What with all these games coming out now where you have to play matchmaker for your party members have gotten me wondering: why not just bite the bullet and make it an explicit gameplay goal?

Concept: you’re an up and coming member of a small but influential ninja clan. You’ve just been given command of a team of newly trained ninjas. Before heading out on your first mission, however, the clan leader calls you in for a private meeting.

He reveals that the clan is facing a genealogical crisis. Owing to its isolationist policies, practically everyone is closely related to everyone else, to the extent that it will be next to impossible for the next generation - i.e., your generation - to find eligible mates. Normally, situations like this would be resolved through arranged marriages with allied clans; however, due to the ongoing clan wars, many of your traditional allies have suffered heavy losses and have few suitable prospects to offer, while others have been cut off behind hostile territory, or simply vanished entirely.

Thus, you’re being assigned a secondary goal: take advantage of the travels your missions send you on to find suitable spouses for as many of your clan-sisters and clan-brothers as possible. Those spouses will, of course, be inducted into the clan themselves, so blatant trickery should be kept to a minimum - you need to find genuinely good matches, with people who can be trusted to keep the clan’s secrets. Furthermore, your clan’s enemies would sense weakness if word of your instructions ever got out, so you have to keep your objectives hidden, even from your own companions.

So how are you supposed to play matchmaker for your entire squad without allowing anyone to realise what you’re doing? Well, you’re a ninja - sneakiness is literally your job. Figure it out, kid!

(You could game it up by having achievements for arranging stable matches that will raise well-adjusted kids, and for finding spouses who will bring new martial techniques and magical secrets to the clan. Let’s face it, you could use help there, too - your clan’s ninjutsu is nearly as inbred as its family tree!)


For you Juggalos out there, here’s the dating site to find you the perfect mate!


Why it’s important for scientists to study obscure things

For years, the kidney donation system had a heartbreaking problem: Many people are willing to donate a kidney to a loved one, but are incompatible due to blood type and other factors.

At the time, less than 20 people received kidneys from living donors. (Receiving a kidney from a living donor leads to much better outcomes for the patient.)

The solution to this problem —like many inventions and modern innovations— was built on decades of odd and obscure research.

When economists Gale and Shapley began their work on matchmaking, their research was mainly theoretical and abstract. But their insights provided the foundation for breakthroughs that had a real impact on people’s lives.

Read about their journey of discovery

(Dis) Affection

(Dis) Affection by justkeeponwriting
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 73,600
Summary: When Dean and Castiel are tricked to go on a date, neither is happy about this. To get back at their deceitful friends, they hatch the perfect plan: pretend to be dating, and gross out their friends with their over-the-top, disgustingly cute romantic relationship – and then break up in the most despicable manner imaginable. As it turns out, you can learn a lot from someone just by pretending affection.

There are pretend boyfriend stories where Dean and Cas need only to add a little bit of “fake romance” to look like a real couple. Well, here, having just met, Dean and Cas enthusiastically engage in all cheesy, couple-y things - hand holding and kissing in public, sugary pet names, sexy innuendos, etc, etc. You name, they did it and overdid it with a glee. All this for the sake of teaching their friends a necessary lesson - don’t meddle in other people’s lives. But a funny thing happened and they learned a valuable lesson themselves. 

As Dean and Cas go from strangers to pretend boyfriends to supportive friends to “can we be real boyfriends now, please?” phases of their relationship, the story shows how important it is to discuss and respect personal boundaries. And while talks about acceptable levels of over the top PDA are hilariously entertaining, they are also absolutely refreshing for a pretend boyfriend fic, or any dating fic, really. Consent is sexy, don’t let anybody to tell you otherwise. It definitely helped Dean and Cas, both recovering from abusive and manipulative exes, to enjoy each other’s company fully and feel safe while fake dating. What a wonderful way to fall in love! 

Fanworks inspired by this fanfic at destielfanworks (other fanworks by title)


I’m fat & black… This is revolutionary. This is me loving the skin I’m in….featuring Bae the bonnet 😍

Uhmmmm did I miss squad’s pictures 😩😒 highsidditybroad ridinhanzsolo kingwildex ngenius-kidd06 fawtgyulinhighfabulousity blazexxxii chef-joyardee melanatedlymotivated -_______- Show me your faces!!!

Btw… My matchmaking service is still on and popping yall😂 Tag me in your pictures. I’ll lob you to the dash 👏🏾😂😁

Dating Customs In China, Afghanistan And Mexico 

Matchmaking in the U.S. has gotten truly weird. One of the latest entrants into the business is Smell Dating, a New York-based company that asks clients to wear a T-shirt for three days — without bathing! — so swatches of the fabric can be sent to prospective partners. The idea is that folks sniff and, if they like the smell, pursue a date.

