A Showcase for creative projects

Landing

The Ax-yZ creative projects platform is On-Line!

Hello and welcome

The Ax-yZ creative projects platform is a showcase for creative projects. You can dive into and explore all kinds of projects from Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writing through White Papers that take a fun approach to Theoretical Physics to blogs on Health Tips, Product Reviews, Travel Accommodation and much more. But be warned, there are going to be a fair few quite atrocious puns mixed in along the way as well. So it's going to be perfectly understandable if you wince and groan. Just try not to do it too loudly in public spaces.

We set ourselves the target of launching on the 1st of May, 2017. We did. However, it then went all wrong and we had to take it down and put the BETA version back up. Once we found the error (a stupid little typo that threw everything off) we uploaded the full version again. There are still a few kinks in the code that need ironing out we'll fix these as we move ahead. We hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment of the site and that you still have fun exploring. If you do, or don't, like what you see, please let us know.

If your 'fancy has been tickled' then we look forward to greeting you again once the site is live. Until then, you can stay up-to-date with developments with our email newsletter. Not a subscriber yet? No problem! Not only is it free to register, but as a ONCE OFF OFFER for new subscribers, we shall also send you FIVE THOUSAND WORDS from our Sci-Fi/Fantasy crossover book series 'Orb' as a FREE SAMPLER. Don't hesitate any longer,

Aquarium1

Welcome to our creative projects webarium!

Dive into Theoretical physics, Fantasy Writing, Health, Travel and much much more...

We like to call this website our webarium. Think of it as a cross between a website and an aquarium.

We're not great fans of Carp. Ponds full of Carp are often employed in ornamental gardens to lend an air of oriental elegance. What turns us, at Ax-yZ, off about carp ponds is that they're carp ponds. The problem is evident in the name. Carp can in no way be considered particularly exciting or dynamic fish. Elegant? Certainly. Sexy? Errmmm....no, not a chance. Furthermore, ponds are dark and muddy and best viewed from above. In short a carp pond is all about peace, calm, meditation (and sleep?)

An aquarium, on the other hand, is all about excitement and drama. All the little flickering shapes and colours. The sensuous waving fronds. The foreboding ship-wreck or skull lying on the bottom. Not only are the contents more dynamic and intriguing but your perspective makes it more involving too. By looking in from the side, it is more like you have crossed over into the aquatic world rather than being an alien spectator on the distant dry shore. Of course, you should never tap on the glass of an aquarium, it is very bad for the fish (and smudges the glass). Nevertheless, the fact that people want to, demonstrates that aquariums do invite interaction. Who ever tried to tap on the side of a carp pond?

Aquarium2

Dip your toe

A unique aquatic ecology

We at Ax-yZ find that many websites are like carp ponds. Many are beautifully built, gorgeously designed, full of elegant features and offer neat functions. Nevertheless, they are not always involving and seldom intriguing. Furthermore, unlike a real coral reef, they lack any sense of danger or risk. They are less about discovery and exploration and more about search and review. Here at Ax-yZ we want to offer a different kind of website. One that invites you on a journey of discovery. One that presents an ever changing display of colour and movement. One that you can drift through at your leisure or explore to its furthest limits. This website is not a carp pond, it's a web aquarium.

In our webarium we have three kinds of aquatic life. Flitting gracefully between enchanting concepts and colourful prose, we have the Storytelling fish. Stretching out their long sticky tentacles to grasp and entrap knowledge and wisdom we have the anemones of Science. Finally, busily creating a new pearlescent world for us all to live in, we find the inventive Design oysters. However, this isn't everything. No aquarium would be complete without pumps and filters and lights and stuff. These are represented by this website itself, which qualifies as a creative project 'work in progress' in its own right.

So, we hope you have lots of fun gawping mesmerised into our (very occasionally slightly murky) waters and look forward to you subscribing to the newsletter to receive advanced news about each curious new webatic life form that we introduce.

Storytelling

Storytelling Fish

Enchanting little creatures of Prose and Rhyme

People often have the idea of writing a book. For a great many it stays just an idea, a dream that they carry with them all their life. It becomes a little secret friend that they rely on for company when they need a break from reality. In their head they write one or two scenes, think up some snappy dialogue, create a few cool characters, maybe even imagine a book cover. But that's it, they don't actually ever get round to writing any of it down.

At the other extreme we have famous writers that seemingly can't stop themselves from writing. They are incredibly prolific and sell millions of books. This success can be discouraging to first time or hobby writers. People can't help asking the question 'How can I compete with that?'

The point is, you don't have to. Nobody starts a writing career with 20 best sellers to their name. Everybody starts with just one book, the very first one they ever write. This is what the storytelling section is all about. Writing that first book, starting the journey. We want to both encourage and support writers to get that first story on paper. There will be new and original work from a few brave contributors alongside classical works from great names. We will also have a tips, tricks and lessons learnt section so others can benefit from our experience. Together we hope this all will provide enough inspiration and support to get even the most reluctant dreamers to take the big step and pick up a pen.

