Pinball's history is America's history, from gambling and war-themed machines to the arcade revolution and, ultimately, the decline of the need to leave your house. The strangest thing about pinball is that it persists, and not just as nostalgia. And pinball didn't just stick around—it grew and continues to evolve with the times, reflecting the zeitgeist of every era it passes through. Somehow, in today's iPhone world, a 300-pound monstrosity of wood and cables has survived to enjoy yet another renaissance.Pinball is more to humor writer Adam Ruben than a fascinating book topic—it's a lifelong obsession. Ruben played competitive pinball for more than a decade, rising as high as the 80th-ranked player in the world. Then he had kids. Now, mired in 9,938th place—darn kids—Ruben tries to stage a comeback, visiting pinball museums, gaming conventions, pinball machine designers, and even pinball factories in his attempt to discover what makes the world's best players, the real wizards, so good.Pinball competitions are on the rise, thanks in part to modern phenomena, like "nostalgia bars," with several hundred International Flipper Pinball Association–sanctioned events occurring annually—yet they're only a small corner of the pinball world. Pinball Wizards examines the bigger story of pinball's invention, ascent, near-defeat, resurgence, near-defeat again, and struggle to find its niche in modern society.
Pop-art connoisseurs are treated to a mind-bending journey through the blistering paintings of San Francisco artist Dirty Donny Gillies. Take a visual tour of his vibrant, hand-drawn and screen-printed poster art series "Blacklight Rebellion" and hand-painted solo art show "Fantastic Voyage." This ultimate collection of cool also includes his iconic work for Stern Pinball, metal giant Metallica, Vans Skate, Snap-On tools, and Cruz Pedregon's Top Fuel Funny Car, not to mention work on his own air-brushed 1970s boogie van. The art attack continues with eye-melting imagery from skateboard decks, decal sets, toys, guitars, drums, and his series of model kits for AMT. Pop-art collectors will appreciate full-page photos from the likes of legendary street photographer Ricky Powell, as well as the commentary by Ed Robertson of the Bare Naked Ladies, Mastadon's Brann Dailor, Brendon Small of animated series Metalocalypse, Howie Pyro, (Danzig, D-Generation) and fellow weirdo artist Skinner.
Video games have taken America by storm. Readers will learn about the rise of gaming culture from the first games like Pong to the sensation of Minecraft. This book also examines some of the controversies and innovative technologies that have made gaming one of Americas favorite pastimes.
When Olivia Bruner saw video games overtaking her young sons' lives, she decided to learn the facts behind addiction. What she found was shocking: that most games are designed to be highly addictive-triggering physiological reactions in the brain similar to those associated with substance abuse-and that one out of five kids becomes addicted to computer and video games. And while many parents screen the content of games to protect their children from violent and sexual themes, few understand the forces causing their children to become hooked on the "digital drug." This book arms parents with the facts they need and concrete steps to protect our children from this very real epidemic. A must-read for all parents.
Whether it's conkers in the schoolyard, kicking a football in the park, or playing tennis on Wimbledon Centre Court, sport impacts all of our lives. But what is sport and why do we do it? Colin McGinn, renowned philosopher (and kiteboarder), reflects on our love of sport and explores the value it has for us and the part it plays in a life lived well. Written in the form of a memoir, McGinn discusses many of the sports he has engaged in - from pole-vaulting and gymnastics to windsurfing and tennis - and describes the athletic experience from the inside, as a participant, articulating what is uniquely valuable about sport as an activity. Sport, argues McGinn, takes us to our fullest potential as human beings, it's what we fling at mortality to keep it at bay, a holiday from the Unbearable Heaviness of Being. "Sport" expresses our nature, it bears upon our self-realization. If a happy life consists in one that expresses fully our natural faculties, then sports must play an essential role in our lifes. Mind-body unity, the nature of practical knowledge and physical skill, success and failure, the ethics of competition, peak experiences, the spectacle of professional sport, aesthetics and death, McGinn discusses these and many other issues while telling of his own sporting mishaps and adventures. To use the vernacular of philosophy, "Sport" captures the phenomenology of sport - what it's like to do it - and in doing so shows how sport is a way of expressing and understanding who and what we are, way beyond whether we are a good sportsman, a bad loser or a team-player. For anyone who has ever thought that there must be less humiliating ways to enjoy yourself than being thrashed on the tennis court, "Sport" will reassure you that it's time not wasted.
Possessing technology that allows him to travel across alternate worlds, John Rayburn begins building a transdimensional commercial empire, led by him, his closest friends, and their doppelgängers from several different parallel universes. But not every version of every person is the same, and their agendas do not always coincide. Despite their benign intentions, the group's activities draw unwanted attention from other dimensional travelers who covet their technology and will kill anyone to control it, a threat that culminates in a nuclear standoff for dominance throughout the multiverse. Sequel to The Walls of the Universe At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In Fever, music critic Tim Riley argues that while political and athletic role models have let us down, rock and roll has provided enduring role models for men and women. From Elvis Presley to Tina Turner to Bruce Springsteen to Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, Riley makes a persuasive case that rock and roll, far from the corrosive force that conservative critics make it out to be, has instead been a positive influence in people's lives, laying out gender-defying role models far more enduringly than movies, TV, or "real life."
Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac is the ingeniously organized book where, for a change, the all-time Jeopardy! champ gets to ask the questions–and where every day of the year will give you the chance to test your trivia mettle. For example–February 21: In 1912, on this day, Teddy Roosevelt coined the political phrase “hat in the ring,” so Ken Jennings fires off a series of “ring” questions. What two NFL quarterbacks have four Super Bowl rings each?* What rings are divided by the Cassini Division?** Also on this date, in 1981, the “goth” music scene was born in London, so here’s a quiz on black-clad icons like Darth Vader, Johnny Cash, and Zorro. Do you know the secret identities of Ivanhoe’s Black Knight*** or Men in Black’s Agent M****? In this ultimate book for trivia buffs and other assorted know-it-alls, the 365 entries feature “This Day in History” factoids, trivia quizzes, and questions categorized by Jennings as “Easy,” “Hard,” and “Yeah, Good Luck.” Topics cover every subject under the sun, from paleontology to mixology, sports feats to Bach suites, medieval popes to daytime soaps. This addictive gathering of facts, oddities, devilishly clever quizzes, and other flights of fancy will make each day a fun and intriguing new challenge. From the Hardcover edition.
Time Out Las Vegas is the only crib sheet travelers need to the world's most outlandish city. Whether going for a short or extended visit, this guide is an invaluable companion through the neon maze that awaits in Las Vegas. With the lowdown on all the hotels and casinos, money-saving tips, extensive restaurant reviews, hints on the hottest nightlife, and a full guide to gambling, it leaves nothing to chance. This seventh edition proves that there is more to Sin City than just sequins and slots — the dramatic expansion in hotel accommodations, fine dining, and shopping is attracting tourists from every economic strata, not just those with gambling as their sole agenda. The guide contains a detailed explanation of what games are available in the casinos, as well as tips on how to play them. There is also a chapter on suggested side trips to Hoover Dam, as well as other sights in Nevada and Arizona.