Saturday, August 22, 2009

Little Brother

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, is his first novel for young adults. First and foremost, I must congratulate him on his stupendously seamless advocation of open source software, such as Firefox, homebrew stuff, etc., and the book seemed sort of like he beamed it as a warning from a not too distant, possible future.

While it was well written, however, some things just seemed in poor taste, just 'thrown in there', so to speak. For example, certain scenes that could be deemed risque (not a good way to earn the respect for all the book stands for)just seemed tossed in at the last minute, and even if they were better executed, was it really necessary? I don't think so.
I do appreciate the way Doctorow did a "PG-13-Fade-Out-To-Black", since nothing graphic belonged in a book like that, but I honestly think that it wasn't on the whole necessary, again.
Also, he used more expletives than I have the misfortune to hear daily (ouch!) and again, I didn't like that, 'twas unnecessary.
But back to what I liked. I absolutely loved the very idea of Xnet, being an Xbox 360 owner (mine just gave me the RRoD) and although changing the OS on my 360 isn't quite what I'm looking for (*COUGH* voided warranty*COUGH*Sony PS3 comes with Linux*COUGH*) I think that something along those lines is quite smart!
I also appreciate how he licensed the book itself, it's available to download for free. You also retain the right to 'remix' it, so I intend on changing a couple chapter, and I'll let you be the judge on what you prefer.
Also, here's a good Bibliography if you would like to do some of the things from the book.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It still matters

It still matters
By Jourdan Cameron
Dedicated to the 22nd wedding anniversary of Krystol and Deirdre Cameron

“The year was a dismal one. I’d tell you what it was, but I can’t quite remember properly what year it is now. Ever since, well, the reversal incident, we haven’t had time to focus on much years, or dates. Time has become relative, as our dying world lies enshrouded in frost. The few surviving plants and animals sustain us, but other than that, all is bleak.
The incident, you would like to know? It was a perfect, perfect day it occurred, that much I’ll let you know. The day it occurred, we humans, were at our zenith. All our technology, our pride, our joy and our love, everything was perfect. Until the incident. Suddenly, with the power- or perhaps without, our main source of energy just gone, in such a random, cataclysmic celestial event. I will never forget the sky that day, the beautiful colors I saw, but it was all gone.”
The traveler turned his wind burned face to his children, as he went on.
“But, we weren’t at a true zenith. We were destroying, sending so many things extinct. And yet, on the day of that reversal, I committed to a certain someone. Your mother. Now, every year, that fateful day is marked by a flare, in the sky. Who launches it, nobody knows. Yet, it marks something special; our anniversary.”
The traveler walked out of his tent into the coldness to see his wife stooped over, collecting the dull little plants that sustained their life. “My love” he said, instantly perking up her ears, as if by magic. “M-m-my love? I haven’t heard you say that since-” “Since our wedding day” he finished. She turned around to kiss him. Her face was as afflicted as his. The energy reversal had reversed all polarity, destroying technology left, right and center. It also triggered a massive global cooling, affecting people in ways they weren’t expecting to be affected!
The traveler spoke again.
“I want you to remember that no matter what happens, you’ll always be my wife”
“And you my husband” she said, giggling at their inside joke.
“These last years have been difficult” he went on “and I just wanted you to know that I’ll never stop loving you, though it may seem that way. No matter how few our crops yield, I shall be your husband forever. I promise, I shall protect and cherish you until I die.”
“Well, I should hope so! And I promise that I’ll try and understand when the hunt runs low, alright?” replied his wife.
For a moment, they started babbling incoherently about food. Then, they looked into each others eyes. The world stopped. The food didn’t matter. The power didn’t matter. They had each other. That was all that mattered.
“No, that’s mine!” came a small voice from the tent.
And of course, the children mattered as well!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

War is Kind

I found the poem "War is Kind", by Stephen Crane, to be very interesting because of how used a title opposite the meaning of his poem. Crane explained the essence of war- the pain that is experienced, the "field where a thousand corpses lie." He showed just how ghastly a thing war is, to see people lying dead on the ground.
"Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
Do not weep.
War is kind."
Stephen Crane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He pretty much summed up how terribly you may die, the horrors you see thus proving that war is not kind!
His poem can be found here:
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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Colors of the Red Badge of Courage

In chapter two of the Red Badge of Courage, I think that Crane perfectly embodied the feeling of the sun, "The rushing yellow of the developing day went on behind their backs."Just as the sun bring in warm light that rushes, it seems to envelop you like warm chapter six, "He became like the man who lost his legs at the approach of the red and green monster", I'm not entirely sure of the emotion Crane was trying to invoke with the colors red and green, though red could be representative of rage. The green, however, I'm unsure of. Perhaps this "monster" was one that didn't fit together. Green is a calm, collected color, it can be excited, yet not infuriated, unlike red. When mixed together, however, it's a representation of a powerful, unstoppable force! The sheer power of rage, anger, hatred, passion, yet the collected control of green, preventing this monstrosity from ripping itself apart! The green and red monster, unstoppable, thus, running will do you no good, you will be the man without legs.In chapter 24, "Those performances which had been witnessed by his fellows marched now in wide purple and gold", would suggest a sort of regal majesty, since purple and gold are colors associated with royalty.All in all, Cranes brilliant use of colors throughout the book create a vivid mental picture, a powerful, surreal, almost, feelings are welled up. This book wells up deep emotion, and makes you look at the natural world in a whole new way, because regardless of human transgression, life goes on, even if it isn't human.
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Monday, August 03, 2009

What make someone a hero?

In my eyes, it is this.
The hero isn't the one who runs past a thousand arrows for valor, but the one who leaps before a single spear in loyalty. I think that someone is a hero, by deed and by thought. What is in the heart of a hero matters more than what is in the body of one. A hero could be a paraplegic. In my eyes, a hero is one who does what is right. I remember quite well the day I lost my wallet. It was a rather gray, cloudy day, the sun refused to shine as I walked across a field, and yet took quite a tumble. I hadn't realized it, but as I stood up, I was about four ounces lighter. I left the field, and when I arrived home, I felt the inside of my pants. Something wasn't there. My wallet was gone! A thousand ways it could have left crossed my mind. I searched my home, my car, and my clothing high and low but I could not find my wallet. I was rather disappointed, though not crushed, however, since I didn't have any money inside it. A few days later, I received a rather bloated yellow packet addressed to me. At this point, I hadn't much clue what it was (I had already forgotten about my wallet) and I decided to open it up. At this point in the story, I think you know what happened. I opened the package, and my wallet was inside. I was excited, and grateful to whoever chose to return, happy there had been somebody noble enough. I realized that there was money in my wallet (two dollars) which I was happy to regain. I looked around on the package for a sender, and examined the enclosed note. However, none was to be found.
The anonymous person who returned my wallet was a hero in my eyes. To this day, I have not heard from that person. No reward was ever requested in any way, shape, or form. I didn't have to worry about shipping fees, nor was anything missing. That anonymous person was a hero.
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