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23 Aug 08:24

The Odyssey, Book 1 Part 9

by blackboardfiction

odyssey book 1 page 9

22 Aug 07:00

lucubrate: Word of the Day

lucubrate: to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at night.
20 Aug 20:20

Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles: what’s...

Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles: what’s the difference?

This is generally the source of much confusion. Even amongst those who live over here. If you look carefully at the description of the United Kingdom you’ll see it’s the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And the British Isles is the group of islands as a whole including all of Ireland too.

The source I liked best for this explaining this and much more, was Project Britain.

For much further confusion, think for a moment why there’s a UK passport, Great Britain in the Olympic games, and in football we compete as England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland separately. 🤔

18 Aug 08:56

#753 Thin Java Client

by treelobsters
17 Aug 15:03

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Advanced Veganism


I'm not sure they're suffering, but I'd like to think they are.

New comic!
Today's News:

Displaying BAHFest promo Photo.jpgOnly 86 tickets left!!

17 Aug 13:35


by blackboardfiction


17 Aug 07:00

mountebank: Word of the Day

mountebank: any charlatan or quack.
15 Aug 20:42

Check out this other comic I made!

by Rebecca Cohen

In case you’re wondering why I’ve been updating so irregularly, part of the reason is I’ve been busy with other cartoon & illustration work. For instance, check out this comic about feminism I made for Upworthy (click the image to see the whole comic):
feminism upworthy teaser

Share it on your social networks and make me look good. 😀

14 Aug 18:35

The potato radius.I like this radius. It kind of explains why...

The potato radius.

I like this radius. It kind of explains why asteroids are lumpy and bumpy, kind of like potatoes, and yet planets and moons are smooth round balls. It seems that from about this size, the mass of the rock itself gets large enough that it is pulled in on its own gravity, and consequently starts to round itself off.

I learned about this from Brian Cox’s new show Forces of Nature.

Not sure about asteroids, meteors and meteorites? Check out the sketchplanation:

12 Aug 07:00

blandishment: Word of the Day

blandishment: something, as an action or speech, that tends to flatter, coax, entice, etc.
08 Aug 00:01


by aaron
11 Aug 11:18


07 Aug 00:01


by aaron
11 Aug 07:00

lief: Word of the Day

lief: gladly; willingly.
10 Aug 07:00

titivate: Word of the Day

titivate: to make smart or spruce.
09 Aug 02:30

poetry-protest-pornography: amroyounes: Time for some kitchen...

by joberholtzer



Time for some kitchen charts to help you adult better ;)

Really helpful reference!

06 Aug 17:55

Dear Mandy We Won Some Ennies

by Zak Sabbath
Stokely and Stoya say hi

11:10 AM Fri Aug 6

Dear Mandy,

Before I say anything else, I promised James I'd say this:

Maze of the Blue Medusa Just Won 3 Ennies & Is At Booth 3002. They'll be gone before Christmas so get two, actually. Ok...

Anyway, except for the noise of this keyboard, it's very quiet in room 387. There is some very light snoring coming from the bed, I can't tell if it's Stoya or Stokely.

It's muggy in Indianapolis, a lot things are painted either beige or cream. Otherwise it could be anywhere.

I was at a party last night with the Playing At The World guy and of course he read that Robin Laws book about the history of the Gen Con. I asked him if anything had ever happened at the convention and he corkscrewed up his face thinking and then said "Well, Magic The Gathering was announced here".

I mention this for the following reason: I've seen men decide to spend their lives driving around the country freezing insects, I have seen men claim in all seriousness that a stick figure is ableist, I have seen them say the most stressful part of Dungeons & Dragons is picking a name,  I've seen the news basically ignore a mad throat-cutter in Japan taking out 19 people last week, I've seen a married, mentally ill, asexual mom get paid to write about sex for years. Some of these people are here. Some of them in an official capacity where they might have access to box cutters. So it doesn't seem completely out of the realm of 2016 America that I will be murdered at Gen Con. We are in the nerdiest place in the world (check attendance figures: maybe in history) and people care about very strange things, and there are no metal detectors. But it seems unlikely. Gen Con is not, as a rule, rich with incident--it would be wildly out of character. Plus the girls' cameraphones are--through some witchery I cannot as yet penetrate--always charged. So worry less. I'll probably survive, and after that eight days in the Balkans making some kind of pornography.

