Tag Archives: Idea Polish Level: 4

The Top Ten Things to Consider for a Fun Group Game

There are many games, but some work better in group situations than others. By group situations I mean situations in which you have lots of kids (or teens, or adults…) and want them to all start playing a game, like at a birthday party. So, having played and directed a lot of group games, I thought I’d come up with ten things to look for in a good game for your group. To clarify, a good group game should keep as many people continuosly entertained as long as possible. This is what I was looking for when I put together this list:

  • The game should be…
  • Easy to get started
  • Easy for someone to join
  • Easy for someone to leave
  • Fun even for those who aren’t very good at it
  • Fun even for those who are very good at it
  • The game should Not be…
  • Too rough
  • Easy to cheat in, or even easy to accuse people of cheating in
  • Boring for those who are playing
  • Boring for those who are temporarily not playing (tagged, substituted, etc.)
  • Full of “losers” at the end, or at least those who lose shouldn’t feel like “losers”

Of course, a game can still be fun (and usually is still fun) without all of these factors, but I’ve found that the more of the 10 factors a game has the more likely a group I’m playing it with will want to play it again. More on that in a later post. There are probably other factors that would affect how fun a game is to play with groups, but as of now I can’t think of any others. There are so many things about this that I want to elaborate on, but for now I’m going to post this so that I can get this started.

~ George

For the Strength of All

One of my ideas has just gotten bigger than any I’ve had before. I call it For the Strength of All. You can find the description and/or sign up at its website ForTheStrengthOfAll.com or you can read the description copied from there and pasted below.

My name is George


I’m 16, almost 17, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as Mormons, and around November 2014 I had an idea.

I was doing my Duty to God (a program for young men in the church), and one of the things it requires you to do is read up on one of the For the Strength of Youth sections, apply it to your life, and share what you learned. So I kept reading and reading the different sections and suddenly I felt the spirit come over me. Different people feel the spirit in different ways, but for me the best way to describe it is that it was almost like a great swelling in my chest. What I felt was that, if we were to live everything in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, we would be one of the happiest people alive. “Ahh, if only I could just start living all of this! If only I had enough time! If only it was possible!”

But then I realized something; There is a way you can do this. I counted up how many sections there are in the For the Strength of Youth. 19. Ok, let’s see, 52/19 equals… about 3. So, if on New Year, I were to commit to live one of the principles steadfastly for three weeks, then switch to the next principle for three weeks, I could live EVERY SINGLE STANDARD IN THE BOOK IN ONE YEAR. I plan on living much longer than that. One year is nothing when you think of 20, 40, 60 years of life to live through. This was the fast lane, a quick way to a better me! I had to do it.

After realizing this, I felt a need to share it with others. Before I could do that, however, I had to test to see if it would work. So my family and I, over Family Home Evening, committed to stick word for word to the book’s instructions on Entertainment and the Media until Thanksgiving, which was about 3 weeks away. The experiment was a partial success. It started really well, but the farther and farther from the original commitment the less and less we remembered it. To fix that, as part of my idea I will send out an email reminding everyone subscribed of the current commitment every day for the rest of the year.

While the failed part of the experiment was useful, the success part of the experiment was just as important. One byproduct was that by instigating a one-strike rule for movies and books I was able to train myself to “just say no” to things that drove the spirit away. Even months after the experiment I still feel its effects. It would work! Now it was time to share it with others.

So here we are. I made For the Strength of All so that others and myself can get a jump-start on God’s commandment to be perfect. He wants us to love Him, and the best way to show our love for Him is to keep His commandments. The prophet has said that so long as we are better today than we were yesterday, God is pleased. Through For the Strength of All I hope to help us all become better, happier people, because as I said at the beginning, For the Strength of Youth has many of the keys to HAPPINESS in both this life and the next; the First Presidency itself has promised us that keeping these standards will strengthen our testimonies, bless us with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and help us be happy.

Thank you for your time. I hope that you will decide to join this, because I can’t wait to see the results, and I hope that as many others as possible will too.

