#53 Praise for Rain

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Edge Message #53 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM


1350 words so please stick with it. Today:
1. Newzedge: 120 global online media ref to nz achievement

2. Re-Entry: brand new Coming/Leaving Home stories

3. NZ Visual Culture: dialog about nz brand identity

4. Mailbox: 85 riffs, raps, raves and rants (no remonstrations)

5. Pitches: ToastNZ wine and food festival in London July; Phil
Keoghan’s TV Kiwi Catch-up; Gung Ho and Kai move up nzedge
retail chain; and helping Kiwi websites to win a webby.

6. Stephen Jay Gould, edge theorist, dies in NYC at 60.

A bumper issue of newzedge sees our south seas achievers and
whenua spread thick and wide on the pages of the world’s online
media. Leading this month are David Low (“the Twentieth Century’s
greatest cartoonist”) on show in London, NZ as cover country of
National Geographic Traveler and Sir Edmund Hillary in a
(controversial, thanks Photoshop) Vanity Fair spread; but really the
breadth and depth of this edition of newzedge is astounding.
Highlights include:

  • US critics shower praise on Christine Jeff’s Rain
  • NZ talent in Attack of the Clones
  • Ellroy Elkayem’s Eight Legged Freaks
  • Crowe, Jackson, Bevan on H’wood power list
  • Screen revolution in Deep Video
  • NZ’s biotech advantage
  • Escorial fleece world’s finest
  • Ray Webster hi-flyer for EasyJet
  • Superyacht supremos
  • Crusaders take Super 12
  • World Cup women and Sevens heaven
  • World, Zambesi headline Sydney Fashion Week
  • Ta Moko in major museum show
  • Life and loves of Fay Weldon in auto-bio
  • Pamela Stephenson’s UK book-of-year
  • Katherine Mansfield’s Russian passion
  • P-Money places in world DJ champs
  • Kiri to rock palace and castle
  • Kea car-ha, kakapo; tuatara and biotech sheep
  • Scenery features post-Rings
  • PLUS Anzac revivified; architectural gurus, prize-winning
    florists, nanotech experts, foreign correspondents, philosophers,
    baritones, pioneering anthropologists and evolutionary theorists;
    sauvignon and pinot heaven.

Compelling reinforcement the Tall Punga Syndrome. Check it out:

Today NZEDGE publishes the first batch of the fascinating and provocative messages received in response to the ‘Re-entry: Coming Home’ project initiated by nzedger Sarah Connor.https://www.nzedge.com/hot/coming_home.html. Responses range from, “I can get NZ anywhere” and “like being in an old folk’s home” to “the smell of air so fresh it nearly hurt”. The forum cuts straight to the core of what New Zealandness might mean: begin the emotional journey right here.

“Close your eyes and think of … New Zealand.” Wellington graphic designer Turi Park, has written a provocative and timely open letter, ‘A new brand for New Zealand? Or a New Zealand visual language?’ querying the sense and construction process of a Brand New Zealand. It doesn’t stamp the wax on the seal but prompts New Zealanders and especially those involved in the creative, design, and image-making communities to question what it is they’re imagining and practicing – a call to thought. NZEDGE is hosting the on-line forum to debate the issues that the letter raises. Check out the letter and responses thus far:

NZEDGE community continues to affirm connections, offer support and pick at the seams; on the edge of decline or prosperity; overcoming smallness; ambassadors in Asia; Aotearoa blazing; Tex and Xena; making movies; appreciating heroes from the heart. See here for the 85 messages of aroha, anxiety and appreciation in the April/May mailbox. https://www.nzedge.com/mailbox/april_may02.html


NZ ambassador of adventure Phil Keoghan is looking for NZ stories
for a ‘slice of life’ TV series about New Zealanders living or traveling
overseas. The show will profile Kiwis involved in business, sport, the arts, film and science. The series will celebrate diversity of NZ talent and ingenuity, and also show the strong links traveling Kiwis retain with ‘home’. If you know of someone (it could be you) who would be an interesting person to profile click on ‘Kiwi Catch-Up’ go to http://www.philkeoghan.com and email your suggestions. NZEDGE is pleased to be supporting Phil’s programme. His programme “The Amazing Race” is now on CBS prime time. Phil has worked in over 50 countries around the world as a television host, producer, writer, actor, and cameraman on more than 1000 program episodes.

