June 29, 2006 (6 Responses)
HARRY POTTER author J.K. Rowling said at least two characters will die in the last installment of her boy wizard series, and she even hinted that Harry Potter himself may not survive either.
Fans of the series are eagerly awaiting the seventh and final installment in the long running saga of the boy wizard and today J.K. admitted that she has considered the possibility of killing the lead character (Harry) off in the final book because it means an end to the story, and also eliminates the option of any non-author written sequels.
She is remaining tight lipped about which characters will get the bullet (or wand I suppose) as expected, but I guess there will be rabid speculation between now and the final book release. All she had to say on the subject is that “The final chapter is hidden away, although it’s now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two die that I didn’t intend to die.”
Don’t expect anything this year however, it’s looking like a 2007 finale at this point.
March 15, 2006 (No Responses)
IT’S ALMOST TIME to get the bags packed and jet off to Japan for the holiday of a lifetime with SusiQ. I’ve been stocking up on what I generally refer to as ‘holiday reading’ – in other words the sort of stuff I don’t have to concentrate too hard on and can enjoy while in holiday mood.
It’s been hard enough these past few months between the hectic work schedule and the busy debauchery schedule, but as the saying goes “It’s a dirty job, and someone has to do it”
Japan beckons, and I’m already fascinated with anything I’ve read about the place. It looks like it could be a great trip but the flights out and back are long haul (literally) and then there are some internal transport gigs as well (bullet trains and the like) so I’m gonna need to have some reading material with me.
The current list of books waiting to be squished into the suitcase looks something like this:-
- Singularity Sky (Charles Stross) – Had to get some sci-fi in there!
- Hegemony or Survival – America’s quest for global dominance (Noam Chomsky) – Couldn’t resist
- The Blue Eyed Salaryman (Niall Murtagh) – A Dubliners life in Japan, should be intersting
- Warrior King (Chris Bunch) – Had to slap some fantasy in there too for good measure
- The Day After Tomorrow (Allan Folsom) – Not the Hollywood movie, this is from 1995 or thereabouts
- Moon Dust (Andrew Smith) – An account of what happened those who walked on the moon, when they adjusted back to Earth
- Hitching Rides With Buddha (Will Ferguson) – Recommended by someone living in Japan so it’s gotta be worth it
So there you go – seven books to keep me out of trouble, and perhaps a small insight to the deranged mind behind http://www.avalon5.com and what I like to read while travelling.
March 6, 2006 (No Responses)
I CAME ACROSS TWO EXAMPLES OF THE ART of shameless publicity today in the forms of Microsoft and Jermaine Jackson. It seems that brother dearest has a book coming out (of course he does I hear you scream!) and has decided to dish the dirt on his more famous (or infamous) brother, Michael Jackson. Jermaine makes various allegations about Jackson’s conduct with young children and the star’s young nephews, but he says he refused to talk about this during the trial because he feared that if Michael went to prison, he would commit suicide rather than face up to it.
So that’s all right then.
On the other end of the shameless publicity trail today are Microsoft, pitching their Step User Interface which the “Beast of Redmond” claim is an innovative technology prototype that encourages people to control their computers using their feet in addition to their hands. Yup – you read that right… think dance mats and energic youngsters bouncing around and now picture yourself trashing up and down, and around of course, in order to open up an email or folder on the screen… oh I can’t be arsed even finishing the sentance it’s so insane.
And what do both of these items have in common… just the fact that neither are particularly likely to deliver on their promises. I’m betting the Jackson story is just publicity for the new book which probably fails to deliver the goods and the “Step User Interface” is just another example of Microsoft trying (and failing) to prove how ‘hip’ they are; Google must be really chaffin’ their asses for them to release this crap
March 4, 2006 (9 Responses)
MORE THAN 6 MILLION BOOKS and other culturally significant works are to go online via the European Digital Library over the next five years. I mentioned this ambitious project previously, however things have moved on significantly since then. Back then heads of state in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Hungary declared their intention to get the project off the ground, but today that project has taken one step closer to becoming a reality.
By the end of 2006, the European Digital Library should involve collaboration among all the national libraries in the EU. Over coming years this will be expanded to include archives and museums. Two million books, films, photographs, manuscripts, and other cultural works will be accessible through the European Digital Library by 2008. A figure that will rise to at least 6m by 2010, as potentially every library, archive and museum in Europe will be able to link its digital content to the online resource.
This is a wonderful idea and will hopefully encourage other areas of the planet to do likewise. Future generations of people (assuming we don’t vapourize this spinning rock we call home) will have online and immediate access to the most amazing historical, cultural and political resources.
June 23, 2005 (6 Responses)
Every now and then I get the urge to read some light hearted trash. I generally refer to this type of read as a ‘holiday’ or ‘airplane’ book. Something that doesn’t require too much thought, which pulls the reader along page by page and keeps the entertainment value high, without requiring much by way of investment from the reader. Sometimes I’m just in the mood for books like this… sometimes I just want to be entertained without learning anything whatsoever
Ice Station by Matthew J Reilly is just such a book, concerning the exploits of one Lt. Shane “Scarecrow” Schofield and his recon team of marines as they converge on an Ice Station in the Antartic in order to secure potentially one of the most amazing scientific discoveries of the century from competing hostile forces.
May 17, 2005 (No Responses)
Following on from reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time I was directed (by public vote) to read Cloud Atlas next, but instead I opted for Howling at the Moon becuase it looked just like the sort of read I was in the mood for. This is a biographical piece covering the rise and fall of Walter Yetnikoff as he shagged, drank, snorted and bullied his way through the 70s and the 80s. It proported to offer insights into the music business, the shakers and the makers and most of all, the musicians themselves as seen through the eyes of the record execs.
I hadn’t heard of Walter Yetnikoff before, but I knew CBS record for the multimedia empire they became, and I’d lived through the 70s and 80s so I was very curious to see just what kind of slant this book had on the decades of excess.
April 24, 2005 (2 Responses)
I approached this book without any preconceptions, and used a very democratic way of deciding to read it in the first place. Having made the decision I settled down and found myself immersed in the world of Christopher, an autistic 15 year old boy who is both gifted and cursed; gifted with an amazing memory, an aptitude for mathmatics and scientific subjects, cursed with no way of being able to deal with emotions, no real way to understand the human condition or to relate to those around him. He has a structured life, and an ordered way of dealing with life – until the day he discovers a neighbours dog, dead in the garden – murdered. This incident sparks a wonderful voyage of discovery for Christopher, and the reader, as he moves outside of his ‘comfort zone’ and has to take on the full force of people, policemen, buses, trains, and just about everything else that we take for granted.