Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remembering Dian Fossey (1932 - 1985)


Dian Fossey Mountain Gorillas
Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey dedicated her life to saving the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas. Her conservation efforts clashed with the interests of wildlife poachers and corrupt bureaucrats. Dian was murdered on this day in 1985. Her murder still remains unsolved.

RIP Dian. You were the best!

Dian Fossey Mountain Gorillas
Dian Fossey with one of her favorite Gorillas

To learn more about Dian and how you can contribute to saving this magnificent species, please visit 
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.



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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection - Free Download


Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection - Free Download


Click here to download the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.



Click here to download the free kindle version of complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review: APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch


APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

Many people love reading books but few of us know the hardships that authors face in the long journey that starts with their putting down their thoughts electronically/on paper.

This book offers an author’s perspective on the publishing industry and what factors go into making each decision in the publishing cycle. Authors make considerable sacrifices to give us the end product. The book provides an honest look at the hard and gritty reality of the publishing industry.

Click on the link below to buy the book:


But would-be authors need not fret – the latest book from Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch gives us a comprehensive tour into the publishing cycle. Guy and Shawn have coined a new term: Artisanal Publishing. Here is a sampling of the topics covered:

  • Writing tools to create content
  • Tips to proofread the finished product
  • Raising money to finance the whole process
  • How to convert our script in the Word document to the format of eBook resellers
  • Reaching the customers through online book resellers or direct sales or author-services companies
  • How to sell directly to readers
  • International translation of books and audiobook versions
  • How to take steps to precautions against frauds and rip-offs
  • The need to check up with relevant authorities about taxes and legal requirements.
No book on self-publishing or eBooks can be complete without a detailed look at Amazon.com, the online retailing giant. I do not have the statistics on hand but Amazon’s Kindle is probably the most popular and the bestselling eBook reader. There is much more to Amazon and a separate chapter appropriately titled “How to Navigate the Amazon” is focused on the wide services and features provided by Amazon.

As a bibliophile, I enjoyed the chapter on the history of publishing. It was very informative and gave a good insight into the technological changes that have happened over the passage of time.


Guy Kawasaki APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
Guy Kawasaki
The book is extremely well-researched and has numerous links (or “Hat-tip” to quote Guy) to source materials. This lends a high degree of credibility to the book (and the authors).

I also liked the chapter on how to price one’s book. Specifically, I liked the pricing philosophies suggested by the authors. I also learnt a couple of new things – using serial commas, and the meaning and importance of ISBNs.



The techniques advocated by Guy and Shawn are applicable not only to book writing but also to blogging. Each blog post can be compared to a book chapter. I was humbled to know that I have been practicing a few of these methods. One example: I follow the second school of thought, when it comes to revising mistakes. I would leave it to the readers to learn more from the book itself!


Shawn Welch APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
Shawn Welch
In a nutshell: The book contains a wealth of practical information. In addition to the numerous tips and techniques from Guy, the book lists a number of online resources that can be utilized right away. The best part is that many of these resources are free of charge.

I would recommend the book to aspiring authors, bloggers and bibliophiles.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The Dark Knight and the Legendary Detective face off in an epic showdown:


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Saturday, December 15, 2012

TV Review: Elementary Episode # 10 - "The Leviathan"


Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in Elementary Episode # 10 The Leviathan
Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes

After a couple of particularly weak episodes, Elementary makes a rare comeback. This episode is not great by any stretch of imagination, but is not the mediocre fare that I have become used to.

A supposedly uncrack-able bank vault called “The Leviathan” is breached and Sherlock is hired by Micah Erlich (Reg Rogers) to catch the culprits. A bunch of clues and some customary character development scenes and Sherlock has solved the case successfully!

The problem with this episode (and the show in general) is not that it is terrible. It is just that it is not terribly exciting and is in fact quite predictable … and these factors do not bode well for a mystery based show, least of all one that is supposed to be based on a certain Bohemian English detective.

