iBooks Author, We Have Been Waiting Since The Beginning of Time

Jan 19, 2012 by

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

We were told a story a few weeks ago about how at one point in time Steve Jobs had about 400 engineers at Apple working exclusively on iBooks Author, the new app released by Cupertino today that essentially turns all of us into Johannes Gutenberg.

University officials we’ve already talked  with today are quite pleased with the product.  It’s going to make a difference in the world of academics.  We’ve also heard from those in the textbook industry who say without content, Apple’s release today matters not.

We beg to differ.

The Wonders Expedition™

On our new upstart project, The Wonders Expedition, we’ve been working on an app for mobile devices that will replace the set of headphones one rents when they visit a historic park or museum.

With iBooks Author, we’re now directing our attentions to writing a series of interactive books that will allow a person to take that tour in person, or in their living room with almost as incredible experience in either place.

If you’re a writer, graphic artist, programmer, photographer, or videographer, we’re interested in talking with you about our great project.  Please just go to ClaxtonCreative on Twitter or Facebook, or jump over and LIKE our Facebook page for TWE, or follow us on @Archeoastronomy and when we follow back, send us a DM.

Things We Already Know

Apparently one has to be running Lion for iBooks Author to work.  The Life on Planet Earth book one can read on their iPad, but we can’t seem to find it on iPhone, even after upgrading to iBooks 2.

iBooks Author works much like Pages or Keynote to set up and use.

At this writing, the HELP pages aren’t loading, as in Apple doesn’t seem to have uploaded their content yet.  Will check back soon.





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Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2011 by

Blessings to you and yours from my family.  May you have a wonderful holiday.

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Ancient Aliens Playing Loose With Facts

Oct 23, 2011 by

We’ve been keeping an eye on the show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel lately and have done some fact checking only to find that the facts in many cases have been left out in order they not get in the way of a good story.  That or blatantly false information has been aired.

One of the best ones yet comes from the flamboyant Giogrio Tsoukalos, who, when talking about the Carnac Stones in Brittany, France said that they, along with the Great Wall of China, “can be see from space.”  Well, we did some searching on Google Earth and all those megalithic rocks can’t even be seen on it, let alone looking out the window of the Space Shuttle as it zooms by at 17-thousand miles an hour.  And as an astronaut friend told me a few years ago, “If you could see the Great Wall of China from space, you’d also be able to see roads.”

Now we’ve come across how Tsoukalos is even selling t-shirts and bumper stickers.

One other disturbing point: If ancient aliens had flown all the way across the universe in their superior spacecrafts to come here, why on Earth would they need mankind to build landmarks for them to navigate within our airspace?   Don’t you think they’d pretty much have already figured that out?

The whole Ancient Aliens show is proof you can still get on TV by saying outrageously whack things as an “Ancient Astronaut Theorist” and we presume, make money selling T-shirts off of it.  Tsoukalos on Twitter was saying the other day that the demand had been so great it had crashed the Website. Of course he also said you can see the Carnac Stones from space and we know that isn’t true.

The fallacy of this show is that in challenging the teachings of modern archeological and historical thought that basically suggests that our forefathers of the past 5-13,000 years were kind of like the monkey-scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey where they’re just learning to use bones as weapons and tools, and not very intelligent, they have swung the pendulum the exact opposite way by saying they weren’t smart enough to have figured this stuff out either that they had to have little green men from another planet do it.


History (Australian television channel)

Image via Wikipedia

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‘SK: I need U to call an ambulance. I’m having bad chest pains.’

Sep 4, 2011 by

A week ago this morning I awoke to a beautiful sunny day in North Alabama.  Friday night and most of the day Saturday I’d had a great adventure with a close friend and her family.  Work was going great.  The stress level had dropped immeasurably.  I was in good spirits, though missing my girls back at home in Texas, and then, WHAM!  At age 45, any youthful innocence left in me disappeared in a flash as the pains of a mild heart attack began in my chest about 11:15 a.m. and it began to feel like my throat was closing in.

Monday, doctors put in a stent.  Tuesday I was freed from the hospital thinking if I’d survived that, I wasn’t going to be that tired, after all, they’d only sent a wire up through my leg.   Wednesday I was too tired to go anywhere.  Thursday the mental and emotional side of all this came crashing down on me.  The “Oh SHIT!” moment of my life hit me harder than the pains on Sunday morning.


From my accounts here on DaddyClaxton.com, you know I’ve tried in the past couple of years to make some important changes.  I’ve changed my diet and have dropped about 30 pounds in the past five months simply by changing my diet and consumption.  I’ve identified the 20 percent of people and relationships who were causing 80 percent of my duress and put up boundaries.  And through two bouts of Diverticulitis, I’ve tried to adopt an exercise program off and on.

But like Steve Jobs being worth $8.74 billion, no amount of money or anything else has been able to alleviate all that ails me.


