Monday, September 18, 2017

New bio marks 40th anniversary of Meat Loaf’s iconic album, Bat Out of Hell!

"I never wanted to be a big star. I just wanted to be the biggest at what I do! Powerful, unstoppable, heavy – when that word still meant something good!" – Meat Loaf, as told to Mick Wall

Like a Bat Out of Hell: The Larger than Life Story of Meat Loaf by Mick Wall will be published by Hachette Australia on 14 November 2017, Trade Paperback $32.99 eBook RRP $16.99

October 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Meat Loaf's iconic album Bat Out of Hell. Adored by rock fans and musicians alike, Bat Out of Hell has sold 12 million records in the UK alone, with 29 million in America and 25 million platinum albums in Australia, more than any artist on record. And on 14 November Hachette Australia will publish Mick Wall's blockbuster new book Like a Bat Out of Hell: The Larger than Life Story of Meat Loaf.

Mick Wall interviewed Meat Loaf on numerous occasions throughout his career, and in Like a Bat Out of Hell he pulls back the curtains to reveal the soft-hearted soul behind the larger-than-life character Meat Loaf created for himself. From a tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father to the relentless abusive bullying from classmates and their parents alike, nobody could have predicted Meat Loaf's meteoric rise to fame. But when the messianic rock opera Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977, it became one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide to date. Its release marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and seemingly career-ending lows. By the 80s, Meat Loaf was battling with drug and alcohol addiction and escalating money problems that would eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. But just when it seemed like it was all over, the astonishing success of Bat Out of Hell II and the mega-hit 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' marked an extraordinary new wave of success.

Like a Bat Out of Hell will draw on the hours Mick spent with Meat Loaf, both in interviews and on tour, as well as offering up a unique insight from those who have known him best. Mick is the bestselling king of rock bios, with some of his iconic works including bestselling titles on Led Zeppelin (When Giants Walked the Earth), Metallica (Enter Night), AC/DC (Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be), Black Sabbath (Symptom of the Universe), Lou Reed, The Doors (Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre), the Foo Fighters, Lemmy, Prince and Guns n' Roses (Last of the Giants).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lonely Planet's 'Epic Drives of the World'

Lonely Planet Explores the World's Most Thrilling Road Trips with Epic Drives of the World

Six Australian Road Trips Showcased

50 Classic Driving Routes * Six Continents * 200 Ideas for Great Drives

Buckle up for a lifetime of memorable road trips this August, with the publication of Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World.

This beautifully illustrated hardcover book is the second instalment in Lonely Planet's Epic series (following last year's best-selling Epic Bike Rides of the World).  It features 50 classic driving routes across the world (from Argentina to Zambia), and 200 ideas for great drives - ranging from easy-going cruises to back-country adventures.

Australia is represented by six driving routes highlighted in the chapters "The Great Ocean Road", "A Short Hop from Hobart to Queenstown", "Across The Kimberley: The Gibb River Road", "Following the Captain Cook Highway", "The Great Alpine Road", and "The Track: Alice Springs to Darwin".

"This book is intended to offer fresh inspiration for your next road trip," Lonely Planet says.  "We have routes written and ridden by motorcyclists and even a tour of Northern California by electric vehicle. A few of these drives take a day but others can be enjoyed over a weekend, a week or more."

"What they have in common," Lonely Planet continues, "is that the road tripper is always independent. Want to take a detour (and we suggest some gems) or stay an extra day? Go right ahead. It's all about the journey. Driving a car need not be a mode of transport that insulates you from your surroundings: if you stop regularly, explore, encounter local people and their culture, you'll have as rich and rewarding an experience as you could hope for."

How to Use Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World

The main stories in each regional chapter feature first-hand accounts of fantastic drives in that continent. Each includes a fact-box to start the planning of a trip – when is the best time of year, how to get there, where to stay. But beyond that, these stories should spark other ideas. We've started that process with the 'more like this' section following each story, which offers other ideas along a similar theme, not necessarily on the same continent. Drives are colour coded according to difficulty, which takes into account not just how long, remote and challenging they are but the logistics and local conditions. The index collects different types of drive for a variety of interests.


Published 3 August 2017 / 328pp, full colour, H260mm x W200mm, hardcover / RRP: $44.99

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Rag Tag Fleet


Ian W. Shaw

Published by Hachette Australia in July 2017, format, RRP $32.99, Ebook RRP $16.99

A fascinating account of the part 3,000 Australian men - either too old or too young to join Australian regular forces - played in the war in the Pacific

This book conveys the fascinating - and unknown - story of the Rag Tag Fleet, a collection of hundreds of Australian fishing trawlers and schooners, organised by the US Army, which transported vital supplies for US and Australian forces across the South-East Pacific.

