Of The Gutenberg Editor: Review

The Gutenberg Editor is coming!!!!!!

Gutenberg is coming

WordPress 5.0 is rolling out, soooooon, and the Gutenberg Editor will be the new default editor and here’s why you should be paying attention, about 30% of the internet is powered by WordPress it just might redefine web publishing.

Normally when you create and edit posts it looks like this:

The Classic Editor

The Gutenberg Editor will look like this:

Gutenberg editor

The Gutenberg Editor:

What is Gutenberg, Who is Gutenberg and I’ll even do you one better Why is Gutenberg?

What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is an editor that is poised to revolutionise WordPress customizations and the “effortless” laying out and creating media rich content (with or) without the knowledge of complicated coding skills

Who is Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg whom the editor is named after was a 15th century printer and publisher who introduced the movable type printing system that allowed for feasible mass production of printed material which ignited the printing revolution in Europe.

Why Gutenberg

Its hoped that the Gutenberg Editor will similarly re-invent the web, creating a digital revolution which puts the power of creativity back into the hands of the creatives without expert code use.

Re-imagine the internet

“The web up until this point has been confined to some sort of rectangular screen. But that is not how it’s going to be. Gutenberg has the potential of moving us into the next time.” Morten Rand Hendriksen

How it works

You create customizable blocks, for your content which you can manipulate individually to build up your post.

Gutenberg blocks

My Thoughts

I am a firm believer of the ideal that if something works then DON’T FIX IT.

Having really gotten used to the old editor I am comfortable with it I know where everything is and how to create my posts, the editor has updated before but never so drastically.

Just because something works doesnt mean mean it cant be improved

Comfort is an enemy of progress, so in my last couple of posts I have been trying to figure my way around the Gutenberg editor and here’s my journey so far:

First Impressions

I love the idea of the being able to play around with different aspects of a post, its reminiscent of using a Image Editing Software which has layers or groups which you can manipulate individually.

You can change formatting of a particular block; from the background colour to the text colour and resize without affecting the format of whole document, and it even notifies you if the colour scheme you choose might not accommodate everyone.

Colour picker

You can also transform each block into a different type of block transform blocks Gutenberg

The Challenges I Faced

The editor feels like it was mostly designed as a tool to fuse together mixed media content into a post then as an afterthought they remembered about the writer type of people.

Usually I create my posts in a notepad or document application and then I simply copy and paste into the Classic editor (adding images where necessary) than click [publish]

When I do the same thing suddenly every header and every paragraph and every image is on a block of its own and and minor formatting things suddenly become well not harder just you have to do significantly more clicking selecting blocks and navigating around them,

And where is the word count? I can normally see how much I have written easily by a quick glance without breaking a stride in my writing now I have to stop writing and click the content structure button though the document outline feature is a nice touch. Document outline

I also noticed you cannot change colour and size of text selectively inside a block you can only change for all the words in the block

I couldn’t failed to find the underline function? Shouldnt it be there beside  Bold and Italics

The image uploader doesnt seem to have that insert via url feature and when resizing photos I had gotten used to seeing the dimensions of the picture superimposed as you resized now looks like you just eyeball it and think yeah looks about right……

Unexpected Good Thing

While scrolling through the default blocks I found one with The Classic Editor and it works almost exactly as it has always been now I can breathe easy, and here’s a tip for all those who have been worried they wont know what to do once Gutenberg becomes the default editor well simply use the classic WordPress editor block.

search for blocks

Classic editor gutenberg

Also even if Gutenberg becomes default the people of WordPress support say you can always switch editors and put back the classic your default, so rest easy

You Are Welcome

~B

The Gutenberg Editor is still work in progress and yet to be launched, giving feedback helps make it better, if you have used it how has your experience been if not would you try it?

For an interactive demo tour  click here: GUTENBERG

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Of Coffee With Lydia and Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes

Coffee With Lydia and Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes

If you were having coffee with me, I would be happy to introduce you to writer, poet and blogger Lydia Chiseche and her book of poetry For Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes.

For girls with the sky in the eyes

B: Hello Lydia, a pleasure to have you here, first question Tea or Coffee?

