Stranger. What is stranger for us? Someone who you don’t know, stranger is the person who you’re sitting next to in the bus, air plane, sometimes stranger is the person you’re living next to. Basically they know nothing about you, and you know nothing about them. But eventually there are so many people that consider them as friends, there are a lot of people that know your story but when you need them they aren’t here. They say don’t trust to strangers, they will hurt you. But the one thing they didn’t tell me is that a stranger can become your everything. That stranger you’re going to trust with your life, will be here for you every time you need, and the most important thing of all is that you will love that stranger no matter what. I’m not talking about boy and girl relationship. No, this text is about how one girl become my best friend. We’ve never met each other, yet we feel like we know for years. We can relay and trust without considering if we’re doing bad think. It’s been almost a year and I feel like I know her forever. We are like one soul trapped in two bodies. She isn’t stranger for me, but she was 8 months ago I didn’t know her but now she is the person I have most trust in. I know that this kind of friendships is very hard to find and harder to preserve but I’m going to do all in my power. I want to be the first person that is going to say ‘Happy Birthday my little angel’ so here I am writing this text that is for you. Thank you for all you’ve done, I wish you all luck on this planet, your dreams reality and that next year we are going to celebrate together.
Catching up with Old Friends – Rev. Rabyd
Originally posted on All Things Rabyd:
Yesterday was our annual church picnic at Hersey Congregational Church. We also for the last three years have been doing baptismal service in the Hersey River. Many people who live around here laugh when I say that because they know the Hersey River is very shallow. In fact I think the deepest place I know of is maybe three feet. most of it however is one foot or less. There are reservoirs and pools along it of course that are deeper along its course but none of these places makes for a good place to baptize.
I was the pastor of my current church for four years before I did a baptismal service. I had several reservations about the whole thing. 1) My church is made up of people from all kinds of former church backgrounds. I think I have identified at least fifteen. Many people in my church have more than one background. Needless to…
View original 582 more words
Catching up with Keith Garret- an Old Friend
Originally posted on keithgarrettpoetry:
To walk on water is an amazing thing i can’not do,
Flying across the sky, never will i fly, a thought from my mind.
Through walls of solid never will my physical body walk,
I have not the power to raise my hands and change the world.
To part the sea is a wonder that i’ve not yet seen,
Fire i can’not make rain from the sky, no not i.
I have not the ability to hide from pain,
Fear is an emotion that lives in the human being.
I am not god for it is that i may bleed and do,
I breathe the air but no guarantee of a tomorrow.
Mortal i am, for now here i’ll stand and walk this land,
Older i’ll get as surely i will not live forever in this place.
One day i’ll die and pray that my new home will be beyond…
View original 5 more words
Catching up with Old Friends
Originally posted on Green Embers:
So last night I did something terribly silly. First, let me back up. I had the inspiration for a new comic over the weekend and I wrote up a script on Saturday. Come Sunday (yesterday) I was chomping at the bit to draw it up. I really did not want to be at work but I managed to stay and finish the work day out. As soon as I got home, I setup drawing shop and began making my comic.
This time went a bit smoother than last time. You’ll notice my framing is better placed and I didn’t screw up the background like I did on the previous one. Which means characters could be colored how I liked. The time kept flying by while I was doodling it up. Soon one hour, two hours, three hours passed and then the next thing I knew it was 11:00 PM and…
View original 137 more words
In Minecraft, the player is dropped into a freshly-generated world composed of coarse blocks that represent dirt, trees, rock, water, and more:
There are dangerous creatures lurking in this world, including but not limited to giant spiders and skeleton archers. But they only venture out at night, and they can be deterred by walls. The sun (a bright cube) sets fast, so your first task is always the same: Build a shelter.
The genius of Minecraft is that the game does not specify how this is done.
Scholastic publishes these concise, child-friendly guides to the game.
Two of them are among the best-selling books of 2014 so far, on a short list with titles like The Fault in Our Stars and The Goldfinch. To me, they are the most salient symbol of the game’s success.
Try this: Make a list with two simple columns. On the left, write Who, What, When, and Where. On the right column, write How and Why.
Then, go to any news site — local, national, or global — or even to a print newspaper and see which questions the stories you see answer.At most news sites, the hashmarks will fill up quickly in the left column — slowly, if at all, in the right one.
