ThursdayNightRants Is Back Online

At long last, TNR is finally back online after extensive infer-structural modifications. It took much longer than expected to sort out all of the bugs and technical difficulties but at long last we’re ready for posting to resume!

The updates include;-

  • MAJOR updates to the website’s coding – the website will no longer crash at peak times, and all comments will post correctly
  • Updated ‘comment’ boxes (like/dislike comment buttons)
  • Integration with your own social networking accounts when commenting
  • Integrated live chat box
  • Posts can instantly be shared with FaceBook, Twitter or by Email
  • ‘Like’ buttons have been implemented across the website
  • Easy access to TNR’s Twitter page through designated buttons – the blue bird on the right
  • Search functionality, allowing readers to browse for selected topics
  • Email subscription service; simply click the box on the right-hand column and new posts will be emailed to you
  • RSS 2.0 feed integration allowing the site to be accessed from your RSS feeders (accessed at the bottom-left of the website)
  • New tags and categories
  • Easier navigation around the website

My Twitter account has been full of requests for topics and discussion points since the website has been inactive. I hope to fill some of these over the coming days, so keep checking back for more information!

All of my comments, thoughts and post notifications are available on my Twitter, so please follow for the latest news!

Happy ranting!


GoodReads – Social Networking For Readers

Whilst scrolling through my Twitter account, I found that a blogger that I follow (@ToolsRoomKnightMozBar) had been using a service which I never knew existed. Entitled ‘Goodreads,’  this new social networking  site is the first that I’ve seen which is dedicated to literature; users are able to rate books, share their opinions and ideas, and check the reading lists of other people.

The service has a range of new features which I am already finding incredibly useful. Although I have only been using Goodreads for a few days, I have already been drawn to the recommendations section. The website offers you a selection of books that are personally catered to you, according to the books that you have already read and ‘rated’. I was impressed by the results; the literature that Goodreads recommended for me are books that my English teachers had advised me to purchase, as well as some lesser known novels that I hadn’t heard of. (..but sounded incredibly interesting!) The website’s social network integration with Twitter and Facebook allows friends to be added to a Goodread account. By doing this, you can see what books your peers have been reading, and what books they have been commenting on.

One of the main drawing points is the comments section. Unlike some other social networking sites, the comments posted are meaningful and offer insight on the topic being discussed. As an English Lit. student, I think a resource that allows people to be able to share your thoughts and interpretations on a selected book is highly beneficial.

Hopefully, by making reading ‘fun’ through social networking, more teenagers will feel inspired to delve into literature. Do you feel that a social networking environment would encourage reading and conversations regarding books? Do you feel that this ‘educational’ networking site will become used by the masses like Twitter and Facebook before it?

I’m currently working to set my profile up, and inputting the books that I’ve read in the past few months into my database. Please feel free to add me on Goodread (here), or follow me on Twitter for up to date information on reviews that I’ve published on the platform. 

http://twitter.com/#!/ThursNightRants


Updates & @ThursNightRants on Twitter!

Some of you may have realised that we have had a slight alteration to the ‘About’ page;

UPDATE: 20/10/11 – As of this week, I am planning on releasing smaller issues that I find interesting throughout the week, with the main discussion topics every Thursday (as per). I hope you enjoy these extra posts! 🙂

As always, there will be information regarding new posts on our Twitter page (@ThursNightRants) which you can follow by clicking the Follow button on the right hand column. Please keep the suggestions and comments coming, as we enjoy reading them immensely!

ThursdayNightRants is to undergo maintenance work this weekend, which could cause the site to go offline for a few hours. Apologies in advance, fellow ranters!


Unpopular Punctuation: Marks You Probably Avoid

Don’t be afraid.

When you write, you probably dive in and try your best with commas, apostrophes, and periods, all the while avoiding the less common punctuation marks out of fear. Reduce your uncertainty with this rundown of proper usage for unpopular punctuation marks.

Hyphens

With automatic hyphenation and justification built into word processing software, writers no longer need to know how to divide words at the ends of lines. Dictionaries and spell-checkers provide insight on words spelled with hyphens. However, hyphens are also used to join words that work together to describe a subject.

Some situations are clear examples of words working together as adjectives:

Our department runs like a well-oiled machine.

The 20-year-old dress code dictates that we wear matching uniforms.

My thin-skinned boss cringes every time the board president calls on him.

Grammar books say to use a hyphen in all cases where two words work together as adjectives. However, those stingy newspaper editors disagree, as is evident in the 2011 Associated Press Stylebook:

Use of the hyphen is far from standardised. It is optional in most cases, a matter of taste, judgment and style sense. But the fewer hyphens the better; use them only when not using them causes confusion.

The York Times Manual of Style and Usage says the same thing.

Some harmony occurs, with journalism stylebooks and grammar books agreeing on these rules:

  • Hyphenate combinations using the word well as in the first example above: well-oiled.
  • Omit the hyphen when the adjective follows the noun: a machine that is well oiled.
  • Omit a hyphen when the first word ends in ly: the poorly oiled machine.

Some people follow this guideline: if the words before the noun can function on their own as a noun that’s normally not hyphenated, omit the hyphen. For example, in the phrase high school studentshigh school can also be a noun, so it doesn’t need to be hyphenated.

So, then, is the United States having a health-care debate? Or a health care debate?

