izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been a busy little serpent. When not slinking about the city attending assorted culture vulture events or watching the full moon rising over the river, been pottering about in Cyberia doing studious stuff or making lame attempts to catch up on ridiculous amounts of tempting books.

Present reads include "Turing's Vision - the birth of computer science (as part of an ongoing ambition to finally make sense of some of one of my favorite books of all time "Godel, Escher, Bach - an eternal golden braid" and "The Quiet Revolution" - a book about introverts which happen to be on loan from libraries or friends which of course makes them much higher priorities than the stash of interesting stuff in the Lair. A recent mud map sort of stock take led to the scary realization that there are books in every room of the Lair except the bathroom and loo.

Then there are a couple of online courses. I learned the hard way not to be too greedy with those. The inner masochist is still doing a Python language computer course which is nowhere as good as the other offerings on the same subject from Coursera. Both lecturers are boring and creepy but it's a case of 'use it or lose it' and proof positive that there's nothing like repetition and practice for learning most things.

The second course Living at the Nuclear Brink is more a nostalgic indulgence and an inspiration for dystopian apocalyptic fiction. But now the odds are decreasingly in favour of the Clown Prince ever getting those chubby little fingers on the red button in the White House, then it is more of an idle curiosity. But it is seriously scary to watch lectures where one of the regulars has a creepy beard worthy of Seneca Crane and turns out to be (as I suspected) one of those crazy scientists who has devoted his life to building those nasty nukes at the labs of Los Alamos.

On Saturday I went to a mini convention called "Create Chaos" devoted to the dark art of comics and graphic novels with lots of folks selling their wares including the very ominous soundingMysteria Maxima Media associated with a local artistic Aleister Crowley acolyte.
I got a proper peek at the first instalment of their supervillain series and The Beast has his Mark all over it ;)

Apparently the comic community have created their own version of Nanowrimo where they set out to produce a 24 page comic in 24 hours or 8 pages in 8 hours for the somewhat less ambitious. That seems infinitely more daunting than 50,000 words in a whole 30 days.

So with all this inspiration, there should be no shortage of ideas for Nanowrimo in spite of being still completely clueless and plotless concerning November's story. I still haven't even decided yet on a suitable tarot deck for inspiration. I guess the question to ask is
What would Donald choose?

This week the serpent is going to be uberorganized and will not miss a single minute of the melt down that will be the third debate. After the second one - it certainly looks like the Trump's drug of choice was Viagra.
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (Roz)
Izzie has been a busy little serpent. When not slinking about the city attending assorted culture vulture events or watching the full moon rising over the river, been pottering about in Cyberia doing studious stuff or making lame attempts to catch up on ridiculous amounts of tempting books.

Present reads include "Turing's Vision - the birth of computer science (as part of an ongoing ambition to finally make sense of some of one of my favorite books of all time "Godel, Escher, Bach - an eternal golden braid" and "The Quiet Revolution" - a book about introverts which happen to be on loan from libraries or friends which of course makes them much higher priorities than the stash of interesting stuff in the Lair. A recent mud map sort of stock take led to the scary realization that there are books in every room of the Lair except the bathroom and loo.

Then there are a couple of online courses. I learned the hard way not to be too greedy with those. The inner masochist is still doing a Python language computer course which is nowhere as good as the other offerings on the same subject from Coursera. Both lecturers are boring and creepy but it's a case of 'use it or lose it' and proof positive that there's nothing like repetition and practice for learning most things.

The second course Living at the Nuclear Brink is more a nostalgic indulgence and an inspiration for dystopian apocalyptic fiction. But now the odds are decreasingly in favour of the Clown Prince ever getting those chubby little fingers on the red button in the White House, then it is more of an idle curiosity. But it is seriously scary to watch lectures where one of the regulars has a creepy beard worthy of Seneca Crane and turns out to be (as I suspected) one of those crazy scientists who has devoted his life to building those nasty nukes at the labs of Los Alamos.

