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Continental Divide Rubber Ducky Race

A slooow race (with betting)
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

Manufacture a series of small, rubber duckies outfitted with GPS transceivers. After calculating appropriate handicaps for the relative distances and flow rates, take online bets as to which Rubber Ducky will reach its' ocean first.

Once all bets are in, release them on different sides of the continental divide within specified geographical areas such as Snow Dome, Alberta or Triple Divide Creek, Montana. For 'quick' races release them in some of the smaller, minor countries such as the U.K. - although technically not continents.

Rubber Ducky races are not new but usually all ducks race down the same waterway simultaneously. One variation could be to have staggered starts as the handicap so all race to finish at their respective oceans around the same time. Give or take a year or two.

The progress of the Duckies could be tracked online over the decades and odds could shorten or lengthen as particular duckies make good progress or get caught up in logjams or behind dams. Any untoward "help" given by punters to aid their Ducky should be detectable through the GPS i.e. "Arctic Ocean Ducky" suddenly gained 2 metres in altitude and progressed down a roadway at 80 kph.

AusCan531, Nov 10 2011

North American Continental Divides http://en.wikipedia...ca-WaterDivides.png
[AusCan531, Nov 10 2011]

World Continental Divides http://en.wikipedia...:Ocean_drainage.png
[AusCan531, Nov 10 2011]

Oceanic markers http://ocean.si.edu...sh-plaguing-our-sea
Rubber Duckies of the sea [csea, Nov 11 2011]

duck duck go! http://www.boardgam.../35964/duck-duck-go
Rubber duck racing for the discerning enthusiast. [DrBob, Nov 15 2011]


       handicaps address the betting aspect - they do not address the entertainment value though. If I release a ducky from Alberta, it's going to reach Pacific first - no doubt. Yes, it might have a 30 day handicap, but where is the fun in the race? I want to see them dueling it out on a course that makes it hard to judge who the winner will be.
add to that hydroelectric facilities ... and this isn't going to be much fun.
ixnaum, Nov 10 2011

       //minor countries such as the U.K. - although technically not continents.//   

       There's gratitude for you. We take the time and effort to discover your country for you and next thing you know you're getting all independent and calling us a "minor country".   

       I might point out (in fact, I think I probably will) that according to the strictest geographical criteria, England is a continent, surrounded by the conjoined islands of France, Italy, Spain, Norway, and that place where Germans come from. Continental England is, in turn, subdivided into England Proper, Welsh England and Scotch England.   

       Do try to get your facts straight.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 10 2011

       //small rubber duckies//   

       sp. big freakin' cement duckies
FlyingToaster, Nov 10 2011

       Hey there [MB]. I wondered if I'd get a bite on that. I imagine that the people inhabiting the continents of Ireland and Guernsey would agree with you, but as an Canadian/Australian, any island you can stroll across in a leisurely afternoon just doesn't cut it as a continent in my book. Nor even if you could cross it with just a few weeks of hard slogging - ask Greenland.   

       Besides, I never mentioned "Continental England" (which is tautological anyway) but said "the U.K." which, presumably being "United", doesn't have a divide - which is clearly specified in the title of the posting. But still, don't let your feelings be hurt by the use of the word "minor". The minors in my household are the beneficiaries of an inordinately large proportion of time, money and indulgences.   

       And as for [ixnaum] who said anything about "days"? Or "fun"? I mentioned "decades". I could clearly see potential winning tickets passed down in wills from father to son. And if fun is going to a prerequisite for posting half-baked ideas then the HB will suffer considerably - SHEESH!   

       As a sop, I SUPPOSE it would be possible to release multiple duckies in each watershed which would increase the betting opportunities - such as the first ducky to arrive, the most duckies, as well as creating intra-watershed rivalries. It will also improve the odds of at least some of the contestants being able to leapduck pesky obstacles such as dams. Incidentally, that is why small duckies were specfied to increase the chances of them negotiating spillway gates and logjams.   

       [FT]'s suggestion of big freakin' cement duckies would be better suited to continental drift ducky races which would take too long even for me, let alone the ever-impatient [ixnaum]. Perhaps some sort of aerial release of the cement duckies from altitude would liven things up?
AusCan531, Nov 11 2011

FlyingToaster, Nov 11 2011

       // according to the strictest geographical criteria, England is a continent //   

       Sounds like continental envy to me.
RayfordSteele, Nov 11 2011

       There are too many ways to undetectably help a duckie. Adding or removing a clip-on sail, attaching a little motor, and putting it in or removing it from vortices (in a motion that looks natural) all come to mind.
Voice, Nov 11 2011

       //release multiple duckies in each watershed// In this instance, I think the Australian usage, where a watershed is the dividing line between two catchments (or basins), is more logical than the Canadian. It is also consistent with other uses, such as a 'watershed moment', where things could go one way or the other, and the meanings of shed that imply division, as in to shed a skin. Also, what _do_ Canadians call the dividing line?   

       (I'm not being in any way anti-Canadian here; note that I did not feel the need to mention any minor countries on the rest of the Canadian continent.)
spidermother, Nov 12 2011

       The only difference between a watershed and a divide to me is that watersheds feed into different rivers which never meet (but may well feed into the same ocean) whereas a continental divide delineates watersheds which feed into different oceans or, perhaps, inland basins.   

       Basically, continental divides are a stricter subcategory of watershed. Sorta like all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares.   

       Canadians call the dividing line either one of the two terms above depending upon into which ocean the used Moosehead flows. Unless of course they're referring to the 49th Parallel which is usually just shortened to "The Line". That minor country to the south of "The Line" which you so graciously didn't refer to is usually just called the 11th province.
AusCan531, Nov 12 2011

       + Oooh Noooh! Ms Melissa's rubber duckie has just been eaten!   

       Some unknown Missouri river catfish has ended the hopes of the obvious favorite
Zimmy, Nov 15 2011

       Good point [21 Quest]. Of course, it might be my "OzStrayLeeUn" continent to which [MB] is referring in which case it was the Dutch rather than the Spanish. Not to mention the aboriginal peoples of both continents who beat the lot by a millenia or three.
AusCan531, Nov 15 2011

       //small rubber duckies//   

       sp. large helium duckies
marklar, Nov 15 2011


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