Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

March 31, 2010

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson Book 05) by Patricia Briggs

Filed under: Reviews-Fantasy — Suramya @ 11:26 PM

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson Book 05)
by Patricia Briggs


Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the last couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe, and now the leader of the werewolf pack – who’s maybe-more-than-just-a-friend – has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they’re all about to find out how implacable – and dangerous – the fae can be. OK, so maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure could use a holiday …

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This is the latest book in the Mercy series that follows the exploits of Mercy Thompson, a shape-shifter mechanic who lives in a world where Vampires, Werewolves and Fae exist among other things. The book is a light read without a lot of complicated plots to follow which makes it a perfect book to read after a long day at work. You don’t have to worry about remembering complicated relationships or anything so you are free to enjoy the book instead of wishing that you had a notebook where you could write down who was doing what to whom. Mercy is a character who doesn’t take crap from anyone and is what I would call sassy. She is quite independent and not without flaws. If written differently the character would have probably become very obnoxious and painful but the way Briggs has written it, the character is quite likable. Even her flaws have been dealt with in a way that doesn’t seem unreasonable. In a lot of the fantasy books magic is used as a cure-all for all ills but not in this series.

She was raped and Briggs shows the reader that it effected Mercy a lot. The amount of emotional scarring left behind by the attack was dealt in a matter of fact way and not made into a woe is me cry fest that certain other authors like a lot. Final recommendation: Read the book. You don’t need to have read the previous books in the series to understand and like the book but it would make it more enjoyable.

March 30, 2010

Death Blows (Bloodhound Files Book 02) by D. D. Barant

Filed under: Reviews-Fantasy — Suramya @ 11:12 PM

Death Blows (Bloodhound Files Book 02)
by D. D. Barant


FBI profiler Jace Valchek was pulled into this parallel realm to hunt for Aristotle Stoker, a human serial killer who preys on vampires and werewolves. Now she works for the National Security Agency of the Unnatural States of America – and her boss is a vampire. At a bizarre crime scene, Jace finds a bloodsucker murdered by magic, fried to the bone and dressed in the costume of the comic book hero the Flash – a character who isn’t supposed to exist here. Comic books have been outlawed for their powers, including crossover spells like the one that transported Jace to this world. Soon, she’s following a trail of dead bodies into the sinister underworld of black-market comics – where a deranged madman gives new meaning to the term ‘super-villain’ .

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This is the second book in the Bloodhound series following the life of Jace Valchek who is an FBI profiler specializing in dealing with mentally deranged criminals. In the first book we find out that she has been pulled to an alternate universe where humans are an endangered species and the world is ruled by Vampires and Werewolves. In this book she is still the only one in the world who has the skills to deal with insanity which is effecting the Vampires and Werewolves as a result of the events in the first book. Then she finds a dead body that is dressed in the superhero Flash’s costume from her home universe which doesn’t have a counterpart in the new one. Soon more bodies turn up that have been posed as other superheroes. Plus since comic books are banned in this universe she doesn’t have a lot of help in figuring out why the bodies are posed in a certain way. I am not going to go into a lot of details about the plot as it might spoil the book for those who haven’t read it. That being said I liked the book and it was a nice read with a lot of comic history thrown in. You don’t need to be a comics fan to enjoy the book but if you are then the book gets to be a bit more fun. Some parts were confusing at the time especially the one where they are talking about revisionist history but they make sense later on in the book. So if you don’t understand something just keep going eventually it all gets explained. It helps if you know about the way franchise reboots work in the comic industry. The characters were mostly well developed. What I didn’t like was the way a character got a complete personality overhaul and not in a good way. I guess it gives the author more leeway and opportunity to develop the emotional depth in other characters (Jace) in future books while adding a small amount of drama in the story but its still something I didn’t like that much. All in all I do recommend the book to others but caution them to read the first book before this one otherwise a lot of it won’t make any sense.

I have a new Niece

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 9:27 PM

I just got back from the hospital after visiting the latest addition in our family. My cousin sister Rakhi gave birth to a healthy girl at 3:19pm yesterday (29th March). The new kid hasn’t been named yet so we spent the time on the way back figuring out good names for her. The only condition I have is that the name should be easy to pronounce (I think the reason for that should be obvious)

Here’s a couple of pics I took at the hospital:

My Niece

My Niece holding Ria’s finger

Both my Nieces (Ria and the nameless one) together.

