Saturday, February 19, 2011

Freezing February

As for me, I'm finally getting a break on the overtime at work. Still have to work some, but not as much anymore. Finally I can get some rest, though I've been having odd dreams lately. At least the weather's better. We had a cold spell recently, making it impossible for me to drive to work, and I was lucky to have enough personal time hours to make up for it.

I saw the IBM computer Watson play on Jeopardy!, and was disappointed by how much promo filler was shown, and how Watson did too well in the second episode. It got a lead that was far too much to overcome, even when the human contestants did better in the third episode. I was hoping it would be more of a give-and-take competition rather than a steamroller. I enjoyed watching the Nova special about Watson more.

In other news, recently my stats on Feedbooks shows that my downloads for Prelude have reached the point where less than 50% of the downloads are from the United States. The others are from the UK, and then various other countries. It's interesting to see how widespread it is, even in places like Africa and Asia, where you'd think there wouldn't be that many English-speaking readers.

Personally, I've started reading Agatha Christie's first Poirot mystery The Mysterious Affair at Styles. It's interesting to see how much it follows after the model of Sherlock Holmes, right down to Hastings starting the book wounded from the war (WWI) and meeting an old friend. Thereupon he gets invited to stay at the Styles country house and meets all the suspects. He also mentions his aspirations to be a detective like Sherlock Holmes, and how in the past he's met Poirot, the famous Belgian police detective. Later he discovers that Poirot is among the Belgian refugees staying nearby, and is therefore available to look in when the murder takes place. When Poirot examines the scene, it is much like Holmes examining the crime scene in The Sign of Four.

The only problem with reading the ebook is that they don't show any of the drawings/diagrams of the house that Hastings mentioned. :( I haven't finished the book yet, but it's interesting so far.

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