Friday Afternoon Scratchpad

Do-It-Yourself Oscar Pool Creator In case you missed the announcement: the Do-It-Yourself Oscar Pool Creator is available here. The Spheniscidae Candidate The flight from Seattle to D.C. only took 4½; hours, as we had a 100 knots-per-hour tail wind; consequentially, the return trip took 6½ hours. It was so long that they showed two films: March of the Penguins and

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Sark Defends Port Deal

Sark today sought to quell the growing controversy over his decision to grant the MCP control of several major ports throughout the region. "I believe that this arrangement with the Master Control Program should go forward," Sark told reporters aboard Solar Sailer One. He emphasized that security would continued to be handled by Tank and Recognizer programs, with the MCP

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Plane Speaking

I'm in DC this week. I flew in yesterday. As the plane left the ground the stewardess came on the intercom and told us that this would be the captain's last flight, and he would be retiring tomorrow. Not comforting. I've seen enough cop movies to know what will happens to the the grizzled old veteran (and presumably everyone on

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Books: Hard Case Crime

Last year I embarked on an ambitious project to read the finest contemporary fiction, an endeavor I dubbed The 2005 Booklist Project. And it worked, for a while: I read House of Leaves, perhaps my favorite book of the last decade; I read other experimental fictions such as Cloud Atlas and The Time-Traveler's Wife, as well as more traditional narratives

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Games For Kids

Mail.Could you suggest some games that adults and kids can play together? My 6 year old daughter is a great gamer, but I have trouble finding games suited to both of us. She usually beats me at Mancala, and we play Clue and Monopoly, but I'm looking for something more interesting. Perhaps Ticket to Ride? -- David It's our lucky

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Hell Is Other Patrons

A man walks up to a cashier. He wants to purchase something embarrassing: porn, say, or hemorrhoid medication. He has a few other items, too, but it's unclear as to whether he really wants to buy them or if they are just a beard for the shameful merchandise. He has a plan: when the cashier picks up the copy of

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“Accidentally”

In a telling indicator of how we view the Vice President, every media outlet apparently feels the need to put the qualifier "accidentally" between the words "Cheney" and "Shoots" in their headlines, e.g., "Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter," "Cheney accidentally shoots Austin man while hunting," etc.. If you read "Bush Stabs Fellow Napper," you'd chuckle knowingly and say "oh, that

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Tichu (And Other Climbing Games)

Addiction, thy name is Tichu. When the Top 100 Modern Games list was released, I took no small amount of geeky pride in noting that I owned every single game in the top 10. However,my sense of accomplishment was muted somewhat in realizing that I had only played nine of them. I'd purchased the remaining game, Tichu, several years prior,

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