On Saturday I went to a mini convention called "Create Chaos" devoted to the dark art of comics and graphic novels with lots of folks selling their wares including the very ominous soundingMysteria Maxima Media associated with a local artistic Aleister Crowley acolyte.
I got a proper peek at the first instalment of their supervillain series and The Beast has his Mark all over it ;)

Apparently the comic community have created their own version of Nanowrimo where they set out to produce a 24 page comic in 24 hours or 8 pages in 8 hours for the somewhat less ambitious. That seems infinitely more daunting than 50,000 words in a whole 30 days.

So with all this inspiration, there should be no shortage of ideas for Nanowrimo in spite of being still completely clueless and plotless concerning November's story. I still haven't even decided yet on a suitable tarot deck for inspiration. I guess the question to ask is
What would Donald choose?

This week the serpent is going to be uberorganized and will not miss a single minute of the melt down that will be the third debate. After the second one - it certainly looks like the Trump's drug of choice was Viagra.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has finally slinked out of the dungeons. The days of slaving over a steaming keyboard are now over. I lingered for a day or so before trading in the pretty green skin for the purple banner of Nanowrimo victory.

The slow and steady plodding has finally paid off. The muses dropped by once or twice during the whole first three weeks before gate crashing the party on Monday. They've been hanging around ever since providing inspiration from the unlikeliest places.

So much nasty awful stuff has been going on in the real world. They made my own attempts at inventing a nihilistic death cult look exceedingly pathetic indeed. It's just as well the wannabee writers are not running the world. It would be a whole lot worse than it already is.

After all "Only Trouble is interesting"

I gave in to the temptation of buying a particularly wicked and twisted collection of writing prompts but still not worked out how to get the thing out of the Kindle Cloud and on to the crappy little tablet.

I will be saving this special stash of nasties for the new year since it would only have been a distraction in November.

Having proved that the inner serpent can churn out the words given a deadline, the next step is to master the dark art of finishing stuff and putting it out there. The inner critic is not amused at that appalling idea.

So now it's time to go sniffing, snooping and shopping in MOOC land again. This time last year I had started a fascinating course on Terrorism and Counter terrorism but had to drop it half way due to unexpected events and overseas adventures.

So many courses are now available all year round to do at your own pace including that one but one thing I have learned from Nanowrimo is that there's nothing quite so motivating as an external deadline.

Just slinked over to Coursera to take a quick peek. Looks like they've nuked all the old records from the golden days of the Freebies. (They didn't but just made them very hard to find)

Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.
izmeina: a snippet of Escher's circle of serpents (escher)
Izzie has finally slinked out of the dungeons. The days of slaving over a steaming keyboard are now over. I lingered for a day or so before trading in the pretty green skin for the purple banner of Nanowrimo victory.

The slow and steady plodding has finally paid off. The muses dropped by once or twice during the whole first three weeks before gate crashing the party on Monday. They've been hanging around ever since providing inspiration from the unlikeliest places.

So much nasty awful stuff has been going on in the real world. They made my own attempts at inventing a nihilistic death cult look exceedingly pathetic indeed. It's just as well the wannabee writers are not running the world. It would be a whole lot worse than it already is.

After all "Only Trouble is interesting"

I gave in to the temptation of buying a particularly wicked and twisted collection of writing prompts but still not worked out how to get the thing out of the Kindle Cloud and on to the crappy little tablet.

I will be saving this special stash of nasties for the new year since it would only have been a distraction in November.

Having proved that the inner serpent can churn out the words given a deadline, the next step is to master the dark art of finishing stuff and putting it out there. The inner critic is not amused at that appalling idea.

So now it's time to go sniffing, snooping and shopping in MOOC land again. This time last year I had started a fascinating course on Terrorism and Counter terrorism but had to drop it half way due to unexpected events and overseas adventures.

