Sunday, 31 May 2015

Random Round-Up (May)

Calibre — Another wonderful software find, recommended by my friend Dylan. I use a Sony E-reader and before now it's always insisted on sorting both 'Arthur Conan Doyle' and 'Douglas Adams' under 'A' when I organise my library by author. This is quite annoying, as it means I have to remember which books follow which convention if I want to find them. More annoying is that it lists two of the books by 'Kristin Cashore' under 'K' and one under 'C'. Unlike my audiobooks, I've never been able to find a way to edit the author field, or the title, so I've just had to put up with it. Now, though, everything is sorted handily by Author's surname, as I'd prefer, and I can even rename books so that series will show up in the correct order! I can finally get rid of the post-it in the back cover that lists the published order of the Sherlock Holmes stories! Amazing how such a small thing can make such a difference to my enthusiasm towards my e-reader. 

HintHunt — Is a real life room escape game. I went with people from work. A team of five of us were locked in a normal Japanese living room in a building in the middle of London and given 60 minutes to escape. There were padlocks, there were keys, there were hidden codes and clues. The second-most exciting moment was when the screen we'd thought was a wall slid back to reveal a second room. The most exciting moment was when we escaped with only 40 seconds to spare! The HintHunt employees (who were great) told us that the quickest the room has ever been escaped was in 53 minutes, so you definitely get your money's worth no matter how quick and clever you are. I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys puzzles and team work. 

The Laidly Beast — I actually came upon this Scottish fairytale a couple of years ago, but I rediscovered it this month. It's hilariously weirdly written and well worth a read for that reason alone. I'll leave you with a quotation to show the kind of thing you're getting into:
He was a strong lad no doubt, powerful and fearless, but seeing his father hesitate, he bade him go to the smithy and ask the ironsmith to forge a sword of superior blade. The fisherman returned with a sword which he gave to his son. The young lad gripped the sword and sliced the air with it but the blade shattered under his wield, into a hundred fragments. The second time, his father returned with a mightier blade and the young lad gripped the sword and sliced the air with it but this time the blade broke into two halves...


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