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Words by Christian Orkibi
Illustrations by Tegan Iversen

A few years ago a high school friend got a secret girlfriend. Being the nosy little bastard that I am, I decided to sit down and figure out for myself which of the girls in the year level he had hooked up with. Armed with a pen, a spreadsheet, a yearbook and a box of ‘Guess Who?’, I undertook the most useless amateur detective case ever conducted.

She either had red hair and a big nose or she was actually a bald Italian bloke called George. Perhaps we’ll never know.

‘Guess Who?’ was developed by popular British board game company, Milton Bradley, in 1979. The two player guessing phenomenon was designed by husband and wife team Ora and Theo Coster.  They were, presumably, both visually impaired and struggling to figure out what  the other looked like. I’m not exactly sure that joke works.

Each player receives a board with 24 little ‘windows’ that you can flap up and down. A card with a unique face and name is inserted into each window and both players select an extra ‘chosen card’ that slots into a window at the base of the board. Players then take turns attempting to Sherlock Holmes their way into the opponent’s mind (Benedict Cumberbatch not included) by asking questions regarding the appearance of their chosen card. If you ask, for example, ‘does your person have rainbow eyes?’ and the answer is yes, you can flap down all the people that don’t have rainbow eyes. This reduces your chances of getting your final guess wrong.

Once a player believes they have narrowed down the identity of the mystery card, they can call out the name. If they are wrong then it counts as a guess. If they are right, they win the game.

The real fun behind ‘Guess Who?’ lies in choosing the right questions to ask and the home wrecking poker faces that are traded across boards. True fact, True Detective was actually inspired by a family murder case over games of ‘Guess Who?’.*

You always start with ‘are they a man or a woman?’ If you decid to forgo this question and MacGyver your way into beards and noses straight off the bat, then you’re pretty much screwed instantly. The other person will drop half their board in a single question. After you get the standard questions out of the way, it becomes a challenge as to who could come up with the most creative questions.

My brother and I would end up creating personas and backstories for each face on the cards to make the game harder. Terry was a cross dresser from Liverpool with a cocaine habit and Linda was a hipster who worked night shifts at the abattoir. Of course, once you’re that far off the rails, it’s only a small step to all out fisticuffs.

‘Guess Who?’ was the first board game that celebrated diversity and unique physical features. Red hair was red hair and big teeth were strategic assets. Kids played the hell out of it and parents stepped into the ensuing fights. There was really only one feature that I thought was missing…really big ears. Kind of like those of a certain unpopular political figure at the moment. Guess who?

*Not a true fact.

Words by Daphane Ng
Illustrations by Tegan Iversen

The ocean makes up seventy percent of the planet’s surface, yet we know so little about it. Scientists suggest that we have only explored approximately five percent of it, but in that five percent we’ve already found these five whacky  deep-sea creatures . So behold, as I  introduce you to:

MEDIA_blobfish_2505x1443Blobfish
Psychrolutes microporos

Found off the coast of Australia, the Blobfish is precisely what the name suggests —a blob. It doesn’t really have a skeleton, nor any muscle. Its gelatinous body is an adaptation to the (literally) high-pressure environment it lives in. It can be found in waters with pressure up to 120 times higher than that at the surface.

In September 2013, the Blobfish was voted the ‘World’s Ugliest Animal’ by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. But we ought to give the poor guys a break. After all, we would be crushed to death if we were to dive down to such depths. It’s pretty remarkable they can survive down there. Considering,  they actually look pretty normal down there in the ocean.

Humpback Anglerfish
Melanocetus johnsonii

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The Humpback Anglerfish resides in depths of  temperate and tropical seas across the world. The distinctive ‘fishing rod’ hanging above its head is, interestingly, only found in females. The tip of the ‘rod’ lights up thanks to bioluminescent symbiotic bacteria. As seen in Finding Nemo, this light is used to attract prey, luring Marlin and Dory to swim toward this beast of a fish.

