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The Empty City

New this week: Chapter 100, the concluding chapter, in which Dave gets home early


Why Didn't You Look in the Glovebox?

When Dr. Enirambus vanished, Wendy inherited his time machine. It was installed in a black 1973 Volkswagen Beetle, selected as the car most likely to blend into any past or future setting. But Wendy didn't comprehend what she really owned. She sold it to a couple of hippies, and those two are seriously tripping now.


"It's just weird that a Saturday night stay-over would do that."
- me

Cool Words

panoply (pan'-oh-plee) n. 1: the complete arms and armor of a warrior 2: something that covers or protects 3: a magnificent array

Haiku Reviews

Dick :-|

convinces us that
adults are just teenagers
with power and bucks.
Daddy-O's Reviews

Mystery Men

I loved this film, for the same reasons I liked the old Adam West Batman series more than those big budget movies, which took themselves way too seriously. This film is extremely funny, not to mention visually stunning. It's great fun, go see it.

Tirade's Choice
Visual Personality Test
Fruits of Chaos
Today in History
August 12, 1999
a webzine created by the Wunderland Toast Society

New this week:

  • A new recipe (Creamy Veggie Sauté)
  • The Ouija Dancing page has been updated
  • The HMR rating system has been adjusted and simplified

What's New? We've Signed Off on the Icehouse Piece Drawings

On Monday of this week, we signed off on the final drawings for the new Icehouse pieces, and they look just fabulous. Now KLON can start cutting metal, which means by early October we should have the actual pieces! Yay!

Duane the Mold Designer took great pains to design our pieces to properly cap and nest, and the drawings make it look like they'll do so perfectly. Our main concern was that the pieces not stick together when they nest, so Duane designed the hollow inner tip to inhibit the creation of a vacuum seal when joined by the tip of a piece being inserted. He also made sure the pieces won't wobble when stacked.

But having finally determined that the piece sizes won't change, the next question we had to answer was this: Could anything be done to help make size differentiation a little easier?

Icehouse veterans have heard it a thousand times: "Is that a 2 pointer or a 3 pointer?" Previous incarnations of the Icehouse set have all been so labor intensive that additional markings were never even considered. However, with injection-molding we have options that were never even possible before. Our first couple of ideas for subtle sizing marks were ruled infeasible by Duane, but once we understood the options and limitations, we came up with something that we all agreed would be both effective and aesthetically pleasing.

The next generation Icehouse pieces will include a set of pips, running along the bottom edges of each piece, on all 4 sides. The pips will be sunken, like the dots on dice (only larger), and will be slightly pear-shaped. On the bigger pieces, they'll be left justified (kind of like the collar pips on formal Star Fleet uniforms) while on the pawn, the solitary pip will be dead-center. The rightmost pips on the larger pieces will also be centered, thus giving the pips added utility as alignments markers during the occasional floss call, at Icehouse tournaments if nowhere else.

We're excited about the design for the pips, but if you've got a better idea for sizing indicators, keep it to yourself, 'cause we've already signed off on the drawings. (On the other hand, we're still interested in feedback on IceTowers, so if you've been playtesting that for us, be sure to send in your comments.)

This week marks another major milestone: I've posted the final chapter of The Empty City, and in so doing I've completed a project I've been gradually working on for nearly 2 years. Wanna see how far we've progressed in that time? Take a look at the first of my weekly entries, when I announced the one-chapter-a-week plan... (and visit the Archive page if you want to read the 97 entries in between)

With The Empty City complete, we'll be down one featurette, so next week I'll be launching something new to take it's place. It'll be called "Sketchbook Harvest."

Alison's internship at the American Horticultural Society ended this week, and since she hasn't found anything else to her liking just yet, she's gonna be helping us out with Looney Labs stuff full time for awhile. This is great for us, since we've got more work than we can handle right now, in getting Icehouse ready for production. Unfortunately, she's gonna need to get a real job sooner or later, since we won't have money enough to pay employees until after Christmas at the absolute earliest. But it's great to have her help right now, when our Art and Design Department is swamped...

AndySee you next Thursday...

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
Everyone knows that the surest way to make it rain is to wash your car... so why, when we're in the middle of a drought, are we forbidden to wash our automobiles? Shouldn't we instead be instructed to wash them, so that it'll rain?
"Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like 'plate' or 'shrimp' or 'plate of shrimp', out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either; it's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness." - Miller, Repo Man
The Kansas Board of Education voted yesterday to eliminate the teaching of evolution from public school curricula. Ouch.

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