Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bored? Consider Playing a Board Game

Do you like board games? Do you remember playing them as a child? If so, you’re not alone.  Board games have been around as long as people have., a popular game design site, claims that board games and dice are prehistoric, meaning they existed before written language.  Other sources confirm this notion. Early games like mancala have been found in dig sites from 700 AD and the theory is that these games existed even before that. Painted stones that may have been used like dice were discovered in a burial mound in Turkey that experts date as being 5000 years old.

And board games remain popular in current times.

TableTop, a web series developed Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day features celebrities playing board games. Lots of people enjoy watching. I like that, but I like playing the games more.

Yesterday, I picked up one of my old favorites Don’t Break the Ice, which I hope to play with students.  It should make the routine grammar drills a little more exciting.
I’ve always enjoyed playing games.
I remember evenings full of Caroms and Checkers with my father and brothers when I was a kid.  As a parent, I continued the tradition. My older son and I had countless Battleship and Stratego forays while my younger son preferred Sorry, Clue and Operation. Later my family got into Risk, Civilization and Talisman.
Yep, I’m a big fan of board games. Here are thirteen of my favorites.

1. Monopoly, which originally called The Landlord’s Game came out in 1903.
2. Chess evolved from a game started in China before the 6th century.
3. Checkers is one of the oldest games know to humans. According to a board that could have been used for Checkers was found in the ancient city of Ur and dated to around 3000 B.C.
4. Clue-Anthony E. Pratt made up Clue in 1943 and his wife designed the first board.
5. Chinese checkers isn’t Chinese at all. It evolved from a game called Halma, which an American professor named Dr. George Howard Monks invented. It was first released in Germany under the name Stern-Helma in 1892.
6. Risk was originally a game designed by Albert Lamorisse in 1957. It was called La Conquete du Monde (French for "The Conquest of the World")
7. Candy Land- Eleanor Abbott created Candy Land while she was recovering from Polio. She sent it to Milton-Bradley and it came out in 1949.
8. Sorry-Parker Brothers published Sorry in 1934.
9. Pictionary-Rob Angel designed Pictionary in 1986.
10. Chutes and Ladders –England produced this game in the late 1800’s, but it originally was an ancient game called Moksha Palamu. People played it in India as early as 2nd Century A.D.
11. Operation-John Spinello came up with this game in 1965. He sold the concept to a game designer for $500 and it later became a huge success for the Milton Bradley game company.
12. Jenga- In 1983 Leslie Scott developed Jenga after watching her son play with wooden blocks. She’d spent time in Ghana and so she named the game “Jenga” which means build in Swahili.
13. Don’t Break the Ice- Schaper Toys first marketed the game in 1968.

I’m always looking to add to my game collection and I’d love to hear from you. Do have a favorite board game to recommend? Thanks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Why is the Liberty Bell Special? Thirteen Some Facts about the Bell

The Liberty Bell is cracked. It was broken when it first arrived in the Colonies. A number of repairs later and it sounded less than musical. Bad enough that neighbors complained when it was rung, so…why does it inspire many?

There are many factors, but the first is probably because of the words etched into the bell. Underneath, “By order of the Province of Pensylvania (No, this isn’t a misspelling. This was one of the correct spellings for Pennsylvania at the time) for the Statehouse in the City of Philadelphia, 1752,” are the words, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land and unto all the Inhabitants Thereof.”
This is a scriptural quote from Leviticus 25: 10, which is, “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
In 1837, the New York Anti-Slavery Society featured a picture of the bell on their publication Liberty. Then a couple years later another anti-slavery magazine, known as the Liberator, included a poem about the bell calling it “The Liberty Bell” and the name stuck. (Previously people were simply calling it the Statehouse Bell.)
The Liberty Bell has been hailed as a symbol of freedom ever since. It rang to mark the birthday of George Washington, and to mourn the passing of Chief Justice John Marshall, which is when most people believe it developed its trademark crack.
But even cracked, it still proclaims freedom.
When slavery ended in the United States in 1865, the Liberty Bell traveled in hopes of bringing the people in the North and South back together. It traveled until 1915 when it was permanently returned to Philadelphia.

 In 1945, people used a rubber mallet to sound the bell to proclaim the end of World War II.
And currently almost 1.5 million people visit the Liberty Bell each year.   I was one of those people and here’s one of the shots I snapped.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me go on about the bell.

Sources (This is where I found the Thursday Thirteen header.) Thanks Heather.

The Liberty Bell by Debra Hess
The Liberty Bell by Mary Firestone
The Liberty Bell by Hall Marcovitz