Outnumbered by viruses by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been reading about viruses.  There are trillions of them.  For example, in a litre of sea water a scientist identified 100 billion viruses.  Hundreds of thousands inhabit our bodies, but luckily very few of those have been found to affect us – so far, just 263 out of those hordes.  This is something I did not know, that they are everywhere inside our bodies, in our noses, on our skin, in our lungs, in the gastrointestinal tract, swarms and swarms of them.  A sense of purpose They are not alive. They… Read More

Empathy and sympathy by Angela Caldin

I was pondering the other day on the difference between empathy and sympathy and having a bit of difficulty distinguishing between the two. Empathy, it seems, is a fairly modern concept encompassing the ability to understand emotionally and cognitively what other people feel. It’s the ability to see things from another’s point of view, and imagine yourself in the place of another. In essence, it is putting yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they are feeling. Sympathy, on the other hand, is a feeling of pity or sense of compassion… Read More

Fakery by Susan Grimsdell

Have any of you readers out there seen the video of the Queen doing an excellent TikTok routine?  Who knew she could move like that at the age of 95? Just incredible.  Well, incredible is the word – it’s a fake video going round the world, but it’s completely real in every respect other than that it’s not.  What’s worrying isn’t so much the making fun of our dear old queen, it’s thinking about what else we believe is real when someone has decided to do their best to fool us.  Finding… Read More

Threats to our world by Angela Caldin

There is extreme flooding on the east coast of Australia after a ‘once-in-a-thousand-years’ weather bomb, resulting in buildings, vehicles, roads and bridges being submerged. People climb onto their rooftops and huddle there in groups waiting to be rescued. It is terrible to see such devastation, but I say to myself that I am safe. Not long ago, there were violent storms in England with quaint names like Franklin, Eunice and Dudley which damaged buildings, ripped off rooves, uprooted trees and left homes without power. It is frightening to see this wreckage, but… Read More

Taxing the super rich by Susan Grimsdell

NZ’s richest man, Graeme Hart, got headlines not long ago for donating fishing boats, tractors and a container of breakfast food to Tonga.  Well, good on him, but where was the accompanying headline reporting that he is one of the super rich people who, thanks to a rigged economic system, grew his fortune by $3.4 billion during the Covid pandemic which has caused the worst recession since the 1930s.  Avoidance of tax Recently, Hart lost a tax fight in Chile, a battle he had been fighting in the courts for 6 years. … Read More