Boys under the age of 17 and men over 60, and those who weren't well enough to join the Australian regular forces formed the crews. Each boat was armed with one machine gun - and sailed under the American flag. Conditions on the boats were grim. Numerous crew members contracted diseases including malaria, dysentery and dengue fever. Vulnerable to aircraft attack, the boats were frequently strafed and bombed.

The story is told through the experiences of the Australian crew on half a dozen ships - including Jack Savage, boat builder extraordinaire; Ray Parer, air fighter, explorer and gold miner; and Norm Oddy, bandleader, drifter and mechanic.

The focus of The Rag Tag Fleet is the unknown story of the final months of 1942, when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, reefs and shallow, shark-infested waters to bring in the supplies and equipment for the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the PNG coast, and so helped turn the course of the war.

Ian W. Shaw lives in Canberra, and is the author of a number of books, including On Radji Beach and Ghosts of Roebuck Bay.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kit Harington, Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, at Giffoni Film Festival 2017

"Winter is coming"

Kit Harington enchanted the Giffoni Film Festival 2017: well-known for his portrayal of Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, Mr. Harington was literally overwhelmed by the affections of his fans, many of which had been waiting all night at the Cittadella for their darling to arrive, eager  to get some sneak previews on the series as well as the actor's background.

"I don't think Jon Snow will ever become king, he's not ambitious enough for that, but I could see Tyrion sitting on the Iron Throne: I've always considered him the right person to rule over the Seven Kingdoms", said Harington, and went on declaring himself a great fan of Harry Potter – with a preference for the Gryffindor - and Italian director Matteo Garrone.

"What I like most of my character – he revealed - is the fact that he's always siding with the weakest. He's a man of action and I like fighting in movies. That's why this show fits me so well. The hardest scene to shoot? Maybe Ygritte's death".

From Ygritte's death to Jon Snow's death and resurrection the step was short: "When I read the script of the 5th season, which ended with something like: 'Jon Snow dies with his black curls', I tried to react without panicking and started waiting for an official mail of dismissal from the production, but a week went by, then two and three and nothing happened, until I was eventually summoned by the producers.  Then I thought: "That's it: they will either ditch me or tell me that somehow Jon is rising from the dead'. Luckily, the latter supposition proved to be right, but I was imposed the utmost confidentiality because only for people, including me, knew the forthcoming development of the plot. I took a great leap and shouted: 'Yeah! What a relief!"

He was only able to say "ciao" and "grazie" in Italian, yet his face clearly showed immense gratitude: "I'm always asked how fame has changed my life – he went on- but I really didn't expect anything like that. I just wanted to become an actor, not a celebrity, which, incidentally, is a word I'm not quite fond of. After all, fame is not about me personally but rather about the Game of Thrones series. In my future career I might not be able to find another role of the same relevance as this, and I will never stop to be grateful for it, even if I should be trapped in Jon Snow's shoes forever. After 9 years together he's a part of me, and I think he will always be".

Before leaving  the Cittadella, where he received the Giffoni Experience Award , Harington also mentioned his Italian holiday and confessed: "I really enjoyed my stay in Naples: they made me dance, eat and totally forget about myself!".

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Kasbah Tamadot: Best Resort Hotel in North Africa and the Middle East

Kasbah Tamadot has been named Best Resort Hotel, North Africa and the Middle East in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2017 readers' survey.

To celebrate the Travel + Leisure award win, here are very latest photos from Kasbah Tamadot,  hot off the press.

Check out the new images for yourself.

When you book a stay for three nights or more, you'll be able to enjoy an extra night for free until the 10th September 2017.

Rates start from MAD 5,300 per room, per night and include your accommodation, breakfast and taxes.

Book now.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Deliveroo and TripAdvisor bring the restaurant to you in Europe

TripAdvisor and Deliveroo Announce Agreement Bringing Restaurant Delivery Services to Hungry Travellers and Locals throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific

TripAdvisor® (NASDAQ: TRIP), the world's largest travel site, and Deliveroo, the on-demand food-delivery service, today announced the integration of Deliveroo's restaurant network into the TripAdvisor desktop website, mobile web and mobile app experiences across 12 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions.

Consumers browsing TripAdvisor restaurant listings now have the option to order food from more than 20,000 of Deliveroo's restaurant partners spanning across 12 countries and more than 140 cities.

