If you're forced into playing Monopoly by friends, you can employ this simple strategy to ensure they will never ever ask you to play again.
With a second monopoly completed, your next task is to improve those properties to three houses each, then all of your properties to four houses each. Six properties with three houses will give you more than half of the houses in the game, and four houses each will give you 75% of the total supply. This will make it nearly impossible for your opponents to improve their own property in a meaningful way. Keep the rulebook nearby once the supply gets low, as you will undoubtedly be questioned on it. At this point, you will be asked repeatedly to build some friggin' hotels already so that other people can build houses. Don't.
At this point, you more or less have the game sewn up. If losing a normal game of monopoly is frustrating, losing to this strategy is excruciating, as a losing opponent essentially has no path to victory, even with lucky rolls. Your goal is to play conservatively, lock up more resources, and let the other players lose by attrition. If you want to see these people again, I recommend not gloating, but simply state that you're playing to win, and that it wasn't your idea to play Monopoly in the first place.
It is difficult to read this without thinking about income inequality in the real world.
A New Way to Dinner FEB 08
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs of Food52 are coming out with a new book called A New Way to Dinner.
A smart, inspiring cookbook of 100+ recipes from the founders of the powerhouse web site Food52 showing just how they -- two busy working parents -- actually plan, shop, and cook for delicious dinners (and breakfasts, lunches, and desserts) -- all through the week. The secret? Cooking ahead.
I need this. I want to cook more, eat better, and not dine out so much, but I just haven't been able to get it together. And I love the title..."dinner" cleverly works both as a noun and a verbed noun.
An Object at Rest FEB 08
Let's get in Formation FEB 08
Fish slap remix FEB 05
Happy Friday, everyone. I am so glad this week is done. I have no idea what this is. But it made me happy briefly and that's enough. (via @jasonzada)
What's it like in space? FEB 05
For her new book, Ariel Waldman asked dozens of astronauts about their experiences in space.
With playful artwork accompanying each, here are the real stories behind backwards dreams, "moon face," the tricks of sleeping in zero gravity and aiming your sneeze during a spacewalk, the importance of packing hot sauce, and dozens of other cosmic quirks and amazements that come with travel in and beyond low Earth orbit.
Waldman is the co-creator of the very cool spaceprob.es.
Noela Rukundo, whose husband had only recently paid to have killed, showed up at her own funeral.
Finally, she spotted the man she'd been waiting for. She stepped out of her car, and her husband put his hands on his head in horror.
"Is it my eyes?" she recalled him saying. "Is it a ghost?"
"Surprise! I'm still alive!" she replied.
Far from being elated, the man looked terrified. Five days earlier, he had ordered a team of hit men to kill Rukundo, his partner of 10 years. And they did - well, they told him they did. They even got him to pay an extra few thousand dollars for carrying out the crime.
Now here was his wife, standing before him. In an interview with the BBC on Thursday, Rukundo recalled how he touched her shoulder to find it unnervingly solid. He jumped. Then he started screaming.
What a story. As @tcarmody says, "I like to imagine Bezos grinning and salivating over this story like Charles Foster Kane".
A history of Japan FEB 05
Bill Wurtz's History of Japan is the most entertaining history of anything I have ever seen.
Americanisms FEB 04
The Economist style guide's section on Americanisms is just a tad catty.
Try not to verb nouns or to adjective them. So do not access files, haemorrhage red ink (haemorrhage is a noun), let one event impact another, author books (still less co-author them), critique style guides, pressure colleagues (press will do), progress reports, source inputs, trial programmes or loan money. Avoid parenting and, even more assiduously, parenting skills. Gunned down means shot. And though it is sometimes necessary to use nouns as adjectives, there is no need to call an attempted coup a coup attempt, a suspected terrorist a terrorist suspect or the Californian legislature the California legislature. Vilest of all is the habit of throwing together several nouns into one ghastly adjectival reticule: Texas millionaire real-estate developer and failed thrift entrepreneur Hiram Turnipseed...
"I'm looking at a picture of two mice. The one on the right looks healthy. The one on the left has graying fur, a hunched back, and an eye that's been whitened by cataracts."
What's the difference? Well, scientists at the Mayo clinic used a process to remove senescent (or retired) cells from one of them. And that process leads to mice who age better and live longer. As one researcher not connected to the study explains:
The usual caveats apply -- it's got to be reproduced by other people -- but if it's correct, without wanting to be too hyperbolic, it's one of the more important aging discoveries ever.
What a great idea. I just wish it were better executed. The weird music they use for the end credits of each movie is too much...it would have been better to just play it straight and let the gag stand by itself. (via cynical-c)
Pretty Much Everything is a mid-career survey of work, case studies, inspiration, road stories, lists, maps, how-tos, and advice. It includes examples of his work -- posters, record covers, logos -- and presents the process behind his design with projects like Field Notes and the "Things We Love" State Posters. Draplin also offers valuable advice and hilarious commentary that illustrates how much more goes into design than just what appears on the page. With Draplin's humor and pointed observations on the contemporary design scene, Draplin Design Co. is the complete package for the new generation of designers.
I've been a fan of his for a long time...this is an easy purchase.
Climate change art FEB 03
Artist Jill Pelto turns climate change graphs into art. So, for instance, a chart of rising global temperatures turns into a forest fire, which are becoming more common as temps rise:
And a graph of the retreat of glaciers over the years becomes a retreating glacier: