"Shadows in the Woods" is the English version of the German board game Waldschattenspiel, an absolutely beautiful and extremely fun game for two or more kids and one adult. The kids play "dwarfs" who need to hide in a "woods" (a board with 3D trees made from slotted heavy card). The adult plays using a burning tea-light as his token. You play in a dark room, and the kids and adult take turns moving, with the adult turning away while the kids strategize and move. If the grownup manages to move the tea-light so that it casts a light on one of the kids' tokens, the token is frozen and must be unfrozen with a visit from another kid. The kids try to consolidate all the dwarfs (wooden pawns that come with pointy bits of felt for you to glue on as hats) behind one tree, while the adult tries to prevent it. It's a game of whispers and giggles in the dark, with the added delight of a real flaming candle in the middle of the table. I've played it with kids as young as four, and it's great fun.
Alas, there doesn't appear to be a US importer, though the title is listed on Amazon UK.
Kraul Toys Shadows in the Woods - Deluxe
The BBC: "The computing giant Microsoft has made its first-ever quarterly loss after it wrote off some of the value of its online advertising business."
"More than" 200 Chihuahuas were rescued earlier today
after a search warrant was executed in Benton, Pa. [AP] — Rob
I love how anachronistic this ad for earning big bucks by learning steno is -- among the obsolete elements contained in it are dictation, shorthand, shorthand gadgets. It's true that continuous speech recognition, autocomplete and pocket recording devices are their descendants, but they're none of them "exciting careers."
With Stenotype, the world’s fastest shorthand, you can qualify for one of today’s top-level secretarial positions. This modern machine shorthand is a synonym for highest speed and accuracy in thousands of executive offices and important places everywhere. Your Stenotype machine uses only 22 symbols…types an entire word at one stroke.. .”takes” in plain English letters… provides clean, easy-to-transcribe records for permanent future reference.
Even if you’ve had trouble with ordinary shorthand, you can quickly become proficient in Stenotype. Notes are so much easier to take and read. You learn at home, in your spare time. The cost is remarkably low, and the machine itself is included with your course. Take the first step toward an exciting high-pay career today. Mail coupon for free Stenotype booklet. LaSalle, 417 S. Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois 60605.
EARN BIG PAY IN AN EXCITING CAREER – Stenotype Operator (Nov, 1965)
This 1958 ad for the latest model mobile homes has me totally sold -- that place looks better than my flat!
Donald J. Sobol, the author who created the great Encyclopedia Brown series, died last week. Encyclopedia Brown were kids' mystery stories about a boy detective, whose solution required careful reading and imaginative reasoning. When I started working on Little Brother, I told people it would be "Encyclopedia Brown meets Wargames" -- and I've often noodled with the idea of a set of contemporary, Internet-based mystery stories called "Wikipedia Brown."
I'm always running into die-hard Encyclopedia Brown fans in the happy mutants set. GeekDad's Ethan Gilsdorf is another megafan, and he's written a very good, informative obit for Sobol:
I lived vicariously through Encyclopedia Brown. And I came up with a hundred schemes a summer to make money, trick the bully, or otherwise engineer a scenario to be the smart one who would sweep in to save the day.
But Encyclopedia’s success wasn’t only due to his problem-solving prowess. Credit his best pal (and girl Friday) Sally Kimball: older, stronger and sometimes smarter. She also could stand up to Bugs, and was Encyclopedia’s bodyguard. That was a novel premise, to give that role of “the muscle” to a girl.
Update: There's one more Encyclopedia Brown book coming out in the fall (Thanks, Craig Pittman!)
R.I.P. Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown Author, 1924-2012
See also: Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown author, RIP
"Book Forest" is an outdoor, public bookcase in Berlin, designed to allow BookCrossing users to drop books they're done with so that others can take them in and read them. The "forest" is made from hollowed out logs with protective clear doors.
Within the program ‚Research for Sustainable Forestry’ promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research the cross section project ‘Bi-FONA-Wald’ is carried out by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training. It takes place in Berlin/Brandenburg. The Book Forest is part of the overall project ‚Modellregion Berliner Wald und Holz’.
The Book Forest contributes to sustainable vocational education and deals with the value chain forest-wood-book. It was developed and realised by BAUFACHFRAU Berlin e.V. as an interdisciplinary, project orientated cooperation of apprentices of forestry, carpentry, cabinetmaking, media design, printing and bookselling.
