Contest. Entries that have been tampered with or altered are void.

The Administrator reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend this Contest if it becomes technically corrupted or if for any reason the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, including infections by computer viruses, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Contest Administrator that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest promotion.

This Contest shall be interpreted and governed by the substantive laws of the State of California and any applicable laws and regulations of the United States. The Participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively, before a court located in Alameda County, CA having competent jurisdiction, which Court shall apply the laws of the State of California without regard to any principles of conflicts of laws, and submission of said Entry constitutes acceptance of such laws. The Participant further agrees that no claims, judgments or awards shall exceed the amount of the Contest prize and under no circumstances shall include attorney's fees; nor shall any Participant be permitted to obtain awards for punitive, incidental, consequential or other similar damages or have any damage awards multiplied or increased for any reason.

Contest Administrator
Instructables, Inc is the contest sponsor and administrator.