That’s the column for explanatory journalism — the new craze of the past year, but built on ideas as old as good journalism itself. Or call it the Wonk Wars as Capital New York and The Huffington Post, among others, have called it.
words will be jut words, until you bring them to life
How the left took over the Democratic Party – POLITICO Magazine
Last month, the Pew Research Center released the findings of one of its largest studies of U.S. political attitudes ever undertaken. The 10,013-person survey quantified the increase in the share of Democrats holding mostly or consistently liberal views over the last 20 years. In 1994, only 30 percent of Democrats considered themselves mostly or consistently liberal, but this number increased sharply to 56 percent of respondents in 2014.
The study also found that 70 percent of politically engaged Democrats are mostly or consistently liberal in their views—double the 35 percent that fell into this category 20 years ago.
[Terry: I wonder if I wore a weighted shirt during the hours I sit at my computer, would it result in a buff and attractive body?]
We’ve all been there. Gotten lost in The Situation Room while turning over miles on the treadmill, and before we knew it, we’d left the gym without leaving it all on the floor. TITIN Force is the world’s only weighted compression shirt system designed to increase blood circulation and wick away moisture, while kicking your upper-body workout into overdrive. The TITIN is a three-part weighted system, which starts with a zippered inner, fitted with 14 hydro-gel inserts (totaling 8 pounds) strategically balanced along the arms and upper body. The system’s outermost layer is the compression shirt, which keeps the inserts locked in place while the compressive, yet breathable and antimicrobial Sorbtek fabric, supports your muscles and wicks away moisture to keep your core temperature regulated. Another advantage of the TITIN system is how you can heat the inserts for thermal therapy, or freeze them for your post-workout cooldown session. And because we know you’re all about those gains, the TITIN system has been proven to increase your lactate threshold by 25%, vertical leap by 13%, and your ability to tune out external distractions like Blitzer, and fast-track your speed and endurance goals with every moment in the gym by 100%.
Ethan Gilsdorf gets a first-look at some incredible high-res art from the latest edition of the classic pen-and-paper role-playing game.
Will Wizards of the Coast get D&D right this time?
That’s the question on the minds of adventurers young and old ever since the announcement that new rules for Dungeons & Dragons would finally be revealed this year. (At various times, this rebooted D&D has been called “D&D Next,” “5th Edition D&D” and “5.0.” Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s publisher, is now simply calling the game “Dungeons & Dragons.”)
But whether the release schedule is designed to whet or frustrate our appetites is another question. As if compressing a decade’s worth of D&D iterations into six months, Wizards has planned a clever summer-into-fall roll out of this latest rule set, with many a product to buy along the way. Craftier than a mage casting a spell of Confusion, Wizards first teased us with a free PDF called Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons D&D Starter Set, a rulebook and adventure package, complete with dice and pre-generated characters, that will remind many gamers of the quick-to-learn Basic boxed sets published throughout D&D’s history. Thus far, the 5th Edition rules I’ve seen nicely mix just-complex-enough magic and combat systems with playability, while also emphasizing character creation and roleplaying. It’s a balance that veteran gamers should appreciate.
Next come three hefty hardcovers that hearken back to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks. The first one, the Player’s Handbook, doesn’t arrive until August 19; the Monster Manual is scheduled for September 30; and the climax and clincher, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, we won’t see until November 18.
Mamabear Raises $1.4 Million For A Parenting App That Monitors Children’s Social Media Use And More | TechCrunch
[Terry: Which is scarier? Mamabear or the NSA??]
While there are a number of family locator services to choose from today, ranging from those offered by the mobile operators to venture-backed startups, a nearly two-year old mobile application called Mamabear was created with a goal of doing more than simple location tracking – it’s a full-featured “parenting app” which allows parents – yes, mainly moms, by nature of the job – to also monitor their children’s interactions across social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Now the company has an additional $1.4 million in angel funding to help them fund growth and further development, as Mamabear begins to switch on its revenue-generation efforts.
A Digital Parenting Aid
Today’s parents have it tough.
In addition to having a better understanding of the world’s horrors, thanks to technology advances like the internet and the rapid spread of information it allows for, we’re simultaneously placing devices into the hands of our children that could potentially connect them to those horrors first-hand.
