Saturday, November 10, 2018

Idoku trick

I am no expert on sudoku but a useful trick with the i sudoku is shown here.

Whatever number is at the z location in the bottom square will be the same as the number labelled z in the centre square and vice versa.

 With the x/y numbers, whichever numbers are in those positions in the lower square will be replicated in the top square. This trick cuts both ways. If a number cannot be at one z location it cannot be at the other z location.

Likewise, if a number cannot be at either of the x/y locations in the top square it cannot be at those locations in the bottom square.

Look at the idoku. The central line of nine squares contains the same numbers as the i shape. The rule of idoku is that the numbers one to nine must be in the letter i on the sudoku

The number at z in the bottom square precludes any of the small orange squares in that larger square from being that number. It also precludes three of the orange squares in the central square and the solitary orange dot in the top square.

I hope that is clear.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Tim Loughton MP

Tim Loughton MP fines anyone at the DfE who begins a sentence with the word, "So". So what?

According to Wikipedia:
"So is an English word that, apart from its other uses, has become increasingly popular in recent years as a coordinating conjunctive opening word in a sentence. This device is particularly used when answering questions although the questioner may also use the device."

So perhaps Loughton could put that in his pipe and smoke it while relaxing in his bath?

Amazon reviews

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

OpenDyslexic font

I have begun the process of putting my books into OpenDyslexia Font. This font makes it easier for people with dyslexia to read. It is a pity that blogger do not include it.

Amazon were unable to do this so I resorted to Lulu self-publishing. My page is here

Amazon reviews

Monday, November 05, 2018

Lest we forget

In the First World War over 16 million people died. The war killed almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel.

For the generals and the politicians it was a great war. For everybody else it was great that it was over. 

Nobody can appear on the BBC without wearing a poppy of some description but this is sheer hypocrisy.  Of course any personality on BBC could give money to a good cause without making a song and dance about it.

The BBC also avoided mentioning the words of the longest surviving World War 1 veteran:
"The politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder" - Harry Patch, Britain's longest surviving WW1 veteran. Died 2009  

The money from sales of poppies provide welfare predominantly for war veterans. In other words the poppy fund subsidises the work the government ought to be doing. Politicians don't die in war but they send better people than themselves to die or be horribly injured. The politicians then appear in public wearing their hypocritical poppies too. 

The Russian revolution put an end to the first world war but the BBC can hardly be expected to mention that!

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Amazon disappointing

I changed "Death in Durrington" to OpenDyslexic Font. All went well until I tried to preview it on Amazon and found they had changed it back to a conventional font.

The response from Amazon was disappointing


I understand your concerns about using Open Dyslexic font and the conversion result.

Please note, some dyslexic readers may prefer the Open Dyslexic font. This font is available globally and works for reflowable book formats only.

This font is available for readers to select on IOs and eInk devices, but it is not currently available on Fire tablets or other devices and I'm sorry at this time we've no workaround for this issue.

Although at this time there is no option for this, we'll be sure to consider your feedback as we plan for further improvements. Please be sure to check our forums periodically for updates:

Lethal White reviewed on Goodreads

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike, #4)Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoy detective fiction and this book does not disappoint. There are mysteries to be unfolded and misdemeanours to be avenged. The central characters of Robin (also the name of Batman's assistant!) and Strike are very good. At times they add humour to the situation no matter how dark the crimes.

Much of the plot revolves around the greatest hive of scum and villainy, I refer of course to the House of Commons. The problem with politicians is that what with sexual abuse, dodging taxes, dodgy sources of income and fiddling expenses - it is really hard to work out which of their disgusting behaviours is the subject of blackmail. Too many to choose from!

One thing which I found disappointing was a retro sixties party with anarchists, Maoists (Maoists!) and Trotskyists. On the one hand, it took me back a bit but it was supposed to be contemporary. The author has never had to know the difference between Maoists and Trotskyists but it is still disappointing to find a writer one admires making such crass errors.

Overall, however, read this book. You will enjoy it.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Open Dyslexic

Julian M Miles, the science fiction and flash fiction writer advised me (and any writer) to give a dyslexic font a chance with any book. The font makes it easier for people with dyslexia (Eddie Izzard to give a famous example) to read your work.

I intend to use it with Death in Durrington first.
(as you can see, it is not easy to use in blogger but I am working on it!)

Monday, October 29, 2018


Work colleagues often indulge in banter and it can make the job more bearable. However when someone is in a position to fire you, nothing they say is ‘banter’. 
Olivia Petter's article in the Indy here shows how the term is used as a "get out of jail free" for racist and sexist bullying. 
Trade unions have to deal with issues of workplace harrassment day in and day out. Those without the protection of trade unions are most at risk of bullying of any kind. 

It is also hard to see how gagging orders are anything to do with banter.