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Movin' on out

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I'm getting tired of maintaining my own blog here at Jiggle The Handle, so I've moved back to my blog, Trifle One Sided. As a added "benefit", that blog contains all of posts from the late and much lamented blog of the same name. Check it out and follow over there, won't you please?

Trifle One-Sided

100 sci-fi books to read


Yet another list, this time the 100 sci-fi books you have to read. The original is here. I've read a few of these, mostly the older ones. Makes me want to go back and try some of them, like Triton, Zanzibar, and, especially Canticle.

  Index of the 100 science fiction books you just have to read
Childhood's End Written by Arthur C. Clarke
Foundation Written by Isaac Asimov
Dune Written by Frank Herbert
Man in the High Castle Written by Philip K. Dick
Starship Troopers Written by Robert A. Heinlein
Valis Written by Philip K. Dick
Frankenstein Written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Gateway Written by Frederick Pohl
Space Merchants Written by C.M. Kornbluth & Frederick Pohl
Earth Abides Written by George R. Stewart
Cuckoo's Egg Written by C.J. Cherryh
Star Surgeon Written by James White
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Written by Philip K. Dick
Radix Written by A.A. Attanasio
2001: A Space Odyssey Written by Arthur C. Clarke
Ringworld Written by Larry Niven
A Case of Conscience Written by James Blish
Last and First Man Written by Olaf Stapledon
The Day of the Triffids Written by John Wyndham
Way Station Written by Clifford Simak
More Than Human Written by Theodore Sturgeon
Gray Lensman Written by E. E. "Doc" Smith
The Gods Themselves Written by Isaac Asimov
The Left Hand of Darkness Written by Ursula K. Le Guin
Behold the Man Written by Michael Moorcock
Star Maker Written by Olaf Stapledon
The War of the Worlds Written by H.G. Wells
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Written by Jules Verne
Heritage of Hastur Written by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Time Machine Written by H.G. Wells
The Stars My Destination Written by Alfred Bester
Slan Written by A.E. Van Vogt
Neuromancer Written by William Gibson
Ender's Game Written by Orson Scott Card
In Conquest Born Written by C.S. Friedman
Lord of Light Written by Roger Zelazny
Eon Written by Greg Bear
Dragonflight Written by Anne McCaffrey
Journey to the Center of the Earth Written by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land Written by Robert Heinlein
Cosm Written by Gregory Benford
The Voyage of the Space Beagle Written by A.E. Van Vogt
Blood Music Written by Greg Bear
Beggars in Spain Written by Nancy Kress
Omnivore Written by Piers Anthony
I, Robot Written by Isaac Asimov
Mission of Gravity Written by Hal Clement
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Written by Philip Jose Farmer
Brave New World Written by Aldous Huxley
The Man Who Folded Himself Written by David Gerrold
1984 Written by George Orwell
The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl And Mr. Hyde Written by Robert Louis Stevenson
Snow Crash Written by Neal Stephenson
Flesh Written by Philip Jose Farmer
Cities in Flight Written by James Blish
Shadow of the Torturer Written by Gene Wolfe
Startide Rising Written by David Brin
Triton Written by Samuel R. Delany
Stand on Zanzibar Written by John Brunner
A Clockwork Orange Written by Anthony Burgess
Fahrenheit 451 Written by Ray Bradbury
A Canticle For Leibowitz Written by Walter Miller
Flowers for Algernon Written by Daniel Keyes
No Blade of Grass Written by John Christopher
The Postman Written by David Brin
Dhalgren Written by Samuel Delany
Berserker Written by Fred Saberhagen
Flatland Written by Edwin Abbot
Planiverse Written by A.K. Dewdney
Dragon's Egg Written by Robert L. Forward
Downbelow Station Written by C.J. Cherryh
Dawn Written by Octavia E. Butler
Puppet Masters Written by Robert Heinlein
The Doomsday Book Written by Connie Willis
Forever War Written by Joe Haldeman
Deathbird Stories Written by Harlan Ellison
Roadside Picnic Written by Boris Strugatsky & Arkady Strugatsky
The Snow Queen Written by Joan Vinge
The Martian Chronicles Written by Ray Bradbury
Drowned World Written by J.G. Ballard
Cat's Cradle Written by Kurt Vonnegut
Red Mars Written by Kim Stanley Robinson
Upanishads Written by Various
Alice in Wonderland Written by Lewis Carroll
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Written by Douglas Adams
The Lathe of Heaven Written by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Midwich Cuckoos Written by John Wyndham
Mutant Written by Henry Kuttner
Solaris Written by Stanislaw Lem
Ralph 124C41+ Written by Hugo Gernsback
I Am Legend Written by Richard Matheson
Timescape Written by Gregory Benford
The Demolished Man Written by Alfred Bester
War with the Newts Written by Karl Kapek
Mars Written by Ben Bova
Brain Wave Written by Poul Anderson
Hyperion Written by Dan Simmons
The Andromeda Strain Written by Michael Crichton
Camp Concentration Written by Thomas Disch
A Princess of Mars Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs

