The killing of women by Susan Grimsdell

There was a double-page spread in the Herald recently: 19 photos of women’s faces.  Underneath, the article explained that they were women who had been killed in the past decade, 2011 – 2021. The actual total was 158, but that’s too many for the paper to print photos.  Men get murdered too, but 75% of murder victims are female. Death by tiger Later I listened to a radio programme about tigers.  There are about 3900 left in the wild in the world, all in Asia, including in parts of China, India and… Read More

Under a pohutukawa tree by Susan Grimsdell

Auckland’s largest pohutukawa tree and perhaps the oldest, as it’s thought to be at least 170 years old, is in Dove Myer Robinson Park.  It’s a wonderful sight to see, and I advise anyone reading this to go there and gaze up at it in awe because it’s not going to be there much longer.  It lives on the edge of the footprint set aside for the memorial to the people who died in the Erebus air disaster in Antarctica in 1979.  Lack of protection The roots of pohutukawa trees are vulnerable… Read More

Calling bluffs by Susan Grimsdell

No jab no job There are places where you can find true information, based on well-designed impartial research, rather than fake, so-called information, based on people’s opinions and gut reactions.  For example, we hear a lot of people yelling that they would quit their jobs if the “no jab no job” policy goes ahead.  When it comes to the crunch however, people seem to have second thoughts, most of them take a closer look at their household budgets alongside their pay packets, and lo – their carefully contrived objections to the vaccine… Read More

Modem installation barriers by Susan Grimsdell

Language barrier Recently my modem played up and, on phoning Orcon, I was told that it needed replacing.  Quite magical that they can check it at a distance like that.  OK, new modem arrives – just swap it over, what could be simpler than that.  I’m not stupid – I can read instructions and follow pictures on a diagram.  Well, yes, I can read instructions when they’re in English.  What about “plug the small end of the ethernet cable into the port on the filter”.  “Ethernet” – which dictionary has that word… Read More

Being a good bloke by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a programme on BBC called the Kindness Test designed to show the level of kindness in the general population.  The questions are along the lines of “Would you go to someone’s aid if you could see they needed help?” or “Do you hold doors open for other people?” “Do you give to charity?” “Do you volunteer?” and so on.  Now I grant that kindness is a difficult thing to measure, but I contacted the researchers to suggest that superficial small acts of kindness are not really an indication of the underlying… Read More