Bruce Leonard Cathie (1930–2013) [Wikipedia; obituary] was a pilot for the New Zealand National Airways Corporation. After a mysterious aerial encounter in 1952, he spent decades plotting UFO sightings, scrutinising ham radio operators, and developing an esoteric theory of reality involving UFOs, a regular worldwide grid system, anti-gravity [content advisory: gratuitous use of Matrix soundtrack], complex mathematics, and the geometric properties of atomic bomb detonations. [more inside]
Extreme airliner landings at Wellington International Airport, New Zealand, 13 January 2012. Extreme airliner landings at Wellington International Airport, New Zealand, 2 January 2013. Extreme airliner landings and takeoffs at Wellington International Airport, New Zealand, 8 September 2012. Extreme airliner landings and takeoffs at Wellington International Airport, New Zealand, 3 July 2013. [All videos via the Airside TV YouTube channel.] [more inside]
An octopus has made a brazen escape from the national aquarium in New Zealand by breaking out of its tank, slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe and disappearing into the sea.
Please drive phone free (SLYT) The New Zealand Transport Authority publishes a PSA about driving phone free. Quirky.
Autonomous vehicles have been extolled as the first step in a new driverless future, and now New Zealand and Domino's Pizza are experimenting with robotic, autonomous pizza delivery. Capable of carrying 10 pizzas and with a 20
mile km range, the Domino's Robotic Unit (DRU), described as "cheeky and endearing," was developed with technology from Marathon Robots, who also produce robotic live-fire targets. No word on whether a combination target-shooting/pizza-delivery unit will be forthcoming.
New Zealanders have begun voting in the second stage of a referendum on whether to change their national flag. The alternatives are between the current flag, with the Union Flag emblem, and a new variant with the iconic Silver Fern. The referendum will run through March 24. Previously.
Wasps are a dangerous introduced pest in New Zealand. Here, a researcher excavates an active German wasp nest by hand. Thrill to the angry buzz of outraged wasps! Recoil as they hurl themselves at the camera! Goggle at the venom splatters! 10 minutes of terrifying yet compelling man on wasp action. [more inside]
The All Blacks today became the first team to defend the Rugby World Cup. After the match a young eight year old fan ran onto the field to join the celebrations and took a heavy tackle from security - what happened next is pure gold.
Forgotten Silver tells the story of pioneering filmmaker Colin McKenzie. This legendary New Zealander created the worlds first colour film and first talking film. He created the first tracking shot and captured footage of a pre-Wright brothers flight. This "documentary" made by Peter Jackson & Costa Botes caused a furore in New Zealand when it was released 20 years ago today. Watch the first 10 Minutes for free. Rent or buy here. [more inside]
Every year, Forest and Bird New Zealand holds a vote for the (New Zealand) Bird of the Year. Will you vote for the cheeky kea, the fantail, the bellbird, the little blue penguin, the famous kakapo, the melodious kokako, the NZ robin, the plucky pukeko, the tui, the curious weka or one of the other contenders?
The eighth Rugby World Cup (@) kicks off tomorrow in England (and Wales), contested by twenty qualifying teams. While the All Blacks are unbackable (5/4) favourites to be the first team to retain Bill, the Cup is equally a celebration of the diverse world rugby family, offering the minnows a chance to pit themselves against the best. [more inside]
Lorde, Flight of the Conchords, Peter Jackson and All Blacks record charity song. Just about every famous New Zealander packed into Neil Finn’s studio for Team Ball Player Thing, a fundraiser for Battens disease research.
New Zealand is considering a new national flag design. The Flag Consideration Project recently published the group of forty flags which made the long list from more than 10000 subscriptions. The official website also has resources on what makes a good flag design; and presents the results of public polling on "What New Zealand stands for." [more inside]
Dawson Tamatea was a teacher at the Palmerston North Boys' High School in New Zealand. When Mr. Tamatea's hearse arrived for the memorial service, the entire school performed the Haka for him.
The Klerksdorp Spheres found near Ottosdal, South Africa, Moqui Marbles from Utah and Arizona, and the Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach on the Otago coast of New Zealand all have something in common: they aren't puzzling ancient artifacts or possibly proof of otherworldly connections, but rather concretions, naturally occurring geologic features that are created in the same fashion as pearls. Archaeology Fantasies debunks the myths of the Klerksdorp Spheres, and also details what is know of the giant stone balls of Costa Rica, which retain some mystery to their creation and purpose. [more inside]
Starting in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Australian Rock strode the earth like a tiny, screaming colossus. Whether Hard Rock (drummer convicted of death threats), Pop Rock (lead singer dead from autoerotic aspyxiation), Pub Rock (lead singer's kids no longer forced to play), or what we'd now call Indie (they broke up, get over it) the 80s was the high water mark in Aus/NZ music history.Then the nineties and naughties ushered in an ero of reality-TV driven drivel... [more inside]
What to do when your country is suffering under a spell of bad luck due to a surfeit of black cats and nobody's winning the lottery jackpot? You send them on holiday to a country where they do bring luck.