L: Most definitely, Tea

B: What would your ideal coffee date be like?

L: At my favourite teahouse, on a warm and sunny August day

B: Describe for us your perfect writing environment

L: I can write anywhere; but possible the perfect environment for me is in the moment where it would be most inappropriate for me to write. There is just something about doing what you aren’t supposed to be doing which inspires me

B: How long have you had a blog, are you a blogger?

L: I do…or, I did. I started blogging consistently in 2016; it was poetry for the most part, and then branched off to think pieces on different issues. It was only recently when I decided to be real with myself and said I’m not a writer of current events, but a dreamer of things made up in my head. My blog pages are still open, they just have not seen some love in a while.

B: For Girls With The Sky In Their Eyes; what does  the title mean; where did that come from?

L: This must be the most difficult question I’ve received on the book so far.

I always knew that this was a collection directed towards girls….but men and boys are also encouraged to read it! For me, the sky is a representation of so many things; hope, limitlessness, the world, heaven

So…it’s a representation of those who have a steady eye on hope despite whatever is going on around them.

B: Why did you release it as an e-book?

L: Truth be told, I was afraid; I was afraid of the reception, of the questions I would get…I was afraid no one would read it.
I was finished with the final proof by November 2017, and I put the release off to January. January came, and I put it off to March, and so on. By the time April came around, I knew that if I waited any longer, I would never release it.
So, the e-release happened; and I chose the e-platform because there is no really turning back from it, and at least a bunch of unread books won’t be looking back at me *laughs*
A paperback version will be out in October this year.

B: I read it, finished it then read it again, its beautiful, its touching, its haunting. Whose story is it, is it simply made up poetry? Who did you write it for?

L: Wow.. thank you so much. I honestly did not know I was writing a story until nearly halfway through the body when the ending was so clear…and then that’s when i scrapped the first draft and began to write it differently.

It started as a story of one girl; the Girl who saw Sky. But then it ended up being a story of the girls and women around her; so, by the end of it all we had the Bride, the Women, the Other Sister, Mother- once, Mother- a second time, etc.

I’ve always been drawn to stories which had female characters in the leading roles…and not just female characters, but female characters that are flawed, complicated, nuanced, real.

So, it’s every woman’s and girl’s story. I based each scene on something that has happened before; either to me….or to girls and women I know, or heard about. It is our story.

B: I know this an unfair question but ……Which one is your favourite poem and line from the book?

L: This is quite the unfair question indeed
Push to shove…I’d perhaps say my favourite poem is the last one (I did not title that on purpose)- this is because I am a fan of callbacks…and I feel like that poem sort of wrapped the entire collection together.

B: For me the most intriguing was the Dear God series of letters. Its relatable, I have even asked similar questions…… Do you think there’s a plan for all THIS? *gestures hands grandly to encompass everything*

L: Sometimes, I think everything is by design…like some elaborate domino effect. Then other times I think everything is a mistake. At the end of it all, I get back to truly believing the design theory of things. I think there is a plan…whatever God’s plan is, and however mildly sadistic it may be *nervous laughter*, I’m pretty sure it will all have meaning.

B: Allow me to quote  you:

God is strange. He takes on so many faces. To

some, he’s vengeful, returning sacrifice with

blood and fire. To others, he’s loving, patient, and

kind. To some, he’s on the sidelines, watching

until he gets bored. He forgives even those that

won’t forgive themselves, like the Women.

To me, God is the gust of wind in the middle of

an August storm, God is the tiny crack in the

building they said was indestructible. God is

nowhere, and everywhere. To me, She is

beautiful

B: How has your book of poetry been received?

L: Oh my gosh! The reception has been overwhelming…it is more than I could have expected. I have people asking me questions, quoting my work….it is such a wonderful, humbling feeling. The reception has been so far mainly local….and hopefully the work will be able to reach a wider audience with time.

B: Any final words to those who can’t forgive themselves?

