[Looney Labs] [Shopping Center]
News Archives

[Guide] [Games] [E-Books] [WTS]

Tomatosaurus Rex

Playing iRogue; I decide to not go after the floating eye. I move toward the north exit.

Cool Words

(ess'-pehr-ahn'-toe) n. an artificial language for international (chiefly European) use, based on word bases common to the main European languages. from the Espertanto word esperanto one who hopes, after a pseudonym of Dr. L. L. Zamenhof who invented the language in 1887.

Haiku Reviews

LotR: The Two Towers :)

... And the Oscar for
best supporting actor goes
to Gollum's wranglers.

Tirade's Choice

2 Camels


"This is the castle where about 200 of us Esperanto speakers spent the past week celebrating the new year. Around 30-50 of us had a great time playing Zendo, making me glad that I'd spent some time translating the rules. Many children, including a 9-year-old girl from Belgium and a boy from Iceland, were able to play as equals with the adults. It's great!" -- a postcard of a castle in Germany which we got from our Zendo investor, Tom Phoenix

Thursday, January 16, 2003
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? Building Time Capsules

This weekend, we went to Richmond to help my brother celebrate the birthday of his twins, James and Sharon, and it was a jolly good time. They've just turned six, so their world is full of new discoveries, and this weekend they got their first taste of the incredibly yummy cheese fondue at the Melting Pot. As you can see, Sharon took to the experience with all the gusto you'd expect from the daughter of Jeff "the Mouth" Looney. (In fact, this photo reminds me of more than one famous (in our family, anyway) image of Sharon's dad when he was her age, enthusiastically eating something yummy.)

It being their sixth birthday, Jeff also wanted to mark the occasion with a reading by the author of The Cake that Baked Itself, which I wrote for the occasion of my niece Sarah's sixth birthday. (She's in college now.) Other birthday festivities included a few hours at Chuck E Cheese's, a trip to the Über Flea Market, and of course, the traditional light saber battle with Darth James.

While at Chuck E Cheese's, I had the decidedly surreal experience of picking up a piece of trash and discovering it to be a photograph of myself. They have these little car rides that include an automatically-taken picture, like the one of James shown here, and apparently I'd been standing in the frame when some other kid was riding it, and that person had discarded their souvenir photo, for me to discover later. (Speaking of odd coincidences, on Tuesday I received a request for permission to use the cartoon of electrically-powered books on this page from someone wishing to use it on a webpage they were working on for their school's library, in Tennessee. Within an hour, I received an almost identically-worded email from someone else, in Massachusetts. I used one email to say yes to them both...)

As you can see, James wasn't particularly excited by this ride, since it didn't feature weapons of any sort, but we insisted he go on it after Sharon did, since we wanted to include the little photos it spits out in the Time Capsules we've been creating.

Which brings me to the subject of the Time Capsules.

When Sharon and James were born and Jeff asked me to be Sharon's Godfather, we decided to honor the occasion by building a Time Capsule for her. Since her personality hadn't ripened much at that point, we mostly focused on our own place in the universe at that time, as we scrounged objects from around the house to include in a big cardboard cylinder we had. When it was full, we sealed it up by covering it with aluminum foil, then covering that with a thick layer of transparent packing tape. On the side we included a label, reading "To be opened on September 21, 2017."

So then five years go by, and one day James and Sharon see the Time Capsule and of course, since they are twins and used to things coming in equal pairs, James wonders where his is. Of course, the point of doing one just for Sharon was to help differentiate the twins and provide an object lesson in the inequities of life, but such high-minded logic doesn't always work with 5-year olds. Then suddenly, in a charming display of selfless love and unwavering faith in the power and generosity of her Godfather, Sharon pronounced that she would get me to make one for James. And being the generous Godfather that I want her to believe I am, I naturally promised I would when she asked.

All that was last spring, and I've been working on this job, on and off, ever since. Now of course, the task is much more difficult... what was once a weekend's lark has turned into a complex project. Now that they have personalities and interests of their own, the Time Capsule Commission must consider how best to capture the world of today and the place they occupy in it. And as the collection of artifacts to include in the capsule for James grew, we found ourselves wanting to set aside new stuff for Sharon as well. Our first thought was to make a packet of cards and letters for Sharon, seal it up, and include it in the James capsule with a note that said "Please give this to your sister." But then we came up with an even better plan.

The search for a suitable capsule met with success at the Container Store, where we found these excellent black plastic trash cans that are perfect cylinders, with lids. The size was just exactly what we wanted: wide enough to hold a representative toy Judy had pulled out of James's collection, and about the same size as the Sharon capsule.

What turned out to be even more perfect was the height: the new capsule was just the right size to fully contain the original Sharon capsule! So of course, we decided to just build an expanded capsule for Sharon, along with the one we were making for James, with her original capsule fitting inside and taking up a large percentage of the cargo space.

What else are we putting in the capsules? I asked Jeff and Judy to each write a letter for inclusion in the two capsules, and at Xmas dinner I passed around cards addressed to each twin, and got everyone in the family to sign them. I have stacks of photos and other little bits of ephemera, and I'm including in each capsule a copy of our Dad's annual calendar (which always features a dozen Looney family photos). Last fall on Sharon's day, I spent an hour walking around their house, making a video snapshot of the world they lived in as 5 year olds, and I made a scrapbook of printouts from this website during which I described their antics (notably here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). And of course, there will be various samples of newspapers and magazines of the day, not to mention a couple of current Looney Labs products.

There was a time when I was hoping to deliver the finished capsules for Xmas; then I revised my hopes to include an unveiling at this past weekend's shindig. But instead of finding the time to get them sealed up, I kept finding more stuff I want to include in them! Usually, when I'm faced with a choice like this, I choose to do the job well instead of meeting an artificially imposed deadline, and perfectionism is winning out again. Perhaps I'll get them done before Easter...

Anyway, do you have a message to send to the year 2017? If you have a thought or two to share with the all-grown-up James and/or Sharon Looney, then send it to me with the subject line reading "Memo to the Future." I'll make a print-out of the messages we get, and I'll put a copy in each time capsule... whenever we get them completed.


Have a great week!

the story so far

Thought Residue
If drug money really does support "terrible things" (as the current round of expensive TV ads from the Drug Czar's office are alleging) then shouldn't we be doing something that would actually be *effective* about the problem, instead of uselessly trying to guilt drug users into quitting? The only thing that will cut off the flow of drug money to criminals is legalization. Imagining that anything else will work is a pipe dream.

"If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient Christian anointing oil, as history indicates, and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ." -- Chris Bennett, in an article entitled "Was Jesus a Stoner?"
"Half the difficulty of understanding those consequences is to get past today's prevailing attitudes of fear and dismissal and to take seriously the experiences of getting high and tripping. No history of the '60s or of rock music in the '60s can afford to evade this swampy issue." -- Nick Bromell, "Tomorrow Never Knows: Rock and Psychedelics in the 1960s"


Send email to

Mailing Lists

[FAQ] [Mailing Lists] [Testimonials]

Upcoming Appearances

  • Arisia (this weekend!)
  • Toy Fair (Feb)
  • GAMA Trade Show (March)
  • Origins (June 26-29, 2003)
  • Gen-Con (July)

Play Our Games!

Lost Identities
Cosmic Coasters

Are You a Werewolf?

Our Sponsors, Our Websites
Looney Labs
Contagious Dreams

Related Newsfeeds:


News Search Gift Shop Games About Us

http://www.wunderland.com | contact us