Excuse the rubbish photo but good to see (in the window of the local orchard) my favourite Westie Artist has an exhibition coming up. She has an amazing ability to capture the essence of this dramatic landscape.
April 29 - May 28, West Coast Gallery. Piha
My notes & photos from TEDx Auckland 2015. I only took the phone (for both notes & photos) and was sitting right at the back of the hall so my shots are a bit ‘distant’.
Award-winning scientist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles describes herself as a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast but to others she is “that pink-haired science lady”. She believes that playmakers like Lego should lead the way in stamping out gender-stereotyping in toys.
I know Siouxsie, from Skeptics in the Pub, and had seen her speak before so wasn’t at all surprised she was great. Must be a double edged sword being first up to kick off a big day. Big expectations but the benefit of getting out of the way to enjoy the rest of the speakers. As a life long Lego fan (having Grandparents living on duty free Norfolk Island helped that) I the topic was of interest. I loved the simple solution Siousxie offered, something Lego could, and should, easily implement.
Grant Schofield lives and breathes the motto “be the best you can be”. Through his work as Professor of Public Health and director of the Human Potential Centre at AUT, his focus is on preventing the diseases of modern times, and seeing what it takes to help people live a long, healthy and happy life.
Sometimes complex problems have simple solutions. Public health should involve the public.
Riley Hathaway is a 14-year-old ocean ambassador, who presents her own TV series called ‘Young Ocean Explorers’. In it, Steve and his daughter Riley present captivating stories about what happens when a teenager comes face to face with the marine animals we’re all curious about.
Great message and amazing where a school project can lead.
Shaun Hendy is the founding Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland. Shaun believes that the challenge for New Zealand is to overcome our relatively small and widely dispersed population base and build a city of four million people.
Interesting to compare the culture of patent sharing to some of the patent trolls who hoard and stifle innovation. I wonder, in spite of some awesome examples, if New Zealand will ever get beyond the commodity mentality.
People rush out for coffee at the end of the first session
Steve Pointing is Professor of Applied Ecology at AUT and for over a decade has led an astrobiology research team collaborating with NASA. He has broadened his interests to consider the societal impacts of discovering life on other planets: How will this change our perception of humanity?
Strange leap from potential of alien microbes to the Pope being open to welcoming Aliens!
Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong is currently an eye doctor in Gisborne hospital. In 2014, he founded OphthalmicDocs, an R&D company that focuses on the development of ultra mobile and economical eye tests and diagnostics devices.
As I have fairly poor vision — short sighted, astigmatism and a risk of glaucoma — I know how it would impair life without treatment. Hong Sheng got a deserved standing ovation for a brilliant combination of invention, technological innovation and creative distribution to get affordable health care to people who really need it.
Tom Scott is an award winning political columnist, editorial cartoonist and documentary maker. Some of the films and television dramas he either wrote or co-wrote include Footrot Flats and Tiger Country. He's currently working on a six-part television series on Sir Edmund Hillary.
Have known his work my whole life. Great to hear Tom speak about his work, our world and some of the bizarre things that are considered normal.
Gavin Healy, who is originally from Ireland, will speak about the impact of growing up in a country devastated by centuries of civil war, and how the 5,500 year old spiritual sites that surrounded his childhood home gave him hope...
Some interesting views on the way media is influencing us, maybe our brains. Have been thinking about this myself since the Tibet trip. Both Buddhism and the political oppression combined with media control have impacted a whole society. Maybe (in a different way) the same is happening here.
Billie Jordan established a hip hop dance crew with her elderly neighbours (aged 68 to 96 years old) with the audacious goal of performing at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas within eight months. From that point on, her life and the lives of her dance group changed forever.
Billie and her crew were just awesome. What I found really sad was the prejudice they encountered (from both family and community) which was much more discussed in the AUT Lounge session after.
Hip Hop-eration video
Bailey Wiley filters neo-soul classicism through modern, righteous and true live musicianship. The star of the show is her golden voice – effortless and organic, supported by her raw talented band.
Dale is changing the way we connect online. Her #donate software, developed to make giving easy on social media, is unleashing the next generation of generosity. Her goal is to support the evolution of the human experience with money by creating a generosity-based financial system.
