daily stack

On this date in history: June 6, 1984 — Tetris was published. Russian computer engineer, Alexey Pajitnov, created the puzzle game based on an ancient Roman game, and it gained a wide audience through a software version developed for IBM. From there, it spread to the Nintendo gaming console, Gameboys and home computers. Soon, pretty much everyone knew how to play Tetris, and had — at one time or another — become a bleary-eyed Tetris zealot.⠀

The original purpose of Tetris, according to Pajitnov, was to help make computers seem less intimidating to casual users. The game is simple enough. Tetrominoes are shapes made up of little squares and each variant has its own name: O-Tetromino, I-Tetromino, T-Tetromino, L-Tetromino, J-Tetromino, S-Tetromino, and Z-Tetromino. As the pieces fall down a kind of well, you can rotate the shapes as they fall. The object is to get an entire horizontal row of squares (without any holes). When a row is completed, it disappears. But the tetrominoes fall fast and hard, and if you don’t clear your squares before they’re stacked to the top, you’re out of luck.⠀

The game is so addictive, in fact, that players may start seeing possible Tetris configurations in their daily life – unevenly stacked books, a brick side of a building or even dreams. It’s so well-known, in fact, that it’s given a name – the “Tetris Effect.” https://www.instagram.com/p/BVAzbC5FE_v/

Is Charles part of VFD?

It is common knowledge amongst Snicket fans that Sir’s lumbermill is involved in a shady business deal with VFD: they design buildings at their discretion in a specific, highly inflammable green wood.

His conversations with his business partner, at first glance, seem to imply that Sir is the one acquainted with the organization while Charles is just a passive enabler:

“The Finite Forest is running low on trees, so business is bad for the lumbermill. The last big order we had was for building that horseradish factory, and that was a very long time ago. I’m hoping Thursday’s cocktail party will be an excellent opportunity to do some business. After all, if it weren’t for my lumber, this hotel wouldn’t even exist!“
"I remember,” Charles said. “We had to deliver the lumber in the middle of the night. But Sir, you told me you never heard from that organization again.”
“I didn’t,” Sir said, “until now. You’re not the only one who gets notes from this fellow J. S.”

[Sir and Charles - The Penultimate Peril, Chapter Five]

But other passages can lead us to believed that Charles is withholding information from Sir and that he knows a great more deal about VFD than he appears. He did tell him that he received letters from J.S., but there are other details he has clearly hidden from his partner.

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My mother has never concerned herself with being beautiful.
She is a plain woman who dresses in polo shirts and beige.

My mother can look nice when she wants to, like at Christmas,
when she hangs earrings from her lobes like ornaments.

My mother is guilty of every fashion faux-pas I can think of;
sneakers with corporate wear, extensive polyester, crocs,
not to mention she is a repeat offender of pajama jeans.

Amidst my blushing junior high years,
her very existence was an embarrassment.
I accused her of not caring about her appearance.

Color me envy of other girls and their PTA moms.
They had Brazilian blowouts, milky teeth, trendy
designer purses, manicured claws, stiff tissue faces.

They are always on the phone, daily agendas stacked
with appointments. Their daughters learn bodies as
red-inked quizzes in need of correction.

My mother refuses to wear her old age like an apology.
She tells me, “Beauty is not a lady’s responsibility.
—  BEAUTY LIABILITY by Blythe Baird