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Caption CERN Contest

Caption CERN, win a prize!

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The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has quite a storied 60 year history. CERN has been involved in pursuits as varied as the discovery of neutral currents, to Higgs boson research, to the creation of the World Wide Web. Like any research scientists, CERN staff have always been good about documenting their work. Many of these records are in the form photographs: thousands of them. The problem is that no one kept records as to what each photograph depicts!

The folks at CERN are trying to remedy this by publishing over 120,000 unknown photos taken between 1955 and 1985. The hope is that someone out there recognizes the people and equipment in the photos, and can provide some insight as to what exactly we're looking at.

Here at Hackaday we think these photos should be seen and discussed, and we're going to have some fun doing it. To that end, we're hosting the Cern Photo Caption Project on http://Hackaday.io. Each week we'll add a project log with a new image from CERN's archives. If you know what the image is, click on CERN's discussion link for the photo and let them know! If you don't know, take a shot at a humorous caption. Hackaday staff will pick the best caption each week. Winners will get a prize from The Hackaday Store.

  • A bit of a break...

    Adam Fabio07/30/2015 at 05:10 0 comments

    After 25 great weeks of the Caption CERN Contest, it's time to take a bit of a break. The Hackaday Prize competition is really heating up, along with plenty of other work here at Hackaday HQ. I've said it each week, but I have to give one more big thank you to all the folks who have entered and made this a great contest. It's been a pleasure to read the captions every week and to award the prizes to all the top captions.

    The science and fun don't end here though - There are plenty of images in CERN's archives waiting to be discovered. Take some time and browse through. You won't regret it!

    Finally, I'd just like to say don't forget to document your own work, and take notes on what each image contains. Be it here on Hackaday.io, on Github, or even on your own drive. Otherwise you might see your own work in the next incarnation of the Caption CERN Contest!

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 25 Winner

    Adam Fabio07/30/2015 at 03:49 0 comments

    Week 25 of the Caption CERN Contest is complete. Thanks to all the entrants who tried to figure out exactly what is going on with this scientist and his strange box. We're still just as confused (and amused) as you are. He definitely is focused on the box and whatever is in there.

    So, without further adieu, here are the winners of this week's contest:

    The Funnies:

    • "On the slim chance my invention does not go down in history. I hope no one makes a Schrodinger's cat joke about it." - masterdurr
    • "Step one, you cut a hole in the box" - FuzzyNegguts
    • "here is a rare shot of CERNs artificial heart prototype. Due to its size, it was only installed in whales. And badgers. I don't know how, but somehow badgers." - jakewisher125

    This week's winner is Jack Laidlaw with the following quote:

    Jack is a web designer based in Scotland. He's an avid fan of electronics, and is going to be getting a hands on course with his new Teensy 3.1 from The Hackaday Store!

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 25

    Adam Fabio07/23/2015 at 04:40 82 comments

    Week 25: 7/22/2015 - 9pm PDT 7/29/2015

    We're not kidding when we say CERN scientists and engineers really get into their work. Check out at this CERN scientist looking down at his.. uh, experiment. We're not sure exactly what this device is. There is a sealed chamber, but is it a vacuum, or some sort of specialized atmosphere for the research this scientist is working on? Either way, he seems very interested in whatever is happening inside this box!

    So what's happening here? High energy physics, or some new coffee maker?

    You tell us!

    This week's prize is once again a Teensy 3.1 from The Hackaday Store.

    Add your humorous caption as a comment to this project log. Make sure you're commenting on this contest log, not on the contest itself.

    As always, if you actually have information about the image or the people in it, let CERN know on the original image discussion page.

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 24 Winner

    Adam Fabio07/23/2015 at 04:15 0 comments

    Week 24 of the Caption CERN Contest has was one for the books. There were so many good captions that we had a hard time picking a winner! Thank you to everyone who wrote up a caption and entered the contest. We still don't know quite what this device was. Our best guess is a coil from a beam line. Some creative positioning and camera focus sure turned it into a conversation piece though!

