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5 hot new board games we played at Origins Game Fair 

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire combines cool miniatures, smooth gameplay, and neat design for a perfect storm of a game. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin
The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire combines cool miniatures, smooth gameplay, and neat design for a perfect storm of a game. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

Every year, tabletop nerds of all backgrounds travel from all over the world to Columbus for Origins Game Fair.

>> PHOTOS: 5 hot new board games you should try

Presented by The Game Manufacturing Association (GAMA), Origins is a symposium for people to try out games that were released over the previous year or will be debuting soon. joined the other 17,000 people at Origins 2017 to check out tons of new games. Here are some of our faves.  

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A promotional photograph from Origins shows the excited crowd in the Exhibitor Hall. PHOTO / Jacob Sigafoos, Official Origins Photographer

Century: Spice Road  

In this simple card game, you get to take on the role of a caravan leader trading spices. Players take turns drawing cards from the common “market” area. These cards allow them to draw “spices” (wooden cubes) from the supply or trade spices they have for others they need. The players can also draw victory point cards which let them trade spices for points that will be scored at the end of the game. And that’s it! The combination of simple, elegant design, quick playtime, and stunning art mean this game it sure to be a hit. In fact, Plan B Games, the company that makes Century: Spice Road brought 300 copies with them to Origins, and were completely sold out only a few days into the convention.  

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The theme was so well executed, we could practically smell the camels in the caravan travelling the Silk Road in Century: Spice Road. PHOTO / David Obenour

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire  

This game, which is scheduled for release next month, is certain to be an absolute smash. Based on the beloved film series, The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is a delightfully dark little worker placement number that comes with beautifully-sculpted plastic miniatures. Players will shake down businesses in New York City for money, drugs, and guns. Murder and intrigue is ensured as players battle for influence. This game is guaranteed to be a hit for many reasons, not the least of which that it was created by Eric Lang, one of game design’s current prodigal sons.  

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Lisboa is an absolutely beautiful European-style board game in which players must rebuild the capital city of Portugal after it was destroyed by a 1755 earthquake. Players will remove rubble from the city, interact with nobles, and build new buildings along a grid system to create the modern-day city of Lisbon. If you want to win this game, you will have to trade with the builder, the marquis, and the king, while exporting goods on ships and making deals with the clergy. Lisboa, like all of designer Vital Lacerda’s titles, has a lot of moving parts that can be used together as paths to victory. This one will definitely require a few play-throughs to perfect strategy. 

In the incredible historical game Lisboa, players will manipulate various factors in pursuit of the winning strategy. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

EXIT: The Game  

Have you ever wanted to recreate all the challenge offered by an escape room adventure, without leaving the house or actually being imprisoned? If so, the EXIT: The Game series is for you. These three budget-priced titles will have you teaming up with your friends to solve puzzles using clues and logic. The series was on fire at Origins. The company who makes it, Thames & Kosmos, only had 50 copies of each title to sell each day during the convention. Every day, they sold out only minutes after the hall opened.  

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Get all the anxious intensity of Escape the Room without spending the money or interacting with strangers with EXIT: The Game from Thames & Kosmos. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

Flip Ships  

Flip Ships is all the fun of Space Invaders in analog form. In this dexterity game, players work cooperatively to take out an oncoming assault of alien ships. To do so, they must take turns flicking their own ships off of a wooden launchpad in hopes of landing on one of the advancing enemies. Any enemy ships remaining at the end of the round will move forward to attack. This addictive little game is great for families, because it combines light strategy with cardboard ships that really fly through the air! 

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READY. AIM. FLIP! Flip Ships provides hours of fun for the whole family as you protect the planet from an onslaught of aliens by flipping your ships at the oncoming horde. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

UD’s ‘no hazing’ lady has been protesting for 18 years: ‘I promise you I will not go away’

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Elizabeth Thompson has been protesting UD since the 1990s. Video by Amelia Robinson

Come fall, Elizabeth Thompson will reach a milestone in her one-woman anti-hazing campaign against the University of Dayton: 18 years. 

“The students coming in were not born when I started,” Thompson said. 

>> “No Hazing Lady’s” fight with UD continues

Seventeen and half years have passed since her weekly protests at the UD entrance at Brown and Stewart streets began, but Thompson said her conviction that she was hazed and harassed as a UD electrical engineering graduate student in the late 1990s has not.

What they do is very wrong. They are bullies,” said Thompson, now a professor of electrical engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. “They think that can outlast me... It absolutely blows my mind. I promise you I will not go away.”

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The University of Dayton has long rebuffed Thompson’s long list of grievances.

“She is a graduate and has been part of our campus community; we regret that she has not found closure on this issue,” the university said in a statement. 

Thompson’s commitment to her protest is hard to dispute. 

She says she’s weathered counter-protest, wind chills of 20 degrees below and temperatures in excess of 90 degrees while touting signs that read things like “Stop the Academic Fraud,” “Hazing Is Not Leadership With Virtue” and “Stop the Hypocrisy.”

