How to play “Dave’s Famous Telephone Charades”

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Dave’s Famous Telephone Charades is a party game that requires a minimum of 4 “participants,” as well as a certain critical mass of reasonably creative “audience members,” probably no less than 4. It was a perennial favourite of my circle of friends when I was an undergrad at Western.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Players 1–4 go to a separate room where they can’t see or hear the audience members talking.
  2. The audience members choose a scene to be acted out silently by the players.
    • The instructions for the scene to be acted out should be simple—aim for 1 sentence.
    • The scene should lend itself easily to physical movement and interpretation.
    • The scene must be something that can be acted out silently.
    • Examples include: “washing the dishes,” “an otter in its natural habitat,” “a day in the life of a …”
  3. Player 1 comes back to the room with the audience, where he is told the scene to be acted out. He is given 10 seconds to think about what exactly he will do.
  4. Player 2 comes into the room and watches player 1 silently act out the scene given to him. The scene should be about 30 seconds long, tops. To be clear: no one tells players 2–4 what the scene is until after the game is finished.
  5. Player 3 enters and player 2 acts out the scene from memory, not knowing the instructions that were given to player 1.
  6. Player 4 enters and player 3 acts out the scene from memory.
  7. Player 4 acts out the scene as best he can from memory, narrating what it is she thinks she is acting out.
  8. Player 3 corrects player 4.
  9. Player 2 corrects player 3.
  10. Player 1 reveals the instructions she was given in the first place.

This sort of game only works with certain kinds of people in the right sort of mood, but when you have the right combination of people with the right sort of energy all together in the same place, it can be hilarious.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2013-3471,
    title = {How to play “Dave’s Famous Telephone Charades”},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2013-04-7,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/04/07/how-to-play-daves-famous-telephone-charades/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "How to play “Dave’s Famous Telephone Charades”" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 07 Apr 2013. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/04/07/how-to-play-daves-famous-telephone-charades/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2013, Apr 07). How to play “Dave’s Famous Telephone Charades” [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2013/04/07/how-to-play-daves-famous-telephone-charades/


How to turn a car covered in a white tarp into a Super Mario Bros. ghost

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Boo car

Boo car

There is a car in the garage in my apartment building that has had a white tarp over it for the last few weeks.

Yielding to temptation, my little sister and I taped eyes, mouth and wings to it, to turn it into a ghost from Super Mario.

We’ll gauge how much the owner of the car appreciates it by how long it stays up.

You too can turn a car (or anything really) covered in a white tarp into a Super Mario Bros. ghost!

Step 1: download and print eyes, mouth, and wings.

Step 2: affix to tarp with tape.

Step 3: take photos.

You have now committed the perfect crime.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2619,
    title = {How to turn a car covered in a white tarp into a Super Mario Bros. ghost},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-12-31,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/12/31/how-to-turn-a-car-covered-in-a-white-tarp-into-a-super-mario-bros-ghost/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "How to turn a car covered in a white tarp into a Super Mario Bros. ghost" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 31 Dec 2011. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/12/31/how-to-turn-a-car-covered-in-a-white-tarp-into-a-super-mario-bros-ghost/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Dec 31). How to turn a car covered in a white tarp into a Super Mario Bros. ghost [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/12/31/how-to-turn-a-car-covered-in-a-white-tarp-into-a-super-mario-bros-ghost/


How to tell someone’s fortune

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I have to admit, I can’t take full credit for this idea. Steps 1–3 were Pickles’ idea. This technique will only work if you have a smartphone and you take public transit regularly.