    The Funnies:

    • "I am the Face of Boe. Has anyone seen the Doctor?." - jonsmirl
    • "CERN's brief attempt into the consumer "Pro" audio market. They lost out to the competitions because they didn't use unidirectional oxygen free copper wires that are blessed by the Tibetan monks. They might be the expert with super conductor magnets, but one hard lesson they have learnt is that you can't spell consumer without the "con" part." - K.C. Lee
    • "Go ahead pick up the operating tool!! For your first task remove the patient's tooth for 10 points. But beware!!! there's the 10,000K volt charge if you touch the sides!! Enjoy!!!" - EngineerAfterLunchTime

    This week's winner is surubarescu with the following quote:

    Enjoy your new Teensy 3.1 from The Hackaday Store, surubarescu!

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 24

    Adam Fabio07/16/2015 at 05:26 71 comments

    Week 24: 7/15/2015 - 9pm PDT 7/22/2015

    The scientists at CERN always take a personal stake in their work. Pushing mankind's knowledge of science and high energy physics takes a special breed of person. Thankfully this special breed always seems to have a fun side as well. Here we see a CERN scientist posing behind a ... a device. It looks to be some kind of coil or beamline part, though the actual use is thus far a mystery even to CERN's own staff. We do know this shot was taken in June of 1973, the same month as one of the longest solar eclipses on record - over 7 minutes of totality! Was this part of some CERN solar experiment? Could it have been part of a particle accelerator? Was this scientist just working on his latest art project - perhaps part of a dodecagon exploration?

    You be the judge!

    This week's prize is a Teensy 3.1 from The Hackaday Store.

    Add your humorous caption as a comment to this project log. Make sure you're commenting on this contest log, not on the contest itself.

    As always, if you actually have information about the image or the people in it, let CERN know on the original image discussion page.

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 23 Winner

    Adam Fabio07/16/2015 at 03:51 0 comments

    Week 23 of the Caption CERN Contest has been laid to rest. Thanks to all the entrants who stopped by to pay their condolences and leave captions for the dearly departed SC-1 . CERN engineers and scientists are a crafty bunch, so I'm betting that SC-1's spirit (and many if its components) lived on in newer CERN projects. We have to thank CERN's unnamed photographer for capturing these events. It's always great to see the people and the personalities behind the science.

    The Funnies:

    • "After many years of ignoring the pitiful meows, it was finally determined that Schrödinger's cat was, in fact, dead." - Josh Kopel
    • "We gather here to mourn the deaths of all those brave and noble components that left this world surrounded by magic smoke to reside forever in great the parts bin in the sky." - Kid Iccurus
    • "CERN's annual Halloween parade was a huge disappointment that year, which was probably due to the fact that they held it in June." - DainBramage

    This week's winner is Scott Galvin with the following quote:

    Scott describes himself as "Just a visiting Geek with dreams of universal domination". I'd suggest you start small, Scott. Maybe dominating a Bluetooth personal area network with your new LightBlue Bean from The Hackaday Store is just what you need to set your plans in motion!

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 23

    Adam Fabio07/09/2015 at 05:38 59 comments

    Week 23: 7/8/2015 - 9pm PDT 7/15/2015

    Something a bit different this week. CERN is probably best known for the various particle accelerators they've had over the years. One of the first units was synchrocyclotron SC-1, which operated from 1957 to 1974. According to the album page on CERN's servers, SC-1's last day of operation was celebrated with a funeral procession. Scientists, and staff walked the grounds with flowers, top hats, and even a shrouded coffin. We can all related to decommissioning a well worn piece of equipment. Be it a computer, a machine tool, or even a synchrocyclotron. There are always the mixed feelings of thanks that it did a good job, and the relief that it will no longer need to be maintained.

    Even though we have a pretty good idea of what's going on in this image, we're going to caption it anyway! Give us your best captions of what you think is really going on here!

    This week's prize is a LightBlue Bean from The Hackaday Store.

    Add your humorous caption as a comment to this project log. Make sure you're commenting on this contest log, not on the contest itself.

    As always, if you actually have information about the image or the people in it, let CERN know on the original image discussion page.

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 22 Winner

    Adam Fabio07/09/2015 at 04:53 0 comments

    The tangled web woven by Week 22 of the Caption CERN Contest has come to a close. It's been another bumper week with 112 comments. Thank you to everyone who submitted a caption! We realize it may have been hard for some of the network engineers out there to type through their tears, but thank you for persevering! While we don't know exactly what these two CERN scientists were wiring up, rwells97 did figure out that the scope in the image is most likely a Tektronix 545/A, which was a popular scope back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The weight on a beast like that was around 70lbs!

