Friday, January 30, 2009

Book Porn: January Centerfold


In an earlier post, I directed your attention to the 3x3x3 Rubik's cube. Well my fascination of it has lead me to the 4x4x4 Rubik's cube, however, I a
m attempting to solve this one without any help from our friend the internet. 

The following are a couple of pictures of my attempts to solve the 4x4x4 cube (key word is attempt here ladies and gentlemen)

With help from the petrus method which I learnt while trying to solve the 3x3x3 cube I manage to get to this.


All but the two that are flipped around the WRONG way.....

Still trying to flip the two around, spent 2 hours last night trying to flip the two around, but can't....pissing me off.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Word of the day #4: Pissant

Before I get on with word of the day I have a story to tell. The other I was in the supermarket to get random things and while looking at the aisle signs I noticed one of the words: 'Haberdashery'. I smirked to myself and thought "I know what that means!" like the little boy I am.

Pronouced: Piss-ant

When used as a noun, it is a person or thing that is worthless or of no consequence.
When used as an adjective it means worthless or insignificant.

Darth Vader is awesome; Anakin Skywalker is a pissant.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Killing me softly with his words

The current book I am reading is 'A Clash of Kings' by George R.R. Martin. I am actually re-reading it because hopefully (and I am being very optimistic here) 'A Dance of Dragons' is going to come out in October and by then I want to have re-read all of the other previous books. 

It is such a joy to be back in the world of Westeros but there is a thing that's been making me feel a bit guilty. The amount of books I have read over my life time isn't a lot and there are still so many good fantasy/sci-fi books for me to read, so many different authors I haven't had the pleasure to get acquainted with and yet here I go whoring my soul in Westeros again.

With that said, it is a guilty pleasure and I'll be getting into bed with 'A Storm of Swords' and 'A Feast for Crows'


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Word of the Day #3: Cajole

Pronounced Ca-jole

Meaning to persuade using flattery or promises. 

Example Sentence:
My students cajoled me into reading them a story.

Where were you on the 20th Jan 2009?

It's such a common saying when something big in the world happens.

I had doubted whether it could happen, I suspected that there would be too much stupidity, that there was too much hatred in America, that someone that 'could' be someone great would be denied by his own people. I shouldn't have doubted. The mob have spoken.

Today Barack Obama was sworn into the presidency and became the first African-American to ever grace the steps of the White House. A horde of 2 million people were gathered to watch him get inaugurated while millions more watched from their TV screens around in world (me included at 6am). I woke up because I wanted to hear a JFK speech, a Martin Luther King Jr speech, a David Lange (ex-NZ prime minister) speech but I was a little disappointed because I felt it wasn't one of those speeches. However, maybe it's because I am not American and so distant from everything that is America or maybe because he didn't want one of those speeches, he wanted to let America and the world to know that he doesn't have delusions of grandeur for himself, but he is here to help change America for the better and deluding us with fake speeches is not what Obama is about.

While watching the news the day before, you see a lot of Obama mania (there were lots before yesterday too) where people were selling, buying, making, praising anything Obama. He is probably the single most popular man in the world to date; there are people who have dropped everything to come to his inauguration; people who profuse their love for him. 

You might ask why many people love him, why droves of people shout his name on the streets. There has never been an African American more loved since Martin Luther King Jr, never been a man more loved since 'The Beatles'. Why?

What is more powerful than anything in the world?

What can endure any hardship and cannot be beaten down?

What is it that wakes people in the hours of stupid to watch a man (and yes, he's just a man) say a few words?

Hope. The Hope that he is not just a man, that he can transcend not only America, but be the start of a revolution. 

Good Luck Mr. President.


Most frequently used words from Obama's Inaugural Speech. Picture from

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ruby Ruby Ruby!

Ok, that titled could mean anything! A girl named Ruby? My friends son called Reuben who's nickname is Ruby? The Kaiser Chiefs?...whats want to tell us about a Rubik's Cube!


