Aug
09
0
Akropolis_by_Leo_von_Klenze

Part 1: Sacred Diseases

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

Aug
09
0
A dramatic depiction of an ancient Roman chariot race by Hungarian painter Alexander von Wagner inspired by Lew Wallace's 1880 best-seller Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

A Glib History of Ancient Pandemics

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

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Jun
23
0
A member of Georgia's reformed Politsiya directing traffic in Tbilisi.

How Georgia Abolished its Police

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.

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Jun
03
0
Fan art by US army veteran Matt Klein depicting US soldiers with stormtrooper masks.

American Stormtroopers

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. Read more…

May
10
0
Octopus use specialised skin cells called chromatophores to change colour. These cells also allow them to make changes to the opacity and reflectivity of their body. The shifts can take place in a fraction of a second.

Part 2: Replicants of the Reef

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. Read more…

May
10
0
Japanese macaques live in matrilineal societies with each troop averaging about 41 individuals. In some ways the brains of macaques show more similarities to our own than those of apes and chimpanzees.

Part 1: The Acheulean Sleep

In the closing act of Blade Runner it’s a game of chess that allows the replicant Roy Batty to finally meet his maker.
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Apr
14
0
The undercroft at Elephit House with our friendly Mother Cat. Bonus insta handles on the blackboard for the OG Hawaiians that live upstairs.

Welcome to the Elephit House

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.

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Apr
13
0
Looking up through the rocks near the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island.

Violence in the Aloha State

I knew that Hawaii was part of America but I still didn’t expect it to be so American.
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Mar
02
0
The former pirate radio broadcasting platform that was confiscated by the Dutch government in 1964.  It was salvaged and towed into Amsterdam in 2011 and now serves as an upmarket restaurant.

The Pirates of REM Island

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.
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Jan
25
0
CFC_Collage

Remembering Cummeragunja

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.

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Feb
11
0
jon-hamm-don-draper-mad-men

Banner Blindness

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. Read more…

Nov
09
0
Photo of Schloss Itter taken before the war.

The Battle for Schloss Itter

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

Jul
03
0
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant

Atomkraft? Nein Danke

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.
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Feb
10
0
Jim rests halfway up the Ironbound Range.  In the background you can see the Redpoint Hills that we crossed the previous day.

South Coast Track

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

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Jan
18
0
Sorxwin-Tel-Hamis-Syria-YPJ-Womens-Protection-Units-Guerrilla_Fighters_of_Kurdistan_Joey_L_Photographer_001

The Women of Rojava

Photos by Asmaa Waguih and Joey Lawrence of Kurdish fighters provide a face for a revolution that is quietly taking place behind the front lines of the war with ISIS.

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Dec
28
0
The exposed lava tube inside Red Crater.  The colour of the crater walls is due to extreme heat oxidising the iron content of the rocks.

The Hordes of Mt Doom

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing on New Zealand’s north island has a reputation as one of the most dangerous hikes in the country. On a good day it’s a hard slog across 20km of rock and scree taking you up onto the desolate but spectacular plateau that forms the base of Mt Ngauruhoe.

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Oct
18
0
The Devil's Staircase in the Wonnongatta-Moroko National Park.

The Devil’s Staircase

Despite the spectacular views on offer around Mt Howitt it’s clear from the map that early European explorers had a rough time surveying the region.

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Sep
20
0
A palm tree sapling planted in the middle of an atrium in a construction site just outside Anuradhapura.

Unfinished Business

Our first day on the bikes took us up the west coast from Negombo to Puttallam. It was a busy stretch of road and we were still a few days away from getting comfortable with the traffic so progress was slow.

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Sep
11
0
Pool used by the LTTE to test submarines and train divers for guerrilla warfare.

Sea Tigers of the LTTE

In a lagoon north of Mullaitivu is a gold-painted ‘victory monument’. It presides over the area where the ‘Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam’ (LTTE) made their last stand against the Sri Lankan army in 2009.

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Sep
01
0
Sri Lankan cricket fans at the Australia v Sri Lankan one-day international at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

Riding the Whitewash

It’s hard to know when to visit Sri Lanka. December to April is officially the dry season but the weather conditions are somewhat complex with various monsoon seasons affecting different parts of the island at different times.

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