During the month that all the college students have been home, my living room has been filled with laptop computers, usually set carefully on the oak bench that we use as a coffee table. Sometimes a bunch of kids might be piled on the couch, watching an episode of Futurama on one of the laptops. Other times, they might all be gathered around a laptop puzzling over Weff Riddles. Updates from friends at other houses will come in the form of instant messages. "Philosophical Boy and Older Neighbor Boy are coming over," Boy in Black will announce as he glances at his computer screen.
Skater Boy recently began a new craze called the Wikipedia Game. He'll grab a laptop and challenge someone else on a different laptop. Both people go to Wikipedia and start in the same spot. I think the day he started the game, Shaggy Hair was working on his chemistry homework and so "Chemical Sources" is traditionally the place where they begin. Then someone calls out a word or term or person, like "Bob Dylan," and they race to see who can get there first. The rule is you can't type anything; you can only click on links. And you can't go backwards.
It's a surprisingly fascinating game. I raced Boy in Black the other night, and I got stuck for a long time in medieval weapons. We were racing from "Chemical Sources" to "Thor's Hammer." I lost the game, but I have to say it's the most random information I've read in a long time. And it's cool to see that no matter what two terms someone yells out, everything ultimately can be connected.