Few research bits on kindle and Indesign tips…

February 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

how to publish to kindle

Book layout with Indesign


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few updated attempts at improving my type with image…

February 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm (mark making)

Long way to go yet but after reading a few excellent books on typography dos and donts, I’m becoming more aware of how I should work with the book layout. Here are a few examples…


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Okay folks…another brief update!

February 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

Right, where to begin? Still getting a wonderful response from my online survey. I want to wait until I think everyone that will do it, has done it. I’ll also print out about 50 or so questionnaires to hand out in the university library and around the campus to get as many response as possible. Hopefully I can spend this weekend organising the data and will post up the results as soon as I can!

Also I’ve been reading through each chapter again and listing all the possible illustrations I could do to enhance the context of the words. As I go along, I keep a sketchbook by my side and scribble any ideas that come into my head as I’m reading as well as a few rough sketches. I’ve already posted up a few sheets of this and will upload the rest when I have it done.

Finally, have been researching how to go about creating the right size ebook for the kindle range and also what needs to be done so they can be rescaled pretty well to ipads and smartphones. Alot of work in it but I’m determined to know my stuff before I jump in at the deep end.

Well that’s it for now…back to the graft!

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Very interesting stuff about ‘Androgen insensitivity syndrome’…might make it into the book!

February 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

Androgen insensitivity syndrome

Testicular feminization

Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is when a person who is genetically male (has one X and one Y chromosome) is resistant to male hormones called androgens. As a result, the person has some or all of the physical characteristics of a woman, despite having the genetic makeup of a man.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is caused by various genetic defects on the X chromosome that make the body unable to respond to the hormones responsible for the male appearance.

The syndrome is divided into two main categories:

  • Complete AIS
  • Incomplete AIS

Complete androgen insensitivity prevents the development of the penis and other male body parts. The child born appears to be a girl. The complete form of the syndrome occurs in as many as 1 in 20,000 live births.

The degree of sexual ambiguity varies widely in persons with incomplete AIS. Incomplete AIS can include other disorders such as Reifenstein syndrome (also known as Gilbert-Dreyfus syndrome or Lubs syndrome), which is associated with breast development in men, failure of one or both testes to descend into the scrotum after birth, and hypospadias, a condition where the opening of the urethra is on the underside, rather than at the tip, of the penis.

Also included in the broad category of incomplete AIS is infertile male syndrome, which is sometimes due to an androgen receptor disorder.


A person with complete AIS appears to be female but has no uterus, and has very little armpit and pubic hair. At puberty, female secondary sex characteristics (such as breasts) develop, but menstruation and fertility do not.

Persons with incomplete AIS may have both male and female physical characteristics. Many have partial closing of the outer vaginal lips, an enlarged clitoris, and a short vagina.

There may be:

  • A vagina but no cervix or uterus
  • Inguinal hernia with a testis that can be felt during a physical exam
  • Normal female breast development
  • Testes in the abdomen or other unusual places in the body

Signs and tests

Complete AIS is rarely discovered during childhood, unless a mass is felt in the abdomen or groin that turns out to be a testicle when it is explored surgically. Most people with this condition are not diagnosed until they fail to menstruate or have difficulties becoming pregnant.

Incomplete AIS, however, is often discovered during childhood because the person may have both male and female physical characteristics.

Tests used to diagnose this condition may include:

  • Blood work to check levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Genetic testing (karyotyping)
  • Pelvic ultrasound

Other blood tests may be done to help tell the difference between AIS and androgen deficiency.


Unusually located testicular tissue may not be removed until a child completes puberty and growth is complete. At this time, the testis may be removed because they can develop cancer like any un-descended testicle.

Estrogen replacement is prescribed after puberty.

Treatment and gender assignment can be a very complex issue, and must be individualized with great care.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook for complete AIS is good if at-risk testicular tissue is removed at the proper time. The outlook for incomplete AIS depends on the presence and severity of ambiguous genitalia.



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Survey day today!

February 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

I created an online questionnaire to find out a bit more about what people know and think about evolution. The response has been great today. I’ve ten days to collect the data on the free online service I did it on so will post the results up then.

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To serif or not to serif…that is the question.

February 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

Serif vs. Sans-Serif

Fonts are, in general, divided into serif and sans-serif designs. Serif fonts have little curlicues on the ends of the letters. Sans-serif fonts don’t.

Times Roman is a serif font.


Helvetica is a sans-serif font.

People don’t read words one letter at a time. They recognize entire words at once. Words are, in general, easier to recognize in a serif font, for three reasons:

• The curlicues give the letters a more distinctive shape.
• The lower-case letters are relatively smaller (and the upper-case letters relatively larger). This is called x-height.
• Readers are used to reading serif fonts. What you read most often is easiest for you to read.

Smaller x-height makes serif fonts use less horizontal space. I.e., your book will be shorter if you use a serif font. E.g., the following two sentences are the same font size:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (12-point Times)
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (12-point Helvetica)

In 1931, the London Times hired typographers to design a highly readable, compact font. Times Roman is now the most widely used font.

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Back to basics with the ‘ol reliable pair…pencil and paper!

February 28, 2012 at 12:45 am (mark making)

This is the fastest way to belt out ideas so will be doing much more of this when reading through the chapters and thinking of ideas for illustrations for each page. I love doing a doodle and scribbling a few messy notes beside it. As long as I can understand it, all’s good!


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Two pictures I did ages ago, forgot to photograph them till now!

February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm (mark making)

One is of an ancient mammoth being attacked by spears as they would have been by our ancestors. The other is a theory of how our ancestors may have discovered fire; perhaps a lightning strike that they approached and learned how to tame.

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Updated wall photos…

February 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

Remember that boring old wall plan of my book notes from a few months ago? Well, I’ve been adding my drawings and mark making pics since then and the wall is slowly disappearing! This wall is my shrine and planning board, it helps me see what I’ve done and what I need to do




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Main topics that I will be writing about in the book…

February 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm (Day to day updates of my project research and development)

Below is the main flow of topics through the past, present and future sections of the book.


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