Cat Staggs (Gattadonna on DeviantArt) has a series of fab limited edition Star Wars wartime recruiting posters, to be offered for sale at the Star Wars Celebration show in Orlando this August. Here's the latest.
The Guns of Endor! Star Wars CVI print
(via Super Punch)
The Library of America is publishing a two volume treasure of science fiction next September 27, in which great contemporary science fiction writers introduce classics of the field from the 1950s. The handsome, slipcased edition includes:
Volume 1: 1953–1956
* Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants
* Theodore Sturgeon, More Than Human
* Leigh Brackett, The Long Tomorrow
* Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man
Volume 2: 1956–1958
Robert Heinlein, Double Star
* Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination
* James Blish, A Case of Conscience
* Algis Budrys, Who?
* Fritz Leiber, The Big Time
The LOA site for the books has the essays and other supplementary material, including work by William Gibson (writing about "The Stars My Destination"), Neil Gaiman (on "The Big Time"), Kit Reed (on "More Than Human") and Connie Willis (on "Double Star") as well as pieces by Tim Powers, James Morrow, and Peter Straub.
American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950's
Security expert Brian Krebs was the target of a malicious email flood, and writes firsthand about the experience. These floods -- which can be directed at any and all of your phone (voice or SMS) and email -- are used by crooks who want to busy-out all their victims' communications channels while they are ripping them off electronically. This kind of flooding is available as a (surprisingly cheap) commercial service.
Used mostly in private for myself and now offered to the respected public.
Spam using bots, having decent SMTP accounts.
Doing email floods using bots. Complete randomization of the letter, so the user could not block the flood by the signatures.
Flooder is capable of the following functionality:
Huge wave of emails is being instantly sent to the victim. (depending on the server load and amount of emails to be flooded)
Delivery rate of 60-65% — depending on the SMTP servers.
Limit for flooding single email account on this server is 100,000 emails.
Plan – Children – 25,000 emails — $25
Plan – Medium – 50,000 emails — $40
Plan – Hard – 75,000 emails — $55
Plan – Monster – 100,000 emails — $70
Cyberheist Smokescreen: Email, Phone, SMS Floods
The German town of Mittenwalde loaned the city of Berlin 11,200 guilders 540 years ago, when Mittenwalde was a seat of power. Berlin has never repaid the debt. With interest, and adjusted for inflation, the note (which has been authenticated) is worth trillions of euros, and Mittenwalde wants it back.
Town historian Vera Schmidt found the centuries-old debt slip in the archive, where it had been filed in 1963. Though the seal is missing from the document, Schmidt told Reuters that she was certain the slip was still valid.
"In 1893 there was a debate in which the document was examined and the writing was determined to be authentic," Schmidt said.
Schmidt and Mittenwalde's Mayor Uwe Pfeiffer have tried to ask Berlin for their money back. Such requests have been made every 50 years or so since 1820 but always to no avail.
540-year-old debt. Trillions owed. But will German village get repaid?
Enokson on Flickr has collected a beautiful gallery of dozens of 1960s library posters, each more delightful than the last. Alas, they're only at a medium resolution.
Retro Library Posters (1960's)
reports that Fujifilm is discontinuing several flavors of their fantastic slide film, Velvia. Luckily, for me anyways, Velvia 50 will still be around in both 120 and 135. — Jason
O'Reilly, the published famed for the pictures of animals on its book covers, has launched a charitable drive to protect endangered animals
: "The truth is that a large number of the animals featured on O’Reilly books are threatened or critically endangered. We’ve always used colophons in the books as a way to tell readers about the animals. Now we want to use social media and the web to tell those same readers how they can contribute to helping the animals in real life."
Sean Morley, AKA Val Venis, a professional wrestler, has informed a fan via Twitter that "#WWE asked me to appear but I just cannot do anything with them for as long as they continue their support of #SOAP/#CISPA"
Kick ass, dude. From Techdirt:
While the WWE was never listed on the official Judiciary Committee list of supporters, the organization made many community sourced lists as a supporter of SOPA. Regardless of when and how the WWE came to be supportive of the unpopular bills, this shows that there is a long lasting bitter aftertaste left in the mouths of those who feel betrayed by organizations that supported SOPA and CISPA.
WWE Raw SuperShow One Wrestler Short Due To SOPA Support