Just press the big button in the middle and then the star. Dotty - A short film by New Zealand filmmakers Mick Andrews and Brett O'Gorman.
New Zealand has more gang members per capita than any other country. But the largest is the Mongrel Mob. More than 1 in 10 prisoners is a member. [more inside]
Pictures of a massive Gallipoli diorama at The Great War Exhibition. These are photos of the diorama of the Battle of Chunuk Bair which opened on May 4 at The Great War Exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand. The brainchild of movie director Peter Jackson, the diorama contains 5,000 54mm (about 2 1/4" inches tall) figures. The figures were sculpted by Alan and Michael Perry and painted by volunteers from New Zealand wargaming clubs. This picture gives an idea of the massive scale of the diorama. Detail shots here and here.
Déjà Lu republishes locally-selected scholarly articles from journals connected to regional anthropological associations around the world. The result is a PDF-heavy but fascinating collection of long reads on obscure topics. Via. [more inside]
In a few short hours the final of the Cricket World Cup will be held at the 'G. With some games of the World Cup reaching a billion viewers globally, it has now come down to a dream final between co-hosts Australia, who have won the cup four times, and first time finalists New Zealand. [more inside]
In 2013, New Zealand passed a law creating the world’s first set of regulations to allow the clinical testing and approval of new recreational drugs. Much as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does for medicines, New Zealand’s system stands to create a government-regulated market for legal highs—an attempt to tame the industry not by stamping it out, but by guiding consumers to safe, reliable products, and giving suppliers an incentive to bring such products to market. [more inside]
“I was in London on business in the fall of 2013 when an Australian colleague brought me to a coffee place at Canary Wharf,” says Jason Fox, the global head of product, technology, and program management at Reuters News Agency. “She ordered something called a ‘flat white,’ and I had no idea what it was, but she raved about it, and I got one too. I was hooked.” ("Meet the Flat White, the Coffee Drink Taking the U.S. by Storm", Bon Appétit)
"HVNGRY is an online publication for teen girls (and boys) wanting more from mainstream media. It’s a belly full of inspiration, motivation, passion, power, and taking-over-the-world." [more inside]
Can New Zealand teach the US anything about race?
The US was founded on the idea of freedom and liberty. But freedom and liberty, which might be called the “sacred” values of American society, were exclusive ideas. In the colonial period there was, writes Dee Brown in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, “an almost reverential attitude toward the ideal of personal freedom for those who already had it.” Treaties are the mechanism to extend that freedom and liberty – that is, the right to self determination – to indigenous peoples who were promised it, but do not have full exercise of it.
Blisteringly sexy, she killed Nazis with her bare hands and had a 5 million-franc bounty on her head. That was one of her obituary articles in 2011 and it also called her "the real Charlotte Gray." [more inside]
He does not believe himself to be an exceptional person but now understands that if you push yourself exceptional things can be done.Eight men and one young boy left Bluff, near the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island, on a fishing and mutton-birding trip on the evening of 14 March 2012. Only one man made it back. This is the story of how he survived and his colleagues didn't. [more inside]
Unfortunately it has only just finished, but a a live first-ever autopsy was performed on the second colossal squid ever to be found intact, by the Te Papa and Auckland University of Technology. The first colossal squid to be found is on display at the same university (site down at the moment, possibly due to traffic; archive.org cached site). Direct link to 86 minute Youtube video. Currently there is no word on the disposition of the squid remains.
Whose tradition counts on the basketball courts? The Tall Blacks, New Zealand's basketball team did their new Haka before games with their Turkish opponents turning their backs and the American players looking just confused. Marc Hinton dares to suggest that the Haka, a New Zealand sports tradition for over a century, might not work internationally. The Haka is a Maori chant and dance given before battle to intimidate and challenge your opponents or as a way to mark important occasions. (Also, it's just plain awesome.)
New Zealand's next general election is in September. With the 2011 turnout (74%) the third lowest in a century, political groups are working hard to increase youth enrolment, turnout on the day and political engagement in general. And they're not afraid of using cartoon sheep where necessary. Bonus: record levels of political billboard vandalism.
First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers "On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
You're Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk: "The A1/A2 debate has raged for years in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, but it is still virtually unheard of across the pond. That could soon change..." [more inside]
Homophobia and competitive tickling. Journalist David Farrier explores the "quite weird" world of Competitive Reality Endurance Tickling.
The Kincaid Weekender presents local news, politics, sports, theatre reviews, and keeps you up to date with goings on at the stockyards. A pitch-perfect comedic take on small town New Zealand. Dryer than Flight of the Conchords, subtler than Night Vale. Produced for the 2014 New Zealand Fringe Festival and written by award-worthy comedian Jonny Potts.
A sex worker has been awarded $25,000 as compensation for sexual harassment from her manager. [more inside]