Recent Posts

The Day My Brain Stood Still

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Access by Michelle Walmsley
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I want to tell you about how things have been for me since I wrote on my experience as a disabled person during Covid-19. I’d like to but I can’t properly. This account might not be as lucid and linear…

Views of the Week June 6

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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The 60 Years of New Zealand Television celebrations, such as they were, seemed to rely heavily on the classics: here we go again with Lynn of Tawa, A Week of It and the Country Calendar spoofs. Wonderful highlights of our…

Views of the Week May 30

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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SATURDAY MAY 30 Six60: Live at Western Springs 2020 (TVNZ 1, 8.45pm). Remember live concerts? The day will come again, friends, when we will be able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in an uncomfortable sweaty venue with people we don’t know. It…

Lately in cannabis

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Anyone who keeps an eye on evidence around cannabis and public health will be familiar with the Christchurch Health and Development Study. It's one of two local longitudinal studies frequently cited with respect to cannabis and youth development. But in…

Views of the Week May 23

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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SUNDAY MAY 24 The Luminaries (TVNZ 1, 8.30pm). There are an awful lot of indeterminate accents in The Luminaries; even lead Eve Hewson seems undecided about being Irish, and she is Irish. Fair play, accents can go badly wrong, so…

Speaking as equals: the rise of Know Your Stuff

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Five years ago, Know Your Stuff didn't have a name. They were just a group of people from the festival community who began testing party drugs onsite because they'd seen the consequences of people taking substances they couldn't identify or…

Psychedelic science: Microdosing and more

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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At last year's Splore festival Listening Lounge sessions, one of the most popular discussions was the one on psychedelic therapy. So for this year's festival, I brought back two of the participants from that panel – Dr Will Evans and Amadeus…

Back on the road

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Hard News by Russell Brown
11

It probably was too good to last. The blessed peace on the roads that I wrote about here began eroding even before we left Level 4 of the Covid-19 restrictions – and on day one of Level 3, with the tradies…

Parliamentary Privilege, and the summonsing of Crown legal advice

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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The Epidemic Response has apparently resolved to call on the Director-General of Health, Commissioner of Police and Solicitor-General to provide it copies of relevant material, including legal advice prepared for the government. It is not clear whether summonses have been…

The company of strangers

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I didn't really debate whether I was going to fly last week. My mother was in Wellington Hospital after a traumatic health event, I am the only surviving direct family member and she needed me there. If Air New Zealand…

7 Minutes with Miss Fisher

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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Like everyone, the film and television industry is facing unprecedented impacts from the pandemic, with hundreds of productions suspended and thousands of workers unemployed. But I wonder if, for some of the big names, it’s a sneaky holiday, a time…

ICYMI: Links and things I've been doing

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Like most people, I've been staying at home, doing a bit in the garden, cooking a lot and managing occasional bouts of anxiety. I've also written more here than I have done for a while. At a time when every…

The immortals

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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During the plague, I’ve been amusing myself by watching a show about immortality. In the world of Ad Vitam, a French series on Netflix, Covid-19 wouldn’t exist; disease apparently doesn’t and death hardly at all. The reason for this is…

Has Iran found an effective Covid-19 treatment?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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For obvious reasons, there has been a lot of attention paid to work going into developing vaccines that could prevent Covid-19 infection, and drugs that could treat it. In particular, there has been some excitement about new animal trial data…

Bubble of One

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Access by Michelle Walmsley
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When you spend a lot of time on your own, as I do, you tend to notice things more, perhaps earlier.  I think it was maybe early February when I started to feel quite concerned about a new virus from…

Spencer Stoner: going with the flow of slow TV

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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The beauty of slow TV, says Spencer Stoner, is that it’s different things to different people – a travelogue, an immersive experience, an awesome screensaver. After the success of last year’s Go South, Stoner has spent a month at sea filming…

Lockdown? Day? Whatever the fuck day it is …

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Speaker by Penny Feltham
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I live in Stockport, just outside Manchester. It's 10 minutes by train away, but I’m not sure if the trains are running – and in any case I’ve not actually been in my office in Central Manchester since February 20. That…

Towards new human spaces

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Good Friday in lockdown was a time to be alive and on a bicycle. Without even the supermarkets as an excusefor anyone to get in the car and drive somewhere, the roads were gloriously clear. Clear enough to carve big…

Music is coming home

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who…

Locked down in Jersey City

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Speaker by Mark Anderson
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I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000…

Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a "yes" vote

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters: Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation…

Michael Baker and the Big House

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man…