Star Wars

Published on Sep 5, 2014 Rare 1977 Alec Guinness Interview on Star Wars on Parkinson Talk Show Published on May 14, 2014 In this interview made in 1999 Bill Moyers discusses with George Lucas how Joseph Campbell and his concept … Continue reading

Published on Sep 5, 2014
Rare 1977 Alec Guinness Interview on Star Wars on Parkinson Talk Show

Published on May 14, 2014
In this interview made in 1999 Bill Moyers discusses with George Lucas how Joseph Campbell and his concept of the Monomyth also known as the Hero’s Journey and other concepts from Mythology and Religion shaped the Star Wars saga.

The original Star Wars is a mixture of 1950’s popular culture: the Wizard of Oz, Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress, Flash Gordon serials, and Westerns. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg took these influences and molded them into a fantasy epic to great success. Yet, what’s the essence of the success of the Star Wars franchise? What are the main motifs of the Original Trilogy that make the history compelling?

George Lucas, the creator of the franchise, is not of much helping explaining even the genesis of the story, let alone its cultural impact and significance. Lucas goes back and forth between claiming he had a grandiose vision of the whole thing from the beginning, to admitting he made Star Wars up as he went along. The Phantom Menace is more a reflection of Lucas inner demons than an extension of the original theme: Anakin and Darth Vader are self-insertion. Lucas trough his professional career searched for a balance between the light side of legacy and the dark side of merchandising and ended selling his soul to the White Slavers.

Lucas is the driving force behind the Star Wars mythology but A New Hope is great despite of him. He was a contributor among many.

I was coming out of my teens when I saw A New Hope for the first time. It was a successful movie but the big merchandising impetus really came with The Empire Strikes Back some years later. A New Hope was meant to be a B summer movie and George Lucas commercial drive is what propelled Star Wars into a Merchandising Empire.
Whatever makes A New Hope special cannot be found solely on the movie itself but in the social and historical moment when it appeared. Star Wars drove the cultural wave of oriental mysticism and martial arts just when they were taking the West by storm.
The new reboot by Disney just rips off the original story arc from A New Hope instead of breaking new ground: playing safe with their multibillion dollar investment.

The Force Awakens, a big budget Disney TV movie for Star Wars fans and a safe retragetting of Star Wars to new customers: children, girls in particular. The Force Awakens forces the plot and breaks consistency with the ending of Return of the Jedi by bringing the story line back to the beginning of A New Hope, and at the same time, pretending to be a continuation of the story by just relabeling things. The new elements are the perfect woman, and disregard of plot coherence in favor of continous action and simplicity. Why old fans find the new version acceptable is baffling. Maybe just old boys clinging to lost youth.

Poetry


A Mary Sue or Gary Stu or Marty Stu is an idealized fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities. Often this character is recognized as an author insert and/or wish-fulfillment.[1]

The term “Mary Sue” comes from the name of a character created by Paula Smith in 1973 for her parody story “A Trekkie’s Tale”[2]:15 published in her fanzine Menagerie #2.[3]The story starred Lieutenant Mary Sue (“the youngest Lieutenant in the fleet — only fifteen and a half years old”), and satirized unrealistic Star Trek fan fiction.[4] Such characters were generally female adolescents who had romantic liaisons with established canonical adult characters, or in some cases were the younger relatives or protégées of those characters. By 1976 Menagerie’s editors stated that they disliked such characters, saying:

Mary Sue stories—the adventures of the youngest and smartest ever person to graduate from the academy and ever get a commission at such a tender age. Usually characterized by unprecedented skill in everything from art to zoology, including karate and arm-wrestling. This character can also be found burrowing her way into the good graces/heart/mind of one of the Big Three [Kirk, Spock, and McCoy], if not all three at once. She saves the day by her wit and ability, and, if we are lucky, has the good grace to die at the end, being grieved by the entire ship.[5]

 


the Syuzhet Package

Posted by Matthew Jockers Introduction This post is a followup to A Novel Method for Detecting Plot posted June 15, 2014. For the past few years, I have been exploring the relationship between sentiment and plot shape in fiction. Earlier today I posted an R package titled “syuzhet” to github. The package is designed to […]

Posted by Matthew Jockers

Introduction

This post is a followup to A Novel Method for Detecting Plot posted June 15, 2014.

For the past few years, I have been exploring the relationship between sentiment and plot shape in fiction. Earlier today I posted an R package titled “syuzhet” to github. The package is designed to extract sentiment and plot information from prose. Methods for text import, sentiment extraction, and plot arc modeling are described in the documentation and in the package vignette. What follows below is a blog-friendly version of a longer academic paper describing how I employed this package to study plot in a corpus of ~50,000 novels.