So many courses are now available all year round to do at your own pace including that one but one thing I have learned from Nanowrimo is that there's nothing quite so motivating as an external deadline.

Just slinked over to Coursera to take a quick peek. Looks like they've nuked all the old records from the golden days of the Freebies. (They didn't but just made them very hard to find)

Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.
izmeina: (Don't panic)
It's strange to think that ten years ago I had a laptop but no internet but still managed to post far more than now when Cyberia is just a couple of clicks away. Even October 2014 had more posts than this month and back then there was the rather significant distraction of an online Python programming course which often had this serpent slaving over a hot keyboard at 2 in the morning desperately tweeking some sad and pathetic attempt at the weekly assignments.

This year there is the rather less rigorous "Science of Happiness" online course which consists of a whole lot of videos and a bunch of multiple choice questions each week.
I'm 4 weeks behind schedule but as everything is due by 24th November it is not yet a big deal. The moral of the story is that no matter how good one's intentions and willingness to learn, serpent nature dictates that homework will be submitted as near to the deadline as possible.

I've since discovered that the Edx certificates proclaim that a student has passed the requirements of such and such a course without giving details of the actual grade. Pity because I was rather amused by the 110% I got in the Superheroes and popular culture course. That magnificent number is nowhere to be seen on the certificate.

Soon the latest Nanowrimo adventure begins and there will be even less squiggling in Cyberia during November unless I set aside a section for warm ups.

In the meantime, still searching for the perfect Nano cafe for squiggling, plotting and planning away from the Big Mac keyboard.
izmeina: (Don't panic)
It's strange to think that ten years ago I had a laptop but no internet but still managed to post far more than now when Cyberia is just a couple of clicks away. Even October 2014 had more posts than this month and back then there was the rather significant distraction of an online Python programming course which often had this serpent slaving over a hot keyboard at 2 in the morning desperately tweeking some sad and pathetic attempt at the weekly assignments.

This year there is the rather less rigorous "Science of Happiness" online course which consists of a whole lot of videos and a bunch of multiple choice questions each week.
I'm 4 weeks behind schedule but as everything is due by 24th November it is not yet a big deal. The moral of the story is that no matter how good one's intentions and willingness to learn, serpent nature dictates that homework will be submitted as near to the deadline as possible.

I've since discovered that the Edx certificates proclaim that a student has passed the requirements of such and such a course without giving details of the actual grade. Pity because I was rather amused by the 110% I got in the Superheroes and popular culture course. That magnificent number is nowhere to be seen on the certificate.

Soon the latest Nanowrimo adventure begins and there will be even less squiggling in Cyberia during November unless I set aside a section for warm ups.

In the meantime, still searching for the perfect Nano cafe for squiggling, plotting and planning away from the Big Mac keyboard.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been a bad bad serpent. Those resolutions to adopt no new books after the serpent birthday did not last long. It's hardly surprising when one of the day jobs involves sorting, pricing and shelving books in a charity shop. Truth be told, it's a bit like an alcoholic working in a bottle shop.

Only one week ago I got my paws on a big fat hardback from Paul Barry with the title "Going for Broke" which was all about the biggest baddest of the local corporate cowboys from the dark days of the 1980s.
As Warren Buffet likes to say - it's only when the tide goes out that you find out who has been swimming naked. Stock market crashes have a way of bringing down the high and mighty from their towers which often turn out to be houses of cards built on quicksand. So the October 1987 crash marked the beginning of the end for one Alan Bond and his end just happened to arrive yesterday. He died from complications following heart surgery. He made it to 77 after a miraculous 'recovery' from Alzheimers and outlives just about all his fellow high flyers, con artists and crooks.

Maybe it's schadenfreude or the inner socialist but I just love stories of goblins, lawyers and bankers especially when they got tossed from their ivory towers built on the immortal last words "Things are different this time".

