Helvetica in metal, 1985

This was the back of Mum’s 1985 tax assessment slip from the IRD. Helvetica, in metal. The bold looks a bit narrow: a condensed cut, or just a compromised version because of the machinery used?    Not often seen, since by this time phototypesetting was the norm, though one reason Car magazine was a good […]

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From one émigré to the Lais, leaving Hong Kong for Scotland

This final podcast of 2020 is an unusual one. First, it’s really directed a family I’ve never met: the Lais, who are leaving Hong Kong for Glasgow after the passing of the national security law in the Chinese city, as reported by Reuter. They may never even hear it. But it’s a from-the-heart piece recounting […]

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The Grundig parts’ cache time capsule

When Dad was made redundant from Cory-Wright & Salmon, which had purchased his workplace, Turnbull & Jones, he bought all the Grundig equipment and accessories, thinking that he would find it useful. And for a while he did. The odd one he cannibalized, while the parts were used and adapted. Cory-Wright wound up contracting him […]

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Forget the stereotypes: how immigrants write with English as their second language

How interesting to find a photocopy of a letter my Dad wrote to the Department of Social Welfare in 1986, to apply for National Superannuation on behalf of his parents.    We had been here less than a decade, but, frankly, Dad’s correspondence was always like this. The whole idea of immigrants coming to Aotearoa […]

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Podcast for tonight: behind the scenes on The Panel

For your listening pleasure, here’s tonight’s podcast, with a bit behind the scenes on my first appearance on RNZ’s The Panel as a panellist, and ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ delivered at a more appropriate pace, without me staring at the clock rushing to finish it before the pips for the 4 p.m. news. You may also […]

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You can’t bank on the Wales (or, why I closed our Westpac account)

At some point as a young man, my Dad worked at a bank. He had a formal understanding of finance—despite his schooling being interrupted by the Sino–Japanese War and then by the communist revolution, he managed to get himself a qualification in economics, and had some time working for a bank.    I was taught […]

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Going beyond a blacked-out image: thoughts on Black Lives Matter

View this post on Instagram #blackouttuesday in support of Black Lives Matter. It was the only blacked out media I found on the phone. Recorded in our conservatory one night. A post shared by Jack Yan 甄爵恩 (@jack.yan) on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:39am PDT Usually I find it easier to express myself in written […]

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Live from Level 3

Finally, a podcast (or is it a blogcast, since it’s on my blog?) where I’m not “reacting” to something that Olivia St Redfern has put on her Leisure Lounge series. Here are some musings about where we’re at, now we are at Level 3.    Some of my friends, especially my Natcoll students from 1999–2000, […]

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Light humour, dark copy

I really love Hong Kong 漫畫 or manhua, and found this in one of the boxes from the move.    This was before the days of our having a computer scanner, and I had photocopied it out of a magazine or newspaper. There were years the copier was on the blink and everything would come […]

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COVID-19 per capita update, April 4

Finally found a page where you can order COVID-19 cases by different criteria, including total cases per million. Saves a lot of time trying to figure out where things are. There’s also an entry for the entire planet, which is very useful, as is updating the day at GMT +0. As expected, many small places […]

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