It’s Waitangi Day in New Zealand, the 176th anniversary of the day when a treaty was signed at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, between Maori and the British government. It’s widely regarded as modern New Zealand’s founding document. And I figured out a way to make the best hourly rate ever from what the… More The story behind the Treaty of Waitangi
There are a million individual words in English. Most of them are quite obscure and deserve better attention than they get. This week’s word is… Gonfalon – a noun meaning a pennant hung on a crossbar. Thought to be of sixteenth century Italian origin. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using… More The obscure word of the week is gonfalon
I saw a small storm on Facebook the other day over intellectual property. It involved people who’d invented a variety of techniques for a particular craft and were selling the method in seminars. And so they should. It’s their intellectual property and it’s fair to get a return on it; people gotta eat. The problem… More Paying people for use of their intellectual property is fair – isn’t it?
On 3 February 1931 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand – particularly hitting the town centres of Napier and Hastings. It remains the worst natural disaster ever to strike New Zealand in historic times – despite some doubt as to the precise casualty figure, it was still 50 percent more than the… More It’s 85 years since the Hawke’s Bay quake and we still don’t know how many died
This week’s writing challenge revolves around a photo I took of an ‘art deco’ bus in Napier, New Zealand. Use the photo to inspire a 150-200 word super-short story – a proper one, with beginning, middle, end and punchline (all super-short stories gotta have a punchline) – and post it on your blog, with the prompt photo… More This week’s short story challenge
One of the genius moments in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey comes when Dave Bowman, locked out of the Discovery in a ‘pod’, without his suit helmet, re-enters anyway, via the emergency airlock. He’s unprotected in vacuum – but he doesn’t die instantly, or freeze, or explode the way people usually do in movies when… More What happens when you wake up naked in outer space…
Despite all kinds of speculation – both serious and in sci-fi – the scientific fact about alien life is that we haven’t actually found any yet. So if anybody asks whether it exists, all that can be said scientifically is ‘nobody knows’. That said, it’s highly likely that it does. There’s still a chance that… More I’m convinced that the first aliens we find will be bacteria…