Click on the link below to buy your copy of Season 1:



Canonical references
  1. The bank theft by 4 guys reminded me of the story - The Resident Patient, which had a similar plot.
  2. “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” – This is hands down my all-time favorite Sherlock Holmes quote. Elementary is on to this secret somehow as the quote was repeated at least 3 times!
  3. Miller’s Holmes quotes the following line almost verbatim from The Red-Headed League: “I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of everyday life.”
  4. Miller’s Holmes displays his knowledge about a certain species of flies that feeds on corpses - A nice nod to A Study in Scarlet where Watson makes a list about the topics on which Holmes either displays astonishing levels of expertise or is just plain ignorant.
  5. Joan Watson is fast asleep on the bed and is roused out of her sleep by Holmes. In the Canon, it has happened in many cases – either due to the sudden visit by a client (The Adventure of the Speckled Band) or after Holmes has had a sudden brainwave (The Man with the Twisted Lip).
  6. Miller’s Holmes is not sure about the rates for a job that he estimates will take 2 hours to complete. In The Problem of Thor Bridge, Holmes states: “My professional charges are upon a fixed scale... I do not vary them, save when I remit them altogether.”
  7. Miller’s Holmes notices some expensive paintings when waiting to meet a suspect. In The Valley of Fear, Holmes mentions to Inspector MacDonald about noticing a very expensive painting in Professor Moriarty’s study. I agree that this is quite far-fetched, but still stuck out to me strongly enough that I decided to put it down. May be, it is the hopeless fan inside me, trying my best to find something exciting in an admittedly dull show.

Lucy Liu as Joan Watson in Elementary Episode # 10 The Leviathan
Lucy Liu as Joan Watson
We also learn some new things about Miller’s Holmes:
  1. He hires consultants with highly specialized skills, such as lock picking or decrypting code written in Malbolge, an esoteric programming language.
  2. He plays piano with considerable level of expertise.
  3. He does not drink.
As we have seen in the previous episodes, we have a customary subplot: A dinner meeting with Joan Watson’s family – her brother Oren Watson (Steve Park) and his girlfriend Gabrielle Harper (Jennifer Kim) and Joan’s mother, Mary Watson (Freda Foh Shen). As readers familiar with the Canon will remember, Watson’s brother is mentioned briefly in The Sign of Four.

Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in Elementary Episode # 10 The Leviathan
Jennifer Kim as Gabrielle Harper

Holmes praises Joan’s contributions to his work and his recovery from drugs. Later we come to know that Holmes was actually being economical with truth and was just telling things that Joan’s family wanted to hear.

The mystery element had a good twist in the end. On the whole, a passable way to spend one’s time.

Trivia
Holmes plays the song “Scenes of Childhood: I. of Foreign Lands and People” by Robert Schumann on the piano.



Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in Elementary Episode # 10 The Leviathan
Reg Rogers as Micah Erlich

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Image Source: CBS

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Benedict Cumberbatch nominated for Golden Globe awards


Benedict Cumberbatch BBC Sherlock nominated for Golden Globes


The nominees for the 2013 Golden Globe Awards have been announced and Benedict Cumberbatch has been nominated for best actor in a mini-series or motion picture made for television.

I am not a big fan of the way Irene Adler and Moriarty are portrayed in the BBC series. The show's depiction of Sherlock Holmes as a "high-functioning sociopath" is also markedly different from the Canonical version.

Benedict was pretty consistent in his performance and it was surprising when he did not receive a BAFTA for either of the seasons.

Here's wishing that Benedict wins the award. He deserves it!

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Image Source: Fanpop

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Official Trailer: Christopher Nolan's Man of Steel (2013)


Henry Cavill Clark Kent Superman Christopher Nolan Man of Steel

Check out the official trailer for the upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne and Michael Shannon.

Produced by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy) and directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), the movie has Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight trilogySherlock Holmes) scoring the music.

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Image Source: IMDB

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Hilarious review of Elementary Episode # 9 - "You Do It to Yourself"


Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson Elementary Episode # 9 You Do It To Yourself
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson

Click here to check out a very interesting review of the latest episode of Elementary.

Click on the link below to buy your copy of Season 1:



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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Announcement Trailer: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)



Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness

Check out the announcement trailer for the upcoming movie Star Trek Into Darkness, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and others.


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Image Source: IGN

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dogs learn to drive a car in New Zealand - True story!


A charity in New Zealand is teaching rescued dogs how to drive a car.



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