- OK, the category is historical event, but I don't even know anything about this.
- The Defenestration of Prague!
- We still get the point even though I didn't draw anything, right?
( WE DEMAND ANSWERS! )
And the grand totals:
Congratulations to lorelei, who won the game on the journal, though nobody beat my family's score of 28 points.
There'd been a massive game of Pyramid on Saturday night, and I hadn't thought to collect the categories for posterity. So I decided to grab the clues from a Sunday-night game of Exquisite Fruit when the opportunity arose. Players included Artistry, rubrick, toonhead_npl, jeffurrynpl, Eddy, /Jabberwock, Wraavr, hahathor, cramerica, tmcay and probably someone I'm forgetting. Some higlights:
- What Kubrick film starring Malcolm McDowell singing in the Nadsat slang like "horrorshow" movie?
- What Depression housing Green Acres pig Dahling presidential administration caused homeless in Annie Warbucks?
- What tacky tartan man skirt has many male skirt Scottish Batman was from Scotland?
- What porcine cocktail do goys drink tref and shaken not stirred not fried shaken?
- What jagged building stepped pyramid in middle of Q-Bert’s block pyrmaid but low-resolution Jews?
- What horror face-off between extraterrestrial against queen creature ultimate face-off between two creatures?
- What underwater weapon energy based illogical Captain Skywalker used in Klingon killing weapon explodes?
- What borough in Welcome Back in New York borough Welcome Back from Manhattan neighbor?
- What snackalicious treat like tollhouse recipe is sweet black sweet drops with brown morsels?
- Jerry Lewis’s partner nutty Jerry Lewis often sings "That's Amore" alcoholic not "G-schploing!" smarmy?
Always carry an exquisitefruit.
But anyway, I'm getting back to normal, and getting ready for my birthday this weekend. Still no idea what I'm going to be doing, but I've got the weekend off.
A little bit of time left for the Christmas Wits & Wagers, which, incidentally, has been declared "awesome" by the designer of the original game. That's a recommendation there.
And I should be getting to bed now.
The executive summary of gifts received is: lots of nice clothes, two fantastick backpacks, and an Xbox 360 for ojouchan and I from my nuclear family.
As I mentioned earlier, I ran a trivia game based on Wits and Wagers. If you've never played it, I describe it as a combination of Balderdash, The Price Is Right, and Vegas betting. Everyone gets asked a trivia question with a number for an answer. Your goal is to be the closest without going over. Everybody turns in their answers, and they're lined up in order on the betting board. Odds are assigned according to the order of guesses, and you get to bet on which one was the closest without going over.
So, in the poll below, I've reproduced the questions, my family's guesses, and the odds that were assigned to them. Your job is to see if you can be better bettors than they were.
For each question you can pick either one or two guesses. If you check two boxes, you'll split your bet, placing one "chip" on each, and receiving the basic return if that bet is right (if the odds say 3:1, you'll get 3 points). If you check only one box, you double your bet on one option, and the rewards are doubled as well if you're right (if the odds say 3:1, you'll get 6 points).
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8
In the song "Feliz Navidad," how many times does Jose Feliciano say "Feliz Navidad"?
30 times [4:1]
28 times [3:1]
24 times [2:1]
15 times [3:1]
12 times [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
According to the free edition available online from Project Gutenberg, how many words are in the main text of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, from "Marley was dead: to begin with" to "God bless us, every one"?
250,000 words [4:1]
100,000 words [3:1]
10,015 words [3:1]
10,000 words [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
Across both their entire twelve-game seasons, how many points did the USC and UCLA football teams score combined?
1344 points [4:1]
675 points [3:1]
540 points [2:1]
456 points [3:1]
360 points [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, in what year was the first Nativity creche made?
1500 A.D. [4:1]
1300 A.D. [3:1]
1256 A.D. [3:1]
1060 A.D. [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
According to the Shulchan Aruch, a codification of Jewish law, what is the maximum height for the lights of a menorah, in cubits?
In a Gallup poll conducted between December 11 and 13, what was the average amount that American adults predicted they would spend on Christmas gifts in 2009?
All Too High [5:1]
What was the total precipitation in downtown Los Angeles, from January 1 through December 25 2009, measured in inches?
10 inches [4:1]
7 inches [3:1]
6 inches [3:1]
4 inches [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, how did daytime last in Anchorage, Alaska on December 21, from sunrise to sunset?
6 hours [4:1]
3 hours [3:1]
2 hours, 45 minutes [3:1]
2 hours [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
According to a poll conducted in Canada, what was Santa Claus's approval rating in December 2008?
All Too High [5:1]
According to Walt Disney Studios, how many "fully animated Disney features" have been made from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to The Princess and the Frog?
175 fully animated Disney features [4:1]
75 fully animated Disney features [3:1]
40 fully animated Disney features [3:1]
36 fully animated Disney features [4:1]
All Too High [5:1]
Obviously, no internet research is allowed. Also, the poll is set to display everyone's guesses once you've entered yours, but try not to let it effect your responses.
When my family played, the best team got 28 points from betting. Can you do better?
