Economy  is  a tight spot in airlines. You board with  a middle seat pass and realise that an enormous, bearded man  is in the more coveted aisle seat next to you.  My other flight mate was a pakeha banker. The Fearsome One  didn’t talk until landing cards were handed out. I lamented to  nobody in particular that I  didn’t have a pen.  The banker was watching Dunkirk, but the man from New Guinea’s highlands  began to search  every pocket  unsuccessfully  for a pen. Finally he asked a  stewardess, for one, insisted I use it first, and then as I stowed away  some stereotypes, he said he was a trainee pilot. Even cramped travel  broadens  the mind.

Cook Strait Must Go!

In Stuff they ask the big question: is it time for a Cook Strait bridge or tunnel?

What a grand idea! Imagine being able to drive all the way from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Even if there exists no reason for any sensible person to ever visit Bluff. No, I don’t like oysters, thank you for asking.

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The Human-Induced Earthquake Database (HiQuake)

Who would have thought..?   We’re living on an egg shell and the data in this story from the independent  website (below)  confirms how fragile the planet is while indicating the damage done by us.

Nature magazine says that from mining projects to oil and gas operations, human activity has set off earthquakes around the world and in many geological settings.

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On the buses

When you ride on an  Auckland  bus, there’s no such  thing as a typical ride – not if you’re looking.

The entertainment is  not so much in  the city’s  sport  – that  never-ending version of  upmarket stock cars. A U-turn  perhaps – just in front  of the car speeding towards them? No worries. Drivers  career  backwards out of driveways into busy traffic lanes,  or  exit out of  entrance ways to  shopping centres.  Quite a few fancy  they can beat traffic lights too, often  with  predictable  results.  It’s  Auckland.

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Conquering Stress and Anxiety through Four Natural Ways

These days, we see more and more emphasis on mental health—particularly where topics such as depression, stress, and anxiety are concerned. People are more aware of the psychological aspects that affect and sometimes govern our lives. You see it on campuses and hospitals. You see it in the digital space, such as in social media.

Despite this, it seems many doctors still prefer to treat these mental conditions with drugs.

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Acknowledging the truth

Three things cannot be long hidden – the sun, the moon and the truth!  – Buddha

Have you had a time when someone, be it a colleague or friend who was not quite performing or was behaving in ways that was below par?

And yet you found yourself minimising, negating or making excuses for their behaviour? 

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Sunscreen on armpits?

Yesterday I put roll-on sunscreen on my armpits – somewhere that rarely sees the light — forgot the day of the week when looking up the tide times and couldn’t find my phone. I couldn’t call it since I had left the sound turned off after that disturbing movie about billboards.

Today I found the door left open all night (wide open, not just unlocked) and while cleaning out the cupboard discovered a couple of securely packed boxes labelled “jug” and “milk jug”.  I assume I got them for my sister who likes jugs, but, worryingly, have absolutely no recollection of buying them.

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Knocking out hype…

Boxing promoters tend to tag their talent with silly names like The Brown Bomber (Joe Louis), Iron Mike (Tyson),  The Real Deal (Evander Hollyfield), and perhaps the silliest, Tuaman, (New Zealand’s David Tua).  Boxing is a jarring sport  –  our current brown hope, Joseph  Parker, is about to find out just how jarring.

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Miscellany – February

Artificial intelligence

“We’re a species that… can study our own ability to be manipulated,” said Tristan Harris, a former ‘design ethicist’ at Google.

“We have to talk about the advertising-based business model, which, paired with artificial intelligence, poses an existential threat. We have to get really serious about this. If you think about where are the most powerful AIs in the world located right now? Arguably, at two companies: Google and Facebook. The most powerful AIs in the world.

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Listening to your inner voice…

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. E.E. Cummings

Listen to your inner self!

During our busy year of meeting deadlines and juggling the demands and expectations of others and self, we can be left with little time for meaningful reflection of our lives.

After all, most of our energy is caught up in just keeping things going.

The advantage of the holiday period is that we get to have more relaxed time on our hands and this in turn connects us more to our inner selves.

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Poverty then – and now…

Sometimes the stuff that spills out of  old box files on their way to the bin, are not only worth  remembering, but keeping.

One  we found  was Windows on Poverty, a 1992 Report  from the New Zealand  Council of Christian Social Services on Poverty in New Zealand.  It was well on its way to pile in  one of those  purges we hoarders  are  told  we must do.  But  caught between  the  need to clear  out stuff – and hoard,   we once more hoarded. Why? So  we don’t forget, so we don’t allow it to happen  again. Not in Godzone.

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