One way to blank out the world is to de-clutter, and downstairs, 25 years of papers awaited the shredder.  Up first, old letters,  some humbling, others hateful. I’d written a column for the Listener which upset those who, to put it mildly, disliked Jews - and the  confluence of  dog-eared hate mail along with the slaughter in  a Pittsburgh synagogue  was disturbing. Worse was to come.  The Otago Daily Times reported  a racist  taunt  aimed at  a Southland Philipino family visiting  Wellington.  A woman greeted them by saying:  ‘This country is for white people only…"  So 1950s, but then racism, like rust, never sleeps.

 

Will you piggy-wig, swear never to tell a Porky…?

Trial_of_PigAuckland lawyer, veterinarian and author has published his new book, Animals, Welfare and the Law. It encompasses ethics, history and the law, so it’s a weighty read for those of us who routinely plough through fiction.   But   Mr Robertson   has not overlooked the dark – but often comical moments in the long history of animals and humans.  Some of these include the criminal trials of animals…

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The Same Sad Story…

stand on the line“The outcome for children in the care of the state may be no better than if they had not been in care at all”. So says the Commissioner for Children’s report on the performance of Child, Youth & Family service.

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Miscellany

Spark and data use per minute

Data is being created all the time without us even noticing it.

Much of what we do every day now happens in the digital realm, leaving an ever-increasing digital trail that can be measured and analysed.

Just how much data  do our  tweets, likes and photo-uploads really generate?

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Never go back?

They say you should never go back or try to recapture the wonder of places and experiences of your youth. But, while not replicating the original, sometimes the passage of time can make the outcome rewarding and interesting.

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Avonside post-quake, picture courtesy of Avonsideblog.org '

Renewal – Christchurch in Spring

Much has changed between my occasional visits to Christchurch in the last four and a half years.

On my first post-earthquakes visit I was awed by wrecked buildings, broken roads, tell-tale see pages that told of cracked water-pipes, portable toilets in the streets, tangles of steel reinforcing on what looked like bomb-sites, barricades, soldiers, and silence in a city echoing sorrow.

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