L: It’s difficult to get into the head of someone else and see through their eyes the things they feel are unforgivable. So, I honestly don’t know what I can say that would be enough.
I think Time; time may not completely heal someone, but it sure does change their circumstances in one way or another. So, let them give it time.

B: A few words to fellow sisters out there

L: It is so important to remember that you are still capable of love. And this also goes to the brothers. You are allowed to love, and be loved without fear of what happened to you, or what you did in your past.

B: Any shout outs to people out there, do it like you are doing it for TV.

L: This is so exciting! Okay
So, first of all I want to shout out my best friend Miriam; ours is a special friendship
My sisters, my friends Ruth, and Grace who read proof after proof. I want to shout our Itati, the crew at Lusaka Writer’s Room…and the Women; I cannot mention them by name but this book would not be what it is without them.

B: What’s next?

L: I am underway with my second collection…I am yet to title it. Will it be linked to For Girls With SKY In Their Eyes? I’m yet to see

B: last Question, what is the weirdest question anyone has ever asked you about your book?

L: Have I been asked difficult questions? Yes. Many. I am yet to be asked something I could say is a weird question.

B: Thanks Lydia, you have been a star.

L: Thank you so much for having me.

BIO:

img_0497-1.jpg

Lydia Chiseche is poet and writer based in Lusaka, Zambia. She is one of seven children, and is a self-proclaimed daydreamer. When she is not writing, she works as a Banker, and supports a few philanthropic projects.

LINKS:

Twitter: @LydiaNgoma

Instagram: lydiangoma

Blog: EyeWoke

BOOK DOWNLOAD LINK:

Of The Hairdresser Of Harare Review

 

The hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu

hair dresser of harare Tendai Huchu

The hairdresser of Harare is a story about. .. ..well a hairdresser in a hair salon in Harare, Zimbabwe; but not only that, it is also a story that navigates the socio-economic and political dynamics of Zimbabwe set in the hyper-inflatory era of 2008.

It’s strange reading this book 10 years later from when it’s set and seeing how things have changed and yet stayed the same.

The Hairdresser of Harare is peppered with colourful characters whom you experience from the perspective of the main character Vimbai who reigns like a queen in MaKhumalo’s Hair Salon, until a position for a new hair dresser opens up and Dumi enters the picture then everything gets tangled up into an unlikely love story……..

I loved how the book captures the duplicitous nature of society having one set of standards other people expected to live up to and another for yourself, mixed together with the judgement, through whose glasses we peer at the world…….

Chapters in the book end with a predictive statement which is a highlight of what comes next, at first I found it interesting but after a couple of chapters; it stops being cute as it felt at times like a spoiler; the way it forced me to start anticipating the story, aspects of it wound up disappointing compared to how I imagined would unfold, and how it took away the element of surprise as you already have been primed to see it coming and you justing wait for the other shoe to drop……

The book is easy to read although it has a few colloquial phrases and slang words in the Shona language which are relatable to Zimbabweans but jarring for non-Shona readers and without a glossary at the end, well you simply have to figure out from the context of the italicized words that this is probably a greeting or better yet make friends with someone who speaks the language……. I can be your friend 😂 😉

~B

Of Death Note: Anime review

Death Note

Death Note.jpg

My thoughts after binge watching 37 episodes of the anime series Death Note. The series is based on a manga comic written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata

Warning this may contain Spoilers but that’s mostly things you will find out in the first five minutes of the first episode or if you should ever try to find out what the series is about.

If you picked up a notebook titled Death Note and upon opening it discovered the first instruction written in it is:

Death Note Inscription The human whose name is written in this note shall die

The human whose name is written in this note shall die

What would you do, what would you do? I am fairly sure I would be curious and more than a little terrified and just before sending it back to whatever realm improbable realm it came from, I might be tempted to write down maybe a single name and no more but don’t ask me who.

All humans die

All humans will, exception, eventually die

If you are a Game of thrones fan, valar morghulis

Light Yagami a somewhat well-adjusted straight A student, who picks up the Death Note; he reads the first instruction and is naturally skeptical of it but still keeps the book. He witnesses a street gang trying to molest a lady and one of the gang shouts his name, and Light writes down the name in the book and forty seconds later death strikes the gang flees and the lady escapes…..

