I posted a year or two back about some of the oddest British battleships ever built – engineering weirdness that always had a rational explanation but ended up creating some very strange and quirky vessels indeed. I was careful to specify ‘British’ because their oddities were actually quite sane by comparison with designs concocted by … More Stranger battleships than British ones, and other odd stuff
When I was looking around for a new car a couple of years ago I made the difficult decision to go with an automatic. To me, autos aren’t proper cars, and they don’t require proper driving, especially with cruise control. You don’t drive them, you sit and ride in them while steering a bit. Mind … More Is driving an auto real driving?
It looks like Sir Peter Jackson’s movie museum is going to go ahead in central Wellington. Possibly including the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ car built by Alan Mann for the 1968 movie of the same name, which Jackson owns. When I was a kid, my sister had the Dinky toy version of that car. Jackson, … More The story of the REAL Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Last week I was out for a pre-Christmas lads’ get-together – where we inevitably talk engineering or bloke stuff – and managed to mention somebody so obscure that several people reached for their phones and that old standby, Google. Has anybody heard of Ernest Eldridge and Mephistopheles? No? I’ll tell you. Ernest Arthur Douglas Eldridge was an English … More The incredible Ernest Eldridge and his adventures with Mephistopheles
The Zumwalt, America’s newest destroyer, took to the ocean last week and is a geek paradise, which is why I’m writing about it. At about $US6 billion, the Zumwalt isn’t cheap, and I can think of many better things that $US6 billion could be spent on. Health care, for instance. Food aid. Stuff like that. However, that’s … More The USS Zumwalt might be a worry
I have never understood how it was that, back in the 1930s, Americans built proper cars with decent motors and cool names like Packard Super 8, or Lincoln LeBaron v12 convertible. Whereas the British insisted on constructing vehicles out of Meccano and four-cylinder biscuit tins, with brand names like the Chumley Chinless Mk I or the Dribley Allegretto. All … More A few random thoughts on Putney Piddleboms and other classic British cars
I posted last week about the silliness of trying to colonise Mars on a one-way basis, unless you’re sending Justin Bieber. Sure, most colonists here on Earth made the trip one-way. But Earth’s way more hospitable. Even Roanoke. You can breathe the air, for a start. Mars – that’s another planet. It has red skies and blue sunsets, temperatures … More Why I think Mars One is a really stupid notion