Top Gear Australia, again

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Ok, so the second episode is better. Perhaps its just taking the presenters some time to find their “voice”. However, I do think the studio stuff still tries too hard to be Top Gear UK. The challenge was excellent, except Clarkson would have found a way to destroy the utes.

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Magician: Master

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Perhaps it would have been better if Feist had kept Magician all as one book. In the first book you hear of Guy (a bad guy!) briefly, and then nothing more. Then, hundreds of pages later in the second book he comes up again as a major plot element. If you haven’t recently read the first book, then you are at a disadvantage.

Apart from that, this is a good book that I would have preferred to read faster. Unfortunately work has kept me unusually busy recently, so this one took a while to read.

[isbn: 0553564935]

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Magician: Apprentice

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This is the reworked version of Magician, although its split into two books and there is some content that was dropped as part of the editing process for the original version. This version was developed for the tenth anniversary of the original publication. I read the original version as a kid and was so proud of myself when it finished it — it was by far the longest book I had ever read at the time.

I’ve seen people online complain that this book is just a big ball of cliche. There are dwarves, wizards with funny hats, elves, and so on. But there are also new ideas here, such as alien invaders in a fantasy novel and so on. Overall I think the cliches don’t get in the way and are largely used a sort of short hand… Feist doesn’t need to explain what a dwarf is, so he can skip that bit and get on with telling the story.

After rereading this as an adult, I still really like this book.

[isbn: 0553564943]

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Top Gear Australia

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I thought the first episode was ok, but I am left wondering what’s different about the show from the original UK version apart from the accents. Oh, and they didn’t show us a picture of the track, which I found annoying — the UK version bothered to explain the design of the track and why it has the corners it does. Anyway, better than nothing while Top Gear is off the air.

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Wondering how low it can go

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Perhaps this is something that only people living overseas but paying mortgages in Australia care about, but I am amazed by the size and speed of the drop of the Australian dollar against the US dollar. This graph helps explain what I mean:



(Stolen from Yahoo! Finance)

That’s a big correction. I wonder where the bottom will be? Should I move money now? Should I wait? I guess its time to consider dollar cost averaging my exposure to the forex market.

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The Stainless Steel Rat Goes To Hell

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This book is weak compared to some of the best Stainless Steel Rat books. It suffers from the same almost-impossible-to-believe plot lines as The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World and The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You. Frankly, the book also jumps around a lot, and I found it hard to follow.

On the other hand, this series has never pretended to be great literature, and this book is light years better than the work of the world’s most boring author.

[isbn: 0812551079]

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