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May 17, 2009

Photo Gallery: San Francisco's Bay to Breakers race

SF Gate: Lisa Toney walks along the route of the Bay to Breakers r... (Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle) Multimedia (image)

May 11, 2009

Photo Gallery: St. Petersburg Now and Then

English Russia -- St. Petersburg: Now and Then 2

May 09, 2009

The path of the Roomba

ECTOPLASMOSIS! -- They Don’t Stop

A 30-minute exposure of a roomba vacuum cleaning a room.

May 07, 2009

Photo Gallery: How to Eat a Peanut

The Pet Blog: How to eat a peanut

My First Dictionary

My First Dictionary

Renegade librarian Ross Horsley takes old picture books and alters the text in surprising ways. The result is that an insipid book becomes awesome.

May 06, 2009

Photo Gallery: Swine Flu Outbreak

2009 Swine Flu outbreak - The Big Picture - Boston.com

Venn Diagram #8

Venn Project #8 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

May 05, 2009

Photo Gallery: St. Petersburg

English Russia -- St.Petersburg by A. Petrosian

May 01, 2009

How a board game can make you cry

The Escapist : TGC 2009: How a Board Game Can Make You Cry

This is amazing. I'm breaking my usual rules of post length for this one.

The first game came about after a discussion with her 10-year-old daughter about her elementary school lesson on the slave trade. While her daughter had the facts memorized, Brathwaite was dismayed to learn that she didn't grasp what the Middle Passage was like for the Africans who were kidnapped and shipped across the Atlantic. So she did what any game designer worth her salt would do: She made a game out of it.

Brathwaite assembled a collection of tiny wooden figures, then had her daughter group them into "families." After her daughter was finished, she picked them up by the handful and placed them on a makeshift boat. Her daughter was confused: Why would she take the parents but leave the baby? Why wouldn't brothers stay with their sisters? "No one wants to go," Brathwaite explained. That's when it started to click.

Then Brathwaite devised a primitive resource management mechanic. It took 10 turns for the boat to cross the Atlantic. The boat had 30 units of food. Each turn, the player had to roll a d6, and reduce their food stores by that number. By the trip's halfway point, it was clear to her daughter that her "cargo" wouldn't make it. It wasn't a "fun" game by any means, but it served a different purpose: It helped her daughter intuitively understand the emotional experience of the slave trade, a lesson that numbers on a chalkboard couldn't provide.

. . .

But no one in the audience was prepared for her third game, unassumingly titled Train.

The object of Train is to get a collection of people from Point A to Point B by placing them in a boxcar and sending them on their merry way. Played among a group of three people, players draw cards from a pile that can impede other players or free them from existing obstacles. The first player to reach the end of the line wins.

The destination? Auschwitz.

The "game" didn't stop there, however. The game board, pictured above, is an allusion to Kristallnacht - Brathwaite explained that she needed to break a fresh piece of glass each time she "installed" her work in a new location to properly evoke the violence of the experience. She even typed the game's instructions on an actual SS typewriter, which she purchased solely for that purpose.

There were audible gasps in the audience when Brathwaite revealed Train's shocking conclusion; one attendee was so moved by the experience that she left the conference room in tears.

April 29, 2009

Photo Gallery: From Above

Human landscapes from above - The Big Picture - Boston.com

These are tomatoes, dumped on the banks of the Durance river in France.

I Offer This to You on the Condition That There Are No Follow-Up Questions

one for the star wars fans on Flickr - Photo...

April 27, 2009

Photo Gallery: Refugees in Sri Lanka

Refugees in Sri Lanka - The Big Picture - Boston.com

April 26, 2009

Photo Gallery: Insects Covered in Morning Dew

Gallery Folder - photo.net

April 24, 2009

Photo Gallery: North Korea

Peering into North Korea - The Big Picture - Boston.com

For a Certain Sub-set of Our Readership, this is the Perfect Joke

YouTube - Little Big Cremaster 4 *thanks Hel-Dar!*...

April 23, 2009

Photo Gallery: World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009

Photos: World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009 ::: Pink Tentacle