Map of New Zealand’s Māori iwi in 1869

This 1869 map of New Zealand’s North Island shows Māori iwi (tribal) boundaries, confiscated land, location of armed police and military bases, and where gold was found. It’s fascinating in many ways, not least because it shows the staggering amount of land confiscated in the Waikato – more than 1.2 million acres. The confiscations were made under the […]

Māori weather and climate indicators – a poster from NIWA

I notice that NIWA, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, has a poster of Māori climate and weather indicators for download on its website. You can either grab the pdf or order a full-sized paid-for poster. The weather (day-to-day state of the atmosphere, varying from minutes to weeks) predictors include: From Te Roroa: The sound […]

What to ask an expert when evaluating scientific research

Five questions to ask experts when you’re evaluating scientific research for a news story. They come from the excellent Desk Guide for Covering Science, which is published by the Science Media Centre New Zealand and free to download. How does this study compare with others that have come before? How does it add to or […]

How to measure the wind: the beauty of the Beaufort Scale

I love the language in the Beaufort Wind Scale as rendered in the 1947 edition of Mapwork and Practical Geography (which I found in a second-hand shop). 6 Strong breeze – large branches in motion; whistling heard in telegraph wires; umbrellas used with difficulty 7 Moderate gale – inconvenience felt when walking against wind 8 […]

Serendip-o-matic led me to these gorgeous images of early New Zealand

Happy to say that some particularly charming results meant I spent more time on Serendip-o-matic than I initially expected. It works like this. Punch in some text – anything you like: a word, phrase, thesis, blog post, essay – and Serendip-o-matic will grab some keywords from your text and run a search on museum, library and […]

After 69-year wait, tar pitch drop finally caught on camera

Hurrah! After 69 years, one of the longest-running laboratory investigations in the world has finally captured the fall of a drop of tar pitch on camera for the first time. A similar, better-known and older experiment in Australia missed filming its latest drop in 2000 because the camera was offline at the time. Read more […]