  1. Sign up for a Twitter account and a Google+ account.
  2. Next time your bus or métro is late, open Twitter and Google+ on your smartphone and search under “nearby” for tweets and posts that make reference to the bus or métro stop where you are. (A Twitter user’s first instinct, when his or her bus or métro is late, is to tweet about it.)
  3. When you’ve found a recent tweet about your particular public transit problem, try to identify who it is that wrote it. Often you can do this from the person’s profile photo and by seeing who is fiddling with a smartphone.
  4. Read back on that person’s tweets and try to infer 5 or 6 minor but specific details about that person’s life that couldn’t be guessed from the person’s appearance. Memorise these.
  5. Look for one major thing, like a fight with a family member or an assignment at work or school, that is recent enough to not have been resolved yet. Try to guess what it is that the person would like to hear about that.
  6. Approach.
  7. Ask to see the person’s palm, or the pattern of coffee grinds in the bottom of her cup, or (my personal favourite) grab the person’s earlobe, and say, “Your pagh is strong, my child.”
  8. Use the minor details that you have gleaned from his or her Twitter or Google+ feed to gain the person’s trust. (E.g. “Your roommate—she doesn’t do the dishes very regularly, does she?” or “Did you just get a promotion at work?”)
  9. Act surprised about something, and then play “hard to get.” (E.g. “Oh! Isn’t that something!” / “What?” / “I don’t know if I should tell you. It’s about [major detail from step 5].”)
  10. Let the person offer you money. Begrudgingly accept.
  11. Tell the person what he or she wants to hear. (“Your brother puts up a tough exterior, but deep down he forgives you.”)
  12. Cackle, disappear in a puff of smoke.

If any of you actually has an opportunity to try this, let me know how it works out.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2069,
    title = {How to tell someone’s fortune},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-08-13,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/13/how-to-tell-someones-fortune/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "How to tell someone’s fortune" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 13 Aug 2011. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/13/how-to-tell-someones-fortune/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Aug 13). How to tell someone’s fortune [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/13/how-to-tell-someones-fortune/


No conventional way to get to space from North America

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Yesterday was the last launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. This is significant because after the space shuttle programme ends, there will be no conventional way to leave the planet from North America. By “conventional way to get to leave the planet,” I mean things like rockets and space shuttles. Of course I can’t rule out, a priori, the possibility of things like inter-dimensional portals, unguarded Tardises or magic wardrobes.

I believe the date for the last planned flight of Atlantis is June 28th, so if you really need to get off the planet and you don’t want to book a seat on a Soyuz capsule (and you don’t have access to a non-conventional method of leaving the planet), this is the way to go. That said, the shuttles will be sent to museums after they retire, so you might try hijacking one of them if you are really desperate.

In related news, it turns out that Gliese 581g still probably might not exist maybe, but Gliese 581d might have liquid water.

“This discovery is important because it’s the first time climate modellers have proved that the planet is potentially habitable, and all observers agree that the exoplanet exists.” (Dr Wordsworth, a member of the team from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace in Paris)

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1776,
    title = {No conventional way to get to space from North America},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-05-17,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/17/no-conventional-way-to-get-to-space-from-north-america/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "No conventional way to get to space from North America" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 17 May 2011. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/17/no-conventional-way-to-get-to-space-from-north-america/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, May 17). No conventional way to get to space from North America [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/17/no-conventional-way-to-get-to-space-from-north-america/


Cabane à sucre

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This weekend past, I was invited to a family event in rural Québec—an outing at a sugar shack, or a “cabane à sucre,” in French. It reminded me of when my parents decided to tap the tree in front of our house and boil it down to syrup. The house smelled of maple syrup for weeks!

Anyway, here in Québec, these guys actually built a shed out in the country so that they don’t have to deal with it in their kitchen.

Something that we didn’t do when we made maple syrup, is making de la tire, or maple taffy on the snow.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1449,
    title = {Cabane à sucre},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-03-23,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/03/23/cabane-a-sucre/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Cabane à sucre" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 23 Mar 2011. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/03/23/cabane-a-sucre/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Mar 23). Cabane à sucre [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/03/23/cabane-a-sucre/


How to pick up chicks

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Picking up chicks

Picking up chicks

This is how you pick up chicks:

  • Go to a farm.
  • Ask the owner if you can see their chicks.
  • Run and catch one.
  • Really, they don’t run that fast. That said, check out the video I posted of the chicks running away from me.
  • It’s so fluffy! I’m gonna die!

