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On This Day in GameSpot History

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Maybe "The Pulse" can show you what's happening right now on GameSpot--but what I really want to know is what happened six years ago today. Luckily, we've revamped our ever-popular "On This Day in GameSpot History" page so that you can see for yourself that TimeGate Studios launched a new website for Kohan, and THQ released Evil Dead for the Dreamcast. The magic of the Internet, right at your fingertips:

On This Day in GameSpot History

Happy Holidays!

The Pulse Beta

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Looking for a new way to see what's going on around GameSpot? Behold The Pulse

What is it? It's a filterable list of recent items posted to the site that updates in real time. If you see something you're interested in, you can either click the pause button to stop the feed, or click the hold button to hold that item in your holding pen for later perusal. Please post your feedback on the Site Enhancements board--we'd love to hear what you think.

(And congratulations to Team Six and everyone else who contributed to the project!)

Quotes from 3

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[after riding the Staten Island ferry and seeing the Statue of Liberty]
Me: Did you have fun today? What did you do?
A: I rode on the boat, and we saw the bridges, and the old witch!

Me: This is tomato juice--have you ever had tomato juice?
A: Yes!
Me: Do you want to try it?
A: What is that, meat juice?
Me: No, it's tomato juice. Do you want some?
A: Are those potatos in there?
Me: No, silly, that's ice. And get your finger out of the cup.
A: Oh, ice! Yum!

Mama: OK, let's go--you need to put your shoes back on
A: No, I don't want to wear shoes. I want to stay in my feet.

Quote from 2 3/4

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Bye daddy, I'm going to school.
OK--how long will you be gone?
Um, thirty seconds. I'll call you on your telephones if you need something, OK?

[after reading a book about Pecos Bill lassoing a tornado, points at a shadow on the ceiling]
Look Baba, it's like Pecos Bill and the Potato!

[while reading a book about monkeys, two pages after an entry on the capuchin monkey]
Let's read a different book. This one's silly, with silly words you read.
What do you mean, silly words?
Like cappuccino monkey.

[playing alone in the living room]
Ugh! Ahh, I fell down. Ouch, it's hurting! ... Well, that's what happens when little girls play on the floor.

[being hyper, running all over the house]
Whew! I think I had too much sugar!

Also: Video

[video=IHBlk2Px5b0E]

Quotes from 2 1/2

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"What do you want for lunch?"
"A ham-bur.... dog."

[baby brother is gnawing on his sleep shirt--big sister holding out her hand with imaginary food in it]
"Here, here go. Here's some pizza... for when you're finished eating your pajamas."

"Where we are going?"
"We're going to a party. Are you excited?"
"Yeah, I'm so decided for the party!"

[playing in the gravel 1/2 block away from the house]
"OK, come on. It's time to go."
"No mama, I'm busy. Just leave me the keys, and I'll meet you there."

G.A.M.E. all ages test

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I took my whole family to the show--including our 2 1/2-year-old daughter and our 3-month-old son. The verdicts for each of us:

1) I had a blast--it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves. I saw breakdancing, drumming, and lowrider-hopping, and saw some great music acts. And I played all sorts of games I'd never played before, on systems I don't own.

2) My wife isn't even into games, but she had a good time too. I think her favorite part was watching other people play DDR.

3) Our 3-month-old son seemed content. I think some areas were probably too loud for him, but he didn't make much of a fuss--and we didn't keep him in those areas for more than a few minutes at a time. I think he liked all the lights.

4) Our daughter had a great time. She played King Kong, some baseball game, and SSX--SSX was her favorite, since the controls were so simple. She also liked the lowrider hopping, breakdancers, and watching people play DDR. The only bad part was trying to tear her away from the show when it was time to leave.

We didn't have anyone older in our test group, but I did see a bunch of middle-aged people around enjoying themselves, so I think the all-ages claim is valid. We'll definitely be going back next year--and not just because I work here!

Conquering Fear: The Megorry Round

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There was a famous person who said in some graduation speech (that was later turned into a short-lived pop song in the mid '90s), "Do something that frightens you every day." Two weeks ago (I was still on paternity leave at the time, shortly after having our second child, a boy this time) we went up to Tilden park again to ride the mini-steam trains. This outing had two main purposes: first, I had to prove to our daughter that the trains still worked, after two previous failed attempts to ride the trains due to our arriving too late or on the wrong day, and finding the gates locked and the trains put away, leading to days of "trains not working? trains asleep?" comments; and second, as a small reward to our daughter for putting up with her newborn brother. The train ride was uneventful, but afte that we decided to go get a snack at the only place we know if in Tilden to purchase snacks--the carousel. We'd been to the carousel before, but our daughter had been too young to remember or understand anything. This time, of course, she was frightened by the cacophonous contraption--and looking at it through anything but my own jaded eyes, I would have been, too. It's loud and strange and scary, especially to someone standing less than three feet tall. Needless to say, she refused point-blank to ride the thing, even before we offered. Luckily, the snack bar still had ice cream available and we ate our snack and were on our way. Two weeks later, this afternoon rolls around, and the "Spice of Life" street fair comes to Berkeley, not far from where we live. Not only is my paternity leave over, I've got a pile of work to do over the weekend, so I see my wife and neighbors off to the fair and get back to work. Hours later they rush in, and our daughter is talking faster than she can think. She's had an great time at the petting zoo, petting rabbits and pigs, but the highlight of the day was that she got to ride a real pony in circles. "Baba, baba! I rode the megorry round, around around, up and down and up and down! His name was Charlie!"

