45 Writing Tips

The wonderful Caitlin Lambert has written a post with 45 Writing Tips From Actual Writers. I am truly honoured that she’s chosen to include a writing tip that I suggested:

Try to write every day, even if it’s just for a minute. Next week, aim for five minutes, then ten, then fifteen. Good habits are difficult to get into but if you can write every day it will give you the best possible start.”

I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I don’t always follow my own damn advice. Some days I just don’t get around to doing it, or I’m just not feeling that the muse has struck me (or is stood behind me with a mallet threatening me with a beating if I don’t hit that keyboard), even though in those moments I should write about what it’s like to not feel those itchy writing fingers. Mea culpa, dear reader; despite any rumours to the contrary, I’m only human. ;p

This is me after five minute with Gmail's new layout

Writer’s block, thy name is evil.

The Secret to the Stickiness of Frog Spit 

Have you ever wondered how frogs’ tongues get their prey into their mouths? It’s a combination of a super soft tongue and spit that’s a non-Newtonian fluid rather like tomato ketchup, as explained in this fascinating Sciencium video:

Workey – the key to a new workplace?

Looking for a new job? If you’re searching for that vital key to unlocking the door to a new job, then Workey may be your new best friend.  To quote from their own marketing blurb on their Twitter account, “Workey is an anonymous social recruitment platform revolutionizing (sic) tech HR through AI and machine learning. #AI #bigdata”

Workey - less work more jobs!

I’m not convinced that the AI and machine learning algorithms are up to the task as yet.  As with every other job search site I have ever used, I expect to still have to sift the wheat from the chaff by hand, so I am not expecting miracles from this.  Will I give it a try? By all means and I’ll be very happy to be proven wrong.  I signed up and went through the usual rigmarole of copying-and-pasting bits of your LinkedIn profile that got scrambled during the import process. Now that my profile makes for a coherent read, I’ll see if the theory passes muster and ventures into the realms of practical results in the coming weeks and months.  I’ll keep you posted if you’ll pardon the blogging pun.

One thing that may work in its favour is that they are running a promotion at the moment; if you accept a job offer through the site they’ll pay you $500. Yes, you read that right – five hundred bucks. This is possibly one of those few moments when I’ll be happy for the current favourable US Dollar to British Pound exchange rate. So, if you want to sign up, get a new job and an extra 500 US Dollars, here is the Workey sign-up link for you.

A User Roadmap to Free Photo Websites

As a blogger, I like to keep things interesting by adding relevant images to my posts that engage you. Walls of text on their own will just make your eyes glaze over, so a bit of colour is no bad thing. Help is at hand in the form of User Roadmap that provides reviews to 95 – yes, I did just say 95, count ’em – Free Photo Websites.

Free images are a Good Thing™. Not merely free as in beer, although who wants to pay when you can get stuff for nothing? However, you also want to use images that are free as in speech; that is even more important than not having to pay for them in the first place.

Pretty, isn't it?

One of the many CC0+ Curated images available from Pexels.

Why is that so important? OK, let me put it like this; see that pretty photo just above this paragraph? Would you like to get sued for using it? For thousands of pounds or dollars? No, nor me oddly enough, but that is exactly what can happen if you don’t have permission from the copyright holder to use said image, or breach the license of the image… or if you really put your foot in it, both at once. I am not a lawyer, so if you’re unsure about this sort of stuff, you can read the section on their website that answers the question “What are licenses and why should I care about them?”

The main part of the site is the “Shop” except you’re paying zip for access and nothing for the images you use. Perhaps “Directory” would be a better term, but that’s just linguistic quibbling. The default listing is in alphabetical order by site name, but you can switch to popularity and newness (whether that’s of the content or of the site itself, I’m unsure), You can also filter by License, resolution, Attribution requirements, sign-in required, if they use a search box (eighteen don’t, which just boggles me) and if they provide image releases. There’s even a handy reset button once you’ve utterly confused matters by trying every filter at the same time – hey, don’t judge me, I’m a software tester too, remember?

I must confess I’ve not heard of most of the websites listed here so this is a real treasure trove for me. The breadth and depth of available content is impressive. There is a huge range of subjects and the sheer number of images is staggering. As an example, the image I’m using in this post comes from Pexels, which has about 30,000 images on it; that puts it at the smaller end of the spectrum compared to some others listed on User Roadmap. Safe to say I will be happy to use this resource for years to come. 🙂