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

Consumerism

Dear retailers, when prices are 60% cheaper offshore, GST won’t save you

Tough talk from the retailers, who continue to demand GST be applied to all purchases. It's rubbish of course. 10% GST is not why people are shopping online. Let's take the example of my last Amazon UK order, which I placed when the AU dollar was at its height, about two weeks ago. Book: Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere". UKP 4.46 (AU $6.96). Cheapest AUD price (via Booko, looking only at Aust

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, Net, News and events

A buncha brief things

Some brief thoughts and half-arsed things that I can't be bothered developing into fully-fledged blog posts: Luz Station in Sao Paulo. Looks externally very similar to Melbourne's Flinders Street Station, well if you don't look too closely. Coincidence, or is one modelled on the other? Probably the former. I haven't seen anything that suggests Luz has something similar to the front of FSS. (Mor

books, Consumerism, Morons on the road, News and events, Ranting, transport

Whatthe?

What the F--- do you think you're doing, Mr White Stationwagon? Where the F--- did you get your driver's licence? Why the F--- do you think you can decide as you're driving through an intersection in the left hand lane, that you are suddenly going to turn right, across three lanes of traffic, cutting me off as I'm about to turn right the other way, leaving my car helplessly stuck in the intersecti