Light has a strong sense of morality and his father is the police chief, and he easily convinces himself he was meant to find the Death Note and that it’s his duty to rid the world of all evil doers one heart attack at a time. If power corrupts then this certainly goes to his head as he suddenly has designs of creating a new world free of injustice and he will be God of this new world……..

I would have been routing for him had it not been for the little thing that he regards people who try to stop him as people working on the side of the criminals, and these guys are the police, the police are trying to catch him and he kills any who get close enough, but he is still a hard character to hate most of the time I am hoping he gets away with it

It’s a cat and mouse chess game as a special team headed by a quirky genius is tasked to find the criminal killer whom everyone refers to as Kira.

The hero fills like the villain and the villain feels like the hero, nothing is black and white……..

If you are going to watch it, stop on the 24th episode because after that all chill is lost but of course don’t listen to me watch it and then come back and let me tell you I told you so.

Oh yeah and whoever owns a Death Note gets followed around by creepy looking being, A Death God called a Shinigami until you die or forfeit ownership of Death Note, and they may or may not reliably explain or help use the Death Note. To kill someone with the Death Note you need to know their face and real name, which can get quite tricky as you can imagine; the Shinigami can offer you a cool deal Shinigami eyes:

Shinigami eyes

Shinigami eyes

Eyes that let you see as the Shinigami see, you see a person’s Name and Life Span remaining all for the bargain price of  half of your remaining life would you accept that?

~B

PS The movie Death Note is coming to theaters 25 August 2017. I have seen the trailer and there are obvious changes; I have braced myself to be disappointed but who knows…..

 

Of MISSING DIAMONDS: I want my share. A review

 Genre: Contemporary

MISSING DIAMONDS: I want my share. A review

missing.jpg

I attended the premiere of a one man satirical play titled MISSING DIAMONDS: I want my share by Silvanos Mudzvova.

Technically speaking this was not the debut performance of the play; the first performance was staged outside the parliament building on Wednesday Question and Answer Session and ended a few minutes into the thirty minute play when the actor was whisked away by the police.

police

The actor says that the play was not meant for theater but in theater one can exercise their freedom of artistic expression.  Initially the actor intended to stage his performance four times, once at the parliament building, then at the Chinese Embassy, Mbada Diamonds offices and at Anjin Investments, but has since received multiple invitations some of which are international.

The play was inspired by the president making an admission that the country had “lost” 15 Billion  dollars worth of diamond revenue. This missing 15 billion also sparked a lot of internet responses ranging from absurd to some pertinent….

mbudzi.jpg

The actor says 15 billion dollars is far too much money for people and Parliamentarians to stop talking and asking about it.

I have never been to a one-man play let alone a satirical one and so I didn’t know what to expect.

The play opens with the actor giving a narration of his thoughts on the missing money and how he calculates that divided by the population of the country each person is entitled to slightly over $1000 but he would settle on a round figure of $1000 subject to tax and any other banking expenses. He proceeds as if he is in parliament asking “Honourables” about his share, then the story flashes back to events that preceded him ending up where he is, in front of members of parliament.

missing diamonds.jpg

You watch through multi-character portrayal how a billion dollar diamond operation runs for years, yet the ordinary people do not benefit as they journey through a pothole ridden road, destroyed by traffic carrying diamonds. You see how elected officials live in luxury  and the ordinary folk  in poverty, all he wants is his share of the obvious vast wealth they are spending, who must he ask, when the police well, are more an agent of oppression. He would rather ask the president directly, but the president is a man for too busy and important to deal with regular folk so he will talk to parliamentarians who are close to the president and elected to ask on his behalf, and so he goes to parliament.

The play is mixture of hilarious, poignant and some hard hitting reflections as he asks the audience questions as if they are part of the play and you never really know if he is being rhetoric or the show is interactive. The highlight of the play was when he says all he wants is $1000 but imagine someone plotting to have all 15 billion for themselves and launches into skits showing how people would lavishly spend such money if they had it “kalife kemari” (That money life) He changes character with the change of a hat so you can tell whom he is playing, and with lots of innuendo refers to government officials never mentioning anyone by name but if you know, you would connect the dots.

