Site of the Week: A Few Apps for Your iPhone

Introduction from procrastin8or: I’m taking a week off from my regular feature and turning the blog over to a much-valued blog buddy of mine. tmso, author of a writer’s blog under pseudonym nilaewhite and The Atheist’s Quill has been very kind in offering to complete the trio of mobile media posts with this list of apps for Apple products (iphone, ipad etc). I hope you find them useful

- procrastin8or

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Not many of us physically write on our iPad or iPhone, nor, egad, by way of an app (right?), but there are a few nifty little iOS apps (applications) that I use to help my writing effort. The first set help me read, and the last keeps me on track.

Writers are readers. And I happen to read on my iPhone. Here are a few apps I’ve used to help me proof and read my work as well as the work of other writers. Continue reading

Book Review: Why Does E=mc2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

Professor Brian Cox, most known for his television series Wonders of the Solar System, followed a year later by Wonders of the Universe as well as popular radio science discussion programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, has become one of the country’s most recognised and popular scientific figures in a field not normally known for being sexy and “down with the kids”. In that respect, to many people Cox must seem like an enigma – a young and trendy guy who started public life in the band D:Ream (known for Things can only get better) and now inspiring young people to take up the hard sciences again and creating an interest in Astronomy not seen since Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. I went to the Basingstoke show of Uncaged Monkeys last year (the stage version of the radio show) and was pleased to see it was a sell out. Ben Goldacre, Stephen Jones and Simon Singh were also on the guest list. Science is getting big again and it is getting trendy too.
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British sci fi writers call for UK version of SEE

A group of authors that includes Ken MacLeod and Alastair Reynolds has called for a UK version of the Science and Entertainment Exchange to unite the creative industries with working scientists. I’ve just read about what this American organisation does and personally, I’m not completely convinced either that a) it is necessary over here and b) it would work except to provide a handful of jobs to science graduates who either didn’t make it as a University researcher or perhaps didn’t want to do it.
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Something has to give

I can’t express enough right now just how much I miss writing fiction. Those of you blog readers who know me personally will be aware that my main focus in the last few months have been study (GIS) and the desperate need to find another job – and soon. Unfortunately, I haven’t been writing as much fiction as I ought to and I sorely miss it at times. It has been too easy to bang out a blog post or two and neglect the very reason for this blog. I haven’t completely stopped, I did attempt (and fail on both occasions) to write short stories for two separate competitions which gave me tight deadlines. They were neither the right time nor the right way of going about getting back into fiction writing because what I have is two more incomplete short stories on my shelf.
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The Rise and Rise of China Miéville

Author China Mieville.
image from

The Arthur C. Clarke Awards take place next week. China Miéville stands as the only man who has won the award more than twice and he hopes that 2012 will mark a fourth such award having been shortlisted for Embassytown. The novel has also bee nominated for a Hugo Award this year so it seems that his star is on the rise.

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Site of the Week: RIM BlackBerry apps

Following on from last week’s Android special, I’ve decided to do a similar post for BlackBerry while the Curve 8520 that I traded in six weeks ago, and the apps that I used on it, is still fresh in my mind. If you have a BlackBerry and concerned about the future of the company, please don’t despair. It has a lot going for it and there are features and apps of my last phone that I sorely miss on my new phone. On a personal note I feel that if they can stop trying to compete with Android and Apple, they could have the tablet market cornered for professional users. Continue reading

Book Review: A Journey in Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor

He is known as the most high-profile victim of the Titanic disaster that happened 100 years ago last week. Philanthropist, businessman and part of the American high society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Jacob Astor IV published this futuristic tale in 1894 about a journey around our solar system and man’s attempts to colonise his neighbours. I am absolutely astounded by the vision of the future that he created and the technologies he envisaged would exist in the year 2000:

* Solar power
* Mag lev
* air travel
* global telephone network
* speed cameras! Continue reading

Kindle Touch UK release

It’s available one week earlier than expected. It comes with a price tag of £109 and the following extra features:

* X-Ray. I can’t quite get my head around how it works but it seems to be a tool for analysing a document, almost getting the equivalent of a bonus disk for a book. I like the idea and it would useful for academic books and journal papers but not sure it would interest me all that much on a day to day basis. Continue reading

London Book Fair: The ebook debate brought into focus

The debate about the role of ebooks in the publishing world is the debate that just will not go away and now it seems the issue is getting more political with lots of bickering between the divisions of physical and e-publishing sectors of the industry, accusations of anti-competitive behaviour and lawsuits. This debate is going to rage on at least until sometime in 2013, perhaps beyond. Continue reading

British Library buys St Cuthbert Gospel for £9m


I don’t really have any comment to add, but I think that this is a really fascinating artefact, even for a die-hard atheist like me. The archaeologist in me is absolutely astounded that it is in such good condition for something its age. Honestly, it looks as if it could have been crafted yesterday!