Author Archives: velociraptor256

About velociraptor256

Hi, my name's Richard. I created this blog to talk about my interests - and I have quite a few of those. I love zoology in general, herpetology in particular (especially snakes!), writing (have won National Novel Writing Month nine times so far), reading, astronomy, palaeontology, and travel. Thank you for coming to my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you here!

Film review: The Shape of Water

Having seen Darkest Hour last month, today I went to see another film that’s getting a lot of attention this Awards Season: The Shape of Water. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, it’s already won a great many accolades – including … Continue reading

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Film review: Black Panther

With a new year comes a big new helping of superhero movies, and today I went to begin the glut of 2018 with Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. The build-up to this movie is a great example of set-up in a … Continue reading

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In London Again: The Natural History Museum (and King’s Cross)

London is one of my favourite places in the world, and one of my favourite places in London is the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. I hadn’t been to London since my Keeper for a Day experience at London … Continue reading

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Falcon Heavy: About to Launch!

Tomorrow, at 1:30pm EST, we are hopefully going to see another milestone in modern spaceflight as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket makes its first launch from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Admittedly, there is no guarantee that the … Continue reading

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Explorer 1: 60 Years On

I’ve already talked about the first two artificial satellites in history, Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2, both launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. But what about the Soviets’ Cold War rivals, the United States? Their first successful satellite, Explorer … Continue reading

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Film review: Coco

The nineteenth feature film to be produced by Pixar Animation Studios, Coco tells the story of Miguel, a Mexican boy who dreams of becoming a musician like his hero, the late guitarist Ernesto de la Cruz. The problem with this … Continue reading

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Book review: Middlemarch (plus The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists)

After listening to the audiobook of Ulysses, and reading War and Peace in print, the last two audiobooks I listened to have also been “classics” that frequently appear on “books to read before you die” lists: The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by … Continue reading

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Film review: Darkest Hour

Today was my first trip to the cinema in 2018, a year that has some very promising films coming up. And it certainly got off to a strong start with the excellent Darkest Hour, a film which is attracting many … Continue reading

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Book review: Ask an Astronaut (plus a brief history of British astronauts)

The British may have once been considered great explorers, but we haven’t had our own manned space programme yet, and it was thirty years after the first manned spaceflight before a British citizen first made it into space. Helen Sharman … Continue reading

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R.I.P. John Young

Today, I was deeply saddened to learn that one of my favourite astronauts, John Young, has passed away at the age of 87. And in this post, I’d like to briefly go over what a truly exceptional career he had. … Continue reading

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