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A watermelon is never simply a watermelon

Contrary to what you might think, watermelons looked very different (and probably tasted better) in the Renaissance compared to today. Why exactly? Farming practices have changed and genetically modified food has modified the humble watermelon out of its original state of being. Take a look at this renaissance painting by Giovanni Stanci, courtesy of Christies…

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Auckland: Reclaiming the city for pedestrians and cyclists

I got something in the mail the other day. A planned new cycleway running down one of the main streets of Auckland CBD, Nelson st and then criss-crossing all over the city. This is music to my ears as Auckland has to be one of the noisiest and congested cities in this part of the…

British Roundabout Obsessions and The Battle of Hastings

British Roundabout Porn and The Battle of Hastings

In Britain there is a unique subset of people who are fascinated and obsessed with roundabouts. Not your average concrete roundabouts with some paving or a few weeds in the middle. But rather your fancy, pond or windmill in the centre roundabouts. A few years back, the Time Team revealed that a key point in the…

Ethical Fashion Part 1: The Definitive 2015 Report

Ethical Fashion Part 1: The Definitive 2015 Report

What is the true cost of the clothes we wear? This is a question posed in the much-needed expose documentary about fashion and textile production in the Third World - True Cost, watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaGp5_Sfbss Watching this documentary about fast fashion, it got me thinking about where I source my clothing from. I…

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse

The story of a mysterious mermaid in Milford Haven 1795 A.D.

The 18th century was a time of British exploration, rapidly growing technology and restless souls wanting to travel. Many people from the well-to-do class including a woman called Mrs. Morgan wrote of her adventures and then had it all conveniently bundled, printed and distributed as Mrs. Morgan's Tour of Milford Haven, published in 1795 and then…

What's Your Favourite Smell? Mine Is Petrichor

What’s Your Favourite Smell? Mine Is Petrichor

So basically, the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) in Australia have invented a truckload of good things. Insect repellent was one - out of necessity in  Australia no doubt. Polymer banknotes was another, and so was WiFi. But probably their most esoteric and weird invention was a word to describe a smell. Petrichor.…

What The Heck is Electronic Mail? Asks Ad From 1977

What The Heck is Electronic Mail? Asks Ad From 1977

Global technology company Honeywell is still alive and kicking in 2015 but in 1977 the idea of electronic mail was certainly novel and almost unfathomable. It's so fascinating to see how previous decades, what's unimaginable in our daily lives becomes commonplace. And everyday objects that were commonplace fade to black and become pieces of quaint…

The USA along with 23 other countries say “Yes” to Love

Today is a monumental day for people in the USA, with the supreme court ruling in favour of same sex marriage. The battle was long and at times filled with frustrations. But with the world such an overall shitty place lately, I think it's so important that we embrace events like this that give a…

Treasures to Love and Adore: Smith Journal

Treasures to Love and Adore: Smith Journal

In the magazine publishing world nowadays, it takes a good deal of creativity and originality to be able to stand out and make revenue.  This Australian magazine is built upon solid foundations of authenticity. From cover to cover it's high quality. What makes it so great is there is a subtle harmony of beautiful design…

Geological Marvel, Art or Book? You Be The Judge!

Ancient Mineral, Art or Book?

San Fran based artist Alexis Arnold has managed to reimagine National Geographic magazines with the use of Borax crystals for a strange geological marvel of colourful striations. Glittering crystals are alive and growing on the gradients of colour, turning them from mere functional books to something akin to living art and also uncannily like a…

Technobiophilia and why our digital lives don’t need to be frantic

According to Author Sue Thomas who wrote the book Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace there's an intimate relationship between the language we use online: clouds, rivers, streams, viruses, and bugs and the way that we use our devices to reconnect with nature. According to Thomas, technobiophilia is the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear…

Lapland Over Four Splendid Seasons

Lapland Over Four Splendid Seasons

Lapland straddles the northern-most regions within Sweden and Finland. Yet this place is more than merely the legendary hideout of Santa, it sparkles all year round with serene natural beauty. Whatever the reason and whatever the season, you should go there. Spring The spring in Lapland is brief and boisterous, with many creatures all clamouring to…

A Beautiful Proposed Flag for Planet Earth (and also New Zealand's new flag)

A Beautiful Proposed Flag for Planet Earth (and also New Zealand’s new flag)

While New Zealand looks to the general public for suggestions for our country's new flag, the entire world got a taster for a proposed Entire Earth Flag at the same time. Twitter was all aflurry (a word? it is now) with people's helpful and dodgy suggestions. So before I show you an aesthetically-pleasing design for…

Supermodels from the 90's: Nostalgia and Mortality Smack-Down in 5,4,3,2...

Supermodels from the 90’s: Nostalgia and Mortality Smack-Down in 5,4,3,2…

1995 to 2015: Fashion Goes Full Circle When I was a teen in the 90's, the hair was fluorescent, the patterns were dark plaid and the lipstick was dark purple. Large, overexaggerated sunflower prints on shift dresses were in - a nod towards the 60s. All of these trends have reached their zenith yet again…

Rediscovering the World's Fair in 1939, New York

The World of Tomorrow – Yesterday: The World’s Fair in 1939, New York

This  bright bold fold-out map from the World's Fair in 1939 along with postcards, pictures and a documentary speak volumes about a new optimism following the bleakness of the Depression and a blind faith in technology and all of the hopes and possibilities of the future. Click image to see larger detailed version. Watch an…

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts: Cheeky Fruit and Veg Boxes by Australian Farmers

A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts: Cheeky Fruit and Veg Boxes by Australian Farmers

A word of warning: fruit and vegetable packaging in Australia is bright, risque, cheeky and just plain weird. Some feature cheeky innuendo like the upturned erect bananas on Dicko's Bananas or a box of melons with a buxom 50's babe on the box. Others are verge on hallucinogenic, like Dimbulah's Srhoj Citrus featuring happy-faced citrus fruits…