Ever since they invented computers – well, you know what I mean – I have enjoyed playing around with pictures and photos. I was lucky enough to be involved for a while in what was then called ‘interactive multi media’. I ended up demonstrating our prototype ‘Interactive Biological Information System’ to the son of a now disgraced (and dead) genuine newspaper tycoon. He said ‘I’m the guy you have to impress’. We walked away with a cheque, I guess we impressed him.
At one time we were an Apple Development Station! I had to demo what we doing to the top Apple people in the UK on a black and white monitor (that long ago). To be honest I’m not sure they really understood what we were up to as they seemed much more interested in the pictures accompanying the demo and where I had got them.
‘I drew them,’ I said.
‘What! With a mouse?’ they said.
‘Yes, it’s easy!’
I’m not sure whether we got a cheque, but we did get use of a brand new Mac!
Of course, image production and manipulation is easier than I would ever have dreamed. Here’s some fun with the new Nicely Strongoak cover – done in two minutes from a free online site. The much-younger me would have been thrilled. The older me certainly is!
Delighted to announce the cover for the new #1 Kindle Bestelling ‘Detective Strongoak’ adventure: ‘Dwarf Girls don’t Dance’. Published by Monkey Business, an imprint of Grey House in the Woods – coming soon.
“You never hear much about Dwarf women, do you? That’s because they are trouble. Real trouble.”
When Master Detective Nicely Strongoak first encounters the drop-dead gorgeous dwarfess ‘Diamond’, a fully paid up member of the Citadel Guild of Amorous Dancers and Associated Divesters, he should have known better than to leave his business card. Especially when subsequent business turns out to involve murder and the man reputed to be the Citadel’s Dark Crime Lord.
He certainly shouldn’t have gone to help Diamond beat a murder rap. Not when it involved heading back to the old Dwarf Kingdom of Skragsrealm, and the memories of a much younger Nicely and his encounter with the Nine Idlers – a group of men, elves, gnomes, dwarves and even a Warrior Princess. Oh, and the one brutal killing he had never managed to solve. Yet his alliance with the strangely attractive gobliness Detective Analyst Grundrund leads Nicely on a trail full of enchanters and lost love that might solve not just one, but three murders. That’s if the rewilded wolves and mud dragons don’t get him first.
Continue reading The New Detective Strongoak Adventure
There is something quite remarkable waiting, biding its time, in the cellars of the UK’s Wine Society. Actually I’m sure there are numerous remarkable things in the cellars of the Wine Society and sure as Alan Sugar, I’m not going to taste any of them!
In principle the bet sounds quite simple. Professor Lewis Wolpert has bet Dr Rupert Sheldrake that by May 1, 2029, given the genome of a fertilized egg of an animal or plant, we will be able to predict in at least one case all the details of the organism that develops from it, including any abnormalities.
Sounds reasonably straightforward eh? I mean, given the rate that our understanding is growing this must be a distinct possibility. Genomics, the study of an organisms entire hereditary mechanism is a burgeoning area of research and is producing astounding results – such as the much trumpeted identification of the human DNA nucleotide sequence in 2007. Alongside genomic research we have major strides taking place in proteomics, the study of the proteome (the set of proteins expressed by any cell at a particular time under particular conditions). New advances in methodology and technology, such as Ultrahigh and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC and UPLC) threaten to accelerate the pace of research by offering higher throughput and better and ‘cleaner’ data for genomic and proteomic research.
So what’s the bet about? Is it just a case of: ‘if not then, then later?’
What is Rupert Sheldrake’s beef?
Continue reading The Genome Wager – scenes from an Italian restaurant.