I have to admit I’m getting a bit bored with Lord of the Rings. Not the books, so much as the shenanigans around the movies and TV series. Peter Jackson’s original adaptation a couple of decades back was amazing, but his version of The Hobbit was a nine-hour-plus train wreck that veered into self-parody. I … More Bored of Lord of the Rings
I am always intrigued by the number of jokes made about the way other languages sound to English speakers. Usually they rest on some tired and long-discarded national stereotype such as Swedish allegedly consisting of people saying ‘borka borka borka’, or German consisting of people gutturally barking orders at each other: Speaker 1: Achtung! Panzer! … More How English sounds to speakers of other languages
I figured out a way of making electric cars go further. All they need is a generator on board and – presto – no problems with battery charging. Better still, you can get rid of those heavy batteries altogether and run the electric motors from the juice provided by the generator. That’s even greener – … More How to make electric cars go further
What’s the secret to making a YouTube channel go viral? I certainly want to know. I write full time, and the way to make a small fortune from writing is to start with a large one. But YouTube – well, all you have to do is start a channel, go viral, and money flows in. … More How to make a YouTube channel go viral
I thought I’d better post something about the world’s oldest profession, the one that a lot of people use today – and it’s a profession older, even, than writing. It’s one that seems to be an essential part of human nature. And these days it’s become an integral part of modern life. I’m talking, of … More All about the world’s oldest profession
I often wonder, in idle moments, how we might talk to aliens if they turned up suddenly. The problem is that aliens are – well, alien. Picture the scene: Aliens turn up. Their language, to our ears, has just one word, ‘blubbleblop’. Nobody realises they communicate by eye movement and the sound is a product … More Will we ever understand aliens?
It’s 51 years this coming week since Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Just over half a century since the most stunning achievement in the history of the world. Think about it this way. Life has existed on Earth for around three billion years. For most of that time it was little more than single-celled … More Recapturing the dream – memories of Apollo and a wonderful future
There’s an old joke about the Moon landing hoax conspiracy. You know: “Sure it was a hoax, but they got Stanley Kubrick to direct and he insisted that they had to be on location.” I thought everybody knew that one. It’s an oldie but a goodie that suitably lampoons the lunatic fringe who imagine the … More When a joke about the moon hoax is taken too seriously
Has anybody noticed how many cars have had extremely silly names. It was always a thing. Over a century ago, US vehicle makers produced cars with names such as ‘Pungs-Finch’ (22 hp, 4 cylinders and $1850), Piggins of 1910 – a snap at $3500 in period dollars – about $90,000 US dollars today. And let’s … More Cars with silly names
When I was a lad with the dream of being a full-time writer, I often imagined it as the kind of life you might have where avalanches of money just pour in from royalties and you’re there in your 200-room mansion, private jet parked outside, slaves servants running around doing everything, and generally having a … More A day in the life of a writer – Part 1.