Everyone has been very kind. Within 15 minutes of appearing at my first con, 3 fans came up, one of whom said I got him his first girlfriend. I'd taken out the title page to his Maze and written "Glad I could get you laid, thanks for..." when he told me it unfortunately hadn't gotten that far yet. There are virgins here. It's kind of like AVN that way. He, at least, was very young. The only scary thing about cons is when you see in someone's face that this is all they have. I always think the best people who work in fantasy--the Jack Vances, the Dave Arnesons, the Jean-Luc Godards, the Scrap Princesses--they show how this can be an organic part of something else.

The only clear imperative in Indianapolis is to find a decent bar, preferably one with brass fittings and pickle chips and one of those bartenders who doesn't know anything about games but asks questions anyway. I don't really know what their specialty is in Indianapolis besides beef--I'm unconsciously imagining it's apples because of the name but that's stupid. It's nice once in a while though to go into a situation not really wanting anything.

Whenever I leave town, Anne starts to get maternal -- she's already checked that I had enough toilet paper for the two days I'll be back before I head out to Croatia, and made sure that I had condoms. She spent the last hour of the trip sewing up holes in these jeans. You will be pleased to know  downtown Los Angeles has become yet more Blade Runner in your absence--Spring street now has a wonderful blue neon sign: just numbers. Hannah is playing a chameleon woman Paladin--her third character in four sessions, Morgan has a witch with one hit point per level forever at least until her Constitution goes up.

Connie played a sea elf wizard and took off just before I did, leaving behind the Visible Woman and a copy of the Canticle for Liebowitz. Stacy is doing the lord's work at Contessa, had to get up fuck-all early. She was nominated for the Diana Jones and, like Vornheim, didn't get it--a guy at dinner said "Hey, I lost the Diana Jones to Wil Wheaton".

We've had some interesting Lyft drivers--the first one was a championship bicycle racer who'd been chased by a fox. I think the other three were religious, I forgot walking around Indiana with an upside-down cross on your shirt is kind of a thing. Stokes is good at distracting people, though--she's been an invaluable asset. It's funny seeing her next to people dressed as Harley Quinn. Stoya's shy with strangers but super into obscure RPG trivia.

The Ennies round up: Feng Shui and Kenneth Hite won almost everything that we didn't. Nobody shitty won anything. Overwhelmingly glasses guys, Shanna Germain and like 3-4 other women won stuff, Mark Diaz Truman was the only not-white person, so far as I know. Stoya got bored with the lack of diversity and told Stokes to fingerbang her, but Stokes just played with her nipples.

I thanked Anton, Patrick, and Satan. If I'd had more time up there I would've thanked you--a lot of this stuff is just about keeping you entertained. Please get well soon.

But anyway no assassins, and it's been 16 hours and still no Internet lynchmobs. It's probably not completely over (we'll see around the announcement of The Big Thing this fall) but the goblins seem demoralized even if they'll never give up attacking us completely. The facts are on our side but you never talk and I make a terrible victim.

Hunter S Thompson said "You'll be flogged for being right and flogged for being wrong and it hurts both ways but it doesn't hurt as much when you're right"--so they'll always hurt more than we do. They'll always be good at performing pain because theirs will always be accompanied by the creeping suspicion that they're just being idiots.

In the end the basic rule serves better than most more detailed instructions: whatever they tell you to do, don't do it.

I love you. We won. Again.


05 Aug 00:01


by aaron
02 Aug 05:01


by John Kovalic

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 11.06.33 AM

I’m packing for Gen Con, and guess what’s going with me?

ALL THE 2015 BIKE THE BARNS SWAG, to be handed off to David Michael, Fulfillment Guru of the Gods (and of me).

It took a lot longer getting the swag out for last year’s ride than I’d hoped. Also, it’s pushed back fundraising for this year’s ride. There’s a little over a month and a half to go until…


Insane Charity Bike Ride 2016!

IMG_6189So…I’m panicking a bit, here. I’m also really out of shape this year, in part due to the surgery that also pushed back the fulfillment of last year’s ride’s swag.

But the charity is worth it: Bike the Barns supports FairShare’s Partner Shares program, bringing fresh, organic food from local farms to low-income families in our community.

Me? It’s gonna be a long, hilly ride. I’m pretty out of shape this year (surgery will do that), and I may be doing it with a duck on my head again. Or worse…


If we raise $7,500 for the ride…I wear the Duck of Doom on my helmet again for the entire ride.

If we raise $10,000…I wear the flippin‘ tentacles, too.

