Mapping things 1: dogs ‘n kids

I was incredibly fortunate to be able to¬†attend Open Data Day* last week in Christchurch. While there, the very awesome @kayakr (Jonathan Hunt) gave an unconference session on how to build APIs from static webpages**. After some playing around with a table I got from the Wellington City Council of inland offleash dog areas, I […]

Calling All to the Night of the Nerds

As some of you may know, for the last 4+ years I’ve been organising and hosting a wee event here in Wellington called Nerd Nite (you guessed it) Wellington. I’ve made mention of it occasionally here¬†over the last few years, and today seemed as good a day as any to mention it again! For two […]

Winners of 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge announced

And my goodness but there are some stunners this year. As readers of this blog will know, I’m something of a fan of data visualisation, and this year’s competition winners have a great deal to offer, in categories from games to video, posters and more. It’s difficult to pick a favourite, but I did want […]

Countdown: I love this liftoff

It’s an insane day for space stuff! Stephen Hawking is boldly claiming ‘there are no black holes‘* – and this from the chap who proposed Hawking radiation :P Astronomers have discovered an ‘ultramassive’ black hole: one of the most powerful objects ever found. The ‘cosmic web’ – filaments of gas connecting galaxies across the darkest […]

Spellbinding: Computers Watching Movies

Artist Benjamin Grosser has done some utterly fascinating – given us a new perspective on, well, our perception by showing us how computers ‘watch’ movies. The outcome is stunning. Each movie used – from Taxi Driver to The Matrix, Space 2001 to American Beauty – shows a strikingly different pattern. They come from software, written […]

Classifying plankton: more fun than you might think

One of my favourite things to do with this blog these days is to catalogue/chronicle awesome citizen science initiatives. And there’s a new one! And it’s lots of fun! In Plankton Portal, you get to help identify plankton from images taken . I’ve just started playing, and so far it’s actually trickier than it looks, […]

Where does NZ rank in the Global Innovation Index 2013?

How innovative would you say New Zealand is, comparatively? Well, we have an answer, according to the Global Innovation Index 2013 – produced (since 2007) by economists from Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization. This year, the report looks at 142 countries from Zimbabwe to Switzerland. Together, these countries represent almost […]

Meet the newest members of our family

Our family just keeps growing and growing. In addition to me and Partner, there’s Beefcake, Monster and (very recently) Hank, the motorbikes. And of course Derek, the car. Leviathan, my bicycle, is on long term loan, but we haven’t forgotten it, heh. And now? I’d like to introduce you to Tim, Hippolyta, Mary-Sue and Pip […]

My Skeptics Conference 2013 talk and slides – ‘Nerds, nerds everywhere’

The weekend just passed saw the annual NZ Skeptics Conference 2013, held in my home town of Wellington. The theme was around science communication, and speakers featured such stars as Pamela Gay and Kylie Sturgess, as well as local speakers such as Martin Manning and fellow Scibloggers Siouxise Wiles and Elf Eldridge. For some unfathomable […]