A couple weeks back, Jessica and I had some people over, and half the people played poker, while the other half played Scrabble. Ian and I were talking about this later and came up with the idea of mixing the two games. Jessica and I just tried out this idea, and found it quite fun, possibly even more fun than both poker and Scrabble. So if you like both games, you may want to try combining them.

A quick web search found that there's already a similar game for mobile phones called WordKing Poker. That games has various rules, but it's all human vs. computer, which I don't think would be very fun. Here's the game we played:

It's basically like Texas Hold'em, replacing playing cards with Scrabble tiles, best word wins. After ante, each player draws two tiles. Then there's a round of betting. Then three tiles are laid on the table, face up. Then betting, then another tile on the table, then betting, then another tile, and a final round of betting.

Words can be from one to seven letters long, and must include at least one letter from the player's hand. Points from each letter are added to bonuses for long words. We ended up with two points for a six-letter word, and eight for a seven-letter word.

We only played for about a half hour, so I suspect the rules could use some more tweaking, but it was a lot of fun. And I suspect it would be even more fun with more players. I might actually make a web version if I ever get done fixing bugs with fastr.

 

I was looking at Gullible.info, trying to figure out if all of the interesting trivia facts there are false, or just some of them, and thinking about how these are the kind of untruths that get propogated because they sound just close enough to what we know to be true that we don't question them, sort of like "markets are conversations."

And that prompted me to look at the Cluetrain.com#8482; website, where I noticed for the first time that there's a fourth author's name on the cover of the book, someone I'd never previously heard anything about. Rick Levine has a page just like the other "ringleaders", but it's not linked from the front page, unlike all the others.

Turns out Rick Levine runs hatfactory.com with his brother, and that's about the extent of his life on the web. Unlike the other three, he doesn't have a Wikipedia entry discussing his authorship of the Manifesto. An astrologer of his namesake has a higher rank in both Google and Technorati.

I wonder if there isn't more story here. At the very least it's high irony that among the authors of the "markets are conversations" Cluetrain Manifesto, the only one who actually makes a living marketing a product on the web (as opposed to telling others how to market on the web, or just marketing the web as a market), is so entirely absent from the conversation.

 

I took a stab at adding hAtom markup to the Microformat Base (and prettied it up a bit). I'm not sure if it's valid hAtom, because there's not yet anything to validate hAtom. But it's valid XHTML and it's structured information, so it can be parsed to syndicate this data.

For example, someone could (and should) subscribe to all Microformat Base events for 2006, and run each new page through lifelint to generate RDF or iCal files, which can then be combined to create a yearly calendar. Different calendars could be generated from different searches, and you could even pull tags out of the pages, lookup the tags on flickr, and use the related photos as monthly calendar images for printable calendars.

All the data is there, structured, waiting to be parsed and used for something interesting.