the 3-5 shot panorama is a really cool way to capture a scene. it's not really a pano but think of it as a S-U-P-E-R W-I-D-E picture as you aren't doing a full 360. you can take these with any camera. it doesn't have to be expensive. and you don't have to have a super wide lens. in fact you may want to shoot you pano using a more zoomed lens instead of the widest setting.
Continuous is a mode on your camera that takes picture after picture for as long as you hold down the shutter. the frame rate of the shots depends on the camera. the Canon shoots is about 4 FPS, Fuji is .3 seconds per frame, Nikon has a mode called 16 (which turns the flash off automatically, there is also has a mode that does 1.5 FPS and the Sony have different rates that depend on the camera. there are several Casio cameras that have super fast frame rates like up to 1000 frames per second!
if you take one picture a day and share it every day for a year by the end you'll have 365 awesome shots!
lacking a helmet or a helicopter we tied it to a string and lowered it out the window
practically every cheap camera has a macro mode. and while it is not perfect it is a fun way to get really close to your subject.
Mic stands use (as you know) a 5/27 thread which doesn't occur in a hardware store.
camera “tripods” come in different forms like bean bags, a strap, a lid that will screw onto any water or soda bottle or can be an actual tripod.
use the world around to hold a camera using a length of velcro.
the problem with a live event is that normal tripods are too short. you have to get the camera above the heads and shoulders of everyone to get a good shot
you might look at some string and say, "that will never make my camera more stable!" but it can.