Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Couple More Movies Watched

Okay, I know I said that I wanted to catch up on some of my reading this week, however, I've been a little busy. However, I did have enough time to watch Casino and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Both are pretty good movies, and, again, I am surprised that I have never seen them. Perhaps it's better that I'm watching now when I can better pick up on some of the nuances in them.

Come back again next week. I'll try to have finished a book for you by then. I won't make any promises though. It's going to be a busy week, so my reading list might end up on the back burner for a little while. Don't worry though. I'll get some more for you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Some Ibsen Plays

Alright, well, can you believe it? It's already Friday. That means I should have three short stories for you. I don't. Instead, I have something a little different to offer you this week. How about a couple of plays by Henrik Ibsen? I'm sure that had ought to work just as well. You may have heard of some of Ibsen's work already. His two most famous works are "A Doll's House" and "Peer Gynt." However, these are not the plays that I want to talk about tonight. Instead, I would rather focus on three other plays by Ibsen. Those are "Ghosts," "Hedda Gabler," and "John Gabriel Borkman."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Catching Up On Some Old Movies This Week

I've been slacking off on some of the reading I should be doing instead. But that's okay. In the meantime, I've been catching up with some classic crime movies. So far, I've watched Dirty Harry, Scarface, and The Godfather (I'm actually viewing The Godfather as I type this up).

Now, what I don't understand is how I've never gotten around to watching any of these before. I'm currently in my mid-twenties, and have only lately started to view these. Better later than never I suppose you could say, right?

I have some other movies lined up for later, but I want to get back to checking some of these books off my reading list. I'll be back next week with a book to tell you all about again. And be sure to come back for some links to a couple of short stories on Friday. I'll try to have some fun ones lined up again for you.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Call of the Angry Oubliette

Can you believe I've been doing this for over a month already? I really can't. but that it's still going on shows me that I can stick to something if my mind is set on it. Anyways, I have some fun stories for you this week.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wikinomics: The Business Model of the Future

Not so long ago, I finished reading Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. It's not at all a fiction book, but it takes a hard look at the direction many companies are going and where they will go in the future. The collaboration that comes from wikis and the open source community is changing the way business is run.

Tapscott and Williams offer four key principles that are needed in the future of business if it is to continue down the same route. They are being open, peering, sharing, and acting globally.
  • Being open can mean a lot. It can mean being transparent and honest with your employees and clients. It could also mean being open source, or letting others use your "blueprints" (in a sense). Be inviting: open up the doors and let outsiders in. Don't close off your organization. Sometimes it's better to let in others in order to think outside of the box.
  • Peering is all about horizontal organization. Tapscott and Williams see this as one of the largest changes to come in the future. Businesses are already becoming less hierarchal and working more laterally with other organizations.
  • Sharing is a big one. There's that old saying: The more you give, the more you get. And this is true in the Information Age. The open source community is the golden standard.
  • Acting globally means crossing borders, not only company borders, but also country. Working in a local area is great, but many times there are better offers elsewhere.
Along with this, they also show some companies who have lead by example. IBM, Boeing, Lego, and Second Life are just a few of the businesses mentioned in the book.

They have a new book out called MacroWikinomics. I haven't read it, but I have it sitting on my bookshelf. One of these days I'll get to it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kirks, Knives, and War

It looks like it's already Friday again, and as usual, I'm a little late in getting this posted. However, it's getting posted and that's better than nothing, right?  This week's stories include War 3.01 by Keith Brook, All the Young Kirks and Their Good Intentions by Helena Bell, and Edge of the Knife by H. Beam Piper. I've even got links for all of them. They're all very good, so be sure to take some time and enjoy them over the weekend.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Finally Finished with A Dance With Dragons

Earlier this week, I finished reading George R. R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons. This is another of those books that I started a while ago and have been reading off and on until recently when I just wanted to hurry up and finish it so I could move on to some other books. Not that it was bad or anything. It's an awesome book to be truthful. Th only problem is that it isn't quite suitable as a quick read. But that didn't stop me.

This book is the fifth in the series and is partly split up with the previous book, A Feast for Crows. Events in A Dance with Dragons mainly take place in the north (on the wall and elsewhere) and in the east (mainly surrounding Meereen and those choosing to venture there). There are some other places but not quite that many.

And Martin has risen the stakes even higher in this book. He's killed off some characters that we wish were still alive. He's kept some alive just to tantalize us (or that's what I like to think anyways). But most of all, he's bringing his story to it's big climax. And that I just can't wait for.

Some of the things he's done with the characters in this story are just superb. I love what he's done with one of the characters who he's brought back from the dead (well, not so much brought back as the character never really died, but we were lead to think it did in the previous book). And Cersei finally gets what she's been deserving. Go and pick up a copy the book to find out what happens.

Friday, February 3, 2012

How Many Miles to the Death and Rebirth of the Wub?

Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick -- Planet Stories
I haven't read a lot by Philip K. Dick (or PKD, as many of his fans call him), but I aim to read a lot more, especially after having read this story. This short tale really has it all. Well, by all I mean it has the ill tempered captain, the nervous crew who question to an extent what their captain says, and just a pinch of the otherworldly. The story starts out with the ship taking on some rations from an unspecified port. Dick mentions a few of the odd animals that the characters see, and the wub is among them. The wub looks a lot like a pig, and this makes the crew very happy. Now they have some food that can last them for a few months. But the wub starts to talk. He doesn't want to get eaten. However, the captain insists. I'll leave it there. It's not a long story, but it is worth the read.

The Death and Rebirth of Anne Bonny by Nancy Fulda -- Daily Science Fiction
There isn't really too much to say about this story. This tale is about how a girl loses her imagination and how it one day comes back to her. It's even shorter than Beyond Lies the Wub, so be sure to check it out. You don't want to miss it.

How Many Miles to Babylon by Megan Arkenberg -- Lightspeed Magazine
Darkness has descended on the Earth in this story, and now the main characters must survive through the creatures of the night. As the story alludes, they are on their way to Babylon, perhaps even by candlelight, as the old tune goes. They wonder if there are any other survivors. Perhaps there are. But they try to follow any signs they get. Check it out. It's a little darker than the other two, but it still has a kick of optimism to it.