I have seen them during my lifetime, have tried twisting and turning them around to no avail but no desire to actually sit down and figure them out either. About the last week of school a student of mine brought one in, and when he left it at school over night I grabbed it and messed around with it failing by epic proportions. Then it clicked. YouTube.

I got found this person called Dan Brown (no, not Da Vinci Code guy) who had made an amazing tutorial on how to do the rubik's cube in a very easy way, the 'Layer by Layer' method. It took me about a day to memorize all the algorithms. Then I went and bought one and tried to solve the cube as fast as I could and got to about 1 minute and 34 seconds. However as I have learnt now that I had no real understanding of the rubik's cube, to really understand it you have to look at each piece as it moves, don't just look at the piece you are moving, but look at the piece you are moving away (where does it go?).

I went to my friends (Shaun, Daz and Koray) house during the holiday and practically got them all into learning how to solve the cube (later on my girl wanted to learn too). Koray latched onto the cube as much as I did and we both would take our cubes when we went out and solved the cube over and over again.  We went to Raglan with another bunch of mates. When we met up with one of our friends called Chris there, we asked him about the cube because earlier before, David (Chris' older brother) told me that Chris had learnt to solve the cube himself. Koray and I found out that Chris had figured out the cube in much the same way Dan Brown did except he used another way to solve the top (for all you cubers out there, instead of solving the cross first on the 3rd layer, Chris solved the corners first) and it turned out to be a lot quicker.

About 2 weeks later Daz bought Koray a 4x4x4 and 5x5x5 rubik's cube. Not only did they look very daunting to our untrained eyes but they also looked like a new challenge. Because Koray and I both essentially learnt the cube off the internet we were determined to try and solve either the 4x4x4 or 5x5x5 cubes by ourselves. Long story short, we failed (like duh, obviously). I only had a few hours to try it but I really got no where, this is because I had and still don't really have a good understand of the logistics of the cube.

I then had to go back to Wellington and I didn't have a cube other than my 3x3x3. So i decided I would learn how to solve the rubik's cube another way. I knew that there was a method in which you started from a corner and went from there (instead of the layer by layer method). So i looked it up (YouTube) and found out it was called the Petrus method and learnt to do it via a guy called Hobie. Hobie's video was not good as Dan Browns (no disrespect). The reason for this is Dan Brown actually embedded the codes/algorithms onto his videos, you could pause at certain points to  try and do it yourself. With that said, Hobie's video was the best Petrus method video because he did his video's in many parts with a specific point in each video. Also the clarity (both visually and instructionally) were better than the others. 

I found that the petrus method was a lot harder than the vanilla layer by layer method because I have to 'find' the right pieces at certain points, whereas the vanilla method you could go with the flow, solving each piece that is 'solvable' at any given time. But in conclusion the Petrus Method taught me way more about the cube itself because the Petrus Method limits your movements. Hobie talked about 2 or 3 degrees of freedom (because you can only move 2 or 3 of the 6 faces).

After doing all this I don't think I could solve either the 4x4x4 or 5x5x5 with any degree of success but I sure will give it a try when I get my hands on one. A video for fail blog perhaps?

Thanks Dan and Hobie. You've changed my life!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Word of the Day #2: Taciturn

I picked this word because I felt it meant nothing like it looked and sounded.
Pronounced tas-i-turn

Meaning reluctant to speak, reserved in conversation, habitually untalkative and tempermentally disinclined to talk..

Example sentence:
The woman at the haberdashery was very talkative, while the man was taciturn .

Friday, January 16, 2009

Starting a new trend

I find reading great; not just books; reading in general.
Yes, reading books has more value, you experience a much more vast variety of different words than say a tabloid magazine but that still doesn't that trashy girly mags have no reading value. Obviously those magazines sell by the bucket load because people like gossip but they still occasionally contain words with more than 3 letters.

Anyways, so I was saying...reading is great. To enhance myself, I am going to help enhance you!

