It’s been a rough week so far in New Zealand. How rough? Well, most of us were woken in the first minutes of Monday by the biggest onshore quake since 2009, and – at a magnitude of 7.5 – the largest to occur near any main population centres since 1931. [Update: figure officially revised to … More Earthquake, tsunami and floods…
My main website matthewwright.net has had a major makeover. Out went the old fixed-size site with steam age HTML coding – some of which dated back to 2001 when the site was first set up. It used to look like this: In came a modern CMS with a fully responsive layout – which means it’ll … More My website’s had a mondo makeover
The initial social media response to my Listener cover article was intriguing. It mostly riffed from snap judgement of the cover and headline without reading the actual content. Alas, being ignorant of what I’d said didn’t stop commenters from judging what they imagined I wrote, sight unseen. If I judge something, I have to know … More The common clay of the new social media. You know…
My book Battle for Crete: New Zealand’s Near-Run Affair, a brief history of New Zealand’s close-run defeat on Crete in 1941, is free 9 April 2016 only (US time, 10 April NZ time) on Kindle – and sitting at No.1 in its category as I write this. You can get it instantly, on Kindle. … More ‘Battle for Crete’ – free 9 April 2016
It’s always intrigued me how apparently intractable puzzles emerge in science, then disappear again without any new evidence being found. What’s changed, instead, is the pattern into which we’re trying to slot the evidence – the ‘organising principle’. It’s an innate human thing: we always look for patterns. And the pattern then becomes reality, often … More Making science problems go away by changing our thinking
About 1.3 billion years ago, two black holes collided – and the whole fabric of space-time rang like a bell. Last September, researchers in the US detected the gravitational ripples. They announced it this week – and THAT, my friends, is awesome news. It’s not just the fact that Albert Einstein predicted them 100 years … More Einstein was right…again. Gravitational waves rule!
This week’s news in the Astronomical Journal that Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of CalTech have predicted a ninth planet got the usual barrage of silly media headlines about ‘discovery’. The thing is, Brown and Batygin haven’t found anything. They’ve hypothesised that there’s a planet. And they are not the first to wonder about some … More Planet 9 won’t be as big as Uranus. Really.