Website: Speed Reading Test


The following link is to a website that has a speed reading test on it. Very quick and simple to use, and also provides a few statistics based on your results.

For more, visit:
http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/ereaders/speed-reader/

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

Book Review: Currently Reading – Print is Dead, by Jeff Gomez


I have been reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez. Having just read chapter two, ‘Us and Them,’ I must say that his point in that chapter is well made. The demise in traditional book sales has not been because ebooks have taken the world by storm – at least not at this stage – but because other areas of the digital world have. Generations of younger people have turned away from books in all their forms and have sought entertainment in other things, such as the Internet and video games, to name just a couple. It is reading itself that is being passed by, so the advent of the ebook is not that which is killing off the traditional book and by extension the bookseller/bookshop, but rather ‘dumber’ forms of entertainment.

Books will always be around in one form or another (at least I believe that), whether they remain as prolific as they now are is quite another thing, it is the habit of reading that may fall away dramatically and cause books to be cast aside – at least in the wider community. I think there will always be a group or community of diehard book readers, who eventually will have ebooks as their primary source of books and reading material. There are those who will not be lost entirely to less intellectual forms of entertainment, though perhaps some of these other forms of entertainment may play a role in the ‘reading’ of the future in the digital world (linked to videos, etc). Reading is a great skill that is being lost and the medium for ideas through the ages faces its greatest threat from a lack of it.

The next chapter, ‘newspapers are no longer news,’ deals with newspapers as a source of news and book reviews, or rather, how they are rapidly loosing their ascendency to online applications and tools. In a world that is rapidly changing and access to news as it happens online, newspapers are becoming a too infrequently updated source of news and information. Online access to news and events as they happen are so readily accessible, that the traditional source of news is fading away. As for book reviews, the avenues of discussion about books on the web via social networking, Blogs and the like, opens the opportunity for all to join the discussion. Book reviews in newspapers, like movie reviews, are opportunities for the reviewers to pontificate and/or push their own views onto a public unable to respond – online however the avenues of discussion are legion and varied. All may be involved – or not at all. The decision as to how one may be involved is left to the individual, which also translates to news stories in a similar manner. Interaction with the news and books has never been so simple and as rich an experience.

See also:
http://www.dontcallhome.com/books.html (Website of Jeff Gomez)
Podcast (Excerpts from the Book)
Google Books
Amazon

Changing the World: December 7 – Light Messages


Today’s suggestion is a rather simple one – to simply put up a small ‘light sign’ to get a message across and raise awareness of an issue. The issue could be ‘peace’ of ‘save trees.’

The message is communicated by making the word/s using a string of lights (fairy lights, etc) and hanging them outside of the house.

This idea is not one I’ll be following up – I’ll do my bit for the environment and not do this one. However, spreading a message via a string of lights can be done – or it could be done by a piece of chalk as with the word ‘eternity,’ by Arthur Stace in Sydney.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/s/stace.htm 

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

Changing the World: November 23 – Stickers to Save Water and Power


The suggestion for today was to try and save water and electricity by remembering to turn off the light switch, a power point, a tap, etc. Because we forget these things the book suggests making stickers to place next to a light switch for example.

This is a somewhat simple solution to a possibly costly memory issue, in that forgetting to flick a switch/turn off a tap costs money by way of the bill, as well as costing more in terms of environmental costs.

I have found myself being far more efficient in these areas in the last little while and hardly ever forget to turn off a light when not needed, turn off a tap when brushing teeth, etc. It did however take a lot of self-discipline and I can see how stickers/post-it’s, etc, can be handy for some people.

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton