Public: Charity
As the crow walks   (+20, -1)  [vote for, against]
Feat of stamina, strength and scaling

Fundraising endeavour, in which a fellow (or otherwise) attempts to walk the length of Britain (or elsewhere), from one coast t'other, in a straight line, regardless of obstacles. We shall call this fellow (or otherwise) the Crow.

Those obstacles the Crow does encounter must be overcome directly. The Crow can not circumnavigate. Indeed, at no point may the Crow deviate from its line of flight by more than one metre on either side. If the Crow finds a truck in its way, the Crow clambers under it; a skyscraper, the Crow climbs over it; a river, the Crow swims across it.

A team of aides assist the Crow on its journey, providing equipment where necessary, as well as shelter, support and nutrition. They also organise any traffic diversions to ensure the public's daily life is disrupted as little as possible, in the event the Crow must journey upon tarmac.

Televised, to maximise exposure and potential donations.
-- theleopard, Jul 02 2012

Devil's footprints http://www.mysterio...ils-footprints.html
Baked in 1855! [xenzag, Jul 02 2012]

Use of ley lines
may increase quantity and quantum of charitable donations from crusties, weirdos and Julian Cope. [calum, Jul 02 2012]

Crow AKA 'The Zax' http://sanctuaryand...8/the-zax-dr-seuss/
[AusCan531, Jul 02 2012]

One of my sillier annotations Something_20Worse_2..._20Global_20Warming
[theleopard, Jul 03 2012]

DOTT http://www.2dgames....the%20tentacle.html
[theleopard, Jul 10 2012]

Excellent idea.

As a sequel, vertical deviations could also be barred, necessitating much use of shovels and explosives.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 02 2012

// explosives //

-- 8th of 7, Jul 02 2012

This is akin to how Mason & Dixon set about creating their line. One can only hope the consequences of the charity crow line as as disastrous for the UK and M&D's was for the US.
-- calum, Jul 02 2012

Had to look up the Mason & Dixon thing. What were the disastrous consequences for the US?

Nice link [xenzag]. I'll attribute any copyright to the behooved.
-- theleopard, Jul 02 2012

// What were the disastrous consequences for the US ? //

Country Music and Line Dancing.
-- 8th of 7, Jul 02 2012

       // What were the disastrous consequences for the US ? //   

Well, it made for a nice jump-off point for our civil war, for one thing. Unfortunately, country music has northern roots as well, leading to its widespread appeal virtually everywhere two or more hicks can be found.

Line dancing we blame on the Irish.
-- Alterother, Jul 02 2012

Agreed. Country music died with the Man in Black.

[+] to the idea, btw.
-- Alterother, Jul 02 2012

One might use parkour techniques to implement this, but parkour itself has nothing to do with simply traveling in a perfectly straight line regardless of obstacles.
-- ytk, Jul 02 2012

Indeed. Similarly, at no point in parkour might you require to swim through a river, or walk up a motorway, or use suction pads to scale a glass building etc. But you're quite right, parkour would definitely be a useful skill set and give the Crow the right kind of training too.
-- theleopard, Jul 02 2012

Halfbaked by the Good Doctor Suess. [link]
-- AusCan531, Jul 02 2012

What might be interesting is the aggregate height climbed over the journey, particularly if it's through London and the line falls over some of the taller buildings. Might it be accumulatively as high as one of the mountains of the world, when every house and garden fence along the way is added on?
-- theleopard, Jul 03 2012

//What were the disastrous consequences for the US?//
Division, unnaturally straight and arbitrary division, was brought to and etched upon the Colonies. The philosophy of division, and the practice of drawing lines between things, became through this symbolic act (in settlement of a property dispute, no less) embedded in the colonial psyche, where it has persisted and proliferated. Witness Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, the most unnatural States of all.
-- calum, Jul 03 2012

Think I wrote something on here about that terrible plight to the world; Global Wyoming, in which everyone becomes obsessed with geographical right- angles and declares war on Norway.

-- theleopard, Jul 03 2012

Ahh, Wyoming, something about the straightness of its borders makes me think it'd be a nice, secure, gentle place to live.
-- zen_tom, Jul 03 2012

Like a prison.
-- theleopard, Jul 03 2012

This whole world is a big round prison, and all the universe around it. If you don't believe me, just try and leave! You can't can ya? Such is the subtlety of our Sphericist Lizard Overlords!
-- zen_tom, Jul 03 2012

What I didn't say in my two earlier annotations is that this is a great idea. In an ideal world, TV programme makers would not care a fig about crossing railway lines/motorways and trespassing on private property and this could be a homegrown Sport Relief type challenge for a Blue Peter presenter.

Apologies for intense parochialism, but I do think that this idea is particularly suitable for Beefy Botham style Land's End to John O'Groatsing it (though Cape Wrath to Buck House may be more sensible), given the relatively compact nature of the Kingdom, and the variation of landscapes and the superabundance of suburban semis for our charitable hero to clamber over.
-- calum, Jul 03 2012

Can an allowance be made for buildings to be passed through if possible to do so within the deviation constraints? If the path is there and on the correct line, why can it not be taken? Without this allowance, I think the possibility of this being attempted is significantly less likely.

