As Cleolinda points out, Van Helsing talks… a bit… randomly.
Captions only slightly modified from the original Dracula.
Feels particularly relevant today. And by today, I actually today, not “in these modern times” or such thing. Although it’s also relevant for that.
Deeper analysis of Obama’s recent bully pulpit session with the Republicans (with video link). I like one of the bullet points of the Tom’s analysis: “My bipartisanship is bigger than your bipartisanship.”
More of the wonderful Cleolinda’s thoughts on Leslie S. Klinger’s The New Annotated Dracula. My favorite insight: “Van Helsing talks like a lolcat.”
Why do smart and powerful people sometimes do really stupid things? I don’t mean taking stances we disagree with, necessarily, I mean things like… well… basically everything Mark Sanford has done of late. (Daily Show reference videos.)
The very interesting history of the HeLa cells that are used in medical research laboratories worldwide. They’re immortal cells, having been taken from a cancerous tumor, and have been used without permission for many years. The story is really rather incredible.
Phil Plait starts with “For criminy’s sake. What is it with people and all the rending of garments over the impending doom of NASA?” and it gets even better. Also, why we shouldn’t yet grieve for Spirit, who may indeed one day go home. That poor little face is a great reason for a manned mission to Mars, isn’t it?
I’m going to stay off the Twitter, though. I really can’t stand two halves of my Twitter stream violently disagreeing with one another. It makes me want to shoot myself in the head.
P.S.: It’s Macmillan, not any other spelling or capitalization.
I admire a lot of you. On the other hand, I have a Kindle. And so do others. Without access to the Kindle store, the question of how to reach Kindle readers may be thought about.
What I’m saying is that this can be done outside of Amazon Kindle distribution. You don’t get the nice “buy directly” capability, but on the other hand, your readers who love you can still read you.
Disclaimer: ebook rights are still something owned by your publisher, though. So you mayn’t be able to sell files, probably in most cases. I don’t know what you should do in that case; likely your agent or editor knows, or knows someone who will know. Maybe some negotiating can be done. I have no idea.
Perhaps this little article is useful for Macmillan imprints too. I don’t know. Or maybe Lulu (it would be so neat to see Lulu and Feedbooks work together, I think).
Here are some tips.
Tip #1: The Kindle reads Mobipocket books. Mobipocket is a format that is offered by Fictionwise and Webscriptions and Books On Board and many other places, as it’s a format that has existed for quite some time. You just need a Mobipocket offering somewhere—but without DRM. ‘Cause DRM for Fictionwise is incompatible with a Kindle, but they offer an open version as well. ((Yes, I know there are ways to crack this, but most readers will not do that.))
Tip #2: Use Feedbooks if you aren’t hip on creating a Mobipocket yourself, and/or don’t like Fictionwise’s Mobipocket conversion (which leaves a hell of a lot to be desired). Their interface is nice, and will give you multiple formats, in fact, to download, all with a linkable table of contents. You don’t have to make your book openly accessible on their site either (they don’t sell books), so you can just have them automatically create files to sell. All for free.
Tip #3: More for readers. But you can email your files to your Kindle (which incurs a cost, though, base of $0.15 these days, increasing if your file happens to be over 3MB), if you don’t want to use the old USB-to-computer-and-copy method. Webscriptions and Fictionwise even, I think, have a way for purchases to be automatically sent to your Kindle in this manner.
Tip #4: EPUB books without DRM can be easily converted to Mobipocket books. The Mobipocket free commandline utility, mobigen, does this. Here are some instructions I wrote. I can also convert EPUB books on a one-by-one basis if people would like this; even if you tell me I gotta buy the book before I convert it for you.
End of tips. Back to authors:
You can also just give the finger to those with Kindle devices, but that’s only possible if you use DRM or refuse to use both Mobipocket and HTML formats, which will screw over a much larger audience than Kindle owners. Though business is business, or something.
Personally I keep using my Kindle, because of my eyes (sorry, can’t help my eyes, they hurt horribly from LCD screens too long, which is why I couldn’t use an iPad anyways) and because I like its interface and its screen better than the Sony Reader or the Nook (respectively). And, well, a lot of publishers and authors still want DRM.
Anyways, the Kindle itself is not that closed. (Neither is the Nook, for that matter, although the Nook is based on EPUB, not Mobipocket.) Could it be closed off? Well, it hasn’t been yet, so I figure one might as well try to make money from all possible avenues. If it does become that closed, then this article is of no more use.
But remember that a lot of people still use Mobipocket reader on other devices, like cellphones.
Thunder on the mountain.
Thus in his conduct the superior man gives preponderance to reverence.
In bereavement he gives preponderance to grief.
In his expenditures he gives preponderance to thrift.
Small things may be done;
Great things should not be done.
The flying bird brings the message:
It is not well to strive upward,
It is well to remain below.
Great good fortune.