NZ in UK. From Peter Gordon and Ross Burden, to paua to polo, ToastNZ redefines the English tea party. On 6 July over 6,000 people will enjoy a day of wine, taste the finest produce cooked by talented kiwi chefs and be entertained by culture, music and sports. All NZ flavour-added (brandy snaps optional). Click here to book tickets and visit the website: http://www.toastnz.com

Wear your edge on your chest: The NZEDGE t-shirts continue to move off the shelves. The most popular designs bringing NZ styles to edge enclaves globally are the gung-ho and NYNZ editions (big cheers to designers George and Tana from Eyework). And our new Kai section is turning over product quicker than half time at a test match. For fans of Kiwi confection (chocolate fish and Jaffa stained tongues?) and ex-pat Cookiemunchers check out the Kiwihomesick Packs and the Cookie Time http://shop.nzedge.com/

Two Christchurch based websites are in the running for Webbies – the internet version of the Oscars. They are University of Canterbury Philosophy of Art Professor Dennis Dutton’s brain-tickling Arts and Letters Daily http://www.aldaily.com and SciTech Review Dailyhttp://scitechdaily.com run by New Zealand Science Monthly editor Vicki Hyde. Nominated in the news and science categories respectively. Help NZ win a Webby by voting in the public choice category of the awards below by June 7th:http://scitechdaily.com/kiwivote/

Evolutionary biologist and palaeontologist, died May 20 at his home in New York City aged 60. A Professor at Harvard University since age 26. New Zealand Edge thinking comes via Stephen Jay Gould’s 1972 theory (with Niles Eldredge) of “punctuated equilibrium” (punk eek) as passed to me by network theorist Kevin Kelly on the road to KareKare in 1998 when Kelly said “New Zealand is a really easy place to explain” in response to my question “I don’t know why we produce so many innovators.”

Gould and Eldredge introduced a new theory of macroevolution in which new species emerge relatively quickly by means of radical, ‘systemic’ mutations during the embryonic stage.

Punctuated Equilibrium sits in the wider biological context of speciation theory. In 1954 Ernst Mayr proposed the allopatric speciation model, whereby new species usually do not arise within the main body of a population. Instead, small subpopulations which are genetically isolated from the main population are more likely to change. Many small populations, particularly those founded by a small number of settlers on an island, show the founder effect.

These populations are said to be allopatric, or living in “another homeland.” If their isolation is long enough, they become so genetically different that by the time they are reintroduced or reinvade their original homeland, they have become a new species. This new species persists side-by-side, typically by exploiting slightly different ecological niches. In palaeontologic terms, the allopatric speciation model predicts that species arise rapidly – punctuated equilibrium – (a few hundred to a thousand years, but instantaneous in a geological sense) on the periphery of their range (where they are rarely fossilized). It predicts that the main population (most likely to be fossilized) will show little or no change, but will be suddenly invaded by new species with no apparent transitions between them.

Punk eek provides the underpinning driver to the New Zealand Edge project ie change comes from the edge. This website is the front piece of a project to define Aotearoa New Zealand in the empowering metaphor of “edge”. Call it a meta-theory of New Zealandness and sustained innovation; call it a global narrative in which New Zealand is a lead player precisely because it is the literal edge of the world and thus a power source of inspiration; whatever, it’s time is coming now. Rock on. RIP Stephen Jay Gould. See http://www.edge.org

Brian Sweeney
Publisher, Producer
mailto: brian@nzedge.com

Thumbnail Credit: David Low cartoon

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