At Gadgetoff I got a sneak peek at what is perhaps the coolest Star Wars book ever. Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy, is an amazing 3D journey through the original series. Coming out in October, it’s the latest creation from Matthew Reinhart, the paper engineer behind the Encyclopedia Prehistorica series of pop-ups. The Star Wars pop-ups, from a huge AT-AT to the Millenium Falcon are complex and detailed. One of my favorite scenes was the Cantina (pictured above). This will be a great addition to our library.
Archive for September, 2007
Yesterday I was at Gadgetoff. It’s an annual event in NY that brings inventors, academics and artists together to give demos of their latest projects. One of my favorites was Joshua Klein’s Crow Vending Machine. It’s a device that trains crows to insert found coins in exchange for peanuts. You can read about it here. Maybe this is a way to put Nettie’s backyard birds to work?
With head colds keeping us indoors this weekend, we broke out a new game from our secret Haba stockpile. Von 0 auf 100 (From 0 to 100) is a car racing game for 2-5 players ages 6 and up. This is one of those rare games that is suitable for young kids but fun for adults. There is little luck, physical skill or memorization involved. It’s pure, simple strategy. A track laid out with random tiles keeps the game replayable. Each round is a fast-paced 20 to 30 minutes.
The B-wing is by far the most elegant fighter from the Star Wars movies. Peabody and I completed our Lego version this afternoon. We used set 6208, the more recent of the two B-wing models created by Lego. It’s much larger and more detailed than the original, model 7180, released in 2000. But the original has some extras not featured in the new set: a red R2 unit, a rebel maintenance man, and a small rebel base with a situation map showing the location of the second Death Star. This new model will take its place with the Millennium Falcon, X-wing, and Imperial At-At at my desk.
In addition to our sea dog themed dinner, for Talk Like a Pirate Day we played a session of The Black Pirate (Der schwarze Pirat) from Haba. Players propel their ships around the board using a small bellows. A roll of the die determines how many puffs you get to fill your sails. It’s a game of skill and requires a degree of patience. Squeeze too lightly and your ship won’t move; squeeze too hard and you’ll overshoot your port and its treasure. With the right crew, it makes for a hilarious half hour of plunderin’.
There are dozens of paper airplane books but The Great International Paper Airplane Book is the classic. The first half of the book is the story behind Scientific American’s paper airplane contest held in 1967. The contest was created by San Francisco ad-men Howard Gossage and Jerry Mander as a PR stunt for the magazine. The stunt drew almost 12,000 entries from around the world. The second half of the book includes the winning designs reprinted on perforated paper. It’s a mystery how our library’s 40 year old 1st edition has survived in one piece.
Avast! Talk Like a Pirate Day, founded by Cap’n Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket (above), be September 19. Me crew be plannin’ a feast to celebrate. I’d be for havin’ hardtack and grog but me scurvy lot skuttled that. So we be feastin’ on Corzetti, a pasta that look like pieces ‘o eight, and for dessert, a pirate ship cake. Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!!!