Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hard-core sci-fi reading...

Almost a week since my last post here, and it seems like only a few days. Why is it that the older you get the quicker time seems to pass? It's important to me to know the answer to this, as I want to slow it down as soon as possible... :-)

I spent the past week reading sci-fi novels, when I wasn't working on website stuff. Books read were:

"Future History", Jerry Pournelle
"King David's Spaceship", Jerry Pournelle
"Ringworld's Children", Larry Niven

All three were very good reads. If you've read and enjoyed the awesome "The Mote in God's Eye" and it's sequel "The Mote Around Murcheson's Eye" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, then I recommend both "Future History" and "King David's Spaceship" as they take place in the same story universe as the two joint-effort books. In the case of the latter, it immediately precedes "The Mote in God's Eye".

If you're a fan of the classic "Ringworld" by Larry Niven, then it is well worthwhile reading the sequels "The Ringworld Engineers", "The Ringworld Throne" and "Ringworld's Children". A very impressive story arc, expanded upon even further in various other Niven books set in the Ringworld story universe. See "Neutron Star", "Protector", "A Gift From Earth", "World of Ptaavs" and "Tales of Known Space" for starters. Fantastic stuff!

I mention all of this because this is the kind of sci-fi I really like. It's often referred to as "Hard" sci-fi, as it deals with realism and not fantasy. Futures depicted in all the above-mentioned books are highly plausible because they are futures based upon the prediction of possible technological and social developments from our own time. It makes for interesting as well as entertaining reading anyway.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rainy Sundays and cool websites

Today, a late Spring day, is a dreary wet Sunday in Northamptonshire, England (14 degrees C, gray overcast sky, breezy, constant rain showers) - perfect for spending hours surfing the web. If it was nicer outside I'd venture into the spectacularly green and beautiful countryside around where I live for a cycle ride, as Britain is at its best this time of year. Apart from the weather, that is. So instead, here are a few cool sites and pages I like to visit on days such as these:

Extensive picture galleries of classic British children's TV, sci-fi and comic-strip books

Extensive picture galleries of toy ray guns from all over the world

Amazing Flash version of Sega's "Sonic the Hedgehog" video games

The original Star Wars movie trilogy as three animated GIF cartoons

The bizarre interactive Flash world of "Vectorpark"

Find out what's happening in the world of "Grand Theft Auto" gaming

Hopefully you'll find those links will help pass the time a little less boringly than might otherwise have been the case. :-)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Places to visit and things to do in Thailand - Part 1

When in Bangkok - Get down to the Chao Phraya river for a change of scene. The easiest way to get there is to use the BTS Skytrain, stopping at the Saphan Taksin station (S6 on the official map). Once there, take any of the river cruises (they're all reasonable value for money) or the up-river taxi boat for stunning views of Bangkok and some its most famous sites. I recommend one trip in the daytime, and another at night. Even the short trip on the river taxi boat across to the south bank is quite fun.

When in Pattaya/Jomtien - Take a trip out of town and travel 15km due south to Bang Sarae beach. It's a lot quieter than Pattaya and Jomtien beaches, and makes a pleasant change. Food and drink are a bit cheaper, and there are hardly any beach sellers around to hassle you. Alternatively, for another pleasant day out of town, head to the harbour that sits right between Pattaya and Jomtien and take the ferry to Koh Larn island. Then take a taxi to one of the west coast beaches. Lovely beaches and views, nice and quiet. A bit pricey, but worth it.

When in Trat/Koh Chang - If you thought Koh Chang was a tropical island paradise (which it is), whilst stayng on the island get yourself down to Ban Bang Bao and take a day's boat trip (it's a couple of thousand Baht to hire a fishing boat if you haggle politely and buy some beers for everyone on board) to Koh Wai for an even more amazing taste of tropical island paradise living. Or take the Koh Wai ferry from Laem Ngop near Trat (where all the ferries to Koh Chang are).

More tips in the future...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

About my nom de plume, "Danny Dare"

"Danny Dare" was a cartoon strip in the 1960's "Wham!" comic in Great Britain. Danny was a fan of "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future" from the "Eagle" comic (as am I, hence my assumed name), and his adventures were inspired by those of his space-travelling idol. It must be one of the few cases ever where a comic strip works in this way - a strip about a fan of another strip, both strips being in totally different comics. If you know of any other similar examples, please drop me a line, as I'd love to hear about them. Anyway, you can click here to view a scan of a complete episode of Danny Dare from the Easter 1967 edition of Wham! if you wish (taken from the original artwork).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Who am I? Well, here's who I am...

Welcome to my Blog. My real name is Peter John Inns, I was born in October 1967, and sometimes I live in Northamptonshire, England (my original home), while other times I live in Thailand. I am a Business and IT Managing Consultant by profession. My hobbies and interests include (but are not restricted to) travelling, socialising, watching movies, listening to music, reading novels and anything to do with "Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future".

I also love Star Wars, Harry Potter, Red Dwarf, Futurama, The Simpsons and playing computer games. My favourite games are Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda and Grand Theft Auto. See my free games website for Flash and Java online versions of some of them:

This Blog will be an occasional commentary on anything I feel is relevant to life in both England and Thailand. I love both countries, but they are so totally different, especially Thailand when you have lived there for a number of years away from the "touristy" areas.