These are the books read in May. Hasn’t gotten much read due to a lot of school and work.
- Mignon Fogarty: “The Grammar Devotional” (2009)
- Filled with some great tips on using proper grammar, some already known and some new. I’m not a big fan of the day-to-day structure (read a tip a day), but it works. I felt the quizzes took up a little too much space, but the tips and the background info was all useful.
- Stephen King: “The Wind Through the Keyhole: a Dark Tower Novel” (2012)
- I’ve been waiting a long time for this midquel of King’s Dark Tower series (which finished with the seventh book in 2004). This book takes place in between the fourth (“Wizard and Glass”) and fifth (“Wolves of the Calla”) books of the series, and features Roland retelling two stories from his youth, one from his teen years and one a fairy tale his mother used to tell him when he was a sma’ one. The book basically fulfills everything I hoped for – it’s not an epic exciting story liked the original Dark Tower series, but rather a softer storybook. It’s nice to return to these old characters again, and it’s hard to part with them towards the end, knowing what shall come. I hope King considers producing any future such material, like more stories from Roland’s youth.
Having gone off from traditional newspapers and TV reports more and more in the last few years, I’m now getting almost all of my news from RSS feeds (what is RSS?), anything from private blogs such as mine, to larger science blogs, news outlets and organisations such as NASA, and – let’s face it – a bunch of other stuff just for fun. I decided to make this post to go through all English language feeds I follow. Count all these feeds as recommended. In no specific order.
- xkcd: One of the best web series out there, with good nerd and science humour.
- Morito Ergo Sum: A promising, up and coming doom metal band.
- Richard Wiseman: A British psychologist, with lots of great visual illusions (like the one to the right), puzzles and interesting thoughts.
- SMBC Comics: Funny, skeptical comics from the SMBC team, which I’ve linked to several times in the past.
- To Posterity – and Beyond!: The blog of Cori Samuels, an audio book recorder I totally fell in love with after hearing her LibriVox rendition of William Morris’ ”The Wood Beyond the World” (which I reviewed here). Her blog is extremely slow on updates, but still of interest.
- TorrentFreak: The best news source I’ve found concerning internet piracy and filesharing. Although extremely subjective (pro-piracy), they report a great deal on the recent news concerning police busts, laws, new technology, interviews and studies.
- Wuffmorgenthaler: Another web series, of much lower quality than SMBC and xkcd, but still fun sometimes.
- Dinosaur Comics: Yet another web series, much wordier than the other, but (most of the time) a lot of fun. Plus, it has dinosaurs.
- Just Bento: Cool pictures of and recipes for Japanese box lunches (like the one to the right).
- The Big Picture: With the tagline ”News stories in photographs”, this is a news source which sort of focuses on the tragic events (such as the Japanese nuclear incident last March), and has a lot of excellent, provocative pictures to go along with them.
- WebUrbanist: Cool architecture. Sort of.
- Anton Nordenfur: My own blog. Just to see if the RSS feed is working properly.
- Ars Technica: The latest news in computer technology – computers, operative systems, smart phones, smart TV, tablets, et cetera.
- Astro-photo.nl: The astronomy blog of André van der Hoeven, the dude who took the Moon picture that I wrote about yesterday. Lots of cool space photos.
- Brainstorm Headquarters: The blog of Fredrik Bränström, rarely updated but excellent when it is.
- Discover Blogs: This feed includes multiple blogs under Discover Magazine, including the awesome Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy. A great way to keep up with science news from many different fields, some interesting and some less interesting.
- Explore. Dream. Discover. (and bring a parrot): The rarely updated blog of the fantastic Kaylee, a skeptic parrot owner. Sometimes in Swedish, sometimes in English.
- Hacking Chinese: A blog by Olle Linge on learning Chinese, which I’ve referenced a couple of times before.
- LROC News: News released from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, which produced the Apollo 11 photo I wrote about a couple days ago.
- NASA Breaking News: Constant updates about the work of the American Air and Space Administration.
- Neurologica: The blog of Dr. Steven Novella, probably most famous as the host of the podcast The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, which I follow avidly since a year past or so. A practicing neuroscientist giving a ”daily fix of neuroscience, skepticism, and critical thinking”.
- Olle Linge: The personal blog of Olle Linge behind Hacking Chinese. Sometimes in Swedish, sometimes in English.
- Science-Based Medicine: A blog on scientific medicine, combating nonscientific medicine, basically. With editors and contributors like Steve Novella (who also runs Neurologica), Mark Krislip, David Gorsky and others.