Word of the Day #1: Haberdasher

A person who sells small articles for sewing, such as buttons, ribbons and zippers.
A Haberdashers shop is called a Haberdashery.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sloth is the greatest of all sins

A while back I had a very vivid dream about hybrid type vampires. I woke up and wrote down the main points of the story. As time has gone by I have had other ideas about the story and have also written them down. I want to write a bit more of this 'book', not so much as I think it will get published but rather I would feel rather proud of myself.

However, even with time on my hands I haven't tried to write more of it even though I really want to. I need some more motivation other than I will feel proud of doing so.
Perhaps some publisher out there wants a new vampire novel? 

Harper Collins? 


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enchante's Top 5 books of 2008

This is the first ever time I have read enough books in one year to warrant a top anything book of the year. I think in total I read 29 books, 2 of them were short stories, 2 young adult books, 1 auto-biography, 1 non-fiction, 1 crime/thriller and the rest were fantasy/sci-fi. 

I think last year not only did I read a lot of books (at least for me) but the quality of books I read was also quite superb. This is due to the fact that I am playing a lot of catch up on classics and also because the amount of quality fantasy writing has increased. It was really difficult for me to pick a top 5 not only because I read a lot of great books but some of them were read 300 days ago and my memory is failing me. 

Anyways on with the show.

#5 Tuf Voyaging by George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin is my favourite author in the world. He wrote the series called a Song of Ice and Fire which has won the hearts of many. Too often when an author has a stand out series is that many of his other works go unnoticed or aren't mentioned very much and I have not heard anyone ever mention Tuf Voyaging.

As with most of Martin's earlier works they are more sci-fi orientated with a hint of horror and this book is no exception. The plot of this story is about a relatively poor merchant/transporter who is in love with cats. He accepts to take a group of 'scientists and mercenaries' to find a 'lost' technologically advanced ship which would make them all richer than the Sultan of Brunei, but finding the ship was the easy part, surviving the terrors on board and surviving each other will become of the utmost importance.

This story is very witty and funny. Martin spares no details when describing scenes/people and dead. An excellent story which I hope one day gets a sequel. 

#4 Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Don't judge a book by its cover and certainly not by someones first name. I had heard many raps about this book from before I read it and it certainly did not disappoint. Mieville creates this world called New Crobuzon where races of Bird men, Cacti men, Khepri (scrab people), mutants, humans and other strange races fill the living world of New Crobuzon. 

The story starts off very slowly and pulls you along making you guess what the real story is about (unless you read the blurb at the back), developing the characters, the culture of this city and the city itself.

It is hard to describe this book because it is like no other fantasy I have ever read before. The races are different, the world is different (vastly), the technology available is neither here nor there. The main character is not your swash buckling long haired hero with a greatsword in one hand and a maiden in the other but rather a slightly overweight scientist who falls in love with a woman totally forbidden.

Be prepared to have your fragile little mind blown apart when reading this book and don't let it hit you on the head either, the book is thicker than your skull.

#3 American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman is known to comic enthusiasts as the author of Sandman. To movie goers he is known as the author of Stardust but to readers of fantasy he is known for Neverwhere, Good Omens a book he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett (recently knighted author of the Discworld series).

I picked up this book from the recommendation of my friend Leigh. I wasn't sure of the book at first but the more I read the more I couldn't put it down. 

This story is about the Norse Gods, Odin, Loki etc. and how they are trying to survive in a world where no one remembers them and no one believes in them. However, when you have power you won't relinquish it easily and the Gods are preparing to rejuvenate their power and to do so they must take on the new generation of gods,the Internet, the Media, the American Gods!

Gaiman has definitely captured my heart and I am currently reading his Sandman Graphic Novels. I hope to read Good Omens soon, as it is getting lonely on my bookshelf.

#2 The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I will always remember this book as the first 1st/1st Edition Hardcover book that I owned. I was so happy to hold it and turn the first page and finished it in about 3-4 days (quick for me).