Man I feel old. But pretty physicked. This is the first time I have seen a kid of the next generation so soon after being born, usually I wasn’t around so only got to see them face to face after a couple of months. This time I got to see her when she was a little more than a day old (~25 hours old)

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

March 28, 2010

Wikibooks has a open-content textbook on Cryptography

Filed under: Computer Security,Interesting Sites,Tech Related — Suramya @ 11:56 PM

I don’t know if you have heard about Wikibooks yet or not. If you haven’t then you are missing out on a great resource. Basically Wikibooks is a community for creating a free library of educational textbooks that anyone can edit. Sort of like Wikipedia but specifically for Books.

One of the books they have is a book on Cryptography that is quite easy to read and follow. At the time of this writing a lot of the sections in the book still have to be added but new content is added regularly and over time I think it will become a great resource for everyone.

Check it out.

– Suramya

March 27, 2010

I like the cold but this is ridiculous

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 6:39 PM

I have started using the AC in my room as the temperature in Delhi has hit 41 Deg C. (Today is 35 Deg C or 95 Deg F). Then I heard sound that suggested that something was stuck in the vent, I thought that it must be a leaf or something so ignored it. After a min or so the noise stopped.

About 15 mins after that the AC started ejecting Ice chips at me instead of cold air. I know I like the cold but I think I prefer cold air to frozen water esp in my room. I shut down the AC and after a couple of hours it seems to be working ok now. Thankfully an AC servicing is scheduled for Tuesday so they can check the AC and figure out why its acting like an Ice machine instead of an AC.

– Suramya

March 26, 2010

Why is Yahoo India Censoring the web?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 9:58 PM

Why is the Yahoo India site ( censoring the internet? Basically when you do an image search on the Yahoo India site, which Yahoo automatically takes you to when you go to in India there is no way you can turn off the “Safe Search” option.

As far as I know the Indian government hasn’t banned porn in India. Actually… according to this news article on the Times of India dated Feb 11th 2010 the Govt can’t ban porn websites for obscenity.

So why is Yahoo filtering out results? Yahoo is the only search engine that I know which is doing this. Google, MSN don’t filter out stuff so…

In any case I don’t use Yahoo for much, but still. Does any one reading this have any idea what is going on?

– Suramya

March 19, 2010

GGRP Sound: Cardboard Record Player

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Tags: , — Suramya @ 11:14 PM

The best way to prove competency in a field is to show a working sample of your work to the client. GGRP wanted to show off their sound engineering capabilities so they contacted ‘Grey Canada’ which is an ad agency located in Vancouver, Canada.

They then created a record player from a piece of corrugated cardboard that folded into an envelope. Once assembled, a record can be spun on the player with a pencil. The vibrations go trough the needle and are amplified in the cardboard material. (See image below) This was then sent out to creative directors across North America

Cardboard Record Player

Source: Ads of the World.

– Suramya

March 18, 2010

Jalapeno Ice Cream

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 4:43 PM

Jalapeno Ice Cream… Wow. I want some.

Jalapeno Ice Cream

Wonder if it is real? hmm.. a Google search tells me that it is quite real. Even found a recipe for it:

1 medium jalapeño or serrano chile
1 cup water
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
9 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon framboise or vanilla extract

Quarter the chile lengthwise and remove the seeds, veins, and any remnants of stem. Chop it into 1/4−inch pieces. Place the chopped chile in a small saucepan. Add water and 1 cup of the sugar. Bring to a gentle boil over medium−low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and let stand for at least 4 hours.

In a medium−size heavy−bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cream and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Bring to a scald.

Meanwhile, put remaining sugar (1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons), egg yolks and framboise or vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk just to blend. While gently whisking the yolks, drizzle the hot cream mixture into them so that they are gradually warmed up. Return the mixture to the saucepan and set over medium−low heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and constantly scraping the bottom of the pan, until the custard has thickened slightly and coats the back of the spoon.

Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl and nestle it in a larger bowl of ice. Let cool, stirring occasionally, then transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Drain the chile and add to the soft ice cream. Transfer to a storage container and freeze until firm.

Found this while surfing on:
Recipe Source:

– Suramya

Why is it that

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 2:08 PM

when two girls are best friends and really close they are called sisters but if two guys are best friends and close they are called gay? Why can’t they be brothers?

Just something that I have been thinking about.

– Suramya

March 13, 2010

American architect creats the world’s largest house of cards

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 2:01 AM

An American architect Bryan Berg has created a replica of the Venetian Macau using 218,792 playing cards from 4,051 decks of cards. It took him 44 days to create the model which measures 33 feet by just under 10 feet.

Bryan Berg with the world’s largest house of cards

All I can say when I see this is: Wow! It takes skill to do something like this and its just wow. If you are in Macau then do check it out. Its located in the Macau’s Cotai Strip.

Source: American architect beats his own record after creating the world’s largest house of cards | Mail Online.

– Suramya

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