By simply clicking the "Order Online" button when browsing the TripAdvisor restaurant listing of one of Deliveroo's partners, consumers are brought to Deliveroo's online or mobile platforms to quickly and easily place an order.

The integration with Deliveroo expands TripAdvisor's food delivery service into 12 new countries:  United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

"Through this partnership with Deliveroo, we aim to give our restaurant listings a new way to engage with the TripAdvisor community – both at home and on-the-go. TripAdvisor is already a highly effective marketing platform for restaurants, and new services like food delivery create incremental value for both businesses as well as consumers," said Bertrand Jelensperger, Senior Vice President, TripAdvisor Restaurants. "Whether reading reviews, reserving a table through TheFork or placing a food order through Deliveroo, our goal is for TripAdvisor to serve as a one-stop-shop for diners around the world."

At Deliveroo we're always looking for new ways to bring great food to people's doors", says Will Shu, Founder and CEO at Deliveroo. "We're excited to partner with TripAdvisor to make it even easier for our customers to order delicious food from the best local restaurants, wherever they are in the world."

Terms and length of the agreement will not be disclosed.


Monday, July 3, 2017

New book examines the scandalous history of Nazis in Australia

In a new book due to be published this August, bestselling author Frank Walker shows the ugly side of war and power and the many betrayals of ANZAC and Allied troops during and after WWII.

Here are ten of the shocking revelations committed by our own side against our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses:

· The gross betrayal of our Anzacs who risked their lives to fight the evil of Nazi and Japanese imperialist by Allied politicians and intelligence agencies who let war criminals go free in order to use them in a new war against communism.

· Nazi doctors conducted live human experiments on ANZAC POWs and how they fought back.

· The evil of Japan's top secret Unit 731 that conducted widespread live human experiments on Allied POWs, and how Allied leaders later hired these same scientists to continue their horrific work.

· As the war in Europe was coming to an end Churchill drew up battle plans to ally with defeated German troops and launch a new war against his exhausted eastern ally, the Soviet Union.

· How the Catholic Church helped install Hitler in power, then cooperated with the Nazi regime in order to preserve its own power in Europe.

· The extraordinary story of the Ratlines – the underground network for Nazis and war criminals to escape Europe and justice that was assisted by the Vatican and Allied intelligence.

· Many household names in today's industry and manufacturers of everyday products made a fortune out of the war, using slave labour from concentration camps and by secretly trading with the enemy.

· After the war the Allies, including Australia, made a desperate scramble to seize Nazi and Japanese scientists, engineers and technicians who were responsible for the deaths of countless thousands, if not millions of deaths, to come and work for them.

· What was Australia's Hollywood action hero Errol Flynn doing mixing with notorious Nazi spies?

· Why did our US and UK allies pressure Australia after the war to drop investigations into Nazi and Japanese war criminals and let some of the worst get off with light sentences or not face justice at all?


Get the whole story at

Struth! National Ice Cream Day lick-starts US dairy industry



David Ellis

WHEN President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July of 1984 to be National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday of that month to be National Ice Cream Day, there were those who suggested that maybe the President had lost the plot.

But it was, in fact, the result of some very clever political lobbying by the American dairying and ice cream industries, both of which were hurting from then-tough economic times, and desperately needing a kick-start to help them get moving again.

And it paid off. Sales of ice cream and frozen dessert products across America skyrocketed – not just during 1984's National Ice Cream Month and Day, but for years to come, ballooning from a modest 3,357 million litres of their products worth the equivalent of 4.6 billion in Aussie dollar terms back in 1984, to an astonishing 5.8 billion litres of sales worth a staggering AU$51 billion this year. That's right, billion. And in a year.

The industry dreamed-up new flavours too, so while old-faithfuls like vanilla, choc chip, Neapolitan and rocky road will always be there, in America you can also tuck into such bizarre unknowns to us as bacon flavoured ice cream, crab, garlic, oyster, squid ink, strawberry-rhubarb, honey roasted peanut butter, grape and nut, and caramel cheesecake flavoured ice creams – to name a few.

And one of the most off-beat of all, Superman Ice Cream that was created in a store in Michigan in the super-hero's colours: a swirl of blue, red and yellow, with the blue being vanilla flavoured, the red cherry flavoured and the yellow banana flavoured.

All whipped together and served rainbow-like in a cone or cup, or as a separate scoop of each piled into those cones or cups.