The story follows Locke (in my mind Lock - e, and not Lock) Lamora an orphan who is bought by a blind priest of Perelandro to stop him from being executed. However the blind priest turned out not to be blind nor even a priest. Chains (the fake priest) was actually a thief, a very good one at that but an old one and he was building a tiny gang teaching them the ways of thievery, disguises, deception and cooking! 

The story keeps you on your toes because every 2nd chapter goes back to Locke's past and Scott Lynch always left the chapter before on a semi-cliffhanger. 

Locke is your typical main character who is smart, intelligent, gets away with the impossible and very very lucky. 

Locke is not your typical main character because he isn't a striking man, when it comes to fighting he is actually really shit.

I loved how Lynch wrote with such a simple touch, kept to basics but made the characters interesting enough and Locke's background interesting enough to deprive me of sleep and social interaction. This book would also make a great TV series!

#1 Troy: The Fall of Kings

Gemmell at the top of your list? But once you've read one Gemmell book you've read them all! I keep hearing/reading that from people. Perhaps that is why this series has fallen under the radar a bit. 

To my benefit Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow, was the first Gemmell book I read, since then I have complete the Troy trilogy, 'Legend', and 'The King beyond the gate'.

Fall of Kings is the 3rd and final installment of the Troy series ('Lord of the Silver Bow', 'Shield of Thunder' being the first two). David Gemmell died before the book was finished. Stella his wife was left with 14,000 words already written and a skeleton diagram of how David wanted the book to end. I could definitely tell where Stella picked up and she isn't as talented as David but it still did not diminish this series for me.

I can tell you that Troy is NOTHING like the first two books Gemmell had published (the fore mentioned books). There is a lot more character depth, twists to amazing legends that you may or may not know (perhaps from the shitty film called Troy), death to some of your favourite characters, betrayal,  love and tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. 

Books like Legend were great but won't make me miss Gemmell. Troy definitely has made me miss Gemmell. Go pick it up from the bookstore/library now. If you know me personally, ask me to borrow it, I won't hesitate and praise Gemmell for what I call his finest work. Rest in peace David Gemmell.

Honourable Mentions:
Last Arguments of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
Dune by Frank Herbert
Temeraire by Naomi Novik
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (not on my list because it was a re-read)

Monday, January 12, 2009


I find myself in a position I have never been in before. 
I'm jobless, not studying, no income to speak of at the moment.

I deal with that, I know that there will be more jobs opening up a couple of weeks before school starts but right now I am sort of in limbo. I need to fill time in.

I can read sure, but I really need to be more productive. I want to go for jogs, but I hate jogging. I want to write some more of my book which is still in the embryotic stages, yet I feel the lack of motivation. 

I have fallen and I can't get up

Your new favourite saying.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Fast becoming my favourite saying.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When did Ozzy become an actor?

That line is from the song '1985' by 'Bowling for Soup'. I was reminded of it when I was walking through the EMO/PUNK aisle in JB-HIFI. You expect bands like My Chem and Panic at the Disco there but it made me sad that bands like Green Day were there. Bands like Green Day were rock/punkrock way before Emotional Music was Emo, before teen boys pretended to be teen girls

I think I'm getting old.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I gain 6 life.

After having such an extended break from my friends (because I moved to Wellington) it was so good to see all of them for Christmas/New Years. Some of them have changed (for the better) and some of them are still the same, but all were just awesome.
Shaun my best friend is really growing as a person and moving out of the house is doing him wonders.
Koray changing his name back was the first big step towards normality but still has heaps to learn.
Daz was good fun and very welcoming even if I was at his house almost everyday!
Team Cumberpatch, always good to see you guys.
Leigh and Pat, no Cannelloni! Good to play Bball with you though Pat.
David great to see you, and I think your my new coffee drinking buddy!
James Farrier, was great hanging out with you dude.
Chang Family: Family is more and more important the older I get.

Nik and Fern: Miss you guys heaps, come back soon?
My girl. See you soon, missed you heaps

Anna, James' girlfriend, sweet and nice, making a new friend is great