In case you’ve never heard of True Names: it is the concept that every thing and being has one true name that represents that being’s true nature and that, if learned by others, gives them power over it. It occurs sometimes in religion but even more frequently in fantasy literature.

This is the story of how I learned my own true name, and the unexpected benefits it brought me.

Before I can get into the how, I have to mention some of the prerequisites. Although I’m a spiritual person, that is not a prerequisite. What is needed mostly is experience…

I love learning new things. No, more than that: I need to learn new things to stay sane. So when I graduated, I had to find new ways of bringing learning into my life. Let me tell you some of my experiences of finding ways to learn outside the classroom.

Graduating from college was quite the adjustment for me. In the first few months before I found a job, and even for some time after that, I struggled. I didn’t understand what was missing, why every day seemed so dull and interchangeable. At one point I looked back on…

Some of the happiest times in my life were spent
lying still on my bed for hours on end.
Head barely moving with but one place to look
buried down to my neck in a wonderful book.

The word: “Guilt”

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever is a lesser known but very worthwhile fantasy book series, written by Donald Stevenson. It consists of three sets, the first two trilogies and the final being four books. Though protagonists and some setting carries over between each set, the stories in each are separated with a lot of time, so that each story is very different from the last.

One thing to note is that Stevenson’s writing is very dense. He tends to use complicated words where simple ones will do, and sometimes will go off on a philosophical tangent before returning…

The word: “Stories”

The world lost one of its greatest and funniest authors this year. Terry Pratchett died of Alzheimer’s disease at age 66. It seems only fitting that Books in a Word start by reviewing his long-running series of fantasy novels: Discworld.

Wikipedia lists forty published titles in the Discworld series and one still to be published posthumously. Almost all of these star one of several casts of recurring characters. There are stories about Rincewind, a wizard, and about Granny Weatherwax, a witch. There are stories about the adventures of Death, and about Sam Vines, commander of the City Watch of Ankh-Morpork…

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I love learning new things. Now that I’m out of college, I can decide for myself what to learn and when. I’ve taught myself how to use the internet for learning, and have gotten a pretty good grasp on what’s possible.

I think that the best lessons are those that not only give you new knowledge or skills, but give you an entirely new way of looking at the world. I’ve learned a lot online, but there’s only a handful of lessons that have entirely changed my way of thinking. Perhaps they can do the same for you. So I…

Online education isn’t a new thing, but in recent years it has grown in leaps and bounds, both in volume and in quality. This is great for pupils still in school: projects such as Khan Academy build on the traditional school curriculum and support students in finishing their educations. Online resources also offers more tools to educators, allowing them to capture the fleeting interest of their students with multimedia, interactive material. But it doesn’t stop there. Educational platforms targeted at more mature audiences are also available online, enabling people to keep learning throughout their entire lives: lifelong learning. …

Android Wear is Google’s take on what a smart watch could be. Whereas Apple’s smart watch won’t come out until early next year, the first watches running Android Wear started appearing last summer. Unfortunately, of the several models of watch that were announced the model people wanted most — the Moto 360 — was delayed quite a long time. A few weeks ago I finally got my hands on one.

First off, let me say that I love Moto’s hardware. The design is beautiful: it’s a piece of fashion you won’t mind being seen with. I was surprised to find…

In this post I will be reviewing the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. About a month ago, I got the core i5, 256G SSD, 8GB RAM version with type-cover. And I won’t make you read to the bottom to give you my overall conclusion: this device is freaking amazing! Let me tell you how came to that realization.

Why the Surface Pro 3?

For some time I’ve been looking for the ideal device to supplement my desktop PC. I wanted a device that I could read a book or the news on while I’m sitting on the couch, a device I could use as an office…

Romke van der Meulen

A Dutch student of Man and Machine, Science and Faith, Philosophy and Life.

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