Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure
3:43 am
Tue July 9, 2013

A Zombie Horror Game, Inspired By ... A Nature Documentary?

In The Last of Us, a fungus called Cordyceps that commonly infects insects has jumped over to humans, creating a fungal zombie apocalypse.
Naughty Dog

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:20 am

The Last of Us is a new survival horror video game and it features — no big surprise — zombie-like creatures. But these are not the same old zombies that have dominated movie and TV screens in the past few years.

Neil Druckmann, creative director for The Last of Us, says he wanted a fresh new way to wipe out humanity — and he found it in a BBC documentary series called Planet Earth, which depicts the scary effects of the Cordyceps fungus.

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Games + Leisure
12:55 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

To The Dump, To The Dump, To The Dump Dump Dump: Write Us A Lone Ranger Joke

Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 9:02 am

This morning, as I perused the headlines, I saw a few items about the new Lone Ranger movie, and rather than being struck by interesting thoughts about the racial politics of Johnny Depp's Tonto, I abruptly remembered this joke: "Where does the Lone Ranger take his trash?" "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump." You know, because of the music?

And then I thought, "Who built the Lone Ranger's luxury apartment building?"

"Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Trump Trump."

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Games + Leisure
3:02 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

From Classic Toys To New Twists, Kids Go Back To Blocks

Legos and other interlocking toys are only one kind of blocks that remain popular with kids.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 1:39 pm

I visited Toy Fair in New York City hunting for ideas for our summer series about kids' culture. One of the big takeaways was the increasing popularity of construction games such as Legos. Sales shot up nearly 20 percent last year. Now, it seems, every major toy manufacturer is scrambling to add new games geared toward kids building things.

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Games + Leisure
9:13 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Not My Job: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin On Getting Mooned

AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 11:14 am

You probably know that Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. But that guy in all the pictures from the first moon landing? That's Buzz Aldrin. So here's a lesson for you all: It doesn't matter if you're the first guy out of the spaceship, just as long as you make the other guy hold the camera.

So sure, Aldrin has been to the moon, but what does he know about mooning? We've invited him to play a game called "Drop your pants and take a bow" — three questions about exposing one's buttocks.

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Games + Leisure
12:45 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

There's An Apt For That

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 12:01 pm

Have you ever met a baker whose last name was Baker, or a blacksmith whose last name is Smith? Then you might be familiar with the term "aptronym," a word that refers to a person's name that happens to suit her job or characteristics. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants about people both real and fictional whose last names are aptly suited to their professions.

Later, house musician Jonathan Coulton covers "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park," a seasonal favorite by Tom Lehrer.

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Games + Leisure
2:09 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Dunkin' Donuts Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich

We couldn't wait for Dunkin's Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich to go national, so we got the raw materials and made our own.
NPR

Like all great traditional Boston foods — the Boston Cream Pie, Boston Baked Beans, the Chicago Pizza at the Pizzeria Uno near Fenway — the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich is about to go national. Someday, Bostonians will talk about how they heard it play when it was just a cool, local sandwich.

Ian: I never realized how pointless bagels were before.

Miles: I like a breakfast that forces me to take a nap right after waking up.

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Games + Leisure
9:57 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Not My Job: Deepak Chopra Plays 'Yes, We Cannes'

Diane Bondareff AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 10:52 am

We've had a lot of impressive people as our guests on this show ... Nobel Prize winners, senators, governors, and two presidents of the United States. But now, for the first time ever, we are honored to welcome a Lord of Immortality, a Keeper of Perfect Health for the World.

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Games + Leisure
9:46 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Investigating The Crime Scene

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 3:21 pm

On-air challenge: Today's theme is "C.S.I." — as in the name of the long-running TV show. You're given three words starting with the letters C, S and I. For each set, give a fourth word that can follow each of the original words to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

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Games + Leisure
4:32 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Microsoft Reveals New Xbox One Game System

The new Xbox One entertainment and gaming system was unveiled Tuesday by Microsoft. The console includes live TV and advanced voice commands.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:51 am

Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One Tuesday, displaying a device that takes new steps in game consoles' journey to becoming all-purpose entertainment and communication devices. The new console replaces the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for nearly eight years.

