On Saturday, 5 Dec, DARPA launched a contest in which they placed 10 red weather balloons at locations across the country. If you're the first one to submit the lat & long of all 10, you get $40,000. That's right, 40-grand just for finding 10 red balloons. Dude!
The catch is that submissions are due by 14 Dec - that's a little over a week to criss-cross the whole country and find these balloons. The idea is that you can't do it yourself. DARPA is trying to explore the impact of social networking and cross-country collaboration in the field of information collection. Which means whoever wins will probably have to share that $40K, but it's still a nice chunk of change.
It's always fun and fascinating to see what DARPA is up to.