Ancient Australian megafauna: Procoptodon goliah

I don't know about you, but large Australian mammals and marsupials have got a special place in my heart. However of all of the large beasties to have lurched around in Terra Nullus I am most besotted with animals that have long ago passed into the dusts of yesteryear such as the behemoth 200 kilo…

Today is the day that terrorism came to New Zealand

Today is the day that terrorism came to New Zealand

I was just thinking the other day how innocent, easy-going and care-free New Zealand feels when you walk around in Wellington, compared to cities in Australia. I was thinking how much safer New Zealand feels, at least for me, compared to Australia. Today is the day that terrorism and its associated paranoia, fear and sense…

Looking down on epic Wellington from Mt Kaukau

Procrastination…argh!

I set myself some daily/long-term goals on a whiteboard earlier this year. They were as follows: To practice 10 units of Polish daily on Duolingo (prior to going to Poland in a month). To finish producing 20 or so videos from my previous trip to Japan (before April). To finish the first draft of a…

Book Review: She Rises by Kate Worsley

Book Review: She Rises by Kate Worsley

*Contains no spoilers. She Rises is an erotic, sea-faring adventure by debut novelist Kate Worsley. Under the tutelage of mentor and maven of the historical novel Sarah Waters, Kate Worsley has created a beautifully sculpted jewel of a novel set in an Essex fishing village in 1740. A word to the wise, the book is…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Tamaki Drive at Night

I have a complicated relationship with Auckland. Over the past five years since we moved here, the city has become a bloated, enormous metropolis which simply cannot sustain its ever-growing population. Essentials like roads, public transport, health care and housing have fallen apart at the seams in Auckland leading us to head south and away…

Ginkaku-Ji temple gardens, Kyoto © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.co

Ancient word of the day: Apricity

Apricity was a term originally coined by English lexicographer Henry Cockeram to denote the "the warmeness of the Sunne in Winter". This photo I took during a particularly chilling end of autumn day in Japan in Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto. Note how the sun falls in cascades of enveloping warmth onto the golden tinged leaves. Apricity…

Poetry and music from the film 'Wings of Desire' (Der Himmel uber Berlin)

Poetry and music from the film ‘Wings of Desire’ (Der Himmel uber Berlin)

One of my favourite films of all time is the Wim Wenders film The Wings of Desire known in German as Der Himmel uber Berlin. It won the Best Film at Cannes in 1987. Some of the magic  of this film comes from the music (Nick Cave, U2), the acting (Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin) and…

Book Review: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Hariri

Most people are either not aware or don't care that the most pressing and revolutionary change in our world is right on our doorstep. The advance and rise of the machines. This is a book that tells the story of what happens next with the human species based on what came before and the technological…

Ten Great 'Old Man' Insults

Top Ten Greatest Old Man Insults

Put the kettle on and start eating some water crackers with lard on them. Just to get in the mood for this one... Nincompoop: Is said to come from the Latin legal and medical term Non Compos Mentis meaning 'not of sound mind'. This evolved into nincompoop meaning a stupid or dumb person. Flibbertigibbet: A flighty…

The Most Exquisite Tiny Books in the World

For all of the bookworms, here are some of the most exquisitely rendered miniature books in the world. As a warm up, here's a picture of the bombed-out Holland House library in London during WW2. The message was loud and clear. Readers won't be perturbed from doing what they love, no matter what else is…

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

What is Chirimen? Chirimen is a beautiful and intricate weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan. Silk is folded to generate soft wrinkles in a technique called chirimen. According to a pamphlet I picked up from the Chirimen Craft Museum in Arashiyama, “the wrinkles are created by alternating two types…

The beautiful poetry of the Maori/Polynesian Star Compass - Atea a Rangi

Atea a Rangi: Star Maps of the Maori and Pacific Peoples

In the past, I've written about Maori sea navigation by the stars and the legend of Matariki. Although nothing prepared me for the utterly beautiful Maori star compass which has been carved and placed on a remote and wild beach in the Hawkes Bay, between Hastings and Napier. The Star Compass - Atea a Rangi…

Asakusa, Tokyo by Night. Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: Cosy Asakusa, Tokyo by night

You know when you just come across something so ridiculously photogenic on the street that you have to photograph it....this was one of these moments. As I have a strange and enduring obsession with all things neon, wandering around Tokyo at night taking photos is my ideal heaven. Asakusa, Tokyo by Night. Copyright © Content…

Day in the life: Facebook is destroying our understanding of normal life

Wild Woman Quote: Who We Used to Be

I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who…

Finding the flow with writing and polishing a raw piece of meat into a powerful monster

A letter to my great great grandchild in the year 2150

You don't exist here on earth in the present moment of the 17th of February 2019. I am not sure if you ever will exist on this earthly plane either. Who knows what the future will bring or if the planet will still be harbouring Homo sapiens 100 years from now.

Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

When it comes to design - the Victorians did it better. Nothing quite matches these 19th Century comparative river and mountain maps for exquisite hand-drawn detail, meticulous scale and luminous beauty. It makes me wonder, how can anyone not love old maps? A New Cartographic Convention One of the forerunners for this kind of map…

Kanpai in Asakusa, Tokyo Japan Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.co

Every picture tells a story: Kanpai in Asakusa, Tokyo

As darkness falls over Asakusa in Tokyo, loads of locals who have just finished work head to their favourite local restaurant for some amazing and succulent ramen. A lady brandishes a treat in the air and makes her Chiba Inu jump and twirl for the entertainment of passers-by. Salarymen and tourists on their third or…

Kyoto river boat ride adventure by Content Catnip TV

Kyoto river boat ride adventure by Content Catnip TV

Arashiyama is a charming little town just on the outskirts of Kyoto that features a lot of highly regarded UNESCO Heritage sites such as the Kinkaku-Ji temple. Although we found that surprisingly the most enjoyable activity was simply floating along the river in an old wooden boat and being guided by two funny guys, along…