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Elizabeth Thompson has been protesting at the corner of Brown and Stewart Streets for 8 years. Thompson, a UD grad who received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering, is protesting harassment and unfair treatment that she says she endured while attending UD. Staff photo by Jim Noelker(Jim Noelker)


The pivotal claim is that she was given a “B” in an engineering master’s course when she earned an “A.”

She said she was told the lower grade was given to teach her “respect.” The B was so devastating that it made her cry for weeks.

She says the university has “repeatedly attempted to discredit, intimidate, silence and otherwise beat me into submission.” 

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Before the incident, Thompson had all As and had a 4.0 grade average. While appealing the grade, she went on to earn her doctorate from UD. She subsequently became a professor at the Indiana university.

Thompson said UD made her an outcast when she complained and has not made an attempt to resolve the situation since January 2000.

University officials have said that Thompson’s claims have been determined to be unfounded despite conferences, hearings and a mediation session at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In 2007, one official said her transcripts couldn’t be changed as she desires.

Thompson says said she doesn’t not want money from UD, but what she considers justice. 

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Item on Elizabeth Thompson's "anti-hazing" campaign published Aug. 22, 2005

From a letter explaining the protest: 

  •  To settle the issue, I am requesting the following four things. 
  •  Restoration of my 4.0.
  •  Correction of all transcripts that have been sent on my behalf to reflect this change.
  •  Provide me with the total of six letters of recommendation that were written for me by UD professors and to which I am legally entitled. 
  •  Rescinding of the criminal trespass warning.


Thompson said the way she feels UD treated her has not impacted her career in a negative way.

She earned an undergraduate degree at Ohio State in 1981 and worked 10 years as a welding engineer for General Dynamics Land Systems, where she would troubleshoot production of the M1A1 Army tank.  

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Thompson earned an electronic engineering master’s degree and doctorate from UD in 1995 and 1999.

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne promoted her to professor from associate professor in 2015.

She has published several articles in and worked extensively in functional magnetic resonance, as well as brain mapping through functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), teleoperated robotics and magnetoenceophalography (MEG), a technology that measures the magnetic field emitted by the brain.

>> Judge denies UD’s motion to dismiss ‘hazing’ lawsuit

The Society of Women Engineers named her Outstanding Faculty Advisor in 2013 for “creative leadership; for immeasurable service to her engineering students and SWE section as as mentor, advisor, coach, and advocate; and for outstanding university teaching and research.” In partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Thompson received funding from the National Institute of Health to develop functional brain activation maps using space-time adaptive processing, her Society of Women Engineers profile says. 

Her employer featured her in promotional videos and articles on more than one occasion. 


Thompson, a grandmother, was married to her late husband Robert for nearly 36 years before his death on June 22, 2016. 

The protest is only part of her life.  

“I have a very demanding job and I spend a lot of time with my family,” Thompson said. 

Here are some memorable experiences from Thompson’s letter explaining her protest: 


  1. I have been at UD in weather extremes—from a wind chill of 20◦ below to temperatures in excess of 90◦. 
  2. Comments from the public have been mixed. While several have been very vocal in voicing their dissent of my position, many others have been supportive and encouraging. 
  3. While protesting at the spring commencement, there were profuse insults from many of the students entering the UD arena parking lot at the location in which I was stationed. However, when the security guard came over to direct traffic, the negative comments ceased. 
  4. During one visit to UD, there was an apparently drunk man sleeping on the southwest corner of the intersection across the street from the corner on which I was standing. Several people stopped to attempt to rouse him. I spoke to him myself—he did not have any teeth and smelled heavily of alcohol. In response to my queries, he briefly muttered something unintelligible and then went back to sleep. However, when a group of rowdy college age young men in the bed of an open pick-up truck drove by, they yelled insults at him while mentioning something about the cemetery down the road. 
  5. During my visit of February 23, 2001, some UD male college students decided to take matters into their own hands and launch a counter protest. They stationed themselves at each of the corners of the intersection with different signs. There were three men on the northwest corner with a sign that read, “Stop the stupid protests.” There were also three  or four  men on the northeast corner but I could not read their sign. Three more men stood near me on the southeast corner. One sign said something to the effect, “I really earned a D.” Another said, “I love UD” on the front and “I’m with stupid” on the back. It had an arrow pointing in my direction. He kept turning it around to show occupants of passing vehicles. Another male student went from group to group with a video camera taping the incident. He asked various students for their reactions to the situation. He then came over to the corner on which I was standing and tried to videotape me, but I did not talk to him. He asked me questions such as “Have you ever been in a mental institution?” During this time, several groups of cars filled with rowdy UD male and female students drove by and added their hooting and jeers to the pandemonium. 
  6. Similar incidents have been repeated at least three times since then. 


5 things you didn’t know you could do at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Published: Friday, July 07, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Things you didn't know you could do at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery allows visitors of all ages to explore and learn about science in a fun and interactive way.