Another little gem, much shabbier and the worse for wear is a very tattered battered book from 1857 with the intriguing title "Notes to the Book of Revelations" by one Alfred Barnes. The book was published in New York. Massachusetts or Vermont would have been much more interesting.

So far there has been no interesting notes or formulae scribbled in the margins in a book where one line of the original text is explained by about twenty lines of commentary.

I am so looking forward to reading the assorted theories of The Beast and its number since Aleister Crowley had not even been born at the time of publishing.

The notes could provide all sorts of inspiration for an assortment of religious cults. Along with the spooky "Lovecraft's Monsters", James Herbert's "The Rats" and another ancient resurrected tale from the local library "The King in Yellow" here is hoping that there's will be lots of ideas to snaffle and toss into the serpent's giant steaming cauldron of stories.
Now it is such a pity that we cannot add the Transpacific Partnership protocols to that reading list. It's just a bit too dark and arcane for ordinary mortal serpents.

Now why don't those nice librarians at the Miskatonic University offer some of their vast collection of delightful tomes as ebooks? The Necronomicon would look so cute on a kindle. Since they are too mean (or is it just plain old fashioned?) to even offer online courses, it looks like I will need to get my fix of online weirdness from more mundane institutions like MIT

Looking forward to a fun two months of time travel and other wicked twisted intellectual adventures.
izmeina: (oro)
Izzie has been a bad bad serpent. Those resolutions to adopt no new books after the serpent birthday did not last long. It's hardly surprising when one of the day jobs involves sorting, pricing and shelving books in a charity shop. Truth be told, it's a bit like an alcoholic working in a bottle shop.

Only one week ago I got my paws on a big fat hardback from Paul Barry with the title "Going for Broke" which was all about the biggest baddest of the local corporate cowboys from the dark days of the 1980s.
As Warren Buffet likes to say - it's only when the tide goes out that you find out who has been swimming naked. Stock market crashes have a way of bringing down the high and mighty from their towers which often turn out to be houses of cards built on quicksand. So the October 1987 crash marked the beginning of the end for one Alan Bond and his end just happened to arrive yesterday. He died from complications following heart surgery. He made it to 77 after a miraculous 'recovery' from Alzheimers and outlives just about all his fellow high flyers, con artists and crooks.

Maybe it's schadenfreude or the inner socialist but I just love stories of goblins, lawyers and bankers especially when they got tossed from their ivory towers built on the immortal last words "Things are different this time".

Another little gem, much shabbier and the worse for wear is a very tattered battered book from 1857 with the intriguing title "Notes to the Book of Revelations" by one Alfred Barnes. The book was published in New York. Massachusetts or Vermont would have been much more interesting.

So far there has been no interesting notes or formulae scribbled in the margins in a book where one line of the original text is explained by about twenty lines of commentary.

I am so looking forward to reading the assorted theories of The Beast and its number since Aleister Crowley had not even been born at the time of publishing.

The notes could provide all sorts of inspiration for an assortment of religious cults. Along with the spooky "Lovecraft's Monsters", James Herbert's "The Rats" and another ancient resurrected tale from the local library "The King in Yellow" here is hoping that there's will be lots of ideas to snaffle and toss into the serpent's giant steaming cauldron of stories.
Now it is such a pity that we cannot add the Transpacific Partnership protocols to that reading list. It's just a bit too dark and arcane for ordinary mortal serpents.

Now why don't those nice librarians at the Miskatonic University offer some of their vast collection of delightful tomes as ebooks? The Necronomicon would look so cute on a kindle. Since they are too mean (or is it just plain old fashioned?) to even offer online courses, it looks like I will need to get my fix of online weirdness from more mundane institutions like MIT

Looking forward to a fun two months of time travel and other wicked twisted intellectual adventures.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been slinking about and sniffing in the Garden of MOOC temptations. Once again there are so many tasty tempting fruits hanging from the assorted Trees of Knowledge.