July Web Roundup

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A web links roundup is long overdue, so let's get right at it:
  • Foxit Reader : Are you as tired as I am with the bloated Acrobat Reader from Adobe? Well, fear no more, as a the free Foxit Reader comes to your rescue.  A lightweight, easy to use program that does just what it is supposed to do - accurately display the ubiquitous PDF files.
  • WeatherMole : A great mashup which combines a Google Map with NOAA forecasts.
  • Snap : As they say, "The other way to Search.". Using lots of fancy Web 2.0 technology, you get prompts, samples and snapshots of what you are searching for.
  • Computer Languages History : A genealogy chart of computer languages
  • Horsename-O-Matic : Exactly what the name promises - an easy way to generate horse names like "Hustling Overblood" and "Minimalistic Moonlight Kentucky". Other suggested uses include Boybands, Cruiseships and Snowboarding Tricks.
  • The Lotus Esprit Fact File : If you're looking to buy me the car of my dreams, here's a hint - make it a Lotus Esprit Turbo. I'll accept any color.  I've been in love with this wedge-shaped car ever since I first saw it, and it starred in many James Bond movies (Roger Moore era).  When they blew up the beautiful white one in Spy Who Loved Me, it broke my heart.
  • Paper Crafts | YAMAHA MOTOR : Way neat paper models that you can print out and fold at home.  Not for the faint of heart, though.
  • Thanks. No. : A simple page with a simple purpose - reply with this link when you get the "boy needs a postcard" hoax for the umpteenth time.  I get these forwarded messages all the time.  One hint - if it has more than one level of forwarding, I almost certainly don't want it.
  • Motivator: Inspire! Motivate! Mock! : Using your own picture and text, you too can create one of the motivational posters. Or you could mock instead. Up to you!
  • TheOpenCD : A simgle, burnable ISO file to let you enjoy a full range of Open Source software on on CD.
  • Sphere : Although I sincerely doubt the hyperbole on the first page ("Add this to your browser and change your life!"), this is another one of the community surfing things, where you can share interesting blog tidbits.  I have a bunch of these on my toolbar, but I never use them. This also includes Stumble and Furl. Maybe some day I'll figure out how to best utilize these.
  • In search of the One True Layout: This one is for you CSS geeks out there, where she talks about how to best use CSS to get a flexible, portable layout.  Nice tutorial on CSS too.
  • Guess Which Movie : Shows you a still from a movie and, yup, you have to guess which movie it is from.  A whole series of games.
  • Why Bush Won the Election : A whole series of side by side images which show Bush vs. Kerry.  Pretty funny stuff, like these:

  • Relate-a-zon: The Related Products on Amazon Game : Another mashup but this time as a game - try to work your way through the "Related Products" on from the starting item to the destination item. Pretty fun!
  • REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING : One of the coolest mashups I've found, this shows, in real time, the location of satellites drawn over a Google Map.  Pick your satellite and see where it is.  This includes the International Space Station too.
  • wikiHow - The How-To Manual That Anyone Can Write or Edit : A bunch of user contributions on how to do a whole range of interesting things, from useful ("Save Money on Auto Insurance") to the arcane ("How To Squeeze An Egg Without Breaking It").
Well, I guess that will have to do for now.  I have a bunch more that I will try to throw out there in the next couple of weeks.

Web Puzzle

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For you puzzle fiends out there, here's a web puzzle for you. I needed a hint to get started even, and I didn't get too far.

Web Puzzle

Expensive books

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Some cool lists about AbeBooks, the used book aggregator and seller.  The first one is the most expensive books ever sold on, with a US$65,000 top prize, for a first edition of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. Ten years of sellings gives them these lists:

Abebooks: Powers of 10

More Radiohead

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Cool - here's some pictures, the complete set list and a complete recording of the Monday night Radiohead show I was at. And yes, it was definitely "There There" that was the multi-drum song.

bradley's almanac

Worst Technologies

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Pretty cool article on the 25 worst tech products of all time. Number one on the list? AOL. Very appropriate, because I've been exchanging some email about AOL problems on one of our mailing lists. I love this quote from Bill:

“We designed AOL so any idiot could get online… and a lot of them did” - The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time

What Kind of English

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One of those silly web quizzes. I'm not sure which one of the questions that I answered had me speaking "Dixie". The rest makes sense, being pretty much a born and raised New Englander.