$15,000? That’s an insane amount. If we reach THAT, well, maybe I let that monster Andrew Hackard of Steve Jackson Games choose the next accoutrement. (Possibly I shouldn’t call him a monster if he’s choosing something embarrassing for me to wear on an Insane Charity Bike Ride).

Pledging is fast and easy; please support my ride and this great cause! I’m also trying to create the reward swag for this year’s ride NOW, so it can all go out as soon after the ride is over as possible. I’d love it if folks got their goodies in time for Christmas.

What’s new, this year? Last year’s Neil Gaiman Limerick mini-print was so popular, we’re doing it again this year…with PAT ROTHFUSS LIMERICKS! The big news? I’ll sign them all…but so will Pat Rothfuss!

So if you support me on an insane charity bike ride (60 VERY HILLY miles in one day, this year. UGH!), here’s the Swag 2016:

IMG_6182EVER pledges will get a pdf of the limerick Neil Gaiman created for the ride last year, as well as the Pat Rothfuss limericks, illustrated by me. PLUS, a pdf of the updated EMBRACE THE SQUEE charity coloring book, plus a pdf of the NEW “There Once Was a Mallard Named Mike” charity coloring book!

Any pledge of $20 or more gets a brand-new MUNCHKIN CHARITY POSTCARD! This will be created specifically for this donors of this ride, the fourth in a series. and will let you start one game of Munchkin at Level 3! These have become quite the collectors’ items, as they are totally official and totally only offered for these charity rides. Along with this, you get an ARMY OF DORKNESS Private button!

Any pledge $50 or more will get all of the above, and an ARMY OF DORKNESS Sergeant button! Also, an actual honest-to-goodness physical mini-print of the Pat Rothfuss Tour De Duck limerick, signed by both Pat and myself. But mostly PAT! Because PAT!

Any pledge of $100 or more will get all of the above, and a limited edition Tour De Duck cloisone pin! There’s a new one, this year, and it’s lovely!

Any pledge of $200 or more will get all of the above, plus (wait for it…wait for it…) an ORIGINAL PIECE OF MUNCHKIN CARD ART. This is the only way you can get original Munchkin art. I don’t sell it. Not many people have it. About 30 folks a year get one, for supporting this ride. But you too can be one of life’s winners!

Any pledge of $1000 or more, and you can gust-star in a DORK TOWER COMIC STRIP, as well as everything else up to this level!

And pledge $2,500? Well, I can’t say what JUST YET, but there’s potentially something very sweet coming down the line, if everything gets approved!

The highest pledger also gets the original art to the Munchkin Charity Postcard for this ride, as well as everything else in the respective bundles that apply.

In addition, ten folks who pledged at the lower levels will be selected at random to receive original Munchkin card art.

And as usual, more stuff will most likely be added to the swag pile as we go along.

You’re all brilliant and wonderful and generous and supportive.

Please pledge, if you can!

I’m gonna be in SO much hurt!

– John

02 Aug 20:17

The Past Asks You: 1889 Etiquette

by Elizabeth Archibald

The following questions are taken (verbatim) from The Home Manual: Everybody’s Guide in Social, Domestic, and Business Life (1887). Each question below is followed by the original response along with three modern impostors. Test your etiquette cred by identifying the correct answers!

1. Is it proper to use a knife and fork in eating asparagus, or should the stalks be taken in the fingers?

a) Certainly, knife and fork are obligatory.
b) Never use a knife. Many well-bred people take the stalks in the fingers. If a compromise is desired, use the fork only. 

c) Asparagus has no place on a refined table.

d) Use the knife only. It is prudent to practice the use of the asparagus knife in isolation until elegant mastery is attained.

2. Is it good form for a lady to ask her fiancé to take her to drive?
a) It is acceptable, provided that a chaperone is available to accompany them.

b) No, it would be more proper for her to suggest “Serialized novel and chill?”

c) It is not improper, but ladies usually wait for their lovers to take the initiative, especially in the early days of the engagement. 

d) It is acceptable if the engagement has persisted for more than six months.

3. On what occasions is it proper for a man to wear a “tourist shirt?”

a) When traveling abroad in warmer climes.

b) When the need for armpit ventilation eclipses the desire for self-respect.

c) When yachting, playing ball or tennis, or in the woods.

d) This custom is never acceptable among those of good breeding.

4. Is it proper to wear a black silk hat in summer, if a man dislikes the light colored ones?
a) No, it is contrary to custom.

b) Tasteful shades of pale blue and violet may be permitted.

c) Only if he is a Dickensian villain named Mr. Gloombridge or Sir Tetchbottom.

d) This custom is gaining acceptance among younger men but should not be adopted by a man above forty.

