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?