Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Birthday Syzygy


One's English and Hebrew birthdays align every 19 years - or so they would have you believe.

The truth is that the English leap year causes a bit of havoc with this calculation, and therefore the 19 year trick is only true for about 8 out of the 19 years in each cycle. For the other 11 years, after 19 years the Hebrew and English dates will be off by one day.

However, in my case it actually works this year. I will be 38 on the first night (and day) of Passover, as well as 38 on April 3, which is the same day. So, happy birthday to me, next week.

And yes, I know that a syzygy is an alignment of heavenly bodies, but if you knew about my body, you would understand wh... no, even I can't pull that joke off.

My Father

I was originally going to be spending Passover night with some friends in Jerusalem, but Thursday we found out that my father has liver cancer, so I will be joining them at my brother's for seder and the first day. Who knows how many more seders we will have together? :-(

He feels fine, by the way. His Hebrew name is Menachem ben Miriam, if you would care to pray for him. He will be 70 years old this year.

Game News

I start with the Post-Tribune, who records a "Chess for Christ" event. Board games certainly seem to go well with religious functions.

Continuing with the religion and board gaming theme, here is the Inheritance Bible game:
In a new game play combining the mechanics of Monopoly® and Parcheesi, Biblical Wisdom is acquired in a Christ centered game of interactive family fun. Staged in the land of Ancient Israel and based on the territories of the tribes during the reign of King Solomon, players trade, hug, pay tithes and make offerings for the poor as the strategy to success. The inheritance of the promised Kingdom is learned as the winner ascending to the center of the board, likened unto the New Jerusalem, rings the game bell and announces “Worthy is the lamb” celebrating Christ as the Lamb of God. (Rev. 5:11). Everyone wins, for as it is written; “Happy is the man who finds wisdom” (Prov.3:13)
Speaking of everyone winning, Scott Weiss just did something rather unusual on the Jeopardy game show. He purposely causes a three-way tie, in order to give more money to his opponents, at no cost to himself. Read this article for details. More proof that "winning" isn't necessary to win.

There are many new business games produced each year, but The Enterprise Game doesn't look too bad. It's got a pick-up-and-deliver mechanic, which I generally like.

Midland college offers a course in video game design, but an official associated with the course added, "Ironically, it's easier to teach gaming concepts using board games because the same rules come into play such as how you win, how you lose and how you lose a turn." Perhaps that's because video game designers tend to produce puzzles and finger exercises, rather than games.

Yehuda Berlinger

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