Friday, August 26, 2011

Books I've Read This Week

The Shallows is an interesting book by Nicholas Carr where the main thrust is that our current use of the internet is killing our ability to focus. The author posits that it is caused by constant interruptions and short "sound byte" type articles we read on the web. Apparently our brains are adapting to multi-task.

Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham can be summed up with discover what type of work really energizes and excites you then go search it out. The book also lays out some steps you can do to identify your strengths and how to massage your job so you can use your strengths more.

Naruto, Vol. 46 again continues to push the story on at a rapid pace. One of my favourite characters bites it in this volume which is sad but it makes sense from a story perspective and isn't a death for the sake of increasing sales.

Akira Volume 6 is the conclusion of the Akira story. Not much I can say about this story but go read all 6 volumes.
See you next Friday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Webcomic Wednesday: Ratfist

Ratfist is a webcomic by Doug TenNapel. You can see the titular character to the left as he is a sort of amalgam of Batman and Earth Worm Jim. EWJ is another character created by TenNapel.

The strip is at times silly and poignant but always worth a read. The whole story is collected so if you start at the link above you can read the whole thing and get a beginning, middle and end.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Books I've Read This Week

I used to do a weekly in depth review of a book I'd read the previous week. Starting this Friday I'm going to give some quick hits of books I've read in the previous seven days. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a running feature here on my blog.

Continuing my re-read of the Akira series I've reached the penultimate chapter in Volume 5. Some fantastic storytelling and line work in this book by Katsuhiro Otomo. I'm always struck out how much of Japanese popular culture was influenced for decades by the dropping of the atomic bomb. Akira in it's post apocalyptic world is another reflection of those fears.

I grabbed the The Geek Dad's Guide To Weekend Fun while attending OSCON at Portland's amazing book store Powell's. It is full of a number of good projects and I'm planning on brewing some root beer and creating a PVC drum set with my daughter.

Blackout by Connie Willis is a book set in the London of World War 2 during the Blitz with time travelling historians who've arrived during this critical period so they can record it for posterity. Great book and I'm looking forward to picking up the follow up All Clear.

Japanese Manga sure knows how to keep people coming back for more. This is the 45 volume of Naruto I've read and I look forward to every one. The story keeps rolling forward at a frantic pace which is a welcome change from the current spate of North American comic story telling.

Well that's it until next Friday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brew Strong K-Cup Coffee

Thanks to Lifehacker for linking to this post on the Instructables that shows how to brew better, stronger (sadly not harder or faster*) coffee. By combining a My K-Cup with any used K-Cup you can increase the amount of pressure used when brewing your coffee for better flavour extraction from your ground coffee. I think this is an excellent trick to add to your home brewing arsenal.

* If you prefer the Kanye West version here it is.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our OSCON PhoneGap Slides

Well the PhoneGap presentation that Becky Gibson and I gave at OSCON this year seems to have been well received. Thirteen people have rated us so far giving us an average of 4.15 stars out of 5 which I consider to be pretty good. If you are looking for the slides and example code you can find it here.

Next up for me is an internal presentation at the end of the month and then I will head down to Ottawa chapter of CocoaHeads to talk about developing cross platform mobile apps with PhoneGap.

Update: Now available on SlideShare as well.