I'm typing these words from Perth airport, after a wonderful time at the Perth Festival; my Australiasian tour for Walkaway has four more stops to go: tomorrow and Wednesday, I'll be in Melbourne; then it's off to Sydney; the Adelaide Festival; Wellington Writers and Readers Week and Read the rest
I'm about to embark on a tour of Australia and New Zealand to support my novel Walkaway, with stops in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Wellington! I really hope you'll come out and say hello!
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The financial secrecy regimes in New Zealand and the UK create many opportunities for "jurisdictional regulatory arbitrage," playing each system's weaknesses off against the other to operate in near-perfect secrecy, creating companies whose owners are anonymized but still able to cash out the firms' profits -- an enormous boon to fraudsters who run Ponzi schemes and other dodgy enterprises that rely on the UK and New Zealands' reputation as places of good governance and financial uprightness.
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Three cows were spotted huddled on a column of earth this weekend after a 7.5-magnitude quake struck New Zealand. Two people and many animals were killed in the disaster and its aftershocks. Read the rest
Croc Coulter works with an apprentice to revive the lost art of tātatau, traditional tattooing done with sticks and bone. So that's how they made such straight lines in geometric tattoos! Read the rest
Awaroa beach -- which was open to all -- in New Zealand's Abel Tasman National Park was privately held by Michael Spackman (a businessman embroiled in complex financial shenanigans) who had decided to sell it; two New Zealanders, fearing that the new owners would use it as a private beach, started a crowdfunding campaign that raised about NZ$2.3m from some 40,000 people to buy it and donate it to the country's national parks system. Read the rest
Toby Morris (previously) uses animated gifs in his regular cartoon strip for a NZ website; this week, he writes, "I interviewed Hussam, a 16 year old Syrian refugee about how he escaped." Read the rest
A joint report by RNZ, TVNZ and Nicky Hager accuses New Zealand of being at the heart of a gigantic money-laundering operation for the corrupt elites of Latin America. Read the rest
Gave me chills! This epic wedding haka moved a New Zealand bride to tears, and is making everyone on the internet cry, too. Badass as hell. Read the rest
In a huge victory for press freedom, New Zealand’s High Court has ruled decisively in favor of independent journalist Nicky Hager in his case against the New Zealand government for raiding his house and seizing his family’s possessions in 2014. Read the rest
New Zealand's Waitomo Glowworm Caves shimmer with a constellation of glow worms, and Jordan and Jenna from Stoked for Saturday got this gorgeous footage after a lot of trial and error. Read the rest
A seal has taken to wandering a New Zealand suburb, then crashing just wherever. Today it was found sleeping at a local car wash by employees turning up for the morning shift—and it wasn't the creature's first unusual stop-off point.
Laura Walters and Paul Eastern report that the seal was, for the second day, herded into a cage and released on a nearby beach.
It woke up around midday, and waved a flipper at the crowd of about 50 people who were watching. The increased activity prompted Doc staff to move people further away from the lost mammal.Uwash owner Kirit Makan said the seal was the most unusual customer he had encountered at his carwash. … DOC ranger Stefan Sebregts said the seal was the same male that was found wandering on a Papakura street on Monday.
It was likely he came ashore because he was sick of the stormy weather and needed a rest, Sebregts said.
Yesterday, the Papakura seal's first adventure ended in a the occupation of a local's driveway, after a day spent alarming and enchanting passers-by. The New Zealand Herald's Anna Leask reports on efforts to herd the seal back to safety.
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When Danny Yong woke up this morning and found his house surrounded by police and firefighters - he naturally panicked.
"I thought I'd got myself into trouble somehow. Then my flatmates went outside and saw a seal in the driveway," he said.
Unbeknown to Mr Yong, the now-named Papakura Seal had settled into his Coles Cres driveway and was in no hurry to move.
Devin Graham shot this high-energy race down a New Zealand mountain with a boulder-sized Zorb ready to roll over anyone in its path. The key is to dive before it catches you, or plan on a pretty heavy faceplant as it rolls over. Read the rest
New Zealand jeweler Charlie Meaden's OG gamer pieces include these shiny game-controller earrings and the Space Invaders ring, both available in gold or silver. (via Geeky Merch) Read the rest
We went to Oamaru, New Zealand to see the blue penguins (and they were super cute), but it was the town's dedication to Steampunk that really got us fired up.
Sad news from New Zealand. The beautiful smiling cat that appeared briefly in a mangrove swamp on the Google map of Auckland has been euthanized. Read the rest
In 1993, Stanley Williams survived a close-encounter with a volcano. A volcanologist, he was standing on the rim of Colombia's Galeras volcano when it erupted with little warning. Six of his scientific colleagues and three tourists were killed. Williams fled down the mountain's slope — until flying rocks and boulders broke both his legs. With a fractured skull, he managed to stay conscious enough to huddle behind some other large boulders and dodge flying debris until the eruption ended and his grad students rescued him.
Williams and the other scientists were there to study Galeras, and hopefully get a better idea of what signals predicted the onset of eruptions.
This is something we still don't understand well.
While volcanologists have identified some signals — like distinctive patterns of small earthquakes — that increase the likelihood of an oncoming eruption, those signals aren't foolproof predictions. There are still volcanoes like Galeras that give no warning. And volcanoes like Mt. St. Helens. In 2004, that volcano gave signals that it would erupt. And it did. Sort of. The Seattle Times described it as "two small burps and a lava flow". Basically, the signals don't always precede an eruption, and even when they do happen it doesn't tell you much about how big any ensuing eruption will be.
And that presents an interesting question, writes Erik Klemetti at Wired's Eruptions blog. How close to volcanoes should tourists really be? That's a question with real-world applications. This year, New Zealand's White Island volcano has been ... Read the rest