Seneca on faith in self-improvement 

I do not know whether I shall make progress; but I should prefer to lack success rather than to lack faith.

From Seneca’s letter on Reformation in the context of trying to improve, with Stoic advice, a “hardened” forty-year old “past handling.”

Seneca on Treacherous Goods

Fix a limit which you will not even desire to pass, should you have the power. At last, then, away with all these treacherous goods! They look better to those who hope for them than to those who have attained them. If there were anything substantial in them, they would sooner or later satisfy you; as it is, they merely rouse the drinkers’ thirst.

— Seneca

Literary Theory: Transform and roll out!

The definition of “Authorial Intention” offered by Google (and the first result if you use “intent” as a keyword instead of “intention”) is from …


Screen Shot

The Internet is an amazing place.

The Peirce Quincuncial Projection


In the normal aspect, Peirce’s projection presents the Northern Hemisphere in a square; the Southern Hemisphere is split into four isosceles triangles symmetrically surrounding the first one, akin to star-like projections. In effect, the whole map is a square, inspiring Peirce to call his projection quincuncial, after the arrangement of five items in a quincunx.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Lives of Jim: a Print and Play Board Game


The past few days I’ve been working on a print and play board game in the evenings called Lives of Jim. It’s part of a 10-day paper game jam I’m taking part in. You can find Lives of Jim on if you want to print it out and play it. And the home for the game jam is on too. (That’s why I’m using — never heard of it before, love the URL.)

As if designing your own board game for a paper game jam isn’t nerdy enough each one of the character cards from the game is sort of a nod to different time travel tropes or stories. (One of the suggested themes for the paper game jam, the one I’ve adopted for the game, is time travel.)


There’s a future conqueror like Marvel’s Kang or Chronoliths, something like a terminator, Looper, a heartbroken time traveler like Slaughterhouse Five or maybe the time traveler’s wife, and the idea of morlocks or the caveman from Altered States.

I’m reaching a bit with calling Altered States a time travel movie. I kind of just like pointing people at that movie whenever I can though.

Let me know if you try out Lives of Jim!

Board Game Night

Next Friday I’ll be putting on a board game night for our neighbourhood youth group of kids around grades 4–7. Of course, I’ve started geeking out about this already. Over the past four or five months I’ve had a lot of fun playing designer board games and building a small collection of great games to play with my ten-year old son, my wife, my four-year old daughter — the whole family.

Here’s a few of the games I’ll be putting on. It’s very likely, if you’re reading this post, that you won’t be coming to the board game night. Sorry, readers. Still, you might find something here that’ll create some laughs and surprises on your own family fun night around the kitchen table.

Continue reading “Board Game Night”

Arimaa: My current game obsession

Designed to be impossible for a Deep Blue to beat the best human player but simple enough for a four year old to learn. Playable with a chess board and pieces but it’s not a chess variant. It’s Arimaa. (Pronounced a-ree-muh.) More importantly, it’s fun. Here’s how to play.

There’s more at the Arimaa site plus an app for Android and iOS. With the exception of the probably-not-going-to-be-reprinted-anytime-soon physical version, they’re all charmingly ugly. Don’t let that stop you.

Using the Twenty Fifteen WordPress theme for my blog

I bugged Takashi so much about the yellow color scheme it’d be pretty embarrassing if I didn’t use it here. I think it’s pretty sharp. And it makes me want to blog more! That’s a good theme design.