I admit: as someone who clocks in at about 120 words per minute I have a special affection for typing games. Deprived of virtually all other reflex skills or precision aiming, it is fun to feel good at something. Since childhood there have always been games, from Mavis Beacon to Typing of the Dead, that let me excel at my one main gift.
Now, developer Cannibal Cat Software has crossed Typing of the Dead with Dragon Warrior, and the result is Secret of Qwerty, an old-school RPG where you fight mean trees and ghosts and things by typing at them. You explore a map and some dungeons, gather gold and buy equipment, and I am really, really into it. You probably will be too.
It's the loving little touches—the intentional homage to the bad translations of ancient Nintendo games, the self-managing statistics, the easy saves, that make this one such a pleasure. You start the game at HOMEROW CASTLE. Come on that is so cute isn't it sghfjdghdj.
Secret of Qwerty is a small download, for free or pay-what-you-want. If you, too, love typing games, also check out Monologue, a clever little jam game about having to finish your victory speech before a train runs over the rival you've tied to the tracks.
Chinese art-dissident Ai Weiwei can't seem to catch a break lately. On July 22, the Chinese government reinstated the prominent artist's passport, and his freedom to leave China, which he'd been denied for four years. Seven days later, Ai just now wrote on Instagram that the UK is restricting his visa over some trumped-up BS about his China “criminal records.” Read the rest
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A claimed client sent us this business communication said to be from America's best-known lion-killing dentist, Walter J. Palmer.
Begin forwarded message:
From: River Bluff Dental
Date: July 28, 2015 at 7:50:58 PM CDT
Subject: Letter from Dr. Palmer
Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
River Bluff Dental
River Bluff Dental
July 28, 2015
To my valued patients:
As you may have already heard, I have been in the news over the last few days for reasons that have nothing to do with my profession or the care I provide for you. I want you to know of this situation and my involvement
In addition to spending time with my family, one of my passions outside dentistry is hunting. I’ve been a life-long hunter since I was a child growing up in North Dakota. I don’t often talk about hunting with my patients because it can be a divisive and emotionally charged topic. I understand and respect that not everyone shares the same views on hunting.
In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.
I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.
I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have.
Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion. That was never my intention.
The media interest in this matter – along with a substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general – has disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients. For that disruption, I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible. We are working to have patients with immediate needs referred to other dentists and will keep you informed of any additional developments.
On behalf of all of us at River Bluff Dental, thank you for your support.
Walter J. Palmer, DDS
River Bluff Dental
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River Bluff Dental
10851 Rhode Island Ave S,
Bloomington, MN 55438
It appears the dentist is sorry he killed a lion that had some celebrity, but would happily kill another.
We’ve asked River Bluff Dental to confirm the authenticity of this email, and will post an update if and when it does.
This TV spot for an Los Angeles auto dealer stars a couple of guys beating a Donald Trump piñata to a pulp (or a pulpier version of pulp).
From Auto News:
The video spot by Van Nuys Nissan features a piñata marketed as a “Donald Trump piñata,” complete with yellow hair and a business suit. The Trumpudo piñata has become a novelty and symbol of protest and outrage in Hispanic communities after Trump's comments.
After store managers hit the piñata, Van Nuys General Sales Manager Martin Cuevas declares, Aqui en Van Nuys Nissan, los Latinos mandan. (Translation: “Here at Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.”)
Nissan North America released the following statement about the TV spot:
“We find these advertisements to be neither responsible or respectful, and we do not condone what they represent. We expect our dealers to establish advertising that is responsible and respectful and represents the best interest of the Nissan brand.”
Nissan added that it “respects the right of both individuals and private businesses to practice free speech in a responsible and respectful manner.”
Irotoridori, described as a “color palette puzzle” on the box, is a sudoku board game where the numbers have been replaced with colors. It uses sturdy, plastic bird shaped paint drops and a board shaped like an artist’s palette to add a physical dimension to a brain game. It’s great for solo play or for small groups; I’ve found that while it is safe for elementary school children, it’s middle school ages and up that really enjoy the game.
