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- …Except Not
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One thing I like about science fiction is that stories can take place in the distant future. This doesn’t seem to me like a plot device which would work in other genres, especially one like romance where the future is hardly romantic. Setting a story hundreds of years in the future means that you can pretty much do whatever you want. After all, none of your readers will be alive by then (you hope) and you can be as technologically advanced or restricted as you like. That was one of the things which attracted me to J.L. Bryan’s book, Helix, and it wasn’t the only thing I liked while reading his story.
Helix takes place in the 28th century. Man has spread out from Earth, building many space colonies throughout the solar system.The colonies are even more diverse than the nations of Earth today, but all are subject to the United Nations’ rule, paying taxes and sending food and supplies back to the planet. One of these colonies, New Amsterdam, is home to Nicholas Vermeer, the protagonist of the story, and his wife Kemala. The book opens on a very special day for the couple as they are about to gain permission from their religion, the Aescelan, to design their future child. The Aescelan believe in the sanctity of life itself and, as a result, followers must be blessed by their priests to have children. What’s more, these children are genetically engineered, both to ensure they are not born with defects and to endow them with skills and abilities which are necessary to Aescelan society.
I can thank Microsoft Access for helping me break into the IT industry. Over a decade ago, I was working as a data entry temp at a company creating a database of motorcycle parts and accessories for an online catalog they were developing. We were using Microsoft Access 2000 to enter the data. Fortunately for me, we went beyond simple tables while entering our data, creating queries which helped us remove duplicate entries and double check our work. I even wrote my first basic SQL queries in Access during this job, and my desire and ability to learn how to utilize Access to its fullest abilities was noticed by the project supervisors, leading to my first full time technology job. Access has changed a lot in the time since I first played with the toy. Fortunately, there is a great book which Access users of any skill level can turn to for help learning the ins and outs of the latest iteration of the program.
I truly believe that this is the best thing to happen to Gmail since, well, Gmail itself.
Boomerang is a third party plugin for the Firefox and Chrome web browsers which adds a ton of functionality and productivity enhancements to your Gmail account. If you’re a believer in the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, the Inbox Zero method, or both, Boomerang is for you. If you’re not a fan of either, Boomerang is still for you.
What Boomerang allows you to do, in a nutshell, is resend yourself emails from your inbox. For example, if you have an email from your boss which tells you to perform a task at a certain time, you can have Boomerang send that email from your inbox and schedule it to return at a specific time, serving as a reminder to perform that task. Got a meeting coming up and want a reminder half an hour before? Send that email via Boomerang and schedule it to return to your inbox a half hour before the meeting starts. Its arrival back in your inbox (and the resultant new mail alert), will do the job.