Sometimes, I read stuff and I just have to wonder “What in the hell were they thinking?”
February 23, 2009
I received this in my email this morning. I tried checking it on snopes.com and about.com, but neither site had anything to either confirm or deny it’s authenticity. It sounds entirely plausible; I’m hoping it’s true!
Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape. Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of ‘safe houses’ where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.
Paper maps had some real drawbacks — they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.
Someone in MI-5 (similar to America’s OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It’s durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.
At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.
By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the UK Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, ‘games and pastimes’ was a category of item qualified for insertion into ‘CARE packages’, dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.
Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington’s, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece. As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington’s also managed to add:
- A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass
- A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together
- Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!
British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a ‘rigged’ Monopoly set — by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.
Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war. The story wasn’t de-classified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington’s, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.
It’s always nice when you can play that ‘Get Out of Jail’ Free’ card!
July 29, 2008
Mine is only 39!
Check out this cool website that a friend e-mailed to me. Ignore the Chinese, all you need to be able to read is the numbers.
- CLICK ‘start’
- Wait for 3, 2, 1.
- Memorize the number’s position on the screen, then click the circle from the smallest number to the biggest number.
- At the end of game, the computer will tell you how old your brain is.
Good luck !!
March 30, 2008
January 21, 2008
September 13, 2006
Hasbro(tm) has just unveiled a new Monopoly(tm) game, called Here & Now, designed to bring the old classic into the 21st Century.
Instead of the old Atlantic City streets, the real estate for sale includes Jacobs Field in Cleveland (replacing Meditterranean Ave in the “slums”) for $600,000; the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia for $1,600,000; and Disney World-Orlando for $2,400,000. In the place of honor, we have New York’s Times Square replacing Boardwalk for the low-low-everyday price of just $4,000,000. (This property rents, with a hotel, for $20 Million)
Instead of the Reading, B&O, Pennsylvania and Short Line Railroads, players can now purchase major airports: LAX in Los Angeles; JFK in New York; O’Hare in Chicago; and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta. The price: $2,000,000 each. The utilities (Water Works and the Electric Company) have been replaced with Cell Phone Service and Internet Access.
Monopoly: Here & Now hit the toystore shelves last weekend. It retails for $29.95.