Chimamanda Adichie

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, … Continue reading

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Sigil for Ubuntu 15.04

There are some repositories that seem to be mantaining Sigil at this moment for Ubuntu 15.04: i2p: https://launchpad.net/~i2p.packages/+archive/ubuntu/i2p sudo add-apt-repository ppa:i2p.packages/i2p sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sigil xiota: https://launchpad.net/~xiota/+archive/ubuntu/ppa sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xiota/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sigil mapreri: https://launchpad.net/~mapreri/+archive/ubuntu/sigil sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mapreri/sigil sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sigil Though it is … Continue reading Sigil for Ubuntu 15.04

There are some repositories that seem to be mantaining Sigil at this moment for Ubuntu 15.04:

i2p: https://launchpad.net/~i2p.packages/+archive/ubuntu/i2p

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:i2p.packages/i2p
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sigil

xiota: https://launchpad.net/~xiota/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xiota/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sigil

mapreri: https://launchpad.net/~mapreri/+archive/ubuntu/sigil

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mapreri/sigil
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sigil

Though it is important to note that i2p.packages repository doesn’t contain only Sigil, and updating after adding it may upgrade other packages.

Free Podcasting Software

A vast array of software is available to support your podcasting requirements; some programs offer one stop integrated solutions to all your podcasting needs, while others fill more specific niches. However, every piece of software that you need in order to record and produce a professional, quality podcast is readily available free of charge. www.richardfarrar.com … Continue reading Free Podcasting Software

A vast array of software is available to support your podcasting requirements; some programs offer one stop integrated solutions to all your podcasting needs, while others fill more specific niches. However, every piece of software that you need in order to record and produce a professional, quality podcast is readily available free of charge.

www.richardfarrar.com

Acquiring the Audio

No matter what software you choose to help create and produce your podcasts, you will first have to get your audio into the computer. How you choose to do this is entirely up to you, but is likely to depend on what level of audio quality you want and your budget. At the most basic level you could use your computer’s in-built microphone, but for a reasonable degree of quality you will want a semi-decent external microphone.

1. Audacity – Audio Recorder and Editor

2. WinLAME – Audio Encoder

winlameOnce your audio has been recorded and edited (preferably in WAV format) you will need to convert it into a suitable podcast format. The universally accepted audio file format for podcasts is MP3. WinLAME is an excellent piece of free podcasting software designed to convert WAV files into the podcast friendly MP3 format.

3. Mp3Tag – ID3 Tag Editor

sshot1qcNow that you have your podcast MP3 audio file and some suitable artwork for its cover, you will need to embed the artwork into the MP3 file and add some additional tags that can be displayed by the listener’s playback device.

EPUB publishing

ton of different formats: .aeh (used by Archos eReaders) .lrx (used by Sony eReaders) .ibooks (used by Apple eReaders) .pkg (used by Newton eReaders) .mobi (used by Amazon Kindle eReaders) .epub (used by just about everyone else, including Barnes & Noble NOOK eReaders) There are actually even more formats than those. That’s just a small … Continue reading EPUB publishing

ton of different formats:

.aeh (used by Archos eReaders)
.lrx (used by Sony eReaders)
.ibooks (used by Apple eReaders)
.pkg (used by Newton eReaders)
.mobi (used by Amazon Kindle eReaders)
.epub (used by just about everyone else, including Barnes & Noble NOOK eReaders)

There are actually even more formats than those. That’s just a small sample. So, which one should you make?

Well, the only formats you need to create are EPUB and MOBI. Forget the others. EPUB is quickly becoming the industry standard and 90% of the eReaders on the market can open EPUB files. There is also a very simple conversion tool to change your EPUB into a MOBI. So, you really only need to make an EPUB, convert it to MOBI, and your book will be accessible on 99% of the eReaders out there, including NOOK and Kindle.

 


Build a digital book with EPUB

The open XML-based eBook format

Need to distribute documentation, create an eBook, or just archive your favorite blog posts? EPUB is an open specification for digital books based on familiar technologies like XML, CSS, and XHTML, and EPUB files can be read on portable e-ink devices, mobile phones, and desktop computers. This tutorial explains the EPUB format in detail, demonstrates EPUB validation using Java technology, and moves step-by-step through automating EPUB creation using DocBook and Python.


EPUB (short for electronic publication) is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub.

EPUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that an EPUB reader can optimize text for a particular display device. EPUB also supports fixed-layout content. The format is intended as a single format that publishers and conversion houses can use in-house, as well as for distribution and sale. It supersedes the Open eBook standard.

