Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chess me out

An interesting candid documentary on some chess masters and their perspective. It lasts about 43 minutes so if you have some time to kill, check it out.

"If you have the concentration you literally don't here the bombs."

Oh no my link was busted, but its fixed now.

Some things just arent right.

I found this Q and A with Bruce Pandolfini over at Ive heard of this kind of game before but have never been in an actual circumstance where people are playing it. I knew a guy once who talked about three person chess and that weirded me out a little bit. This "bug house" chess thing weirds me out too as does that kreepy Kermit picture and our misconceptions as to where our energy comes from. Enjoy:

"Question What is Bug House chess? Folks in this area enter Bug House chess tournaments and I have never heard of it until arriving in this city. Ted McNair (USA)

Answer It’s a variant of chess (though many teachers consider it a disease, the way many juveniles love to play it instead of standard chess) where you play with two boards and sets of pieces and have a partner. If you get white, your partner gets black. If you have black, your partner must take white. You play essentially with the same rules, the primary difference being that everything you capture is given to your partner (or teammate), who is then allowed to put these captured “other board” pieces and pawns on his or her own board, with each placement counting as a separate move. There are other differences, too, such as most Bughouse players allow the king to be taken, and such a capture ends the game. Naturally, you can also win by checkmate or time forfeiture. If you win, you win on both boards; that is, your team wins.

In the past it’s also gone by other names, such as “insanity chess” or “tandem put back chess,” and I think it’s had a few other names as well. I’m attracted to the claim that it was first popularized at the Marshall Chess Club in the 1960s by the Diplomacy playing group of adolescents and young players then inhabiting 23 West Tenth Street, though that’s never been confirmed, even though I was very much a party of that clan. I simply viewed it as the other experiment we tried when we got tired of Kriegspiel.

Plus for all you hippies, here is the EPAs website that shows how you get your electricity by region and compares it to the national average. Quite interesting indeed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


An interesting piece from NPR on the long history of blogging, dating back to Caesar's war journal.


Whatever happened to His Best Friend? Is he gone from us forever? Or should he be buried in the graveyard?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa

This is my favorite Christmas video.

The only person I know who is dating a black man asked me a unique question yesterday. "What is Kawanza?" At first I thought she was joking Because I am in fact one of the whitest people known to humanity. Some people hide in the shadows, I hide behind those white Christmas trees in department stores. If Fox produced White Idol, the Simon Cowell equivalent would shed a tear for my brilliance. So in the spirit of the season here is a short lesson on Kwanzaa:

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.

It is:
a time of ingathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between them;

a time of special reverence for the creator and creation in thanks and respect for the blessings, bountifulness and beauty of creation;

a time for commemoration of the past in pursuit of its lessons and in honor of its models of human excellence, our ancestors;

a time of recommitment to our highest cultural ideals in our ongoing effort to always bring forth the best of African cultural thought and practice; and

a time for celebration of the Good, the good of life and of existence itself, the good of family, community and culture, the good of the awesome and the ordinary, in a word the good of the divine, natural and social.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May God bless you and your crappy blog.

Monday, December 17, 2007


I snagged this from Glenn Reynolds over at . A thought provoking snippet for fellow bloggers.

ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS from Jorn Barger, who coined the term "weblog." I like this one: "If you have more original posts than links, you probably need to learn some humility." But then, I would, wouldn't I? Plus this: "Being truly yourself is always hipper than suppressing a link just because it's not trendy enough. Your readers need to get to know you."


65%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Looking for payday loans?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I am an endgame disaster

This is what happens when I enter the endgame up six points:

This is the creepiest thing ever:

This is a pretty cool link for all of you science nerds out there:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And now a poem by my favorite author James Ellroy...

woof woof hear the demon dog bark,
hes got a twelve inch wang and it glows in the dark,
his brain is big but his dick is bigger,
his right wing fingers on the nuclear trigger,
yes my friend hear this ode,
I forked a lizard and a lobster and a horny toad,
I'm the king of writers woof woof woo woo,
Ive got a two year old girlfriend strung out on glue,
Ill end this poem with a sauerkraut fart,
and ill pick up this book and write straight from the heart

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

If your opponent has knees, take them.

I played a game over at the Bremen Cafe yesterday evening. It started well with myself as white. I opened postmodern, playing as I felt instead of what may have seemed most appropriate. With a lot of impending changes in my life and the stress attached it was sure to have some peculiar maneuvering. Blacks response was appropriate and strong throughout the opening. Black didn't control the center for too long since it was lunch time for some stop square eating pawns.
What we hadn't realized about the evening was that it was open mic night. For those of you who have been to an open mic night during any time in your life and understand the idiosyncrasies attached to it fear not for I imagine little has changed. The first guy took the mini stage apparently straight from a hard day of ice fishing. He was an amateur guitarist. Shocking. The second "act" was another guitarist but he was different. He had been sitting with a girl I dated many years ago...and her dad. This could be quite a distraction during the game. But as fate would have it my opponent was equally distracted because he had dated her too. Not that either of us were torn from the game. Frankly it had been so long ago that no one really had anything attached and simple acknowledgements were sufficient. But the game was odd to begin with and then it became doubly odd.
I castled Queenside quickly to protect my piece proprietor and align the Alekhine annihilation machine. Black didn't have time to do the same so he began to lose the middle game. Black owned the center with a bishop and knight. White had strong posts on three corners of the board with a solidified taunting position. Unfortunately taunting was all I did for about ten moves. Then I set a plan in motion haphazardly hoping for some heroic promotion. My sight grew bleary and I missed the move that would have ended the game. Black ate the best pawn on the board because of a hasty run to the corner. From then on the endgame was a strange display of strategies from the hip that caused my eventual demise.

Some lessons were learned though:

Never knock on someones door and burst into a one man be-bop a-cappela without expecting to get tasered.

If your opponent has knees, take them.