~ George

ForTheStrengthOfAll.com – That all might come unto Him

Rose’s Birthday Gift: Lyrics Book

Rose just had her birthday, so I needed to come up with a birthday present. About two 2 months ago I realized that she likes singing all the time, but rarely knows more than a few spots of a song. So thus the idea of a lyrics book was born. I copied the lyrics to 28 songs that she enjoys singing into a single document, categorized them, and added page numbers. I got almost all the lyrics from www.azlyrics.com, although a few of the lyrics are from other sites. If you use it, I’d recommend printing it in booklet form (or at least double-sided) if your printer has that function, otherwise you’d use a huge amount of paper. Also, there are some known errors in the transcription of some songs, so it is likely that most of the lyrics aren’t 100% like the actual lyrics of the song, but in general they are correct. Here’s the download: Song Lyrics

Also, here’s the Table of Contents (copied from the first page of the document):



“Happy” – Pharrell Williams – page 2
“Demons” – Imagine Dragons – page 3
“Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons – page 5
“Really Don’t Care” – Demi Lovato – page 6
(feat. Cher Lloyd)
“Brave” – Sara Barielles – page 7
“The Monster” (Clean version) – Eminem – page 9
(feat. Rihanna)
“Counting Stars” – One Republic – page 10
“Roar” – Katy Perry – page 12

“Somebody” – page 14
(performed by Bridgit Mendler)
“Determinate” – page 15
(performed by Bridgit Mendler & Adam Hicks)
“Here We Go” – page 17
“She’s So Gone” – page 19
(performed by Naomi Scott)
“Breakthrough” – page 21



“Shake It Off” – page 23
“Our Song” – page 24
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – page 26
“You Belong With Me” – page 27
“Love Story” – page 29



“Little Talks” – page 30
“Dirty Paws” – page 32
“Mountain Sound” – page 32



“Where’d My Wood Go (500 Chunks)” – Element Animation – page 33

“The Saga Begins” – “Weird Al” – page 35
“Everything Is Awesome!!!” – Tegan and Sara – page 37
(feat. The Lonely Island)



“The Melody Within” – page 39
“The Curse” – page 39
“The Melody Within/The Curse” – page 40
“April Child” – page 40


~ George

Culture Idea: Chance Based Currency (Part 2)

The next part of my explanation of the Chance Based Currency idea!

(See part 1 here: http://evansforever.com/culture-idea-chance-based-currency-part-1/)

The first problem I’d like to address is that it would be very hard to deal with large sums of money.

  • Using high felix dice, like a 100 felix die, would make the seller risk gaining only 1 F in exchange for an item. On the other hand, the purchaser is also risking paying 100 F for the item. On average, the seller would make about 50 F per sell, but that’d only be after a while.
    • As said in the first post, all the seller can do to decrease the risk of having a low F roll is to refuse to accept high felix dice. However, if the government is like ours (the US), then it’d be against the law to not accept currency the government has decided has value.
      • In the US, if someone tries to pay you with legitimate US currency (and you’re in the US), unless you accept the currency the buyer has the right to take whatever it was that he was purchasing without paying you. The dice government might have similar laws, or they might only have laws for specific dice types, or maybe none at all
  • Another problem would be having to make a 100 sided die. Perhaps the government would make dice that go up in intervals greater than 1. If so, then a 100 felix die could be ten sided, going up by ten, or 20 sided going up by five, or maybe even 5 sided, going up by 20. This would clearly affect the formula to calculate average F, which would become as follows: Divide the max felix of the die by two, then add (the lowest value it can roll*1/2).
  • This would put the 10 sided 100 felix die’s average F at 55, the 20 sided 100 felix die’s average F at 52.5, and the 5 sided 100 felix die’s value at 60! Wow, and I thought this system was interesting already, but with accounting for minimum values as  well  as  maximum values makes this all the more fascinating
    • And what if the die didn’t go up by the same interval each time? What if you had a 100 felix die, but it had only 6 sides, which were 1,2,3,4,5, and 100? It’s still 100 felix, because felix is the potential roll, but it would have nowhere near the purchasing power as the other examples given.
    • If this were the case, the way you’d calculate the average F is by adding together all the sides and dividing that number by the number of sides on the dice. For example, 1+2+3+4+5+100 =115, 115/6=19.1666667, which is the average F of that die.
    • This method could work with other dice, for example 1+2+3+4+5=15, 15/5=3, which we already know is the average F for a 5 sided 5 felix die (man, now I have to say how many sides it has also…), but it’s harder and more time-consuming than the normal calculation.
    • Another thing I thought of about this idea is that it’d provide another way to gamble without any felix loss; roll an “x” sided die which has all of its faces equal to zero but one, which would be some high number. Perhaps the government would earn extra money by selling dice such as these to gambling houses.

