Book, Film, Gadget

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Review: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

I'd put off reading The Windup Girl for a while as I'd seen mixed reviews, but finally a review on slashdot convinced me to give it a go.

Blakes 7 retrospective and thoughts on fandom

I was 11 years old when Blake's 7 first appeared on British TV and I still remember the buzz it caused. The only competing science fiction shows of the time were Star Trek and Doctor Who and Blake's 7 captured the imagination of a generation. I even remember the headmaster at my junior school using Blakes 7 as an example of something during one assembly (although I can no longer remember the point the headmaster was trying to make).

Dell mini 10v netbook (mini review)

I spend about 3 hours commuting most working days and although this gives me plenty of time to catchup on my technical reading I've been thinking that it would be good to have a small laptop/netbook so I could do some coding too. I've tried using my work 15" Dell Precision laptop for this but it's too big for the cramped tube seats so I've been looking for a small and cheap "commute compute" device. I finally decided to give the Dell mini 10v a try.

Review: District 9

I hadn’t heard anything about District 9 apart from it involved aliens on Earth before watching it but I’m pleased that I succumbed to the impulse to watch the film.

Review: Olympus E-P1 PEN Digital Camera

Olympus have recently launched a new camera called the E-P1 or PEN - it’s a digital version of the original PEN which was released in 1959. It’s somewhere between a compact and a DSLR - like an SLR it’s possible to change lenses but there is no view finder so you use it more like a compact.

Ghene Snowdon had an E-P1 to review and I was able to prise it away from her for a day or so and form my own impressions.

Review: The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

The main ideas behind the book can be summed up pretty simply:

  • Life is too short to spend doing something you don’t like
  • Why wait until retirement to do something more enjoyable?

Tim’s method for enabling you to have a more fulfilling life is basically:

Review: The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World by Alister McGrath

I read this book shortly after finishing "God is not great" by Christopher Hitchens and the two books make an interesting pair. I found it fascinating to compare each’s arguments and also the respective styles in which the books are written.

Review: God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens

I enjoyed reading this book - Hitchens does reasonable job of debunking some of the major tenets of the major religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. He is pretty even handed they all get a pounding.

Review: Princess by Jean P. Sasson

I actually read the French version of this book (the French version is titled "Sultana") but I guess the English version should be pretty much the same - in any case I’ve put French and English links below.

If bigotry, racism, cruelty, hypocrisy and shear human stupidity make you angry then this book is likely to leave you feeling furious that such injustice is allowed to exist in the world. Saudi Arabian society, as described in this book, seems to have cruelty and misogyny as its founding principles.

Review: Watchmen

It was thanks to the film that I discovered the graphic novel. I’m not normally into graphic novels and so I hadn’t heard of Watchmen until I saw the trailer a few months ago.

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