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Showing posts from July, 2014

Even Death May Die

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Death - a tall, cloaked figure carrying a scythe; one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; a skeleton with the ability to separate your soul from your body; the last, great unknown of everyone's life...   Death fills American culture as we contemplate and debate what happens after someone finishes living.

Do people have souls?
Do the souls go on to some eternal reward or punishment?
Do souls get a chance to live again?
Or are we made up of star stuff?
Do our bodies contribute to the circle of life with their decomposition?
Do we just not exist anymore?

Regardless, death is one of the few processes or activities that we cannot undo.  There is no way to make someone alive again, no restitution to pay for a wrongful death.  Money, land, possessions - nothing can compensate someone for their death.  The logical conclusion from this is that we, as a society, need to preserve life whenever possible, because we cannot restore a person to life.

This begs the question - why do we,…

Happy Tuesday! July 22, 2014

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Okay, so the world is again a crazy place to be.  The Middle East continues to be a violent area with wars between, well..., everyone.  The European Union faces more challenges in how to handle the situation in the Ukraine, because no one wants to start another war on Russian soil.  But it almost feels as though Putin is banking on people's unwillingness to war to push the situation as far as he can - and then push a little more.  As for the United States, between the TSA producing security theater to compensate (figuratively), the NSA spying on American citizens while trying to spin the invasion of privacy as a good thing, the government not taking care of our soldiers and veterans again, and GM recalling so many models of car I'm surprised whenever I see one on the road...the US is messed up.

So today, we're going to step back from the negativity and look as some funny and heartwarming news.

First, the funny.  Last week, some police in Kentucky arrested a 29-year-old man…

A New Mix from AudioTool

I found this online site called audiotool that lets anyone mix together tracks and use special effects to create new music. Here's my latest effort. I warn you, it's house music. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday: Artist Jkuo on deviantArt

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Book Review: "A Shade of Vampire" by Bella Forest

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A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"A Shade of Vampire" is the first in a series of books about a young woman, Sofia, kidnapped by vampires and stuck in the middle of a prophesy. I suggest you read the description here for a good synopsis of the book.

I, well, I've read reviews praising this book as a herald to the next vampire book dynasty. I've also read reviews panning the book as the worst piece of drivel ever written. I find both viewpoints a bit extreme.

The plot here is a bit convoluted, though if you read more books I assume that the various threads will become more clear. The author, Bella Forest, clearly has a bigger picture in mind as she writes, because the outline of a larger story arc looms over this book. Sometimes this works well, and sometimes it falls flat, leaving you wondering what's going on.

The characters are all over the place in terms of depth and scope. Some feel like stock good guys and bad guys, and some …

Book Review: "Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab..." by Bog Pflugfelder

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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself by Bob Pflugfelder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab" is an interesting combination of story-telling and science experiment. The book begins with two siblings, Nick and Tesla, arriving at their uncle's house for the summer because their parents got called away on business. During the story, the kids make friends in the neighborhood, investigate an odd house with hostile occupants, and solve a local mystery. Nick and Tesla learn that not everything is as it seems.

The story itself is quite simple, and the characters are not quite three dimensional. Nick and Tesla argue a bit; their uncle is clueless; and their new friends instantly adopt them as leaders. You can feel the author stretching for more, but missing the mark by a hair.

But there are more books already written in the series, and I assume th…