A brief and enchanting history of Australian milk bars

Originally the concept of the milk bar in America was also a spin-off from the ever-popular apotheke-style pharmacists who dispensed medicines and often refreshing milk-infused tinctures to waiting customers. The customers often milled around or sat on bar stools at a long galley-style counter top. Originally, the pharmacists mixed the medicine with their backs turned… Read More A brief and enchanting history of Australian milk bars

The Viking Imagination: Medieval Cartography of Scandinavia

Just because I love cartography, here’s a couple of remarkable Scandanavian medieval maps. Note the dominance of several kraken and sea monsters off the Norwegian coast and how each country is barely hanging on by a thread because of these menacing beasts. Here be magic, Vikings and mysterious beasts. Velleius Islandia by Abraham Ortellius (1603)… Read More The Viking Imagination: Medieval Cartography of Scandinavia

Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors

In this series of podcasts, Australian writer and broadcaster Richard Fidler and his friend, Icelandic writer Kári Gíslason travel to Iceland to regail us with the stories of the ancient Vikings; tales of blood feuds, dangerous women, fugitives and warrior poets. They also go to the windswept country to discover more about Kari’s own mysterious origins.… Read More Medieval Icelandic Sagas: Tales of Blood Feuds, Dangerous Women and Warriors

The Sensual World of The Unseen By Photographer Duane Michals

Photographer Duane Michals pushes the boundaries of photography with evocative, erotic and sensual images. I’ve written about Polish poet Anna Świrszczyńska before, she also has a similar aesthetic. I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody’s face in a photograph.… Read More The Sensual World of The Unseen By Photographer Duane Michals

The cosmic beauty of Cate Le Bon’s music will stick to you like lichen

Cate Le Bon is a bit like a remixed, post-post-post modern love child of Bjork and David Byrne. She hails from Carmarthenshire in Wales, a sleepy part of Britain with a lot of fond memories in my heart. There’s a gentle tinkling and slow-burn epicness to this LP ‘Mug Museum’ from 2013, which latches onto you… Read More The cosmic beauty of Cate Le Bon’s music will stick to you like lichen

Nick Cave’s new album: Skeleton Tree and the film ‘One More Time With Feeling’

Possibly one of the most  brave and bold things that you could do after the sudden and tragic loss of a son is to create a new album. That’s what Nick Cave has done this past week. I saw Nick Cave in Melbourne a few years ago and it was truly the most remarkable concert… Read More Nick Cave’s new album: Skeleton Tree and the film ‘One More Time With Feeling’

The magic of Matariki and Māori winter sea navigation

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. In Aotearoa Matariki rises in mid-winter–late May or early June.  It traditionally heralds winter solistice in New Zealand or the Māori new year. Matariki translates to the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth,… Read More The magic of Matariki and Māori winter sea navigation

Walter Kronkite: The Promise of the 21st Century’s Bounty (1967)

Quaint, hopeful and at times creepily accurate. This story with Walter Kronkite is just fascinating, as a historical artifact, and also to see just how many of these ideas actually came to fruition and how far beyond these simple ways of living we have come. “The domestication of the computer is upon us”. And what a… Read More Walter Kronkite: The Promise of the 21st Century’s Bounty (1967)