Mice and Mystics: awesome dungeoncrawler board game for all ages

Mice and Mystics is a beautifully-produced board game that creates a relatively all-ages-friendly dungeon crawl RPG experience without need for a dungeon master. “My kids went absolutely bananas over this game in a way I haven’t seen before,” says Jon Seagull

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The Who Framed Roger Rabbit? board game reviewed

The board game based on the phantasmic film isn’t that great, writes Deanna Dahlsad, but will be a coveted rarity for fans

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Privacy for Normal People


My latest Guardian column, Privacy technology everyone can use would make us all more secure, makes the case for privacy technology as something that anyone can -- and should use, discussing the work being done by the charitable Simply Secure foundation that launches today (site is not yet up as of this writing), with the mandate to create usable interfaces to cryptographic tools, and to teach crypto developers how to make their tools accessible to non-technical people.

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Hubble Space Telescope finds smallest known galaxy with supermassive black hole

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Fascinating news, and this stunning image, from astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope: "a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known."

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4,000 more DRM-free comics now available on Comixology

Following on the Amazon division's July announcement that publishers could sell their work without DRM on its platform, a huge collection of publishers have signed up to participate: IDW Publishing, Valiant Entertainment, Oni Press, Fantagraphics Books, Aspen Comics, Action Lab Entertainment, Th3rd World Studios, A Wave Blue World, Blind Ferret Entertainment, Caliber Comics, Creative Impulse Entertainment, Devil’s Due Entertainment, GT Labs Comics and Kingstone Media.

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Game controller silicone molds for chocolate, candy & ice


Thinkgeek's silicone game controller molds are $10, and feature six controllers per food-/dishwasher-safe tray (Playstation, NES and Sega) -- perfect for candy, chocolate or icemaking.

Futility Closet 26: A Practical Joke on a Grand Scale

berners street hoaxIn 1810 someone told hundreds of London merchants that Mrs. Tottenham at 54 Berners Street had requested their services. She hadn't. For a full day the street was packed with crowds of deliverymen struggling to reach a single door -- and the practical joker was never caught.

In this episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll hear descriptions of the chaos in Berners Street and meet Theodore Hook, the man who probably planned the whole thing. We'll also revisit the mysterious corpse found on an Australian beach in 1948 and puzzle over an octopus stuck in a tree.

Show notes

Zen and the art of fighting crime

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Dan Stevenson is neither a Buddhist, nor a follower of any organized religion.

Mr. Stevenson, a resident of Oakland's Eastlake neighborhood, purchased a 2-foot Buddha and installed it on a median strip in his neighborhood, near 11th Avenue and 19th Street. Stevenson hoped his small gesture would bring tranquillity to a neighborhood marred by crime--dumping, graffiti, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, aggravated assault and burglaries.

After he installed the statue, local residents began leaving gifts and flowers, and chanting prayers. When police checked crime statistics for the block radius around the statue, here's what they found: Since 2012, when worshipers began showing up for daily prayers, overall year-to-date crime has dropped by 82 percent. Robbery reports went from 14 to three, aggravated assaults from five to zero, burglaries from eight to four, narcotics from three to none, and prostitution from three to none.

California drought photos: Before and OMG WTF

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Overlapping images of the drought in California, with an adjustable before-and-after slider.

S&L Podcast - #189 - Literary Virginity, Literally

We dig into the first four stories from Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others, and boy do we learn a lot about ourselves and others. Plus you'll want to take your vitamins since Margaret Atwood's latest novel won't be available to read for 100 years and we explore the idea of regaining your literary virginity.

Show notes for this episode

Deadpool leggings


The Deadpool leggings ($35) are the perfect accessory to bring out your inner wisecracking immortal mercenary (the maker, Tohnik, also does leggings featuring Princess Monanoke Guardians of the Forest and Miyazaki minions).

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Rob Ford diagnosed with rare cancer affecting fat cells

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes his closing remarks during a mayoral debate hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress in Scarborough, Ontario July 15, 2014 [REUTERS]


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, during a mayoral debate hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress in Scarborough, Ontario. [REUTERS]

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with Liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer that grows in fat cells in deep soft tissue.

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Animated GIF illustrations, Mattis Dovier

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The artist's Tumblr. [via]

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Most feminist moments in sci-fi history

[S]ci-fi history actually has featured ahead-of-its-time, female-identifying authors and creators who have challenged conventional notions of race, gender, and sexuality head-on for centuries. Their contributions are so essential (some are by far the most out-there in the canon) that without them, the genre could not possibly have grown into the blockbuster behemoth it is today.

From Devon Maloney's story in NYMag

No evidence Snowden leaks inspired jihadists to up their crypto game

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A new analysis of jihadi groups' online communications reveals no evidence that Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA spying "inspired Islamic terror groups to hide their electronic communications behind more sophisticated encryption software."

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