Giochi dell'Oca - A large (2,265) collection of The Game of the Goose circa 1550 to 2014. Some of them with detail e.g. Games of the Pilgrim's progress - Going to Sunday School - Tower of Babel and The New Game of Human Life.
In November 2007, a new board game called Yavalath was invented. The rules of Yavalath are simple: Players take turns adding a piece of their colour to a hexagonal board and win by making four-in-a-row of their colour – but lose by making three-in-a-row beforehand. Yavalath has proven reasonably popular as its simple rules allow interesting and surprising situations to develop due to its innovative win with four but lose with three winning condition. But Yavalath is really set apart from the many other board games invented in 2007 by one remarkable fact: Yavalath was designed by a computer programme. [more inside]
Nearly unrecognizable to today's MotoGP contests, with top speeds upwards of 215mph (346kph), early days of modern-day American motorcycle racing still reached speeds of 95mph (152kph) on dangerous wooden 45° banked tracks that earned the nickname Murderdromes by the end of the 1920's. Riders often raced with no brakes and leather helmets. But mostly, just a sweater and a smile. [more inside]
Sir George Julius's Automatic Totalisator, first used by the public in New Zealand, and quickly taken up by racetracks throughout Australasia and North America (warning hideous HTML), automates parimutuel betting.
NASA releases the Columbia shuttle disaster report. Space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry in 2003 as a result of damage sustained to its thermal protection system. This report details the possible lethal incidents and the investigation board's recommendations based on their findings. [more inside]
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, "International Chess" was the only widely known chess variant in the West. It had its problems. People tried to solve them. Of course, they could just play xiangqi instead. There's also janggi, Makruk, and the granddaddy of them all, chaturanga. Perhaps the most refined game in the family, however, is Japanese Chess--shogi. [more inside]
"I've said all along, we are in this together." John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange - the royalty collecting arm of the RIAA - extends an olive branch through 2008 that will cap the advance payments internet broadcasters will have to cough up at $2500 per year. This comes in the wake of the Day of Silence, (it was June 26, did anyone notice?) spearheaded by Los Angeles-based terrestrial/online radio station KCRW (home of the brilliant Morning Becomes Eclectic) and SaveNetRadio, during which some of the biggest names in online radio - include Live365, NPR and Pandora - went dark for 24 hours, airing a one-hour broadcast twice during that day on the history of flat fees in public broadcasting. [direct .mp3, 38mb] Under the much-maligned changes made by our government's Copyright Royalty Board, the top six internet radio stations would have had to pay 47 percent of their total revenue (anticipated to be around $37.5 mil.) to the RIAA, starting this July. The Internet Radio Equality Act [summary, in its entire pdf glory] has been introduced to the House of Representatives, seeking to permanently reverse this decision.
One day, a vintage motorcycle restorer gets an idea in his head to tackle a new project, restoring an old-timey "board-tracker" bike. In and of itself, that's not such a big deal; over the past century, vehicle restoration has become equal parts hobby, business, and spectator sport. The catch with this particular project, however, is that there are no existing examples of the bike he wants to rebuild, the last known extant part remaining is a corroded engine case, and there are only 5 known photographs - all of which happen to show just the right side of the bike. This is the story (so far) of Paul Brodie's Excelsior OHC. [via]
Web discussion forums have some fantastic content. There is an excellent rank-ordered, categorized index of many of them, but the attempts to create a search engine for these forums, akin to that which already exists for the newsgroups, have generally failed. Let's wish Omgili some luck then. Maybe even do so in their forum.
The Online Guide to Traditional games has a short history with pictures of many games that were in existence prior to 1900 and are still played today. Some, like Mancala, much prior to 1900. Also collected by the same author are the rules for many of the games.
Ouija and other talking boards.