Your Linguistic Profile:
45% General American English
45% Yankee
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

Free Booze Schwag

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Here's a couple of cool giveaways I've come across over the past week or so, for cocktail related stuff:

First up is a couple of free videos from Ketel One. Just go here and fill out the form. There are two different videos, both of which are available on DVD and one can also be had on VHS. Not sure exactly what they are, but hey, how can you go wrong when they say "free"?

Secondly is a book called "Wines From Spain". It's put out by a marketing firm, but Days That End In Y gives it a good review nonetheless. But again, it is really free, as in Free Beer - no "shipping" charges, no "handling" charges, nothing. So what do you have to lose? Just go here and ask for it!

So get out there and get those forms filled out!

Woot Wine

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I've been a pretty big fan of Woot : One Day, One Deal for a while now. It isn't perfect. I'm not a big believer in "refurbished" hardware, which is common on Woot. And the prices do need to be checked, although the thriving forum often has plenty of folks doing the checking for you. Just be sure to check out the forum before you purchase. But it's fun to see what is for sale every day. In fact, I'm awaiting my next Woot delivery any day now - a new mouse.

Still, I was please to read about Woot's new venture, Wine.Woot. Here, they put up a few bottles of wine for your wooting pleasure. Of course, given the crazy patchwork quilt of liquor laws in this country, there are all sorts of catches and gotchas and places they can't mail to. But I was glad to see that Massachusetts is one of them, albeit with the caveat "(expect longer delivery times)". Not sure why.

Woot Wine : One Week, One Wine

What's in a name?

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Gelf Magazine has an interesting short article doing what it does best - tweak the Main Stream Media for being lackadasical. In this case, it is the reporting done on the annual Social Security Administration list of the most popular baby names from last year. The media says dumb things like :

"When kids born in 2005 head to kindergarten in a few years, a lot of them will be raising their hands when the teacher calls out 'Emily' or 'Jacob'"

Which is, as you might imagine, a vast overstatement, seeing as how it is only about 1% of the boys were named Jacob and a similar percentage of girls were named Emily. And, in fact, the percentage of babies named using the top 100 names has fallen rather dramatically over the last 60 years:

Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 48.0%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 34.2%

Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 67.1%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 51.6%

Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 72.7%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 57.9%

Percentage of Boys given a Top 100 Name: 75.4%
Percentage of Girls given a Top 100 Name: 65.8%

Geflog: Keeping Up With the Jacobs

When it came to naming our babies, we had two very different processes. The first, like the process of labor, was long and arduous. The second, again very much like the birth, was relatively quick and easy.

For our first, we read books, talked about it constantly, surfed the web, checked lists, you name it. With a last name of Arnold, we really needed a consonant at the end for it to flow easily, so that help whittle the list down. We eventually narrowed it down to ten names in each list, boy and girl. We did as recommended, and actually practiced using the names during the day, just to hear how it sounded out loud.

I don't remember all the names in the girls list. I'll bet Gabrielle has it written down somewhere. We wanted a name that was different, yet not too far out there. The most helpful book was the classic "Beyond Jennifer and Jason", with all kinds of great lists and comments. Both of us love our own names but have also had issues with them. For mine, people have tried far too hard to spell it. There are a few variations on "Jonathan", but I'd have to say mine is probably the most common. Other ones include "Jonathon", "Johnathan" and "Johnathon". So we were certain we weren't going to go with a unusual spelling of a common name. For my wife, "Gabrielle" is reasonably easy to spell but you'd be surprised at exactly how hard it is to pronounce for many people. It isn't the case as much any more, because it is becoming more common, but, much like the spelling of my name, people try way too hard to pronounce it.

So we practiced names on the list. Some from the girls list I remember include Spencer and Bailey (which had the extra attraction of it being my mother's maiden name). We also refused to discuss it with anyone else. You only get into trouble when you ask the opinion of others. When word leaked out about us considering Bailey, my sister got all up in arms because she was thinking of using it (and she eventually did with one of her twins). You get all kinds of unneeded comments if you try bouncing it off other people. We kept it pretty close to the chest and didn't regret it in the slightest, despite pressure from all side.