It’s no longer useful to just train kids to “not talk to strangers” – we have to now navigate the far more nuanced rules and best practices among a number of social media services and related apps, where sometimes the most immediate threats aren’t the lurking men in the shadows, but the child’s own school-aged friends, who often get involved in a modern-day “beating up” known as cyberbullying.
Christy is the coolest.
Originally posted on When Women Inspire:
Ritu Sharma speaks worldwide about the problem of women living in poverty in developing countries. She co-founded Women Thrive Worldwide in 1998, as a means to find solutions for the issue, and is the current President. She began this organization after leaving Punjab, India with her family to immigrate to the US, leaving behind poverty.
During her public speeches, Ritu Sharma uses personal stories, compelling discoveries and unique viewpoints to bring light to women facing devastating circumstances. Here are inspirational lessons we can learn from her, based on speeches she has given:
Women hold the world together
View original 362 more words
Never give up. If you want to be something, be conceited about it. Give yourself a chance. Never say that you are not good for that will never get you anywhere. Set high goals. That is what life is all about.
Originally posted on Don Charisma:
«Never give up. If you want to be something, be conceited about it. Give yourself a chance. Never say that you are not good for that will never get you anywhere. Set high goals. That is what life is all about.»
– Mike McLaren
Charisma quotes are sponsored by DonCharisma.com – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”
Originally posted on Crazy, Beautiful Life! :
It’s only day “3″-ish, and I’ve already been too busy to post my 3 things of gratitude, but that doesn’t mean I slacked off and didn’t actually think of my three things yesterday! :-) Here goes:
1. Yesterday I was attending a meeting to discuss the potential re-zoning of the school boundaries that would affect my neighborhood. It was a rather emotional discussion, and there were plenty of opinions flying around. I was so incredibly grateful at that moment for Google! While I was intently listening to our representative, my friend had her phone out, googling almost every statistic he threw up there to verify what he was saying. She caught him on many “slight” misrepresentations. A few other ladies came prepared with facts and documents they found through their google search that will help me when I need to write our Neighborhood Newsletter. I am going to sound really…
View original 899 more words
Originally posted on valeriu dg barbu :
Trilingual text: English, Italian and Romanian languages
in the skin taut until to Alpha Centauri
in the nerves twisted on his neck as a rope at the cleat
in the bones that not liking it earth, let alone of Death
in the inability to fly even with wings
in the waters troubled from that it springs the glassy lights
in the fogs so deep that you suspect is definitive
in the cells, on their own, warring with the gods
in the ordinary of a boredom, taken as a virtue
in the hunger for another hungry – where hunger has plural
in the childhood of a sob, looking to the Creator, with the unacknowledged fear
come here, and then ask me to be polite to you, with you one of the mirrors
the enumeration this here is pointed with finger sharp as a scalpel
you will not come, I know…
View original 298 more words
Originally posted on MCG Reviews and Rants...:
Summary: “This is a goddamn big story. It’ll make those jerks at the Post look like idiots and Watergate look like a cop taking an apple off a fruit stand.”
It’s 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge and Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and courier for one of the capital’s leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. Racing at breakneck speed through the streets of the capital, he not only intends to be the best courier in the business, he also intends to escape the demons that haunt him. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within…
View original 735 more words
Is there one thing that an average US citizen can do, right now, to help end the current phase of America’s ongoing civil war?
Only a few days are left in the crowd-funding campaign for Lawrence Lessig’s citizen-centered Super Pac: MAYDAY-PAC. Aimed at changing the playing field, so that raw money is less of a force in U.S. politics.
Mayday PAC was started by my colleague, Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig (co-founder of Rootstrikers and Creative Commons) — a “super PAC” using the power of kickstarted funds from ordinary citizens to fight the power of big money donors that control America’s political system.
You are summoned! To spend one minute – in a minuteman-tradition – to make a difference. Make a donation to help reduce the power of influence in politics — they have five days left to meet their goal.
Start with the excellent 2013 TED talk by Professor Lessig called “We the People …and the Republic We Must Reclaim” — with over a million views.