Nine in the third place:
If one is not extremely careful,
somebody may come up from behind and strike him.
Thunder comes resounding out of the earth.
Thus the ancient kings made music in order to honor merit,
And offered it with splendor to the Supreme Deity,
Inviting their ancestors to be present.
It furthers one to install helpers and to set armies marching.
One of the joys of the I-Ching (or not) is how all oracles contradict themselves.
The I-Ching is not of an oracular nature; rather, it is of a meditative nature.
What does not apply, should not be applied. One’s own judgement of any given situation must be used.
I am going to be blogging purely about tea, Sherlock Holmes, SF reviews, and you know, my usual Dancing with Psychologists posts.
You are the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
Your sharp, irreverent humour both amuses and exasperates people. You’ve got a roving eye and keen mind – you’re definitely going places…
I think the decisive point for me was the answer to what kind of companion I would choose….
Maker: Republic of Tea
Brew: 1 sachet per cup, boiling water, 5-7 minutes
I get the impression that from most posh tea makers, the idea of medicinal herbal teas is laughable. A lot of the ingredients aren’t the most pleasant-tasting in the world, so you need to find a blend with other ingredients to mask the herbal taste. Posh tea makers don’t care, but Republic of Tea, which is sort of a step up towards posh, does care. And Celestial Seasonings is quite famous for caring.1
My usual tea of choice for sleep is anything with valerian root. Usually passionflower is also involved; those are the two ingredients that will indeed knock you out. Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime doesn’t include valerian root, but Sleepytime Extra does.
But enough about other tea makers. We’re talking about “get some zzz’s”, which is part of Republic of Tea’s new line of red teas with health-enhancing ingredients, presumably blended so that the results are not bleaaaaargh. I’ve already tried “get happy”, which I’ll review later and does appear to work on all fronts.
And then there’s “get some zzz’s” which is a little less successful.
Oh, there’s no doubt that the concoction of “active” ingredients generally works. I have insomnia and this helps bring me down after a long, restless day… but at the very least I want something that tastes a bit more than meh. “get some zzz’s” has a taste similar to Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime, but a bit weaker—a little bit weird, because “get some zzz’s” has red tea in it, which is supposed to round out taste by giving it a good base.
These days my tea of choice for sleeping is Chamomile Lemon from Republic of Tea, that already contains valerian root and tastes more of something, so I’m covered there. I’m falling asleep so at some point I’ll review it later and…
Rating: 1/5 — An unpleasant meeting in the tea by-streets.
Type: Flavored black tea
Brew: 1 sachet per cup of boiling water, 2-5 minutes
It was such an innocent-looking box, and look, neat pyramidal tea bags (don’t know what the hell they’re made of though, but still neat)! And it’s Lipton. Oh dear. But leopards can change their spots, and it was a tea that supposedly had some vanilla in it. And it’s their new posh tea line. How bad could it be?
First let me tell you: caramel really can work in a tea. Beautiful when it works, though often it doesn’t work. But when it doesn’t work, usually one is just left with a dull-tasting tea.
Lipton’s Vanilla Caramel Truffle made me throw up. Literally.
I’m not quite sure what induced the severe nausea, but there was a lot of it to be found in that cup. Perhaps I just don’t react well to palm oil, which is unusual in a tea; perhaps cornstarch in a tea makes me ill. I don’t know. I’ve never had a tea before that featured either ingredient. Possibly it’s an acquired taste.
The Amazon reviews are a little bit… mixed. When it works for a person, it seems to be delightful; when it doesn’t work, there is puking.
When I taste-test a tea, I usually try it three times at different brewing lengths, and sometimes different brewing temperatures. I’m… not doing that with this tea. And I usually try not to let one tea prejudice me against an entire maker, but… it’s hard to do that after this… unique… experience.
I suggest replacing this with anything else in just about any other brand involving vanilla and/or caramel.
Rating: 0/5—Get this frakking tea away from me!
Dear Fans of the new Sherlock Holmes movie:
Let me apologize on the behalf of older Sherlock Holmes fandom for the bits of it that have been generating get-off-my-lawn reboot wank, not five days after the release of the movie. The Sherlock Holmes fandom has thrived for over a hundred years and multiple generations, and every generation has its… special snowflakes.
But fortunately, every generation has also produced creative fandom work (though they may not see it that way), from the solidly analytical to the wondrously fanciful. I may not agree with all of them, or even remotely like some of them, but they all occupy a place in my heart, because there wouldn’t be a Sherlock Holmes fandom without constant re-interpretation of the works. Yes, even the
fic pastiche where Moriarty is a vampire who falls madly in love with Holmes.1
I present to you the more amusing pieces of Holmesiana I’ve gathered throughout the years. I’ve strived for a varied collection here that is at the very least sometimes accessible, even if it knocks out some of my absolute favorites. Too much of the fandom is out of print; I hope that changes one day, so that reading all the ’ship wank doesn’t cost 500£.