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Book Review: Around Australia at 80ks by Meredith Schofield

A s someone who has written a travel diary about driving across three states of Australia , and owning a frog van that became very much a character in touring my own state of South Australia at sometimes well below 80ks, I have some affinity for Meredith Schofield's book, Around Australia at 80k's . I'll definitely tip my hat to Meredith and her husband Sean for going way further in a bright yellow, unairconditioned, mid 70's kombi van, than they were ever designed for.  Also kudos to them for traveling with their dog Bandit. My partner and I have also taken our dogs on our holiday adventures and, even though South Australia is likely the most dog friendly state in Australia, it's still a challenge planning a trip where you can all stay together. Particularly, your dog will keep you out of most national parks. Meredith's book is a road trip adventure across five Australian states, NSW, SA, WA, NT, and Victoria (technically four states and one territory I guess)
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Skateboarding @50+ Reigniting the Learn Kickflips Battle

My skate coach, Oscar dog. O ne of the things I'd like to do before I get too old to do much more than roll around on a skateboard is relearn kickflips. Not that I ever had them on lock. I maybe landed a flat ground stationary kickflip no more than a handful of times, and I only remember landing one rolling kickflip because I had it on video tape for a second (recording over it because I only had a few Video 8 cassette tapes back in the 90s). I actually had a higher chance of landing a kickflip into a trick, on a curb, than landing just a stationary kickflip. Kickflip to; 50-50, to blunt, backside kickflip to tail, and even kickflipping out of a blunt. None of which I had on lock nor can do currently. Getting back into skateboarding again, after a year's break to let my sore feet heal, I started to try kickflips again and discovered I'm actually closer than ever to landing them. I'm able to commit with both feet staying in the air as the board flips. As opposed to tryin

Movie Review: Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon Parts 1 and 2 (2023/2024)

I f you've ever wanted to see quasi-early nineteen hundreds, Irish farmers fight off high tech space Nazis, in slow motion, over two feature length films then  Rebel Moon Part 1: A Child on Fire  (2023) and  Rebel Moon Part 2: The Scargiver  (2024) could well be the movies you're looking for. Plot-wise that's really all they're about. There's some sub story inspired by Akira Kurosawa's  Seven Samurai  (1954) movie, and some other subplot about our main character, Kora (Sofia Boutella), being 'the one' person the Space Nazi's must apprehend for 'reasons' (she's some kind of murderous deserter, I think, but that doesn't seem reason enough to me for our main bad guy, Atticus Noble (Ed Skrein), to be so obsessed with apprehending her).  I think I've come to the conclusion that writer/director Zack Snyder, while great at casting, spectacle, cinema photography, and visual effects, he just doesn't know how to tell a story to people w

Movie Review: Oppenheimer (2023) *No Spoilers*

I t seems like everybody has seen Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer movie by now except me. I don't suffer from FOMO and didn't go to see Margo Robbie's Barbie movie either - which was a thing if you recall the whole 'Barbenheimer' experience of both movies releasing at the same time. The idea of watching a three hour movie about anything just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Even on Netflix, where I finally watched Oppenheimer in two hour and a half sittings, it took me this long to finally commit time to it. That said, I am actually interested in the Oppenheimer story, and always planned to watch this movie eventually on streaming. Fortunately this movie does reward you with an engaging story that never seems to drag, despite its length. The movie follows Oppenheimer's story from his early days through to just after his success with creating the first atomic bomb and the repercussions of how he felt about that achievement. From what I've heard the broa

Boston Dynamics Has Seen Your Fully Electric Humanoid Robot and Says "Hold my beer!" with New Atlas Robot - Robot Uprising Update

The new, all electric, Atlas Robot. B oston Dynamics recently announced the retirement of their famous Atlas humanoid robot . The very next day they introduced us to the all new Atlas with a short, somewhat creepy video that seems to be saying to all those other companies working on electric, humanoid robots, "Hold my beer!"  Watch their video below. The All New Atlas As you can see the new Atlas is all electric, with no hydraulic assisted movement. While it certainly can walk like a human, right from the get go, we see that the new Atlas has degrees of limb motion that would even cause our best human contortionists to tap out on even trying. There in, we see why Boston Dynamics is a leader in humanoid robots (and robots in general). They're not just thinking about a robot that mimics what a human can do, they're thinking ahead and building in the kind of movement only a robot can do. It's a fascinating, if somewhat jarring, synergy the first time you see it but

Book Review: Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to Happiness

One day I'm going to write my own remarkable guide to happiness and this will be the cover image (but don't hold me to that). I 'm a big fan of Bill Bailey's comedy stand up, as well as his acting (mainly in the TV series Black Books that I mostly know him from). Generally he is laugh out loud funny. As such I was probably expecting similar, laugh out loud humor from his book, Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to Happiness , but what I got, while still humorous, was more of an introspection on Bill's life and moments he feels represent happiness for him. Which is fine, I guess, but to call the book a guide (and a remarkable one at that) is something of a stretch. Not that I was expecting an actual guide book on happiness, but the book is more of a collection of thoughts, retelling of moments, and Bailey's own drawings (additional images by Joe Magee), centered around the theme of happiness. It's more of a things that make Bill happy kind of a read. Bill s

The Worst Book I Have Ever Read - Gulp: Travels Around the Gut by Mary Roach

TET and Mary Roach's Book, Gulp . I 'm the kind of person who only reads one physical book at a time. For context I consider a 'book' to be anything over 100 pages of mostly text. Basically your typical work of fiction novel or factual biography. It's not that I can't read more than one book at a time, I just choose not to because I don't set a lot of time aside for reading. Maybe 30 minutes a day when I'm on a good run with a really engaging text. Little did I know that Mary Roach's Gulp: Travels Around the Gut *, a book of 317 pages (minus the Acknowledgments and Bibliography) would become a bottle neck for my reading for the next three and a half years. As such, I'm calling it the worst book I have ever read. Despite how long it took me to read, it is not a bad book in the slightest, and is in fact, quite light, somewhat entertaining, reading for a book that explores the science, and the resilience of the human digestive system.  I'm no st

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