Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nothing much

I note with interest that while redirects to Google, and loads a lemniscate web page icon and little else, is unregistered. Unregistered! Why this hasn't turned into a hilarious search engine by now is a total mystery.

I took a recent Saturday off and read Ender's Shadow, the sort-of companion volume to multi-platinum bestseller Ender's Game. Ender's Game is about Ender, a child prodigy who wants to go to Battle School and save the world from aliens. Ender's Shadow is about Bean, another child prodigy who was also there and also wanted to save the world. The two books were written twenty years apart, and cover the same timeline and basic plot from two perspectives. Ender's Game won many awards, too, so returning to the same material is a little like recutting Star Wars (oh wait, George Lucas did recut the original trilogy before he went back to the prequels; pride goeth before the fall).

As a book fan, you have to be wondering. Well? Did he (the author) pull it off? Yes and no. Some of the material is a little jarring, almost revisionist when you try to set it next to the old book. The two books had very different themes and tones, which I guess means the author pulled it off. But the first book was grand and poignant in ways that the second book could not copy, because it would have been redundant. On the other hand, the characterization and style were more mature and focused in the second book. It was very interesting reading.

Now in the pipeline: Kids are worth it! Giving your child the gift of inner discipline by Barbara Coloroso. It tries to navigate between the Scylla and Charybdis of parenting: rigid control and haywire permissiveness. It describes a kind of parenting where parents respect children's dignity and encourage their children to learn to solve problems within their capacity. Pretty good so far.

I also started reading Sin City. It is ultraviolent, and mature readers only. But the stories are gripping noir and the art is amazing.

If a female sewing artist is a seamstress, doesn't that make a male sewing artist a seamster? Is a female truck driver a teamstress or a teamstrix?

I have three, count 'em, three proof-of-concept software projects to do before May. They are, roughly, to hide arbitrary files undetectably in pictures, to evacuate a building as quickly as possible, and to improve Google search.

So if anyone wants me, I'll be in my room.

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