September 26, 2013
iFlush: Hurtling thru History is now officially available (ages 8 and up; 96 pages).
A FEW OF THE TOPICS:
Grover Cleveland’s rubber jaw • Cynisca, chariot princess • New York’s creepiest island • Mayan books • The widow pirate • Santa Anna’s leg • The treehouse tribe • Civil War picnickers • Mummy cats • Russian America • The real story of El Dorado • Invasion of the Aussie bunnies
PLUS 40 unique puzzles, one accompanying each article.
August 16, 2013
An old, never-used sketch, circa 1995 (click to enlarge at your own risk):
July 11, 2013
GEICO TV AD: Old MacDonald is asked to spell COW in a spelling bee.
Old MacDonald: Cow. C-O-W-E-I-E-I-O. [buzz]
BETTER?: Old MacDonald is asked to spell GEICO.
Old MacDonald: Geico. G-C-E-I-O. [buzz]
May 25, 2013
The first iFlush book, Swimming in Science, is available now — ahead of schedule.
After all these years, it’s my first-ever hardcover book, so I’m all in a tizzy. The publisher has even splurged on embossing and spot gloss for the front cover and schmancy endpapers inside.
What’s in it? You can read about the premise by clicking on the book, but I’ll add to that by listing some of the science topics in it:
Extremophiles • Tesla’s earthquake machine • Elektro, the Moto-Man • science fiction • Sophie Germain • Pong • Professor Laura Bassi • quackery • Shen Kuo’s Brush Talks • grille codes • Mario Molina • autism • fossil hunter Mary Anning • the Baghdad battery • Titanoboa • Friendly Floatees • thorium energy • Lewis Latimer • the Tunguska event • bee queen Eva Crane • Hector the astro-rat — even quantum mechanics! (O.K., so that’s like half the topics.)
But, wait, there’s even more! Each article has a related puzzle that’s different and fun and cool.
For smart kids and curious adults (ages 7 and up); 96 pages; $12.95 list price, $9.32 on Amazon.
April 28, 2013
125 Brand-New Anagram Puzzles is now available for your solving pleasure.
The difficulty increases and variations are introduced as you go, including illustrated anagrams.
Puzzles by Patrick Merrell • puzzle concept by Stephanie Spadaccini • published by Portable Press • 288 pages • 5 x 7″ • $9.95.
• Read more about it on Amazon.com
April 11, 2013
BLAST FROM THE PAST DEPT.: This recent talk of ambigrams dredged up memories of a crossword I put together for Scientific American in 2006. It was written before I dabbled in ambigrams, so I hadn’t thought of it in those terms, but that’s what it is.
Sciam‘s website still has it up [CLICK HERE]. Since the crossword appeared on two pages, the grid (“blank puzzle” is how its described) and clues are on separate PDFs.
TIP: Download the PDFs (using the arrow icon in the upper right) rather than printing directly from the site. When I printed directly, the image didn’t rotate and ended up getting cropped.
April 8, 2013
What golfer, in different years, has been a runner-up in the Masters Golf Tournament to both Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods? Both his first name and last name are bird-related, to varying degrees.
Answer: [ T O M K I T E in 1986 & 1997]
• Click “first name” to see a visual hint.
• Click “last name” to see another visual hint.
• Highlight the bracketed space with your cursor to reveal the answer.