In the corners of the world that we cover in Goats and Soda, there are all kinds of twists in the dating game (although none of them involve scent). We talked to academics to get the lowdown on courtship and marriage in three cultures.


Chinese dating customs range from old school to new wave. The traditional approach leaves it up to the parents. Across China, they gather to swap stats on their unmarried kids, says Sandy To, a lecturer in the sociology department at the University of Hong Kong. The most famous spot is People’s Park in Shanghai, which hosts a marriage market every weekend. Moms and dads post signs touting their children’s personal details, including height and income, and then scan the hundreds of other signs in search of a good fit. For the parents, it’s a practical, low-tech way to try to achieve their goal: Get their child hitched.


Dating is a challenge in Afghanistan, where custom dictates that young men and women cannot be together if they are alone. There is no “dating” in Afghanistan, explains Alef-Shah Zadran, an anthropology professor at Kabul University.

But college students can get more than just a degree, says Zadran, who is on the faculty for the school’s new master’s program in gender and women’s studies and who focuses on issues of equality. In his courses, young people also get the rare opportunity to study one another.


Finding a date is not hard in Tulum, Mexico, says Ana Juarez, an associate professor in the anthropology department at Texas State University. She has followed the lives of several generations of the Caste War Maya women who live in the region, just south of Cancun. Juarez says that even just walking down the street, women can expect to encounter multiple suitors.

But the common pickup lines are probably not what most women would like to hear. Juarez says men often try something like, “I’m married and have eight kids, but I love girlfriends.”

Read the full story here


Perhaps your job aint so bad — Victorian matchmakers and the “phossyjaw”

In 1826 an English chemist named John Walker invented the first friction (strike) match.  An ingenious invention, before the match people had to make due with various tools such as flints and sparklers.  The match became a common household item, taken for granted every time someone lit up a smoking pipe, lighted a candle, or started a fire.  However there was a dark underside to the match which, like other trades during the industrial revolution, revealed an even greater culture of exploitation in Victorian society.

After the invention of the match, matchmaking factories popped up all over Europe and America as demand for the product soared.  The process of making a match was simple, thus factories mostly hired those who were unemployable in other industries; the poorest of the poor, women, and young children.  They were paid very little and worked hard, long hours.  Perhaps the greatest downside to being a Victorian Era matchmaker was working with deadly chemicals.  In the 1800’s, matches were made by dipping wooden sticks in a solution of white phosphorus.  A dangerous chemical, there was enough white phosphorus in a pack of matches to kill a man.  Of course in the industrial age employers often cared little for the safety of their employees, so matchmakers were constantly exposed to phosphorus.  Perhaps the matchmaker’s worst nightmare was the contraction of a disease called “phossyjaw”.

A condition most common with matchmakers, phossyjaw was the gradual necrosis and roting away of the teeth and jaw due to phosphorus poisoning.  First the gums would swell, then abscesses would form, and eventually the teeth would fall out as the jawbone itself began to rot.  An interested side effect of white phosphorus, often the teeth and jaw of victims with phossyjaw would glow, usually a whitish green.  The only cure for phossyjaw was the removal of the jaw bone, an incredibly debilitating disfigurement which left the victims with a life of hardship and suffering.  Around 20% of those afflicted died.

Eventually phossyjaw made its way to the spotlight in 1888 when matchmakers in London went of strike demanding better working conditions.  Government and private health agencies conducted thorough investigations into the disease, resulting in much publicity on the plight of the matchmaker.  Eventually factories began to discontinue the use of white phosphorus as safer alternatives were invented.  By the turn of the century white phosphorus matches were outlawed in most countries.  

Broadway Musical

Broadway Musical by Griftings
Rating: M (light)
Word Count: 12,400
Summary: This is the day that marked the Holy and Blessed Union of Dean Winchester and Jo Harvelle. 
The merging of prominent bloodlines is always a grand occurrence, but breeding pedigree hunter families like Winchester and Harvelle is something to be rejoiced. It is also something to be meticulously planned, which thankfully the Host is very good at. 
Or, the romantic comedy where Dean Winchester and Jo Harvelle are destined to get married, Castiel is given the task of playing matchmaker and fails terribly, the entire Heavenly Host becomes a sitcom audience, God warns against male pregnancy, and Jimmy Novak is incredibly unimpressed with angels in general. 

Ah, they don’t write fics like this anymore! Here we have the Heavenly Host actively meddling with human lives and gloriously bickering among themselves. The author’s summary describes the main story pretty well, so, the only thing I could add is - this fic is jawbreakingly hilarious! Starting with clueless relationship advice from all my favorite angels, to Jimmy’s deadpan comments, to Cas’ earnest attempts to ensure “fornification” between Jo and Dean, every sentence here is a crackfic gold. Enjoy!