It would be perhaps interesting for someone to get out a map of Great Britian and a suitable straight-edge, with which to determine the best path across the island for the purposes of this contest, taking into consideration concerns such as those mentioned by [calum].

It would also be perhaps interesting to consider what constitutes the best path. Some obstacles of interest would be desirable (e.g. a noteworthy bridge or building), and some things must be avoided out of necessary (e.g. prisons, military properties).
-- tatterdemalion, Jul 03 2012

I suppose extremity to extremity island-crossing need not, at first at least, be the starting point. No, each year, at Midsummer there is a race, from Milngavie to Fort William, along the 90-odd miles of the West Highland Way. The WHW runs in a an approximately NNWerly direction, taking a number of deviations for ruddy great hills and the like. I could see a guerrilla Iron Man style event requiring a straight line journey between these two disgusting shitholes being popular. Yes, the more I think about this idea, the more I like it.
-- calum, Jul 03 2012

//suction pads would be cheating//

I don't see why. It would still be bally hard work. It's either that or climb it using ropes that have been set there by your team.

As [tatterdemalion] cogitates, //It would also be perhaps interesting to consider what constitutes the best path//

I would say, for the sake of sustaining the public's interest, variety is of utmost importance. To that end, I'd encourage the use of suction pads. And the use of ropes, either to climb or pull through a river.

I'd say everything is fair game but vehicles.

//Can an allowance be made for buildings to be passed through//

Absolutely. If you can go through a building without deviating from the line, you'd be wise to do so. Adds an extra level to the aides' role, that of requesting permission before the Crow arrives.

Appreciate the appreciation [Calum], cheers.
-- theleopard, Jul 04 2012

Nice. Are there penalties for rule breaking traverse? Or, is it more of an exhibition of skill and tenacity, with expected and forgiven mistakes?
-- hard-scrabble, Jul 06 2012

Well, therein lies the rub, doesn't it? How best to measure this line.

Personally, I'd prefer it without a penalty system; make it as strict as possible. If something seems insurmountable, makes it all the more fun to surmount it. Even to the point at which the team have to build a bridge or something similar.

So, how can you stay within a two-metre circle of accuracy? Is GPS good enough yet?
-- theleopard, Jul 06 2012

Not sure of the lateral tolerances for GPS. Would definitely keep you pointed in the right direction though. If the support team orienteers ahead of the crow in managable increments, each leg could be approved by officials, before any wasted effort.
-- hard-scrabble, Jul 06 2012

I so like this idea.
-- blissmiss, Jul 06 2012

So, here's a croissant, even though you didn't know about the Mason-Dixon line!! haha
-- xandram, Jul 06 2012

//you didn't know about the Mason-Dixon line//

Yeah, sorry about that. I learnt all my American history from Day of the Tentacle, so its sketchy, at best; at worst, full of tentacle overlords.
-- theleopard, Jul 06 2012

// I learnt all my American history from Day of the Tentacle //

By American standards, that makes you vastly over- educated.
-- Alterother, Jul 06 2012

// Well, therein lies the rub, doesn't it? How best to measure this line.

Stretch a chalk line out to both ends and give it a snap.
-- tatterdemalion, Jul 06 2012

//      How best to measure this line.   //

Just burn it into the ground (and whatever else it falls across) with a giant space laser. I can get you a great deal on one. I know a guy.
-- Alterother, Jul 06 2012

// words like loogie, obviously//

"Hoagie", certainly. It was my first encounter with such a word. Also, that George Washington had wooden teeth and used to compulsively cut down apricot trees if someone had painted the fruits red. You built your civilization on the ramblings of this mad man?!

Anyway, although I like the //giant laser// scorched Earth solution, I think this event requires a softer touch to get everyone whose property falls on the line to cooperate. Lasers though, they might be useful. Could a team create a relay of lasers, each pointing in the same direction, for the Crow to follow?
-- theleopard, Jul 09 2012

Super high-energy industrial cutting lasers could be used to carve out a perfectly straight path (through rock, buildings, unfortunate bystanders etc) which would certainly make life easier, except for those employed in the legal department.
-- zen_tom, Jul 09 2012

It wouldn't have to cut _through_ anything, just singe the top mm or two. It would leave a nice black line over every topographical feature, and the Crow's precision could be determined by the footprints he or she leaves in the cinders.
-- Alterother, Jul 09 2012

(I wanted to see if someone had ported Day of the Tentacle to an online game and found someone on with less of a grasp than me of American history:


Ha ha, the man who oversaw the birth of the most powerful nation on Earth, referred to as "THAT GUY WITH THE WHITE HAIR")
-- theleopard, Jul 10 2012

random, halfbakery