Towards the end of the play Silvanos likens the people to the baboon of the hare and baboon folktales, where clever tsuro(hare) would always get the better of gudo( baboon), they take from us and all we do is chase but never catch them. He calls us coward thinking we can change the world via social media. The last statement is a declaration that he is not asking the money for himself but for the country so that if it’s in the system each one can benefit some from the money.

As I watched this production sometimes I looked around like expecting police to bust through and arrest everyone in attendance I don’t know where I got such a thought as there was hardly anything treasonous in the play but it just goes to show how stifled freedom of expression is and we are shocked by anyone voicing any public opinions while we only hide behind social media, maybe we are cowards, afraid to let out voices be heard.

In as much as plays go this might not be the best play I have seen but it is the most thought provoking and dare I say controversial, definitely a must see.

I could not help but give Mr Mudzvova my respect for his bravery in staging his performance at parliament and all others places he intends because I could never ask the questions he asked even if in satirical play. He got a standing ovation I am sure people who were there felt something of the same and one person even asked him if he was not afraid.

Mr Mudzvova said he was afraid, but that would stop him from giving voice to issues that need to be said. He speaks for those who have no voice for those afraid to use theirs.

And his question still haunts me, 15 billion dollars is far too much money to let simply just vanish without a trace……. 

~B

Photocredit News Day

This week I try something a little different from my regular posts.

#BlogBattle Theme: Voice

Of Words Over Weekend Coffee

IMAG0015

 

If you were having coffee with me I would say to you “hello on this auspicious day” Well it’s like a regular day nothing auspicious about it but I figured that if I said to you “Hello on this auspicious day” you would feel welcome, unlike if I said “Hello on this suspicious day” even though it rhymes, you would think I was up to something, well I am not up to anything, mostly anyway, besides if I was up to something I would not want to let the cat get my thumbs thus forcing me to let go of the bag and thus let  the cat of the bag.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I love words, but then if you have been here long enough you have probably figured me out. I am a man who loves using words in a manner that if anyone heard or read (in this case) me, they would have to think there goes a man who knows what he is talking about, for a man to use words like that, one must be darn certain of what one is talking about.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you the 3 simple rules to seeming knowledgeable.

  1. Do not talk about what you do not know.
  2. Do not tell all you know.

If you were having coffee with me, I would be reviewing a book that I find helps me define words. See I am in a bit of a jam, I put down the book last night when I went to bed and today I couldn’t find it, maybe the creature that lives under my bed took it, anyway I can’t find the right words to define how I am feeling right now.

I was it rereading for the….. I have no idea, how manyeeeth time, but I keep learning something new. So I am not qualified to be a book critique (what are the qualifications if you do know please tell me so) but lemme share my two cents on this book.

Who writes a book like this?

It’s got unnecessarily big words and then repeats the meanings of the big words using smaller simple words, in same sentence. That’s really really redundant.

The plot is just so disconnected. Like, seriously what happened to the aardvark from the beginning, it was there on the first page and then never appears again.

Then, there is The Title who would name a book The Dictionary. What does that even mean, it’s not a name that inspires one with visions to tear out all its pages and then wrap them up around you and roll the remainder into a cigarette and then smoke all the words directly into your brain. (To be honest no book does that for me in case you are wondering, so do not worry about locking your books away fearing I will smoke them.)

The only reason I am still reading is because I am curious to see how all these subplots are connected.

how will it all end… I always forget its something about a zebra.

When I fell asleep I was at the part about The Blind Curtain called Drapes a shady character, if I do say so myself.

It’s not very original it has been adapted, revised and edited so many times new words keep getting added and now I heard the new words are not words at all the new words are lil emoticons like the smiling emoji or the laughing until tears of joy come out (and its the Oxford word of the year)

face-with-tears-of-joy-1

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the if I was an emoji I would be this one ^_^ At least now,  years after finishing school, I now know the value of punctuation marks, they are for making funny little faces in text messages and commenting all over the internet.

