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second banana (seh'-kund buh-nan'-nuh) n. a comedian who plays a supporting role to a top banana; broadly, a person in a subservient position. {see also top banana: the leading comedian in a burlesque show} [From a burlesque routine involving three comedians, in which the person who gets the punchline also gets a banana. (from around 1952)]

Haiku Reviews

Primer %}

Watch this movie twice --
the plot will change completely
or destroy itself.

Tirade's Choice
Eric Harshbarger's LEGO Portfolio

"I went to a friends house, and they had a set. absolutely loved it, and bought Fluxx 3.1 the same day. I play it just about every day in the Cafeteria, and it never gets old. Now I'm getting Blanxx to make it extra fun!" -- comments from Sean T. of Colorado Springs, CO

Thursday, April 6th, 2006
Sponsored by Looney Labs

What's New?

We'll be Guests of Honor at Penguicon 4.0 in April.

Check out this year's T-shirt design!

We're Eliminating the Family Fluxx Display Box

In last Thursday's report (which wasn't done until Sunday night) I talked about celebrating Alison's Birthday but then got into a huge explanation of our current long term plans for moving to Canada. So, going back to what happened after visiting the Arboretum, we had a particularly big crowd for our usual game name that night. In addition to lots of regulars, we were joined by several out-of-towners: our Rabbit Coordinator Josh, and a couple of our earliest rabbits, Eric Zuckerman and his lovely wife Beth! We had a 3-flavor Cake-stravaganza, and we played lots of games.

The next day, another big tie-dying marathon began. Josh had a whole bunch of stuff he wanted to colorize, and so did other people, so it turned into a big craft project weekend. Various friends came and went over the course of several days, learning the craft from Alison and Josh, and returning later to pick up the finished projects. The crowd included Eric & Beth, Luisa, Izolda & Rich, TV Tom, Petra, Lauren & Shel, Robin, Kristin, and even a couple of kids who live up the street from us who couldn't resist joining in on the fun going on in our front yard.

So, if you know any of these people, get ready for an eyeful of beautiful new tie-dyes!

I didn't take any photos of the tie-dye factory this time around... I was busy with other work all weekend, and never got the camera out. So this week's main image is instead a picture of the Family Fluxx Display Box.

Why? Because it's an endangered species. After experimenting with 2 styles of packaging for Family Fluxx, we've decided there can only be one, and we're choosing to keep only the blister-package format.

This was not an easy decision. We thought it was a great idea, providing our newest release in 2 different packaging formats, since some stores want the traditional display carton while others have been asking for something that can be hung on a peg.

However, it turns out that making both was a mistake. Retailers may have liked this choice, but we learned the hard way that Distributors (the network of companies who supply game stores with products from many different companies like ours) just don't want to handle 2 versions of the same thing. The confusion factor has been something of a disaster, so we're giving up on adding choice, and making the blister-packed version the only option.

A key reason for choosing to go with the pegged version was the way it works as part of our latest reconfiguration of our store POP display. As you see here, Family Fluxx decks can be hung in the left side of the display, on a peg previously intended for holding tubes of Icehouse Pieces. Meanwhile, the pyramids now fit into the narrow spot at the right end of the display, now in the form of Treehouse sets. (It's interesting to note that it was Kristin deciding to hang Family Fluxx decks in the Icehouse Pieces area that caused me to invent Treehouse.)

This display is now available through any of our distributors, at full discount, either empty or packed out with a starter set of games. We have plenty of color ad slicks pitching this deal, perfect for distributors to send on to their customers, along with an adslick describing the three versions of Fluxx, and a brochure all about Treehouse! So our distributors need to be stocking the blister card version of the game.

Anyway, we're taking the display-style version back from anyone who wants to return them, and we won't sell them that way ever again. (Collectors, take note!)

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great week!

Thought Residue
We've been really enjoying the new PS2 videogame Shadow of the Colossus. The giant monsters you do battle with are amazing! But in some ways the horse-riding simulator game (which you play in between the fight scenes) is even cooler.

"ABSTRACT: This experiment measured the effects of tactical decision making on the likelihood of victory in the card game Fluxx, and gauged the amount of first player advantage. Two hundred test games were conducted in which players alternated the roles of first player and of playing randomly. It was found that the tactical player won 86% of the games, while the random player won 14%. The starting player won 54% of all games. This concludes that Fluxx players greatly benefit from tactical decision making, but that first player advantage is negligible." -- Ryan Hackel, "On the Effects of Tactical Decision Making on the Card Game Fluxx"
"Participants who used cannabis seven days a week demonstrated no difference from non-cannabis users on indices of motivation. These findings refute hypothesized associations between heavy cannabis use and low motivation ... Daily users reported slightly lower median subjective well-being scores ( 2 points less on a 28-point scale ) ... Post-hoc tests find that some portion of the differences in subjective wellbeing arose from medical users, whose illnesses may contribute to low subjective wellbeing more than their cannabis use." -- results of a study debunking "amotivational syndrome," conducted by Sara Smucker Barnwell, a graduate student in the psychology department at the University of Southern California, who analyzed responses from some 1,300 people to questions on an "Apathy Evaluation Scale" and a "Satisfaction with Life Scale"

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