Monthly archives of “April 2014

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Thin Ice? Climate change in Alexandra and skating on the Manorburn Dam

Growing up in Alexandra (Central Otago, New Zealand) in the early 1970s it was the family thing to go ice skating on the Manorburn Dam, a short drive from town. It was a very social occasion, with heaps of the rest of Alexandra there too,… Read more

Kauri (Agathis) forest in New Zealand
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Attack of the Forest-Killing Fungi (Kauri and the Elm Decline)

New Zealanders are becoming aware of a new threat to their native forests – as if logging, burning, opossums, deer, ferrets, cats, dogs, weren’t enough. This time it’s a fungus (Phytophthora), and it’s attacking our oldest trees – the giant kauris (Agathis). This pest has… Read more

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The Origin of New Zealand in Deep-Time

Anyone who knows anything about New Zealand geology will know that it was once ‘part of Gondwana’. This is true, but how did it become a ‘part’? This is the origin of New Zealand in ‘deep time’. The question was addressed by researchers Li and… Read more

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Continental Déjà Vu – the Great Escarpments (Australia, Brazil, South Africa)

Most Australians and many tourists will be aware of a prominent topographic feature not too far from the east coast. For example, the Blue Mountains are a nice day trip from Sydney, while nearly two and a half thousand kilometres to the north, a visitor… Read more

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Pacifism in New Zealand: A Ruined Life?

My Mum always told me that her father was a Pacifist. As a kid, the information was of-interest, but a little bit so-what? He didn’t believe in fighting. Some years later I came across a couple of old books in our bookcase. These had been… Read more

Hamburg, Christman
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Traditional Christmas in Hamburg

Late 1984, I was booted out of Denmark and hit the next ferry to Puttgarden  (this was a condition of the local cops when they gave my passport back), then hitched my way south through the mist-swathed Northern German Plain towards Hamburg.  Being the old-days, East… Read more