- Skepchick: The skeptic women organisation Skepchick’s blog, with multiple contributors headed by Rebecca Watson (also of the Skeptic’s Guide, by the way).
- Universe Today: The best outlet for astronomy news, which is also the reason I’ve referenced them several times in the past. Headed by Fraser Cain of the podcast Astronomy Cast.
- VODO: VODO is a great source for films and TV series released online under a Creative Commons license. The feed gives a constant update on new projects.
- Pioneer One: The source for news about the VODO TV series Pioneer One.
- Quantum Diaries: News updates on particle physics and quantum theory.
- Astroblog: Astronomy news from Australian Ian Musgrave.
- Tom’s Astronomy Blog: Astronomy news from… well, Tom.
- Astronomy Blog: Another astronomy blog, this time British – okay, I consume a lot of astronomy news, so sue me. Following many different sources make evaluating and making sure not to miss anything much easier.
- Quantum blog: The personal blog of Jev Kuznetsov, a physicist and Matlab programmer.
- China Space News: News on the Chinese space programme, which is sadly rarely reported on on other astronomy news sources such as Universe Today, in spite of it being one of the most interesting programmes out there, definitely competing with NASA and the ESA.
- Reuters’ Top News: A good feed for staying up to date with the most important headlines out there. I also have a separate feed for Reuters’ science news, but couldn’t find a link.
I also follow a bunch of Swedish language blogs, mostly on Swedish politics. Yay.
I almost missed it last year, and I almost missed it this year too – congratulations Wikipedia on your 11th birthday! Wikipedia is gradually becoming a big girl, with over 20 000 000 articles in total, and close to 4 000 000 articles on the English version alone.
Take this time of year to remember that Wikipedia is one of the world’s largest websites, and it is run entirely thanks to the kindness of its users through donations. To celebrate all Wikipedia is constantly doing to humanity, send them a buck or two. Never force Wikipedia to start using advertisement, actively corrupting its purpose.
Oh, and you can actually Flattr Wikipedia too. While Wikipedia has no Flattr account themselves (as part of their no-advertisement-policy), there’s a Flattr account owned by Flattr, that collects flattrs each month and actively donates it all to Wikipedia – the end result being the exact same that would come from Wikipedia having their own account.
New computer purchased. A poor fellow, weak and slow, but it manages StarCraft II (with poor effects), and it was extremely cheap. Plus, I needed a home computer. Following my tradition of computer naming since 2009’s Kinslayer, I have named the computer after another musical piece, this time Elysium by power metal band Stratovarius.
Following up with my old list:
- Zudde ( – 2008)
- Moonlighten (2008 – 2009)
- Kinslayer / Edenbeast (2009 – )
- Elysium (2011 – )
Kinslayer and Edenbeast are the same computer under different names – Edenbeast was the new name taken when updating some hardware and updating it to Ubuntu 10.10 last autumn.
A song from Nightwish’ upcoming album Imaginarium has been remixed into a one and a half minute track by DJ Orkidea (who also made a remix of Bye Bye Beautiful in 2007), and is being used as the intro song for the Finnish sports team Kiteen Pallo. After the song has been released in poor versions on YouTube, Nightwish has released the high quality version themselves through their website, and it can be found here.
I for one can barely wait for the actual album, this sound awesome.
The third episode of this broadcast season of Futurama is airing tonight in the US at 10. For all the rest of us, it will be up around half an hour later on wherever. If you still haven’t seen the previous episodes of this season, view them now, ”Neutopia” and ”Benderama”. For those of you who haven’t seen it at all, shame on you. Get the first season here or here.
I was floating around in space, sometimes thrown from one place to another, light years apart, as if I passed a worm hole. At one point I saw a magnificent pulsar.
Yesterday marked the day of my final hand-in of a pre-university school work. I officially finish secondary school (gymnasium) on June 10, but I have no work left and I have already gotten all my grades except for one, and they are rather good ones. Hopefully enough to bring me to study physics at Linköping University.
And so I will spend the upcoming summer, for the first time not with a summer break, but officially out of work.
I have started watching the 2003 reimagining of Battlestar Galactica. Ten episodes into it (and beyond the two-part pilot mini-series), I really enjoy it. The feeling is much alike that of when I first discovered Firefly.
The series is set in a distant solar system, decades after a war between humans and robot Cylons. When all seems fine and dandy again, the robots suddenly attack the twelve human colonies, almost destroying the human civilisation and forcing the 50 000 humans left to flee the solar system into deep space. The Cylons continue to seek the remains of humanity, and someone speaks of the legendary 13th colony, planet Earth, a possible sanctuary from the Cylons.
Now, is the 1978 original version worth watching as well?