Ooh, my favorite!

June 26, 2013, 11:18 am
Filed under: My favorite things, Smile



url-1Brother Thani and Mari were up here visiting last week and once again they introduced me to a really cool new game. This one’s called ANOMIA. (The previous ones are here.) A quick-thinking, brain-building, word association game that is so much fun you’ll be laughing at each other as much as you’ll be flexing the old noggin.

How it works: Each card has a symbol and a category. Each player takes turns flipping a card from the deck. Once two players have cards with a matching symbol the first person to shout out an answer to the category on their opponents card wins the card. Add in the Wild Cards that pair unexpected symbols and it’s even more challenging. Then consider two or more opponents and realize all the symbols and categories you have to keep track of and it’s insane! I pretty much sucked so I’m ordering a set for us now so that I can become a more formidable opponent. Playing with Andrew and his photographic memory will be a steep learning curve though.

Buy it here for $17.99

Get the party edition with extra decks here for $24

url-2[Image via aMuse Toys. I want to go here!]

Dead Head
December 20, 2012, 4:51 pm
Filed under: My favorite things, Smile


Was anybody else dead tired today? I don’t know what happened but I could barely get out of bed to make it to work today: and by that I mean make it to work, like, right now…at four o’clock. Perhaps it’s the shortness of these days, or the impending apocalypse, but regardless my body is run over and lazy.

Lately in order to help me feel less lazy and lethargic I feel like I’ve accomplished something if I’ve done nothing else other than played one of these puzzle games. I have to say the brain exercise helps, and it’s so nice not to have the telly on. I’ve suddenly realized that even without Cable television I have substituted it with Instant Netflix, and there’s not much on there either!

So, here’s a list of some of my favorite games…in case you’re in need of some brain exercise fun with family during the holiday next week. And a big thanks to Thani and Mari for sharing the first two with me this summer.

Quarto – Create a line of four pieces that share a commom characteristic: tall or short, dark or light, square or round, hollow or solid. The trick here is that you pick the piece your opponent plays. A game of strategy, perception, and reasoning…but so fun. There will be many a face palm when you accidentally hand your opponent the precise piece they need to complete their set.

Pentago – I like to think of it as Connect Four on crack. The object is to place five of your color marbles in a row, but the twist here is that after each play you must rotate one of the four quadrants!

Memory – Again, how much I love these colorful Patrick Hruby cards. And really, it’s pretty alarming how much I can’t remember during the course of this game.

Bus station sonata
October 24, 2012, 10:07 am
Filed under: Smile, Videos

The Arts Council of England and Nexus set up this installation at the Haymarket Bus Station in Newcastle, UK. Commuters were invited to play a Beethoven sonata with pianist Andy Jackson of the Cobwebs Orchestra, and surprisingly enough most people said they had never touched a piano before. There’s something special watching them play. Makes me smile.

[via Daily of the Day]

Waterfall Swing
October 11, 2012, 10:46 am
Filed under: Smile, Videos

This wonderfully awesome contraption was featured last year at the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. Just watching this makes me giddy. I’d probably pass out from sheer delight if I ever have the chance to take this for a ride.

“Riders pass through openings in a waterfall created by precisely monitoring their path via axel-housed encoders, creating the thrill of narrowly escaping obstacles.”

So true! The sensations of the water, even just seeing and smelling it, would add such an exciting dimension to my already favorite playground staple. I am just so happy this exists somewhere. Sigh.

Little Bronze Hands
August 7, 2012, 9:38 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Smile

I just love little ideas like this. I think of how happy I’d be to stumble upon a tiny bronze hand holding a little note or even a piece of cloth. Such a great idea.

“In upcoming weeks a series of little bronze hands will be installed in central Wellington. In walkways, shortcuts and places people pass on their paths to work or school. Their purpose is to hold offerings. Anonymous tokens of generosity or thoughtfulness. My intention is that others will use the little hands too, for leaving small items.

You noticed, thank you.”

Lots more images and a video via Ornamental thoughtfulness.

Caine’s Arcade
April 16, 2012, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Smile, Videos

This kid is awesome! Such a sweet and happy little story.

And check out this Forbes article on the Three Economic Lessons of Caine’s Arcade

[thanks brother! (@thanithani)]

Bulles de savon géantes
March 8, 2012, 7:03 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Smile


Giant bubbles. So relaxing.

Sylvain and his team (based in France) get to create these beautiful bubbles everyday for their work called Ebullitions. Bravo!

A little love from etymologie
March 6, 2012, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Nerd Alert, Personal, Smile

I just figured out my old Toast Stereogram post was mentioned on Anthropologie’s Tumblr feed, etymologie. That’ll teach me to stay away for so long.

So excited. Thank you!


PS- I should also mention that the original source for the image is the wonderful Mighty Optical Illusions.

How summer should be spent
September 29, 2011, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Silly, Smile, Videos

These kids rock! Check out their choreographed fountain show.

September 27, 2011, 11:56 am
Filed under: Smile

What a great idea! Child’s Own Studio takes drawings from your child and turns them into stuffed animals. So much more meaningful than a typical stuffed animal.

[Via Incredible Things]



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