But we just couldn't get to one name. It wasn't like I had a favorite and Gabrielle had a different favorite. We just couldn't decide on one. It's a very early indication of the pressure you get as a parent, making lifetime choices for your child, and so it was a good introduction for us. We actually didn't decide until the middle of the night, during the long, hard labor, when Gabrielle said to me "It's going to be Rhiannon". Which is a cool name, don't you think? And it fits in a lot of ways. While she isn't named "after" the Fleetwood Mac song, we probably wouldn't have heard of it otherwise, and the song has the added benefit of making it familiar to others. I always thought it was a cool name. And her oldest brother was something of a Celtic scholar, who died the previous year in a fishing boat accident off the coast of Ireland, so it seemed a fitting tribute. And the folklore Rhiannon is something of a moon goddess (as well as a fairy tale witch), and her horoscope (which is, of course, a crock) sign is the Moon; they often call it "Moon Child" now, instead of Cancer the Crab, for obvious reasons. So it is a lovely name and fit in a number of interesting ways. And the day we brought her home from the hospital, there was a Rhiannon pictured on the front page of the local newspaper! She was a high school student, pictured working on something. Too funny!

Rhiannon's middle name was much easier. Both of us wanted to avoid those middle names that you are embarrassed to talk about in school, that become something of a talisman to guard against exposing. And "Elizabeth" was perfect - her mom's name, my sister's name, and a good solid name all around.

But for our second child, the process was much smoother. I'm not sure where it came from or who first proposed it, but "Adrienne" was an immediate hit, and we never varied from it. We each had one other top contender. I liked the name "Cam", for a boy or a girl (or "Cammi"). Cam Neely was, and probably still is, my favorite hockey player and it is a great name. Gabrielle wanted "Lucy", but I wasn't crazy about it. Funny thing is, I don't think any of those names, but especially Adrienne, was on the top ten list for Rhiannon! But "Adrienne" was the top pick all along, and when she showed up 20 minutes after we got to the hospital, we were ready with a name at least. Gabrielle still says, though, that Adrienne would make a good Lucy too. And it does give you a pretty clear picture of her personality.

And her middle name also was pretty easy. Christine is my mom's name, and relatives on both sides have the same or variations on it. And, oddly enough, Rhiannon Elizabeth and Adrienne Christine have the same number of letters - 17. I hate the idea of some kind of cutesy pattern for names, like Roger Clemens' kids' names all beginning with the letter K, but it just worked out that way.

And another thing we liked about the first names - there are no obvious nicknames. Gabrielle and I both have obvious ones, but both prefer to go by the long version of our names, although we're not sticklers. But with Adrienne and Rhiannon, the default is the full version, and so far it has worked. Rhiannon used to call Adrienne "Ay-Ya", and it is still in occasional use. But luckily, Adrienne's early name for her sister, Rhi-Rhi, hasn't come up since then.

Spy Humor

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I found a site (shoutout to JoHo for the link) where our own National Security Agency will answer your questions.  Have any for them?

Dear NSA

Cocktail blogs ahoy!

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I went on a Web oddyssey and all I got in return were these links:-) I was looking for some interesting Blog Carnivals to join and before you knew it, I was wandering around in some simply fascinating cocktail blogs, with dozens of great sounding recipes - phew, I'm simply dizzy with the possibilities.  Anyway, here's a sampler of the ones I came across:

And a couple of the "Carnivals" I uncovered:

And even a new magazine to subscribe to, Imbibe. Phew!

Free Calls from Skype

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Skype has just announced that you can now make outgoing calls for free using their new software.  Yup, it doesn't look like there are any strings attached at all.  Seems to work fine, with the caveat that the incoming caller ID is strange - 000-012-3456. Very odd!  And it's a little weird to figure out how to add a new number.  When you click "Add Contact", you need to click the "link" to add a "SkypeOut contact".  Then it works fine.

The one catch is that they say it will only be free until Dec 31, 2006.  But hey, why not?

Free calls to all landlines and mobile phones within the US and Canada - Skype Blogs

Free online course from B&N

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This is pretty cool - free online course from Barnes & Noble. I haven't check them out much, and they probably have a "required reading" section (wonder why?), but hey, you can do with it as you want.  The first three in the featured course list look interesting:

Featured Courses:
. Discover Dungeons & Dragons
. From Planets to Pulsars: Astronomy Basics
. Writing Science Fiction with Gotham Writers' Workshop

I'll probably check one out.

Barnes & - Barnes & Noble University

Thanks to This Mama Cooks for the link


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