Recent Posts

Help a kid have a heavy blanket

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Access by Russell Brown
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In an autism family you have to get good at adapting to your child. You find ways of speaking, acting and presenting ideas that recognise your child's experience of the world. Sometimes what works might seem unusual. Dr Temple Grandin's…

A different and interesting brain

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Access by Chelle Hope
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If I was not in my wheelchair when I was a very young child, I would sometimes launch myself off whatever I was sitting on and end up in a heap on the ground. I used to think if I…

Christchurch: We're not "apathetic", just busy rebuilding

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Speaker by Greg Jackson
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This year’s local body elections are as weird as Christchurch life in general. Incumbent Mayor, Lianne Dalziel will romp back in with a few bites on the bum from challenger, John Minto. Four incumbent Councillors and a smattering of Community…

Friday Music: Getting Festive

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Splore's first lineup announcement was made this week – and in keeping with the 2017 theme of "Family Reunion", it's headed by some notable returns. Dub Pistols are back after a cracking show this year, the Ragga Twins just can't stay…

I Never Been ta Borstal

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Up Front by Steven Crawford
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I've been working for an artist as their technician for a number of years now. I have welding skills and the ability to work across fabrication engineering and fine arts. My formal qualifications in both are a direct result of…

Trump's Dummkopfs

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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While the world holds its breath over a prodigious narrowing of the polls in the US Presidential election campaign, it's hard not to wonder sometimes about who these people are. His prospective voters, I mean. Who can merrily ignore his…

When can we talk about the money?

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Access by Tess Casey
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The disability community is changing it up. We’re having a rally at Parliament today to let the government know that it must invest in inclusive education. This action has not been taken lightly.  Like most of the community sector, our…

The Paralympics and visibility

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Access by Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson
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Last week my friend’s 12-year-old son asked her if she’d seen the amazing opening ceremony in Rio and he wasn’t talking about the Olympics: he was talking about extreme wheelchair athlete Aaron Fotheringham’s spectacular stunt jump through exploding fireworks. Like…

Confessions of an Uber Driver III: How do I rate?

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Speaker by Ben Wilson
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You've just finished your Uber ride. By the general standards of taxi rides, it was very good. The driver came fast, the car was newish and in good condition and tidy inside. The driver was courteous and asked how you…

Excited for Auckland!

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As my social media attests, I was pretty excited when I got home from last night's Orcon IRL: Vote Auckland event. Not just because we'd defied the elements to put on another swingin' conscious party (emergency action to empty overloaded…

There in half the time: trying out a Mercury e-bike

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Let history record that my first ride on an e-bike was home into a stinging westerly squall. And that I was duly soaked.  I've been trying out electric bikes as part of a deal with Mercury, whose campaign has, I…

Friday Music: Apple and the Analog Hole

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Back when Apple Music launched I went into some detail about what was good about the new service, and what was very bad. For all my frustrations, I became a paying customer when the three-month free trial of Apple Music…

On Gell-Mann Amnesia; or You Suck at This

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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I have a half-written post on the sentencing of Nikolas Delegat. Since the news of the sentence became public I’ve read the news reports, and responded to comments on twitter and Facebook.  The sentencing seemed utterly unremarkable. I planned to…

The Dr G giveaway

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As you may be aware, I have the pleasure of hosting An Evening With Ben Goldacre at Auckland's Mercury Theatre on Saturday week. The boffo interview I did wth Dr G a little while ago was very enjoyable and I'm…

Our House

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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This is a house in Russell Square, Timaru. My family lived in the upstairs flat when I was four and five. I am terrified of this house. I went back to it once, when I was sixteen. I’d been up…

Orcon IRL: Vote Auckland

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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After a smashing session on the state of journalism, ORCON IRL AT THE GOLDEN DAWN is back next Tuesday – and this time we’re taking on democracy!ORCON IRL VOTE AUCKLAND presents:Efeso CollinsChloe SwarbrickCathy CaseyPaula Bold-WilsonBill RalstonChang HungPatrick ReynoldsCO-HOSTS: Russell Brown and…

Behavioural economics and Hekia Parata

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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After getting rebuffed trying to increase class sizes in 2012, Hekia Parata is trying to foist them on parents by stealth in 2016. But I think her plan is doomed to fail. Parata’s latest foray comes in the form of…

Apocalypse on the count of three: inside a Soviet missile silo

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Speaker by Clinton Logan
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Sergeant Alexander of the 46th Rocket Division buckles me into the commander's chair and wrenches the four-point harness down to the point of discomfort. Two massive blast doors seal the control chamber shut 12 storeys below the Ukraine countryside, protecting…

Autism: where have we come from and where are we going?

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Access by Hilary Stace
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I have been interested in autism for about 30 years thanks to my son Oscar. Children can lead you in interesting directions. My cute little boy walked on his toes, flapped his hands, was not interested in playing with other…

Friday Music: The Cinema of Loss

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I was fortunate enough last night to see One More Time With Feeling, the unusual documentary created to serve as a once-only interview in advance of the release of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' new album, Skeleton Tree. The…

Radio B and the secret pirates

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In an era where almost everyone has access to the tools to speak to almost everyone inclined to listen, it's easy to forget that not so long ago, the reins of broadcast communication were tightly held by the state. It…

Not doing enough

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Field Theory by Hadyn Green
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I’m a fan of rugby. I’m a fan of the Chiefs. But not today. Today they acted like a group of children who know they are going to be told off. Hiding, shuffling their feet, figuring out what the “right”…

Waterview: The giant up the road

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As these things always do, the Waterview Connection seemed a long way off when preparatory works began more than five years ago. Suddenly, the giant on the edge of our suburb – the largest roading project in New Zeaand history – will…