Lately I’ve been paying a bit more attention to grouping together photo galleries on this blog rather than simply pointing offsite to my Flickr albums, with more than 11,700 photos. I did a test run of two WordPress plug-ins in my photo galleries here and thought I’d share the results. [Read more…] about Envira vs. Essential Grid for image galleries
Author: Michael C. Grumley
My rating: ☆☆☆☆½
Release date: March 6, 2013 on Amazon
Ihave a break in my schedule, so I’m reviewing a number of suspense novels that I’ve been reading over the past year. I finally got to Michael C. Grumley’s first entry in his four-part “Breakthrough” series. [Read more…] about Book review: Michael Grumley’s ‘Breakthrough’
Title: No Exit
Author: Taylor Adams
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Release date: June 25, 2017 (Joffe Books) on Amazon
On my cruise to Central America last month, I loaded up my Kindle Paperwhite with a dozen suspense novels, nearly all of them by independent authors. The story that stays with me one month later is that of the protagonist in “No Exit.” [Read more…] about Book review: ‘No Exit’ (thriller)
Game of Thrones, Mad Men, True Detectives top the list
We’re living in perhaps the greatest era of creativity on the small screen* — and that extends not just to TV dramas and comedies but to TV shows’ title sequences, or opening credits, as well. (* TV news? Not so much.)
The top TV opening credits match the mood of the series — perhaps atmospheric, perhaps brooding or avant-garde. They convey a bit of Eye of God context or backstory. Sometimes they impart sly insider bonus that only regular viewers will catch. The best ones not only are visually arresting but connect on a visceral level. They make you feel — awe, dread, wonder, compassion, moral judgment.
I’ve put together this personal list of my 10 favorite TV opens of all time. See if you agree or disagree with these picks, or share your own favorites! [Read more…] about 10 top TV show opening credits of all time
Aquick techie post here for WordPress aficionados. Back in August 2016, WordPress made a major update with version 4.6. One change that I abhorred — given that I’m a writer who’s accustomed to crafting blog posts in a standard sans-serif font — was the reversion in the admin dashboard to an ugly serif system font.
So, for my five WordPress sites, I asked my developer, David Davis, to bring an Open Sans or Verdana look back to my dashboard. (Note that none of this is visible to the public, only to the author.) [Read more…] about How to change fonts in a WordPress dashboard
Title: “A Crack in Creation”
Authors: Jennifer A. Doudna & Samuel H. Sternberg
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: June 13, 2017 on Amazon
More often than not, it’s difficult to determine which new titles will have staying power 10, 20 or 50 years from now. But “A Crack in Creation” deserves to be on any short list of decidedly important nonfiction books of 2017.
The reason is not simply because of the authors’ pedigree — co-author Jennifer Doudna is credited as the chief pioneer behind CRISPR, the potentially world-changing gene-editing technique. The book’s impact is also buttressed by the authors’ scientific rigor, deeply felt passion, and understanding of the world-changing consequences of their research.
Doudna and Sternberg’s “A Crack in Creation” is two books in one. The first third is a short primer on genetic engineering and the scientists who’ve advanced the science over the years. While the attention to detail and footnote-rich documentation is commendable, the lay reader will be forgiven if she skips through some of the dry backstory to get to the good stuff in the remaining two-thirds of the book. Because few of us have yet to reckon with the significant issues raised by the recent breakthroughs in CRISPR research, which only came to light in 2012. [Read more…] about Book review: ‘A Crack in Creation’
Chart lists changes under Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Want to know how the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects you? I’m no fan of the new law — I’m middle class, own a home and live in the San Francisco area so will be paying considerably more — but this post won’t be about how monumentally unfair the bill is to tens of millions of Americans.
Instead, it’s an item by item look at how the massive overhaul of the tax code will change not just how we file but how we spend and invest starting Jan. 1, 2018. [Read more…] about Changes to tax code starting Jan. 1, 2018
Ibought my first drone one year ago this month and, although I haven’t flown it as much as I’d like, the DJI Phantom 4 offers some of the most eye-popping visuals I’ve captured in 2017.
I try to head down to the Flying Drones for Fun meetup in Sunnyvale each month to get a little better at the controls and to meet fellow drone enthusiasts. (The next event is Jan. 20 on Treasure Island.) [Read more…] about Drone imagery & drone meetups