On the other hand, male anglers aren’t so special and do not posses the lure. Males grow up to three centimeters long, in contrast to the 18 centimeter-long females. As males mature, they attach themselves to a female using their hook-shaped teeth. His bite releases an enzyme, fusing their blood vessels together, and releases sperm to fertilise her eggs. He then spends the rest of his life attached to the female. Kinky.

MEDIA_vampiresquid_2667x2088Vampire Squid
Vampyroteuthis Infernalis

The Vampire Squid lives in tropical waters at depths where virtually no light penetrates. It possesses morphological features of octopuses, squids and cuttlefishes.They can glow in the dark as a result of light-generating organs called ‘photophores’ which cover their body. They have large globular eyes which may glow red or blue. Their eyes are so big, that Vampires Squids claim the Guinness World Record for the ‘largest eye-to-body ratio’ of any animal.

The Vampire Squid has a number of nifty defense mechanisms in response to a threat. It can turn itself inside-out to form a spiky ball. This position, called the ‘pineapple position’, exposes their black-pigmented regions, making it difficult for predators to identify them in the dark. Vampire Squids can also escape from predators by ejecting a glowing mucous cloud.

The Black Swallower
Chiasmodon niger

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 The Black Swallower (warning: don’t try googling this) is renowned for its ability to swallow very large fish. It feeds on bony fishes, which are swallowed whole thanks to their highly stretchable jaw and stomach. Though it has never been seen alive, it is speculated that the Black Swallower captures its prey by the tail, then slowly engulfs the fish until it is fully coiled inside the stomach.

However, just because you can swallow a fish larger than you, doesn’t always mean you should. Super ambitious Black Swallowers sometimes swallow prey so large that decomposition sets in before it can be digested. This results in a release of gases which inflate and burst the Swallower’s stomach. They then float up to the surface, dead. Oops.

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Piglet Squid
Helicocranchia pfefferi

Not all deep-sea creatures are ugly and weird. Take for instance, Piglet Squids. The alignment of skin pigments makes them look like they’re smiling 24/7. As larvae, they are found near the surface of the ocean, and descend towards the depths of the ocean as they mature. Unlike other squids, they seem to enjoy swimming upside down, and being planktonic animals, they go where the currents take them.

Very little is known about their biology,   but scientists have established this much: Piglet Squids look kinda like Gonzo from The Muppets.

Words by Ella Shi
Illustrations by Tegan Iversen

Finding your perfect pen is essential. While not guaranteed to improve your grades, it can definitely make academic mediocrity more enjoyable. So before stationery shopping, make this handy guide your PENultimate stop.

The Papermate Kilometrico is the most affordable. Though scientists have yet to prove whether this pen can actually write for a kilometre, experience indicates that these things never run out of ink. However, the slim barrel makes it the culprit of crippling hand cramps. You’d think that buying a packet of 20 would mean you never run out, but this is far from reality. The large packet means it’s hard to keep track of the pens, making them the perfect target for pen thieves. Will be lost faster than used.

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Many have used the classic BIC 4-Colour ballpoint, but is it really as great as its variety of hues lead you to believe? While colour versatility at the click of a pen may be a novelty to you, it will probably drive the people around you mad, and may result in a violent stabbing with writing implements. Furthermore, its longevity is surprisingly limited, as you find yourself tossing it out once your most used colour has run out.  Would not recommend unless you’re a proponent for colour equality.

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The Typo Needle Me is basically your average fineliner, unabashedly branded with the Typo logo. Regardless, the five for $5 deal has lured in many. Despite its price tag, the pen writes smoothly and the somewhat rubbery veneer makes it pleasurable to grip. But be warned: the tip—though fabulously pointy—is easily blunted by a heavy hand.

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I picked up a packet of Nondescript K-mart pens under the impression that stationery shopping would equate to academic success. While my agenda was flawed, the pens were not. Though cheap and rather ugly looking, they were actually of satisfactory quality and have persisted despite ample use. The occasional faulty specimen has the tendency to leak, but the risk factor adds a thrill to note taking.

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