I hadn’t heard of Goodworld and how the #donate tag worked before this talk. A neat way to enable more people to give, breaks through the hassle of giving.
Janette Searle had a life changing conversation that turned into ‘Take My Hands’ a not-for- profit organisation that redistributes prosthetic, orthotic and medical equipment to those in need.
The last note sums it up. A simple idea, connecting a waste problem to a resource shortage, and she made it happen. Brilliant.
Sir Bob Harvey is the Chairman of Waterfront Auckland, has served 6 terms as Mayor of the city of Waitakere and recently published his biography ‘A Life Less Ordinary’. Sir Bob’s involvement in leadership, creativity and his passion for the environment will be the foundation of his TEDx talk.
Bob’s talk really resonated with me. Maybe because I’m a Westie and love the West Coast that was ‘his place’. I don’t live on that coast but would never want to live far from it. I made a point of hanging around to thank him personally for the talk, inspiring.
A futuristically classic sound in a distinctive blend of funky drum rhythms and soulful synthesizers – that is how you can explain the diverse music mix of Sorceress. The duo has evolved into a widely respected soul electronica act with a truly global following.
To be honest, initially had my doubts, then the trumpet came out and the performance soared. Loved it.
Tame Iti will explore the old saying of "Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi" (Dealing with it eye to eye) and how it creates a far more productive space for open dialogue around any issue.
When I saw Tame Iti on the line-up I remembered the underwhelming Willie Jackson session last year. No worries about that as Tame Iti was brilliant. A great message, beautifully delivered.
Max Cryer (MBE) was New Zealand television’s first quiz host and was awarded ‘New Zealand Entertainer of the Year.’ He has an Honours degree in English Literature and Etymology, and for TVNZ he produced over 100 episodes of “University Challenge” and 100 episodes of ‘Mastermind’. [and MC Vaughn in W3
Have known Max’s work my whole life, listen to his Radio Live spot with Graeme Hill every weekend (via the podcast usually), was great to see him live. He didn’t disappoint.
Lisa Matisoo-Smith is the Professor of Biological Anthropology in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago. Her primary area of interest is in looking at the biological evidence for the human settlement of the Pacific.
Had heard of Lisa’s work (I think thanks to G Hill on Radio Live) and interested. A few years ago I submitted my DNA to the National Geographic Genographic Project. The results showed that my (paternal) ancestral DNA left Africa about 60,000 years ago migrating across continents to the U.K. & Western Europe. From there a much more recent migration resulted in me being Kiwi born. It was interesting to hear how Lisa’s work was rewriting, or restoring, the remarkable abilities of the Polynesian settlers.
Michel Tuffery has a deeply held belief in the possibility of art to create connections: "I’m not a social worker, I’m an artist who’s trying to create a conversation".
Interesting to hear how art was used to build community in an area with many social challenges.
There was a strange sky to greet us, the result of a full'ish moon being eclipsed by a cloud!
This was a new venue for TEDx. Although the auditorium was great I thought the lack of foyer space, compared to the previous Aotea Centre, really impacted the ability to circulate and socialise during the breaks. Food, from The Food Truck, was good but they were seriously challenged trying to feed a couple of thousand people in the one hour break. It was fortunate there was no rain, always a risk in Auckland’s changeable climate, as the outdoor areas got a lot of use. In short, a great day but I hope it returns to Aotea next year.
When I saw TEDx Auckland 2014 announced I really wanted to go but was a bit torn. I loved the 2013 event but it meant a precious day of weekend gone. Weekends were crucial as I was trying to get fit for a rather demanding cycle tour in the Himalayas.
The TEDx 2014 theme was ‘Ascending’:
Ascending is about individuals and society rising to a higher level of consciousness.
Ascending is about finding the positives in any situation and building on them to make our lives, community, business and planet better.
As it turned out, the day spent at TEDx may have been the most valuable trip preparation I ever did thanks to Mike Allsop!
The gathering crowds, the Aotea Centre was a near sell-out!
Waiting to Ascend, the stage is set:
While buying my ticket to TEDx Auckland 2014 remembered I’d never gotten around to writing a post about the 2013 event.
