Human powered cranes (@ Low Tech Magazine) - ancient man lifts 632 times the normal human limit, sneers at puny moderns and their 'machines'.
Treadwheel Fans (@ Low Tech Magazine) - Victorians use Wheel of Pain to make prisoners "grind the wind", vast quantities of drugs implicated.
Comic Book Cartography blog - includes Principles of Kirbytech, Kamandi's continent and secret base cutaways.
and, from the depths of the yesterweb: Cone swarms ( @ halfbakery.com) - traffic cones + simple AI = lulz.
Unrelated to the above:
I was nosing through the games section of one of our local FLGSes during my lunch hour today, having been initially attracted by the big boxy beauty of the Warhammer: Invasion card game (yeah, I have a dysfunctional love/hate relationship with GW licensed properties).
Awful to say, but none of the high gloss, high production value (and appropriately high priced) books or boxes on offer appealed to me. Nor did any of the other gamer juju presented for my delectation:
- Map tiles/layouts? Cool! - But I have about half an acre of those already...
- Premium dice? Cool! - But I already have more dice than brain cells...
- Cthulhu minis? Cooool! - But I know where I can get bits cheap to kitbash my own...
- C[-ataan, -arcassone] Eurogames? Cooooool! - But who wants to learn a whole new game when we've got so many old ones to replay...
"Why do I want this block of shelf beautifier at £stupid*, when I can legally download [other stuff I could name] for free, print it for pennies, and know it'll get used to death in actual, real world play?"
* Thanks to exchange rates and an egregious tax regime (import duties, VAT, and other such 'tax on tax' taxes) we in the UK end up paying in Sterling for our games roughly what Americans pay in dollars. It has ever been thus, and ever has it sucked.
Maybe the sheer profusion of good, cheap-to-free gaming material available on the internet has spoiled me (in accordance with the unalterable principle that "you can't beat free"), or maybe I'm just a tight-fisted auld fart, but sorry FLGS: no sale. My gaming gelt is instead reserved for forthcoming OSR releases. Freeware, print-on-demand, or small press game material may not have the 'pretty pretty princess' production values of the marque rulesets, but they have a combination of utility, flexibility and availability that big name games using traditional distribution channels can't match.
I'm sure there's something big and important about the state of the industry and hobby represented in that little personal anacdote, but I'm no pundit. I'm just a guy who walked into a store wanting to spend some money on something he could use in his game, but who walked out disappointed.
Oh well. At least I've managed to nab the one KEW "Kane" book I was missing. (at last!) And, unexpected bonus, my newly arrived, dirt cheap from the interweb tat bazaars (I paid less for it than the 95p cover price from 1980!) copy of "Death Angel's Shadow" was signed and dated by the man himself.
PS: Yes, recent content-free waffleposts nonwithstanding, there is actual gameable content coming down the pipe.