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The Farrago Post

far·ra·go fəˈrägō,-ˈrā-/ noun 1. a confused mixture. "a farrago of fact and myth" synonyms: hodgepodge, mishmash, ragbag, potpourri, jumble, mess, confusion, mélange, gallimaufry, hash, assortment, miscellany, mixture, conglomeration, medley.

More Than Meets the Eye –A List of Lesser Known Facts about Eyes

Fact #1 – Blinking is an entirely natural human process, but you already know that, right? What you might not be aware of is the fact that the average human blink takes just 1/10th of a second. The act of blinking occurs approximately 10 to 15 times per minute for an adult and just two times per minute for infants, although the figures may vary.

Fact # 2 – The eyes of a new born baby do not produce tears. In fact, it takes between 4 and 13 weeks after the birth of a baby for the production of their tears actually begin.

Fact # 3 – The planet Earth is home to no less than 7.4 billion individuals, of this number approximately 39 million people suffer from blindness. It is estimated that around 234 million people live with some form of vision impairment. Experts have suggested that around 80% of all the world’s vision impairments are avoidable and/or curable.

Fact # 4 – ‘Heterochromia iridis’ is the term used to describe individuals who are born with two differently coloured eyes. There are a number of examples of famous people who live with this condition including Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Walken and the late, great musician David Bowie.

Fact #5 – There is a common belief that all people who are born with blue eyes are descendant from the same common ancestor, with the first blue eyed person living in the region of Southeast Europe around 10 thousand years ago. Prior to the advent of blue eyes, many believe that every human being had brown eyes.

Fact # 6 – Blinking is the responsibility of the fastest muscle in the body, hence the saying “in the blink of an eye”, which has developed as a result of this quick movement.

 

Digital Marketing for Mobile

Boasting 39% of all web visits and an annual growth rate of no less than 21%, mobile Internet usage is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular. In light of this fact, it is no wonder that mobile advertising is a rising trend among many of the world’s leading brands.

It is the job of a digital marketing company, to be aware of such trends and use the knowledge to benefit our clients by targeting specific users. Modern mobile targeting is extremely sophisticated and allows for larger amounts of user information to be gathered and this is one of the reasons it is so effective.

Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Every day, more people around the world gain access to the Internet via their smartphones; as a result, many businesses have now started developing mobile marketing campaigns and mobile friendly websites. With mobile Internet usage currently surpassing that of desktop, the importance of a mobile-friendly website and marketing campaigns that have been optimised for mobile are clear. This is the job of a web designer and can be accomplished by enlisting professional digital marketing services.

Mobile Friendliness

What does it mean to have a mobile friendly website? Put simply it means that the website loads quickly (requiring little bandwidth) and looks good on a mobile device. There are many subtle changes your web designer can make to a website to ensure it loads correctly on any number of devices and allow for ease of use, an element which is important to getting the most out of your digital marketing strategy. The goal is to provide the user with a high-quality experience and if your page loads incorrectly or takes too long to load you are likely to loose that particular user and potential client.

11 Interesting Facts about Digital Marketing

The rise of digital marketing didn’t happen by accident, it happened because digital marketing has a proven impact. The fact is that digital media has changed the way that people work.

Accessing and analysing the large amounts of data spawned by digital marketing related activities will allow you to develop a marketing strategy and implement various devices to increase business revenue.

Want to know more about digital marketing?

Here is a list of facts you didn’t know about the world of digital marketing:

  1. Many businesses run blogs as part of their online marketing strategy, interestingly 81 percent of businesses deem such blogs to be a valuable asset to their business.
  2. On average people now spend more time on the Internet than is collectively spent on all the various types of media combined.
  3. Post constructed from lists and including videos and/or images can attract over 500 percent more traffic than plain posts.
  4. Regularly posting exciting and fresh content is important, websites that do so experience up to 5 times more traffic than those who do not.
  5. The 2 top Internet activities are email and searching.
  6. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s search engine market share is actually owned by Google.
  7. Blogs have a surprising influence over purchase choices, 63% more successful than magazines.
  8. As of 2016, approximately 87 percent of the people who access the Internet on a daily basis now have smartphones.
  9. It has been suggested that by the year 2019, around 80% of global online traffic will be video related.
  10. The biggest challenge to a digital agency is the production of unique and engaging content. 60% of people who work in the digital marketing industry report this to be the case.
  11. They keyword “money making” is among the most competitive keywords on the Google search engine.

If your business is looking to develop a successful digital marketing strategy, you may want to make contact with a reputable digital marketing agency.

