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The sales woman at a furniture store is speaking with a moderate Russian accent: "We don't have air conditioning here, so that's the most awful part of the Summer."

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frittle (fritt'-ul) n. a temporary mark on the skin caused by the impression of a textured surface

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Bandits :)

A modern version
of Butch Cassidy mixed with
that film called F/X.

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Secret Passages

There are a lot of great shows on the History Channel (like Modern Marvels and History vs. Hollywood) but my current favorite is Secret Passages. Each week we are taken through an amazing array of hidden doorways into every secret hiding places imaginable: bomb shelters, smuggler's passageways, escape tunnels, eccentric living spaces, underground headquarters... places you've never imagined, often hiding right before everyone's eyes. Even if you've already heard the secret data, it's wild to actually see the inside of the these amazing hidden places.

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Unamerican Activities

#12's Webcomic picks
Leisure Town

"I've been an avid player of your games for about four years now, and it was your essay 'Stoners in the Haze' which finally convinced me that marijuana prohibition should be ended. In fact, I'm attending Vermont Law School starting this fall, and a good portion of the reason I'm attending law school is that I want to help end prohibition as well." -- email from Joe Andriano

Thursday, June 6, 2002
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Yikes! Origins is Looming!

This week finds us focusing on Origins. It's less than a month away now, and since this is our biggest public event of the year, we have a lot of getting ready to do. Since it takes time to get stuff printed, now is when we're needing to finalize artwork and such for whatever new products and propaganda we wish to release at the show. And we have a bunch of stuff planned...

  • Hypothermia #15: We're still very much grappling with the question of what games to feature in the new issue of the Journal of Icehouse Gaming. Just when I think we're starting to get the list narrowed down, I hear about yet more cool new games we should be considering. For example, I'm suddenly enamored with Tic Tac Doh!, a quick and easy 2 player game that uses just one Icehouse stash (it's by Cathouse creator, Brian Schultz). And I still haven't even played everything on the list I posted a few weeks ago yet! Even so, we'll be making our final decisions in the next couple of weeks, so if you've got an opinion, join the Icehouse Mailing List and get in on the discussions!
  • New Fluxx Promo Cards: As usual, we plan to create a few special edition Fluxx promo cards to give away... this time, we're planning a trio of New Rules. We're also making a handy IceTowers reference card.
  • Wooden Nickels: Having lost all hope of having Nanofictionary ready to sell at Origins (we're still hopeful about Gen-Con though) we'll be focusing on our most recent major release, Playing with Pyramids. As we've done for the past two years, we're making a new "show special" wooden nickel, offering a $2 discount on copies of PwP purchased in-person at the show.
  • Tournaments, The Lab, The Booth, etc: Of course, we also have to finalize our plans for the furnishings in our booth, the setup in the lab, the signs we put up, the schedules we hand out, prize medallions for the winners, and so on. Things are coming along nicely, particularly because of the help we've been getting from Liam (both Good and Evil) and from this year's summer Intern, Lillian... but there's still a lot to do, particularly since we're also hoping to officially launch SuperFRED by then. (Uh, oh, did I just announce a deadline again?)

By now, you're probably wondering about this week's picture. That's me, on the right, along with my mom, and brothers Howard and Jeff. This was taken during a family trip to Hawaii in 1988. There we are, stupidly risking injury or death to have our photo taken a few feet from actual, oozing lava. To give you a sense of the speed at which the lava was oozing, check out this close up I took a couple of minutes earlier... as you can see in the family portrait, the lava had moved a foot or two during that time.

Why do I bring this all up? I'm getting to that. Having posted the rules to the new Volcano variant, Mega-Volcano, I couldn't resist also adding my house rule for who goes first. Like many of the rules I suggest for which player should go first, it's designed to give me an advantage: whoever's been the closest to molten lava goes first!

Have you voted for Cosmic Coasters yet?
(The deadline is this Monday!)

the story so far

Thought Residue
We have a new investor! His name is Bob and with his help, we're finally moving forward with our colorful in-store product display units!
"Even after last week's highly touted reorganization, which included the reassignment of 400 narcotics agents to counterterrorism, there will still be 2,100 agents spending their invaluable time and energy fighting a fruitless drug war. This despite the fact that combating drugs didn't even make Director Mueller's official Top Ten list of priorities. According to high-ranking FBI officials, Mueller originally intended to pull the plug on his agency's involvement in the drug war but was talked out of it by drug war generals who can't admit defeat. He should have listened to his gut." -- Arianna Huffington, "Did the Drug War Elude Sept. 11 Threats?" (the Sacramento Bee, June 4 2002)
"In Star Wars: Episode II, the Khaminans tell the Council that they have 200,000 soldiers ready to go, and that another one million will be ready soon -- and that if they want more, it will take time to get them (they grow at twice the usual rate, so one assumes we are talking a decade here). Now, according to CNN, the Indian army is about 1.3 million people, and between the two, India and Pakistan have deployed over a million soldiers to Kashmir. So this immense clone army, which is going to bring tens of thousands of systems to heel, is only slightly larger than the force that is fighting over a tiny area between Pakistan and India." -- email from Keith Baker


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