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I'm looking at the CAR (Cloud Absorption Radiometer) instrument's spinning outer mirror, and imagining the complex light path through its interior. I say, "It's something inside."
"Yeah, it's inside the optics," says Charles Gatebe. "It's not something outside because it would affect everything else."

Cool Words

swink (swink) v.i. to labor, toil, work hard, sweat v.t. to gain by toil (past tense is tricky, as it's a bit archaic: swinked, swank, swunk, or swonk)

Haiku Reviews

The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash %}

Terrific in-joke
for fans of the post fab four.
Splendidly thorough.

Daddy-O's Reviews

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

I've enjoyed seeing Jay and Silent Bob as recurring characters, but they just don't cut it as the protagonists of an entire movie. This film has some very funny scenes, but it's also exceedingly dumb and incredibly crude. Even so, there's absolutely no nudity in this film, which was surprising given how heavily-laden with adult content this film is otherwise.

Tirade's Choice

Two Petitions for Peace: ThePetitionSite &

"Just wanted to drop a line to let you guys know how much me and my circle of gaming pals are enjoying Chrononauts! I live in Northern California, but happened across a deck at the Wizards of the Coast store at the Beverly Center in LA a couple of weeks ago. Man! Ever since I got back, people don't want to stop playing! I've turned over 2 dozen people onto this game and they are scouring the nine counties looking for their own decks. Keep up the outstanding game designs!" -- Marc, of Mill Valley, CA

Thursday, September 20, 2001
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Playing With Pyramids

Like everyone else, we're flying the flag this week.

Last week, I described what's going on with the next edition of Icehouse and the new book of rules we're developing for it. I said we'd decided to change the title from "9 Games for 60 Pyramids" to "Eleven Icehouse Games", since we didn't want to undervalue 30 or 45 pyramid Icehouse sets and wanted to include more than 9 games.

Well, again this week we've changed our minds. (We pride ourselves on being able to do that.) The 11 games I listed last week omitted Pikemen, and there was a large enough outcry over this to convince me again that it ought to be in the book. More to the point, since we're obviously still tweaking the contents list, it just doesn't make sense to lock into a title that limits us to fewer games than we may ultimately decide to include. Therefore, since we must settle on a title now, we've decided to go with "Playing with Pyramids", with a subtitle like "Twelve Games For Icehouse Pieces" (or whatever the final count ends up being).

As regards the search for a good 2 stash racing game with dice, Kristin's Martian Backgammon is improving with playtesting (as games always do) and other candidates (such as Dave Chalker's Turtler) are coming to our attention. Looks like we're going to have to set up another weekend-long playtesting marathon...

Since I'm finding myself without too much else to say here, I'm going to fill this article out with an email exchange we had this week. Regarding last week's page, one of our readers wrote: "I'm sorry, but I think it's VERY BAD TASTE to even THINK about how you could benefit from the recent tragedy in our nation. I can't believe this would be for any other purpose than to sell more cards."

Here's Alison's reply:

We very much apologize for having offended you, but would like to assure you that our intent in putting up the WTC linchpin was not to sell more cards. The image we used on the website was only an imaginary card design -- a theoretical expansion which would be years in the future -- if at all.

Just because Chrononauts is a game does not mean we wish to trivialize the events that are in it (or potentially in it). Rather the intent is to memorialize the events included in the game -- to indicate that it IS an important event. A strange thing about history, is that the closer you are to the present, the harder it is to tell what events will truly be remembered as History (with a capitol H) by those in the future -- i.e it's hard to tell what event is a linchpin when it's occurring. What we're saying is, 'THIS is a linchpin event.'

Much weighty thought was given to which events were, indeed, important enough to warrant linchpins. The terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon are clearly of that caliber. It, like other tragic events on the timeline, is a horrible event that future time travelers would want to go back and prevent.

We meant no offense. Yours is the only negative e-mail we have received about this weeks update. I hope this reply has assured you that we did not take it lightly nor that we are trying to cash in on it. There is no monetary gain we get from having this illustration on our weekly update -- it's just what's on our minds this week, like everyone else in the country.

--Alison, Kristin and Andy Looney

AndyRest in Peace, WTC victims...

Thought Residue
It seems to me the best way to combat anti-US terrorism would be to figure out why so many foreigners hate us, and craft a foreign policy designed to at least make them stop feeling that way, and maybe even give them cause to like us instead. It's hard to see how any sort of retaliation-oriented military action will have this effect. Shouldn't we just "do the Christian thing" and forgive them?
"If a significant number of people convince themselves, or are convinced by their priests, that a martyr's death is equivalent to pressing the hyperspace button and zooming through a wormhole to another universe, it can make the world a very dangerous place. Especially if they also believe that that other universe is a paradisical escape from the tribulations of the real world. Top it off with sincerely believed, if ludicrous and degrading to women, sexual promises, and is it any wonder that naive and frustrated young men are clamouring to be selected for suicide missions?" -- Richard Dawkins, "Religion's misguided missiles"
With the War on Terrorism now heating up, can we please finally call off the War on Drug Users? I think we as a nation should be limited to one expensive, military-oriented "solution" to a complex and impossible-to-completely-eradicate social problem at a time. One thing we can be sure about: the suicidal hijackers weren't pot-smokers.


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