While it is impossible to draw a circle with Bézier curves, it is quite possible to emulate one so well that, when viewed by human eyes, the drawing is indistinguishable from an actual circle. All you need to do is use the right value of the Bézier control points. This value is the radius of the circle multiplied by a constant known as the kappa. This book tells you the right value of the kappa.
For thousands of years mathematicians and artists studied the golden ratio. Later they developed the silver ratio. This book develops the general formula for creating any number of precious ratios, compatible with the ideas behind the golden and silver ratios. As an example, it shows how to create and compute the values of the iridium ratio and the platinum ratio.
Vector graphics are one of the two main types of computer graphics. Unlike bitmaps, vector graphics define a drawing as a series of mathematical values. They can be scaled to any size without any loss of resolution.
The Truth About Online Self-Publishing
on Oct. 11, 2014
This is an amazingly well written book describing the author’s experience with indie self-publishing. Even if I don’t agree with everything she says, her book contains a lot of good advice for anyone starting out on the path of independent self-publishing and many interesting insights in the whole process. One warning though: Once you start reading this book, it is very hard to set down. So do yourself a favor and start reading when you have plenty of time to go through the entire book in one sitting, and then some extra time to digest it all.
Reading this book and learning from the author’s early mistakes can save you a lot of headache because you will learn what pitfalls to avoid.
on Oct. 23, 2014
A nice little short story. And we get to read it twice. First the original, second a newer (and better) version.
Chronicles of the Vampire Hunters: Creation
on Dec. 25, 2014
Not bad, yet disappointing. The plot is fairly interesting, but the dialogs are forced, especially in the first chapter, in the middle of which I was shaking my head and almost stopped reading. It picks up the pace in the second chapter, but the dialogs are still weak. The book would have been much better if the author had asked someone to proofread it, as there are some strange typos and numerous inconsistencies (e.g., using typographical quotation marks in one paragraph and computer quotation marks in another, switching between the two kinds haphazardly).
The lack of almost any commas in the book makes it rather hard to read. I often had to re-read many sentences to get the intended meaning by mentally inserting the missing commas, which, if there, would have made the meaning clear without me having to analyze it. Still, it has its potential. Hiring a good editor might even kick it up to a four-star book.
Worst of all, the book has no resolution at the end. As the first book in series, it does not need to resolve everything, but it should have resolved at least some of the things.
Just think of the seven volumes in the Harry Potter series. Each of them had a satisfying resolution of its own subplot, yet most of us were quite happy to keep buying all the volumes as soon as they were published. That satisfaction is completely missing in this volume, so I have no intention of paying for the second book in the series because I expect to be frustrated even more at its end.
All in all, I really don’t want to discourage a fellow writer. I think that a good editor can deal with all the problems in the book and improve on it considerably.
Reincarnation - A Return to Life
on Dec. 27, 2014
Despite its misleading title, this book is not about reincarnation. The author spends most of the book criticizing all religions, including religions she obviously knows nothing about. For example, she blames an Asian tsunami on “false religions” and their worship of idols. Pat Robertson would be proud of her!
One of the religions she mentions as worshiping idols is Buddhism. Anybody who knows anything about Buddhism knows that Buddhists do not worship anyone or anything, let alone idols.
The weirdness of this book starts right in the first chapter where she talks about her own ideas about the meaning of different words based on her own “linguistic research,” for which she cites no sources and which makes anyone who knows anything about linguistics shake their heads.
The more the book progresses, the more she claims she was chosen by the Spirit to be a prophet and to teach the world the truth. What that truth is, she doesn’t say, she just refers the reader to her as-yet-unspecified next book.
She claims she has performed miraculous healings. She takes credit for an old woman being saved from a land slide somewhere in South America, because she had prayed for her two days earlier back home in Australia without even knowing about her or the land slide.
She claims to be communicating directly with the Spirit, whose voice she hears physically through her ears; has had numerous visions, and has been directly appointed a teacher by Jesus. But not Jesus Christ, whose existence she denies, the other Jesus, “the ancient name of god!” LOL.
She is puzzled why some of us are tall, others short; why some are white and some are black; why some are male and some female. Gosh, has she ever heard of DNA, let alone the X and Y chromosomes?
That said, I won’t be surprised if, within a few coming years, she becomes a renown cult leader of a new religion. It worked for Joseph Smith in the 19th Century. It worked for L. Ron Hubbard in the 20th Century. It may even work for Norma Holt in the 21st Century.
I won’t pity anyone who may fall for it and join her cult. Though I will pity their innocent children who will be brainwashed by her sense of self-entitlement and her hallucinations.