Sunday, November 26, 2006

Walking on sunshine

On the hundreds of occasions when I've told people about the robot car thing, I've found that there are certain things they are very likely to say. A lot of people talk about driving the car by remote control. A lot of people say there should be a driver hidden inside the car. A lot of people seize on the phrase "no human driver" and say there should be a chimpanzee or some other animal driving. A lot of people think the best off-road vehicle would be a sphere, like a hamster ball.

When I was in Scotland in September, I told three people about the robot race for the first time and each one of them asked something along the lines of, "Is this supposed to reduce the use of fossil fuels?" I don't recall one person in America ever asking this, but in Scotland it was three for three.

This weekend I was filling out the answers to a set of questions sent to me by a class of eleven-year-olds in Shetland. Sure enough, along with such questions as "How fast did your car go?" and " What was the most difficult obstacle to avoid?" they ask, "Is your car solar-powered or does it run on fuel? Why?"

Maybe Scots are more environmentally conscious.


Speaking of economical British race cars, I watched the 1969 original version of The Italian Job. As I thought would be the case, the original is better and makes more sense than the 2003 remake. However, the whole point of the movie is a car chase with stunts which were probably innovative in 1969, but seem rather staid and unexciting today, after nearly forty more years of action movies. Now the whole movie seems low-key.


There are no car chases to speak of in the new Bond movie Casino Royale. I liked it okay, but the last twenty minutes are a bit muddled. Also (aside from whether it is plausible or otherwise a good idea to make the high-stakes card game Texas hold'em poker instead of baccarat), the poker game is overly simplistic. James Bond is supposed to be the best card player in the Service... You can tell how good he is because he gets dealt straight flushes when his opponents get dealt full houses.


At 9:13 AM, November 27, 2006, Blogger Kathryn said...

I'd say British people are more environmentally conscious, if only because we hear about the dangers of climate change and how to reduce our carbon footprint daily in the media. Chris would quite like to run his car on used vegetable oil from the chippie.

At 2:15 PM, November 27, 2006, Blogger Matt Bruce said...

So did he hit the two-outer or was his opponent drawing dead on an obvious SF board?

At 9:12 PM, November 27, 2006, Blogger Richard Mason said...

I believe we were only shown the final betting round of the hand, and I don't myself remember the order of the cards on the board. However, if Internet commentary can be believed, James made his straight flush on the turn. The full houses came on the river.


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