But today's poll, I feel like doing some "best of 2009" or "best of the decade" things, but I don't really know what to do. So, suggest some things, and I will tell you the best of the year and the best of the decade for those things.
Also, since I just offered to run this at the Nerd SoCal Game Day, the RPGers I expect may be there are also off the filter.
ThuNYTX: 6:30; ThuLATX: 11:30.
A pretty good summary is presented by Nancy White, who happened to walk through the courtyard at the time. She has a much better camera than I do.
But before I knew that there'd be a travelblogger with a fantastic camera coincidentally recording all of this, I took some pictures of my own.
I was on Team 4, which was on the 14th floor. I took a photo of the team, but it didn't turn out too well. (I also forgot to rotate it, but I'll fix that when I get home.) After waiting for a while for everything to get set up, the people below arranged themselves into a 4x4 grid of letters. We looked down onto the grid from the window to see the grid of letters and tried to find the longest word. Somehow points were scored, though I don't know anyone who is entirely clear on how the scores worked. After each round, the players who had been in the longest word found were sent back to their teams, and new players were sent to the courtyard to be letters. So after a bit, I went down and found out how things worked from there.
People chose random pieces of posterboard from a pile and stand in a square of the 4x4 grid. On cue, they'd run frantically to some other square. Then, on a different cue, they'd spin around and display their letters to the sky. People had very different methods of doing this. Sidhe and Nori held their letters directly above. Ged and Hathor had a bit of an angle. Others, as recorded again by Ms. White, decided to lay back and enjoy it. I did this once, so that I could take a picture of what the whole thing must look like from the persepective of a letter.
The game was invented and run by a crew of four people. Murdoch was in charge of coordinating the grid. You can kind of see him standing to the far left under the tree, getting the last letter into position. Xemu was in charge of scoring, and he used a cell phone to get the compiled reports from the teams. (The person behind him is Dart, I believe.). Finally, Trazom and G Natural were in the Skybox. From the second floor of the hotel, they had a decent view of the grid. They used their cell phones to call the four teams elsewhere in the hotel and get the answers, then they called Xemu and informed him of the round's score. As you can kind of see from that picture, they had an energy and intensity that made it appear as though they were trading on the futures market.
When the game was over, the letters in the grid spelled out GOOD GAME CMON DOWN. And somebody won, I guess. I don't know who. I don't know that anyone does. But like any good game, it didn't and doesn't matter. Everyone was extremely happy to have been a part of it, just like the Convention in general.
On the other hand, since I was very tired today, I was actually kind of glad they were there. It was a very slow night, and I needed something to get me through.
Of course, I've got some other distractions going, too. johnratite inches its way toward crowning a champion (it's down to two finalists, now). In addition, the attentions of the npl have turned toward the Wikipedia. I've been using it as a helpful tool when looking for trivia, and a new game developed by tmcay brought everyone to the party. I'll leave it to others to describe Seekipedia, but if you feel like playing, drop me an IM on Monday and Wednesday nights and I'll pass you into the chat room.
Anyway, with all the attention, and the drive to put up and refine a page for the NPL has enmeshed me into the Wikipedia proper. Every other link leads to someplace that needs a comma or two. There's so much a copyeditor can do.
I'm also working on a page for the NPL Web site. More on that once I know it's closer to completion.
Now: Donuts, Sleep.
SunNYTX: 18:30. Very nice grid, even beyond the gimmick.
- I know that there are some pagans of various persuasions reading this journal. Would you be willing to send me a description of your solstice ritual(s), with an eye toward organized, group functions and the symbology therein? Any help you can provide will be appreciated.
- It's close to Christmas, and I'm much behind on gifts, etc. I'll try to get an updated list here, for those who might need it. For now, you can look at last year's wishlist.
- I'm trying to decide if I should do a New Year's Eve thing again this year. If I do, it'll be low-key like last years, probably with much the same people. Is anyone else doing anything special? Would people be interested in a game-playing New Year?
How great? I was singing showtunes while driving home from cramerica's house, inspired by a game of Music Man's guess-that-lyric game. My team didn't get the points, but I got a joyful earworm, which I share with you.
audio post powered by audblog
And speaking of games, a piece of news that has started circling around is that USC is going to be offering a minor in "video game development and production". It was mentioned yesterday in Steve Harvey's "Only in LA" column, and will probably pop up a few other places over the weekend. (You may not have read Mr. Harvey's particular column, but you've seen ones like it. It lives on readers' photos of ads that say things like: "As Advertised: Carnivorous Pants! Watch 'em swallow bugs. Ugh!" (actual quote)). Regardless, I recommend a more incisive and less press-releasey article (the first of four parts): "Hard Sells," written by someone within the program. If you're interested in how video games are interacting with academe, it's a must-read.
And when it comes to reading about video games in general, more and more often, I head to insert credit. Their updates skew a bit more towards "hard-core" gaming, which is not something I'm particularly into, but which makes for a more interesting read. More importantly, they have a bizarre and talented staff of contributors that regularly turns out unique reviews and features. I would also recommend "life, non-warp," a beautiful essay that calls itself "a memoir of Super Mario Bros. 3."
