Imagination's Toolbox, a gaming system designed around rules-light play, is back in development over at UncleBear.com. This has been an on-again, off-again project of Berin's for a while, and I'm happy to see it on again. He's got a bare-bones version of the rules up on the site (by bare-bones I mean it's a simple text file, not that it's only a skeleton outline of the system).
I've got a file on my desktop that includes all the stuff I want to write about on Nuketown, but never seem to get to. With a nod toward Uncle Bear's Random News Tables, I've decided to resurrect Nuketown's Netheads as an irregular column about irregular things. Expect parenting tips, science fiction goodness, and general geekery.
Conn Iggulden, co-author of The Dangerous Book for Boys praises the diverse upbringing that he and his brother got, including everything from learning to use pocket knives to stories of Artic explorers to sports you could actually win. Inggulden rails against a society that threatens to make our kids too safe, denying them the pleasure of launching a model rocket or carving their initials in trees because of the eternal, intangible menace of the worst case scenario.
Having a hard time picking a baby name? Hire someone to do it for you.
It was a big summer for Harry Potter. The seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, as was the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After reading the first and seeing the second, I was reminded of a hoax I've had sitting on my hard drive for a few years, just waiting to be debunked.
It's entitled "Magic Vs Jesus" and it claims that not only is are the Harry Potter books inherently Satantic, they are also causing a mass conversion to Satanism among today's youth. And it's got the quotes to back them up.
Unfortunately for the e-mail's author, the quotes it so feverishly believes in were taken from a fictional article in the satirical webzine The Onion.
Here's the original e-mail:
Subject: Fw: Magic Vs Jesus
"Jesus died because He was weak and stupid"; this is a quote from
6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC, after reading the HARRY POTTER BOOKS!
"Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty,"
The following is an email sent for the American Family Association:
This is the most evil thing I have laid my eyes on in 10 years ... and no
one seems to understand its threat. The Harry Potter books are THE
NUMBER ONE selling children's books in the nation today. Just look at any Barnes
So that plan I had for GenCon to hit the gym every morning before my games started? Yeah, that didn't work out so well. Combined with 11 days of family vacation including lots of good food, but not a lot of hard exercise, GenCon saw me gain six pounds.
The Hellion-class heavy cruiser Cerberus took flight Friday night as my gaming group put the Battlestar Galactica RPG through its paces. As I wrote in my earlier Game Day column, the players took on the role of members of the Hellfire Aces, an elite squad of Marines and pilots attached to the Cerberus, a decommissioned cruiser brought back to life after the genocidal Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies.
The new Battlestar Galactica RPG was a long time coming, and for a while, it seemed as legendary (and as likely to be found) as Earth is in the television series. But Margaret Weis Productions was selling the game at GenCon, and the general public should be able to get their hands on it by September.
After months of tinkering, the new version of UncleBear.com is online. The updated site features a new look, a new WordPress back-end, and the ever-entertaining "Random News" block. Berin's also been working on a variety of other projects, including the long-discussed Imagination's Toolbox, so you can look for a steady stream of coolness emanating from UncleBear.com over the next few days/weeks.
Jake Bracken never liked the rain. It always seemed to bring him bad luck. It rained that night back on Earth when Holly left him. Took off with a pharmaceutical salesman from Abilene. It rained the day he came home from the Terror War and saw that the Qaeda had burned his ranch to the ground. It was raining now, as he pulled his Hover Jeep up to the boardwalk in front of the Green River saloon.
Can a prescooler get drunk and even die from drinking hand sanitizer? The short answer is ... yes, they can. The following e-mail describes swallowing a squirt of hand sanitizer was enough to make a four-year-old loopy and while it gets some of the specifics wrong -- namely that the child couldn't have had an 85% blood alcohol level, since .10% is enough to kill you, and she probably had a lot more than one quirt -- the general warning is valid. Most hand sanitizer contains a large percentage ethyl alcohol, which can be intoxicating and even deadly if swallowed.
The August 2007 edition of David Langford's science fiction newsletter offers a round of genre news and happenings, including Gardner Dozois' quintuple bypass operation in July, Clive James' lamenting J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis hadn't strangled each other, thus ending their respective fantasy universes) and the lowdown on the Nebula Awards.