Category: Writing

Laura Dern in Jurassic Park

Write! Write!

There’s a scene in Jurassic Park where the character played by Laura Dern, having just escaped being raptor kibble, sees her close friend (played by Sam Neill) in the distance. She softly shouts out through gritted teeth, “Run! Run!” She’s not telling Neill to run; she’s telling herself to run.

She’s not telling Neill to run; she’s telling herself to run.

Critics have panned the scene, accusing Dern of overacting. I thought it was a good scene, and the acting was appropriate to the context.

Here is a person who has just barely escaped from a large, intelligent, and scary reptile who had recently munched down a park employee, leaving only the grisly remains of his arm. When she sees her friend, who represents both familiarity and safety, she wants nothing more than to run to him. She wants to run so badly, she’s actually incapable of running. She has to tell herself to “Run!” to break through the paralysis before she can manage to limp to Neill. In the scene, she demonstrates what can happen when we’re overcome with such a strong desire to do something, we’re incapable of doing anything.

I look at my dormant websites and I think of all the things I want to write. There are so many things I want to write about, and I want to write about them so badly that I find myself frozen, just like Laura Dern … but without ravening beasts at my back.

The Trump Presidency, his cabinet, the environment, technology, climate, animals and their welfare, people, life…there is so much going on nowadays, so many topics that interest me, so much I want to say that I find myself not being able to say a damn thing. Instead, I fuss, and I plan, and I research, and tweet/Facebook and then I fuss some more. I’ve fussed over my site for weeks without writing one single word to it.

So here I am, Laura Dern-like, crouched at my laptop with hordes of ideas breathing down my neck, telling myself to “Write! Write!”

If for a time I limp instead of leap, at least it’s better than silence.

Learning Node, 2nd Edition is now live

Learning Node 2nd cover

Learning Node, 2nd Edition is now in production and should be hitting the streets within a few weeks. We had a bit of excitement when Node 6.0 was rolled out, just as we entered production. However, this edition of the book was specifically designed to accommodate Node’s rather energetic release schedule, and the book survived with only minimal changes.

In this edition, I focused heavily on the Node core API, rather than third-party modules. I figured the book audience either consists of front-end developers working with JavaScript in the browser, or server-side developers who have worked with other tools. In either case, the audience wants to know how to work with Node…not this module or that. Node, itself.

My one trip into the fanciful was the chapter on Node in other environments. In this chapter, I had a chance to introduce the reader to Microsoft’s new ChakraCore for Node, as well as using Node with Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and with the Internet of Things (IoT). I figured by Chapter 12, we all deserved a special treat.

The book’s Table of Contents:

1. The Node Environment
2. Node Building Blocks: the Global Objects, Events, and Node’s Asynchronous Nature
3. Basics of Node Modules and Npm
4. Interactive Node with REPL and More on the Console
5. Node and the Web
6. Node and the Local System
7. Networking, Sockets, and Security
8. Child Processes
9. Node and ES6
10. Full-stack Node Development
11. Node in Development and Production
12. Node in New Environments

A more detailed TOC is available at O’Reilly.

I had a good crew at O’Reilly on the book, and an exceptionally good tech reviewer in Ethan Brown.

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