Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

4 Articles Tagged with “Desert Bus”

  1. It's Desert Bus time again

    Desert Bus for Hope 8 banner

    It’s November, and that means it is Desert Bus for Hope time.

    Those of you who are old enough to remember life before the web might remember the phenomenon known as the charity telethon. Not-for-profit TV stations, or various charity organizations, would host fundraising drives. You could watch people perform on TV and make a pitch for donations, then you could phone in, and an operator would take down your name and your money.

    Desert Bus for Hope is kind of like that. Only on the Internet, and you donate through PayPal, and it’s just crazy.

    I’ve blogged about Desert Bus in the past. To understand what it is, just check out their website, where they have a video that explains the concept. Suffice it to say, Desert Bus for Hope raises money for Child’s Play Charity, which then uses it to help children in hospitals (and this year, domestic violence shelters). They have raised over $1.8 million in the eight years they’ve done this.

    Desert Bus is literally my favourite time of the year. I’m not kidding. For six days straight, I have access to a nonstop stream of hilarity and enthusiasm. As the crew hangs out on…

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  2. Desert Bus for Hope 7 is on

    It has been suggested I need to write another blog post this weekend. Fortunately, I have an appropriate subject, because LoadingReadyRun’s seventh annual charity marathon for Child’s Play starts today.

    Desert Bus for Hope is a livestream of the LoadingReadyRun members, family, friends, and various other dedicated individuals. One of them—the driver—plays the most pointless real-time video game in existence, the eponymous Desert Bus. In this game, you drive a bus from Las Vegas, Nevada to Tuscon, Arizona. It takes 8 hours, during which you cannot pause or stop the bus, and at the end you get 1 point. Yes, 1 point. While the driver plays this game, everyone else basically entertains the voracious audience that is the Internet, taking questions from anyone in the chat, performing challenges, giving away and auctioning off various donated items and crafted goodies, etc. All of this is done with the aim of raising money for Child’s Play, a charity that helps put video games and other toys into children’s hospitals.

    For more information, refer to this video on the Desert Bus website.

    Suffice it to say, it’s a hilarious event that keeps going as long as people donate enough money…

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  3. October is for thanksgiving, November for anticipation

    It’s Halloween, and it’s the half-term, and I realized I haven’t actually updated my blog in over a month.

    I’m sitting here with my head feel like a trainwreck for the second time this autumn. Colds are not my friend this year. Stress has run down my immune system to an unacceptable level, and between that and Twitter’s decision to stick large images in my feed, I am not happy.

    Having a week off to catch up on my reading and knitting? Now that, I’m happy about. My Australian teacher-friend Sam came over to watch a Star Wars marathon with my roommate and her daughter. Sam had never seen any of the Star Wars movies before! So we made her watch the original trilogy and closed that gap in her cultural education.

    Anyone who begrudges teachers these week-long breaks should think twice, if the large, heavy box of marking sitting in my room is anything to go by. I have been chipping away at it all week. Don’t get me started on planning.

    Rather than dwell on circumstances I can’t really control, here are some things I’m looking forward to:

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  4. Not your father's telemarathon

    Picture, if you will, a minigame in a unreleased Penn & Teller video game. In this game, you are driving a bus from Tuscon, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada at 45 mph ... in realtime. It takes eight hours to complete a full run, for a single point. You can't pause the game, and you can't just hold down a button, because the bus veers to the right, forcing you to occasionally make a correction. Even if this weren't the most boringly realistic game ever made, how long would you play it?

    Would you play it with three other people in four-hour shifts for 128 hours or more?

    That's exactly what the people behind LoadingReadyRun have been doing for three years now. On November 20, the 3rd annual Desert Bus for Hope marathon began. It's in support of Child's Play, a charity that provides toys and other improvements to children's hospitals. They raised $70,423 last year, and as of this writing, they're up to $83,688.38 with at least 21 more hours to go (the more people donate, the longer they'll go).

    This is reality television at its finest. Those who so desire can watch the live feed and interact…

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