Wait, isn’t that what you thought I meant by “picking up chicks?”

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1150,
    title = {How to pick up chicks},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-01-30,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/01/30/how-to-pick-up-chicks/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "How to pick up chicks" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 30 Jan 2011. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/01/30/how-to-pick-up-chicks/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Jan 30). How to pick up chicks [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/01/30/how-to-pick-up-chicks/


Gingerbread Tardis

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Tardis

"Hello, I'm the Doctor."

In light of some difficult family circumstances, I decided to take a night and do something silly. I had a friend over, one with whom I am in the habit of watching Doctor Who. While the result wasn’t quite as good as some other gingerbread Tardises on the internet, I am very happy to present photographs from last night’s project.

Usually, when I make something creative with gingerbread, I use a lot of red food colouring. You know, for the blood.

This time, however, the carnage was only an afterthought. I didn’t mean for there to be such a high death toll. Honest! And further, I think that the massacre was relatively tasteful for me.

The only cookie cutters I own

The only cookie cutters I own

The real reason why there was so many dead people is not because of the (very adorable) gingerbread Daleks. It’s mostly because I only own cookie cutters that have pieces missing from them. (Thanks for the present, Steph!)

You’ll note that even the gingerbread man who I assume is supposed to be the Doctor (the one who is halfway inside the Tardis) is missing his hand. My interpretation of this is that this is a scene from the few seconds during which the Doctor had his hand cut off by the Sycorax before it regenerated. This makes sense, because that happened during the “Christmas Invasion Special,” and it’s a gingerbread Tardis, so it should be on a Christmas theme, after all.

Tardis and bodies

"Exterminate!"

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-1049,
    title = {Gingerbread Tardis},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-12-18,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/18/gingerbread-tardis/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Gingerbread Tardis" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 18 Dec 2010. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/18/gingerbread-tardis/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Dec 18). Gingerbread Tardis [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/18/gingerbread-tardis/


Life is interesting

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Making decisions on the basis of what looks 'interesting'

Making decisions on the basis of what looks 'interesting'

The following is a roughly paraphrased transcript of a conversation I had by text message with a friend who believes that more strange things have started to happen to him since he has started hanging out with me.

My friend asked, “Will I get used to having weird stuff happening to me?”

“You will know that you’ve reached the final stage in getting used to the weird in your life when you learn to profit from it,” I answered him.

“Heh, I’m afraid of what I’ll have to see before getting used to it!”

“Oh, it’s not what you see that will scare you. It will be most frightening when you start making decisions on the basis of what you think would be most ‘interesting.’ ”

My friend asked me, “Have you reached that stage yet?” And at the very moment that I received the last text message, I passed a sign printed on a white 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper on the bulletin board for the Dollar Cinema that I pass every time I leave the gym.

I sent them an email asking for details. I’m curious to see where this goes.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-1024,
    title = {Life is interesting},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-12-1,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/01/life-is-interesting/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Life is interesting" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 01 Dec 2010. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/01/life-is-interesting/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Dec 01). Life is interesting [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/12/01/life-is-interesting/


A lot can happen in a year

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I arrived here in Montreal one year ago on Friday.

A lot has changed.

Sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock of all the things that have happened, and to think about all the things that one has to be thankful for. Things are generally pretty good now: I had a great job for the summer, I have great friends living in my building, and I was just talking with Pickles today and thinking about how much I appreciate her. I even have a TA-ship and an RA-ship lined up for this school year.

I’m TA-ing the introductory ethics course in the philosophy department this year, which will be exciting.

