The Hidden Power of Blend Modes in Adobe Photoshop/ Scott Valentine

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cover
006.686 MOO

Many ‘Single-technique’ examples of Photoshop CS6 blend modes (in Layers).

Second part has a more technical explanation of the workings and mathematical calculations.

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UI Design with Adobe Illustrator: Discover the ease and power of using Illustrator to design Web sites and apps/ Rick Moore

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cover
006.686 MOO

Well-organised book.
Clear instructions and illustrations.
Concise chunks on using specific Adobe Illustrator features.
Step-by-step guide in using the required features to complete a (mock) site.

Read in 2012

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  1. 10 ways to change the world in your 20s/ libuse binder
  2. All-star Superman 1/ grant morrison, frank quietly & jamie grant
  3. All-star Superman 2/ grant morrison, frank quietly & jamie grant
  4. American Born Chinese/ Gene Luen Yang
  5. Analog science fiction and fact/ Dec 2010
  6. Architectural Record/ Mar 2012
  7. Asian defence & diplomacy/ vol 18 dec 2011/ jan 2012
  8. Astro City: the dark age 1 – brothers & other strangers/ Busik, Anderson, Ross, Sinclair
  9. B.P.R.D. vol 1, Hollow Earth & other stories
  10. Beyond band of brothers: the war memoirs of Major Dick Winters/ major dick winters with colonel cole c. kingseed
  11. Bicycling/ Jan-Feb 2011
  12. Bike snob: systematically & mercilessly realigning the world of cycling/ bikesnobNYC
  13. Bloomberg Business Week/ Apr 2 – Apr 8 2012
  14. Creating personal presence: how to look, talk, think and act like a leader/ dianna booher
  15. Death in the city of lights/ David King
  16. Good strategy bad strategy: the difference and why it matters/ Richard P. Rumelt
  17. Halo: bloodline/ Van Lente & Portela
  18. Halo: Helljumper/ Peter David & Eric Nguyen
  19. Hellboy: masks and monsters
  20. Mike Mignola’s B.P.R.D. [3], plague of frogs
  21. Mountain bike action/ Oct 2011
  22. Romeo & Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels)/ Matt Wiegle
  23. Runaways: homeschooling/ Immonen & Pichelli
  24. Self/ Yann Martel
  25. Siege/ Brian Michael Bendis & Olivier Coipel
  26. Soulfire: Dying of the light/ J.T. Krul, Michael Turner, Micah Gunnell, Beth Sotelo
  27. Standing ground: an imprisoned couple’s struggle for justice against a communist regime/ Kay Danes
  28. Stephen King’s The Stand: Captain Trips/ Aguirre-Sacasa, Perkins & Martin
  29. Tales of inspiration: stories of faith, hope and love that will touch your heart and make you believe/ werwinkski, c.a.
  30. Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian in the making of modern Singapore and Malaysia/ Edited by Leo Suryadinata
  31. The iron dragon’s daughter/ Michael Swanwick
  32. The Losers: book 1/ Andy Diggle & Jock
  33. The new avengers: illuminati/ Bendis, Reed & Cheung
  34. The Odyssey/ Roy Thomas & Greg Tocchini
  35. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the bogus identity/ Mike Carey & Peter Gross
  36. Web Designer/ issue 197
  37. Winterworld/ Chuck Dixon & Jorge Zaffino

Self/ Yann Martel

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A 1996 work. Earlier than his more well-known work, The Life of Pi.

I couldn’t help but compare this with The Life of Pi. In many ways it is just as good, with that twist of reality at the end and leaving the reader to wonder where were the crossover between reality and make-belief.

Reading this was like watching one of those unknown indie films – where you start off not knowing where the story is headed but you continue because the innocuous characters have grown on you. And when you reach the end of the story you think, “That was interesting”.

Essentially it is a mash of fiction and autobiographical elements. Probably should check out what a Wikipedia entry might say about this book.

It’s like the film, starring Robin Williams, “The World According of Garp” where you see the growing up of a child, from childhood to adolescent to adulthood; through friends, lovers, strangers.

But a lot weirder than the movie for sure.

A metaphysical exploration of where reality and escapism interjects.

Something changes to the protagonist and its a critical plot point so I won’t say anymore.

I think you can enjoy this if you just ease back, let the story unfold without trying to classify the book or anticipate the story.

Runaways: homeschooling/ Immonen & Pichelli

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Issues 11-14.

Military craft crashes to their home. Some mysterious and probably dangerous package that’s hinted. The Runaways have a casualty. Then an uncle shows up.

TBC.

Includes a short story: what if the Runaways became be Young Avengers.

The iron dragon’s daughter/ Michael Swanwick

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First published 1993. Definitely an evergreen classic.

You could say this was also a coming-of-age story about the protagonist – Jane.

She’s a changeling, of unknown parentage. Her type has iron in her blood, and hence is the only species able to become dragon pilots. Something about being immune to the iron corrupting fey-blood.

The dragons in Swanwick’s fantasy realm are technological wonders, sentient war machines that require human pilots to fly. And maliciously evil too, such is their purpose.

Basically she ends up with a dragon and they both have an axe to grind with the status quo.

That’s super over-simplification of the plot but share anymore and you’d blame me for tainting Swanwick’s magic touch.

OK I’ll add that the end has that Sophie’s World twist to it. Right. Hate me.

Swanwick’s fey-steam punk world holds up a lot stronger than what I’ve revealed (which honestly isn’t much).

It’s a smooth ride, for every line — every backstory — seems such an intricately coherent thread to the whole telling. There doesn’t seem to be any frivolous bits. I found myself revisiting sentences just to replay the mental imagery over. Yet, I still managed to finish this work in days.

You get the assortment of creatures vile and fantastic. His magic is in telling them as if you’ve known them all that while. And the species and characters are there

The only readers who should avoid this novel are those who take offence at depiction of sex. Plus, the faerie-sex scenes can sometimes come across as rather deviant. Certainly much, much more sex than in Dragons of Babel (don’t make a beeline for the book now, y’all)

I’ve mentioned how every line in this book seems to be intricately woven, haven’t I? It’s all relevant to the fey-world and mood that Swanwick is trying to create, IMO.

This novel doesn’t delve as deep into the Babel or the Fey-world backstory (see “Dragons of Babel”) though one is quickly absorbed into the whole Dickensian steam punk-lord of the ringish-faerie tech realm.

Fantastic stuff.

American Born Chinese/ Gene Luen Yang

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A 2006 publication.

Coming of age story about a teenage boy coming to terms with his racial identity.

The concurrent backstory is of the legend of the Monkey King Sun Wukung, and a Sit-com character about a extreme Chinese stereotype.

In brief, the protagonist finds his race (Chinese) a mark that prevents him from being assimilated with his American school mates. The parable though, is that the real obstacle is one’s acceptance of oneself.

“Returning to your true form is not an exercise of Kung-fu, but a release of it.” (The Tang Sangzang character to Sun Wukung; with the latter being able to free itself effortlessly by just reverting to his smaller monkey form rather than trying to be a man).

The book tackles the issue of racial identity by highlighting the particular perspective of the protagonist.

The theme probably resonated more then, compared to now (or are things the same?), where the dynamics of what it means to be “Chinese” is a lot more of an identity divide than now.

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