Tips for Growing your Business with Online Marketing

For small and large businesses alike, the concept of marketing online is no longer a new. The trend of online marketing has been growing in strength over the years, with no sign of slowing down. If you mean to be a business that stays current, you must have an online presence.

Create a narrative

Many successful social media marketing campaigns develop content that is eye-catching, engaging and able create two-way communication. More tips for social media include:

  • If you narrow your target audience you can reduce costs and simultaneously raise engagement levels.
  • It is always wise to closely monitor the performance of any advertisements for which you are responsible. In doing so, you will gain many valuable insights such as which content is working for you and what kind of people are responding to your content.

Outline a solid plan

Dedicate the necessary amount of time to developing your marketing strategy, this is an important part of the process should not be neglected. Implementing a well thought out and properly planned strategy is key to the success of an online marketing campaign.

Planning a strategy requires you to set goals for your business as well as the campaign and clearly define what it is that you hope to achieve by implementing an online marketing strategy.

Keyword research is an investment

Doing keyword research can help you to sharpen the quality and success of your content. Once you know the keywords being searched, you can create content to match, address the specific needs of your audience and ultimately draw more of the right kind of users to your site.

Developing an online marketing strategy is a process that requires careful contemplation and meticulous planning, take the time to do research and choose an approach that is right for business and brand.

 

The Google Lunar XPRIZE

The modern day version of the space race is already underway, with 30 million USD (United States Dollars) up for grabs, 16 teams from across the world are now competing to be the first to complete the mission. These teams are required to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon’s surface, successfully travelling over 500 meters and transmitting high-definition video as well as images back to Earth, if they hope to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

The first team to successfully complete the mission will receive the 20 million USD grand prize, with 5 million USD going to the team that comes in second. Teams that complete additional activities, such as capturing images of the remnants of the Apollo Program and the first moon landing, will collect additional winnings like which have been termed “Heritage Bonus Prizes”.

A number of organisations have, however, have voiced objections about the Heritage Bonus Prizes, believing that the site of the original moon landing is of archaeological and cultural importance, and should be preserved. These groups are concerned that those attempting to complete this activity may accidentally cause damage to the site.

So far two teams have already secured launch contracts, due in 2017, which is also the official deadline for The Google Lunar XPRIZE. The names of the two teams who have secured launch contracts are SpaceIL (in conjunction with SpaceX) as well as Moon Express (in collaboration with Rocket Lab) however, there are still 16 teams in the running. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is apparently designed to inspire innovators as well as engineers and entrepreneurs to formulate a cost-effective way to explore space robotically.

Here are some interesting facts about the two frontrunners:

Team SpaceIL 

  1. SpaceIL is based in Israel. They are a non-profit organisation with hopes of successfully landing the smallest, lightest vehicle in the history of space travel, on the surface of the moon.
  2. Sponsored mostly by philanthropic organisations, team SpaceIL’s total estimated budget is 36 million USD.
  3. The founders of team SpaceIL have stated that should they successfully complete the mission and win the massive grand prize, the entire sum of money will be donated to the promotion of science, technology and education within Israel’s borders.
  4. 95% of team SpaceIL’s 200 members are volunteers.
  5. The spacecraft being developed by SpaceIL is approximately the size of a dishwasher.

Team Moon Express

  1. The Moon Express team is based in America and is a privately held business. The team desires to mine the moon for economically valuable, natural resources.
  2. The elements that the team plans to mine include niobium, yttrium as well as dysprosium.
  3. Moon Express was founded in 2010 in Mountain View, California.
  4. The intention of the team behind Moon Express is to make commercially available, robotic transportation to the moon’s surface.
  5. The plan is to place the ILO (International Lunar Observatory) on the moon’s surface around the year 2018. The intention is to set up the ILO near the Malapert Crater, which is located near the moon’s southern limb.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – A Review

gillian flynn masks
A page from Gillian Flynn’s ‘Masks’

 

Fun fact | Gillian Flynn’s first comic-book story called Masks (2015) was published by Dark Horse comics and is illustrated Dave Gibbons.

WHO’S THE TELLING TRUTH AND HOW DO WE KNOW?

After the chore of reading The Girl on the Train (2015) by Paula Hawkins this is exactly what I needed. This short story was written in true Gillian Flynn style, it tells us the story of a fortune telling con artist who sometimes dabbles in light prostitution and fortune telling. The protagonist considers herself skilled in the art of reading people and her clients receive prophecies based sometimes on deduction whilst other times pure guess work takes the lead. She is expecting to grow her fortune seeking client base and branch out into related activities when she convinces a new client struggling with paranormal activity in her new home that she can absolutely help solve the woman’s problems by spiritually cleansing the space. Her client is particularly concerned about the alarming behavior of her young stepson, a new and escalating issue that started when they moved into the house. Now the skeptical lead character must make good on her promises, a task she soon realises may be too great for her when she discovers the little known history of the building that her client is now inhabiting.

