Recent Posts

Guilt By Association Copy

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Muse by Craig Ranapia
92

I really can't muster enough interest in Kim Dotcom or the Internet Party to form an opinion worth anyone's attention, but I do have a rather lively interest in a new parlour game called Guilt By Association Copy, cooked up…

My Life in Curry

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Feed by Russell Brown
168

My first curry was a traditional New Zealand curry: one with sausages in it. Although it's true that for three quarters of the 20th century, New Zealand's national practice was to overcook meat and boil into submission some of the…

Jim looks back at the big Oscar movies

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Hard News by Russell Brown
11

As quite a number of my friends know, my son Jimmy has a great line in 60-second movie summaries. Which figures: he sees more films than anyone I know, he's a member of the Auckland Film Society and he even…

Schools: can we get a plan up in here?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
91

The Herald has published an infographic that neatly illustrates the growth -- and in some cases decline -- of Auckland's school rolls. In my neighbourhood, Point Chevalier, it illustrates a problem that neither the Ministry of Education or Auckland Council…

Oh, Auckland

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Hard News by Russell Brown
25

My brother-in-law unexpectedly turned up from Hokitika on Friday night, on his motorbike. This wasn't a problem: I like Steve, even though we have little in common -- he repairs machinery, I can barely hold a spanner -- and it…

The Internet Party, whatever happens

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Hard News by Russell Brown
56

You don't need to be a fancy political strategist to be able to tell that the Internet Party is having a difficult birth. A launch party that wasn't a launch party and then suddenly wasn't a party at all. A…

Getting closer

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Capture by Jos Van De Laar
177 12

"Take a trip and never leave the farm." 
- Jim Stafford I like nothing better than to spend a pleasant afternoon in my garden stalking small critters and details of flowers. Much closer is much more interesting - you start…

Friday Music: Changing Times

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Hard News by Russell Brown
20

News services this week reported an attack from the head of the global record industry body IFPI on Google for not doing more to expunge links to unlicensed music downloads, in the wake of a $600m decline in global sales…

The Disappearing of Paradise

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Muse by Craig Ranapia
11

What happens when a New Zealand author is shortlisted for a high-profile British literary prize and nobody in the media pays a blind bit of notice? No, gentle readers, this isn't some bitter zen koan but the reaction to Phillip…

Inside the Shrine

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Hard News by Russell Brown
25

At the beginning of the week, I suggested that the most useful effect of Judith Collins' Oravida troubles was that they were illuminating an interesting  National Party network. I didn't quite expect that by the end of the week we'd…

Taking a very big gamble

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Hard News by Russell Brown
76

The Problem Gambling Foundation is to have its funding removed by the Ministry of Health, meaning that, with the exception of its Asian unit, the foundation will cease to exist from June 30. Given that the PGF is the largest…

What Hekia Parata actually said

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Hard News by Russell Brown
79

As you probably know, on Monday Public Address's Jolisa Gracewood wrote a righteous post about a Herald on Sunday story and editorial that said the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata had revealed her government's intention to fund schools -- or…

The New New News

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Hard News by Russell Brown
35

Nate Silver, the media star of the last US Presidential election, launched his own fivethirtyeight website this week, extending one news trend -- data journalism -- and setting the pace in another -- the richly-backed “personal brand” journalism startup. Both…

School bully

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Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood
179

When the National government introduced National Standards four years ago, I didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing.  I’d been watching our older son acclimatise to public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, where kids and…

Things worth knowing

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Hard News by Russell Brown
123

Former cyclone Lusi wasn't the only wild, hot air over the weekend. That deafening sucking sound you heard was elements of the political right having a massive tantrum because the Judith Collins story was still a story. The consensus theory…

Friday Music: Going Large

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Hard News by Russell Brown
69

It's an irony of the digital age: as one medium, video, reaches our senses in ever-higher resolution, the modern way we listen to music has stalled wth a technology that degrades the work and takes it further away from the…

One picture of you, and no more

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Capture by Giovanni Tiso
66

Reblogged with kind permission from Bat, Bean, Beam. It was taking me so long to draft an obituary of my beloved Alain Resnais for Overland that I re-watched some of his films, in search of inspiration. That’s how I was…

Spring Timing

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Hard News by Russell Brown
281

The House will rise on July 31 for a general election on September 20. At present, it seems obvious that the election is National's to lose. My guess is that even voters who have issues with things National has done…

Time & Perfume

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Notes & Queries by David Herkt
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Smell is probably our most culturally neglected sense. We prioritise vision and hearing, and our words for them are numberless, with many careful distinctions. Smell, on the other hand, is comparatively a great unknown, without a general language or the…

The Web

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Hard News by Russell Brown
107

As you may have read in the news, the World Wide Web turns a quarter of a century on Wednesday. That doesn't, however, mean that on March 12, 1989, it actually existed as anything more than a concept. But that's…

Floodland

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Up Front by Isabel Hitchings
69

Long-time PAS commenter Isabel is a resident of the area of Christchurch worst hit by the flooding. I've asked her to share her experiences, and explain what's happened in the area. We bought our house in 2005, a charming, if…

Friday Music: Both sides of the Boss

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Hard News by Russell Brown
44

Bruce Springsteen: he came, he saw, he conquered. A man who, were he from this country, would be a few months short of eligibility for superannuation, delivered three-and-a-half-hour sets on successive nights, barely pausing for a breath in each. Nearly…

The changing world of drug policy

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Speaker by Ross Bell, executive director, New Zealand Drug Foundation
10

What in the world is happening with global drug policy? For something that usually moves slower than a glacier we’ve seen some significant forward progress in the past year. Colorado and Washington have signed off on the legal sale of…

A Month of Sundays

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Fab Feb, on the March. Someone told me it was March, and I gave them 'the look'. This just isn't possible. There is a strange sense of déjà vu with all this. Just as I was about to post an…

Diverse Auckland: are we there yet?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
155

Way back in 1991 when I was returning to Auckland after five years in London, I fretted that I was leaving a teeming, polyglot city to return to a monoculture. Happily, it turned out not to be that way. The…