Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 18:09 on 11-06-2013, Arthur B
Thought this might be of interest: Lillian Cohen-Moore is trying to get support for an oral history of women in table-top gaming.

Interesting stuff - will see about signal-boosting.
at 09:14 on 10-06-2013, Claire E Fitzgerald

This is cosmically adorable.
at 08:18 on 10-06-2013, Arthur B
I deflect the selections from Hush, Hush using the powerful magnetic field exerted by Contest!
at 07:24 on 10-06-2013, Shimmin
I counter-attack with selections from Hush, Hush. Roll vs. nausea!
at 23:34 on 09-06-2013, Jamie Johnston
We use readings from Drood to hypnotize you into believing the danger has passed.
at 19:28 on 08-06-2013, Shimmin
I retreat behind a barricade of Dreaming Voids, impervious to any assault!
at 17:48 on 08-06-2013, Arthur B

I misread that at first as "Shim-kicking". Which I guess would be a sport where we drop-kick copies of Hilary Mantel books at you.
at 16:20 on 08-06-2013, Fishing in the Mud
I really need to "like" that last comment.
at 10:00 on 08-06-2013, Robinson L
Favorite facebook meme of the week (likely inspired by HBO's "Game of Thrones" having just reached the Red Wedding):

Why doesn't George RR Martin use twitter?

Because he killed off all 140 characters.
at 09:13 on 07-06-2013, Shimmin permalink
at 12:48 on 05-06-2013, Fin
I've always wanted to try my hand at chess boxing someday.
at 13:52 on 02-06-2013, Dan H
It kind of is, except the only offensive move is to toss a wheel of cheese down the hill and hope your opponents chase it, and the only defensive move is to pretend you didn't see the cheese.

Truly, the only winning move is not to play.
at 12:29 on 02-06-2013, Arthur B
Also, cheese rolling. Although that isn't a martial art.

It kind of is, except the only offensive move is to toss a wheel of cheese down the hill and hope your opponents chase it, and the only defensive move is to pretend you didn't see the cheese.
at 10:50 on 02-06-2013, Dan H
If we're reading the same article I'm afraid that it probably was entirely made up (the article makes it fairly clear that it was invented for a comedy sketch show in the early 1960s).

That said, there *are* some pretty awesome sports knocking around the WMA community. In Somerset there's a sport in which people take it in turns to hit each other over the head with a stick, and in - I think - Cornwall there are annual shin-kicking contests, in which participants stuff straw down their trousers and kick each other in the shins until one person gives up.

Also, cheese rolling. Although that isn't a martial art.
at 23:14 on 01-06-2013, Pear
So. Dwile Flonking.

The pastime of dwile flonking (also dwyle flunking) involves two teams, each taking a turn to dance around the other while attempting to avoid a beer-soaked dwile (cloth) thrown by the non-dancing team.

"Dwile" is a knitted floor cloth, from the Dutch dweil, meaning "mop", and "flonk" is probably a corruption of flong, an old past tense of fling.


According to the Friends Of The Lewes Arms, "The rules of the game are impenetrable and the result is always contested."

A 'dull witted person' is chosen as the referee or 'jobanowl' and the two teams decide who flonks first by tossing a sugar beet. The game begins when the jobanowl shouts "Here y'go t'gither!"

The non-flonking team joins hands and dances in a circle around a member of the flonking team, a practice known as 'girting'. The flonker dips his dwile-tipped 'driveller' (a pole 2–3 ft long and made from hazel or yew) into a bucket of beer, then spins around in the opposite direction to the girters and flonks his dwile at them.

I was sure it must be some kind of hoax because it all sounds like a try-too-hard Monty Python sketch, but apparently it is an old English game resurrected in the 60s. Hmm.

ngl though, I could hardly breathe for laughing when I first read the article, it is too ridiculous!
at 13:59 on 01-06-2013, Arthur B
Meh, man is something that shall be overcome anyway.
at 04:19 on 01-06-2013, Melanie
All these fake men nowadays, am I right? Don't you just hate it when you're talking to some dude and then you find out he's actually a mannequin.
at 02:14 on 01-06-2013, Michal
Fucking hilarious.

"Ladies… real men do exist; there aren’t many of us, but we’re survivors and will be around for a while. Come find us."

I like to imagine they're all squirreled away in a bunker somewhere, and have left clues to their whereabouts scattered in various museums throughout Sweden and Mongolia.
at 00:01 on 31-05-2013, Shimmin
To anticipate some likely further questions:

The recent fire at the National Library of Wales was not suspicious. It did not start in Renovation Room 4, which is not a cover term for Secure Containment Bay D: Grimoires (Enochian). No irreplaceable books were lost in the incident, and in particular, precisely zero such tomes were reported flying over the Llyn Peninsula during the recent earthquake.

The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, was constructed according to available land and the whims of the architect. It was not built on an unstable conflux of geomagnetic fields, and does not serve as a local nexus of temporal anomalies resulting in certain local oddities of habit. The tunnels under the Bodleian Libraries were built for the purpose of book storage and transportation, and the recent opening of the tunnels to readers is a move to provide better access to the collections, not an elaborate cover story. No readers have gone missing after wandering into regions of the tunnels with unusual physical properties, and shadowy figures do not stalk the tunnels when Aldebaran is above the horizon. The tunnels do not connect to the University of Cambridge, nor to the catacombs beneath Paris.

The omission of certain letters (to whit I, O, W and X, not to mention Ð, Þ and Ƿ) from the Library of Congress classification is a pragmatic decision taken to minimise confusion. These letters are indeed absent from the scheme, and do not serve to classify certain illicit and impossible topics which lie beyond mortal reckoning.

There exists no Dewey Decimal System shelfmark which, to the educated eye, reveals details of the beginning and end of all things, nor any which can be inscribed and manipulated to lay bare the space-time continuum itself.

Library fines serve to encourage borrowers to return books in a timely fashion for the use of other readers. There is no, I repeat no, ancient tithe of bukegild paid to certain chthonian entities in recognition of grave and terrible services; these entities do not exist, and in any case would have no use for money even if they did. Which they don't.
at 23:34 on 30-05-2013, Shimmin
Please tell me that you're a sworn member of the Librarians of Time and Space.

If you had the clearance to get an answer, you would already know the answer.
at 22:45 on 30-05-2013, Kit
Please tell me that you're a sworn member of the Librarians of Time and Space. I so desperately want that to be real.
at 22:14 on 30-05-2013, Shimmin
Shimmin as a certain orang-utan who routinely wanders off into L-space to look for books about dragons and goes "oook" a lot.
There is a surprising amount of similarity in just about all of those points. Although tragically I am not a redhead.