Tag Archives: Gap

Arm Yourselves With Home-Made Mini Crossbows

So this is what it feels like to rule the world through massively overwhelming force.

Or just the battlefield that is my home.

Yes, dudes, when you can weaponize hair clips, you know you’re on This screen grab is from the video posted by TheKingOfRandom.com and showing you how to create a mini crossbow from hair clips, popsicle sticks, hot glue and twine.the top of the family heap. Luckily for you out there in reader land, I’m feeling in a benevolent mood and I’m going to show you how I learned a method of creating a mini crossbow that can fire wooden matches, either lit or unlit, a distance of several yards.

This, dudes, is how you protect your cube.

Or just annoy the little dudes until they get angry enough to actually build one of their own and start firing back.


A big tip of the hat to my writing pal, The Dragon, for sending me the link that showed me how to create the massive crossbow gap that currently exists in the not-so-friendly-anymore confines of Casa de Dude.

Here’s the clip.

Pretty neat, no?

Pretty neat, yes indeedey oh!

If you’re like me and do better with written instructions, you can go here to download a .pdf listing all the gear you’ll need and the steps necessary to weaponize hair-care products.

I’d love to see whatever you dudes come up with after watching the video and checking out the instructions. Mine didn’t look quite as good as the ones here, but not bad and, even better, it worked.

Thanks to the mini crossbow, I now possess an almost insurmountable advantage in desktop weaponry. I shall rule with my iron fist, velvet glove optional.

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It’s On The Tip Of My Tongue

According to some strenuous research (I sat down and googled the whole topic and then browsed around for a bit), your vocabulary is directly correlated with the amount of time you spend reading.

That is, the more time you spend reading on a daily basis, the larger your vocabulary. And that’s a good thing. Other studies have shown that if you have a larger vocabulary, you’re more likely to succeed. For various meanings of succeed.

By the time they reach adulthood, people who make a habit of reading have a vocabulary that is about four times the size of those who rarely or never read.  This disparity starts early and grows throughout life.

According to Beck and McKeown (1991), 5 to 6 year olds have a working vocabulary of 2,500 to 5,000 words.  Whether a child is near the bottom or the top of that range depends upon their literacy skills coming into the first grade (Graves,1986; White, Graves & Slater, 1990).  In other words, by the first grade, the vocabulary of the disadvantaged student is half that of the advantaged student, and over time, that gap widens.

All of which has very little to do with what I’m about to talk about, other than as a generalized plea for all you parents out there to read to your little dudes and little dudettes as often as you can. Get them started loving reading and their lives will be enriched immeasurably.

No, I’m here to talk about words that aren’t. . . can’t be in your English vocabulary. These are words that don’t have an equivalent in the English language. And they’re wonderful.

You know that feeling when you’ve sat down to a tremendous meal and you keep eating, even though you can feel your belt about to split into shrieking pieces? Yeah, if you spoke Georgian, you’d have a word for that. It’s shemomedjamo, and it means “I accidentally ate the whole thing.” Beautiful!

And then there’s one of my favorites. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that horrible sinking feeling just after greeting someone when I realize I have absolutely no idea what his name is, but he sure knows me and, even worse, I’m expected to introduce him to someone else. If only I were Scots, then I’d know that feeling is tartle. Yeah, really.

Ever see Zombieland? In it, Columbus, the protagonist, dreams about finding a girl — a real girl — and lovingly running his fingers through her hair and brushing it back over her ear. If only he spoke Portuguese in Brazil, he’d know that he was longing for cafune. Horrible, isn’t it, the way I can drag zombies into just about anything.

Anyway, why not head over to The Week’s fascinating article on the subject. You might learn a new word, maybe for a woman yelling and cursing at her kids from the doorway or in line at the supermarket or at a restaurant. That act right there? The Danes call it kaelling.

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Marketing The Generation Gap

by Richard

There’s a hilarious marketing campaign going on and, if you don’t play console video games, you might have no idea. Visceral Games and EA Games partnered on the zombies-in-space game, Dead Space, a while ago. Now they’re getting ready to release the sequel, called, oddly enough, Dead Space 2, and they’re trying to turn a bug into a feature.

See, this game is gory, violent and — for the most part — basically senseless. Super-deformed zombie attack space stations and you have to blow them to bloody chunks. Frequently. Very, very bloody chunks.

Of course, the young dudes love both the game and the idea of the game. As, I’m sure, do many, many other young dudes with a yen for blowing stuff up, that is, rendering large, mobile formerly-human things into very small squishy bits. Of course they love it. How could they not?

Which brings us to the brilliant — and brilliantly funny — marketing campaign for the game. The tagline is this: Your mom hates Dead Space 2. No, seriously.

The great thing is that the television commercial is short clips of the game interspersed with head-on shots of actual moms reacting to the clips. The moms are appropriately appalled. And, dude, that makes for very funny television. Take a look.

See? See? That’s funny stuff.

If you go watch that on youtube.com here, you can see a whole bunch more, including the entire interviews with the various moms.

What I think is so funny is that, for years and years, games would run very far and very fast from the explicit suggestion of active parental dissatisfaction. They didn’t want parents to be against a game. They’d talk up the — admittedly very, very few — redeeming features of the game as if that made up for the blood and guts.

We all know that — for the most part — if you tell your teen dude to take a breath, he’ll probably hold his breath until he turns blue, passes out, regains consciousness, holds his breath until he passes out again, regains consciousness and then crawls away to sulk about the unfairness of the world. Conversely, if a parent says something is good, it must be appalling.

EA and Visceral have done a great job of turning this on its head. “Your mom hates this, so you MUST buy it.”

Makes sense to me. In fact, I think I might even buy it. Maybe it’s the game I need to actually make me play on the console. Of course, knowing my mom, she’d just sigh and go back to reading her book. She’s annoying that way. I think she does it on purpose.

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