Things are different from the way they were a year ago. They’re different from what I expected, and certainly different from what I wanted, but I’m okay with the way things are.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-788,
    title = {A lot can happen in a year},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-07-26,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/07/26/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "A lot can happen in a year" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Jul 2010. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/07/26/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Jul 26). A lot can happen in a year [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/07/26/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/


An alternate ending to Avatar

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So Avatar seriously missed out on a major marketing opportunity. I went to see it with a classmate of mine in mid-January, although during the film, I started to feel bad (headache, dizziness, sore throat, etc.) and I probably should have just gone home. Instead I saw the film and I also went out for Mexican food with them afterward. I was in so much pain. Poor judgement on my part.

Anyway. If you haven’t seen Avatar, don’t read the following. I’ll spoil the film for you.

I think a minor plot change toward the end of the film would have helped out Avatar greatly. The writer should have made Sully (the hero) permanently switch bodies with his avatar before the big action finale, rather than after. This would have produced three major advantages.

1. This would have provided a shocking moment of dramatic tension at the end of the film.

In the last struggle between the villain (whose name I’ve forgotten—Colonel Quidditch, I think?) and Sully, the villain could have destroyed Sully’s (now dead) human body, while the audience still thinks that Sully is inside it. There is a moment when all hope seems lost, and then Sully’s avatar body could spring back to action and kill the villain when he lets his guard down. Later, the audience would realise that Sully switched bodies the night before the battle, the way that Ellen Ripley tried (and failed) to, earlier in the film.

Tolkien coined a term for these moments. He called them, “eucatastrophes.” We really like it when stories end with a eucatastrophe. It’s satisfying to see parts of a well-told story come together to bring the hero to a point of seemingly utter defeat and then to glorious victory. We experience a wide range of emotion and that can be very cathartic.

2. Second, this would eliminate one of the endings, and shorten the film. We already saw the botched body-switching with Ripley, earlier in the film. We didn’t need to see it again. The movie’s too long anyway. Or maybe I just felt that way because when I went to see it I was coming down with the symptoms of a nasty viral infection.

3. The third major advantage that this would provide, is that the movie could then be marketed toward Evangelical Christians. If they had changed the plot in the way I suggest, it would suddenly become a Christian allegory.

A chosen one comes into a world from the heavens and takes on the flesh of the men who live there. He dies and rises again, draws all the nations to himself, and saves the world.

All you would need is a short Biblical message from Kirk Cameron at the end and you could probably even get Fred Phelps’ approval for this movie. Unless, according to Fred Phelps, God hates blue, spiky-eared, cartoon aliens as much as he seems to hate everything else. (By the way, did you know that God hates Twitter?)

Oh wait. On second thought, I take it back. Fred Phelps would never approve of this movie, because everyone in it smokes cigarettes. And if there’s one thing that Fred Phelps has taught us, it’s that God hates fags. That’s what he meant, right?

I came out of the theatre, and all I could think about was all the embodied mind and cognition stuff we learned in Merleau-Ponty class. Those who have read my blog know how I feel about Merleau-Ponty. Sometimes I’m afraid I will have Merleau-Ponty nightmares again. The ones where everyone speaks in Phenomenology. In my Merleau-Ponty nightmare, they all use words like:

  • Tacit cogito
  • Prenoetic I can
  • The being (sometimes as distinguished from the becoming)
  • Phenomenal field
  • Our being-in-the-world

I haven’t got a clue what any of these things mean. If someone can enlighten me, please do.

And at the end of the nightmare, everyone turns to me for comment. I shuffle papers nervously, clear my throat and scream on the inside. But there is no escaping Merleau-Ponty.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-623,
    title = {An alternate ending to Avatar},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-01-31,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/31/avatar-alternate-ending/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "An alternate ending to Avatar" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 31 Jan 2010. Web. 22 Nov 2017. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/31/avatar-alternate-ending/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Jan 31). An alternate ending to Avatar [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/01/31/avatar-alternate-ending/


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