    The Funnies:

    • "Dude, this one's full of wires too! Every single one of these is full of wires! Why would anyone need so many wires? What in the name of God were they DOING down here?" - The Green Gentleman
    • "Getting to blinky" required a whole lot more work then the engineers realized..." - Kieran Paulger
    • "I think I lost an electron back here, Bob. I'm positive." - Christine Hampton

    This week's winner is alan with the following quote:

    Alan is a Computer Science PhD candidate, with focus on computational biology, specifically population genomics. Hopefully he has some hardware in the mix somewhere, because we're sending him a Stickvise from The Hackaday Store!

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 22

    Adam Fabio07/02/2015 at 05:13 112 comments

    Week 22: 7/1/2015 - 9pm PDT 7/8/2015

    Holy cable gore, Batman! This image may make a network engineer or IT person weep, but it was business as usual back in the early days of CERN. 14 racks of equipment, with coaxial cables running everywhere. Let's hope all those patches are connected to the correct ports! What were these two CERN scientists working on? It's up to you to tell us, as CERN has lost the records!

    While you're working on your captions, check out the old oscilloscope the standing scientist is using. Scope carts used to be necessary. Today all but the most powerful oscilloscopes weigh in at under 10 pounds.

    This week's prize is a Stickvise from The Hackaday Store.

    Add your humorous caption as a comment to this project log. Make sure you're commenting on this contest log, not on the contest itself.

    As always, if you actually have information about the image or the people in it, let CERN know on the original image discussion page.

    Good Luck!

  • Caption CERN Contest Week 21 Winner

    Adam Fabio07/02/2015 at 04:52 0 comments

    Week 21 of the Caption CERN Contest is now history. It's been a great week of captions, so as always a huge thank you goes out to everyone who entered. We still have no idea what these two CERN scientists were working on. lenses, switches, and a giant glass screen which could have anything behind it. It's a tough one. But what we lack in facts, you all made up for in humor.

    The Funnies:

    • "I spy with my quantum eye, something with a 75% probability of being spin up!"- bbarrett90
    • "Preping the Voight-Kampff set up, they have learnt from their unfortunately predecessors that a mirrored bullet proof glass between them and the upset replicant subject might be a good idea." - K.C. Lee
    • "Mary and Steve swore that they were going to be the ones to win this year's where's Waldo competition, unfortunately they lost to the guys in the next lab with an SEM." - TrollinTeemo

    This week's winner is Lou with the following quote:

    Lou's bio is "Test engineer with Mechanical background who likes to tear things apart". We be he's going to enjoy using his new Teensy 3.1 from The Hackaday Store to build something new with all the parts he has left over from teardowns!

View all 50 contest logs

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Discussions

t.fulem wrote 08/18/2015 at 22:07 point

Let's see...  for 19 Liters... I'll need... 2.7 kg malt, 1.8
kg oats, 340g corn sugar and uh...bunch of Hops and oh ya that yeast
stuff, ... or should I make Dark Lager?

  Are you sure? yes | no

maybedethly1981 wrote 07/16/2015 at 13:36 point

Person 1: I found it, look the Higgs Boson!

Person 2:(((Cough))) I don't know what you are talking about...

Person 1: Oh ya... Right.

Person 3, way at the back of the line: Look I am telling you people, god is not a particle!

I saw his conspicuousness once, it was a tiny glowing orange dot! What!? This is the sixties, come on...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Joey Pongallo wrote 04/30/2015 at 14:49 point

Go home science, you're drunk.. again.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Amalnath wrote 04/02/2015 at 01:23 point
Haste make waste

  Are you sure? yes | no

Amalnath wrote 04/02/2015 at 01:22 point
Haste make waste

  Are you sure? yes | no

Amalnath wrote 04/02/2015 at 01:22 point
Haste make waste

  Are you sure? yes | no

Terry Davis wrote 03/27/2015 at 20:44 point

Dr. Breman's early attempts to create the perfect robot woman had some early success, but was later scrapped because of a tragic input/output error.  

  Are you sure? yes | no

thomasdr wrote 03/27/2015 at 16:08 point

Dr. Who and a very early version of K-9

  Are you sure? yes | no

Tim wrote 03/05/2015 at 23:30 point

Are we allowed multiple caption entries?

  Are you sure? yes | no

live_mail wrote 02/18/2015 at 16:11 point

Ok, you got me.

"Press any key to continue"

you know we haven't invented the keyboard yet.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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