Book Review: Spiderwick Chronicles

This set of children’s books is about to release as a feature film starring Freddy Highmore, who, I’m sure, will do a super job. Our eldest first found the Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, and being in the middle of an all-things-fairy phase, latched on to the gorgeous illustrations and interesting descriptions. As I often do, I borrowed the books in the five volume set to read ahead and get a sense of whether they were appropriate for her age and reading level. Where the Guide itself is terrific, the actual stories are rather simple and a bit of a disappointment.

Book Review: The Sling and the Stone

I find military history and theory interesting to read, not because I’m particularly militaristic but because they discuss applying limited resources in particular ways to meet tactical challenges. It may seem a stretch to say that you can learn about insurgent military tactics and apply them to business, but as I read this book by Col. Thomas X. Hammes (USMC, ret’d.), it continually reminded me that non-military organizations have to constantly adapt tactics and take a long-term perspective, even backing off an advance, in order to be successful.

Bookmarks and Caffeine Lead to Starbucks Wordle Mug

I was given a Starbucks mug some time ago that has a removable paper template that you can cover with photos or other content to make the mug more personal. For a long time, I kept a collection of family photos, cropped and printed in color on the paper template, in the mug. But I have been playing around with Wordle, the online tool that is well-known for the word clouds it can create. I was curious about what the output of my bookmarks would look like as a Wordle word cloud. Then I realized, this might be a nice new way to personalize my Starbucks mug.

Creating a Book Cover Photomosaic

You won’t ever see my photograph on the Web replaced by a small kitten or flower or baby’s face, like some people do. But I have been thinking about having something less stiff than a standard cropped head for my avatars and profile photos on sites like Twitter, Gravatar, etc. That’s why I was excited to see David Louis Edelman’s post on his blog about using Librarything covers as a basis for a photomosaic. It’s easy and can be done with any type of image folder, although his instructions are for the cataloging, book loving types.