Once submerged in the narrative of Gillian Flynn’s The Grownup (2015) readers may find themselves questioning where they are being led in terms of genre. The storyline pushes sturdily in the direction of a supernatural horror but throws the reader a number of curve balls as the story unfolds. Flynn likes to toy with her readers and does so expertly in this short story, written at the behest of none other than industry giant George RR Martin, creator of the massively popular series of fantasy novels know as A Song of Ice and Fire (1996). The latest addition to the list of Gillian Flynn’s publications adheres to the typical format of a short story and leaves the reader on a massive cliffhanger; the result is a highly engaging experience as the reader is left to imagine the many possible outcomes for themselves.

What I liked about it: The main character is as unlikeable as Flynn’s previous leading ladies, the character was written in the same dark and amusing style as Amazing Amy, only far more unsophisticated then her Gone Girl (2012) counterpart.

What I didn’t like about it: I struggle to think of anything, that’s how much I enjoyed it. It’s not a literary masterpiece but for a contemporary piece of writing in this genre it is well written, original and unpredictable.

gillian-flynn image-landscape
Author Gillian Flynn

My recommendation: It is my opinion that established fans of Gillian Flynn and lovers of the short story format will thoroughly enjoy reading this tasty little morsel. If you are the type of person that can’t handle unanswered questions at the end of a story, then this may not be the book for you. I would not encourage young readers to read any of Flynn’s fictional writing as she often writes content more appropriate for an adult audience.

I award The Grownup a well deserved 4 out of 5 Farrago Quills for being a fast paced, entertaining and unpredictable read. Read it! Read it NOW!! As always I will be impatiently waiting for the next thing with Gillian Flynn’s name on it.

Title | The Grownup

Author | Gillian Flynn

Genre | Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Published by | Crown

Date of release | 3 November 2015

Number of pages | 66

Formats | Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback

Page Numbers Source ISBN | 0804188971

Buy The Grownup in a selection of formats at Amazon.com 

Visit Gillian Flynns webpage

 

 

Sources consulted
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/gillian-flynns-comic-book-story/?_r=0
http://gillian-flynn.com

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A Review

MyPics| sharp objects
Chapter 1 Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects (2006) by Gillian Flynn narrates the story of a young journalist by the name of Camille Preaker. Camille is sent by her editor, at a Chicago based newspaper, to her childhood home of Wind Gap Missouri in order to cover the gruesome serial-like slaying of two little girls. In an attempt to source information for her article she begins to make her way to the truth, not just about the murders but also about herself, her past and her family. Truths are sometimes painful and this is the case for Camille. Once again Flynn provides us with an unnerving view of an exceedingly dysfunctional family dynamic as the main character strains to navigate her way through small town politics and the dark, haunting memories from her past.

What I liked about it: I found myself unable to put this book down, but that has been the case with all of Flynn’s novels. She writes a gripping read. I also greatly appreciate her ability to write completely unlikable characters like Camille. To write an unlikable character for which the reader cheers is a marker for exceptional characterisation; this is found across all three of Flynn’s electrifying novels. There is a clear evolution of writing ability when you compare Sharp Objects to her later works and this gets me excited to read her next book entitled The Grownup due to be released 5 November 2015.

What I didn’t like about it: I am not a huge fan of graphic descriptions of pain and blood; I came across this a few times with the main character, Camille. I feel I cannot criticise Flynn for this, as it comes with the territory of this kind of novel. My feeling faint as I read those pages speaks more to the author’s ability to set the scene than to a flaw in the writing of the book. I would have enjoyed finding out more about Camille’s youngest sister Amity, I found her (for the purpose of a thrilling story) an interesting character.

I appreciated this novel and its exploration into the realm of such a distressing subject matter (sometimes it is a positive thing to hold a mirror to society, so we can see the truth in all its viciousness) but it must be said that it is not as well written as Dark Places (2009) or Gone Girl (2012). Sharp Objects was Flynn’s debut novel and she was clearly still developing her writing style. This tale is written in a linear manner, greatly differing from the two novels that followed, both of which experiment with chronology. I found all three of Gillian Flynn’s currently released novels slightly predictable but I do not always mind this, as I love to be right. However, of the three novels this one was the most predictable. To be fair the author does manage to keep a surprise (in this case a small one) waiting for me at the end of each story.