Things have come a long way since the serpent's first visit to the Garden back in September 2012 (Courtesy of the Cat)
In those days Izzie was a serious serpent who did all her homework and assignments and participated in discussion forums and had lots of fun. That's not quite correct. Toadish dramas meant a couple of courses got ditched due to a complete inability to concentrate. But soon it was back to feasting and pigging out on all the online freebies.

Got to thinking that years ago I made do with Open University lectures on television Sunday mornings while living in Dublin. I was not actually doing any courses at the time but just had an insatiable curiosity about all sorts of obscure things. It was like going from plain cabbage soup to caviar. So many delightful delicacies to taste and to try.

It was necessary to learn restraint and careful selections of morsels from this buffet for eternal students. Also there's no need to fill one's plate to overflowing as repeat refills are not just allowed but actually encouraged. While the golden age of free access could not possibly last forever, more and more educational institutions would be jumping on the bandwagon and the trick would be to concentrate on the courses that are not offered on a regular basis.



The unexpected overseas adventures in December nuked a few of the courses I had planned to do or already started including Coursera's Terrorism and Counterterrorism
This course like many others is now available on a self study basis but I have found that without the commitment and regular deadlines of a class schedule, the chances of actually getting stuff done at one's own pace are remarkably low.

So then I vowed to stay away from online courses, concentrate on squiggling for Camp Nanowrimo in April as well as sorting out the clutter in the Lair. Was doing very well for a while but had neglected to get the serpent email taken off the assorted MOOC mailing lists with their tantalizing subject line "We have new courses for you".

So when tasty morsels with titles like "Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life" arrived in the inbox, they just proved too irresistible. Then another turned up designed specifically to push all my favorite buttons.
A Paradoxical Python

In the meantime, had long ago signed up to retake a programming course that I did not pass last time. More Python Puzzles I got 62% and needed 70% to pass. It has just started and for the last few weeks I have been wondering if it is best to just jump ship or to have a second attempt especially as it has been chopped up into two more manageable bite sized morsels. Now there are no more Statements of Accomplishment but only Verified Certificates (they've got to earn their money somehow) but that's not an issue for a dabbler and dilettante such as Izzie.

The course will be over in time for July's visit to Camp Nanoland.

It's taken just over a month to get cleaning and maintenance of the Lair on autopilot. Except for Monday evening which was spent over at the Dursleys, I've now got a 5 week unbroken run of cleaning and sorting rituals for 3 different days of the week. Such habits are not only brainless but the lack of thinking means that I can get more done in less time and feel a sense of achievement for finally escaping the years of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)
Now I guess it's time to adopt a similar strategy for dealing with all the assorted online temptations and online courses.

The other big adventure was today's visit to a gorgeous historical graveyard. Just the perfect place for reading monster stories and dreaming of dark grimoires. Like gazing at the stars in the night sky, wandering amongst head stones and noticing that more than 80% of them are dedicated to folks who departed this mortal coil much younger than you is a very good way to get your life in perspective.
But that is a tale for another day.
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (teapot)
Izzie has been slinking about and sniffing in the Garden of MOOC temptations. Once again there are so many tasty tempting fruits hanging from the assorted Trees of Knowledge.

Things have come a long way since the serpent's first visit to the Garden back in September 2012 (Courtesy of the Cat)
In those days Izzie was a serious serpent who did all her homework and assignments and participated in discussion forums and had lots of fun. That's not quite correct. Toadish dramas meant a couple of courses got ditched due to a complete inability to concentrate. But soon it was back to feasting and pigging out on all the online freebies.

Got to thinking that years ago I made do with Open University lectures on television Sunday mornings while living in Dublin. I was not actually doing any courses at the time but just had an insatiable curiosity about all sorts of obscure things. It was like going from plain cabbage soup to caviar. So many delightful delicacies to taste and to try.

