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2020 Retrospective

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"2020 is every Nic Cage movie, without Nic Cage."   - @DadThatWrites, July 19, 2020 Without going too deep into the whine mire, I think we can in good conscious acknowledge that, generally speaking, 2020 wasn't that great. Yeah, I know a lot of positive things happened. The vaccine development was astonishing. Polio got extinct from Nigeria, and with that from the whole African continent. Chile was declared free from landmines. The number of people dying in terror attacks declined for the fifth year in a row, and is now 59% lower than in 2014. Sudan stated they will end child marriage. Many countries started phasing out excessive use of plastic. There was a Brexit deal. And there's some sort of baby boom for lions and elephants in Kenya. And that's of course just scratching the surface. But in spite of all the good, 2020 was pretty rough. Human interactions were fewer and further between. Meeting people moved from being a necessity to a luxury. A

Winter mailday; an accidental post

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I had a plan here. Even wrote something possibly profound I was to publish three days ago. Then I managed to delete draft as I was to publish it. It was all very 2020. Right now it's Christmas, and I'm up (further) north to visit my mother-in-law. We're in the dark of winter, far removed from most of civilization. The change of air is wonderful. And it feels like time moves a bit slower here. It's a welcome change of pace after an intense autumn and winter. I wanted to write something short here anyway, perhaps mostly to keep up the regularity. And after having spent way too much time researching the last post about print runs, I figure we mise well take an easy route today and look at a recent mail call. I had the pictures on my phone, so we can even show the spoils. People still like #maildays, right? It feels like one of the last vices we're still to enjoy freely these strange days. Some time ago I wrote a post about Brothers' Highlander and showed off my dec

Deconstructing print runs

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"Numbers for Revised, Fourth, Ice Age, Chronicles, Homelands and promo cards are guesses based on almost no information. I think I'm in the ballpark, but don't bet money on it. Distribution between starters and boosters for The Gathering is almost completely guesswork. Other numbers are from net postings and such. No inside information was used to build these numbers." -Stephen D'Angelo, Rarity Information at Crystal Keep, circa January 1996 It is hard to overstate the impact of Stephen D'Angelo and the Crystal Keep webpage. The D'Angelo Files and Crystal Keep were the go-to sources of Magic information in the early days of the web. In an era before wizards.com or The Dojo, there was D'Angelo and his collection of wisdom from the internet and beyond. And wisdom he had.  Apart from his updates on card lists, rules and errata, he took a stab at estimating the print runs for Magic sets. Some of these had questionable official numbers, and some had