MakeShift 21 deadline May 28th

MakeShift 21 deadline May 28th

You’ve got one month left to submit your solutions for the MakeShift featured in MAKE Volume 21. The deadline is Friday, May 28. Here’s the challenge:

The Scenario: You’ve had a long and crappy day at work. What’s more, it’s raining. Hard. You pile into the front seat of your car with your umbrella, waterproof storm coat, and briefcase, comforted only by the sight of a zip-lock plastic bag with homemade cookies. You plug in your cellphone, secure it to the hands-free mount on the dashboard, start the engine, and hit the road.

Traffic sucks, so you decide to get off the highway onto a winding, back-road shortcut that runs along the nearby river. Which would’ve been fine, until a deer suddenly darts across the road, causing you to swerve, skid, and go bounding down the embankment to crash-land in the river.

The Challenge: When you recover from the initial shock enough to utter a few choice expletives, you notice the airbag has deployed — protecting your upper body from the crash — but your legs and ankles really hurt, and might very well be broken. What’s more, the river water is rapidly rising into the passenger compartment from below. Fortunately, the door latch seems to work, the river’s current isn’t too swift, and you’re a pretty strong swimmer. But it’s dark, raining, and you’re miles off the beaten track. What are you going to do now?

What You’ve Got: In addition to the aforementioned items, there’s a small flashlight and a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool in the glove box, plus the typical work-related items in your briefcase. Talk about needing a bailout … good luck!

To Enter: Send a detailed description of your MakeShift solution with sketches and/or photos to by May 28, 2010. If duplicate solutions are submitted, the winner will be determined by the quality of the explanation and presentation. The most plausible and most creative solutions will each win a MAKE T-shirt and a MAKE Pocket Ref. Think positive and include your shirt size and contact information with your solution. Good luck! For readers’ solutions to previous MakeShift challenges, visit

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"To oppose something is to maintain it." –Ursula Le Guin

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