That’s all for now

~ George

Culture Idea: Chance Based Currency (Part 1)

What if there was an economy which had legal tinder that was made of dice? I’m going to call the currency Felix (“lucky” in Latin). For example, a two felix “bill” would be a two-sided coin, a six felix “bill” would be a normal 6-sided dice, and I don’t know how they would work with hundred felix “bill”‘s. When you pay for something, you pull out your dice and roll them. Whatever value they land on is how much they are worth for that transaction; you could have a 100 sided die, but if it lands on 1 then it’s only worth one dollar. Perhaps when paying something, you have to bring out enough dice to have the price be halfway between the minimum you could roll and the maximum you could roll (I’ll explain that more later), and after the cashier checks to make sure that everything adds up properly you roll the dice. You pay whatever value that comes up is, whether cheaper than or more expensive than the original price.

This could lead to an interesting treatment of the value of money. Here’s some math to explain: You’re buying a new hammer that is worth 5 F [F is absolute money (after the die has been rolled), and felix is potential money (pre-roll), e.g. a 10 felix die rolls 5 F]. If you have a 5 felix die, you still probably wouldn’t be able to afford it. This is because, on average, the die wouldn’t roll a five, and thus, on average, the seller would lose money. The seller doesn’t want to lose money, so he wouldn’t sell the hammer for a 5 felix die.

The way you’d calculate the average value of a die is to divide the top value it could roll in half and add 0.5. The additional 0.5 is because the die can’t ever roll zero, so it’s not the halfway point between the top value and zero that you’re looking for, it’s the halfway point between the top value and one. This would place the average value of the 5 felix die at 3 F. To get you’re hammer you need an average of 2 more F, so if subtract 0.5 from 2 and double the outcome you see that you’d need a 3 felix die to complete the transaction (I assume that a culture based on this currency would figure out how to make a three-sided die).

So now you have two dice which have an average F of 5, enough to satisfy the shopkeeper. You roll your dice. The 3 felix die lands on one, good for you, but the 5 felix die lands on 5, for a total of 6 F. Your heart sinks. The shopkeeper happily pockets the dice, having earned an extra F, and gives you the hammer.

Later, your friend sees the nice quality of your hammer and gives you a 9 felix die to buy him one. The interesting thing about this situation is that a 9 felix die also has an average value of 5 F, even though a 5 felix die + a 3 felix die = 8 felix. The difference is that every die has a minimum roll of 1, so the minimum F for two dice is 2, meanwhile the minimum F for one die is 1. The added price of 1 felix accounts for the added risk to the shopkeeper of 1 felix.

You visit the shopkeeper again, and he seems a bit worried about your 9 felix die, but doesn’t stop you from using it to pay. You roll, and his fears are confirmed. The die landed on 2, giving it a value of 2 F, 3 F less than the asking price! You can see that the shopkeeper is upset at being shortchanged as he pockets the die, but you’re elated. You can’t wait to get the hammer to your friend so that you can tell him what a steal you got it for.

In this system, most sellers would always want to be paid in the highest number of the lowest denomination dice they could get, at least for the more important deals,  so that they are guaranteed at least a certain amount of F, even though the fewer dice that are used the higher the felix value is. Some shopkeepers wouldn’t allow dice with too high of a felix value to be used to purchase items, meanwhile others might make a sale by requiring the average F to be less than halfway between the top value and one. Gambling would be easy in this culture; simply have both players roll a 100 sided die (or whatever they use instead) and switch dice. One might roll 50, and the other might roll 20, who gets 30 F while maintaining the same amount of felix.

After all that though, the only more flawed currency system that I’ve seen anywhere (not that I’ve looked for any) was this one:

Alternate Currency

(Source: http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/512:_Alternate_Currency)

I can’t decide which flaws I should go over first, but this post is too long already, so I’m going to split it into a number of smaller parts focusing on specific problems with this system and addressing them. These I will write and publish those parts until I’ve gone over this idea thoroughly, or I’m tired of it.

