Build a computer… with Magic cards

2323057954 5be34291ed 450x337 Build a computer... with Magic cards

Every time you tap a land, you have to drink. No, really, this shit is educational. (img by Tom Longfield)

In case you didn’t know, you can totally justify playing shitloads Minecraft, because it’s educational and has more to do with building virtual computers than sculpting giant naughty things for your own amusement.

But let’s say your evil mom takes your computer away from you because she thinks you should go outside at least once in a while and maybe even interact with other humans irl. So she breaks her foot booting your tubby ass out the front door. What can you do?

You can take up Magic: The Gathering and spend a bunch of money collecting the most awesome and up-to-date cards! And when mom yells at you about how you’re just spending all your time sitting around with friends drinking sodas and fighting about rules (pretty much just like before), you can tell her that Magic is educational: you’re working on building a Turing machine with the cards, and this type of shit will bootstrap you into the next income bracket and you won’t even need to go to college.

Pro-tip: pour enough Turing on anything, and you’ve got yourself some education.

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The fight over the supercomputer in your pocket, body, car, etc…

55025940 ca38f4e5f2 450x360 The fight over the supercomputer in your pocket, body, car, etc...

This is the center of the next war. (img by Phil Gold)

Cory Doctorow gives an interesting and in-depth talk about the future of computing. We’ve talked before about the double-edgedness of computing devices, but didn’t talk about the other side: the people who want you to use the devices you buy only in the prescribed manner. Check it:

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Hack your own shock drone!

Why should law enforcement have all the fun? You can mod a quadcopter drone to shock dudes:

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How to bind a book on the cheap with an easy DIY jig

284184160 da1e76b75f 450x333 How to bind a book on the cheap with an easy DIY jig

Lesson 1: it’s not this complicated. (img by Nate Steiner)

Believe it or not, bookbinding doesn’t have to be an arcane art that requires ink-dipped end papers, buttery kid leather (goat kids, not humans, you sick bastard… picture making a book out of this adorable and rammy kid.) I have a hand-bound blank book that I bought 10 years ago and haven’t touched because I don’t want to profane it with less than literary ramblings or illustrations that wouldn’t look good in the Louvre. It doesn’t have to be that way.

With a simple jig made of wood and C-clamps, glue, tape, some string, and a drill, you can bind your own books, manuals, blank paper, etc. Here’s how:

(Warning, there is a chance that this practice is only a gateway to more elaborate binding projects. Imagine making your LaTeX-typeset college essays look like leatherbound classics and turning them in…)

More on LaTeX soon…

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LARPing for the sane

3682531348 f243066262 450x337 LARPing for the sane

Lesson 1: You don’t have to dress like this to LARP. (img by Bastian)

I’ve never LARPed, at least not in the sense of running around in the woods tossing beanbags at people and yelling “magic missile!”. But I’ve definitely played roles in the day to day. Chances are, you have, too. In real life, you’re a hard partying gamer, but when you go to a job interview, you’re a pressed and articulate person seeking the opportunity to leverage synergistic paradigms.

Or you happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the wrong (or right) time and hid behind your camera while interesting shit went down. And because you were hiding behind your camera and just happened to be wearing a vest full of pockets, people assumed you were press. Or you were wearing an unfortunately colored polo shirt at Best Buy and people started asking you for help.

Here’s a great perspective on LARPing in reality:

Of the best experiences I’ve had with live-action roleplaying, only two are from actual larps. The others are from larplike real-world situations in which I have found myself adopting a role, usually accidentally. Drawing on these experiences, I’m going to present here a concept I call real-world larping. To understand the concept of real-world larping, one has to accept for now that the essential point in live-action games is the experience, and not roleplaying as such. There’s a wonderful word in Finnish, eläytyminen, which roughly means immersion in a character, a situation or a work of art. For roleplaying experiences where I immerse myself in a character, eläydyn, I play tabletop. To experience living through nuclear holocaust, I play live action. In this latter case, the character is, for me, a mere provider of context for the overall experience. This means that live-action roleplaying may be likened to any situation where I adopt a role to provide context in an unfamiliar situation. At the core of such situations lie unfamiliar social contexts that force the assumption of such a role. If these situations are clearly defined departures from routine life, they may be highly larplike.

Next time you’re bored at home with nothing to do, don a persona (makeup not required!) and go pull a stunt.

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Cows are always in season. What about fruit?

4368284156 4daec70a99 450x337 Cows are always in season. What about fruit?

What the hell is this and why can I only get them in Juneuary? (img by Leonora Enking)

Your grocery store has probably lulled you into the belief that you can get any kind of fruit, vegetal, or herb any time of year… simply walk in, plunk down your debit card, and bam. You’re on your way to a tasty basil and breadfruit reduction.

Now’s when you expect me to go into the huge impact on the environment this sort of arrangement is. But I really think there are more compelling, more immediate reasons to know what’s in season: fruits/veggies that are in season usually cost less, and they’re usually far tastier than, say breadfruit that’s been hydroponically coaxed out of a test tube in the middle of Augtober.

Also, Chasing Delicious has made these really great poster/infographics laying out what’s in season when:

Kitchen101 Seasonal Vegetables1 450x675 Cows are always in season. What about fruit?

I can’t wait for the seasonal meat chart… (img by Chasing Delicious)

So now you have no excuse. Go to Chasing Delicious, get a poster, then get some papaws, okra, and mace and see what you can come up with. But not if you’re reading this in the Fall.

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