CONTINUUM -- Jonathan Aitken, profiled in the February edition of Magill has written a book similar in style and format to the extremely popular Psalms for People Under Pressure. The book [ISBN 0826476392] includes 50 selected prayers each accompanied by a spiritual reflection and personal, autobiographical comment. The prayers fall neatly into categories.
Aitken had plenty of time to reflect, as he explained in his Magill interview. He fell from power after a conviction for perjury and corruption. He has endured the pressure of disgrace.
Continue reading "Decluttering with Aitken" »
ETEXT -- Lewis' vision of an American descent into Fascism is as fresh and disturbing today as it was when it was written in 1935. Check out the full text online, and consider with me the continuing relevance of this 69 year old warning.
Continue reading "It can't happen here" »
TEMPLE BAR -- There are four features of texts or books which have authors. In Foucault's terms, these are texts which create the author function.
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Darren Fennessy writes: After reading about ten doorstep sized books over the summer break this year, getting my hands on The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was a refreshing change from the normal run-of-the-mill thriller. It is steeped in history, but not just any old history. You get to delve into the mind of the great Leonardo Da Vinci and see his art as you never thought you would or ever could conceive it. Then there's the religious aspect that had the world questioning, "Is it true?" at the time of the book's release. There is of course always controversy when religious ideologies are questioned. The Da Vinci Code even spurned other books (The Da Vinci Code Decoded by Martin Lun, for example) that try to set the record straight, as it were. They endeavour to separate fact from fiction, but the line sometimes seems to get more blurry the more you read.
Continue reading "The Da Vinci Code: Unputdownable? " »
Mike Fitzgerald explains how to use SGML to help auto-tag XML. His column is actually an extract from XML Hacks, a book incorporating many of Sean McGrath's shortcuts.
XML Hacks is a roll-up-your-sleeves guide that distills years of ingenious XML hacking into a complete set of practical tips, tricks, and tools for the web developers, system administrators, and programmers who want to go far beyond basic tutorials to leverage the untapped power of XML. If you've ever tried to go to a web page automatically and then parse the information by examining the string you got back, you can appreciate XML. While not perfect XML is probably the most practical option for packaging data that can be read by both humans and computers.
The book is very useful if you already deal with XML but it's certainly not a primer. You need to understand DTDs, schemas, and SOAP before you can really use every XML hack demonstrated.
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BN -- Every week I discover a time-saving technique using Google. I just thumbed through a book that will add another 30 timesavers to my skillset. This week, I was interested in songs by Irish artists that dealt with "home." Google allows you to do a phrase search even if you don't have an idea of what the complete phrase looks like. Wildcard search allows one to use an asterisk for any word that's missing. Google will fill it in automatically. This technique is very useful if you're on a radio quiz show trying to find lyrics for the last word of a verse.
Continue reading "Google Missing Manual" »
MOLLY -- We use MT 3.0 on an educational installation and the 41 students involved don't get any special handling when setting up their templates. That's because wonderful tutorials exist, like Molly Holzschlag's Teach Yourself Movable Type in 24 Hours. I learned Radio Userland in less time than that but couldn't sort out some sticky installation problems with multiple Radio users on the same desktops.
Continue reading "Teach Yourself Movable Type" »