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"This game is so simple we couldn't believe it! Draw one, Play one...Then the rules change. My video game crazed children LOVE Fluxx. Now when their friends come over they ask to play Fluxx. What better review is that?? 9, 10 & 11 yrs olds ask to play cards instead of Playstation!! OH! I haven't seen any of the children get mad or frustrated when they lose either...the rules change so quick no one has time to get mad! ;-)" -- L. Kambarn (Chincoteague, VA), commenting on Fluxx at Amazon.com

Thursday, September 22nd 2005
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

Oct 10, 2005

What's Going On? A 3-Day Tie-Dye Marathon / The Lost Pledge

This weekend, our friend Josh came to visit, and he had an agenda: Tie-Dying. Alison and Kristin have long been wanting to undertake a major Tie-Dye project, and discussions at Origins and Dragon*Con inspired Josh to come visit, with a plan of spending a whole weekend doing just that.

So, Josh came to town for the weekend, and the 3 of them tie-dyed non-stop for 3 days. I'm serious, it's ALL they did for 3 days straight, stopping only to eat and sleep as required. (Well, OK, we also got in a few games, here and there, including a very exciting game of Homeworlds.)

Actually, Kristin sneaked off to work from time to time, but this was made up for by various friends who dropped in now and then over the course of the weekend, to join in on the coloring of clothing. As for me, I didn't get involved with the tie-dye project at all.

Why not? Well, it's not that I don't like tie-dyes -- far from it, I love them. I wear something tie-dyed almost every day, and I'm really looking forward to trying out some of this beautiful new gear. I'm just not into the actual manufacturing process the way my friends are, much as it seems to be fun for them. Instead, I squirreled myself away (like the hermit I am at heart), working on my own projects (mostly my big scrapbook) while the tie-dye factory took over various rooms of the house (not to mention the front yard).

The photo above shows Josh displaying one of their new masterpieces, which they called Alt-Shift-Rainbow, and as you can see from this second photo, they also tie-dyed a bunch of Martian chessboard bandanas.

Astute Icehousologists will recall that before we made Alison's Chessboard Bandana, we made a Martian Chessboard bandana. It wasn't as fancy as Alison's, but it was specially-designed to enhance the experience of playing Martian Chess, since the chessboard was subtlety divided into quadrants. Unfortunately, the print job was really sloppy - so much so we decided we really couldn't sell them. Kristin put them in a box with plans to tie dye them, as a way of covering over the printing problems. Also, much as we tried to make the Canal marks subtle, they still proved annoying when you were using these Bandana for any game other than Martian Chess, hence the redesign during the new printing.

Now, after years of sitting in a box, waiting for this day, the original Martian Chessboard Bandanas have now been reborn, like Phoenixes, in dazzling new colors. The tie-dye crew colorized 44 of these bandanas, and as soon as we figure out how to index and describe them, we'll be making these bandanas available in the Dangling Carrot.

In less happy news, we learned this week that our card printer screwed up one of the cards in the printing of EcoFluxx. Sadly, it's one of those really unfortunate errors that suck but which aren't severe enough to warrant throwing away the print run and doing it again, so we all just have to live with it. (But Carta Mundi is doing their best to make amends...)

The card in question is called the Pledge card. One side -- the one shown here -- will appear in the game just as it should. But the back was supposed to feature a wonderful essay (penned by Luisa) called We Pledge Allegiance to the Earth. (You can read it on the EcoFluxx home page.) Instead, what this card will have on its back is an ad for our Mad Lab Rabbit program, which will also be appearing in the new edition of Fluxx (version 3.1). The mistake happened because we're printing the two games in conjunction with each other, and the back plates are almost -- but not quite -- exactly the same.

OK, so there are worse things that could have accidentally been printed on the back of the Pledge card, but obviously it's a major bummer for us that the Pledge will not appear as it should in the first print run of the game!

So how are we going to fix it? Carta Mundi has agreed to print up a whole bunch of extra, loose copies of the corrected Pledge card. They'll make nice little ads for EcoFluxx in their own way, plus of course we'll be trying to make it possible for anyone who buys EcoFluxx to get one of these cards as a replacement for the screwed up one in their deck. We'll be tossing a Pledge card in with each EcoFluxx deck we sell direct from our website, and we'll be making them available to our stores in little packets, for our retailers to give away to their EcoFluxx-buying customers. Those who get a deck and later realize they didn't get the replacement card will be able to request one for free, with a SASE or with any order from our website. So that's the deal on that.

But the good news is, EcoFluxx is almost done and will be shipping soon! Yay! Pre-order your copy today - either from your favorite neighborhood game store, or from our website.

AndyThanks for reading, have a great week, and Don't Forget to Play!

Thought Residue
Here's a phrase I wish people would use more often: "I was wrong." For me, one of the most annoying things about President Bush, and many people like him, is his pointed unwillingness ever to admit a mistake. (His doing so last week regarding Katrina was a first!) Yet mistakes are one of the most important things in life: often, the only time we actually learn something is by making a mistake. So there should be no shame in saying, "Oops, I made a mistake before, but I've learned from it." And yet, ego or pride or sheer stupid stubbornness often keep people -- men usually -- from being willing to say those 3 simple words, the hearing of which makes all the difference to those who knew the truth all along. The only thing worse than being unwilling to admit a mistake is being unwilling to even imagine that what you earnestly believe is true might actually be completely false. (This mentality is summed up for me by the expression, "I may not be right, but I'm sure.") As a scientist, nothing is more frustrating to me than stubborn unwillingness to change one's mind about something, be it important or minor, even in the face of obvious proof to the contrary. I really can't deal with people like that.

"New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA. Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside. Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars." -- Will Bunch, "Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen?"
"They didn't listen to the Army Corps of Engineers when they insisted the levees be reinforced. They didn't listen to the countless experts who warned this exact disaster scenario would happen. They didn't listen to years of urgent pleading by Louisianans about the consequences of wetlands erosion in the region, which exposed New Orleans and surrounding parishes to ever-greater wind damage and flooding in a hurricane. They didn't listen when a disaster simulation just last year showed that hundreds of thousands of people would be trapped and have no way to evacuate New Orleans. They didn't listen to those of us who have long argued that our insane dependence on oil as our principle energy source, and our refusal to invest in more efficient engines, left us one big supply disruption away from skyrocketing gas prices that would ravage family pocketbooks, stall our economy, bankrupt airlines, and leave us even more dependent on foreign countries with deep pockets of petroleum. They didn't listen when Katrina approached the Gulf and every newspaper in America warned this could be 'The Big One' that Louisianans had long dreaded. They didn't even abandon their vacations." -- Senator John Kerry, speaking at Brown University, September 19, 2005

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