Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A storehouse of pencil and paper games

Here's a nicely organized collection of games that one can play with only pencil and paper. Really handy to learn a couple of these for entertaining kids on the fly.

I also found this interesting tic-tac-toe variation, ultimate tic-tac-toe:

...which has a smaller board inside each square of a larger one. The kicker is, you must make your move on the small board corresponding to your opponents last move.

Monday, November 24, 2014

"A Kiss with Teeth" by Max Gladstone, short story about a vampire father

I only read this for the first time yesterday and I kinda think it's going on my all-time favorites list.

It's perhaps the most mature vampire story I've ever seen. But I'm sure I'm biased by the fatherhood aspect. I'm starting to realize that short stories are more situational, seasons-of-life dependent.

So maybe the stories that really grab me now say as much about me or my current situation as anything else. However, that doesn't mean they aren't great. It means that a well-done story that his the right notes for me has more impact.

I think this story hits some deep universals. But maybe if you've never been a parent, those won't hit as hard. Feel free to give your own opinion in the comments.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tacoma art museum shows Western depictions of Native Americans and allows them to comment on them

Really interesting approach:

Tacoma Art Museum has just opened an entirely new wing devoted to a single collection of Western American art [depicting Native Americans and created by Europeans and Euro-Americans]. Because the work presented is culturally problematic, the museum has taken the unusual step of commissioning a handful of Native American people to write labels responding to the art. What results in the galleries can be frustrating, but it also breaks open the complexity of what's really going on both in the art and in the institution of the museum in 2014.
How Tacoma Art Museum Criticizes a Collection Without Angering the Donors

Monday, November 17, 2014

Best way to help the poor? Give them money, directly, in small amounts

Experiments show they do not waste it and make better decisions than aid agencies; the result is improved lives and people off the public dole, with vastly less administrative costs.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Grief and old computing platforms, or why Paul Ford is a genius

This article on by Paul Ford mixes the grief of losing a friend with nostalgia for old computing platforms. The way Ford weaves everything together is, to me, the mark of why he's a fantastic writer. I've been reading his stuff for years and years. I can't even express the feelings his writing evokes.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

"Black Box" by Jennifer Egan, short story on the New Yorker web site

I went to read this because I recognized Jennifer Egan's name. The associations in my head for her name were 'award-winning, literary, sci fi'. The story is interesting but I don't feel that I fully understand it.

When I checked my journal database I found that I'd read her book _The Keep_ in 2011 and been impressed. Similar to this story, though, I was more impressed while reading it than at the end, where there were some things that seemed unfinished.