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Yu-Gi-Oh and Hot Chicks with Douchebags

As far as I can tell, the site is totally safe for work, but Hotchickswithdouchebags.com is a bizarre form of entertainment.

People at Matt Yglesias discuss the worthiness of the federal tax deduction for mortgages. (I personally think it stinks)

Adblock Plus is a revamped version of Firefox Adblock which apparently stops a lot more ads than the previous version did. Here’s a technology law class that debates whether it is an example of contributory infringement.

Amazingly TXDOT is petitioning congress to take control of federal highways so it can charge tolls on them.

Regrettably, it looks like my recording of my talk last week at Houston BarCamp might be harder to bring online than I thought. Apparently I had inadvertently turned on the setting to record as 128 Kbps MP3 rather than as WAV file and also to record in 5 minute intervals. Shucks! Resaving mp3 files as wav files and connecting them might sound really crappy. I’ll try to figure that out.

It’s one of those times I’m working on so many things that I hardly have time to blog. It will be a while before I catch up.

Last week I learned a lot about Yu-Gi-Oh, a card trading game for children. Ok, I haven’t heard of it before either, but apparently every boy in elementary school knows about it. Reading professor James Paul Gee recommended it for schoolchildren as a way to prepare them for reading. It gives them a context for using their reading knowledge for playing the game. Players have to understand the power/statistics on the card and to negotiate rules and battles. After playing it for 3 hours, I’m inclined to agree. On the other hand, the cards themselves (produced by Kanami) aren’t well suited to children. The text font is extremely small, and the vital information (the Attack/Defense points) are barely visible. Each card provides a limited power (and details the rules for using it). Frankly, the rules were really complicated, and as much as I wanted to master them, I was overlooking some subtleties (especially in trying to teach my nephew). The funny thing is, my nephew didn’t really care about the particular rules. He just wanted to have a general sense of the rules so they could play, but just adapted it for his own rule (according to his best understanding). I expect that he’ll play the game with other boys and gradually increase his understanding. My first reaction when playing the game was, I can’t believe I’m teaching this game to 1st graders and 2nd graders (they couldn’t possibly follow the rules, much less understand the vocabulary). The complexity level seemed at a high school level at least.  But the boys didn’t seem to care that they didn’t understand the rules completely. They filled gaps in with their imagination, and that is good.

Here’s a guide for parents.

I have some posts for teleread I’m working on.

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