Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

Cryptocurrencies are booming beyond belief. Bitcoin is up sevenfold, to $2,500, in the last year. Three weeks ago the redoubtable Vinay Gupta, who led Ethereums initial release, published an essay entitled What Does Ether At $100 Mean? Since then it has doubled. Too many altcoins to name have skyrocketed in value along with the Big Two. ICOs are raking in money hand over fist over bicep. What the hell is going on? (eta: in the whopping 48 hours since I first wrote that, those prices have tumbled considerably, but are still way, way up for the year.) A certain seductive …

Continue reading

Elmina’s Fire by Linda Carleton

Story Summary: What happens when a troubled young woman dares to follow the stirrings of her soul in turbulent times? Elmina begins life with a troubled childhood in a medieval French town-a childhood that turns her into a spiritually seeking young woman who dares to follow the stirrings of her soul. Her idealism and love lead her to leave a Cathar school and follow the man who will become Saint Dominic. As the world around her erupts into the Albigensian Crusade, Elmina finds herself complicit in its horror, and her spiritual and emotional life begins to unravel. With the aid …

Continue reading

Rage and Mercy: Part One by Scott Dresden

Story Summary “This thrilling book delivers a violent tale that is ultimately as surprising as it is gruesome.” Kirkus Review Sayer didn’t expect his life to go any further than wherever his wealthy clients told him to drive to, until he worked for Diana Westcherry. The young, beautiful, epileptic woman stubbornly imposes her kindness on Sayer, exposing a life that could’ve been, if she’d been his mother. Through Diana, Sayer learns that nothing determines a man’s life more than the mother he was born from. And when drug fiends murder her for purse change, Sayer will slaughter all of them …

Continue reading

Harold Hardscrabble by G.D. Dess

Story Summary Harold Hardscrabble, by G. D. Dess, captures the feelings of frustration and helplessness that many of us experience in our daily lives. These sentiments are embodied in the contemplative, quietly charming protagonist, Harold, who, like Walter Mitty, lives largely in his own world of thoughts and dreams. We follow Harold’s transformation from a dreamer to a man of action as he struggles to discover how to live a meaningful life in a materialistic world. Harold copes admirably with the many disasters and injustices that assail him on his life’s journey; but when he is finally overcome by circumstances …

Continue reading

Gringo By Dan “Tito” Davis

Story Summary: Dan “Tito” Davis comes from a town in South Dakota that’s so small everyone knows their neighbor’s cat’s name. But once he got out, he made some noise. While at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he started manufacturing White Crosses, aka speed, and soon had the Banditos Motorcycle Club distributing ten million pills a week. After serving a nickel, he got into the weed game, but just when he got going, he was set up by a childhood friend. Facing thirty years, Davis slipped into Mexico, not knowing a word of Spanish, which began a thirteen-year odyssey that …

Continue reading

The boss who lives as a medieval knight – BBC News

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe boss in shining armour. By video journalist Greg Brosnan Jason Kingsley seems far too relaxed about the fatal dangers inherent in his daredevil hobby. “There have been some deaths in jousting,” he says. “But it is usually through inexperience, the wrong safety equipment, and a lot of bad luck combined.” Putting on an exact replica of a medieval suit of armour, the 53-year-old jousts a dozen or so weekends every year. Holding a 12ft (3.7m) long steel-tipped wooden lance in front of him, he rides a stallion full pelt towards another …

Continue reading

Gideon: The Sound and The Glory

Story Summary: Unsung heroes and murderous villains, hidden forever in ancient shadows, now leap to life – blazing onto the pages of revelation. Gideon, a lowly woodcutter, is blessed by an angel to be the savior of all Israel. He does not know why or how and shrinks from this dangerous mission. The commandment to conquer the Midian Empire as one man seems all but impossible. But Gideon’s confidence grows as God guides his every step until he stands fearless and faithfully fulfills his destiny as, “A mighty man of valor.” The fierce warriors, burning towers and devastated cities contained …

Continue reading

The Hunter: Awakening by Nicholas Arriaza

Story Sunnary: The Hunter: Awakening, is the first of a series of novels that will explore the nature of good and evil and the question of redemption: Is it available to those who have perpetrated great evil? Not long after the theft of a leather-bound book from a hidden hillside tomb in LA, a young hiker inadvertently awakens something fearsome that has been laid to rest some two hundred years ago. Soon after an emaciated, amnesiac man falls from a cliffside trail into the backyard of young, pregnant, neurosurgeon Melisa Castro. The young doctor feels compelled to help the “John …

Continue reading

The hospital errors leaving new parents devastated – BBC News

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption‘Our baby son died due to NHS error’ More than 1,400 mistakes are being recorded by maternity staff in hospitals in England each week on average. For some families, those errors can have life-changing consequences. “Every single day we have to live with the fact that we’re a victim of the NHS,” Adam Asquith tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. Adam and his fiancee, Sarah Ellis, were expecting their first child in 2014. “When I first fell pregnant, everything was amazing. We were over the Moon,” Sarah says. When she went into …

Continue reading

Reform ‘high stakes’ primary tests, MPs urge – BBC News

But the committee says the close link between the tests at 11 and school accountability can “lead to a narrowing of the curriculum and ‘teaching to the test’, as well as affecting teacher and pupil well-being”. It wants the current system scrapped, with three-year rolling averages for schools published instead of the results of individual year groups. ‘Held to account’ The report also calls for greater emphasis in Ofsted inspections on a broad and balanced curriculum. Committee chairman Neil Carmichael said too much emphasis on test results had led to too much “focus on English and maths at the expense …

Continue reading