~ George

Type-able Lewis Dot Structure

After messing up with Lewis dot structures on a chemistry test a while back (I forgot to draw any of the dots. Otherwise it would have been nearly 100% 🙁 ),  so I wanted to come up with an alternate to Lewis dot structures that doesn’t need dots. I still haven’t figured out a way to do that, but at the time I instead ended up with a way to format a Lewis dot structure in a way that you could type it. Note: you must already know how to draw out simple Lewis dot structures and the terminology behind them to understand this post.

Here’s a table to represent the various symbols that you use to type the Lewis dot structures

The symbol for (a)…

  • Single bond is a dash (-)
  • Double bond is an equal sign (=)
  • Triple bond is an equal sign and a dash (=- or -=)
  • Quadruple bond is two equal signs (==)
  • (If you need greater values, combine the dashes and equal signs until you have the number you need)
  • One valence electron is a period (.)
  • Two valence electrons is a colon (:)
  • Three valence electrons is a colon and a period (.: or :.)
  • Four valence electrons is two colons (::)
  • (If you need greater values, combine the periods and colons until you have the number you need)

To help with typing the Lewis dot structures, parenthesis will need to be used around each atom in the molecule. The first set is parenthesis (), the second set is brackets [], the third set is braces {}, and if you need more than either loop back to parentheses or don’t bother typing it. For example, Nitrogen’s Lewis dot structure would be (N:.), with the colon+period representing nitrogen’s three valence electrons. O2’s Lewis dot structure would be [::O=(O::)].

There are two colons next to each O to represent the four valence electrons that each oxygen has, and the equal sign to represent the double bond. Why one atom is in parenthesis and the other is not will be explained next.

A more complicated example would be CH4’s typed Lewis dot structure: [C-(H)-(H)-(H)-(H)]

None of the atoms in this molecule have any valence electrons, so there aren’t any periods or colons. Something more noticeable about it is that the hydrogen atoms, while seemingly connected in the typed version, aren’t connected in the drawn version. The way you get around that is by having the atom that is being connected to outside of the parentheses. The carbon atom has only the brackets around it, meanwhile all of the hydrogen atoms also have the parentheses.

You can even type the Lewis dot structure of a molecule by using all three bracket types, such as C2H3N’s molecule: {C-[H]-[H]-[H]-[C-=(N:.)]} .

Blog - Idea Level 3 - Type-able Lewis Dot Structure - H3C2N

The typed Lewis dot structure starts with the left carbon, showing it with only the braces surrounding it. That means that all of the atoms in the molecule that are only surrounded by both the braces and the brackets are connected to the carbon atom. Any atoms that are also surrounded by parentheses aren’t connected to the first carbon. The second carbon is surrounded by both the braces and the brackets, but not the parentheses. That means that any molecules that are surrounded by the braces, the same pair brackets that the 2nd carbon is surrounded by, and parentheses are connected to it. The nitrogen in the molecule fits all of those criteria, and as you can see in the drawn out version it is connected to the 2nd carbon but not the first.

Unfortunately this form obviously has limitations, such as those that a normal Lewis dot structure has, as well as the fact that the typed diagrams will rapidly get very complex.

Something I’m experimenting with is how to type the structure when it has rings in it, like carbon rings.

One possible way is to use something to communicate a linked section of a sort, like asterisks do for footnotes. So the above’s typed Lewis dot structure, starting with the bottom left carbon and going around clockwise, would be {C-[*]-[H]=[C-(H)-(C-{H}={C-[H]-[*C-(H)]})]}

For fun, and also to test this method of diagramming molecules, I Googled “Large Lewis dot structures” to see what came up, and decided that I would type it out myself at some point. Until I find the time to do what is probably going to be a long and difficult task, here’s the molecule I found:


Also, I’m thinking that there is some way to show the molecular polarity (or maybe the proper term is electronegativity) using greater than and less than signs (<>), but until I find my Chemistry book I can’t remember any of the proper terms, so until then just know that there’s more to come.

~ George