[] JUST some of the many flavours and colours of ice creams in America today, ranging from traditional vanilla, choc chip and rocky road to such bizarre creations as bacon-flavoured, crab, garlic, oyster, strawberry-rhubarb, grape and nut, and sweet caramel cheesecake flavoured.  (Wikimedia)

[] SUPERMAN Ice Cream dreamed up by the owner of an ice cream shop in Michigan USA, and offered as a swirl of the super-hero's colours of blue, red and yellow in cone or cup, or as three individual scoops in those colours with the blue being vanilla flavoured, the red cherry flavoured and the yellow banana. (Wikipedia)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Quirky German phrases and insults

Here's a special German treat from Lilian Noack. It takes the cake:

This man is 'nicht mein bier' (not my beer, ie, not my cup of tea). He is such an 'eigenbrotler' (one who makes his own bread, ie, an eccentric character) and always 'gibt seinen senf dazu' (brings his mustard along, ie, has a word to say), even if nobody is interested. And then he acts like a 'beleidigte leberwurst' (insulted liver sausage, ie, insulted child). I really think 'an ihm ist hopfen und malz verloren' (hop and malt are wasted on him, ie, nothing can be done with him). I guess 'gegen ihn ist kein kraut gewachsen' (there is no herb grown against him, ie, there is no cure for people like him), and life around him is certainly 'kein honigschlecken' (no honey lickin', ie, no fun).

'Nun ist mir alles wurst' (now it is all sausage to me, ie, now I don't care any more) and 'ich werde mir nicht die zahne ausbeissen' (I won't break my teeth on this case). 'So ein kase!' (such a cheese! ie, what a shame). It could have been so nice. But when he started 'mich durch den kakao zu ziehen' (to pull me through the cocoa, ie, to make me look ridiculous), I knew 'es geht um die wurst' (it is about the sausage, ie, it is a question of now or never). I said to myself: 'da haben wir den salat' (there we have the salad, ie, that's a nice mess). After I left him, I went through a 'durststrecke' (thirsty stretch, ie, difficult period). But looking back, I know that I had 'schwein' (pig, ie, I was lucky). I could have 'die radieschen von unten angeschaut' (looked at the radishes from below, ie, ended up lying in the graveyard).

The Most Outstanding Golf Courses & Resorts

GOLF RESORTS OF THE WORLD: A Guide to the Most Outstanding Golf Courses and Resorts  by Daniel Fallon

From Turtle Bay on Oahu's famous North Shore to the once royal estate of Vidago Palace Hotel near Portugal's famous port-making Douro Valley region, Golf Resorts of the World is a fascinating guide to the most outstanding golf courses and resorts that are open to the public. Some of the most respected golf writers, golf professionals and course architects in the world have come together to select the worlds' top golf resorts in this beautiful hardback book.

With a mix of history, course architecture, tips on how to play each course, fine dining and luxury features, as well as other resort activities such as scuba diving and fishing, the reviews combine to provide a comprehensive guide to the world's best luxury golf destinations.

New Holland Publishers RRP $49.99

available from all good bookstores or online


Daniel Fallon is an experienced golf writer, journalist, editor, travel writer, copywriter and avid golfer. During his 17-year term at The Sydney Morning Herald, travel assignments took him to some of the best golf courses and resorts in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Daniel has more than 20 years' media experience and has worked for leading companies including Fairfax Media and ACP (now Bauer Media) as a section editor, magazine editor and online editor.

Australian Ice Hockey League Finals

O'Brien Group Arena is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2017 Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) Finals, presented by Air Canada.

The AIHL Finals will be held on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September, 2017.

"We are excited that the 2017 Australian Ice Hockey League Finals will again be at the O'Brien Group Arena for the fifth year in a row and seven out of the past eight events.  O'Brien Group Arena is undoubtedly Australia's best venue to host the teams and provide spectators with a quality ice hockey experience," said Paul Keisler, General Manager of the O'Brien Group Arena.

O'Brien Group Arena has significantly increased visitor capacity and spectator areas for this year's finals to ensure nobody misses a minute of the action.  Upgrades include a newly renovated bar, a new food outlet and guest furniture  to the bar level and new flat screen TVs to keep the O'Brien Group Arena Australia's largest ice sports spectating venue.

"Melbourne remains a sporting mecca in Australia – welcoming all to the city – and in September, has a fantastic finals feeling. We're thrilled to host our Championship series in Docklands.

"The O'Brien Group Arena is home to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, an ideal venue for the peak of the AIHL's season. Every year the Finals weekend becomes bigger and better. With a festival atmosphere, there's something for everyone to enjoy," said AIHL Commissioner Robert Bannerman.

