On a recent Monday afternoon, Jason Matthews, age 47, walks into Labyrinth, a board-and-card-game store on Capitol Hill. He sports a trendy blazer with no tie, a trim goatee and a well-groomed head of hair. Normally, the store is closed on Mondays this time of year, but he’s made special arrangements with owner Kathleen Donahue to meet me here. Matthews is a lobbyist for an anti-child-trafficking organization who lives in Alexandria. He’s also co-creator of Twilight Struggle — perhaps the greatest board game ever made. Today, he’s agreed to play the game against me. As you may or may not have heard, we’re living in what many critics have deemed “the golden age of board games.” According to ICv2, a trade-news site for the hobby-games industry, board game sales increased from $100 million in 2013 to $305 million in 2016. Perhaps it’s the result of a backlash against our screen-swallowed, devoid-of-human-interaction modern existence. Or maybe it’s simply because the products themselves have gotten so much better, with engaging and sharp gameplay that’s a far cry from the typical slog of Monopoly. BoardGameGeek.com, the hobby’s most prominent news hub and discussion forum, keeps a database of 100,000 games and crowdsources a
Xiyue Wang could easily never have gone to Iran. He was a graduate student at Princeton, researching similarities across regional governments in 19th-century inner Asia. His work touched on neither the United States’ Iran policy nor any Iranian political reality less than a hundred years old. He initially planned to use the archives in Turkmenistan, but Turkmenistan denied him a visa. He wasn’t looking for an adventure — he had a 2-year-old son and a wife who had only just arrived in the United States from China. Compared with Turkmenistan, Iran was an open book, and compared with Afghanistan, which he also considered, it was safe. Moreover, Iran’s archives had a wealth of material useful to his research. He would need to learn Persian and at least survey the literature on Iran. But this sort of thing came easily to him: He was a voracious reader with a gift for languages. He left for Tehran in late January 2016, the same month that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (J.C.P.O.A.), better known as the Iran nuclear deal, took full effect. Wang, a Chinese-born, naturalized American citizen, set out for Iran without a worry. The Dehkhoda language institute in Tehran sponsored
Kristin Hannah’s new novel creates Alaska sound equally gorgeous and treacherous — a glistening realm that lures folks into the wild and then kills them there. It’s the essential setting of “The Great Alone,” an epic story about a teenage girl trapped in her parents’ toxic marriage. Hannah, the author of more than 20 novels, including “The Nightingale” (2015), which sold 4 million copies, has a sharp eye for drama. This time around, she draws directly on her own family’s knowledge of the challenges and rewards of living on the last frontier. In the 1980s, her parents co-founded what is now the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge, which is still operating out of Sterling, Alaska. You may remember “The Great Alone” as a 2015 documentary about Iditarod champion Lance Mackey , but Hannah’s small reaches back to a thumpty-thump poem published in 1907 by Robert Service called “The Shooting of Dan McGrew,” which includes this couplet: And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear? Hannah’s novel ventures into that same appalling clarity hemmed in by mountains of ice. The story opens in 1974 when an army vet named Ernt Allbright inherits an Alaskan cabin and 40 acres from a buddy he served with in Vietnam.
When even master pollster Nate Silver declined to correctly conclude a devastating election loss, there is only one word that can explain “what happened”: dissent. At least this comes to be the outcome of Hillary Clinton, the U.S.’s first-ever woman presidential nominee, on the troubling events that, despite her winning the famous vote by nearly three million, cost her and the Democratic Party the White House. In What Happened, her first book since her defeat in the November 2016 presidential election, the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State pulls no punches in giving a fascinating account of the many factors that she criticism for a loss that left her “shell-shocked.” Ms. Clinton, who has relied on yoga, long walks in the woods and a healthy dose of cable television therapy to recover from the wonderful turn of events a small more than a year ago shows a unique level of objectivity in being capable to analyze and editorial her own campaign planning. Disquieting quarries In doing so, she paints a canvas of American politics that raises disquieting quarries about the direction in which the nation is headed, rife with sexism and misogyny, pervasively permeated by Russian covert operatives, and
One freezing mix of a morning hours, while I was in training to be a substitute instructor, I saw a text that was being used in an 11th-grade British category. The category was studying transcendentalism, and learners were required to research excerpts from an article known as “Nature,” by Rob Waldo Emerson. Emerson was an unmethodical author with low, swollen sideburns who liked to perform himself up into sections of rapture. When it came here we are at him to create an article or give an oration — about characteristics, say, or self-reliance — he combed through his large publications and drawn out choice pieces that were more or less on topic, and he stuck them together with some connective writing. For example, in “Nature,” Emerson writes: “Standing on the simple floor, — my head washed by the blithe air, and uplifted into unlimited area, — all mean egotism disappears. I become a clear eye-ball.” In the text, next to this passing, there was a brief task printed in the advantage. It said: “Review the sun and rain of transcendentalism detailed on Website 369. Which part of transcendentalist believed is shown in Collections 12-19? Describe your response.” Isn’t that just
Summer time season light was diminishing to silver near Red Rectangle as Oliver Rock moved through the entrance hall bar of a five-star Moscow resort last year. He stepped after stone stairway and the huge violin to a desk in the rear again. A number of entrepreneurs in matches lingered close by. Rock grimaced. “I think we should move,” he said. His manufacturer, Moritz Borman, led the way to another area. “How’s this?” Borman requested. Stone didn’t response. He eyed an older couple slurping broth and kept moving. A time later, Rock lastly resolved in by a display, perfectly beyond earshot of the other customers. Such protection safety measures had become schedule. Ever since Rock made a decision to create a biopic about Edward Snowden, the U. s. declares whistle-blower currently holed up in Moscow somewhere, the movie director — who became a Buddhist while creating “Heaven & Earth” and tested a food of psychedelic medication for “The Doors” — had gone all method again. On “Snowden,” he and Borman became so engaged with U. s. declares govt tracking that they had their Los Angeles workplaces taken for insects more than once. The movie director hadn’t been resting well. Major
Among the earliest times Melania Trump appeared on “The Apprentice” was on April 15, 2004. This was before her wedding, the birth of her child, the launching of her jewelry and skin-care brands and, obviously, before Cleveland and the day last month when she briefly and inadvertently committed the cardinal sin of upstaging her husband. That appearance was during the finale of Season 1, when she accompanied Donald Trump on a trip to Atlantic City. At the time, she was Melania Knauss, Trump’s girlfriend of five years and a model perhaps best known for posing in what appeared to be the altogether for the cover of the British edition of GQ. “The Apprentice” isn’t a documentary. It’s a reality show, with the emphasis on show. What happens — what we see — is what the producers want us to see. And here’s some of what we saw, which is instructive when you consider all that has since taken place: First, Trump doesn’t wait for Melania when he gets off the helicopter at the Trump Taj Mahal. Then a contestant mispronounces her name. Finally, she gets to say exactly six words, which are: “It’s so cute. It’s really good.” Trump and