How about Jacob's ladder
as a stocking stuffer or present?
It's worth considering. They're easy to find.
The Jacob's ladders you find in stores have those skimpy colourful bands. When I was a kid I encountered a Jacob's ladder
that was a classy craft. This had, as I remember it, bigger, clunkier pieces of wood. They were rounded in the right places.
The ribbons were opaque black fabric of some sort. There were
domino-like dots on them. Vitally, the bands were next to each other
with no space between them, kind of like
this, so you would just see
a uniform black, plus dots. The result was a mystery about how it
works that was not easy to figure out, a fascinating magic trick.
What words would you use to describe this production from a
Yoté is a game that I quite like,
but it's not really going to ring a bell with people.
It's African, well West African, and it's in the shadow of mancala,
which you would find on store shelves.
It's like checkers, which can be a turnoff.
I think it's a simple, small, brief, action-packed game
where fortunes can change.
I recommend getting it for Christmas. You can find the game
you see here online, made in China. The board is a nice design.
This site has a leather Yoté, made by Oak Games.
So how about we make a homemade version of this, suitable for a gift. Some rocks, a box, some paper. Neat.
We'll steal the name and the rules, with an exception. This would be true/false, not 0, 1 2.
So this would be great, doable, a conversation piece. But ...
Well, I was going to list the problems with this, but it's rapidly looking like this is a go for Christmas. It would even
go to Rox(anne), although I don't feel great about making her look
like a twit. I came across a $20 craft thing with rocks, and the box would be a red Christmasy thing from the dollar store.
I'm not sure what to do with the concealed individual
paper questions and answers.
The biggest issue is the name. One rock, or three?
If you have a painted rock or, worse, rocks, wouldn't that chip off?
I've been carefully curating original trivia questions, but only
some of them are t/f. There are enough. A lot of the answers
are unexpected, so people might come to expect this. Some questions with obvious answers should be added.
I think each question, on its own folded paper, will have a code, e.g. 1Z6, and you look it
up on a single answer sheet.
Update: I got a bag of rocks, not too big and lighter colour, as well as a little white box from Michael's that does not require padding.
The craft box with acrylic paints will not be used; I will just use
black and red felt pens.
I think I won't do the coded answers. Maybe questions will simply be
This could be a fabulous fun present, with some mild spice of
Here is a killer funny, small book called Non Campus Mentis, now known
as Ignorance is Blitz. Click the image below. I think it would make an
excellent gift. You are more likely to appreciate this if you know about
history, language and geography.
If you are looking at getting a wire puzzle, I recommend Beetle Bug.
It hits the sweet spot between pointlessly easy and pointlessly difficult.