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Games + Leisure
3:01 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Saltwich

The pretzel shape provides nice little windows through which you can see your poor choices.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 3:48 pm

For years, one of the pieces of advice we've been ignoring is that we should really cut back on our salt intake. Now, a panel of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine says limiting salt below a certain amount may not really do us any good. Around here, we take this to mean: Eat as much salt as you can or you'll die.

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Games + Leisure
9:10 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Not My Job: Three Headless Chicken Questions For Alice Cooper

Courtesy Alice Cooper

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 2:41 pm

When you think about heavy metal — the costumes, the makeup, the outfits, the huge stage shows filled with effects and pyrotechnics — pretty much all of that was invented, or at least perfected, by Alice Cooper. If it weren't for him, bands like Slayer and Megadeth would be playing love songs in identical suits and bowl haircuts.

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Games + Leisure
11:10 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Is Nintendo Fixing A Gay Marriage 'Bug' In New Video Game?

Players found that male characters could marry one another and raise children in Nintendo's 3DS game Tomodachi Collection: New Life. The company is reportedly removing that option. An image shows Nintendo's webpage for the game.
NPR

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 12:34 pm

Days after the gaming world began to buzz with reports that Nintendo's new life simulation game allows men to marry other men, it now seems that Nintendo is removing that possibility, which by all reports was unintended.

Questions arose after players of the popular new game Tomodachi Collection: New Life realized that men could marry men. They could also date, and raise children. Female characters in the game could not have the same interactions with one another.

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Games + Leisure
11:57 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Two Last Names For The Price Of One

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 6:39 am

On-air challenge: Every answer today consists of two people, either real or fictional, whose last names are anagrams of each other.

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Games + Leisure
11:56 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Not My Job: Steve Martin Takes A Quiz About Boring People

Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:56 am

Steve Martin is a comedian, a playwright, an author, an art collector, an actor, a Grammy-winning banjo player, a composer and, as we all know, a "wild and crazy guy."

So we've decided to ask him three questions about the most mundane and dull guys we could find: the speakers at London's Boring Conference, which we read about in the Wall Street Journal.

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Games + Leisure
9:12 am
Mon April 29, 2013

As You Know, Puzzles Are A Pastime

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 6:40 pm

On-air challenge: For each given category, name something in the category where the first letter is also the first letter of the category. For example, given "Military Ranks," you would say "Major."

Last week's challenge: Name a geographical location in two words — nine letters altogether — that, when spoken aloud, sounds roughly like four letters of the alphabet. What is it?

Answer: Aegean Sea; Indian Cay

Winner: Terry Thacker, Greenville, S.C.

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Games + Leisure
10:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

A Brand-New Word

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a well-known commercial name that spells a regular word or name backward. Identify the brands. For example, given "laundry detergent" and "work in a magazine office," the answer would be "tide" and "edit."

Last week's challenge: Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, and rearrange all seven letters. You will name something else you probably use every day. This seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they?

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Is It Real? With New Technology Has Activision Crossed The 'Uncanny Valley'?

An animated character from Activision.
Activision

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:29 pm

You tell us. Is this man real or animated?

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Games + Leisure
2:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Finding The Answers Within

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:05 am

On-air challenge: You'll be given clues for some five-letter words. In each case, the letters of the answer can be found consecutively somewhere inside the clue. For example, given "Some teenagers' language," the answer would be "slang"(hidden inside "teenagerS' LANGuage").

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Pop Culture
2:20 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Angry Birds TV, Coming To A Mobile Screen Near You

A scene from the upcoming animated series based on the popular game Angry Birds. The show will be distributed to existing users of the digital game.
Rovio

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:57 am

People of all ages have been passing the time playing Angry Birds on their mobile devices. Now Rovio, the company that created the best-selling app, is offering fans a new cartoon series based on the game, which has so far been downloaded 1.7 billion times.

The concept behind Angry Birds is extremely simple: There are these colorful cartoon birds that are angry because some green pigs are after their eggs. Players of the digital game use slingshots to catapult the birds — who don't fly — to destroy structures hiding the pigs.

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Games + Leisure
12:49 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

From A To Z

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word containing an A and a Z. Given anagrams of the remaining letters, name the word. For example, given "leg," the answer would be "glaze".

Last week's challenge: Eight people are seated at a circular table. Each person gets up and sits down again — either in the same chair or in the chair immediately to the left or right of the one they were in. How many different ways can the eight people be re-seated?

Answer: 49

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