Recommendation: When reading this book you will come across a fair amount obscene language and the storyline delves into some taboo areas such as the sexualisation of young girls. I would only recommend this book to you if you are already a fan of Gillian Flynn, the storyline is very dark and it is not her best writing (in my opinion that would be Gone Girl). I award Sharp Objects 3 out of 5 Farrago Quills.

Title | Sharp Objects

Author | Gillian Flynn

Genre |Psychological thriller

Published by | Phoenix

Date of release | September 17th 2007 (first published 2006)

Number of pages | 320

Formats |Kindle, Paperback, Audible

ISBN – 10 | 0307341550

ISBN – 13 | 978-0307341556

Buy Sharp Objects in a selection of formats from Amazon.com 

Visit Gillian Flynn’s webpage

Sources consulted
http://www.amazon.com/Sharp-Objects-Gillian-Flynn/dp/0307341550
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1343439.Sharp_Objects

http://www.amazon.com/Sharp-Objects-Gillian-Flynn/dp/0307341550

Questions of Fate and Responsibility – Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) by Gabriel Garcia Márquez

*I can only assume that you are viewing this post because you too have been presented with this topic for an essay. If so, I would be eternally grateful if you were to like the post, as a favour to me. I hope you find useful ideas to help you along your way – Good Luck

With regard to the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Gabriel Garcia Márquez Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981), it is important to examine the degree to which fate predetermined the happenings within the novel. Where does the blame for the murder of Santiago Nasar lie? Is it fated? or are the townspeople to blame for not acting to halt the actions of the Vicario twins, who are essentially bound by custom and familial honour.Fate is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power” and there are a number of instances in Chronicle of a Death Foretold (CDF) where fate seems to been in control of the small river town in Colombia, where the story is set. The title alone suggests that the murder of Nasar was “foretold” as though it had already been written into history before it even occurred.

Further examples include the coincidental visit of the bishop, on that day, which led Santiago out the front door wearing full white (his wearing white may be a symbol of his innocence) where his killers lay in wait; the warning note anonymously slipped under the door which went unnoticed, Father Carmen Amador who simply forgets to warn Santiago due to his preoccupation with the Bishops arrival, Cristo Bedoya who is diverted from his mission of warning Santiago by an ill baby, as well as Placida Linero locking the front door moments before her son tries to enter which she does after Divina Flor mistakenly tells her that Santiago is safely upstairs. The question of responsibility seems initially to fall on the shoulders of fate but further examination introduces the realisation that the inaction of the townspeople played a large role in the transpiration of events on the day the brutal crime was committed. The Vicario twins make no attempt to hide their murderous intentions from the people they encountered on the morning of the crime. In fact, in what appears to be an appeal for intervention, they articulate their plan to everyone they talk to without being urged to do so.

It is said that the whole settlement knew about the Vicario twins objectives and yet very few people acted in order to stop them and those who did, acted too late. There were numerous instances in CDF when the twins might have been stopped, many figures of authority in the town such as Colonel Lazaro Aponte and a Police officer, who had the power to stop killing, were warned about the upcoming murder but then did not do anything to effectively intervene. This then prompts questions about the possible existence of subconscious reasons for the inaction of the people in the town, is it possible that people failed to intervene because of Santiago Nasar’s reputation as a womaniser? They may also have felt the killing was culturally warranted, this idea is supported by the behavior of Prudencia Cotes when she tells Pablo Vicario that she would not marry a man who did not do his duty as a son and brother.

After the stabbing of Nasar takes place they use the excuse that the killing was fated to happen in order to defend the fact that they did nothing to stop it, even though they had foreknowledge of the twins intentions. A quote from the book states, “For years we couldn’t talk about anything else. Our daily conduct, dominated then by so many linear habits, had suddenly begun to spin around a single common anxiety. The cocks of dawn would catch us trying to give order to the chain of many chance events that had made absurdity possible, and it was obvious then that we weren’t doing it from an urge to clear up mysteries but because could go on living without an exact knowledge of the place and mission assigned to us but fate.”(Pg. 97) this may be symptomatic of guilt. The murder appears to have a profound effect on the people of the town in later years, take for example Hortensia Baute “whose only participation was having seen two bloody knives that weren’t bloody yet, felt so affected by the hallucination that she fell into a penitential crisis, and one day, unable to stand it any longer, she ran out naked into the street.” (Pg. 98) The character of Flora Miguel, who was the victim’s fiancée, felt upset and humiliated when she heard the reason for the murderous plot. She fought with Santiago under the assumption that he was guilty of stealing Angela Vicario’s honor, even saying that she hoped they would kill him. Later in life, she becomes an abused prostitute. Then there is the character of Don Rogelio de la Flor who dies from shock after witnessing the savagery on the Vicario brothers, these are all possible manifestations of guilt.

