Recent Posts

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
17

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
48 10

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…

Drugs, development and reality

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Hard News by Russell Brown
30

The United Nations has been encouraging development of alternative crops in poorer drug-producing countries for more than a decade and a half as a way to reduce global supply. Results have been very much mixed, unfortunately. I looked why in…

Telecom and TV

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Hard News by Russell Brown
29

I don't mind Telecom's decision to rebrand as Spark. I'm sure people will get used to it and that, with a few million marketing dollars in play and a carried-over logo, it won't take long. I'm not nearly as keen…

Friday Music: The Mayor of Music Town

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Hard News by Russell Brown
25

If you were young, in New Zealand and liked music in in the middle of last century there's a good chance that Phil Warren provided at least some of what you needed. He was the conduit for the jazz and…

Poor Choices

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Hard News by Russell Brown
247

I don't think Deborah Hill Cone set out mock or bully Charlotte Dawson in her Herald column. I think she felt she was expressing a message of solidarity with a woman of a similar age, but she presumed far too…

Bully

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Cracker by Damian Christie

I’d been thinking about writing this post last week, before the news of Charlotte Dawson’s death.  In some ways the post is now even more relevant, but at the same time it’s become far more complex, trying to separate the…

Let's do some commerce

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Hard News by Russell Brown
52

As my friends are possibly weary of me saying to them, my year has so far been one of great meetings about good ideas that don't seem to come to fruition any time quickly. Indeed, a couple of gigs I'd…

Drinking & Insomnia & the Winter Olympics

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Field Theory by Hadyn Green
23

I consider these Winter Olympics to be a success. Not in the way that the athletes, the IOC or, for some reason, the organisers might think. Instead I deem the success to be that I actually got to see some…

Little CD in a Prospect of Flowers

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Notes & Queries by David Herkt
45

  She did go out in time for the Sunday headlines. Her body was discovered at 11.15am on Saturday in her Finger Wharf apartment in Wooloomooloo, a respectable time as far as media coverage was concerned. The death of Charlotte Dawson…

Friday Music: Cinema 'Tron

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Hard News by Russell Brown
30

As readers may have noticed, I have something of a soft spot for labour-of-love type albums. And the debut from Sora Shima, You Are Surrounded, really has that feel about it -- it's been burnished and worked on over five…

The Mayor's marginal enemies

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Hard News by Russell Brown
135

'No Brown in Town' reads the headline of today's New Zealand Herald front page lead. The online heading, somewhat more usefully is, 'Festival to Brown: stay away'. It begins thus: Embattled Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been told to stay…

Bad Judgement

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Hard News by Russell Brown
71

This seems worth saying if only because the opposite impression is so often given by people in my trade: there is no shame in being active in a political party. Our chosen form of democracy relies on political parties and…

Splore 2014: Everyone's Basically Family

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Hard News by Russell Brown
41

"This is unspeakably pleasant," I observed to my companions. Yes, they nodded, it is. We were sitting in the sun enjoying delicious and sustaining vegetarian burritos for Saturday breakfast in the main eating area of the Splore festival, having dispatched…

TPP: Error Correction

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Speaker by Mark Harris
58

On Friday, Stuff published an opinion piece about the Trans Pacific Partnership by Pattrick Smellie headed Ten things TPP critics do not want you to grasp. I was appalled by it it and felt it warranted a rebuttal. This is…

Games with Attitude

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Hard News by Russell Brown
9

The news that Attitude Pictures has won the broadcast rights to the Winter Paralympics and will deliver 45 hours of live coverage plus daily highlights via its website isn't just great news for the company and for disabled athletes and…

Friday (Thursday) Music: Mad Props

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Hard News by Russell Brown
38

Two weeks ago in this blog I expressed my appreciation of High Hoops' performance at Laneway -- and concluded by politely asking when we might expect some new tracks. Last Friday, barely two hours after I'd hit the publish button…