Good luck or good management by Susan Grimsdell

I always find it strange that people who are incredibly lucky and end up with a disproportionate share of the nation’s total wealth, hardly ever attribute any part of their success to luck.  In fact, if you tell successful people they have been lucky it makes them angry and defensive. They believe their success is entirely the result of their own talent and hard work.  Luck breeds success However, there’s a body of research that shows the opposite, that there is a strict correlation between luck and success and in fact the… Read More

Lead poisoning by Susan Grimsdell

In children’s story books you’re never in any doubt over who are the baddies.  Just looking at the pictures makes you shiver in your shoes and gives kids nightmares.  In real life, unfortunately, it’s impossible to pick them out.   I was reminded of this when I recently read Bill Bryson’s account of lead, as in lead-based paint, and especially, lead-based petrol.  Lead is bad news.  It accumulates in the body and causes all sorts of problems, to the brain, the kidneys, the nervous system, just about everything in fact, in adults, and… Read More

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

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

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