Shell Games

Mark Hutchinson

The surprising and somewhat tortuous etymology behind the English words for tortoises, turtles and terrapins.

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Jun
27
2021
Parrot Corridors Daniel Pendavingh 27.06.21

A brief look at the increasingly rare Superb Parrot and its unlikely ecological niche.

Feb
11
2021
Tushetian Cowboys Joe Harrison 11.02.21

Reflections from a foray into the highlands of Georgia.

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Feb
04
2021
The Digital Swamp Richard Pendavingh 04.02.21

How our metaphors for the internet determine success and failure in the messy world of software design.

Jan
16
2021
Old-Fashioned Chromium Richard Pendavingh 16.01.21

In this edition of ‘do as Richard says, not as Richard does’ we look at Morocco’s traditional leather industry and I’ll explain why you shouldn’t accept invites to medieval sweatshops.

Sep
15
2020
Nonessential Workers of the World Unite! Richard Pendavingh 15.09.20

One of the first things I did after finishing my undergraduate degree in media studies was watch the whole industry of journalism collapse in on itself like a rotting shack held together by ivy.

Aug
29
2020
The Endless Winter Richard Pendavingh 29.08.20

When Amy and I visited Hawaii we discovered that, even on an island, surf is never guaranteed.

Aug
09
2020
Part 1: Sacred Diseases Richard Pendavingh 09.08.20

As the Covid infections have ticked upwards and lockdowns have dragged on there’s been plenty of time to dwell on our current situation.

Aug
09
2020
A Glib History of Ancient Pandemics Richard Pendavingh 09.08.20

Wherein I draw tenuous connections between the current Coronavirus shemozzle and the great pandemics of the ancient world.

Jun
23
2020
How Georgia Abolished its Police Richard Pendavingh 23.06.20

The police were the first Georgians I met. Arriving in the capital, Tbilisi, at ten to midnight there were police officers waiting on the tarmac.

Jun
03
2020
American Stormtroopers Richard Pendavingh 03.06.20

Back in 2015 Amazon unveiled a promotional campaign for their TV adaptation of Philip K. Dick's famous novel The Man in the High Castle.

May
10
2020
Part 2: Replicants of the Reef Richard Pendavingh 10.05.20

On a rocky stretch of coastline on Hawaii’s Big Island a group of marine biologists are studying the lifecycle of the octopus - a creature that lives fast and dies young.

May
10
2020
Part 1: The Acheulean Sleep Richard Pendavingh 10.05.20

In the closing act of Blade Runner it’s a game of chess that allows the replicant Roy Batty to finally meet his maker.

Apr
14
2020
Welcome to the Elephit House Richard Pendavingh 14.04.20

I knew it was going to be bad. I'd read all the one and two star reviews and looked at the pictures of weird murals and overgrown gardens but I kept circling back to the listing every time I looked for accommodation on Kauai.

Apr
13
2020
Violence in the Aloha State Richard Pendavingh 13.04.20

I knew that Hawaii was part of America but I still didn't expect it to be so American.

Mar
02
2020
The Pirates of REM Island Richard Pendavingh 02.03.20

On a cold day in December in 1964 three helicopters belonging to the Royal Dutch Navy set out across the north sea towards a tiny speck in the ocean about ten kilometers west of Noordwijk on the Dutch coast.

Jan
25
2020
Remembering Cummeragunja Richard Pendavingh 25.01.20

Studying Australian history often feels more like uncovering some sprawling conspiracy. Buried underneath all the accounts of white explorers, convicts, bushrangers, miners and diggers is a vast bedrock of black history. The more you dig the more connections you find but the full story always seems to remain hidden.

Feb
11
2019
Banner Blindness Richard Pendavingh 11.02.19

In movies about conspiracies there’s always a moment when the main character finds the clue in the stack of evidence and rushes off to tell someone.

Nov
09
2018
The Battle for Schloss Itter Richard Pendavingh 09.11.18

Tucked away on a forested hillside in Austria’s Tyrolean alps is a château called Itter with a long history and one remarkable footnote.

Jul
03
2018
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Atomkraft? Nein Danke Richard Pendavingh 03.07.18

As a nation with a large reserve of uranium but no nuclear energy industry Australia is periodically subject to op-ed pieces designed to drum up support for a domestic nuclear power industry.

Feb
10
2017
South Coast Track Richard Pendavingh 10.02.17

Tasmania's southern coastline is one of the most wild and remote parts of Australia