Air Canada's General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Paul McLean is excited to partner with the AIHL once more.

"This is our fifth year as naming rights partner of the AIHL Finals.  It's an event that brings to life the same characteristics of Air Canada – thrilling, an experience beyond the ordinary – ice hockey in Australia is going from strength to strength and we are proud to share the journey with AIHL fans," said McLean

The AIHL Finals consist of the top four teams at the end of the regular home and away season playing for the iconic Goodall Cup, the world's third oldest ice hockey trophy, over two days (three games) in a single elimination tournament.

The AIHL also welcomes AIHL Live to the Finals mix this year, offering fans anywhere in the world the ability to tune in via our first pay-per-view offering.

Melbourne Ice is looking good to be in the finals mix come September and there is a possibility that Melbourne Mustangs may also feature.
Tickets range from single game to three day passes and are available now at

Premium Seating and Advertising Opportunities

We can tailor a package to meet your needs. Please send an email to to discuss rink side seating, catering, advertising (in the programs, broadcasts, or programs), souvenirs, and corporate experiences.

For more information please visit

Monday, June 26, 2017

Solar Vehicle Alarm Light just $15

Deter Thieves and Keep Your Car Safe At Night with This Solar-Powered Vehicle Alarm Light. This Light Simulates an Alarm System to Make Your Vehicle Less Attractive to Potential Robbers. Only $15 with Delivery Included

BUY NOW (delivery inc.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Struth! Donald Trump grounds his private jet


David Ellis

JUST as many new recipients of a company car have to decide what to do with the old-faithful family vehicle – keep it, sell it or give it to the kids – on a far loftier level President Donald Trump had to decide what to do with a different old-faithful, and that was his personal Boeing 757 jet he calls "T-Bird."

Because as President he was given an even bigger Boeing to flit around in, a 747-200 known to the world as "Air Force One."

Donald Trump had declared on his election that his US$100m 757 "T-Bird" would transition to presidential jet, as it was, after all, worthy of the role with leather armchairs for 43 passengers, gold plated seatbelt buckles, his own master bedroom with gold plated ensuite shower and handbasin taps, a guest's bedroom, a surround-sound TV-cum-home-cinema with 145cm (near five feet) screen, and dining and boardroom areas.

But his new presidential minders declared a firm No, citing security reasons and telling him he had to use Air Force One. No argument.

And, anyway, AF1 came with a presidential bedroom suite, seating for 70 officials and guests, a conference/dining table, teleconferencing facilities capable of televising live to the world from 40,000 feet, a medical centre with operating theatre and full-time professional medical staff (and even a stock of his own-type blood,) an onboard security team, and both anti-missile and radar-jamming facilities.

So it's meant that whilst-ever he is President, the Trump-owned Boeing 757 stays at home, alongside his personal 12-seater Cessna Citation X business jet, and two Sikorsky S-76B helicopters.



[] DONALD TRUMP'S personal Boeing 757 jet comes complete with gold plated seat belt and bathroom fittings, two bedrooms and loads of personal comforts for its 43 guests and officials, and spread through a space in which commercial 757's carry up to 180 passengers.

[] A boardroom-cum-dining table and a lounge area with leather armchairs and a TV/home-cinema with surround-sound 145cm (near five feet) screen, are amongst the luxuries aboard Donald Trump's personal Boeing 757.

(Images: The Trump Organisation)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Murphy's Law: Shot with a .38 and lived



David Ellis

HOW'S this for putting faith in your product – New York businessman Mr W.H. Murphy, puts his life on the line to prove just how effective is the bullet-proof vest created by his Protective Garment Corporation.

It was in 1923, a time when bullet-proof vests used by American police and criminal gangs alike were simply thick layers of compacted cotton wool and cloth, with luck just able to absorb bullets from light gauge .22 handguns and rifles fired from a distance.

So when the crims began using heavier .38 revolvers and even machine guns in their fights with law enforcers, companies like Mr Murphy's came up with vests better able to protect police officers literally in the line of fire… and close-up.

The one being demonstrated here by Mr Murphy at the Washington City Police headquarters was made from over-lapping steel scales fitted to a leather lining, and as proven by the photo, able to deflect bigger gauge .38 bullets fired from as close as just 3m metres away.

The vest weighed 5kg (11lb,) and although the two .38 bullets had been fired directly at Mr Murphy's chest from such close range, he "had not batted an eyelid."

Unfortunately, however, few police forces appeared interested in the vests – mainly, it's believed, because of their weight – and the Protective Garment Corporation simply faded away… with Mr Murphy living to reminisce with whoever would listen as to how many times he'd lived through being fired at by colleagues and the police.


