All of us are still trying to find ways to stay in touch with one another as the pandemic progresses, and social games are one of those ways. Wordle, a daily puzzle game, has become a social game like “Words with Friends” and “Candy Crush” in the past, and is sweeping the Internet with its unique twist on classic word-guessing games. There is a good chance that you’ve heard your coworkers talking about the word of the day, or your mother-in-law is playing it, or your boss is playing it during meetings, and you’re wondering if you should join the bandwagon yourself. (there are even Wordle Solver sites to help you if you get stuck – but don’t be a Wordle Cheat!)Continue reading “Getting Started with Wordle”
Fortnight. The first person shooter game that has taken the entire world by storm. Fortnight has been rumoured to have contributed $3 billion dollars to Epic Games’s revenue in 2018 (TechCrunch). While the producers of Fortnight advise that the game is appropriate for ages 12 and older, you would be hard pressed to talk to any child above the age of eight or nine who has not played Fortnight.
While over 50 million sets and approximately 2.7 billion individual blocks of the popular game Jenga have been sold, most people don’t know it’s history. We aim to help address that…
Cards Against Humanity has exploded in popularity in the last few years. It started out as a small KickStarter project that raised about $15,000 and ended up being a best-selling and extremely popular party game that nearly everyone, including non-gamers, can easily recognize at the mere mention of its name. Cards Against Humanity’s reach and influence has spread like wildfire and has even been promoted by popular YouTubers such as PewDiePie, Jenna Marbles, and Wil Wheaton. On the surface, it’s quite easy to see why it has become such a wild success. It’s a fun and mindless game where participants often end up bursting with laughter at some of the ridiculous, shocking, and hilarious combinations that come up.Continue reading “5 Family Friendly Party Games To Replace Cards Against Humanity”
Word searches can be a particularly frustrating type of puzzle because all the answers are right in front of you, yet you may still struggle to spot them. While there’s no magic trick that will help you find every word immediately (without looking at the answers at the bottom, that is), there are some things you can do that will make solving the puzzle somewhat easier.
Need some new family games to play this weekend? We’ve got a couple of great card games for family gatherings. It’s a perfect opportunity to kick the kids off screens for a few hours and teach them strategy, turn taking, and basic fairness. The best family games offer a good dose of those values.
All of which can be applied to Fortnite, of course. After we play a few rounds of card games for family gathering to socialize with the rest of the family. In any event, here are a few new card games your kids haven’t seen before…
Sample Article From Our Speed Run
(Note: Please pardon my bad parody of Better Homes & Gardens. And I know absolutely nothing about hummingbirds.)
This will sound ironic given my choice of side projects (publishing), college degree (history), and career (research analyst), but I loathe writing. I mean, isn’t it a great thing I found a path through life where this particular deficiency wasn’t a problem? <sarcasm>
My problem isn’t that I’m a bad writer but rather I’m slowwwww… I think too much. I try to write a basic cover letter and it somehow turns into a Supreme Court pleading about unlocking an iPhone.
So… I’ve been testing ways to write faster.
Writing: Where Your Time Really Goes…
My kids are at a point in school where they have to write a lot of small essays. We’ve been coaching them a lot. Just for fun, I tried a couple of these writing assignments myself with the kids watching, tracking my progress on a clock. It turns out we don’t actually “write” much when we’re “writing”… For example, look at this chart, based on some 5 paragraph essays.
Typical writing time per 5 paragraph essay was around 30 minutes. The quality was decent but not Shakespeare. Maybe good enough to post as blog content. Most of my time was spent trying figure out what to write next. Bear in mind, this was for very simple stuff: presenting and defending opinions based on public events. Technical content or stuff requiring actual research would take much longer.
The Template Test – Eliminate Uncertainty
Sadly, most of this thinking while writing doesn’t really add value. Regardless of how much time I spent thinking about the topic, the first thing I wrote down on paper was usually garbage. So what if we simplified things? Give a writer with a template based on structured questions and tell them to “fill in the blanks”. We put this to the test. A time trial, in front of an audience (my family) about a random topic that I had never written about before. Using this template, I was able to write a 469 word article in under 11 minutes. This represents a 63% improvement from my typical writing speed. The real surprise? I wrote a better essay this way. The template forced me to organize my thoughts and present them in a consistent manner. The well defined structure also helped focus my attention in the editing process.
Editing & Re-writing: Da Real MVP
In retrospect, editing time added the most value per minute in terms of overall article quality. If you have an extra five minutes, re-reading the article several times often results in a very nice lift in the quality of the final product. I usually edit one of two ways. The “basic tightening” and the “partial re-write”. “Basic tightening” consists of scanning the paragraph a couple of times and removing unnecessary words. The partial re-write restates the entire paragraph in a fresh voice. While more time consuming, it is usually far faster than the original draft. I’ll leave you on an uplifting note: “To Write Is Human, To Edit Divine”
Crazy’s a word, isn’t it? It does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to describing a character or a scene. It’s funny, because crazy means so many things – but everyone gets the gist of what you’re saying if you drop it into a sentence. It’s an easy word to rely upon, and it can quickly become a crutch. Indeed, crazy is a word that’s incredibly overused. Once that happens, the word loses its power – and it becomes just another trite, useless bit of writing that marks you as a bad writer. That’s why every writer out there needs a few alternatives for that ever-useful word. It’s time to find another word for crazy.
There’s nothing wrong with the word good. It’s an ok word. But, let’s be honest, telling someone their drawing is merely “good” isn’t exactly a big pat on the back. It’s half a notch above the dreaded “fine”. It shows you wish them well. You may get a nod in appreciation. But you’ll get a better reaction if you pick another word for good.
Below, we’ve come up with different synonyms for the word good. Sprinkle them into your next letter or speech of praise. They’ll add a little spice and your audience will appreciate it. Boring writing equals fewer readers. And a little emotion is often a good thing.