Riding the Bike-osaur

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Our neighbor's oldest child recently graduated to one of those bike-trailer things that connects behind a full-size bike, so they no longer needed the bike seat that he used to ride in and loaned it to us. I was immediately excited, and went by the bike store the next day to get the hardware I needed to attach the thing to my (rarely used since college) bike. My wife, sensing my excitement, went yesterday to get our daughter a bike helmet so she could ride with me. Arev was quite excited as well--not only did she get to wear this enormous yellow foam hat thing, this was somehow related to riding a "bike-osaur"! (Ever since she started talking, a few words just come out differently, and 'bicycle' is one of those words. Somehow it got filed in the section of her brain that's fascinated by dinosaurs.) So we set off on our maiden voyage last evening, a whirlwind tour of a few blocks around our house. Mama waved us off, and we headed down a designated "bicycle boulevard" street right next to our house. We got a couple blocks away, and from behind me I heard "I want to go over DER!" Turning, I saw Arev was pointing back behind us. "You want to go back to the house?" It seemed that her earlier enthusiasm had waned, but once we arrived back at the house, she didn't want to get out. So we rode off again, only to have her request another U-turn moments later. Thinking she might just have to ease into the idea of riding around, I took her out, only to have her immediately try to climb up onto the main seat--as it turns out, she just wanted to drive. I still hold out hope that she'll come to like the idea of riding around with me, but we'll probably have to get her a little tricycle she can ride by herself (or 'trike-osaur' I guess it might be).

Building a Play Structure

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I celebrated our nation's independence this past weekend by doing my best imitation of the classic American dad: I went to Home Depot, bought a pile of wood and bolts, and set to work building a monstrosity for the back yard. It was my wife's idea initially, so I don't feel bad. Rather than going the easy route, and thinking it would be less expensive, we opted to build our own design. Our yard is also particularly small, so most store-bought designs wouldn't fit. Having graduated from college with a degree in architecture, I felt qualified to build something that wouldn't fall down. So far it consists of a deck four feet off the ground, supported by four 2x4 columns about five degrees off vertical, giving the whole thing a slight pyramid look. The tilt was intentional (partly for stability, mostly for style), but not until I had started construction did I realize how complicated that would make everything--and how much trigonometry I had forgotten since high school. If I want the deck to be four feet wide, how wide will the column feet be if the deck is four feet off the ground, and the feet are at a 5-degree angle? Thank goodness for the Internet, and thank goodness for whoever invented sine and cosine. Once the deck was built and stable, on just the second try I might add, I built a small ladder in front, then made a rope net up one side for climbing fun. The rope net is a whole story in itself, and also required some research. It's the kind of think you don't think about until you try to make it yourself, but having graduated from scouting with a rank of Eagle, I felt qualified to tie something that wouldn't come untied. I ended up using a multi-strand method, knotting the ropes with a carrick bend, because I thought that was the nicest-looking knot. It also turns out it's a very strong knot. The whole thing is beginning to look disturbingly military, like something you'd see in a Chuck Norris movie. We've come to call it "the fort". Throughout the whole building process, my daughter was fascinated with everything--nuts and bolts, blocks of wood, ropes, screws, the drill, the compound mitre saw... it's a small miracle she wasn't injured. With any luck she'll enjoy playing in the fort as much as I'm enjoying the building process. Coming up next: a slide and some guard rails. Maybe even a roof. UPDATE: Here's a photo of my daughter taking the unfinished fort for a test-drive (or test-swing I suppose...) Note the rope guard-rails are just temporary, until I get a chance to add something better. UPDATE 2: I added a slide and guard rails this weekend. Probably could have built the slide part myself, but I think this is safer.

Logic in the mind of a 2-year-old

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Here's a sequence of events from this past weekend that nearly made me pee my pants: There's a group of adults sitting around in the living room on a Saturday afternoon. Andrew is a family friend who Arev has a particular affinity for. Andrew comes and sits on the couch, Arev is across the room, eating chopped up parts of a peanut butter sandwich. Excited to play with Andrew, she starts to move towards the couch (with peanut butter all over her hands). C: Arev, you have to wash your hands before you can get up on the couch. A: Wash hands! [she starts moving towards the stairs--the only sink she has access to (via a short stool) is upstairs] C: No wait--you can't go wash your hands until you finish your lunch! The wheels inside her head turn, and she runs back over to her plate of food. Not wanting to waste time eating a little at a time, she starts madly stuffing everything into her mouth at once, Homer Simpson-style with both hands, to the point that she can't even chew. She turns towards the stairs, oblivious that everyone in the room is laughing hysterically, until Chaghig tells her it's OK to spit out some of the food. Eventually she washed her hands and was able to play on the couch with Andrew, so everything turned out OK.
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