It was necessary to learn restraint and careful selections of morsels from this buffet for eternal students. Also there's no need to fill one's plate to overflowing as repeat refills are not just allowed but actually encouraged. While the golden age of free access could not possibly last forever, more and more educational institutions would be jumping on the bandwagon and the trick would be to concentrate on the courses that are not offered on a regular basis.



The unexpected overseas adventures in December nuked a few of the courses I had planned to do or already started including Coursera's Terrorism and Counterterrorism
This course like many others is now available on a self study basis but I have found that without the commitment and regular deadlines of a class schedule, the chances of actually getting stuff done at one's own pace are remarkably low.

So then I vowed to stay away from online courses, concentrate on squiggling for Camp Nanowrimo in April as well as sorting out the clutter in the Lair. Was doing very well for a while but had neglected to get the serpent email taken off the assorted MOOC mailing lists with their tantalizing subject line "We have new courses for you".

So when tasty morsels with titles like "Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life" arrived in the inbox, they just proved too irresistible. Then another turned up designed specifically to push all my favorite buttons.
A Paradoxical Python

In the meantime, had long ago signed up to retake a programming course that I did not pass last time. More Python Puzzles I got 62% and needed 70% to pass. It has just started and for the last few weeks I have been wondering if it is best to just jump ship or to have a second attempt especially as it has been chopped up into two more manageable bite sized morsels. Now there are no more Statements of Accomplishment but only Verified Certificates (they've got to earn their money somehow) but that's not an issue for a dabbler and dilettante such as Izzie.

The course will be over in time for July's visit to Camp Nanoland.

It's taken just over a month to get cleaning and maintenance of the Lair on autopilot. Except for Monday evening which was spent over at the Dursleys, I've now got a 5 week unbroken run of cleaning and sorting rituals for 3 different days of the week. Such habits are not only brainless but the lack of thinking means that I can get more done in less time and feel a sense of achievement for finally escaping the years of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)
Now I guess it's time to adopt a similar strategy for dealing with all the assorted online temptations and online courses.

The other big adventure was today's visit to a gorgeous historical graveyard. Just the perfect place for reading monster stories and dreaming of dark grimoires. Like gazing at the stars in the night sky, wandering amongst head stones and noticing that more than 80% of them are dedicated to folks who departed this mortal coil much younger than you is a very good way to get your life in perspective.
But that is a tale for another day.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been a busy serpent. There was so much stuff going on in April. All sorts of government gossip and a dreaded certain centenary and a whole bunch of gardening to be done. For most of the month the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was sunny but not too hot and most of the time there was the delicate light that invites quiet contemplation, pottering amongst the weeds and general contentment with the universe.

Also during two weeks of April there was an invasion of artists from all over the world adorning the city walls with gorgeous murals. Some were so large that the artists used cherry pickers. It was wonderful fun wandering around with the lists and ticking each item off one by one. Since a lot of the walls are a bit off the beaten track and hiding in quirky corners it was a most fascinating way of seeing the suburbs.
One proved to be very inspirational indeed.

creepy crawly Cthulhu

Then there was the annual ritual of Camp Nanowrimo for folks who do not want to wait until November to squiggle their stories. So that’s where all the words have been going the last month. Was slacking a bit going for a goal of 33,333 words for the month rather than the usual April quota of 50,000. Just been for a quick visit over at the camp cabins. These are groups of a dozen or so participants who share a ‘campfire’ where they can post snippets of story gossip, offer ideas or encouragement to each other. Well that is the theory anyway.

April Foolishness )
izmeina: a spooky blue Cthulhu brandishing wicked weapons (pen and paintbrush) (squid)
Izzie has been a busy serpent. There was so much stuff going on in April. All sorts of government gossip and a dreaded certain centenary and a whole bunch of gardening to be done. For most of the month the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was sunny but not too hot and most of the time there was the delicate light that invites quiet contemplation, pottering amongst the weeds and general contentment with the universe.

