Wired's Adam Rogers wrote a lovely, sweeping obit for Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax in this weekend's New York Times that included this flowchart showing how D&D was a gateway drug into every kind of nerd-dom:
We live in Gary Gygax’s world. The most popular books on earth are fantasy novels about wizards and magic swords. The most popular movies are about characters from superhero comic books. The most popular TV shows look like elaborate role-playing games: intricate, hidden-clue-laden science fiction stories connected to impossibly mathematical games that live both online and in the real world. And you, the viewer, can play only if you’ve sufficiently mastered your home-entertainment command center so that it can download a snippet of audio to your iPhone, process it backward with beluga whale harmonic sequences and then podcast the results to the members of your Yahoo group...
Geeks like algorithms. We like sets of rules that guide future behavior. But people, normal people, consistently act outside rule sets. People are messy and unpredictable, until you have something like the Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. Once you’ve broken down the elements of an invented personality into numbers generated from dice, paper and pencil, you can do the same for your real self.
Update: Alan sez, "that great D&D geek flowchart from the Times should really be credited to Sam Potts, who also happens to be the designer of John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise."
Frinkiac allows you to type in a quote from The Simpsons and it’ll find the matching stills from a database of 3 million screen caps. I expect that its creators will be acquihired soon by Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net. (Thanks, Brad Kreit!)
images from @mimo (via Laughing Squid)
Bo and Matthew, “two best friends, achieve lifelong dream of sneaking into a movie theatre in one set of clothing.” So fun!
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]
How do Google and YouTube really work? It turns out, Python kind of runs things around those parts. And with this bootcamp, you’ll get whipped into shape and ready to start programming yourself. Whether you’re a Python pro and just want to sharpen your skills, or a total tech newbie with little or no coding […]