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    • April 6, 2014 2:30 PM EDT

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      Thanks for the tip Vic.  


      If you like that book, may I recommend two I finished last year, "Over The Edge Of The World" - Bergreen; about Magellan's voyage.  The book I read following that one was "Longitude" - Dave Sobel; about the search for an accurate method to measure a ship's longitudinal location at sea.

    • April 6, 2014 6:48 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Nautical trivia:  Who was the first to accurately estimate the circumference of Planet Earth?

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at April 6, 2014 8:56 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • April 6, 2014 8:01 PM EDT
      • Pitman, New Jersey
         
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      Two weeks ago I finished the Aubrey/Maturin Novels by Patrick O'Brian.  This is a 21 volume series that the movie Master and Commander is based on. I highly recommend them. if you liked the movie you will love the books. I am sorry that there were only 21 volumes. Great adventures.

       Last week I read Nelson’s biography by Robert Southey  (free on Kindle). Ok, not great. I am now reading The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald by H R Fox Bourne also free on Kindle. This is the guy that Jack Aubrey was based on.

       
      I will soon start the Hornblower series. I am starting to think in old English.

       

      WWII Pacific

       

      Vic Smith, I have read all of the titles you mentioned. All great reads.

       

       If you haven’t read these you should. These cover the beginning of the war in the western Pacific that there is little written on.  All 3 are great books.

       
      THE LAST LIEUTENANT   by John Gobbell a novel about escaping from Corregidor. This is part of a series so the main character carries on through the war.

       
      SOUTH FROM CORREGIDOR by John Morrill  This is the true story that inspired THE LAST LIEUTENANT.  

       
      THE FLEET THE GODS FORGOT: THE US ASIATIC FLEET IN WORLD WAR II by W G Winslow. again from the beginning of WWII in the western Pacific. 

      Alan  THEGALLINE

       

       

      This post was edited by Alan Friedland at April 6, 2014 8:02 PM EDT
    • April 7, 2014 2:03 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:

      Nautical trivia:  Who was the first to accurately estimate the circumference of Planet Earth?

      No takers?  Here's a hint.  He was one of Napoleon's Naval Captains. 

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • April 7, 2014 5:47 PM EDT
      • Bremerton, Washington
         
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      Check out David Weber, the writer, you might like his books!

       

      Paul

    • April 29, 2014 11:53 AM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Steve Featherkile said:

      Nautical trivia:  Who was the first to accurately estimate the circumference of Planet Earth?

      No takers?  Here's a hint.  He was one of Napoleon's Naval Captains. 

      In the modern era I believe it was Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre and Pierre Mechain in 1792-99, but they were scientists, not naval Admirals. 

       

      Actually it was an ancient Greek, Eratosthenes who in the 3rd century BC, estimated the earths circumference to within 1% of accuracy. He later became the head librarian of the Library of Alexandria.

      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • April 29, 2014 12:32 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      The fellow that I have in mind was even more accurate.  Check the first chapter of Bowditch.

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • April 29, 2014 12:36 PM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      I am taking a quick break from "The Way of a Ship" to read whats proving to be a quick but entertaining little read, "Dark Star" the novelization of the 1974 John Carpenter black comedy sci fi movie of the same title.


      The novel (novelette really) is written by Alan Dean Foster who has done several movie novelizations over the years (Alien, form example) even though the movie itself (and Alien also) were written by Dan O'Bannon. I discovered that there was a novelized version and just HAD to read it. Got a copy off evilbay and got it with a couple days. I started reading it (old brown acidic pages, the quintessential pulp novel) and before I new it I had read 1/3 of the book last night, so I'm going to finish it off real quick.


      FYI, There is a neat history behind this film. Dark Star was John Carpenters first movie, written as a short film school project. It made such an impression the schools director said he really needed to get it made. He got enough money together to star but the production was only $66,000, a pittance even in those days, so the production values belay what today we would call a "fan film", but despite that the production values, set designs, and special effects are done in such a way you don't notice them as much. The student 16mm version was shopped around various festivals until a distributer liked it and took a chance, arraigning to have it transfered to 35mm film and to have Carpenter add an extra 15 minutes of film to flesh it out to feature length. The films dark humor and less than serious tone found a small audience among a jaded 70's sci fi crowd, but it wasnt really until it was released video that wider audiences discovered it. Its considered a cult classic and a must see staple for any serious sci fi fan. Its also a textbook on on how to make a low budget movie that works. I consider myself lucky I saw it onscreen back in the mid-70's. It warped my fragile little mind to see that even sci-fi, which up till then had always been "serious" no matter how stupid or idiotic the writing or plot was, could be the ground for some very very funny writing and some very cleaver film-making.

