Values versus science by Susan Grimsdell

New Zealand has been seeing some pretty scary behaviour from seemingly ordinary people lately.  Government staff have been the target of a torrent of abuse and threats, on social media, in phone calls and by email. This has included death threats and, following up on that, some staff have had the wheel nuts on their cars loosened.   Dead birds have been thrown on the steps of Parliament and thousands of people have marched in fury down the streets of our cities. Predator danger The issue?  Dept of Conservation dropping a poison, referred… Read More

Going round in circles by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve been feeling giddy lately – my brain is spinning, and here’s why.  It has come to my attention, through an amazing book I’ve been reading, that most of the problems of the world – and there are many – are caused by us poor humans not realising that we think in circles and vicious ones to boot. Cause and effect Starting with a very obvious example – black people in America were all slaves at first.  When slavery ended in 1865 do you think black people then started to flock into… Read More

When a comma means so much by Susan Grimsdell

My favourite news item of the year is the one about a comma.  It was all about overtime pay for truck drivers, pay dating back over four years.  Big money was at stake – as much as $10 million. Truck drivers and grammar I love it because I have to confess that I’m one of the “grammar police”: very picky about the way words are used and about things like syntax, apostrophes, and for sure – commas.  So when I heard that the humble comma, placement of, was the key to a… Read More

Saving Cities by Susan Grimsdell

“New York, New York, a wonderful town” goes the song and anyone who’s been there surely agrees completely. One of the best things about New York is that it’s made up of a lot of villages, each with its own character.  Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, Greenwich Village, all of them places where people walk, where the dwellings have their own style, where there’s density of living, lots of shops of every type, noise, people, trees, variety in every aspect.  Talk about wonderful!  I first went there for a weekend at the age… Read More

The wisdom of trees by Susan Grimsdell

Trees are smarter than we think; in fact, smarter than us.  Trees have survived through eons of time.  In contrast, our species is unlikely to survive for very much longer, considering what we are doing to the climate and considering the way we destroy one another in our millions. The need for water Trees, like every living thing, need water.  When you think of all the different conditions trees have to face in order to grow, it’s a bit like our society, where kids are born into different circumstances and have to… Read More