Google Book Search is Cool

Yeah, I know that Google Book Search is not new. I just haven’t had the opportunity to use it before.

Anyway, I found myself using Google Book Search while I was traveling. On my mother’s side of the family, some of my relatives play/played this card game called Muggins. Basically, you deal the deck to all of the players. Then, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, the players flip cards over (toward the other players) and do one of 3 things.

1. They can play to the middle. The middle will, in the end, have four stacks, sorted by suit. The first card in each stack must be the ace, followed by 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on. Cards cannot be placed in any other order. And, if a card can go to the middle, IT MUST.

2. If not the middle, they can move the card to the stack of face up cards in front of the other players, starting with the player to the left and then and moving along that line. If you can play the card on the player to your left and the player to your right – you MUST play it to the player on your right. You can only play it in this fashion if the card at the top of the other players stack is one above or below the card that you are trying to play. i.e. you have a 5. You can only put it on a player that has a 4 or a 6 at the top of their stack – regardless of suit.

3. If you can do neither of those, you place the card at the top of your stack and your turn ends.

When you reach the end of your stack, you turn it over and start again.

If you do not do one of the things you MUST do. i.e., if you don’t play a card when you could play it to the middle, the other players can yell “Muggins!” and each player gives you one card from the bottom of their deck.

The first player to get rid of all of their cards wins. And you can play for 2nd, 3rd, etc. if you so choose.

Anyway, it was thought that my great, great grandfather (I believe) created this game. But, after doing some searching, including Google Book Search, it appears this was not the case. He may or may not have taken the game and come up with his own variation, but some of the Book Search results were interesting. Look at the title of this book, from 1888.

The Young Lady’s Book: A Manual of Amusements, Exercises, Studies, and Pursuits by Matilda Anne Planch√© Mackarness

Now, that’s a book title! LOL.

So, since I was there, I typed in the names of my sites to see what came up. A couple of things I didn’t know about showed up in results.

A mention of KarateForums.com where one of my members was quoted. Hopefully it falls under fair use or they asked for permission. Cool to be mentioned, if so.

A mention of phpBBHacks.com in Yahoo! Hacks where they showed a code screen for a response from Yahoo! Web Services for the term “hacks” – apparently, phpBBHacks.com ranked second for that term behind the site for O’Reilly’s hacks series. Not what you might call a traditional mention, but hey, I’ll take it.

I bought copies of both books. So, what have we learned? Mention my sites in your book, guarantee at least one copy sold! :) heh.

Patrick O'Keefe

Managing online communities since 2000, I publish a collective of websites known as the iFroggy Network. I wrote the book Managing Online Forums and, as a public speaker, have presented for organizations like CNN, institutions like Australian National University and conferences like SXSW. More about me.

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