The museum has been part of the Dayton area since the Children’s Museum of Dayton and the Museum of Natural History merged in 1999. 

Here are a few things you might not have known you could do there:

Become an adoptive ‘parent’ for a year

The adopt-an-animal program allows visitors to sponsor animals from the Discovery Zoo. Dependent on giving levels, adopters receive a printable certificate of adoption and can participate in animal encounters. 

Touch a crustacean at the Tidal Pool exhibit 

This interactive aquatic exhibit offers museum-goers a peek into a little piece of the ocean. 

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See a T-Rex skull at the Dinos to Dodos exhibit 

Visitors to this exhibit will be able to learn about the extinction of dinosaurs and even see and touch dinosaur bones. This special exhibit will only be with the museum until Aug. 20, 2017.

Explore the night sky at the Space Park 360 exhibit 

All ages are welcome to explore the solar system on this simulated roller coaster in the Caryl D. Philips Space Theater.

A post shared by april (@aprilhough) on

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Discovery Zoo

Feed an otter, take a “sloth-selfie” and make an enrichment item for either bat-eared foxes or meerkats on this tour. 


7 unwritten rules of board meetings

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 6:03 AM

The Dayton community is rich with numerous organizations, boards, and committees that you can get involved with. I know the idea of joining a board may be a bit intimidating at first, but like any other activity, practice makes perfect.

Below are 7 unwritten rules of board meetings that will help you fit right in with your new board pals.

1.) Be respectful of everyone else’s time

Time is one of the most precious things people have. You can never get back lost time, so make sure your time is well spent. Board positions are usually occupied by upper level management and C-level officers from all different companies. Being respectful of their time means sticking to the agenda, not going off on tangents, or talking about items that have nothing to do with the organization.

2.) Fighting is not a form of communication

I have been a part of a few boards where people would flat out yell, scream, and fight with each other in front of everyone. This is not an appropriate form of communication. I guarantee that there will be conversations in which you disagree with others, know that you are all there for the same cause and his/her way may not be your way. Keep an open mind and a calm form of communication.

3.) Keep it under wraps

Board meetings usually discuss the direction and path that the organization is going to move down. Sometimes there will be newsworthy moves internally and externally, either with people or a collaboration between another organization. Keep it confidential! Let the marketing or PR person for your organization reach out to news folks to announce the news. Who knows, what you are telling people may change and then you would look silly.

4.) Step up and volunteer  

Organizations, boards, and committees seek to fill open positions from individuals who are well-connected in the community. Know that when you hop onto one of these, you may be asked to use your connections to get the word out about the organization or to help make more people aware of its cause. There are also usually subcommittees to get involved with inside the board. I highly encourage you to get on one of them. If your strength is social media, hop on the marketing committee. If you like to fundraise, join the finance committee. Don’t sit idle while others work.

5.) Be financially committed

A lot of boards will ask for you to make a financial donation. This is something to check before joining. If you are asked to make a $25,000 donation and you barely have $25 to spare, chances are that may not be a good fit for you. If there is no monetary donation, I HIGHLY encourage you to make one of whatever amount you can. It is always a great feeling to say, “Our board is 100% financially committed to our cause.” A dollar is still a donation.


6 – Friends at the end

As mentioned before there may be some heated conversations.  The one thing that you need to remember is that even though you may disagree in the board room, you are still friends outside those walls.  Set petty differences aside and don’t let it affect your relationships.


7 – Treat Yo’ Self… and others

This really isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I am hoping that some of my fellow board members read this article and do this.  It never hurts to bring in donuts or some sort of treat for all to enjoy.  I just like snacks!

WATCH: Marine's son, 4, bursts into tears, hugs new stepmom during wedding vows

Published: Monday, July 24, 2017 @ 4:11 AM

WATCH: Marine's Son, 4, Bursts Into Tears, Hugs New Stepmom During Wedding Vows

Better get out those tissues.

A heartwarming viral video shows the moment that a Marine's 4-year-old son burst into tears and hugged his new stepmother Saturday during a wedding tribute to the boy. 

>> Watch the video here

According to WPVI, Marine Sgt. Joshua Newville's son, Gage, became emotional during his father's wedding to Senior Airman Emily Leehan in Ripley, New York.

"I want you to be safe and to try your hardest and to be a good person," Leehan said while delivering special vows she had written for the boy.

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As the boy began to tear up, Leehan told Gage, "Don't cry," before he rushed into her arms, sobbing.

"I know that you and I will butt heads – except for right now," she continued, her voice breaking as Newville comforted his son. "But I hope, with all my heart, that as you become a grown man, you will understand my methods and realize I've only done what is best for you and that I love you."

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She added: "The last thing that I hope you learn is that you are a very special boy. You are so extremely smart, handsome and kind to others. You have helped make me into the woman I am today, and I may not have given you the gift of life, but life surely gave me the gift of you."