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petitio principii
(peh-tish'-ee-oh prin-sip'-ee-eye) n. a logical fallacy in which a premise is assumed to be true without warrant, or in which what is to be proved is implicitly taken for granted.

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"I'm a PhD student at The University of Texas and I just recently won a set of Icehouse pieces in a Go tournament held at Great Hall Games (in Austin). I've enjoyed several of the games that can be played with the Icehouse pieces, specifically IceTowers (for the family), Icehouse (with 4 players), and Zendo (probably my favorite). While I was looking for the game rules, I spent some time reading the wunderland.com webzine. I really appreciated all the effort that you've gone to over the *years* to keep that interesting and full of new content. Keep up the good stuff!" -- email from a fan named Anderson

Thursday, October 16th, 2003
by the Writer's Guild of Wunderland

What's New?

What's Going On? Sharon's Day and the IceTowers Box

I'm very pleased to say that the IceTowers box artwork has gone to the printer! Scroll down to see what the box will look like...

Over the weekend the 3 of us (Me, Kristin, and Alison) met up with my brother's family (Jeff, Judy, Sharon, and James) at Busch Gardens-Williamsburg (a similarly long road trip for both groups) for an annual day of fun we call Sharon's Day. As I explain here every year, I'm Sharon's Godfather, and as such I've made it my mission to give her a special day each year when she is the star, since (through no fault of her own) she must always share her birthday with her twin brother James.

Sharon and James are 6 years old now, so we decided it was time for their first visit to one of my favorite theme parks. It was strange going to a place with several really great roller coasters and not riding any of them, but the lines were really long and we were there to hang out with the kids, not go off on rides they couldn't handle yet. (Anyway, by the next trip, I'm betting that Sharon at least will be ready to give some of them a try!)

So instead, we went on rides like the carrousel and the railroad and the leisurely boat ride, and watched as they went on the little rides they won't let grown-ups go on. We also enjoyed stuff like the bird show and the Land of the Dragons. Sharon really wanted to go on one of the big flume rides, but sadly, we arrived at one just as they were closing it for the day (because of their special Halloween events), and then, after working up the nerve to go on the other, more scary flume ride, and journeying over to the other side of the park, we AGAIN arrived just as they were closing it down for Halloween re-theming! They really should have posted signs somewhere, indicating the early closings. It was a major disappointment, but really, it was just a bump in an otherwise excellent day. At least we were able to get her onto the kiddie flume. And as you see in these photos, James and Sharon both got to ride the horseys they'd yearned for on the carrousel:

And I'm happy to say I was successful in my quest to get for her exactly the toy she said she wanted most of all the things she'd seen in the various gift shops we'd passed through during the day: a sparkly pink furry monkey, wearing sunglasses and a hawaiian print outfit.

[OK, so this may be a bit boring and indulgent for most of my readers, but trust me, this stuff will be really cool years from now when the twins are old enough to start reading about themselves on our website...]

As for IceTowers, last week I showed you what the underside of the boxed edition will look like. Here's a look at the top:

Alex Bradley did the painting (is it really a painting, since he did it all digitally?) and I'm absolutely delighted with it. I'm also really pleased with the logo, created by Alison, which didn't come together until the very last minute, after several false starts. We experimented with extruded letters and art deco fonts, but ultimately found inspiration in my collection of books about past visions of the future, specifically in the form of the logo from the Futurama at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Alison's lettering has a wonderful retro-futuristic look that feels kind of like a neon sign, thus fitting perfectly which Alex's vision of my imaginary urban landscape. Well done! And thanks!


Don't Forget to Play!

the story so far

Thought Residue
"If people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up." -- Rush Limbaugh, on his own radio show, 10/5/95
[Florida law provides for sentences of up to 5 years for illegally purchasing prescription drugs, a crime Rush Limbaugh admitted to on the radio 8 years later... shouldn't he be going to jail then, instead of rehab?]

"If he comes out of rehab and says, 'I was wrong about our approach to drugs,' he could single handedly change the way America looks at this problem... But he's gotta keep it real when he gets out. If he starts living the morally indefensible double standard he has been defending his whole career, game over. He learned nothing, or is too weak to admit it. That would be a shame, because I think he has it in him to do this, and the power and accomplishment from turning this battleship around would be, well - a rush." -- Bill Maher, in his blog entry for 10/13/3, regarding Rush Limbaugh
"You guys know who Philo Farnsworth was? He invented the television, in a little house in Provo, Utah, at a time when the idea of transmitting moving pictures through the air would be like me saying I had figured out a way to beam us aboard the Starship Enterprise. He was a visionary. He died broke, and without fanfare. The guy I really like though, was his brother-in-law, Cliff Gardner. He said 'Philo, I know everyone thinks you're crazy, but I want to be a part of this. I don't have your head for science, so I'm not going to be able to help much with the design and the mechanics of the invention, but it sounds like you're going to need glass tubes.' You see, Philo was inventing the cathode receptor, and even though Cliff didn't know what that meant or how it worked, he'd seen Philo's drawings, and he knew that he was gonna need glass tubes! And since television hadn't been invented yet, it's not like you could get them at the local TV repair shop. 'I want to be part of this,' Cliff said, 'and I don't have your head for science. How would it be if I were to teach myself to be a glass-blower, and I could set up a little shop, in the backyard, and I could make all the tubes you'll need for testing.' There ought to be congressional medals for people like that. [Anyway...] I can help. I can make glass tubes. That's what they need." -- William Macy's character on an episode of "SportsNight" I accidentally taped


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