Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating Women in Technology

When I started thinking about subjects for Ada Lovelace Day this year, I ran through a list of obvious choices, luminaries and inventors, brilliant scientists and savvy entrepreneurs.
Then I stopped in my tracks and realized I had the perfect subject for an entry celebrating women in technology: me.
No, I haven't shattered any long-held assumptions or shifted anybody's paradigm, but I have spent the better part of the last thirteen years working at some of the most innovative companies in the world. One could argue that I had a hand in developing the original social networking site and have, indeed, lent my 17-year-old image to one of the most successful online advertising campaigns of all time.
More importantly, though, I have spent the last dozen years or so learning new things every day and passing that knowledge on to others, men and women, so that they can better understand and leverage the power of information and technology.
That's about it, really. So I can only leave you with a reprise of last year's entry about the amazing Janet Galore and a poem I wrote a few years ago that refers to Ada Lovelace, whom I greatly admire.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review: Chalice

Chalice Chalice by Robin McKinley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I may be something of a freak among Robin McKinley's readers, but I actually loved both Chalice and Sunshine. The books both feature a young, innately talented heroine coming into awareness of her true power and purpose. Though each book explores that premise quite differently, each delivers a satisfying story with well-written characters, nicely paced plots, and enough world-building to keep things truly interesting.

In Chalice, I particularly enjoyed McKinley's lush and evocative exploration of bees and beekeeping, her examinations of the medicinal and magical properties of honey.

Chalice is an altogether enjoyable read.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book Review: Sunshine

Sunshine Sunshine by Robin McKinley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this book up for a number of reasons: its compelling cover, good things I had heard about Robin McKinley's writing, a desire to read some vampire fiction that had a little more substance than, well, most of the stuff in that genre.I'm happy to say, I was pleasantly surprised.The plot was a little slow and honestly didn't come to a truly satisfying resolution, but the book worked for me. The characters are both interesting and original.In fact, I wouldn't mind reading more about them.

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Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I can't begin to describe how disappointing I found this book. After tons of hype and many friends insisting that I read it. Insisting that I would love it. I really had to take a few steps back and evaluate whether those friends know me very well at all. I found the premise dull, the characters annoying, and the prose, quite frankly, as dull as a pair of grade-school scissors.
And a whole lot of other monosyllables that I can think of that are synonymous with "crap."

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