I just returned from my annual fun girls’ weekend, which traditionally involves a lot of catching up, wine, napping, and games. When we’re not throwing down Cards Against Humanity or tossing Words With Friends turns at each other, I have to say that our best game is Celebrity. On the off chance you are unfamiliar, I am going to lay out my certain brand of Celebrity here, because it is the greatest game in the world.
I used to play with everybody writing out the names of multiple celebrities on slips of paper and putting them into a bowl. Then opposing teams have to get their teammates to guess who the celebrity is (“He was famous for creating popcorn and always wore a bow tie.” “Orville Redenbacher!”)
But a few years ago, gamemaster John Teti turned me on to an ever better Celebrity version. First, every player puts 10 names in the bowl. The first round, you can use as many words as you like (“The Smokey & The Bandit actor who just died who was famous for his mustache.”) Once you go through all the names one, you move onto the second round, in which you only use one word (“Bandit” or “mustache”). Once you’re done with that round, you go onto the third, which uses no words at all (pantomime driving or drawing a mustache on your face).
It’s like a more complicated, celebrity-focused game of charades. And somehow, everyone’s wordless impersonations of everyone from Donald Trump to Fred Astaire to Julia Child never fail to crack me up. Best of all, it’s free, with no screen necessary. An old-school game that deserves to stay in heavy rotation until the next girls’ weekend. [Gwen Ihnat]
Every so often, one of those seemingly charming stories pops up about a brand that reached out to an Average Joe with an act of kindness, like the time Pizza Hut sent a lovelorn gal some free pizza after her breakup or Reese’s hooked a guy up with dozens of boxes of free candy. But how do these brands even find out about these random people and their break-ups? Tech reporter Ian Bogost, writing for The Atlantic, was himself the recipient of free pizza (courtesy of Comcast, nothing to do with a break-up), and he digs into the mechanics of these PR moves. Turns out, food companies’ tactics are much, much savvier than I knew. [Kate Bernot]