Clever student uses red/blue masking to double exam cribsheet


Profcyclist told students that they could bring a 3"x5" card to an exam; a clever student wrote overlapping notes in blue and red ink and brought in gels to read them.

Dollar Store Dungeons!


Rachel sends us "a series of posts about all the cool ways to use dollar store finds in tabletop RPGs. There is an amazing variety of useful things there, from things that could easily work as miniatures, to white boards for sketching maps or tracking initiative, to the cheapest source I've yet found for glass beads."

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Outfit a game-designer's toolkit for < $20


Game designer Rick Marazzani did an under-$20 raid on his local dollar store and built himself an incredible game-designer's toolkit with everything he needs to create an infinite variety of games in just as many styles; his reasoning for each piece is an especially telling glimpse of the game-designer's mindset:

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World’s oldest African penguin gets cancer surgery

Tess, a 40 year old African penguin who lives at the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado, has an aggressive skin cancer on her face. She was taken to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she was zapped with radiation. She seems to be recovering nicely, and is back at the zoo, swimming with her friends.

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Oklahoma and Nebraska ask Supreme Court to return legal weed to the black market

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Too many Oklahomans and Nebraskans are buying weed in Colorado and bringing it back home, and it has made the attorney generals in those states sad. They want Uncle Sam to take Colorado's legal weed away and give it back to the black market so that the drug cartels, corrupt government officials, and the prison industry can go back to business as usual.

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A ghostly view of Horsehead nebula in new image from Spitzer Space Telescope

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A beautiful space image from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Here's the super-grande size.

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Gingerbread Enterprise


Blackmarket Bakery sends us, "a gingerbread recreation of the Starship Enterprise from 'Star Trek,' created by us and on display at our store in Costa Mesa, CA."

Otis and Dorothy Shepard: exemplars of mid-20th century design

Anyone with even a passing interest in mid-20th century design has heard of Charles and Ray Eames, but Otis and Dorothy Shepard were arguably the more influential designing couple. Until recently, little was known about the pair, each of whom was an accomplished artist in their own right, efficient with line, unerring with color. A gorgeous new book by Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadal titled Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream corrects this gap in the design literature. Filled with never-before-published materials from the Shepard family’s archives, the book is packed with both personal photos and key examples of their work from the 1930s to 1960s.

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Advertising characters exhibit at the SFO International Terminal

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Warren Dotz is the author of several excellent books about graphic design and advertising art. The SFO International Terminal is holding an exhibit of his collection of advertising characters. The show is called A World Of Characters and it runs until January 4.

Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection

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The beautiful packaging for Minecraft: The Complete Handbook Collection isn't the only wonderful thing about this box set.

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Visual Aid - a book of charts that explain how the world works

Visual Aid and Visual Aid 2 are collections of colorful images and diagrams explaining, depicting and comparing elements from a wide range of topics.

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Lifehacks for sociopaths

"Unethical hacks are life hacks that will help you advance through life by taking advantage of loopholes in society." I'm thinking these could somehow be used to create a game in the vein of Cards Against Humanity.

Secret languages of twins

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"Cryptophasia" is the term for the secret languages that apparently 40 percent of identical twins develop. Nautilus investigates:

The most famous example of cryptophasia is identical twins Ginny and Grace Kennedy from California. A documentary and many articles, including two 1970s features in Time magazine, captured the private lingo of the twins who called each other Poto and Cabengo:

“Pinit, putahtraletungay” (Finish, potato salad hungry)

“Nis, Poto?” (This, Poto?)

“Liba Cabingoat, it” (Dear Cabengo, eat)

“la moa, Poto?” (Here more, Poto?)

“Ya” (Yeah)

“What you find is that the words are approximations of adult language,” says Peter Bakker, professor of linguistics at Aarhus University in Denmark, author of what remains the deepest and widest study of cryptophasia, “Autonomous Languages,” published in Italian twins research journal Acta geneticae medicae et gemellologiae in 1987.

"The Secret Language of Tennis Champions

Congress ends federal ban on medical marijuana

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The federal spending measure passed this weekend, and one of the provisions in it "effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy," reports the LA Times. The provision forbids federal drug agents from raiding retail operations.

I asked Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, if this was as big of a deal as it seems to be. He said, “It’s an historic vote in the annals of marijuana law reform. The disconnect between Congress and the vast majority of Americans regarding federal interference with state medical marijuana laws at last is over.”

Image: Shutterstock

Tucows launching "mini-Google-fiber" to compete with Comcast


Tucows, who own two of the best Internet-infrastructure companies I know of (Hover, a domain registrar; and Ting, a mobile phone provider) have announced their own super-high-speed fiber-optic ISP in Charlottesville, Virginia, where it will compete with one of the worst infrastructure companies in the world: Comcast.

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