Also during two weeks of April there was an invasion of artists from all over the world adorning the city walls with gorgeous murals. Some were so large that the artists used cherry pickers. It was wonderful fun wandering around with the lists and ticking each item off one by one. Since a lot of the walls are a bit off the beaten track and hiding in quirky corners it was a most fascinating way of seeing the suburbs.
One proved to be very inspirational indeed.

creepy crawly Cthulhu

Then there was the annual ritual of Camp Nanowrimo for folks who do not want to wait until November to squiggle their stories. So that’s where all the words have been going the last month. Was slacking a bit going for a goal of 33,333 words for the month rather than the usual April quota of 50,000. Just been for a quick visit over at the camp cabins. These are groups of a dozen or so participants who share a ‘campfire’ where they can post snippets of story gossip, offer ideas or encouragement to each other. Well that is the theory anyway.

April Foolishness )
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie is an expert in the dark art of delayed gratification. The Number of the Serpent over in Nanoland is 49,999

Saving that last single solitary one word for tomorrow evening's Write Night. It is so weird when the strange Cyberian and mundane Muggle worlds collide. Tomorrow will be one such day.

Unlike most other years this November's novel in progress ended up more like a collection of jigsaw pieces than a proper story with a beginning, a middle and an end. All those tweeks will have to wait for December. Once again just before the finish line a whole bunch of ideas for next year's story started presenting themselves and attempting to distract me from the mission at hand.

The other serpent who lurks in the Coursera classrooms also has a new number. It is 61.6
The passing grade for the last Python programming class was 70% so well and truly missed it. Hardly surprising since I chickened out of the last three mini projects each worth 8% of the total mark.
But I will be back. Once November is ended there's a big fat Coursera catch up to do including a course on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism and a rerun of the excellent "Learning how to learn"

Did very well the first time around but due to other distractions did not spend half as much time on the discussion forums as I would have liked. Decided that from now on it would be a good idea to keep other temptations to a minimum when doing their courses as unlike nearly all the others, Coursera has by far the most user friendly forums. That is usually where all the juiciest stuff can be found.

Also managed to snaffle a free copy of John Grisham's "The Firm" so looking forward to another juicy saga in my favourite genre - Deals with the Devil. I guess it is not really an official genre but it should be. Along with doomy gloomy Dystopias, such tales are temptation beyond endurance.
izmeina: spooky shadowy squid (scary squid)
Izzie is an expert in the dark art of delayed gratification. The Number of the Serpent over in Nanoland is 49,999

Saving that last single solitary one word for tomorrow evening's Write Night. It is so weird when the strange Cyberian and mundane Muggle worlds collide. Tomorrow will be one such day.

Unlike most other years this November's novel in progress ended up more like a collection of jigsaw pieces than a proper story with a beginning, a middle and an end. All those tweeks will have to wait for December. Once again just before the finish line a whole bunch of ideas for next year's story started presenting themselves and attempting to distract me from the mission at hand.

The other serpent who lurks in the Coursera classrooms also has a new number. It is 61.6
The passing grade for the last Python programming class was 70% so well and truly missed it. Hardly surprising since I chickened out of the last three mini projects each worth 8% of the total mark.
But I will be back. Once November is ended there's a big fat Coursera catch up to do including a course on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism and a rerun of the excellent "Learning how to learn"

Did very well the first time around but due to other distractions did not spend half as much time on the discussion forums as I would have liked. Decided that from now on it would be a good idea to keep other temptations to a minimum when doing their courses as unlike nearly all the others, Coursera has by far the most user friendly forums. That is usually where all the juiciest stuff can be found.

Also managed to snaffle a free copy of John Grisham's "The Firm" so looking forward to another juicy saga in my favourite genre - Deals with the Devil. I guess it is not really an official genre but it should be. Along with doomy gloomy Dystopias, such tales are temptation beyond endurance.

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