Articles

Pictures and Words

One of my fantasies is to be a painter. Oil on canvas. I have this vision of myself in a New York loft: A large room with a bare wooden floor, sofa, an open window with traffic sounds from the street below, open bottle of red wine, no glasses. No wall clock. And what would I paint? People. I like a good landscape, I like a good abstract, but what moves me are paintings of people. A picture tells a thousand words, but in every face there are a million…

The Nothing

Before the Internet, there was nothing. It was like living in a tent at an outpost at the end of the world. I’m talking about writing. Books were only in the library or at the bookstore. Finding a magazine full of fiction in my hometown (Auckland City) was like embarking on a quest to find a three-toed sloth. Finding mystery fiction in a magazine was like looking for the dodo. Other writers simply didn’t exist. I wrote in isolation…

What Happens Next Is F-Sharp

When I was thirteen, every Tuesday afternoon after school I had piano lessons. My piano teacher lived about two miles away, and to get to his house, I had to ride my bicycle down an alleyway that connected streets. The alleyway was a long, narrow strip of concrete lined with overgrown grass and the high wooden fences of suburban backyards. One day, during the summer, I noticed a dead man in that overgrown, sun-baked grass. I came to a stop, one foot on the pavement, one foot on a pedal, and stared at the body…

Terms & Confusion

A man walks into a website company, and the goatee-chinned chap behind the desk says: “So, you want a PHP subroutine to run a select join on your client tables and then do a mail send?” The man nods, but he really doesn’t understand — and let’s be honest, how much do you?

Dot the i, Cross the t

Words are the most important part of a website. Words convey a website’s crucial information to a site visitor. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but without actual words to accompany it, any intended meaning will be subjective, and at worst incomprehensible…

Mother of a style killer for buy racers

In the 1960s, if you were a young man and wanted to be considered dangerous, you grew your hair long and attempted as much facial fur as possible. You wore black, you cultivated a walk that resembled a sneer, and you spoke in the deepest register your larynx would allow. Dangerous was cool in the 1960s. It was an era when long hair on a young man was viewed with contempt and suspicion – a decade earlier, it was almost grounds for a prison sentence…

Fireworks go against all logic

The average Kiwi doesn’t have ready access to a gun, and for good reason. If the spotty-faced, good for nothing “yoof” who lives down your street could easily step into a supermarket and buy a handgun and a few dozen rounds of ammunition along with their beer and fags, all hell would break loose…