And so it came to be that in the last year of the Intifada we were spirited to the Holy Land and taken from there to a land they called Gaza. And there the stones did rain upon us for the people were angry [...]
I sometimes regret that music never became a consuming interest in my life after childhood friends and the 1950s fell behind me. Science too, despite my awareness of its importance in life, I just can’t prop my eye-lids open long enough to understand it. [...]
Albania? I knew only one person who’d been there. He told me that eight years ago 700,000 small concrete bunkers, like giant mushrooms, were the main tourist attraction. “They littered the place,” he said, in a country roughly the size of Nelson/Marlborough.
Others made brief [...]
Last week I was reading a very famous book.
Every year I read the book that has been given the big prize. This year it, the big book, has been written by our most famous author and it’s won the biggest prize in the world [...]
Politician: Quick! Find some studies that show smaller class sizes don’t make any difference to learning. And hurry!
Minion: Just a moment, sir. I’m on Google now.
Politician: There’s no time to lose. We can’t let Labour steal a march on us. Parents will love the idea of smaller classes. Damn and blast those conniving socialists! It’s a stab to the heart. [...]
by Patricia Edgar
‘So when is someone old?’ asks writer, sociologist TV producer Patricia Edgar as she begins her book In Praise of Ageing. And with that she launches into the first of many challenges to conventional myths about the elderly.
She writes with a crusading passion [...]
Two senior cabinet figures talked international affairs last Wednesday, one all crisp intellect, one a conversational amble. No prize for guessing which was Tim Groser and which John Key.
Both made the optimists’ trade case, Groser with a wide span at a conference on China where some weighty foreign academics spoke. Some of those experts were treated to Key’s later perambulation [...]
Ever been annoyed when you hear (mostly young women) talk without substance, like, you know, I went, um, and he kinda said like uh, I mean, you know…and so on? Well a group of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has published a fascinating article about filler words. Brilliantly titled Um… Who Like Says You Know: Filler Word [...]
We didn’t get too much sleep as it was so incredibly hot during the night. There had been a fan whirring and grinding earlier on, but that had either broken down or was turned off sometime during the night. The compartment windows either didn’t [...]
Imagine the surprise one day when a close family member, in a rather exasperated voice, declared, “you’re not really listening!”
My mind immediately went into a defensive mode – “But of course, I am listening!”
But after I got over this mini ego-attack and truly listened, [...]
Celebrity dog Paddy
NZ’s first postage stamps
Privy council rules on Samoan citizenship
Riots at Mt Eden prison
First Lotto goes on sale
Parliament moves to Wellington
Pioneer aviator George Bolt dies
Women’s Suffrage petition
Names and dates, people and places, they vanish in the slipstream of daily life. But in this section and with the help of http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/calendar we’ll revive – if only [...]
Extracts from Max Cryer’s new book ‘Every dog has its day’.
elvis before Elvis…
‘Old Shep’ is a 1933 song about a country boy and his faithful pet. As [...]