The N

Get Your Slasher! Camp De-Cap-A-Lot T-Shirt

Seth Madej, Dead in a Slasher! Camp De-Cap-A-Lot T-Shirt Fans of the defunct’s fun-loving murder game Slasher! constantly ask, beg, and extort me to bring it back to life. As I’ve said many times, I don’t have the rights, technical acumen, or money to do that. Nevertheless, I love you all for loving the game, so to say thank you, I’m giving you what I can: Slasher! T-shirts.

I’ve designed an original Camp De-Cap-A-Lot T-shirt, which you can see on my corpse above. The retro summer-camp style tee turns you into a literal human target and reads “Camp De-Camp- A-Lot, Est. 2007, Countless Dead” with an iconic Slasher silhouette. 100% cotton tagless gray, $25 plus shipping. Buy yours here or click the images below for a closer look.

Camp De-Cap-A-Lot T-Shirt Design

Click here to get your Slasher! Camp De-Cap-A-Lot T-Shirt

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I Challenge Thee to Mine Pizza Quest

Pizza Quest '77I spent nine years toiling in the sponge mines of Nickelodeon. A bunch of that time went to making online games, in the hopes of entertaining the youth of America just enough to keep them from stealing your hood ornaments. Yesterday, during my regularly scheduled Tuesday hopelessness, I perused some of Nick’s sites to see if any of those games still existed and happily discovered that my favorite has found new life on Pizza Quest ’77.

I produced Pizza Quest in 2007ish to promote The N’s reruns of a sitcom that for licensing reasons we weren’t allowed to mention in the game, but I can give you the hints that THAT SHOW took place in the SEVENTIES and was called That ’70s Show. Pizza Quest is a puzzle game in which you, hanging out in your parents’ basement in 1977, desperately need to find money to pay for the pizza you just ordered. This involves, among other things, hypnotizing an iguana. I designed the game, 1Along with the wonderful people at Smashing Ideas, most notably the excellent producer Eric Leuschner. but when I replayed it yesterday it still took me three tries to beat it.

But my true fondness for Pizza Quest ’77 lies tucked away at the end of the second level. I decided to make a key element of the game a fake commercial for the pizza shop, while intensely ignoring the fact that the budget included no money for anything of the sort and had all been spent twice over anyway. I minced around in my willful delusion until a few days before deadline, when I came to and realized that I had no choice but to create the commercial by myself, from scratch.

Which I did, with a camera, Creative Commons license photos, Flash, and a jingle performed my pal Dr. Mark Driver based on a tune I sung into his voicemail. The final product nicely captures a low-budget, local commercial form the ’70s and occupies a special place in my heart. 2Bonus points if you can identify the face of the pizza chef, an actor whose image I didn’t and still don’t have permission to use. So today I freed it from the game and uploaded it to YouTube. Here it is:

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1. Along with the wonderful people at Smashing Ideas, most notably the excellent producer Eric Leuschner.
2. Bonus points if you can identify the face of the pizza chef, an actor whose image I didn’t and still don’t have permission to use.

The N-Sider Podcast is Back From the Dead N-Sider PodcastI spent almost nine years at Nickelodeon’s networks Noggin 1Now called Nick Jr. and The N 2Now called TeenNick. doing lots of different jobs. Among other stuff, I co-created a sitcom, ran one of the first web radio series, wrote lots of Degrassi specials, blogged, produced online games, and authored promotional tampon fiction. But the part of my job that I consistently enjoyed the most was recording’s N-Sider Podcast every week with The-Mary.

The-Mary was head writer and blogger for, beloved by the army of teen girls that comprised our audience. I blogged too as The-Seth, to bring a rare male voice into The N and because the network didn’t have to pay me any extra. During an exceptionally boring stretch in the summer of 2006, I decided I needed something new to do, so I IMed Mary and told her that I thought we should start a podcast.

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1. Now called Nick Jr.
2. Now called TeenNick.

The History of April Fool’s Day

Here, I dug up this a thing I wrote March 17, 2003 to explain the origin of April Fool’s Day to middle-school kids.

The Michaelmas GooseDid you ever wonder about the history of April Fool’s Day? Well, we’re going to tell you about it anyway! This is not a joke:

400 years ago in Europe, they used a different calendar than we use now. New Year’s Day fell on April 1, and people partied and got jiggy with things every April 1, much the same way we do now on New Year’s.

Then, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII got an idea. For various Pope-related reasons, he designed a new calendar with New Year’s Day on January 1. He declared that everyone in the world must use his new calendar. (Back then the Pope could do stuff like that.)

When the Pope spoke, people listened. But the thing was, 400 years ago, news didn’t travel very fast. It took some people YEARS to find out about the new calendar. So the uninformed were still getting jiggy every April 1, while other people had previously jigged out back in January. Folks who knew about the new calendar looked at the April 1 jiggmeisters, pointed, laughed, and called them “fools.” They even played pranks on the fools. We imagine the pranks went something like this:

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31 Years In

Reading the news that Magic Johnson is poised to become a part owner of the Dodgers, it occurred to me that, 21 years ago when Johnson announced that he is HIV+, the idea of someone living 21 years with HIV was almost unthinkable. The amazing success in the treatment of AIDS is one of the great triumphs of modern medicine. With that in mind, here’s a piece I wrote for the teen audience of on June 5, 2006, the 25th anniversary of the first reported case of AIDS.

Cover of the 11/18/1991 issue of The Sporting News25 years ago today, the Center for Disease Control reported the first five cases of a disease that we now know of as AIDS. When I heard that fact this morning, it reminded me that, if you’re reading this (which you are) you’ve never known a world without AIDS.

I usually hate pointing out that I’m older than you, but today I’m remembering when I was in junior high and high school, which, though it was several years after those first cases were reported, was right at the time when AIDS took over the public consciousness and changed ideas of sex forever. When I first became a teenager, a high school student going into a drug store and asking for condoms would’ve been treated roughly equivalent to a high school student going into a drug store and asking for a bag of weed. By the time I graduated, high school students could pick up condoms from the school nurse.

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Leprechaun Status: Threatened

As a small child growing up in Pittsburgh, every St. Patrick’s Day I would carefully look for leprechauns on my walk home from school. I never saw one. (Though once I was pretty sure I did; it turned out to be a discarded Capri-Sun packet.) I know now that I was being foolish, because leprechauns have been extinct in Pennsylvania since 1972. They’ve died off from most of the globe, except for isolated regions of the United States where domestic leprechauns released by Irish immigrants formed small feral populations, all of which are critically endangered. Even in Ireland leprechauns are sadly classified as “threatened.” The chief factor in their population loss in Ireland is traffic accidents, which are estimated to decrease their number by as much as 7% a year. (A full 37% of roadkill found in Ireland is leprechaun.)

All of the above is just an elaborate excuse for me to post this chart I created in 2006 for the defunct, delineating Things That are REAL, Things That are NOT REAL, and Things That are EXTINCT:

Things That are Real, Things That are Not Real, and Things That are Extinct

Slasher! Alternatives

NEWS! 9/15/2016
You can now show you love for Slasher! with an original Camp De-Cap-A-Lot T-shirt designed by me. Click here to get yours.

For those of you have been asking me to somehow relaunch the old game Slasher!, which as I’ve said I have neither the authority nor technology to do, here’s some good advice from a couple of former The N users, Autumnforte and Lillian Noe:

Some Slasher! advice

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