my recent reads..

BPEL + Pipes. Workflow for all?

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The Leavenworth Case


I've enjoyed listening to The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green over the past week. Kirsten Ferreri reads it with a suitably "Victorian" overture for LibriVox, where it is available as a podcast download.

The Leavenworth Case was published in 1878, and is a nicely complicated murder mystery. The true culprit remains well veiled until a classic drawing-room climax. Apparently the book was praised for the mastery of legal points and was used at Yale University to demonstrate the fallacy of circumstantial evidence.


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Richard Dawkins at the Sydney Writers' Festival


I was very interested to hear Robyn Williams interview Richard Dawkins for a recent Science Show broadcast from the Sydney Writers' Festival.

The topic was of course Dawkins' The God Delusion. I've yet to read this, but definitely have it on my reading list now. I remember reaeding his The Selfish Gene many years ago, and being struck by its clarity and compelling proposition. It seems like The God Delusion is cut from the same cloth. Speaking of cloth, the following is I gather the foreward to the UK edition, and a nice bit of satire;-)

[The Courtier's Reply by P.Z. Myers]: I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor's boots, nor does he give a moment's consideration to Bellini's masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor's Feathered Hat. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor's raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion; Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor's taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognise dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.

Oh, hail the Emperor!




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The Best Laid Plans


I found The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis on the podiobooks.com recommendation list, and I am so glad I did.

This is a hartwarming story of a jaded political staffer rediscovering some of his idealism in the form of an Engineering Professor who becomes an accidental MP, turning parliament upside-down in the process. Mr Fallis has created an ensemble of wonderful and unconventional characters, and a story that you can enjoy on so many levels.
The podcast version of the novel is a delight. It is like having Terry tell you the story while sitting on the balcony overlooking the Ottawa River, sipping a good whiskey. The short introductions he does for each episode - mentioning some of the feedback, and updating on publishing plans - lend that personal touch in a way that few have been able to equal.

I'm pleased to see that the publishing deal has come through, and you can now find the Best Laid Plans in print on Amazon. I'm looking forward to my copy arriving soon so I can enjoy this story all over again in printed form (yes, that's how much I liked it!).

Join the Friends of “The Best Laid Plans” Podcast Facebook group, or check out the author's site for more information and his blog. Maybe we will see news of a sequel there in the not too distant future...

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