Browse Month by August 2015

So You Think You Know CCGs?

Of course you know the iconic classics like Magic: the Gathering, Vampire: the Masquerade, Android: Netrunner, Pokemon: the Trading Card Game and Corndog: Gamma Central, but how many of these more obscure 90’s CCGs can you identify from just one line of card text each?

  1. Reverse red hexagons up to seven plus the number of green cubes in the blue stack, but not exceeding the number of cards in the hand of the player with the fewest maximum color density plus three.
  2. Advance the Nightmare Child track by two albums unless the Catman is ascendant.
  3. If you dehumanized yourself and faced to bloodshed this turn, sever the wicked. (If you are the iron man, you may sever the wicked again.)
  4. There once was a man from Nantucket.
  5. Each eternal bloodweeping in your thrallpit becomes forlorn, but the bleak moon looms closer.
  6. OH NO! All your chickens are on strike! Lose fifteen starships or lose a turn.
  7. If Jimmy Olsen is in play, all Red Kryptonite cards apply to him and not to Kryptonian cards. Take a shot.
  8. Roll the Wacky Die. 3: Orange. 5: Green.
  9. All Salty cards in play count as Sweet until the start of the next Potluck. (Errata: the werewolf rule always takes precedence over effects of this type, even if playing in a non-were format)
  10. Paul Atreides may be played on any unoccupied Federal Holiday, but does not count as a Cryptid
  11. Swap any two of your opponent’s homophones (cost 46/73)
  12. Give each opposing Richie twice as many coins as you have in your piggy bank
  13. Hhhhh hhhh hhhhhhhhh hhhhhhh. H/H/H *H
  14. If Snappy Pete has more pancakes than any other chef currently in play, your eggs are free.
  15. +2 Phantom -1 Cats -3 Dreamcoat
  16. You may spend Galactic Credits instead of Frogs this year, but at the beginning of next year all of your remaining Galactic Credits and Frogs become Infected.
  17. Put your hand inside the puppet head.
  18. You may replace any number of bones with tentacles. Discard this browser plugin after installing it.
  19. This Strauss counts as a Triceratops instead of a Strauss
  20. Channel the arcane powers of the awesome Lightningmaul Axeveil to deal one damage to any unarmored or defenseless servitor.

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Patch Notes NT 2001 Premium Edition Gold

  • INTERFACE:  Added suicide command for when player is stuck in level geometry, a long line at the DMV, or a loveless marriage
  • SOUND:  The air conditioning unit in room 23A of the tenement building level no longer makes that grinding noise when left on for too long
  • GRAPHICS:  Added motion captured animation of sobbing player model putting weapon in mouth and pulling the trigger to indicate use of suicide command [REMOVED AFTER PLAYTESTER COMPLAINTS]
  • PHYSICS:  The front axle in the hyper assault truck no longer quivers and weakens when you show it a good solid tearjerker of a movie, fixing the now infamous “Old Yeller exploit” often used in maps with rocky terrain
  • BALANCE:  There is now a cooldown on the suicide command to prevent the exploit where a player would use a mountain of their own corpses to scale the wall of the enemy base

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SLN Mailbag 8/24/15

Dear SLN,

I tried watching the vlog you guys posted titled “4 Essential Hacks for Perfect Fried Chicken Every Time” and I did not find your tips very helpful. The chicken I bought at the store didn’t even have fins, so your instructions on how to disassemble it were virtually useless. Also, no stores near me sell limestone oil. Can you link a reputable internet vendor?

Hungry in Grand Rapids

Not Funny
Dear smut peddlers,

Your attempts at humor in the article about Thomas Aquinas fell more than flat. How do you sleep at night? I and my sister’s terrier were incensed by the vulgar, juvenile trivialities you consider jokes. You should be flogged in the streets, first literally, then figuratively, then perhaps literally again, weather permitting. I’m sorry if I’m a prude by today’s twisted standards, but I just don’t find humor in acts that, I should remind you, legally constitute sodomy in many jurisdictions, and they certainly aren’t fitting topics for a humor site on the Internet.

With God’s love,
A Concerned Reader

Humor in Uniform
Fair beacon of grace and light,

Please deliver me from these many afflictions. I have sinned, but not too greatly to be delivered from the scourges of uncaring fate. My dreams have dissolved entire into visions of a cruel, ceaseless madness, and they come now likewise in my waking hours. I fear closing my own eyes for the chance that I might see again as I have seen in my darkest imaginings, but more than that, I fear that my new perceptions are truer and clearer than what I thought was real before. If you cannot deliver me a truth that is merciful, then I plead that you might send me a comforting lie.

J. Aglestone, Castle Rock

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Episode Guide: The Strauss File Season 3

Catch up on the previous seasons here and here.