Lessig’s ideas are further expounded in his ebook, The USA is Lesterland: The Nature of Congressional Corruption – “a map for a democracy we could reclaim.”
Summarized by Lessig: “Less than 1/20th of 1% of America are the “relevant funders” of congressional campaigns. That means about 150,000 Americans, or about the same number who are named “Lester,” wield enormous power over this government. These “Lesters” determine this critical first election in every election cycle—the money election. Without them, few believe they have any chance to win. And certainly, neither party believes it can achieve a majority without answering the special demands these “funders” make. Our Congress has thus become dependent upon these funders. In this sense, we are now “Lesterland.””
[Terry: OK, it is a fact that I wouldn't watch a zombie movie if it was the only show on all 2000 channels but this script MIGHT change my mind.]
0:00 – 0:04
Blackness. Slow, laboured breathing extends into a death rattle.
V/O, female: ‘We lost the world.’
0:05 – 0:09
Series of fixed-camera shots of cities destroyed and deserted. The images intersperse with close-ups of wounds and dead flesh.
V/O: ‘To the dead.’
0:10 – 0:13
An overgrown yard crowded with shambling, rotting corpses.
At the farthest corner of the lot, something hidden in the undergrowth snatches a zombie out of sight.
“It is now impossible to stop Bill Kristol from lying” Edition.
via d r i f t g l a s s.
Ah, but the winner, and the first non-Cheney champion in our retooled Gobshite derby, is Himself, the Dancin’ Master. He takes this week’s House Cup for his interview with Bill Clinton in which he attempted to clear a height on the Both Sides Do It bar about which ordinary mortals can only dream.GREGORY: And the real issue you talk about as well is some of this pain people are feeling in the middle class, the sense that the middle class, that the American dream is slipping away. I look at some of the numbers, 3.4 million Americans who have been out of work for six months plus. You have over 7 million who, by their own admission, are stuck in lower-paying jobs, part-time jobs. How can a Democratic candidate for president– what challenges would a Democratic candidate for president face running on the Obama economy?CLINTON: Well, first of all, that’s not what anybody should do. You should run on making it better. But he didn’t cause the meltdown. The actions that his administration took kept it from being worse. And there had been a concerted effort to stop implementing his economic plan in the second term so none of you have any idea whether they would have worked or not. GREGORY: But you don’t lay this at Speaker Boehner and the Republicans uniquely, do you? I mean, do you really think it’s their opposition to the president that has forced him to have such impediments to get the economy growing again?
I do not challenge Brother Pierce’s wisdom in this matter.
I never figure out how to simplify my life so I’m extremely proud of this one. (So if you send comments indicating that everyone in the world thought of this first, I’ll be very sad.)
1. Create a Contact Named “AAATelemarketer.” The AAAs are just to make sure that it appears first when you go to your Contact list.
2. For a week or two, every time you get that girl from 3,000 miles away who says she’s your local Google rep, or the incomprehensible person who says something about Windows, touch the info icon on the number, hit “add to existing contact” and add the number to AAATelemarketer.
3. There may be a limit to how many phone numbers can be attached to a single contact but I haven’t hit it yet and I’m astounded how many come from the same people over and over. If you fill up, just create AABTelemarketer.
4. Smile when “AAATelemarketer” appears on your screen as an incoming call. Wave, if you’re feeling nice.
(I couldn’t work out anything this easy with my landline so I bought a Sentry callblocker. it runs off the power in the phone line, has an adorable little British voice that tells “tellymarketers” to stuff it, requires the caller to key in zero to continue, and finally allows you to create white and black lists so that your friends come right through and “tellymarketers” never even ring. I’m not an expert but I’d recommend it. Click on the picture to get it from Amazon.
Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing HypeCompanies Refine Strategies to Stress Quality Over Quantity of Fans
No, I’m not an economist, a lawyer, or a banker. However, before I took on the role of a poor hack pounding out novels, I was an executive at two new media startups and worked at a number of large corporations and I’ve gained a fair amount of experience in corporate gamesmanship and…well, finding myself out of work and wondering why.