[] BULLET-PROOF vest maker Mr W.H. Murphy proves just how good is his product, by having a colleague fire two .38 bullets directly at him from just 3m away.

Japan welcomes 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup

One of the world's most coveted sporting trophies was on show in Japan today, with the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup the centrepiece of the Victoria Racing Club's (VRC) racing and tourism engagement lunch in Tokyo.

To coincide with the running of one of Japan's biggest races, the Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (2400m) on Sunday, VRC representatives engaged in market with key racing figures, government officials, tourism operators and media at an event held at Tokyo Racecourse.

The event was attended by guests comprising representatives from the Japan Racing Association (JRA) including Jun Tanizaki (Director), Akihiro Shinoda (GM of International Department) and Hiroshi Ito (Head of International Planning Development)  and members of the Yoshida family, who have been instrumental in crafting Japan's reputation as a global force in thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Speaking at the event, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott noted that Japan forms an important pillar of the VRC's international strategy, and highlighted the positive relationship that the Club shares with the Asian nation.  

"The Melbourne Cup Carnival continues to experience strong visitation from Asia, and our wonderful relationship with the JRA benefits both our respective international racing events to grow wagering and horse participation in both directions," Mrs Elliott said.

"We are proud to use trade, lifestyle and tourism, and of course, racing, to strengthen that bond further."

Six Japanese horses have joined a large international contingent to contest races during the past three Melbourne Cup Carnivals, with Japanese horse connections embarking on the quest for a second victory in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, following the landmark win of Delta Blues in 2006 at Flemington.

Having tasted success in Australia's greatest race with Delta Blues, prominent owner-breeder Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm was represented by son Shunsuke Yoshida who shared with the audience in Tokyo memories from their triumph in 2006. Shunsuke remarked that his father was "most overjoyed by the massive outpour of congratulations from the entire country of Australia. In particular, despite Delta Blues being a foreign bred horse, the congratulations extended beyond the race track to restaurants and even the staff at the airport.

Asked about the importance of the Emirates Melbourne Cup for Northern Farm, Shunsuke commented that "we have always known about the prestigious reputation of Australia's landmark race, having shuttled stallions back and forth between the North and Southern Hemisphere for several decades prior to our win in 2006. Since our win we have enjoyed success at other races around the world, but to win again at Melbourne would be the ultimate prize."

Interest from Japan in the Emirates Melbourne Cup continues to soar, with 2016 marking the first year that the race was broadcast into Japan via The Green Channel. This was also the first time Japanese racing enthusiasts were permitted to bet on the Emirates Melbourne Cup, with approximately A$1.92 million wagered on the race.

The Emirates Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, which injected more than A$427 million of gross economic benefit into the Victorian economy in 2016.

In 2016, there were over 80,000 visitors from interstate and international to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, such is the attraction of Australia's original home grown event.  

The 157th edition of the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) will be run at 3pm (Australian EDT) on Tuesday 7 November, featuring A$6.2 million in prizemoney and the $200,000 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy.

The 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival runs from 4 November to 11 November. Visit for tickets and information.

Image:         Models wearing Myer and Kim Fletcher Millinery and the Emirates Melbourne Cup in Japan.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ultimate car collection up for sale


David Ellis

WHEN a European car enthusiast got serious about collecting classic sports cars in the 1950s, he decided he would need somewhere large enough and suitable enough to store and admire his ever-growing multi-million-Euro assemblage.

And after a bit of searching he found the only place really suitable to his needs: it was a castle in Switzerland, and in whose grounds was a separate building that could be converted to house his motoring playthings.

So he bought the castle and by the time of his death had gathered together a formidable dozen of the world's most sought-after vehicles. They included a 1980 Aston Martin V8 Volante that back then was amongst the world's fastest convertibles, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster described as "arguably the most influential post-war car ever created," a 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500 SLC Coupé, a couple of Maseratis (one a Ghibli SS that was Maserati's fastest-ever car,) and 1970 and 1972 E-type Jaguars.

He also picked up a 1967 Maserati Series II Quattroporte, a 1973 Ford Mustang for a bit of everyday reality, and for classic comfort when speed came second, a 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Double Phaeton and a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II.

The man's son inherited the collection in 1990 on his father's death, but didn't use the cars for some years, and somewhat unbelievably since 2005 they've been in full-time storage.

He's now decided to sell the lot, with famous international auction firm Bonhams conducting the sale on May 21 at the legendary Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium. The twelve cars are expected to fetch a total between them of around 2.5m Euros (just over AU$3.5m.)

