Recent Posts

Towards the referendum: this might actually be a trend

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Back at the beginning of April, when we had much else on our minds, I wrote this post urging some caution in interpreting the results of the latest Horizon poll, conducted in February, on voting intentions in this year's cannabis…

Views June 27: Five Chasers are better than one

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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SATURDAY JUNE 27 Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art (Sky Arts, Sky 017, 8.00pm). There was graffiti before Banksy, but perhaps his pungent political messages hit home a bit harder. Anyways, a doco about his influence on street art…

Parliamentary bungling? But by whom?

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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There have been a number of articles written about the voting in the final statges of the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill, during which National MPs voted alongside the Green Party to force a change that would prevent…

Views June 20: Savage and Eddyfying

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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Painting, Lego, honey and a lawyer. SATURDAY JUNE 20 Landscape Artist of the Year (Prime, 6.00pm). Want to literally watch paint dry? Stephen Mangan and Joan Bakewell begin the quest for a new British landscape artist in Yorkshire. Great British…

Cannabis research: there's a lot of it about!

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I try my best to know what I don't understand, and one of the things I know is that meta analyses and evidence reviews are difficult for lay people to assess. The merging of data from multiple sources is complex…

Views of the Week June 13

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Radiation by Fiona Rae
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SATURDAY JUNE 13 Exhibition on Screen: Van Gogh & Japan (Sky Arts, Sky 020, 8.00pm). One of those 8K tellys would be awesome for this Exhibition on Screen doco about the influence of Japanese art on Van Gogh. It seems so…

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
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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…