Autodidact: self-taught


Sunday Science and Technology

by V. L. Craven

The Science Part of the Post

There was a bit of a kerfuffle in Russia this week. It seems a meteor exploded several miles above the earth and …things happened.

The sort of things that leave giant holes in ice lakes in Siberia.

So… we didn’t see it… I know we were all paying attention to the incredibly unimaginatively named 2012 DA14*, but a bit more attention to the things that could seriously bollocks up a well-populated area would be appreciated. After all, if outer space sends us an event that’s going to mess up Earth’s shit, there’s not a lot we’ll be able to do about it so let’s focus on things we can affect.

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This is a very interesting page about the last time a (really big) meteor hit Russia . Basically, it must have been scary as hell before the time of massive media telling you the rest of the world wasn’t under attack by blue light fire throwers capable of breaking things forty miles away. So, though your day is a thousand times more bizarre than you’d expected, it wasn’t the beginning of an alien invasion or the end of the world.

Weather Underground has a great article with more information and photos and video, as well.

*I know that there are quadrillions of bodies in space and astronomers are very busy and don’t have time to name all of them, but if something is going to have any real impact (sorry) on Earth, give it a name a person can shout at the sky whilst clinching their fists in frustration. They should name them based on size, speed, and weight, as well as possible consequences; if it could do an enormous amount of damage it’d be a Class A Fuckton meteor with an appropriate name like Ragehorn or Titanium Handgrenade.

The Technology Part of the Post

You know how, sometimes you want information on a medical problem and you go to Wikipedia and MYGODMYEYESWHYYYYY!

YAY! I’mma learn something! NOOOOO!

There, in front of you are the most horrific, psychically scarring images outside of a Saw film. At least with gore-porn films, you expect it & you know it’s not real. But no one needs to know what an excised verruca looks like. After my husband and I finished gagging and cringing and lamenting our lack of eye-bleach over the aforementioned photos, we found Hide Images . It’s an extension available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari and will hide images, logos, backgrounds, videos, iframes (Facebook boxes, YouTube, etc.), and multimedia/flash objects.  Click on the button whilst the page is loading and it removes all images before they’ve had a chance to make you regret every life decision that’s led you to the moment of seeing those images. Click the button again and the images return. It’d be nicer if you could tell the extension to load all pages from a site without images initially, but I’m happy to no longer fear vomiting on my laptop because I wanted to learn something new.

With our tax refund I’m getting a subscription to Poe Forevermore , the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe from Library of America, and a Kindle Fire.

Ugly Hill by Paul Southworth

Its primary use will be reading comics, but I’d like to check out free apps. So please share your recommendations.

Yay! Kindle Fire!

Yay! Edgar Allan Poe!

Yay! Not being killed by a meteor!


Bonus Post for E-Book People

by V. L. Craven

I’ve only just discovered StoryBundle  and simply had to share, because this round ends in a little over a day.


StoryBundle is a site that offers packs of DRM-free e-books by indie authors. This round (the one that ends in 30 hours) is horror and dark fantasy. You can pay whatever you’d like, but if you pay at least $9 USD you get two extra books for free.

Another thing that’s wonderful, is that you can choose what percentage of your donation goes to the author and what percentage goes to StoryBundle. AND there’s an option to donate to a charity that helps kids become better writers, or a charity that plants trees.

Go! Donate! Get books! Support indie authors!


Kindles (again)

by V. L. Craven

This is my last fangirl post about Kindles until I receive mine, I promise.

And it’s a bit petulant, so brace yourself.

When they were backordered the message on Amazon was that orders would be filled in the order in which they were received, but people who ordered theirs after they were back in stock are receiving theirs before some of us pre-orderers have got ours.

This makes me pout like the small child I am.


New Kindle 3 Release Date

by V. L. Craven

The next shipment of Kindles aren’t going to ship until Sept 24 now. When I ordered, the date was September 20.

Maaaaaaaan. That’s weak.


Kindle 3 and Storage Capacity

by V. L. Craven

I haven’t even received Annabelle* yet and I already have a peeve–storage capacity. It only holds 3GB of books (it says 4GB but the software apparently occupies 1GB, a rant for later), which for someone with a lot of PDFed books this isn’t much space, and it doesn’t take an SDHC card. Dammit, people, I want to be able to carry all 7,ooo of my e-books around. I can only hope that Kindle 4 will have some monster space on. I wouldn’t mind paying more for the storage.

*My new Kindle. I name all electronic devices because it’s easier to swear at something with a name.


On the E-reader Bandwagon with Strangers and Friends

by V. L. Craven

I’m getting a Kindle 3. It’s currently out of stock and will ship ‘on or before September 20’ so I’ve been reading the Kindle Support Pages in preparation. I’ve also joined the KindleKorner Yahoo group, which has already answered many of my questions.

I’m very much looking forward to trying it out with an e-book I’ve already bought, Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger , whose title puts me in mind of Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend .

I quite liked The Little Friend, though I see it only has two and a half stars on Amazon. This is puzzling because it’s incredibly well-written. There’s a rather important plot issue near the beginning, but if one chose to over look that then it was a great read. And it accomplished something that’s rare in fiction of any sort (including films) which is that it perfectly captures backwoods, white trash culture. It’s worth it for that alone.

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