Opium licking, self-mummification, and whistling trees: Jonathan Drori: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Jonathan Drori loves trees. So much so that he has spent a career working with them as a documentary film maker at the BBC, and on the boards of Kew Gardens in London, and the Eden Project in Cornwall. On a very wet afternoon yesterday in a full auditorium at The Piano for WORD Christchurch…
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Asteroids – friends or foe?

Did you know that 30 June is International Asteroid Day? I didn’t until recently, but when I found out, it prompted me to take a closer look at what asteroids are, and why they’re important, and what I found out was fascinating, but also a bit scary. Asteroids are essentially lumps of rock that orbit…
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Sensors, maps, number crunching, and the Internet of Things: Reflections on the Smart Cities Expo

As the dust settles on Tech Week 2018, which was brilliantly opened in appropriate fashion by our prime minister appearing as a hologram, I thought I’d report back on the Smart Cities Expo, which was held in Christchurch last Monday. This was an opportunity for Christchurch City Council, and their commercial partners, to demonstrate some…
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Science and the city

More than half of the world's population lives in cities, and this number is continuing to rise. As more and more of us are crammed into these cities at ever increasing densities, there is an urgent need for innovative ideas that enable us to live together happily in comfort and good health. To achieve this…
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Digging up the past

New Zealand Archaeology Week runs from 28 April – 6 May, with events up and down the country, including an exhibition courtesy of Underground Overground Archaeology at our own South Library called Pubs of the Past: the archaeology of Victorian Christchurch Hotels, so this seems like a good time to mention some of the archaeological…
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Mutton chops and door knockers, face fungus and designer stubble – Lucinda Hawksley at the Christchurch Art Gallery, WORD Christchurch

Having sported a beard of varying bushiness for many years, I have a longstanding interest in facial hair, so I was delighted to discover that this was the topic of a talk by Lucinda Hawksley at the Christchurch Art Gallery on Sunday, presented by WORD Christchurch. On a rainy Canterbury afternoon an audience of bearded and un-bearded alike…
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The joy of coding

At school in England in the early 1980s I was given the opportunity to join an afterschool computer club. The only problem was that, being the early 1980s, our school didn’t actually have a computer. We had to write our programs in thick, dark pencil on stacks of cards that were taken away to a…
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