Not speaking of games, I was a part of an interesting exchange on yuki_onna's journal. Read it yourself, and form your own opinions.
( In With the IN Crowd )
WedNYTX: 5:15. I think the AcrossLite font made one clue incorrect.
They day was pretty standard. ( Bartok made magic. ) ( Music Man asked the musical question: Where? ) ( I got a job. ) ( Elfman played hide and 11-Seek ) ( Bluff made us cross-eyed. ) ( Panache banked on it. ) ( And Artistry made all of his answers porn stars. )
After all that, Art and Cram came over to my place, where we played Trivial Pursuit. Then wjukknibs stopped by (he's been spending a disturbing amount of time at my landlords' house), and we played mini-Cluesome and Chain Reaction (the latter doesn't have rules online, and I don't feel like typing them up). Eventually, I managed to kick everyone out because I was really tired. So tired, indeed, that it took me until now to tell thee of it.
The npl conversation drifted to dead guys named John, I was reminded of a session of the unusual guessing game French Toast in which the ultimate answer was "Dead Guys Named Buddy." Well, the Mud has never been one to pass up an interesting game, and soon we were playing. After one very simple session, and one rather confusing one, we really hit our stride. Behind the cut is a transcript of the round (with the mud names removed to protect the . . . well, them) which traveled a marvelous route. (I urge you to read over the rules to French Toast first, so that you understand what's going on. Because we were working in a text environment, sometimes questions that had backed up were answered simultaneously.)
There was one other interesting session, but I don't have time to format it. Puzzle Party today, don't you know.
The game was actually called "On The Rack" and was designed by San Francisco resident Hot. Teams of twelve or so divide into two groups: seven stand in a stage-type area where everyone can see, and five sat on chairs in front of them. The seven on the stage then drew five random cards from a deck prepared by Hot to represent a bag of Scrabble tiles. Then two more letters are chosen (this avoids all-vowel or all-consonant hands) to make a Scrabble rack of seven letters. So there are seven people representing seven letters on a rack. The other five players then provide clues of three words or less
They game is not all that complex or difficult, and the scoring quickly falls by the wayside. The real draw is watching the letters struggle to arrange themselves into words. The letters are not allowed to talk ("There will be no talking."), and so various things happen when they are given a word to form. First, there's a pause as the letters struggle to understand the clue. Next various letters spring into action, some leaping into the fray, some backing away because their letters are not needed. Of course, not everyone does the right thing at the right time, so next, one or more letters start grabbing and pulling other letters trying to get them into order. This can be especially difficult when an I absolutely insists that he is in the word CAT, or when the very-in-demand E starts to space out and can't figure out why everyone is gesturing frantically at him.
Some of the more daring teams performed feats of ballet-like anagramming, with members sliding across the carpet to get into position. But there are dangers too. On Thursday, the day after On The Rack, I saw that LA Kreweman Bartok had a noticeable limp. "I've had a Scrabble-related injury," he said. If my memory serves, the injury occurred during a collision of two letters trying to get into position. Poor Bartok.
(Scrabble-related injuries are common, of course, but most apply to the board game or subsequent arguments [dead link removed, 10/26/10]).
I think I'm going to catch some more sleep before heading out. I need to hit Caesars to get the tickets before one o'clock, though. Oh well, I'll figure it out.
I tried my darnedest to get good at Blackjack, but my efforts failed. I just don't grok how the odds work in that game, so I'm probably going to have to sever myself from Wjukknibs when he sits down at those tables. On the other hand, I've sharpened my memory of the games whose odds I do understand, Poker derivatives. Video Poker is my best game, I usually play Jacks or Better, though sometimes I sit down with Deuces Wild. This is where I can usually get the best odds in the house, for me. In addition, I've been practicing on a few table games, so as to be more social, Carribean Stud Poker, Let It Ride and Pai Gow Poker, the last of which is kind of confusing, but rather interesting, too. I don't have great illusions of coming home with a wad of bills, but it's likely that I'll be able to play for quite a while with very little loss.
What I'm looking forward to most, though, is going to see Penn and Teller on Monday night. They're a cool act, and I've wanted to see them live for a while. And it's very unlikely that they'll take any of my money.
Time to go home and pack. See you all on Tuesday morning!
In preparing for Saturday's Los Angeles npl meet-up, I've been working on the game I'm going to be presenting. It's based on the IMDB Game invented by T McAy. I enjoyed it so much during NPL Chat that I thought I'd adapt it for non-net play.
( The game is simple . . . )
Later, I asked what would be a good name for the game. IMDB Keyword Movie Guessing Game just lacks that special something. There were some good suggestions, like Film Flam, Hollywords and Camera Obscura, but the title that just demanded it be used was Robin-Williams-as-Doctor [link no longer works, 9/28/10], our favorite keyword, used in nothings' set of clues: "DOG RACING, BRAWL, CONSTRUCTION WORKER, THERAPY, UNIVERSITY & ROBIN WILLIAMS AS DOCTOR." (Because of the title, this movie is now the Official Example.)
Now armed with over eighty movies, I will be heading to Ventura with a relatively young game with an infant title to entertain the masses. If the response over the internet is any guide, they'll really enjoy it.