I often wonder, in idle moments, how we might talk to aliens if they turned up suddenly. The problem is that aliens are – well, alien. Picture the scene: Aliens turn up. Their language, to our ears, has just one word, ‘blubbleblop’. Nobody realises they communicate by eye movement and the sound is a product … More Will we ever understand aliens?
When I was a lad with the dream of being a full-time writer, I often imagined it as the kind of life you might have where avalanches of money just pour in from royalties and you’re there in your 200-room mansion, private jet parked outside, slaves servants running around doing everything, and generally having a … More A day in the life of a writer – Part 1.
The thing about soap operas is that they never end. Never. Not ever. No matter how execrable the plotlines. You know what I mean – those story arcs about everyday suburban life where Character X dies after being drugged and tied upside-down to the mast of a yacht in a hurricane by pirates, escaping, but … More How Shortland Street should end (but won’t)
It had to be 1 April, of course. Naturally. On a dark country back-road with no other witnesses, the sort of place with permanent rain that private detectives in Borsalino fedoras and trench coats haunt for no better reason than that it looks good to be there. It felt like a Friday night, the sort … More My close encounter of the hard boiled kind
The juxtaposition of the unlikely always has had appeal to me. Not least because it’s often very funny. I think such things are usually called ‘mashups’, but a century or so ago the word was ‘dada’, after the art movement that pivoted around superficially irrational juxtaposition. A friend pointed me to an example the other … More The ultimate mashup: Gordon Freeman’s Model of a Modern Major General
Hey folks, I’ve been back to cooking again, and I’ve got a couple of rice recipes which I can’t choose between. Which of these sounds better? Boiled rice glop served in a revolting steaming splatter on a plate Ingredients ½ cup rice 1 cup frozen carrots and peas ½ cup grated cheese Tomato sauce 1 … More Which recipe would you eat?
I’ve got a cooking dilemma. Can anybody help? I found this recipe online, first published in the Chicago Tribune in 2016, and subsequently around the world: 2 cups flour, 2/3 tb salt, 1/2 tb dried thyme, 1/2 tb dried basil , 1/3 tb dried oregano, 1 tb celery salt, 1 tb ground black pepper, 1 … More Solving a cooking dilemma
Apparently a small storm’s brewed in the US over an author who, according to the Guardian, trademarked the word ‘cocky’ and has approached other authors to remove it from their book titles. According to the OED the word means ‘conceited or confident in a bold and cheeky way’, though I can think of a few … More I want to trademark all the vowels except ‘u’
I realised a little while ago that weather forecasting is as much an art as a science, because the variables are so immense that even with satellite overview and computer modelling it’s hard for forecasters to really predict what will happen. But after last winter in Wellington I discovered a pattern in the whole thing, … More The secret behind weather forecasting
I’ve had some ideas lately for some really great inventions… The Pinwheel. Applies to any modern twin-jet. Instead of hanging the two engines as close to the fuselage as possible, why not stick them on the wingtips? It’ll be quieter for passengers and – even better – the engines can act as an anti-flutter weight. … More My latest inventions – what could POSSIBLY go wrong?