Blog sponsorship, books, transport

How the 20th century was almost dominated by electric vehicles, rather than petrol

It's amazing to think that had circumstances been different, the western world might have developed its road transport around electric engines rather than fossil fuels. That's one of the key points made by "A Most Deliberate Swindle", by Mick Hamer - the tale of the London Electrobus company, which pioneered the use of electric buses in London in the early 1900s. I was sent a preview copy -- it

books, Doctor Who, Film, Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

Before home video

In the days before home video, we had to resort to other means to re-live movies and TV shows. Novelisations of productions were common. I knew people who had hundreds of Doctor Who novelisations -- virtually every story had a book published. I had perhaps a dozen. Other books made it into publication -- scripts, programme guides, and spin-off material. Of course these are still common, but

books, Film

My verdict on the Tintin movie

Look! It's Tintin on a bus... And here's Tintin on a tram (and a tram in Tintin)... So anyway, we went to the Tintin movie yesterday -- in 2D, as 3D doesn't work on me. I enjoyed it a lot. They did a good job of recreating the look of Herge, and there were plenty of references to keep Tintin nerds like me entertained. The first half of the movie had a lot of bits of Tintin stories all

books, Home life, Sport

A coupla things

The Slap I finished reading The Slap. Great book, provided you don't mind a little fruity language and adult themes in your novels. Looking forward now to the TV adaption. Possums I was just thinking the other day that despite seeing a lot of possums around the neighbourhood, I never heard them in the roof. Then when I was taking a look in the roof over the Easter break, I noticed a sm

books, PTUA

In the wild

There's a few thousand "More trains/trams/buses = less traffic" stickers out there, but it's not that common to see them "in the wild". By "in the wild" I mean stuck to cars that are not owned by PTUA committee members or their friends and family. I don't know who owns this little white car, but I was thrilled to see it had a "More trains = less traffic" sticker on the back of it. It's a

books, Film, music

Quick reviews

A few quick reviews of things I've read or watched recently... (The DVDs fall into the category of "I've been meaning to watch that; I'll buy that if it's less than $10. Ooh, there it is!" One book was borrowed, the other I got for Christmas.) A Hard Day's Night -- got this cheap on Amazon, and thought the kids would enjoy it, which they did. Occasionally the accents are a tad hard to follow

books

The mathematics of school textbooks

It's all easy in primary school. You send the money in, you get a box of goodies. There's few textbooks, and almost all are kept at and owned by the school. It gets more complicated and expensive in secondary school. So here's the scenario: Two kids, two years apart. The school has a secondhand book scheme. At the end of the year, books are sold for two-thirds the retail price, with the s

books, News and events

NASA to prove Herge right?

Tintin and friends landed on the moon in 1952, some 17 years before Apollo 11 got there. While writing the story, Herge and his team researched what the moon would look like on the surface, and as anybody who's read the book would know, it's uncannily accurate. After Apollo 11 made it to the Moon, it seemed that Herge had got only one thing wrong: in the story, Tintin and Haddock observe

books, transport

The Example

The Example, by Tom Taylor and Colin Wilson (published by Gestalt Books), might be the first graphic novel to be set entirely within the confines of Flinders Street Station. It's a short but thought-provoking read, combining a most-of-Western-world issue -- paranoia over terrorism -- with a more decidedly local Melbourne issue: the trains. Speaking of terrorism and paranoia, the other bo