This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    Dreidel! Dreidel! Dreidel!

    I made this maze originally as a holiday card back in 2002. Many of my puzzles are based on some bit of tradition, history, or trivia, so for Hanukkah I picked one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday: the dreidel!

    Every year I forget the exact rules of the dreidel game so I’m recording them here for the sake of my failing memory as well as for my gentile readers.

    A dreidel (sevivon in Hebrew which means “to turn”) is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters are: נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and ש (Shin), which stand for the phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham which means “A great miracle happened there” (there being Israel).

    Any number of people can play. At the beginning of the game each player is given an equal number of Hanukkah gelt (usually chocolate coins wrapped in gold tin foil but anything can be used).

    At the beginning of each round, every player puts one piece into the center pot. They then take turns spinning the dreidel, with the following meanings assigned to each of the Hebrew letters:

    • Nun or “nichts” which means “nothing” in Yiddish. If the dreidel lands with a nun facing up the spinner does nothing.
    • Gimmel or “ganz” which is means “everything.” If the dreidel lands with the gimmel facing up the spinner gets everything in the pot.
    • Hey or “halb” which means “half”. If the dreidel lands with a hey facing up the spinner gets half of the pot.
    • Shin or “shtel” which means “put in.” If the dreidel lands with a shin facing up the player adds a game piece to the pot.

    If a player runs out of gelt they are out.

    Happy Hanukkah!

    Festival of Trees

    The Festival of Trees will be held at Atria Senior Living of Stamford today, December 8, 2011 from 6 pm to 9 pm. Every year at this time, Atria hosts the Festival which raises money for senior services.

    My business networking group entered a tree for auction decorated with gift cards from all the members. answerYES donated a gift card good at Stamford Toys, one of our clients for whom we designed the logo featured on the card. Our tree was designed by the talented florist Gary Zinsmeyer of Gary Z of Stamford with help from Laurie Meek of LNM Organizing Solutions (both stellar members of our group).

    So come out and play among the Trees (maybe put in a bid or two). Hope to see your there!

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    This is the complementary slideshow to my 10 minute presentation on Facebook basics I gave at a small business networking group (BNI) in Stamford. It is actually an “encore” presentation to one given earlier in the year about Facebook advertising ROI. Despite Facebook’s latest boast of having over 750 million active users worldwide, many small businesses are simply overwhelmed with all the social media hype. So this presentation focuses on just getting started with the current Facebook. Feel free to share and download.

    Here is the SlideShare from a 10 minute presentation on Facebook advertising I gave at last week’s BNI meeting. Feel free to share and download.

    St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic. And to help celebrate the day, a maze of shamrocks. Enjoy!