One of my earliest memories is standing with my father on the balcony of my grandmother’s house in Auckland. “Ma’s House” had a spectacular view northwards, across Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, and the Moon was visible in the early evening sky. Following my eye, my father pointed and said, “I think there are people there at the moment.”
My mother and father – whose own childhoods took place against the backdrop of the Pacific War and the Blitz, respectively – hoped that their children’s lives would be safer and more comfortable than their own. But parents today should have no such illusions about what our children could face in the anthropocene if climate action does not begin right now.
Unlike almost any other form of transport, regular cycling leaves you fitter and healthier than sitting in a car, or a bus or a train. Not only that, Auckland's best cycle paths run through parks and incorporate a series of stunning bridges, so you are likely to arrive at work with a smile on your face.
NASA has an undoubted ability to sell a story, and it has been making the most of the anthropomorphic appeal of this brave little $3 billion, 5 ton, plutonium-powered spacecraft on its two-decade mission. But the hype is not misplaced: Saturn has a key place in the evolving human understanding of the cosmos.
But despite being commonplace, spaceflight is still far from routine. In fact, in the six decades since the Soviet Union started the space race, just eleven nations and the European Union have achieved indigenous launch capability, sending a locally developed rocket into orbit.
The trees are now festooned with signs, banners and a "yarn bomb", while thousands have joined the Save the Western Springs Pohutukawa group on Facebook and the trees themselves are tweeting. [The Lorax asked who would speak for the trees, but now it seems they can tweet for themselves.]
Bolides are like lotteries – the chances of you winning the big prize are small, but the chances that someone, somewhere will win are pretty good. So if you missed last night's fireball, you will wait a long time before seeing another one.
Within the Zen garden, the iconic, Fuji-esque "Moon-Viewing Platform" or Kogetsudai, is a conical mound of sand that stands as high as an adult. Ginkakuji is a World Heritage Site, so the Kogetsudai is almost certainly the world's only UNESCO-listed sandcastle. Unlike a pyramid or a stone temple a sandcastle is an inherently evanescent structure, which must present a challenge to its curators.