If you're interested making a bid, hop onto  

[] THIS dozen classic cars collected by a European enthusiast over several decades from the 1950s, could fetch up to 2.5m Euros when they go to individual auction on May 21.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Al Capone's 1928 Cadillac 341a Town Sedan

Hours after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, the Secret Service found themselves in a bind. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was to give his Day of Infamy speech to Congress on Tuesday, and although the trip from the White House to Capitol Hill was short, agents weren't sure how to transport him safely. At the time, Federal Law prohibited buying any cars that cost more than $750, so they would have to get clearance from Congress to do that, and nobody had time for that. One of the Secret Service members, however, discovered that the US Treasury had seized the bulletproof car that mobster Al Capone owned when he was sent to jail in 1931. They cleaned it, made sure it was running perfectly and had it ready for the President the next day.

And run properly it did. Capone's car was a sight to behold. It had been painted black and green so as to look identical to Chicago's police cars at the time. It also had a specially installed siren and flashing lights hidden behind the grille, along with a police scanner radio. To top it off, the gangster's 1928 Cadillac 341A Town Sedan had 3,000 pounds of armor and inch-thick bulletproof windows. Mechanics are said to have cleaned and checked each feature of the Caddy well into the night of December 7th, to make sure that it would run properly the next day for the Commander in Chief.

Footnote:  The car was sold at auction in 2012 for $341,000.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sako TRG 22 “Finland 100” sniper rifles with white camouflage

Sako is manufacturing a limited edition of numbered Sako TRG 22 "Finland 100" sniper rifles with white camouflage, designed in the spirit of Finnish persistence to celebrate fFnland's 100 years of independence. This jubilee model will become a collector's item.

SAKO, which started as a gunsmith's shop for the White Guard's joint chiefs of staff and has evolved into a globally renowned manufacturer of rifles and ammunition, has been an important element of the history of independent Finland. Now SAKO wants to pay homage to its traditions and above all to its 100-year old homeland by manufacturing a numbered series of 100 Sako TRG 22 "Finland 100" sniper rifles.

The TRG 22 "Finland 100" jubilee model is offered in .308 Win caliber. The white snow camouflage colouring of the stock and barrelled action of this real collector's item reflects the severity of the Finnish winter, and, also pays homage to the heroes of the Winter War who saved Finland's independence in demanding conditions – and relied on Sako products even then.

The Sako TRG 22 "Finland 100" sniper rifle has the text "Finland 100", and the gun's serial number is laser-engraved on its frame. The rifle is packaged in a carry case with a jubilee knife with the same engravings as the rifle itself. The jubilee model also comes with two magazines, bipod, muzzle brake and removable open sights.

Sako is retaining part of the series for its own use, for example to be sold in charity auctions. However, part of the series of 100 guns will also be available for sale. Those interested in the Sako TRG 22 "Finland 100" collector's item should enquire from the importers of Sako products in their respective countries.

SAKO, Salomonkatu 17b, Helsinki, 00100 Suomi

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Deer Jet Named "World's Best Private Jet Company"

Deer Jet has been named the "World's Best Private Jet Company" at the 2017 World Tourism Awards, highlighting the world-class, distinctive design and excellence in service of the brand.

Regarded as one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry, the World Tourism Awards are held each year under the sphere of the World Tourism Forum Global Meeting in Istanbul.

Recognized as the "Davos of tourism", the high level meeting convoked a collective of renowned travel and tourism leaders from more than 85 countries to share insights and outlooks on the future of the industry.

The awarding committee had considered Deer Jet's outstanding commitment towards innovation and excellence, stating that: "Deer Jet is the first private jet company to evolve into a luxury and art brand, having introduced pioneering products and services such as the world's first Dream Jet. Furthermore, the company launched a renewed brand image with the vision of - Making Travel an Art, aiming to rewrite the history of private aviation by creating Art Aviation."

At the awarding ceremony Deer Jet has showcased the very foundations of its brand values of elegance, performance and distinction.

Deer Jet Co. Ltd was established in 1995 as the very first private jet company in China providing with a comprehensive range of services comprising private jet charter, aircraft management, air medical and rescue, aircraft brokerage, maintenance, FBO/MRO, ground handling, helicopter and luxury yacht charter, and luxury travel. To date, the company operates and manages a diverse fleet flying to 820 airports across 180 countries and territories, including the world's first and only Dream Jet.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ayrton Senna exhibition at the Lamborghini Museum until October

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, inaugurated the Ayrton Senna exhibition at the Lamborghini Museum in Sant'Agata Bolognese.