Check out the storytelling project area. Along with short excerpts from each writing project we feature, we shall be blogging about the background and motivation for each book and maybe even the occasional author profile. If all this has got your mouth watering for more, subscribe to our newsletter. Not only will you get all the latest gossip and an advanced look at new content before we post it but ALSO we shall send you a FIVE THOUSAND word sampler from one of our featured books for FREE.

Science

Science Anemone

Discovering the sticky truth

Science and research aren't everyone's cup of tea. It can be a lot of hassle dealing with the unanswerable questions of the universe. Where do we come from? Where are we going? Should we wear pumps or trainers for the journey? It's understandable that some people just prefer to let others do the heavy lifting whilst they enjoy any eventual benefits. It's a form of delegation and that's perfectly legitimate.

We at Ax-yZ, however, belong unashamedly to the other camp. Trying to better understand the bizarre and odd in our beautiful cosmos is what gets us excited. It isn't always the 'big unanswerables' that we get stuck into. Often we just take another look at everyday things that have become so common place we have stopped noticing how wonderful they actually are. However, one thing remains common. We always try to take a fresh look from an unusual perspective. It is a bit like a passionate photographer searching for that perfect angle to capture a uniquely beautiful image.

However, science isn't exactly like photography. It isn't about a single perspective. The best science draws on knowledge from multiple sources to gather together and consolidate truths and facts. It is just like a sea anemone grabbing hold of individual morsels of information and then dragging them inexorably towards its central mouth for assimilation.

So if you fancy rebuilding the universe from scratch or maybe just finding out what Bison can teach us about electronics, it's high time you came and got stuck into science with us.

Design

Design Oysters

Building with true grit

Engineering and science have been bed fellows for a very long time. The partnership works but, as with any intimate relationship, it often gets passionate and at times just a little bit confrontational. This is probably because they are quite similar in so many ways. There is a saying:

Scientists turn cash into knowledge whilst Engineers turn knowledge into cash.

With this in mind we were compelled to include a design, invention and construction section on the Ax-yZ website. If we were going to feature Science stuff then we had to try and balance the books and represent Engineering too. But how to do it? A lot of Engineering is actually quite dull. Certainly invaluable, but dull none the less. Furthermore, engineers themselves are notorious for being rather dull too. The introvert at the party is almost always some kind of, perhaps highly talented, geeky engineer. Bless them, they even make jokes about it themselves!

Yep, reading about Engineering can be about as palatable as eating oysters. Even people that claim to like it try and get it over with quickly and then move on. So what to do?

What you have to do is what Engineers themselves are always doing to solve tricky design challenges. You have to change your attitude, shift your expectations and look for the new paradigm. Stop thinking of an oyster as a crusty battered shell surrounding some slimy innards. Play to the strengths not the weaknesses. If you challenge your own mind set you might realise that an oyster is in fact something quite wonderful. It's the delivery mechanism for a pearl.

Along side the design projects we will be following from initial inspiration to final construction, we will be including a blog all about design theory itself. This follows along with some research work into what design actually is and how we can best turn concepts into artefacts.

Along side the design projects we will be following from initial inspiration to final construction, we will be including a blog all about design theory itself. This follows along with some research work into what design actually is and how we can best turn concepts into artefacts.

Ready to become become designers and inventors? Then follow this path to turn grit into brilliance .

Website

Website Infrastructure

A tank load of functions and features

A popular depiction of goldfish husbandry is the goldfish bowl. The goldfish spends all day just swimming around in small languid circles. This bulbous container is a terrible way to keep fish. There are no decorations and no companionship so the fish has no stimulation. The narrow neck of the jar limits gas exchange so the fish suffers slow asphyxiation. There is no filter mechanism to remove the inevitable detritus and no thermal management system to counteract the inevitable wild temperature swings. It really is no wonder that fish don't generally survive very long in a gold fish bowl.

In the same way, to keep the Ax-yZ webarium ecosystem healthy we need to include some infrastructure. We shall start off with just a few basic features and then over time build up the functionality. We will gradually extend it until we have everything needed to keep some quite exotic creatures. Our bucket list already has some pretty bizarre ideas on it. Eventually, it should become big enough for people to jump in and swim amongst the coral reefs with us.

Nevertheless, we have never built a webarium (website-aquarium) on this scale before. We are learning as we move forward.

This section is all about looking into our own belly-buttons to design a better site (Navel Engineering get it now?). This section is going to be where we track our ups and downs in this process. It is going to be quite a mixed bag of web-techy paraphernalia. Alongside a blog that records progress on the construction work, we will be offering prototypes and trials of each new gizmo as we develop and introduce it. It will also house the download area once we have decided what people might like to download.

Most importantly, there will also be a comments / user forum area. An aquarium full of fish is pretty much pointless without any higher beings to look in on it and occasionally sprinkle some crumbs of food. In the same way we look to all of you, the great and benign beings of the cloud that you are, to enjoy our aquarium. Accent on 'enjoy'. However, we need you to help out by telling us what you think. Do we have the right kind of fish? Are we keeping the glass bright and shiny enough? We need your feedback to these and many other questions. Just, please, don't be a glass tapping Web Troll. Nobody wants to see that..... Step inside our ' the making of.. ' section.

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