EPUB became an official standard of the IDPF in September 2007, superseding the older Open eBook standard.[4]

In August 2009, the IDPF announced that they would begin work on maintenance tasks of the EPUB standard.[5] Two broad objectives were defined by this working group: “One set of activities governs maintenance of the current EPUB Standards (i.e. OCF, OPF, and OPS), while another set of activities addresses the need to keep the Standards current and up-to-date.” The working group expected to be active through 2010, publishing updated standards throughout its lifetime.[6] On April 6, 2010, it was announced that this working group would complete their update in April 2010. The result was to be a minor revision to EPUB 2.0.1 that “…corrects errors and inconsistencies and does not change functionality.”[7] On July 2, 2010, drafts of the version 2.0.1 standards appeared on the IDPF website.

On April 6, 2010, it was announced that a working group would form to revise the EPUB specification.[7] In the working group’s charter draft, 14 main problems with EPUB are identified, which the group will address. The group was chartered through May 2011, and was scheduled to submit a final draft on May 15, 2011.[8] An initial Editors Draft for EPUB3 was published on November 12, 2010,[9] and the first public draft was published on February 15, 2011.[10] On May 23, 2011, the IDPF released its proposed specification for final review. On October 10, 2011, the IDPF announced that its membership had approved EPUB 3 as a final Recommended Specification.[11]

In September 2012, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 re-established Ad Hoc Group 4 on EPUB of IDPF to prepare the creation of a Joint Working Group (JWG) for EPUB. EPUB 3 will be submitted as a Draft Technical Specification by the Korean National Body via the JTC 1 fast-track procedure and it will be assigned to the SC 34/JWG when approved.[12] It is currently under a standardization process under the formal name ISO/IEC DTS 30135-1 – Information technology – Digital publishing – EPUB3 — Part 1: EPUB3 Overview.[13]

Editing systems

Creation Software
Software Platform License Notes
ABBYY FineReader Windows Commercial Version 11 exports to EPUB format.
Abiword FreeBSD,Linux,Windows GPL Support EPUB 2.0 format export since 2.9.1 release [33]
Adobe InDesign Windows,Mac OS X Commercial Exports to EPUB format. Versions prior to 5.5 create EPUBs that require significant editing to pass ePubCheck or ePubPreFlight.
Adobe RoboHelp Windows Unknown Online documentation tool that supports export to EPUB format
Aquafadas Digital Publishing System Windows,Mac OS X Commercial Exports to epub3 Fixed Layout format since version 2.0. The publishing system proposes a rich toolset of enrichments for the InDesign documents. The following subset is preserved during the epub3 export : videos, slideshows, sounds, xhtml snippets, links, actions. The generated epub preserves the layout and styles by embedding the appropriate fonts. It does not require any manual editing to pass the epubcheck test.
Aspose Windows,Addon app freeware only MS-Word2007 Converts any document to EPUB; supports multilevel TOCs, font embedding, and batch conversion.
Atlantis Word Processor Windows,Portable app Shareware Converts any document to EPUB; supports multilevel TOCs, font embedding, and batch conversion.
BlueGriffon EPUB Edition Windows,Mac OS X,GNU/Linux Commercial Wysiwyg editor. Creates, opens, edits and saves natively EPUB2 and EPUB3 (dated October 2012, only application doing it) formats; does not rely on a proprietary pivot format. Offers full UI-based control on all EPUB2 and EPUB3 metadata. Automatically generates guide and NCX in EPUB3 for compatibility with EPUB2. Includes a complete CSS editor, a SVG editor and a MathML editor. Full support for HTML 5, including video and audio tags, and CSS3.
Booktype Web GPL Book production platform that outputs to many formats, including ePub. The platform can import content in various formats and supports collaborative editing.
calibre Windows,Mac OS X,FreeBSD,GNU/Linux GPL Conversion software and e-book organizer. Allows plugins, including for editing EPUB files; there is for instance a plugin to merge several EPUB files into one.[34]
eLML Windows,Mac OS X,FreeBSD,GNU/Linux Unknown The eLesson Markup Language is a platform-independent XML-based open source framework to create eLearning content. It supports various output formats like SCORM, HTML, PDF and also eBooks based on the ePub format.
Feedbooks Web Unknown Free cloud service for downloading public domain works and for self-publishing.
GLIFOEBOOK Windows Commercial Desktop publishing. Generate ePUB version 2 and 3 with audio, video, smil and mathematical formulas compatible with MathML and LaTeX.
Help & Manual Windows Commercial Single source publishing tool that generates ePUB amongst several other documentation formats.
HelpNDoc Windows Free for personal use, commercial otherwise. Help authoring tool that generates EPUB files and other formats.
iBooks Author Mac OS X Unknown Desktop publishing and page layout application. Free from Apple. Can export .ibooks format, which is a proprietary format based on EPUB.[35] There are restrictions on the commercial distribution of works created with iBooks in the .ibooks format.[36] These restrictions apply to the .ibooks format only[37] and it can be argued that a file renamed to .epub is not distributed in the .ibooks format.
IGP:Digital Publisher Web Commercial Portal Cloud Service or licence application for digital content publishing to all formats. Generates ePub 2 and ePub 3 fixed and flow layout plus other formats.
iStudio Publisher Mac OS X Commercial Desktop publishing and page layout application.
Legend Maker Mac OS X Commercial Single source publishing from insert codes into .rtf. Auto generates .epub with insert of chapters, images, audio, video, links, Endnotes, author photo, cover and more. One-click production of .epub and mobi.
Lulu.com Web Unknown Upload and convert .doc, .docx, or PDF manuscripts to an ePub. Then choose a title, create a cover, describe your ePub, and pick a price. It’s free to publish and sell.
Madcap Flare Windows Commercial Single source publishing tool that can export content as ePUB.
oXygen XML Editor Mac OS X,Windows,FreeBSD,Linux Commercial oXygen XML Editor is the first tool that supports creating, transforming, and validating the documents that comprise the EPUB package.
Pages Mac OS X Unknown Word processor (part of the iWork ’09 suite) that can export to EPUB format (Pages ’09 only, and only with the iWork 9.0.4 update).
Playwrite Mac OS X Commercial Native EPUB-based word processor. Native to EPUB 3 with EPUB 2 compatibility.
PubCoder Mac OS X Unknow Native EPUB creator, with animation, read-aloud and interaction with all supported devices.
Pubtree editor Windows Commercial This application can open and edit EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 books, does not modify the source function can be put epub 3 Books, like iBooks Author.
QuarkXPress Mac OS X,Windows Commercial Desktop Publishing Tool, Page Layout Application. Exports also to the ePUB format.
Serif PagePlus X6 Windows Commercial Desktop Publishing Program. Exports also to the ePUB format.
Scrivener Windows,Mac OS X Commercial Program for writers. Includes organization capabilities for fiction writers. Publishes to multiple formats.
Sigil Windows,FreeBSD,GNU/Linux,Mac OS X GPLv3 This application can also open and edit EPUB books, instead of just converting from other formats to EPUB. Since version 0.7, Sigil supports embedding video or audio in EPUB.