Earlier this year there was some flack about TED, prompted it seems by some ‘dubious’ TEDx events. From my experience at TEDx Auckland it certainly wasn’t one of those. The Aotea Centre was full, the speakers uniformly excellent and it covered a wide variety of topics.
In his intro MC @VaughnDavis (below right) made a comment which summed up my TEDx experience. He said with TED on-line you tend to self censor, focus on the familiar, topics of interest. With the live event you can’t and it is a good thing. It was, as he suggested, the unexpected which made a real impression.
For example I’m not a fan of poetry but one memorable session was Grace Taylor’s Rising Voices (Youth poetry movement) and the powerful performances by Marina Alefosio & Brian Gashema. They’d never been on stage before and got a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the full house Aotea Centre audience.
I had heard of Dr Richard Nunns but never seen him lecture. His style was awesome, building from a slow, seemingly rambling, start to an amazing mash up of traditional Maori instrumentals, a string quartet and hip-hop (with King Kapisi). Pity there isn’t a video of that session
Rather than trying to review all the sessions in detail, it was a while ago!, here are the notes I made on the day with a few [added comments]. I’ve added links to the actual presentation page, most of which have videos, if you want to see what inspired them.
The photos are all mine (my TEDx 2013 Album on Flickr). It was nice to be at an event which encouraged photography, tweeting and recording!
Between sessions the foyer included exhibits from some speakers and even live art. Lovenotes, handmade stationery from waste paper, were being made and sold on site. There was also a chance for some to experience Baby X but the queues were too long for me.
If I’d written this soon after TEDx Auckland 2013 I would have said keep an eye on the site for 2014 news. However, the tickets for 2014 are on sale at http://tedxauckland.com with one already sold to me! See you there?
I’ve heard all their podcasts—so expected the typical Radiolab brilliance—but this video of the Radiolab Live tour is amazing. I heard the audio version on Sunday and just watched the video. If you have any interest in science and/or art you must see this.
Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad appear with comedians, musicians, video, that distinctive Radiolab audio mix and ‘live’ dinosaurs to tell of endings which changed our world.
Thanks to everybody who came out to see us on our 21-city tour! We had a blast, and we're so proud of how this show turned out. It's the best thing we've ever done on stage, which is why we're so excited to share a bunch of Apocalyptical video with you! If you didn't get a chance to catch the show in person -- or if you did and want to relive the cataclysmic glory and share it with your friends! -- feast your eyes on these live performances recorded in Seattle. You'll find incontrovertible proof that Robert Krulwich can shake it, that Jad Abumrad is a live-scoring, storytelling super-freak, and that a guitar, drum kit, and upright bass can summon the apocalypse. Plus: dinosaurs, death, destruction, and comedic mayhem. Enjoy
I didn’t know Don Binney but his art, like “Swoop of the Kotare, Wainamu”, made my life better. Thanks and Farewell.
The artist Don Binney has died of a heart attack, aged 72.
He was a professional artist, lecturer, and writer on the arts and was known for his distinctive paintings featuring large, perfectly centred native birds poised over landscapes…
Te Henga, Bethells Beach was one of many West Auckland locations featured in his work.
Back in 2006 I blogged about a collection of articles by one of my favourite writers:
I referred to an article I still have:
I think the finest piece is, the appropriately named, “Their Finest Hour”. I clipped this out of CAR when first published in 1990 as I loved it then.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Phil went on a personal pilgrimage to major landmarks connected with “The greatest aerial campaign in history”. He drove a Red Bentley Mulsanne Turbo which is reviewed along with the history of the places he visits, the events, people and machines. This is far from a dry historical tale as he recounts the experiences of the air-crew, families and children involved.
It’s a pity is only some of the photos from the article, which featured both modern & historical photo’s and lovely watercolour illustrations, made it to the book. That aside it’s a must read in a book of great reads.
If anything the book format is the only weakness. It’s a pity this wasn’t a magazine format book reproducing the articles, with the photos and layout, as first published.
As part of their 50th anniversary Car have published the article on-line, along with images of the original magazine layout and artwork. I totally recommend you read it and be sure to look at the artwork:
Thanks Car, The Finest auto magazine.