Newsletter 185 – May 2013


Number 185 – May 2013 – ISSN 1470-1863

Arts, Culture, and Technology as seen from
the digital hub of media city, Manchester UK

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Sorry about the April issue. Pressure of ‘work’.

0— How to Write a Report – new guide

Have you ever been asked to write a report?
You’ll know that it can be a daunting task.

You need to gather information, create some
sort of plan, write the separate sections,
and present the results in a legible fashion.

Our new guide shows you how to do it by breaking
the task down into separate sections.

It covers types of report; how to use headings
and sub-headings; assessing the data; writing
a first draft; and how to edit and proof read
the final document.

It also includes a sample report plan.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 How to write a report

0— Pub Quiz – Question #1

Which country has international car code FL?

0— What are MOOCs?

Answer – Massive Open Online Courses.

Whilst English universities still run on
timetables originating in the medieval church,
American universities such as Stanford,, Harvard,
and MIT are turning their teaching materials into
f.r.e.e online courses that attract tens of
thousands of new students.

The courses are run on line – so you can enrol
from anywhere in the world. You can opt for
marked coursework, examinations, accreditation,
or just a certificate of completion.

These courses are transforming the nature of
higher education.

More on MOOCs at Wikipedia

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 MOOCs at Wikipedia

And more on their advantages chez Donald Clark:

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Donald Clark Plan B

0— Pub Quiz – Question #2

Who painted ‘The Blue Boy’?

0— Cheap eBooks – the downside

I’ve been downloading cheap and f.r.e.e
eBooks recently. The advantages are obvious.

Zero cost, or the ‘complete works’ of an
out-of-copyright author for two quid are
hardly worth a second thought.

But there is a hidden extra price to pay.

I’ve discovered that most of these texts are
created by digital scans using Optical Character
Recognition (OCR). And the results are patchy.
To say the least.

You can say goodbye to apostrophes, italics,
and correct word-spacing, Some texts have random
hyphenated words, and you’re very lucky if there’s
a table of contents.

Even if you pay for a commercial product, there’s
no guarantee that the text will be complete.
Some publishers even add warnings about the
possibility of missing pages.

Project Gutenberg is still your best bet:

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Project Gutenberg

0— Pub Quiz – Question #3

What are the principal ingredients of Vichyssoise?

0— Vanishing technologies?

Will the USB stick (also known as the Flash disk,
memory stick, or pen drive) be the next thing to

Their (very) short history follows a pattern now
familiar in digital technology.

When first introduced they were relatively expensive
and didn’t hold much information. Then as the technology
was developed, the price dropped and they became more

They are given away as freebie advertising gimmicks
these days. Because the price of storage has dropped
so far, they have been replaced by f.r.e.e cloud storage.

0— Pub Quiz – Question #4

Who wrote the Mary Poppins stories?

0— F.r.e.e CLOUD storage – Offer still available!

Speaking of f.r.e.e cloud storage, lots of you
took up the offer of an account at Dropbox in the
last newsletter.

But it’s no use trying to get more space if you
already have an account – because Dropbox are smart
enough to have your email on their records.

For those who want the storage space, just reply to
this newsletter with the word CLOUD, and we’ll sign
you up for a completely f.r.e.e. account.

You will get an invite from Dropbox to join the
scheme – and I am now a complete convert.

Last week I deleted a file by mistake – and two
minutes later I recovered several hours’ work
from the automatic backup that Dropbox makes of
all your files.

And yes, we do get a thank you from Dropbox for this
‘everybody wins’ offer.

Just email us with the word CLOUD for the invite.

0— Pub Quiz – Question #5

What is the name of the Norwegian parliament?

0— The Death of Windows?

Microsoft recently announced that it would stop
‘supporting’ Windows XP within the next year.

That means no more free updates or security patches.

But their flagship new product Windows 8 is very
rapidly going down the toilet. So much so that
the sale of new computers is dropping – because
nobody likes the new operating system

So Microsoft are going into reverse gear and bringing
out a new version of Win 8 this year – for which
they will be charging their existing (frustrated)

And guess what they’re calling it? “Windows Blue”!