God didn’t take me last Sunday because as my friend said, he was allowing me to receive the “Double Bitch Slap of Life.”  I’ve always held true to the conviction that I’m here for a reason and that is to help others. So many friends this week have called, texted, emailed, even sent smoke signals telling me to stop worrying about the welfare of others so much.  “THIS IS ABOUT YOU!” my friend has told me repeatedly.

That’s a hard mindset to adopt. And I don’t want to do it to the other extreme either.

For years, my first wife has projected her guilt onto me saying that I’m narcissistic.  Nearly a decade of counseling has confirmed that she is, I’m not and added to the testimony of so many friends this week who have known me for decades proves what I’ve known all along–like always, she’s full of –it.

Unfortunately, it appears I’m now going to have to close down the one last remaining channel for her to harass me.  Why can’t some see the hurt and damage they cause in the lives of everyone around them through their own selfishness?


I can begin walking Wednesday.  I’m supposed to build up to 30 minutes a day, five days per week.  I’m ready.


Carol Ireton-Jones, Donna Israel and Martha McHenry at Professional Nutrition Therapists in Dallas already have let me know when I get back to town, there are going to be more recommended meal changes. (If you live in Dallas, they are the ones to call!)


I’ve made some really cool friends in North Alabama the past few months.  My relationships with them are healthier than many in the past, and if things get out of hand, I’ve learned to step back and not expose myself.  If you’re a positive person, and you make me laugh, I’ll enjoy spending time with you.  If you’re going to bring drama the likes I’ve endured the past 16 years because of spouses, have a miserable life unto yourself. You’re not going to cuss me, to yell at me, or throw things at me.  That’s just not going to be tolerated.  I’ve learned that’s the only way you can be “happy,” and like I’m trying to say nicely, “I’m done with that.”


I was working with my client and friend SK Chauhan at his house last Sunday. When my pains hit, I stepped outside on the back porch to see if fresh air was going to change my situation.  It didn’t and at 11:24, I sent the text message of a lifetime that simply read:  “SK.  I need u to call an ambulance.  I’m having bad chest pains.”

My mom, an RN, said I couldn’t have worded that text message better.  When you call 911 and you need an ambulance to get you to the hospital ASAP, don’t speculate and say you need the paramedics, because in some places, they can’t transport and if they wait to arrive before they decide to send a bus for you, well, they might wind up calling for a different kind of wagon….

The other thought that has haunted me is what if I’d passed out on the porch–It would have been a few minutes before anyone came out and asked what I was doing.  And if this had been worse ….


I’m weighing my options this morning as I sit at a desk at my Mom’s house in Montgomery, AL.  And though written from a woman’s perspective, Fergie‘s Big Girls Don’t Cry has been on a loop in my head the past few days.  “Myself and I have, I have some figuring out to do,” for sure.

I won’t go into those thoughts right now.  They’re still rattling around in my head that for the past few days has been a little on the mushy, incomplete and WTH happened side.

Until then “I need to be by myself and center, clarity, peace, serenity. “ And on the other hand, I’m trying to see as many old friends as I may so I’m not thinking about …..

And rather than being at mom’s here in Montgomery, I wish nothing more than to be back in Dallas in my apartment, in my bed resting, and with the option to see my doting daughters, whom I’ve not seen in almost a month now.   That’s the hardest part here.  What if I’d left them and so many of you behind last weekend?

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Health Guide: Diverticulitis Is Nothing To Play With

Jul 8, 2011 by

I’m living in Day 11 of my second bout with the intestinal infection known as diverticulitis and I felt obligated to write a note for the ages that warns others with this ailment–This is nothing to play around with.

During the past 11 days, I’ve spent 5 of them in a hospital bed.  There were two before going into the hospital.  That leaves four that I’ve been out.

At this writing, I’m still very weak and tired.  I’ve basically quit eating as I’m not really hungry, but at the same time, I am hungry and nothing sounds good, and I’m afraid to eat anything that is going to get stuck inside me and make me start hurting insanely again.

In The Hospital

I spent my time in the Texas Regional Medical Center in Sunnyvale, Texas.  This is a brand new facility.  Everything is new.  It’s clean.  I sat in the ER waiting room maybe for five minutes and from then on, I was in a bed.

Before I went upstairs and was admitted, I had blood work done, had a CT-Scan, and time with a caring doctor who gave me options on how I was going to be treated.

Upstairs with my nurses, they change shifts every 12 hours at 7 am/pm, were professional, caring and pleasant to work with.  They were responsive to my needs and constantly were checking on me.

Clear Liquid Diet

The first thing I was told was that I was going on a clear liquid diet.  That translates to beef/chicken broth, some clear jello, and a Popsicle for lunch and supper. I also was allowed to drink my unsweetened iced tea. 

This went on for four days.  Just thinking about broth right now makes me want to think about hurling, but it really was what I needed.  A few nurses let me have chocolate pudding cups, but that got stopped by one of the nurses.

