I pay zero attention to rubbish emails these days. Mostly it goes automatically into a spam folder which is auto-emptied without my even looking. Time is too short to waste on it. The other day, though, just for amusement, I dug into my spam folder. Here’s what I found: Somebody called ‘Angela’ wants to be … More Nine things I found in my junk email folder
When I was a kid, proper musicians were defined as those qualified in and able to play ‘classical’ music, meaning stuff written in Europe from about the time of Bach through to the early twentieth century, after which music ceased (apparently) to require any competence or talent on the part of composer or performer. All … More If I don’t like it, the artist is stupid… right?
This week marks the 73rd anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. To me the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945 was one of the pivotal points in what Eric Hobsbawm has called the ‘short’ twentieth century – the era from 1914 to 1992 that began with the First World War … More Why we’re so lucky that we won the Second World War
A while back I went for a walk down Lambton Quay, Wellington’s ‘golden mile’ of retail shopping. It was swathed in stale cigarette smoke and the noxious sick-sweet smell of ‘vapers’. You know, the idiots who get their nicotine through ‘e-cigarettes’ and blow out vast clouds of sugary steam for others to choke on along the … More A counterblast to vapers
Thinking about human evolution never stands still. A little while ago I checked out where science was in regard to the Red Deer Cave People, an extinct species of humans who were discovered in the early 2010s. They’re intriguing – a species who manifestly aren’t us, Homo sapiens, but who seem to have been just … More Rethinking human evolution – again
The special effects for the latest Planet of the Apes movie are being made right in the city where I live – Wellington – by Weta Workshop. That’s very cool, but I’ve always found the concept rather silly. The original 1968 movie took the human/chimp relationship and reversed it, largely as a statement against human … More Requiem for the planet of the apes
I sometimes despair about the nature of the human condition and the likely future of our species on this planet. We don’t behave at all well towards each other – something that’s been thrown into sharp relief in the last generation or so in the west as we’ve become increasingly ‘wired’, and as the culture … More I despair about the future of humanity
The other day I discovered somebody has remade Thunderbirds. Not the Weta remake. Another one – old school and old style, using the ‘Supermarionation’ techniques pioneered by Gerry Anderson and his team fifty years ago. I’m kind of late to the party: it’s a project by Stephen le Riviere that sprang from a book and … More Thunderbirds lives again – 1965 style
It would be nice to think that, as humans, we have something special about us. But when I look at the mess we’ve made of the world – at the way we’re destroying the planet that sustains us, all the while fighting among ourselves, with increasing venom and intolerance, over abstractions, I have to wonder. … More Are we exceptional humans? Or just stupid apes who do stupid ape things?
A retired Professor from the University of Arizona, Guy McPherson, told an audience in New Zealand last year that the human race will be extinct from climate change in a decade. Except here. Apparently we’re well placed at the bottom of the South Pacific to survive. And there’s a precedent. Until the 1280s, for the … More Why do we always see an apocalypse around the next corner?