All things being equal, the epub format is preferable to pdf for reading on devices like the iPad, Nook, Sony, Kobo, and other dedicated e-readers.

But for some types of books (such as manga, comics, or graphic novels), epub doesn’t seem to be able to handle large images that should fill the screen.

Apple has gone so far as to create its own fixed layout format for such ebooks.

It is possible, though, to stick with epub and get perfect results for illustrated ebooks, using the forgotten (or perhaps simply overlooked) svg image element.

Here’s a peek under the hood of how we do it at eBookBurn.com, as part of our newillustrated ebook publishing feature.

This is an example of the markup to use in your epub’s xhtml files for each image:

<svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 592 900" preserveAspectRatio="xMidYMid meet">
<image width="592" height="900" xlink:href="images/page01.jpeg" />
</svg>

What this markup does is take a JPEG image sized 592 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall, and frame it in the center of a 592×900 svg element.

It turns out that 592×900 is the right size and aspect ratio for “standard-sized” six inch e-ink screens found on the regular Nook, and Sony Reader.

So why use svg at all?

Wouldn’t it be simpler to define it with the plain img tag (as this epub template does), like this?

<img src="images/page01.jpeg" width="592" height="900" alt="Page 1"/>

Unfortunately, many devices, such as the iPad and the Nook Color, have screens largerthan six inches.

So on those devices, using the plain img tag in your epub’s xhtml files leaves an embarrassing whitespace gap, from where the image stops to where the actual screen ends.

The svg element shown earlier, though, is different: it stretches the image to fill the entire screen, while preserving the aspect ratio.

It’s also important to note that 592 width and 900 height specified within the svg and image elements should not be thought of as pixel sizes, since no units are defined, but as a width-to-height ratio.

So any image with the same aspect ratio as 592×900 will work well, regardless of its actual size. Scaling up to larger screens, though, also means the dpi count should be reasonably high, at least 72 dpi (and more for images whose base size is smaller than 592×900 pixels).

