I'm Jay. I'm an explorer, adventurer, struggling rock climber, wannabe astronaut, and writer from London, England. I now live in Western Australia.
My aim is to share stories to inform, entertain and, hopefully, inspire others to explore the world -- while also expanding my own horizons.
The rest of the time, I'm a copywriter, freelance journalist, and digital marketing geek promoting things that are important to me.
At the moment there are over 123 video interviews published for UGtastic totaling well over 1300 minutes of content. That’s more than 21 hours of interviews! Each of those interviews needs descriptions, show-notes, transcripts and captioning on top of the basic editing, uploading, and embedding. I have two choices here, give up or ask for help. For a while there I was on the verge of giving up…
"Matt DeBergalis has released version 0.7.1 of Meteor, with the improvements to oplog and minimongo, CSS preprocessing, and Meteor developer accounts.
Version 0.7.1 includes added support to minimongo for what DeBergalis refers to on the Meteor blog as “more of the ‘estoteric corners’ of the MongoDB query language.” With the new release comes better matching for Mongo’s behavior when there are arrays in the document, as well as improved support for $nin, $ne, $not.
Aside from minimongo (Meteor’s client-side Mongo emulator) improvements, the new release brings CSS preprocessing and sourcemaps”
Read the full article here: http://www.infoq.com/news/2014/03/meteor-071
A discussion today with friends on Twitter got me thinking about my favourite living authors. It’s a very difficult question.
Ask me my favourite books of all time, I can reel them off: The Great Gatsby, On The Road, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, High Fidelity, The Big Sleep, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, On Green Dolphin Street, Love in the Time of Cholera, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas…
But living authors is a difficult one. Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Farina, Chandler, Bangs, Marquez and Thompson all get disqualified on account of their being dead. That leaves Hornby and Faulks, neither of whom have impressed me with their fiction despite having one stand out novel: I don’t rate either enough to call them a favourite author.
Outside the top titles rest other authors whose books I rate more frequently: Bret Easton Ellis makes it with both American Psycho and Rules of Attraction. Chuck Palahniuk probably contributes more titles to my book collection than any other author: but I feel it can be a little hit-and-miss. And I don’t feel strongly enough about either author to proclaim them my favourite.
Recently, I’ve been reading a lot and trying to expand my own horizons: my favourite authors all being much too homogenous. I enjoyed Americanah very much, finally got around to reading and appreciating Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, was moved by The Kite Runner, and wanted to take notes throughout The Art of Travel.
But I feel it would be premature, and possibly pretentious, to proclaim the consistently-brilliant Hosseini as my favourite living author after only reading two of his novels, more than two years apart. Other authors on my list to read next are Chinua Achebe, as well as more books by Adichie.
This doesn’t help me answer who my favourite living author is, however.
In an unexpected twist, although I haven’t rated his fiction for some time, I have a great appreciation of Nick Hornby’s recent non-fiction writing. Both 31 Songs and The Polysyllabic Spree were great books, and reminded me of what I loved about Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: a genuine passion for the subject material, whether it be music or literature.
Lester Bangs I uphold is one of the best writers of the 20th Century, yet he remains largely unregarded because he wrote about music. Yet he wrote so passionately, so powerfully, and with a complete disregard for anything else.
Hunter S. Thompson embodied a similar passion in his writing: a kind of frenzied energy and devotion to a subject. For Thompson that could be the American dream or the campaign trail: even later in life in his sports writing for ESPN he couldn’t resist also talking about politics.
Tonight, I have been trying to get into Hubert Selby Jr’s Requiem for a Dream, but this does nothing for contributing diversity to my normal reading. And instead I am left with an unsatisfying end as a conclusion: I still don’t know.
I reject that I rate writers more highly if they are no longer living — Thompson was well and truly still alive when I read and loved so many of his books — it’s just unfortunate that it happens to go that way.
Instead, you tell me: Who is your favourite living author?