Inside the Irotoridori box, you’ll find 81 birds, nine of nine colors each, a clip for picking up the birds that looks like a tube of paint, and the board itself. The birds are bright, solid plastic, and have numbers imprinted on the back, just in case you’d like to add a level of difficulty to your game. Along with these game pieces, there is a booklet with 24 puzzles and solutions.
Although the instructions are written entirely in Japanese, if you can play Sudoku (and you can) then you’ll understand this set easily enough. (For anyone who may not be familiar, sudoku is a puzzle system where the goal is to arrange groups of numbers such that there are no repeating numbers in any row, column, or square. Like many puzzles, it is easy to learn to play but becoming a master takes a lifetime.) The printed puzzle booklet uses pictures to show each layout and solution. For those who want the challenge, the Japanese printed inside the box is written at a grade school level with furigana over the kanji to aid in pronunciation and meaning!
Irotoridori is a perfect game for those grey-skied, rainy days when you or your young ones are stuck inside. Set up the board, line up the colours, and have some fun! – Joel Neff
Ages 10 and up, 1-3 players
$25 Buy a copy on Amazon
One of life's simple pleasures is watching your kitties get blissed out on catnip. Most store-bought catnip is ditchweed, though. If you really want your cat to pretend to love you, give her 100% organic Meowijuana Catnip Buds available on Amazon.
Figuring out how to connect with another human being is often a puzzle. In Tough Love Machine, bringing two hearts together is complicated business; you control two arms trying to help those pulsing symbols of human affection come together, as the inexorable force of gravity tries to separate them forever.
In the game, as in love, there is no undo button, and your arms—perhaps like your finite capacity for love—can only reach so far. But if you do manage to unite the hearts, you;ll get to see the screen erupt in a joyous checkerboard of color, at least for the brief moment before the next challenge begins.
This emotion-themed puzzler was created by Andrew Morrish, who also made Super Puzzle Platformer and The Heart Is Safe, a game about a character who wears his heart on his sleeve and has to avoid getting hurt.
Two houses featured on the great AMC television series "Breaking Bad" are up for sale in Albuquerque, NM. The sales pitch includes this line, seriously: "Meth lab not included."
Eating a sandwich is hard when you have had too much alcohol.
A grand jury indicted University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing on a murder charge for fatally shooting Samuel DuBose in the head during a traffic stop.
“This is the most asinine act I've ever seen. This does not happen in the United States,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. From the New York Daily News:
Tensing shot and killed Samuel DuBose on July 19 after the officer pulled him over near the university campus for a missing front license plate.
In a police report, Tensing said he was “dragged” by DuBose, forcing him to shoot.
But Deters said video from the stop showed no such thing: instead DuBose slowly pulled away from the stop, and Tensing "fell backward after he shot (DuBose) in the head," the prosecutor said.
Tensing "purposely killed" DuBose, Deters said, adding that the cop "should have never been a police officer."
The video of the shooting was released to the public just a few minutes ago.
GHOSTZ recalls the virtual pet craze of the 1990s: simple digital beings in your care, marching obliquely against unchanging backdrops, whimsical of mood and utterly dependent on your actions. Death was often a part of the virtual pet experience, although according to a (real or imagined?) P.F. Magic info sheet from 1997 cited in the beginning of the game, very few players actively wanted to face the possibility.
GHOSTZ imagines a virtual pet experience about caring for a ghost. This can include offering it a bone from its former form ("DISRESPECTFUL") or punishing it with holy water. The little Twine-based game is driven by actual statistics, although these are hidden from the player, mirroring the emotionally-nuanced nature of our relationships with living things both virtual and real.
It's a simple game made by Dixon Grimdixie for Porpentine's virtual pet-themed PetJam, but what I like about it is the way it's nested in the creator's own warm personal reflections on the era of digital pets and how robust and full of possibility they felt.
Play GHOSTZ for free in your browser here.
Chuck Rosenberg, the new acting administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration: “If you want me to say that marijuana’s not dangerous, I’m not going to say that because I think it is. Do I think it’s as dangerous as heroin? Read the rest
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