The entire narrative revolves around fate and the fact that it cannot be escaped. To answer the questions of fate and responsibility put forward in this article, it is obvious that the town’s people play a large part in the events of that day and should share the burden of responsibility. “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Now I would like to pose a question to you – have you read this book? and if so what is your opinion on the topic?

Sources consulted

Marques, 1981, Chronicle of a Death Foretold

http://prezi.com/jxbk6ikzowoi/story-of-fate-chronicle-of-a-death-foretold/

http://www.studymode.com/essays/Honor-And-Fate-In-Chronicle-Of-107976.html

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edmundburk377528.html

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – A Review

I’m the type of person who likes to read the book before I watch the film. I inevitably end up comparing the two; of course the book is always better. Still I continue this cycle of book vs. movie as it is somehow gratifying and I suspect I am not alone in this.

Directly after reading Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl (2012) I watched the movie version, within forty-eight hours. I enjoyed the storyline in Gone Girl so I contacted one of my favorite fellow book loving friends, I needed to compare notes with her. It was this friend of mine who suggested I read another novel by Gillian Flynn called Dark Places (2009), so I hopped in my car and drove to three different bookstores trying to find it. No success. I was confused as to why the book was sold out everywhere and it wasn’t till I looked it up online that I saw there was a movie version on the way. This only made me want to get my hands on the book even more, so I charged up my kindle (although I always prefer to have an actual copy of the book so that I can display it, proudly, on one of my bookshelves) and before I knew it I was completely submerged in this shadowy mystery.

The pages of this book communicate the puzzling story of the Day family, the majority of who were violently murdered. What we know for sure at the beginning of the novel is that on the night of 2 January 1985 Patty, the Day family matriarch, was murdered along with two of her daughters, Michelle and Debby. Patty’s youngest daughter Libby, a mere seven years of age at the time, escaped the carnage and pointed the finger of blame at her brother Ben, who then went to prison for life. Libby at age twenty-six is almost completely broke and alone when she receives a letter offering her $500 to make a special guest appearance, this is how she meets up with ‘Kill Club’, a group of people who are fascinated by true crime and are conducting their own investigation into the slaying of her family. It is because she is in need of cash that she strikes a deal which involves taking money from the club in exchange for seeking out and speaking to people who are somehow involved in the case in an. As she starts to unpack her hazy memory, questions and doubts about her brother’s guilt begin to arise in her mind, did she send her innocent brother to jail? If so then who murdered her family? Questions about identity, guilt, blame, justice, violence and even Satanism, are examined in Libby Day’s haunted world.

What I liked about it: The plot unfolds through a series of flashbacks from the viewpoint of Patty and Ben, intersected by Libby’s present day investigation of the horrific events of her childhood. Gillian Flynn does an excellent job of playing with time in this novel, strategically presenting us with a gripping mystery that is difficult to step away from. I think its safe to say that Flynn excels at writing unexpected plot twists, frightening characters and completely dysfunctional family units. I am looking forward to seeing the movie version (during which I will no doubt be comparing movie to book) starring Charlize Theron as Libby Day.

What I didn’t like about it: Not much to say under this heading I’m afraid, the only comment that I can make is that the outcome is slightly predictable, however this didn’t really bother me because the writing was so good.

My recommendation: I would recommend Dark Places to anyone who enjoys a well constructed and suspenseful read. It is at this point that I will provide a warning, the plotline is completely drenched blood and guts, it’s not for the faint of heart as there is no relief from the darkness; no textbook heroes are found in the pages of this book, perhaps think twice if these things bother you.

All that being said I enjoyed reading the viewpoints’ of the intrinsically flawed and dynamic characters that are so brilliantly depicted by Flynn and so I will award this book 4 out of 5 Farrago Quills.

 

Buy Dark Places by Gillian Flynn at amazon.com

 

Visit Gillian Flynn’s webpage

 

Title | Dark Places

 

Author | Gillian Flynn

 

Genre | Psychological thriller

 

Published by | Broadway books

 

Date of release | 25 April 2009

 

Number of pages | 370

 

Formats | Kindle, paperback, audible

 

ISBN – 10 | 0307341577

 

ISBN – 13 | 978-0307341570

 

 

Sources consulted
http://gillian-flynn.com
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5886881-dark-places
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Places-Gillian-Flynn/dp/0753827034

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