Former police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) confronts his own nonexistence in a burning cocaine warehouse. Guest starring Oregano Simpleton as Time Ghost.

When the Supreme Court is kidnapped, Strauss interrogates universal gravitation, but are bosons admissable in court? Guest starring Romeo Martinez as Chief Pinkerton.

All things age and die, but this is an anthropomorphism, for our understanding of time’s arrow is rooted in the myopia of consciousness. Guest starring Jennifer Lawrence as time’s arrow.

A cloud has no concept of cloud-ness. This fact does not determine whether or not it rains. An unlucky hoodlum breaks into a police nuclear reactor and gets what’s coming to him… or does he? Guest starring Matt Chapman as The Cheat.

Crime does not exist. Former police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) becomes enlightened. A triceratops is stabbed in self-defense. Guest starring Gomez Gomez as Duran Duran.


Chief Pinkerton perceives blue as police detective Strauss perceives green and vice versa, but they must work together to catch a color-blind drug lord who has bred a new type of edible hallucinogenic mouse. Guest starring Romeo Martinez as Chief Pinkerton and Sean Connery as Jesus. (part 1 of 3)


Strauss decides to exist, but will his identity be overturned on appeal? Guest starring Jennica Struthers as Time Ghost. (part 2 of 3)

The universe undergoes heat-death, but as trillions of years pass, police detective Strauss (Chive Allston) is determined to see justice prevail one last time. (part 3 of 3)


A new street appears, but it is paved with drugs. Guest starring Jerry Seinfeld as Steve Martin.

A small-time chicken hustler gets more than he bargained for when Strauss links him to the exploitation of Chinese labor. Guest starring Lucy Lawless as the population of China.

Police detective Strauss’ (Chive Allston) chickens come home to roost. Guest starring ALF, Romeo Martinez, Oregano Simpleton, and Jennica Struthers. (part 1 of 3)


Strauss traps a burning building inside a burning building in a desperate attempt to get to the bottom of a Faustian economic bargain. Guest starring ALF, Oregano Simpleton, Jennica Struthers, Angela Lansbury, Orange Socksmith, and Ken Penders as the voice of Sonic. (part 2 of 3) (series finale)


The 3 Best Comic Book Runs I Just Made Up

#3: Craig Merriweather’s Superman (2007-2009)
When former Taos, New Mexico public access weatherman/mime Merriweather was handed the reins of DC’s most iconic hero, he was an unknown quantity.  By the time of his mysterious death by suffocation in an invisible box in late 2009, he was heralded as one of the greatest writers ever to tackle the character.  The supporting cast had chances to shine and profoundly develop in story arcs like Lex Luthor’s harrowing Rogaine addiction and Jimmy Olsen’s romance with his robot maid, and Superman’s skills were tested against a creative new rogues’ gallery including Icemaster 5000, Amorphous Dennis, and the inimitable Murder Torus.  Now available in trade and digitally, Craig Merriweather’s run on Superman is a great starting point for new readers looking to see what Superman is all about and an essential part of any fan’s collection.

#2: Pete Shropshire’s Spider-Man (1981-2002)
Just as Chris Claremont came to define the X-Men, so too did Pete Shropshire come to define Marvel’s legendary webslinger.  The state of things when Shropshire came onto the title in 1981 was grim; Aunt May was an undead lich married to Ape Walt Simonson after the infamous Ape Writers vs. the Army of the Dead event, and Mary Jane was addicted to horseback riding.  Shropshire quickly set to work righting these missteps, neatly resolving them with an ingenious twist on the classic “it was all a dream” formula.  With the road ahead clear of inconvenient obstacles, Shropshire was free to create countless memorable story arcs, from Peter and Mary Jane’s sensual honeymoon in the giant spider dimension to Norman Osborn’s humanizing and not at all exploitative or problematic adoption and care of a Wakandan orphan named Toot-Toot.  Many thought (even hoped) that the resilient Shropshire would keep writing Spider-Man forever, but sadly his run ended with his death in 2002 by suffocation in an invisible box.

#1: Bob Sellers’ Iron Man (1999-2001)
If the popular film was your introduction to Iron Man, you missed out on experiencing the far superior comic run it was based on, brought joyously into this world by the brilliant Bob Sellers.  The films kept the general story beats of Sellers’ run but excised the most important character, Tony Stark’s hallucinatory best friend Jack Daniels.  Jack Daniels’ quick wit and compassion brought much-needed levity to dark situations and acted as Tony’s conscience, and his absence in the films is felt almost as painfully as the absence of Sellers himself, who was killed on September 11th, 2001 when a piece of falling debris crushed the airtight invisible box he was trapped in.

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