       

      PS 3 years later the starfield background footage from the warp drive sequence in this film was reused to save a few bucks in another cash strapped sci fi by another struggling young film maker named George Lucas called  Star Wars, so when you see the Falcon going the hyperdrive over Tattoine, that starfield background film was actually from Dark Star.


      PSPS 5 years later, Dan O'Bannon decided to follow through with an idea he had while filming a sequence in Dark Star, in which the crew have brought onto the ship a "pet" they found on an alien world that gets loose and cause problems:



       


      Yes, it is a beachball with rubber claws, in Dark Star its played for laughs, but O'Bannon thought what if it was evil or malovolent, hence the idea for a little movie called "Alien" came into being.



      BTW the egg was no accident in Alien, its was O'Bannons quiet tribute to the beachball 5 years earlier

       



      Ship's Log: "Oh yeah, Storage Area Nine, uh, self destructed last week and uh, destroyed the ships entire supply of toilet paper..., that is all."

       

      This post was edited by Vic Smith at April 29, 2014 12:39 PM EDT
      ____________________________________
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    • April 29, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      dbl post
      This post was edited by Vic Smith at April 29, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
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    • April 29, 2014 12:44 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Vic, here is a download for Bowditch.  The first chapter is very interesting and doesn't get into the weeds about Celestial Navigation.  You will be surprised about just who that French navigator was.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at April 29, 2014 12:47 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • May 3, 2014 1:52 PM EDT
      • Coldstream, British Columbia, Canada
         
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      Just finished "The 100-Year-Old man who climbed out the window and disappeared" http://tinyurl.com/mmvct68


      Perfect for the Summer and an absolute hoot! If you don't laugh out loud while reading it ... consult your doctor.


         

      ____________________________________

      Cheers

      HJ
      ---

      Coldstream, BC  Canada


      Inspire­d by the r­eal world

       

      English language hobby website 

      highly RhB centric, but most of it can be applied to other railway projects

    • May 3, 2014 3:29 PM EDT
      • South Devon, England
         
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      I have read, from time to time, some books by A.J. Coles who lived in my area a while ago.  His books are about a country character, his family and others who live nearby.  It is set in the 1920's when horses and carts were more profligate than motor vehicles.  The text is in the local vernacular -not always understood by outsiders - but is hilarious for those who are able to read and understand.  However, my wife complains when I laugh aloud when reading the books - so I read them every three or four years  to maintain marital harmony.

      "Yer, dawnee knaw, us ebm rayd any 'o ees books lately , me  'ansum.  Mebee 'tis tarm to git down larbry an git two or dree of 'um ma booty"

      It is not so much the language that causes mirth but the "zum 'o the capers that they 'all gits up to".

      Your book, HJ, looks equally good.  I will check my library, hopefully they will have a copy,  or can get one.

      This post was edited by Alan Lott at May 3, 2014 3:35 PM EDT
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      regards, Alan

       Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.  Saint Francis de Sales  French saint & bishop of Geneva (1567 - 1622) 

      OVGRS

      https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

      https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

       

    • July 6, 2014 2:23 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Hans-Joerg Mueller said:

      Just finished "The 100-Year-Old man who climbed out the window and disappeared" http://tinyurl.com/mmvct68


      Perfect for the Summer and an absolute hoot! If you don't laugh out loud while reading it ... consult your doctor.


         

      Thanks for the tip on this one!   It took a long time for the library to get me a Kindle copy, but it was worth the wait.  Just finished it last night.  Pretty zany.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 7, 2014 12:06 AM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      I'm done reading The Way of a Ship and an now reading The Battle for the Falkland Islands. An interesting history of the last great sea battle Great Britain fought with Argentina. Its a fascinating read. A lot of stuff happ
      ened behind the scenes leading up to and during the time.
      This post was edited by Vic Smith at July 13, 2014 9:20 PM EDT
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    • December 21, 2014 12:31 AM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      Updates


      Since summer I have read a history investigation about the Lusitania. I am currently reading D-Day by Steven Ambrose, I am almost done with it, no movie has ever captured the reality of this event and all the things that happened as accurately as thisbook manages to do.


      Next will beNothing Like It In The World, about the building of the transcon RR.

      ____________________________________
      Have fun with your trains
    • January 13, 2018 1:01 AM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Wow, it's been three years since this was updated!

       

      I'm reading The Fleet at Flood Tide, by  James Hornfischer.  2016.  It's starts in June 1944, with the Marianas campaign, through the end of the war.  The Navy has shed it's deadwood, incompetent leadership, and are on the move.  Good read.

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • January 13, 2018 10:07 AM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      After the challenge, I have Endurance by Scott Kelly; a year in space.

      PBS had him on in November so I'll be able 'to hear' his voice as I read...

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

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