The response when a Southern Right Whale spent a week or so in Port Nicholson – Wellington’s harbour – highlights just how much the world has changed in the last while. Back in the nineteenth century the sight of a whale usually set a flurry of action going ashore, just as the whale did the … More Having a whale of a time…
I am intrigued by ‘disclaimers’ at the bottom of some You Tube videos, insisting ‘no copyright infringement intended’ and that copyright ‘remains with the holder’. Such statements reveal a profound ignorance of what copyright is – and how it’s breached. I’ve done quite a bit of professional work in this field, though what I’m about … More All about copyright and why You Tube disclaimers are wrong
This week’s obscure English word is pore. It’s not all that obscure – though it’s important not to confuse it with ‘pour’. However, my knowledge of its meanings was poor until I pawed through the full Oxford English Dictionary (second edition) and discovered it that pore is poured full of meaning, as it were – … More The obscure word of the week is pore
I was reminded the other day of a wonderful 1948 story I read as a kid, ‘In Hiding’, by Wilmar Shiras (1908-1990). I read it in a 1960s-era anthology of sci-fi stories, and it left a huge impression on me. Shiras wrote it, apparently, for her children. And the plot was straight forward: a school … More What makes people smart?
I cannot but lament the moral void into which the world seems to be falling. Political intrigue. Weaponised social media. A new definition of ‘facts’ based not on empirical reality but on personal need. And it shows. I think everyday behaviour’s deteriorating, likely worldwide – and certainly around me. I worry about a loss of … More Lamenting the moral void into which society has fallen
This week’s obscure English word is undecagon. It’s an early nineteenth century term that means hendecagon, as in a polygon with eleven sides. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018
There’s been a lot of speculation of late about a putative ‘Planet Nine’. No, Pluto hasn’t been restored to proper place – this one is a new idea, proposed in 2014 by Chad Trujillo and Scott S. Sheppard on the basis of the orbits of the trans-Neptunian objects Sedna and 2012VP (which hasn’t been given … More Planet Nine from Outer Space