Latest Posts

  • Keep Looking Up
    I chalked up a personal first yesterday; I saw an aurora with my own eyes and it was every bit as remarkable as I could have hoped for. I was not alone in sharing this special moment – anyone outside before midnight without clouds overhead in New Zealand (and, in fact, much of … Continue reading Keep Looking Up
  • A Bigger Sky

    Amongst everything else that happened in 2023 a key anniversary for a landmark in our understanding of the Universe passed largely unnoticed – the centenary of the realisation that not only was our Sun one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy but that our galaxy was one of many galaxies in the Universe.

  • A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

    There is insight in the stories that numbers can tell, and for some of us that insight offers a sense of calm in turbulent times. Which may be why In the midst of this year’s rains I started making graphs of the accumulated rainfall and how it stacked up against previous years.

  • X Marks The Spot

    For now I am taking heart from an adage from Usenet days; that the internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it – new social media sites are popping up aiming to catch the flavour of the old Twitter while perhaps avoiding some of its weaknesses.

  • In space, no one can hear you scream

    We should set ourselves the goal of doing things in space that make people here and elsewhere look up and say, “Wow, the Kiwis are doing that? That’s AWESOME!”

  • Arm The Disruptors

    Last week, Science Twitter was roiled by claims that “disruptive science” was on the wane. The Nature paper that kicked off this storm in our social media teacup is profusely illustrated with graphs and charts. The problem is that it could also be Exhibit A in a demonstration of how data science can generate buzz while remaining largely disconnected from reality.