5. If a gentleman meets a lady in a large retail store and wishes to talk with her, is it allowable for him to replace his hat after removing it to bow?

a) No, courtesy dictates that he hold the hat until the parties take their leave.

b) No, but he may place it in the front compartment of his ample Costco shopping cart in order to assist the lady with her party size hamper of frozen meatballs.
c) Yes, for in a large store, where a number of people are passing to and fro, the same rules apply as when persons meet in the street.
d) He may replace his hat only if the lady authorizes him to do so.  

1. b 2. c 3. c 4. a 5. c

01 Aug 13:12

witchyamethystrose: For those who celebrate the Sabbats, please...


For those who celebrate the Sabbats, please consider lighting a white candle on Lammas for World Peace. Even if you do not celebrate Lammas or (aren’t even a witch!), you are welcome to join in.

Love and light,
Amethyst Rose

01 Aug 07:00

conciliate: Word of the Day

conciliate: to overcome the distrust or hostility of; placate; win over.
31 Jul 15:06

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Parenting Game Theory


Who says game theory isn't useful in real life?

New comic!
Today's News:
30 Jul 15:10

#752 Brush Off

by treelobsters
29 Jul 14:33

Direct and representative democracy.In direct democracy the...

Direct and representative democracy.

In direct democracy the people vote directly to create the laws, rules and regulations and such. In representative democracy, the people instead vote to elect a representative, who will then either act directly, or vote with other elected representatives to create the laws, rules and regulations and such. Most democracies are a form of representative democracy as I understand it, with the occasional instance of direct democracy thrown in, as in say, a referendum.

29 Jul 04:00

50 ccs

There's been a raccoon accident at an accordion bacchanalia! Double doses!
28 Jul 07:00

virgule: Word of the Day

virgule: a short oblique stroke (/) between two words indicating that whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense of the text in which they occur.
28 Jul 19:22

Mental Illness In The RPG Community

by Zak Sabbath
Any discussion of this topic period will immediately bring on accusations of "gaslighting!!!!!" if pointed at specific people, so let's stick with statements we can all agree with

Statement we can all agree with #1

Sometimes people in the online RPG community are mentally ill

Statement we can all agree with #2

Mental illness can cause people to experience emotional pain over things that aren't actually harmful to anyone who doesn't have their specific trigger or chain of associations. To something not ordinarily harmful.

Statement we can (probably) all agree with #3

It's not practical or desirable to talk to the entire internet as if it's mentally ill all the time and almost nobody does. You can tag specific common triggers, but ritually using indirectness, vagueness and soft probing creates a lot of other practical problems to getting anything done and creates new problems when dealing with any kind of urgent situation. It also can strike people as condescending.

Statement we can all agree with #4

If you write online, once in a while someone mentally ill will experience emotional pain because of what you write online.

Statement we can all agree with #5

Sometimes this won't be your fault, this will be the fault of the illness.

Statement we can all agree with #6

This emotional pain may cause them to fabricate or distort facts while expressing their pain. This can cross the line into libel or things like it that can cause real damage to the mentally ill person's victims.
Easy examples: "The authors of Dungeon World are trying to undermine gaming" "James Raggi hates all women".

Statement we can all agree with #7

People will (and should) rush in to reassure the mentally ill person who is caused emotional pain by the innocent thing you said. They are ill, after all, and need care.

Statement we can all agree with #8

This reassurance is hard to do without also reifying the distorted or fabricated facts they associate with their trigger and their pain.

Statement we can all agree with #9

If this is done in public but not done carefully, reassuring the mentally ill person risks victimizing another innocent person by reifying (plussing, agreeing with, condoning, sharing) the untrue things the mentally ill person said in the midst of their pain.

Statement we can all agree with #10

When a mentally ill person appears in the RPG community what should happen is their friends should take their pain seriously but not immediately accept all their fact claims. They should talk to their friend and try to connect them with help and try to do this in private as much as possible.

Statement we can all agree with #11

The online RPG community sucks at this.

Statement we can all agree with #12

The people who are attacked by the mentally ill have more of a personal motivation to do something about the situation than the people who are not.
24 Jul 07:00

pantechnicon: Word of the Day

pantechnicon: a furniture van; moving van.
21 Jul 07:00

megillah: Word of the Day

megillah: a lengthy and tediously complicated situation or matter.