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text 2017-03-02 19:35
Markov Chains and Hamlet

Lately I've been feeling adventurous and that got me thinking programming-wise. Is it possible to write a play like Hamlet by using Markov Chains?

Yes! There's a cheating way of doing that by using Markov Chain text generator.

It works more or less like this:

1. Take some text as input (e.g., the complete works of Shakespeare).

2. For every distinct word in it, determine what words follow it, and with what frequency.

3. Pick a word to start with -- e.g., choose one at random from all the words that start sentences.

4. Randomly choose a word to follow it, using the frequencies found in step 2.

 

 

If you're not afraid of a little bit of computer algorithmy, read on. This is the answer you've all been waiting for concerning Shakespeare's works.

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text 2017-02-07 06:44
To be or Not to be...
Shakespeare's Hamlet for Kids: 3 Short Melodramatic Plays for 3 Group Sizes (Playing with Plays) - Brendan P. Kelso,Hannah Sidaris-Green,Shana Lopez

Want to share Shakespeare with your kids but afraid of scaring them away from away from literature for good?? Well then you HAVE to check out this book!! For a small family to a group that want to try something new and fun with a twist, this is exactly what you are going to need! A new age twist on a classic work, while still capturing the essence of the entire play.

Masterfully written and the entire book is a fast read for an adult that wants to sit and read through each scenario on their own before they sit and go through it with the kiddos. This was fun and will make you chuckle as you go through! Don't let this great book slide past unnoticed!! As stated, its written for different group sizes, so you can choose to have as many or as few people involved if you want, but honestly... GO BIG! SO much fun and everyone will enjoy the entire process!

Order your copy today!

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review 2016-12-21 22:24
Dark, perverted tale
The Lonely Hearts Hotel - Heather O'Neill

This story takes place in 1914. Rose and Pierrot are the children of poor, unwed teenagers and both end up at the same orphanage when they’re abandoned by their mothers.  There’s a strong bond between these two children as they face their loveless days with the nuns.  The nuns are determined to keep Rose and Pierrot apart and to thwart their love and happiness in any way they can.  But this is a love that can’t be beat down, even when Pierrot is sent to live with a wealthy man and Rose is sent to work as a governess.

 

Rose and Pierrot are very imaginative characters and their journey through life is written much like a fairy tale, with dancing bears and magic at every turn. But it’s a truly tragic story, filled with child rape, child abuse, animal abuse, drugs, prostitution, etc., etc., etc.  It’s very profane, blunt and sexually graphic, which I felt was done in a way that seemed to be specifically for shock effect, though I’ve read where others have thought it lyrical.  The writing consists of far too many metaphors, though some of the metaphors are quite beautiful.  On one hand, the book can be seen as a story of two entrancing characters trying their best to struggle through a depraved world.  On the other hand, it’s just a perverted, tragic mess, with one atrocity following another.  I just wanted the book to be over so I could escape the horrendous world created by the author.

 

Sorry, but I can’t recommend this one. I was caught up in the comparison to “The Night Circus” but this is a much different type of book.  This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

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review 2016-09-29 01:00
A very unique narrator
Nutshell: A Novel - Ian McEwan

You’ll really need to stretch your imagination wide open for this one! Trudy is living in the marital home where she once lived with her husband, John, but now she’s living with his brother, Claude.  She’s 9-months pregnant with John’s baby.  But the love of money must have its way and Trudy and Claude scheme a plot to commit murder.  But there’s a witness to this murder plot – Trudy’s unborn baby, who narrates this whole book.

 

Now a baby doesn’t know much about this world, right? Well, this baby has been absorbing all of the podcasts and audio books and TV news shows that his mother has been listening to and has gained great insight into the world in which he’s about to be born.  He’s really amazingly educated being such a young age!  However, there’s only so much this little baby can know, not being able to see what’s going on and falling asleep during vital conversations, so he’s a bit of an unreliable narrator but he does the best he can.

 

This is a very witty, and certainly totally unique, retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I usually steer clear of retellings but I’m very glad I had a chance to read this one. Mr. McEwan has really pulled out all stops with his latest.

 

I won this book in a Doubleday giveaway.

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text 2016-08-01 09:25
July wrap-up + currently reading

In July I read 3,5 books. Not that much, but I enjoyed all of them so it was still a good reading month. These are all the books I read:

- Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen 5/5 ★ review

- Hamlet by William Shakespeare 4/5 ★ review

- Percy Jackson and the Battle of Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) 3/5 ★ review

- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I got halfway through in Juli so I will be finishing it in August)

 

What did you read in July and which one was your favorite read?

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