It depends. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says that the noun can be spelled health care or healthcare. If you use health care as the noun form, it specifies the hyphenated form as the adjective: health-care bill.

The Associated Press and New York Times specify that the expression is always two words as a noun and is not hyphenated as an adjective: health care bill.

Since hyphens are controversial, here’s the best plan of action when you encounter a hyphenation situation:

  1. Consult a dictionary to see if the word combination is already addressed.
  2. If not, consult a grammar handbook, the stylebook that is most appropriate for your field.

Semicolons

Maybe you rarely use semicolons, which is fine because they are formal. But don’t avoid them out of uncertainty because the semicolon is one of the easiest forms of punctuation. There are only two places to use a semicolon. One is to make a complicated list clearer:

Serving on the new committee will be Ed Knight, chairman of Human Resources; Tamara Houston, assistant controller; and Norm McNair, Occupational Safety Committee chairperson.

The other place is between two complete sentences that are so closely linked that you don’t want a clear, definitive stop between them, the kind of stop a period creates. Instead, you want the reader to know that these ideas go together:

We must all work together to promote this new product; our future depends on it.

Colon

The colon is a social punctuation mark: its function is to introduce things.

And just like social customs, colon usage rules have gotten more casual over the years. It used to be that a colon was used only after a complete sentence.

Employees assigned to the Midwest Project are as follows:

Person A

Person B

Person C.

But these days, writers who want to introduce a bulleted or numbered list or separate block of information can use this format:

Employees assigned to the Midwest Project are:

Person A

Person B

Person C.

However, within a normal sentence, it’s still incorrect to use a colon after the verb to introduce a list that does not follow a complete sentence.

NOT: Employees assigned to the Midwest Project are: Person A, Person B, and Person C.

INSTEAD: Employees assigned to the Midwest Project are Person A, Person B, and Person C.

OR: Employees assigned to the Midwest Project are as follows: Person A, Person B, and Person C.

Colons can also be used to introduce examples as in the numerous sentences used to set up examples in this blog.

Colons have a few other technical uses, such as in ratios (a 2:1 return on investments) and time references (9:10 p.m.), but those common usages rarely cause problems.

 

Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have, and I shall try my best to answer them for you! 🙂


How To Become A Super Human

A response to MozBar’s post:I have to say that people like Quentin Tarantino make it worthwhile watching movies once in a while. I recently watched Kill Bill 1&2. The movies are quite entertaining but the last dialog between Bill and Kiddo grabbed my attention, where Bill says:

“Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there’s the superhero and there’s the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman.When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kent’s found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us.Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”

This is so true; we are all born as super-humans and are made to wear costumes that make us weak, unsure and coward. If we just dare to get out of them, undo the programming of this society, we can realise who we really are under the costumes. We may not be able to fly, but our worries will certainly fly away. We may not be able to move mountains, but the mountains of responsibility will certainly be removed from our shoulders. I think if we can live without fear we are super-human. That’s it; it’s that simple.


Swindon’s Taylor Jones to ‘Fall in’ To The Charts

Once again, Swindon’s Taylor Jones (TeeJay) is set to tear through the charts with his latest hit; ‘She’s The One’. The young artist is set to release his latest single after the success of his first, ‘Fallen Out (Of Love)’ – see previous post for more info. – which managed to sweep in to the Official Urban Charts for 8 weeks running, peaking at number 2; no easy task for even the most experienced artists!

Over the past two years, the 17 year old rapper has gained a massive following, achieving an amazing amount of hits on his youtube channel; approximately 225,000, coming from a barrage of different countries and age groups. It’s easy to understand why his fans and followers are so loyal; the artist takes all opportunities to thank his listeners for their support, and regularly gets in contact with them – answering questions and the like; a trait that many artists fail to adopt. It’s evident that TJ is dedicated and listens to all feedback that is given to him, as their demands are always met; merchandise is on its way, as well as a new CD, due for release in December.

As in the first single, Darren Martyn provides a catchy chorus that both lyrically and vocally complements the verses sang by TeeJay. The video is crisp and well recorded, sporting a high standard of professionalism on both artists’ part.

From the success of the last single – and the positive feedback already gained from this one – it’s safe to say that the young star has a bright future ahead of him.

‘She’s The One’ is to be broadcast on AKA, Starz, Smash Hits, KISS, Vault, Dance Nation, Flava & Pop, with a chance of getting on MTV; publicity for this one will be BIG. The song is due for release on 19th September, and will be available for purchasing through iTunes. All purchases would support the artist immensely. Please further show your support on Facebook & Twitter.

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TaylorJonesMusic

Twitter @TaylorJonesTJ


Where do I fit in the big picture? (via Ande ke Funde)

Again, one has to question what relevance we – as one human being in a world of millions – have to the overall ‘events-chain’; this Great Chain of Being; this cause-to-consequence ordering.

Are we – as individuals, as families, as countries, continents or even the world in itself – really significant in a universe of such an unimaginable scale?

..or is life but solipsism? Is anything apart from myself really true?

I am sure if you are reading this post under the “Philosophy” tag on wordpress you have confronted this question and would like to see if I know what I am talking about. But today I want to take a scientific look at this question instead of the typical philosophical approach. So, this is approximately who I am (margin of error in these number could be in the range of 1-100B): Part of the Human species which has the population of 6.7B Living on a … Read More

via Ande ke Funde