Book Review: The Sky Atlas by Edward Brooke Hitching

* No Spoilers Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Edward Brooke Hitching, history-hound, lover of quirky things and writer for the ever-popular and erudite quiz show QI, has written The Sky Atlas. A treasury and history of some of humankind’s most beautiful maps and charts. Yet this book is more than that, it’s a sparkling and glittering array ofContinue reading “Book Review: The Sky Atlas by Edward Brooke Hitching”

Words and Music: Earth the slumbering pūriri

In the Beginning Earth Breath on me Earth the cool breath of life Earth the slumbering pūriri Earth the misty valley Earth the departed sun Earth the tingling blue sky Earth the dark sheen of a woman river Earth the mottling tides tumbling ashore Earth the sweeping godwits Earth our home Earth the giving landContinue reading “Words and Music: Earth the slumbering pūriri”

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

* No Spoilers Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Lost Wisdom and its two other companion books Lost Crafts and Lost Lore are beautifully typeset and laid out. Their contents are a cabinet of curiosities – a wunderkammer of the same sort as the Book of Barely Imagined Beings, which I have mentioned in the past. Although in thisContinue reading “Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner”

Six Quirky Facts About Red Pandas

Red pandas are sweet looking, unobtrusive and stunning mammals that live in the mountainous forests in the Himalayas. With their lustrous and vibrant reddish brown fur and round sweet faces; they have the vague appearance of a fox rather than a Giant Panda. Here’s more about a mysterious animal that my boyfriend and I fellContinue reading “Six Quirky Facts About Red Pandas”

Map Porn Part 2: The Most Beautiful Geological Maps on Earth

Where Art Meets Science Scientific visualisations often can look just like objects of visual art. The previous installation of this series, there were topographical surveys visualised on both our moon and Jupiter’s moon. This time, we are focusing on our own Pale Blue Dot. These maps are not only utilitarian and functional, they are worksContinue reading “Map Porn Part 2: The Most Beautiful Geological Maps on Earth”

The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand

Here is another rough diamond plucked from the caverns of Content Catnip’s vault, this post from 2014 and resuscitated for your enjoyment. I still love megafauna just as much, even now. Introducing the Sky Bastard who once sparked universal terror in the hearts of my Māori ancestors. Common Name: Haast’s Eagle Scientific Name: Harpagornis moorei (DiscoveredContinue reading “The Sky Bastard Who Ate My Ancestors in New Zealand”

Eight Quirky Facts About The Kea: NZ’s Alpine Trickster

Kea Nestor notabilis are an endemic parrot of the South Island of New Zealand. Playful, inquisitive, bright eyed and stunningly beautiful, keas are also incredibly resourceful. Many scientists argue that they are the world’s smartest bird. Not convinced? Here are some more juicy facts to win you over. A kaleidoscope of colour The glorious coloursContinue reading “Eight Quirky Facts About The Kea: NZ’s Alpine Trickster”

Book Review: The Signature of All Things

Genre: Historic fiction Publisher: Penguin Random House Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 *No spoilers Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her world-wide best-selling autobiography Eat Pray Love which was about her own journey of self-discovery, spirituality and travel. This girl’s own adventure was music to the ears of many young women who were already embarkingContinue reading “Book Review: The Signature of All Things”

The Māori Goddess Taranga by Robyn Kahukiwa

In Maori legend, Taranga is the mother of the god Maui and her husband is named Makeatutura. When Maui is born prematurely, Taranga wraps his body in her hair and throws him into the waves. In the ensuing years, sea-creatures care for Maui, hiding him in the sea coral and kelp until one day following aContinue reading “The Māori Goddess Taranga by Robyn Kahukiwa”

My All Time Favourite Top-Ten Non-Fiction History Books

Here’s a collection of some of the non-fiction I have reviewed in the past, ranked as a top ten. The subject matter and time periods vary, but I really like the history of medicine, psychology, symbolism, medieval history, animals and more. 1. The Book of Symbols by the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS)Continue reading “My All Time Favourite Top-Ten Non-Fiction History Books”