I’ve always been intrigued by the way one novelty or another is often seized by society and, briefly, becomes an all-consuming passion. I’m not just talking about Rubiks Cubes or those irritating finger spinners. I’m talking atomic. Back in the 1950s and into the early 1960s, atomic power was ‘in’. I mean, really ‘in’. This … More Atomic cars and nuclear trains – 1950s style
I spotted some protestors a while back in central Wellington. “Aha,” I said to myself, “the people’s revolution is happening a century too late.” But it wasn’t. It was a group of public servants wanting a pay rise. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the western world was riven by upheaval; the radical … More The illusions of revolution – how Karl Marx misled historians…and the world…
There was, I suppose, a universal sigh of relief when New Year 2017 ticked over and the world left the Year from Hell. We do like our arbitrary calendar dates. Reality, of course, seldom conforms to calendar dates. After all, Lemmy Kilmister kicked off the 2016 celebrity die-off just after Christmas 2015. A friend of mine suggested … More Reality isn’t just defined by calendar dates. Unfortunately.
My recent short book Dreadnoughts Unleashed has picked up its first review – five stars. Very cool! I’ve got high hopes for this one. It’s an experiment in format: eleven essays that run the gamut from the story of the man who invented OMG – Fisher – and the way he took down the British … More Five star review for ‘Dreadnoughts Unleashed’ – cool!
Over the years I’ve written a fair amount of stuff on my various interests – which range from the human condition to astrophysics to ship engineering and, inevitably, the people behind all those things. Normally such things disappear from view and that’s that, including blog posts – although it would be hard to beat the … More Dreadnoughts Unleashed – unleashed on Kindle!
The other month I had an interesting discussion about historians and history. The issue came up of enthusiasts who style themselves ‘historians’ – but whose qualifications are in a totally unrelated area. What was the difference between their stuff and what I’m doing? There is a huge difference, I explained. Anybody with an enthusiasm for … More Why history is all about trends and vectors
I’m very excited to present the new cover of my book Blue Water Kiwis, New Zealand’s Naval Story 1870-2001. Blue Water Kiwis was first published in 2001 by Reed NZ Ltd, marking the sixtieth anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s founding – though the book itself was about a good deal more than that, tracing … More Blue Water Kiwis: a new cover unleashed