I was handed a bodger-made mallet that was made from green wood and had shrunk so badly that both hoops had fallen off in the space of a couple of years. This new mallet (technically a beetle) is using the old iron hoops off that old one. It's made from a 35+ year old fence post so … Continue reading Hammer time!
This book combines three of the better known 17th century archery texts under one cover, along with a short essay by Fox introducing each text and setting the military and social context. The first standard text is William Neade's Double Armed Man (1625), the second the anonymous A New Invention of Shooting Fire-Shafts in Long-bowes (1628) and … Continue reading Book Review: ET Fox – Military Archery in the Seventeenth Century
Only a couple of weeks after I'd posted my Rocket Rant, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has made their archive available on line. There's a section for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which contains a number of letters by George Stephenson and lovely set of tinted prints by T.T Bury in 1831. While it's well … Continue reading Rocket again
I must have been a precocious child. When small my heroes were the great engineers, men like Watt, Trevethick and Hackworth being held in similar esteem to that reserved by my peers for Superman, Batman and Rocket Robin Hood. The collective company of Stephensons or kingdom of Brunells were the gods themselves having taken on mortal … Continue reading When is a Rocket not a Rocket?
At the start of chapter 3 of a once forthcoming second edition of the Routier Gaming Manual, I pontificate: There are no references to dominos in western sources before the middle of the 18th century, when domino games appear to have been played in Italy and France. They are kept in this volume mainly so the … Continue reading Rethinking Dominos
We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city on Saturday. The main exhibition was by a couple of local artists from the Blue Mountains, combining smell, sight, sound and parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that we don't usually experience. Unfortunately, it's precisely what I spent 6 years working on removing - we … Continue reading Why MCA?