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cuesta (kwest'-ah) n. a hill or ridge with a steep face on one side and a gentle slope on the other. [from Spanish costa side, rib.]

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"A boy in our scout troop took it to camp. My 14 year-old came home raving about how much fun it is." -- comments accompanying an order for Fluxx

Saturday, February 21th, 2004
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? Toy Fair! Times Square!

We're back from Toy Fair in NYC, and boy are we tired. We got back late Wednesday night and only now, on Saturday, have I managed to get this report together. But it went really well... I'd say this was our best Toy Fair ever!

Here you see Ali Summers, our Sales Diva, as she gives out a flurry of Looney Labs info packs. Ali lives in California and works for us primarily by phone/internet, but we get together for trade shows in distant cities every now and then. Below you can see what our booth looked like, as well as the rest of our staff (Alison, Kristin, Marlene, and me) as we talked to industry big shots at the Javits Center last week.


As you can see, I wore a regular suit during part of the show. Here at Looney Labs, we're always conducting experiments, and I decided this time to see how much of a difference it would make for me to be wearing a more stodgy, business-like outfit. Since I just couldn't bring myself to also wear a tie, I may have invalidated the experiment slightly, but even so, my conclusion was that it didn't matter. After a couple of days, I reverted to my usual tie-die...

One of the great things about going to Toy Fair every year is getting to spend a few days in the heart of New York City. There's so much neat stuff to see and do there, even within walking distance of our usual hotel! Having done this for a few years now, there are certain habits we're starting to develop, such as favorite restaurants we always like to dine at. I'm particularly fond, for example, of the Cupcake Cafe, over on Ninth. I didn't manage to get there myself this year, but I did get one of their fabulous cupcakes, as Kristin had lunch with Dawn there one day and they brought back a bakery box for our booth staff to enjoy.

Another thing I always like to do is to walk over to Times Square, just to gawk at the amazing display of lights and people. This was particularly enjoyable this year, since I finally managed to find the mysterious "sound sculpture" Rash told me about more than a decade ago, when he heard it during a trip he took in '92. According to this Press Release, it was deactivated for many years, but operates now just across the street from the Times Square Howard Johnson's Restaurant, one of the last few still in operation and another of those landmarks I always enjoy visiting when I'm in town. (I have fond memories of the time Kristin and I shared a meal with Penn Jillette there in July 1990...)

The sound sculpture is unlabeled and you don't really notice it unless you're really quite close to the steam grates from which the sound emanates. It was created by Max Neuhaus and is called simply "Times Square." Mar described it as being like a Tibetan singing bowl. Alison thought it sounded more like bells resonating with multiple harmonic overtones. I was reminded of the continuous musical drone one often hears accompanying the voice of Joe Frank on his old "Work-in-Progress" radio shows. It was neat.

Have an excellent week!Andy

the story so far

Thought Residue
According to a study done by the American Highway Users' Alliance, the 15th worst highway bottleneck in the nation is right where we live! It's that horrible intersection in the northeast corner of the DC beltway, where I-95 hits I-495. (An even worse spot is just around the corner, in Bethesda: coming in at #7 on their list is the I-270/I-495 intersection...)

"Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. This is not the wacky conclusion of a religious cult, but rather the result of diligent analysis sourced by hard data and the scientists who study global 'Peak Oil' and related geo-political events." -- Matthew David Savinar, "Life After The Oil Crash"
"Wanting to use cannabis ( kaneh bosm ) is a natural intrinsic response within the brain that is a blessing from Christ God Our Father. Humans are created with something similar to cannabinoid receptor sites in our brain, waiting for THC to bind to, that do nothing else. Who do you think put those there? To fix the root of the problem requires that we identify and educate failed clergy who proclaim to be Christian on the one hand, and support caging their brother for using a plant on the other hand. Thank Christ God Our Father for cannabis. The only Biblical restriction placed on cannabis is that we accept it with thanksgiving." -- Stan White "Wanting To Use Cannabis Is A Blessing From Christ"


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