For most devices, that’s enough, but some e-readers insist on adding margins and other padding to each page, so it’s helpful to define this in the xhtml file’s head block:

<style type="text/css">
@page { margin: 0.000000pt; padding: 0.000000pt; }
</style>

And these css classes in the stylesheet:

.svg_outer {
display: block;
margin-bottom: 0;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;
margin-top: 0;
padding-bottom: 0;
padding-left: 0;
padding-right: 0;
padding-top: 0;
text-align: left;
}

.svg_inner {
display: block;
text-align: center;
}

So the final xhtml for each page image looks like this:

<div class="svg_outer">
<div class="svg_inner">
<svg version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 592 900" preserveAspectRatio="xMidYMid meet">
<image width="592" height="900" xlink:href="images/page01.jpeg" />
</svg>
</div>
</div>

Just repeat that pattern for every image in book, for every chapter that contains full-page illustrations.


Update, May 1, 2012: Moriah Jovan has been kind enough to provide sample epub files created using this technique:

Sigil

Sigil is a free, open source, multi-platform ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format. * It’s website is located here: http://code.google.com/p/sigil/ * It’s current code repository is located here: https://github.com/user-none/Sigil * Translations are located here: https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/sigil/ * Support forums are located here:  http://www.mobileread.com/ Sigil is an open-source editor for EPUB e-books developed by Strahinja Marković in 2009 and […]

Sigil is a free, open source, multi-platform ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format. * It’s website is located here: http://code.google.com/p/sigil/ * It’s current code repository is located here: https://github.com/user-none/Sigil * Translations are located here: https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/sigil/ * Support forums are located here:  http://www.mobileread.com/ Sigil is an open-source editor for EPUB e-books developed by Strahinja Markovi? in 2009 and maintained by John Schember since 2011.[2] As a cross-platform application, it is distributed for the Microsoft WindowsMac OS X and Linux platforms under the GNU GPL license. Sigil supports both WYSIWYG and code-based editing of EPUB files, as well as the import of HTML and plain text files.[3][4]

Features

Sigil’s features include:[5]

  • Full UTF-16 and EPUB 2 specification support
  • Multiple views: book, code and preview view
  • WYSIWYG editing in book view
  • Table of contents generator with multi-level heading support
  • Metadata editor with full support for all metadata entries
  • Spell checking with default and user configurable dictionaries
  • Full regular expression (PCRE) support for find and replace
  • Supports import of EPUB and HTML files, images, and style sheets,
  • FlightCrew EPUB integration for EPUB compliance validator
  • Integrated API to external HTML and graphics editors

A free SIGIL walkthrough, guiding you step-by-step through the process of creating an ebook first as epub and then as mobi file for Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), starting from a text written in any word processing program (Open Office, MS Word, Pages, …).

I have used this process myself to create my own ebooks as an independent writer. I am very grateful for all the support I have been receiving from other independent writers in facebook groups and via direct contacts. The  free SIGIL walkthrough, written by Barbara Krauß in German was particularly helpful for me.

So now its my turn and I have translated it into English and added my own experiences in the process to share it with you.

On the internet there are many how to-books about, explaining how to create ebooks and how to upload them to portals like Amazon and many more. Most of them have been published as ebooks themselves and are out there to be bought.

You will find many good tips in them with respect to marketing, taxes, and many of them are worth their money and a lot of them go for € 0,99 or even $ 0,99 – so you cant go really wrong in buying them.

If you are looking for support to create a clean epub-file, which then can be easily converted into a mobi-file, then you are right here. This free walkthrough guides you through creating an epub-file with the freeware SIGIL and shows you how to easily transform a text-file into an ebook-file.

You do not need to know anything about HTML-code before to do this – I didn’t. :) Because this is what SIGIL basically does for you: it translates your text automatically into HTML-code, which is the base of ebook-files.

This walkthrough is a gift to you. I am grateful to be part of the international online community of independent writers and received great support in the manifold and diversified forums and groups, I am part of. Now I’m glad to offer such support to you.

Announcement:

We do not claim that we cover everything in this walkthrough. Everybody is responsible for creating his or her own ebook. We accept no liability for possible damages.

You need:

An edited text in any word processing program The freeware SIGIL a separate style sheet the freeware CALIBRE a program to create a cover for your book the free Sony Reader App to check your epub-file the freeware epubchecker to check your epub-file the free Kindle-Reader-App to check your mobi-file

Scribus

Scribus is an Open Source program that brings professional page layout to Linux, BSD UNIX, Solaris, OpenIndiana, GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page desi…

Scribus is an Open Source program that brings professional page layout to Linux, BSD UNIX, Solaris, OpenIndiana, GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design.