Random Thoughts Bloggin’ 2015

Eye surgery in just 5 days: these *are* my glasses, so give them back to me

So, I intend this year to start adding more content here on the old Nerdbrarian blog. Lately, though, a lot of my writing energy has been going toward writing for work, rather than the personal blog, but here are a few highlights:

Finding Free Music Without Getting Sued | The Educational Merits of Minecraft | Life Lessons from Little Free Libraries | Graphic Novels for the Skeptical | The Freedom of Open Source

Photo credit: Monsieur Gordon, CC BY 2.0

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Random Thoughts What’s right with kids these days?

Patriotic Teenagers
“Patriotic Teenagers” by Rebecca Schley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I must be getting to that very special age when all my peers on Facebook begin to moan about how kids these days are swirling the bowl toward moral oblivion. And it makes me wonder if, of all the generalizations that one could possibly apply to Generation X, our having a short memory might turn out to be the most universally applicable.

So, why bring this up on a blog ostensibly about library-related matters? Because frankly, most of the handwringing assumptions about kids these days fall apart in the face of old-fashioned facts. And finding facts, that’s kind of a librarian’s jam.

Turns out, by a number of metrics, kids these days are actually much better off than they were a generation prior. No, seriously, kids today are less violent, less depressed, and less stupid about basic life decisions than they were twenty years ago. Continue reading

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Random Thoughts Reading Rainbow Kickstarter tops $1 Million

LeVar Burton has a Kickstarter currently going to revive Reading Rainbow for the web and in classrooms. Currently, the total has already reached $2 million. Watch the video above for Burton’s reaction to the first million-dollar milestone.

Via The Mary Sue.

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Game Talk Nerdstarter: We’re going to need a bigger bookshelf

TimeWatchA few new RPGs on Kickstarter, all of which have reached their funding goals already and are working through the ol’ stretch goals: TimeWatch, by Kevin W. Kulp, is a game of investigative time travel based on the GUMSHOE system created by Robin Laws. It’s got four days left to go, with a lot of bonus stretch-goal content unlocked (including rules for playing as an alternate-timeline intelligent dinosaur, so, you know, get on that).

Twelve days left to go on indie RPG icon Will Hindmarch’s newest kickstarter, Project: Dark, a game focusing on stealth-based adventures but with enough flexibility to be played in a variety of settings. The default setting is the fantastical city of Saturnine, described as “a blend of Elizabethan London and medieval Constantinople,” but a couple setting supplements have been unlocked as stretch goals: Dark|Net, “a post-collapse dystopian future,” and Dark Planet, “an extrasolar colony world oppressed by an alien menace.” With hearty endorsements by both Wil Wheaton and Jason Morningstar, Project:Dark sounds like it ought to be good fun.

Finally, Paul Czege, author of the Diana-Jones-Award-winning indie RPG My Life with Master, has a new project on Kickstarter that’s already made its funding goal with twenty-five days remaining: The Clay That Woke is a game about a minotaur underclass in a human civilization. The setting information is intentionally sparse, but the artwork is pretty inspiring and the game mechanics look to be rather elegant. If My Life with Master is any indication, Czege’s newest is bound to be an intelligent and immersive game.

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Game Talk ConTessa Online Tabletop Gaming Convention

ConTessa Feb 7th- 9thI just heard about ConTessa through the Story Games newsletter with a couple weeks to spare. The convention will be February 7th through 9th on Google Hangout, with games, panels, and more.

But the really awesome thing? While the convention is open to attendees of any gender, the conference and all the games will be run by women. And there’s a big emphasis on getting more women into game design, including a panel discussion with indie game designers Meguey Baker of Night Sky Games, Emily Care Boss of Black and Green Games, and Brie Sheldon from Daedalum Analog Productions. And it’s free, so you really have no excuse…

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