I read a particularly dumb article in The Bookseller this morning…OK, it wasn’t really dumb, just shortsighted. It laid out yesterday’s closing of Angry Robot’s Exhibit A and Strange Chemistry imprints quite nicely. What was missing was the entire story of what’s happening to Osprey, the parent corporation back in the US. That story, also well covered in The Bookseller, relates how Osprey’s CEO took a walk over to Penguin/Random House and caused the Osprey Group to go into a panic. Well, they didn’t quite CALL it a panic but the general wetting of trousers can easily be deduced from this statement:
Robin Black, chairman of the Osprey Group, told The Bookseller that he did not wish to make a public comment “about a private company.” However, he said: “We are undergoing a strategic review internally following Rebecca leaving, and included in that is the potential sale of any part of the business”.
A translation of this could be, “We have no idea how to run a book company and the only competent person has just left so we’re putting the place up for a fire sale.”
Now, I’ve been through this mangle a couple of times. Once, I asked the VP of the division of the small tech company where I was Director of Content Production why we had a security guard on 24 hour duty when the FBI’s Carnivore internet monitoring system was being developed downstairs–arguably making this the most secure building in 3 states. His response was that if we had, as the company alleged, a $3 Billion operation going, we would have extra security. Of course, we didn’t have a $3 Billion anything. We had a good idea, some very smart software, and a lot of servers filled with smoke and mirrors. The point was that the parent company was up for sale and our existence added $3 Billion of imaginary weight to the sale price.
The other side of that coin was that the second that the merger went through and the price was set, our division was nothing but wasted money and the corporation shut us down. It had nothing to do with how well we performed or the future value of a streaming media system–it was pure short-term economic thinking. Sort of the way they used to put sawdust in the transmissions of Model A’s that were sold to the Okies heading to California. It worked until the buyer got off the lot and then failed.
The other case was, in my opinion, more of a stock scam and so this will be very vague. A big company that had been a leader in innovation was taken over by a very small group of lawyers. To cover the fact that they were closing down massive R&D labs and tossing thousands of great engineers out of work, they put together a few quirky little dotcoms. The dotcoms either failed on their own or were forced out in about a year and the stock slid below a dime per share. Then the proud owners began to enforce the patents that had been built up over the past 40 years. Last time I looked, the stock was over $40 a share.
The lesson I learned in both cases was that if you hear of a purchase or sale of a parent company, be prepared to hear about how terribly the various divisions have been performing and why they simply must be cut. “Sorry about that, old chap, but you just aren’t that good.”
Well, that’s what I see happening with Osprey. Most of the company are publishers of dull, respectable books about Boer War uniforms or birds or something and then they have this outrageous Angry Robot group that’s sitting over in England hiring new and innovative writers, encouraging editors to search out and contract the best work they can find and generally not fitting into the corporate mold.
Well, if you know virtually nothing about the publishing business (and who does, these days?) you think Osprey would be a much easier sale if we whacked off these madmen (and women) at Angry Robot. Then the buyer, who also has no idea what would make a good book, can sleep easier knowing that, if not a good decision, at least it was a defensible one.
Take one more step on. How do you make Angry Robot easier to sell off?
Yes, you cut off the really strange parts where the writers are new and the profits might not be apparent on the spreadsheets yet. This despite the fact that you were giving the editors pep talks and telling them to sign up every author they could find only 2 months ago. Now Angry Robot is all neat and tidy and can be sold and the victorious Lords of Capital can take their well-earned money and head for the Hamptons.
OK, all this is terribly uninteresting and written by someone with a long record of failure and absolutely NO idea of what goes on in the corridors of power at Osprey (probably foyers of power, actually), but what does it have to do with anything?
The point is that the closure of these two imprints is far more likely to be driven completely by the desire to sell the parent company than for any failure at the imprints. The editors and authors at Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A could have been putting out Ann of Green Gables and In Cold Blood and it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference. (OK, Green Gables might not have fit into the YA dystopian audience but I was reaching for an example.)
OK, my novel Courier might suck and deserve to be slush-piled. I’ll take that hit (although I don’t really buy it) but the excellent new and veteran writers I’ve met by email at Exhibit A and especially Emlyn Rees and Bryon Quertermous–the editors who put a great, animated, inventive, fascinating list of books out should not accept the blame for “not carving their market niche.”
As they said in The Godfather every time they were about to whack someone for purely personal reasons, “It’s not personal. It’s just business.”