Six Random Links

If I can't prod myself to post new content at least once a week, this may become a regular feature of the blog. Why not share some link love?
Gamers always seem to be fascinated by maps. I try to check out what's new on the Strange Maps blog every week or so.What? You don't know about xkcd, the geekiest stick-figure cartoon north of the Charles River? For shame...Grognardia has been talking about Diplomacy today, and that always makes me think of Slobbovia -- a free-wheeling Diplomacy variant that was played by a close-knit group of friends (including game designer Greg Costikyan) in the 1970s and 1980s. They ignored pesky things like rules and victory conditions, and concentrated on creating a shared world with rich history and traditions. This kind of long-term community building is a rare thing to find, and should be (IMHO) held up as an exemplar of the ways that games can enhance the quality and meaning of lives. Aberrant Hive Mind has posted an incomplete, but very fun-looking set of rules for an old-school D&D-based RPG.A nice blog about archaeology, history, wine, and sometimes games, is For some reason, reading it induces calm. Must be because it's author is Canadian.... :-)
A great resource book for improving one's productivity (and other aspects of mental dexterity) is Ron Hale-Evans' Mind Performance Hacks.  75 individual tricks for making yourself into a better mentat!