Going Home

When I awoke Saturday morning after having been admitted, I expected the doctor to send me home.  That wasn’t even on his radar.  He said, “We’ll continue the clear liquids a couple more days and then we’ll see how you do with soft foods.”

Remember, most hospitals are trying to kick you out as fast as possible.  That told me I was sicker than I thought.

My First Bout

When I had diverticulitis the first time, I was so intent on keeping up with my work, I even went on a trip from Dallas to Mobile.  My doctor at the time freaked out.   I was miserable and wound up coming home early, but that time, I didn’t realize the seriousness of my ailment, nor did I realize the impact it was having on my body.

The Second Time Around

This time I’ve been more respectful of the ailment.  It would have been madness to have come home from the hospital last Saturday to take care of myself at home.  Every four hours at the hospital, the nurses were pumping pain relief meds, plus antibiotics straight into me via an IV.  This would not have happened at home.

There is absolutely no way I would have conformed to the requirements of the clear liquid diet at home either.  I would have been nibbling on hard and high-fiber meats and such and just been clogging myself up again, causing more and more pain and discomfort.

Obstructed Intestine

My ER doctor soon told me I was not obstructed, that things were getting through my intestines, and if I was obstructed and had diverticulitis, the results would be “catastrophic.”

That translates into I would have died.

The other danger with diverticulitis was if one of the pockets that have formed in my intestine had burst, much like appendicitis, spilling my guts into my guts.  That would have been far worse, too.

A Couple Recommendations

1) Diverticulitis is no game.  It’s not a picnic, nor is it any fun to endure.  It’s highly painful and energy draining.  When your doctor tells you you’re going to be down for awhile, you’re going to be down.  Don’t try to speed up the process.  You cannot.

2) The TRMC in Sunnyvale is a very good hospital to go to when you’re in need. I highly recommend it.  It’s still something of a secret so it’s not crowded, the rooms are clean, and my room was a single-bed, so I didn’t have to listen to the drama of someone else ailing in my room with me.

3) Forget about taking trips with diverticulitis.  That was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done.

4) Follow up with your doctor after getting out of the hospital.  This is a very serious ailment and one you don’t want to come back…



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Never Use These Words In A PR News Release

Jun 24, 2011 by

One can almost always tell when a public relations communique has been hi-jacked by engineers, designers and weak writers.  What truly becomes a “press release” (the opposite of a “news release,” defined as a document circulated amongst the news media that actually contains, wait for it …. NEWS) … becomes paragraph after paragraph of pure techno-speak, jargon and gobbledygook that has little meaning what so ever to anyone besides the person who wrote it (and maybe not even to the 21-year-old intern) and the person who approved its release.

So many of today’s PR writers get sucked into the world of techno-speak because they frankly lack the initiative, guts or common sense to stand up to, but ironically for, their client and say, “I’m not going to put my company’s name on something like that when it literally says NOTHING and is going to waste your money!”

English Words That Should Be Banned From News Releases

It wouldn’t take one long to search a few websites across the Web to find (we will call them “press releases” here because they most likely have very little news value) press releases literally soaked with words that should be banned by those of us in the PR profession.

We have amassed a list of words that truly should be outlawed from use, much like journalism professors would issue an automatic F for five or more AP Style errors.

What are these words?

Industry Standard
Leading Provider
New and Improved

Saving Public Relations

If we are to save PR from becoming so trivial a service that anyone can do it, it’s time to set some new standards in how PR is conducted in the United States.  Using words like these in a news release, particularly for a software or tech company does little good for the client in the way of getting news media attention.

Seriously, what is an “integrated solution?”  By its meaning, integrated means to combine somethings into something bigger.  Right?  A solution is combining a series of things into something bigger that also, supposedly, solves a problem.  So if you have an “integrated solution,” don’t you really have something that was combined with something else to make it bigger that was combined with something else to make it bigger?  If you were adding them together in the first place, wouldn’t you be trying to combine the best of some knowledge to solve a problem?

Just entering “Integrated Solutions” in Google leads to more than 21.8 million uses of it across the Internet.  By acquiescing in your client’s insistence of this term, what good are you doing them?  Great.  You put out, what genuinely becomes a “press release” and there are now 21,800,001 uses of it across the Internet.  Stay close to the phone.  The New York Times tech writers will be calling you in the next five seconds.

It’s kind of like what my roommate at Auburn University said about the Southern term, “Fixin’ to start.” Well, if you’re fixin’ to do something, you’re starting to do it, and if you’re starting to do it, you’re starting, so he said that really means “You’re starting to start starting something.”

Duty to Our Clients

PR professionals are supposed to put the interests of their clients first.  If we acquiesce in the use of words that mean nothing and not say anything, then why on earth should they hire us in the first place?

What words would you recommend be added to the list?

Recommended Additions Of Words To Never Use:

A Perfect Storm–Kimberly Reeves, Austin, TX

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