Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Monday, February 4, 2019
Twelve years after first publication (in 2007), Island of the Lost is still hovering in the top seller list for books about the sea, including a listing in Amazon's Most Sold Books. So Algonquin, the publishers, have decided to produce a new print edition -- to catch, as they say, the young people who missed the first marketing.
It comes out in August.
Meantime, here is one of the 540 reviews, rated the most helpful by readers.
Sunday, February 3, 2019
A perfect day, no clouds in the sky, no wind, moderate temperatures, and Wellington.
A walk to Moore Wilson's the French-style chacuterie, market, and patisserie, all blended into one busy-one. So we bought truss tomatoes, French brie, and a local baguette, and walked home around the waterfront, where there was a market, all kinds of buzz, and a sense of public happiness.
At home, a bottle of Marlborough sauvignon blanc was opened, and our bounty spread on the table.
Freshly caught flounder at night, with a glass of a light French merlot. All this, and the Black Caps playing the invincible Indians in the stadium.
What more could one want?
Saturday, February 2, 2019
This week marks the 38th anniversary of International Data Privacy Day, which is a great opportunity to pause and consider steps we should all take to enjoy our online experiences safely.
Look, we know that remembering all those user names and passwords is a hassle. So sometimes we try to simplify our lives by using the same user name and password for multiple accounts. I mean, only those non-critical, non-financial accounts, right?
Seriously, wrong. Using the same password for "non-essential" sites creates a trail for scammers to follow.
So it is a good idea to celebrate Data Privacy Day by changing your passwords on all of your accounts.
And what is a good password? Well, it has at least 12 characters, and includes numbers, uppercase (capital) letters and lowercase (small) letters, along with one or two symbols, such as # % or *
The problem is remembering them. A good trick is to make up a sentence that means something to just you. For example "My first car was a Hillman Hunter that had fifteen previous owners and turned out to be a lemon" can turn into "MfcwaHHth15po&totbal" -- which is pretty impenetrable, you must agree.
But, if you have as many passwords as I do, you need a lot of catch phrases. Maybe you can go through all the cars you have owned, or the names of family members with birthdates and hair color. Whatever you choose, it makes it easy to have a little code, that (hopefully) only you can understand. Therefore, if it is cars, your code could be "first" or "fc" for the first one, "second" or "sc" for the second, and so forth.
Nothing is infalliable. But changing your passwords frequently is a good start. So why not start today?
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
In 1769, the great priest-navigator, Tupaia, sailed with Captain James Cook, guiding the Endeavour through the Tahitian Islands, and sharing his privileged knowledge of the Pacific on the rough voyage to New Zealand. There, he mediated between the warlike Maori, who recognized him as a great savant, and the Europeans, saving the officers, scientific complement, and the crew of the ship from the consequences of cultural blunders.
Now, it seems that Australian history might hold an equally impressive figure.
From the BBC
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The lord alone knows how terrible it would have been to voyage in this thing. Steaming right into, or away from, a long crested sea, its heave behavior would be inherently pretty bad, in fact, at some speeds it would move up and down exactly the same distance as the wave height. One turns a faint green at the very thought of it. A visionary by the name of Knapp, however, went ahead and built it.
And this is the story the way Andrew King, of Ottawa Rewind, tells it.
Read the rest to learn how Andrew King discovered its current location ... or thereabouts.
New from Victoria University Press
Shirley Smith: An Examined Life
$40.00MAY 2019Shirley Smith was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, a woman whose lifelong commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality and community service left a profound legacy.
She was born in Wellington in 1916. While her childhood was clouded by loss – her mother died when she was three months old and her beloved father, lawyer and later Supreme Court Judge David Smith, served overseas during the war – she had a privileged upbringing. She studied classics at Oxford University, where she threw herself into social, cultural and political activities. Despite contracting TB and spending months in a Swiss clinic, she graduated with a good Second and an intellectual and moral education that would guide her through the rest of her life.
She returned to New Zealand when war broke out, and taught classics at Victoria and Auckland University Colleges, before marrying eminent economist and public servant Dr W.B. Sutch in 1944, and giving birth to a daughter in 1945. She kept her surname – unusual at the time – and poured her energy into issues of human rights and social causes. She qualified as a lawyer at the age of 40, and in her career of 40 years broke down many barriers, her relationship with the Mongrel Mob epitomising her role as a champion of the marginalised and vulnerable.
In 1974, Bill Sutch was arrested and charged with espionage. After a sensational trial he was acquitted by a jury, but the question of his guilt has never been settled in the court of public opinion. Shirley had reached her own political turning point in 1956, with Khrushchev’s revelations about Stalin and the Hungarian crisis, but she remained loyal to her husband, and the ongoing controversy weighed on her later years.
Shirley Smith: An Examined Life tells the story of a remarkably warm and generous woman, one with a rare gift for frankness, an implacable sense of principle, and a personality of complexity and formidable energy. Her life was shaped by some of the most turbulent currents of the 20th century, and she in turn helped shape her country for the better.
Sarah Gaitanos is the author of The Violinist: Clare Galambos Winter, Holocaust Survivor; Nola Millar: A Theatrical Life; and with Alan Bollard, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the bestseller Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse. Sarah is an independent writer, researcher and oral historian.
Friday, January 25, 2019
According to today's newspapers, cruise ships in New Zealand waters are being asked to dim their night lighting to avoid dazzling seabirds, after a flock of Buller's shearwaters flew into the Pacific Jewel.
It must have been quite a sight that confronted the ship's seamen, at change of watch early in the morning. About 70 birds were prostrate on the decks or flapping around in confusion. Obviously, it was not something the crew wanted the early joggers to see, so the gulls were hastily stowed into some big boxes, which were labelled to hand over to the Department of Conservation when the ship arrived in Auckland.
Not a good move. The panicked birds either pecked each other to death or expired of the heat generated by their crammed bodies. By the time the DOC took over the boxes, over half the complement was dead.
It's not the first time it has happened, apparently. Birds have been crashing into brightly lit fishing trawlers for years, but now, with the huge popularity of the cruise ship trade, the problem has dramatically increased. Not only are the ships numerous at this time of the year, attracting adult birds that are foraging, but they are constantly passing breeding capes and islands, where young birds are still learning to fly.
The cruise ship industry is as concerned about the problem as the conservation people, and so they are working together. According to a news release from the Department of Conservation, practical advice is being issued, describing ways to reduce the amount of light shining out to sea from cruise ships and how to manage the dazzled birds that do land on the ships.
So, when you arrive in your cabin at the start of your next seaborne adventure, expect to be asked to close your curtains at night, and don't be surprised if you find that the decks are quite dimly lit.
Great for romantic trysts, perhaps, and certainly great for the seabirds.