This is an edition of Fringes, my roughly weekly* newsletter about my travels on the fringes on the internet. Often about games, sometimes about... other things.
*Except that it's now been several weeks since I last sent something. Life happens – we're back!
Hello from Palm Springs!
My wife and I have been staying in Palm Springs, CA for the last couple of weeks. It was a searing 118 degrees when we arrived, which is certainly the hottest temperature I've ever been in. It feels like standing in a dry sauna, which is actually not so bad due to the low humidity that results in a lower wet-bulb temperature. (This is why suffering in Taiwan in the summer with 95 degree weather and 84% humidity feels worse than being in the desert.)
Palm Springs has another interesting property besides unbelievably hot summers. When the government first surveyed the land here, they divided up the land into a checkerboard of one square-mile plots, deeding every other one to the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation.
I can't really think of why this is a good way to divide up land, unless your goal is to break apart large chunks of tribal land, but it's what happened, and has persisted to this day.
Section 14 on the map (the one with all the tiny colored boxes inside it) is the main drag of Palm Springs, and filled with shops and restaurants. It also happens to sit smack on top of tribal land. Predictably this caused a battle for control over the land between the city and the tribe:
City leaders could not acquire tribally owned land outright, so they attempted to restrict building, zoning and leasing on Section 14 as a means to control the area. The tribe, however, argued that as a sovereign nation, it did not have to accept any city laws or ordinances on tribal lands.
Today, the city and tribe seem to cooperate, and driving around it's hard to notice a difference from one section to another, but the underlying checkerboard lives on.
A man playing an a capella harmonica
You've heard beatboxing before, but have you heard someone emulating a harmonica a capella? 🤯
🧇 The Waffle House index is an "informal metric named after the Waffle House restaurant chain and was used by former administrator Craig Fugate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the effect of a storm and the likely scale of assistance required for disaster recovery."
👾The evolution of early game genres on Nintendo consoles
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Until next time,