Oi! Get off our train!

August 23, 2007 at 10:46 pm (books, kids) (, )

We’ve had a refresh of the children’s books that we read recently (got some more from the cellar up onto the book shelves) and one of the ones that has come out of hiding is John Burningham‘s ‘Oi, Get off our train!‘.

This is a simple, but great book.  Like all of John Burningham’s books I’ve come across it has a serious message tucked away – in this case about the environmental impact of our modern world on the habitat of animals – but it is a subtle theme to the main story.

The illustrations are wonderful, but simple, with a several different styles employed.  Some pages are just large illustrations with no words.

Several years back, this was made into a 30 minute animation and shown on the telly over Christmas.  We still have a copy on video.  The story was tweaked slightly, but on the whole it was very well done, keeping the overall feel of the style of the illustrations.  It ought to be due a fresh airing too.

Anyway, we like John Burningham.


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August 19, 2007 at 9:23 pm (odds) (, , , )

Having recently been doing a bit of Motorway driving, including crossing the Severn Bridge, it reminded me of a page I stumbled across on wikipedia about English roads. There is a page which shows how roads are numbered, along with detailed pages about Britain’s Motorways.

Not quite sure why!

I’ve seen trailers for an up-and-coming documentary about Motorways – well, if you want a sneak preview (or at least alternative description) then have a browse of the Motorway pages on wikipedia – there is some interesting history.

(There are loads of UK related pages on wikipedia – see this list of lists for some!)


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Museum of Broken Packets

August 2, 2007 at 9:05 pm (interesting, internet, security) (, , , , )

Can’t remember why I found out about the Museum of Broken Packets, but for some reason I did and for another equally obscure reason, I was thinking about it again the other day.

If you are interested in how TCP/IP (i.e. the Internet) works (as I am) this is an interesting site.  It lists several odd packets that have defined explanation so far.  Maybe they are just the result of a freak network blip.  Maybe they are due to a buggy implementation of a network stack.  Maybe there is another reason.  Either way its interesting.

The site is owned by Michal Zalewski (wikipedia entry) who is the author of the excellent (but also quite weird) network security book Silence on the Wire.  Again, if you are interested in the odd, geeky things people have thought about related to computers and networking, read this book.  I particularly like the ‘juggling with packets’ idea, which is mentioned on his website and explored further in his book.

Interesting stuff.


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