The event welcomed the participation of Ercole Colombo and Giorgio Terruzzi, curators of the photographic record, and Mauro Forghieri and Daniele Audetto, who attended the test drive in 1993 when Senna drove a McLaren fitted with a Lamborghini engine on the Estoril circuit.

Every race car ever driven by the Brazilian champion is on display, from his debut outing to his tragic accident, heightening the appeal of the "Ayrton Senna. The last night" photography exhibition. The cars on display include the white MP4/8, identical to the one tested at Estoril, along with its engine.

The exhibition is open daily from 12 April to 9 October, including Sundays, from 9.30 am to 7 pm, and runs alongside the Lamborghini Museum's permanent collection.

For more information on Automobili Lamborghini:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Royal Enfield Himalayan - on or off road. The only motorcycle you will ever need.

Royal Enfield Australia and New Zealand announced the pricing of its new Himalayan Adventure Bike at the 2016 Melbourne Moto Expo.

The new motorcycle was presented to an eager scrum of Australian motorcycle journalists by Royal Enfield’s head of international business Arun Gopa. “Our single biggest insight in all these years of riding, has been that the best motorcycle for mountains like the Himalayas is not the one that tries to dominate its landscape, but the one that is able to go with its flow”.

All of Himalayan’s sums and parts work in perfect harmony to utilize the energy of the terrain it traverses. A grounded stance, terrain tested suspension, dual purpose tyres combined with agile handling means the Himalayan can handle almost any off road environments.

*The Royal Enfield Himalayan will be available in ‘Snow' and 'Granite’, late January 2017 with a two year warranty and two years roadside assist in Australia for $6990 rideaway and in New Zealand with a two year warranty for $5990 incl. GST plus on road costs.

The Himalayan - in detail

Built on a rugged duplex split cradle frame designed and developed by Harris Performance, the Himalayan is stable and agile in equal parts. A strong mono shock rear suspension with linkage allows for longer travel and delivers a smoother ride experience regardless of terrain. The Himalayan’s 220 mm ground clearance ensures it gobbles up obstacles comfortably be it in the Himalayas, rocky-river beds or at streamcrossings. An optimal wheel size combination allows for better control while riding over rocks and ruts. The motorcycle enables both seasoned riders, as well as riding enthusiasts to explore more with just one motorcycle.

The Himalayan is powered by a completely new and evolved overhead camshaft engine platform that forms the base for its new long stroke LS 410 engine. The all new engine delivers high torque and usable power at lower RPMs. This makes for smooth riding in higher gears at lower speeds, making it easy to climb hills, or to maneuver through traffic. Modern design and materials of the engine translate to increased efficiency and low maintenance, and the engine can go 10,000 kilometres between oil changes.

Touring utility is built inherently into the Himalayan. A 15 litre fuel tank provides a long range of approximately 450 kilometres. Luggage mounting points, for hard panniers, soft luggage and jerry cans are integral to the motorcycle’s design. A simple instrument cluster keeps track of speed, direction, ambient temperature, travel time, service intervals and multiple trip distances. Most importantly, an ergonomic sync between footpegs, handlebar & seat height provide a comfortable upright riding posture that is necessary for long rides. An accessible 800mm seat height with lower mass-balance ensures ease of planting feet on ground for complete control. Royal Enfield Himalayan comes fitted with dual-purpose tyres that lend a confident grip and performance across a range of conditions. In addition to complete braking control, the 300mm front and 240mm rear disc brakes and Dual Channel ABS brakes help to reduce braking effort. Starting from the Bruntingthorpe airfield in UK to the race track in Sriperumbudur, Chennai, India; from off-road terrains to urban settings and then in real world riding conditions in the Himalayas; the Himalayan has been tested extensively by experts, for both off-road and on-road manners

Complete Photography - Chris Gatcum

This is the book for everyone who wants to take great photos but doesn't know where to begin. With it, you'll learn how to compose a shot for visual impact, focus it to attract the viewer's eye, and expose it so every detail is captured. In short, you'll become a photographer!

Completely focused on improving your pictures, COMPLETE PHOTOGRAPHY is packed with the work of inspirational professionals and the expertise of Chris Gatcum, one of the world's best-selling photographer-authors. With clear explanations in everyday language, and carefully selected examples to illustrate every point, Gatcum brings fantastic photography within everyone's grasp.

Hachette Paperback Apr 11, 2017 | 9781781573464 | RRP $32.99

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