If you were having coffee with me and you were not at this point rolling on the floor laughing or had not spluttered on your coffee, at least once I would call an ambulance for you, because your funny bone, something is seriously wrong with it, and the best medicine is what you really need.

Thanks for sticking through with my review and hoping your weekend great.

Cheers

~B

PS It must have been an interesting ordeal, to write the first dictionary. Imagine having to think up every word out there and then describe it…… without using the word itself.

Of Kingsman

Of Kingsman *A review of sorts*

Kingsman-The-Secret-Service

Recently watched Kingsman: The Secret Service and the movie had interesting quotes on being a gentleman. I watched it twice pausing and playing back some parts twice times twice to get the words. I could have googled but I am old school like that.

A suit is the modern gentleman’s armor.

Now, the first thing every gentleman needs is a good suit. By which I mean a bespoke suit. Never off the peg.

You’re going to need a pair of shoes to go with your suit.

A bespoke suit always fits.

A gentleman’s name should appear in the newspaper only three times:
When he’s born,  when he marries and when he dies.

-“Being a gentleman has nothing to do with the circumstances of one’s birth. Being a gentleman is something one learns.”     “Yeah, but how?” “Alright, first lesson,you should have asked me before you took a seat.”

-“So you gonna teach me how to talk proper like in ‘My Fair Lady’?”
“That’d be absurd. Being a gentleman has nothing to do with one’s accent. Its about being at ease in one’s own skin.
As Hemingway said: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man.””True nobility is being superior to your  former self.

manners maketh the man

The movie starts on a My Fair lady type of feel to it but in this case, its a young man being bred into a better man, a gentleman. He’s recruitment speech that goes like this:

I see a young man with potential. A young man who is loyal. Who can do as he is asked,and who wants to do something good with his life. Did you see the film “Trading Places”? How about “Nikita”? “Pretty Woman” ?

NO My point is, the lack of a silver spoon has set you on a certain path, but you needn’t stay on it. If you’re prepare to adapt and learn, you can transform.”

” Yes, like “My Fair Lady” Only in this case, I am offering you the opportunity to become a Kingsman.

and you know its about to get real when on the first day of class the instructor says:

“you will write the details of your next of kin. On that body bag. This represents your acknowledgement of the risks that you are about to face…as well as your agreement to strict confidentiality, which incidentally if you break… will result in you and your next of kin being in that bag. Is that understood? Excellent.”

When I was a kid, that was my dream job. A gentleman spy. I always felt the old Bond films were only as good as the villain.ME TOO ok even skipping the spy stuff I’ve always wanted to be a gentleman

and the villain is certified insane (according to me, never trust anyone who offers free WiFi for everyone forever there is always a catch) and when he takes out one of the main good characters his epic rant:

“You know what this look like? Its like those old movies we both love. Now I’m gonna tell you my whole plan …and then I’m gonna come up with some absurdly, convoluted way to kill you…and then you’ll find an equally convoluted way to escape. That sounds good to me. Well, this ain’t that kind of movie. *and shoots him dead*

And then weird views on humanity:

“Humankind is the only virus cursed to live with the horrifying knowledge of its host’s fragile mortality.”

And an even weirder take on global warming, makes sense in a twisted kind of kill the whole human population kind of way:

When you get a virus, you get a fever. That’s the human body raising its core temperature to kill the virus. Planet Earth works the same way: Global warming is the fever…Mankind is the virus. We are making our planet sick. A cull is our only hope. If we do not reduce our population ourselves,there’s only two ways this can go :The host kills the virus,or the virus kills the host. Either way…- The result is the same: The virus dies.

So when the bad guy gets whats coming to him ( I aint spoiling nothing its obvoius its the kind of movie good triumphs over bad no matter how logical the villain’s train of thought)

“Is this the part where you say some really bad pun?” “Its like you said to Harry this ain’t that kind of movie.” *dead villain movie mostly ended*

and my favourite random line from the movie

You know what I love about pen and paper? Nobody can hack into this sh**..