As someone remarked on Slashdot recently:

It takes an ego massive enough to bend light to
release an update named “Windows Blue” without
realizing the next two words in everyone’s heads
will be “screen” and “death”.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Windows 8

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Windows 8 update

0— Pub Quiz – Question #6

Who was the son of Odysseus and Penelope?

0— Manchester Literary Festival

My home city has its own literary festival – not
so glamorous as the jamboree now under way in
Hay-on-Wye, but fairly interactive.

This year features names such as Roddy Doyle,
Helen Fielding, Jackie Kay,

It runs in conjunction with the Manchester
Jazz Festival, has a newsletter, and features
a conference on the art of letter writing.

It’s in the middle of October 2013

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Manchester Literary Festival

0— Pub Quiz – Question #7

On which island does the Statue of Liberty stand?

0— GCSE and A Level Examinations

Have your children got exams coming up soon?
Do they need help with revision techniques?

Our downloadable PDF eBook ‘Revision and
Examinations’ covers everything you need to
prepare for exams and deliver your best
performance on the day.

Revision techniques, time management,
overcoming nerves, and how to understand
exam questions and rubrics.

It’s available now for less than the price
of two fizzy drinks in your supermarket.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Revision and Examinations

0— Short story Guides – new additions

We’ve been busy adding more guides to classic
short stories on the site. Mainly by Virginia
Woolf and Henry James (you will not be surprised
to hear).

All guides feature plot summary, characters,
critical commentary, study resources, and
suggestions for further reading.

‘In the Cage’ – is a surprisingly modern story
(almost a short novel) by Henry James about a
young woman working as a telegraphist in Mayfair.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 In the Cage

‘Paste’ is a variation on a famous story by
Guy de Maupassant – a necklace which might
be real jewels or could be fake. In this case,
a woman’s social reputation is at stake.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Paste

‘An Unwritten Novel’ – is the story of a railway
journey I made myself only the other day, between
Victoria and the South Downs in Sussex.

Virginia Woolf’s narrator imagines the life of
a woman sitting opposite in the railway carriage.

A whole lifestyle and social background are
skilfully evoked, but when the train pulls into
the station there is a surprise waiting.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 An Unwritten Novel

‘Monday or Tuesday’ – is a very famous experimental
story which is about almost nothing except images
from the passage of time throughout an ordinary day.

Our guidance note includes the full text, plus an
example of ‘close reading’ explaining the story.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Monday or Tuesday

0— Pub Quiz – Question #8

What does the name El Zorro mean in English?

0— English Pronunciation – update

The guy who produces the parody YouTube
videos explaining how to pronounce
foreign words in English has added some
new clips to his archive.

Louboutin, Ralph Fiennes, Bolognese,
Ricochet, and Onomatopoeia are amongst
his latest offerings.

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 English Pronunciation

0— Pub Quiz – Question #9

How many legs does a spider have?

0— Best f.r.e.e iPhone Apps

FaceBook – social media for friends

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 FaceBook

Instagram – photo sharing and editing

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Instagram

YouTube – video sharing and viewing

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 YouTube

Skype – f.r.e.e chat, messages, and video calls

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Skype

Weather Channel – accurate weather forecasts

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Weather Channel

Twitter – latest gossip on what’s trending

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Twitter

Google Maps – from road maps to street view

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Google Maps

eBay – buy and sell on line

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 eBay

Spotify – streaming all kinds of music

Mantex Newsletter - May 2013 Spotify

0— Pub Quiz – Question #10

Which people’s language is Euskara?

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1. Which country has international car code FL?
ANSWER: Lichtenstein

#2 Who painted ‘The Blue Boy’?
ANSWER: Thomas Gainsborough

#3 What are the principal ingredients of Vichyssoise?
ANSWER: Leeks and potatoes

#4 Who wrote the Mary Poppins stories?

#5 What is the name of the Norwegian parliament?
ANSWER: The Stortinget

#6 Who was the son of Odysseus and Penelope?
ANSWER: Telemachus

#7 On which island does the Statue of Liberty stand?
ANSWER: Ellis Island

#8 What does the name El Zorro mean in English?
ANSWER: The fox

#9 How many legs does a spider have?

#10 Which people’s language is Euskara?
ANSWER: The Basques

Copyright (c) 2013, MANTEX
All Rights Reserved

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ISSN 1470-1863
The British Library

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