In education, everyone deserves a chance

I am a huge fan of Sir Ken Robinson, the educational expert. This video has been around for a few years, but it’s well worth another watch.    Everyone has the potential within them—so we need ways of encouraging this for every life, rather than suppress them in favour of just the three Rs.   […]

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Let’s improve on the Wellington logo

The city’s new logo—it is not a rebrand if the underlying tenets are the same—has not met with much support.    The next question must be: all right, if we’re all so smart, can we do better?    Ian Apperley and I think we can. Ian approached me yesterday morning to ask whether we should […]

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Staying a step ahead: the economic benefit of gimmicks

Wifi on the waterfront is now a normal part of Wellington life—but in 2009 some felt it was a gimmick. When I proposed free wifi as a campaign policy in 2009, it was seen as gimmicky by some. I wasn’t a serious candidate, some thought. But those ideas that have demand, such as wifi, have […]

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Giving our young people a fair go

Earlier this month, I gave a workshop talk to the Leadership and Development Conference for the New Zealand Chinese Association in Auckland.    I’ve just uploaded the speech notes, and as I did so, I wanted to append a few more thoughts.    The topic was identity—not just branding, but personal identity.    My self-critique […]

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Starting Upstairs, Downstairs this weekend

I know I did this on November 23 on my Tumblr, but I have to share this joke with the Ashes to Ashes fans out there.    Will the opening of Upstairs, Downstairs on Boxing Day on BBC1 (at 9 p.m.) begin with the Alexander Faris theme tune (see also below), or will Keeley Hawes […]

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Even as Liu Xiaobo gets a Nobel prize, Beijing can be smug

As I watched actress Liv Ullmann read Liu Xiaobo’s address, ‘I Have No Enemies’, on BBC World, I was quite moved.    The address is what the Nobel Prize-winning author and intellectual delivered prior to his sentencing by a Red Chinese court for subversion.    What is fascinating is the dignity with which the words […]

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TrueStory: My Christmas at Downstage on the 8th

Some distinguished and famous people, and I as the token undistinguished person, form the cast of TrueStory: My Christmas at Downstage on Wednesday, December 8 at 7.30 p.m. We’re going to talk about our Christmas experiences, and all proceeds are going to the Wellington City Mission.    Host Tim Gordon will be joined by: Dame […]

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Doctor Who’s Christmas ’10 special: US trailer

Matt Smith completes his first calendar year as the Doctor with a Christmas special, inspired by Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Michael Gambon! Best guest star since Bill Nighy. And if that’s Katherine Jenkins, that’s an extra reason to watch this. (Hope she sings, and not the Singing Detective.) You may also like Funny how […]

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A typeface designer’s test of the Opera browser

After my endless complaints about Firefox crashing on Twitter (even with a fresh install, it still crashes multiple times daily—even on the machine where the hard drive was reformatted), I was pointed to Opera 10·63.    I can tell it’s not really designed for anyone who likes type. Here’s how my Twitter page looked, with […]

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Thank goodness I did not have a ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ moment on Saturday

On Saturday, I called then-Councillor, and now Mayor-elect, Celia Wade-Brown to congratulate her. I felt sure that the special votes would see her ushered in, and in my Sky TV interview that night, I stated much the same: I would offer our new Mayor my support for programmes that would benefit the people of Wellington. […]

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