News of New Zealanders via Global Media

“The New Zealand Native Who Helped Open the Door to the Stars”

“The New Zealand Native Who Helped Open the Door to the Stars”

17 March 2004 – William Pickering, one of the leading figures in US space exploration, died of pneumonia in California aged 92.  A graduate of Canterbury University and the California Institute of Technology, Wellington-born…

MetService Nets Big Fish

MetService Nets Big Fish

The NZ MetService has sold a locally made weather graphics system to the BBC for a sum rumoured to be in the millions. The state-of-the-art software package – Weatherscape XT – is the most up to date…

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Thunderbirds Are Go!

NZ software company, Virtual Katy, will lend its world-class sound engineering services to London’s Pinewood Studios, for the live-action remake of Thunderbirds. Virtual Katy – which was also used on The Lord of the Rings – is…

Brave New World

Brave New World

A joint Japanese-NZ research expedition hopes to discover new forms of life 1,850m below sea-level off the north-east coast of NZ. The team will venture by submarine to the Brothers Volcano, where warm, mineral-laden water is believed…

Mother of Invention

Mother of Invention

Age feature charts former Thompson Twin Alannah Currie’s career trajectory from 80s popstar to the face of MadGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering) – NZ’s most visible opponent of genetically modified crops. Currie is credited with making the…

Play it Safe with Silver

Play it Safe with Silver

According to research undertaken at Auckland University, silver cars are significantly less likely to be involved in a serious crash than vehicles of other colours. Sue Furness, who led the study, suggests that this “may be…

Talking Turkey

Talking Turkey

Evolutionary biologists at Auckland University have made ivory tower headlines by providing compelling evidence of the origins of the Indo-European language family. Associate Professor Russell Gray and PhD student Quentin Atkinson applied a complex computer program modelled…

Chameleon Car Coolest of ’03

Chameleon Car Coolest of ’03

Alan Gibbs’ Aquada skims into Time magazine’s list of ‘Coolest Inventions of 2003.’ The Aquada also featured in Arthur Lubow’s article ‘Inspiration: Where Does It Come From?’ for the  New York Times, alongside the Band-Aid, the…

No 8 Wired

No 8 Wired

Singapore’s Straits Times focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit driving NZ’s booming science industry. “Over time, the Number 8 wire came to epitomise a culture of adaptability and creativity, a ‘can-do spirit’ of which the Kiwis are…

Seeds of Discontent

Seeds of Discontent

The controversial lifting of a 2-year moratorium on genetically modified crop trials in NZ has been covered extensively by the Guardian, BBC, and Wired. The issue is a divisive one in a country reliant…

Antarctic Archives

Antarctic Archives

NZ’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences has received international funding to drill more than a kilometre beneath Antarctica in order to gain access to the “untapped record of climate change” held in its sedimentary layers. Otago…

Time Travellers Beware

Time Travellers Beware

NZ relativity expert, Professor Matt Visser, attended a Cambridge University discussion on the troublesome issue of time travel, in honour of Stephen Hawking’s 60th birthday. “Most physicists view time travel as being problematic, if not downright repugnant,”…

What Will Pinetree Think …

What Will Pinetree Think …

The All Blacks are using Telecom’s most state-of-the-art technology in their bid to win this year’s Rugby World Cup. Coach John Mitchell will be able to view streamed video footage of multiple angles of the game…

These Wings are Made for Walking …

These Wings are Made for Walking …

A team of NZ researchers – led by David Lambert of Auckland’s Massey University – has broken new ground in the field of genetics to reveal previously unknown details about the moa. In a world first,…

Aquada, Bond Aquada, 0064

Aquada, Bond Aquada, 0064

International media attention was lavished on The Thames, London, for the launch of NZ-entrepreneur Alan Gibb’s revolutionary Aquada (inspired by inventor Terry Roycroft’s design innovations). The James Bond-style sports vehicle with the amphibian edge can reach up to…

Big Idea: Atomic Imagination

Big Idea: Atomic Imagination

Sir Ernest Rutherford featured in an Independent story, ‘Dawn of the nuclear age.’ “No one has described the atom discovered by Rutherford better than the playwright Tom Stoppard: ‘Now make a fist, and if your fist is…

Bright Sparks and Smart Studs

Bright Sparks and Smart Studs

A NZ company working in conjunction with Auckland University is set to revolutionise road safety technology. Harding Traffic Systems has developed battery-powered “smart studs” to replace the cat’s eyes currently marking roads around the world. The…

Space, Time and Einstein

Space, Time and Einstein

27-year-old Wellington university drop-out, Peter Lynds, claims to have solved a philosophical paradox which has baffled thinkers for 2,500 years. The broadcasting tutor has taken on such heavyweights as the Greek philosopher Zeno and Stephen…

Edge: Intellectual Capital

Edge: Intellectual Capital

NZ’s nano-tech Nobel laureate Alan MacDiarmid has been appointed to the newly created James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology at The University of Texas at Dallas. “Alan MacDiarmid’s move to Dallas is an…

Promoting Inter-polar Understanding

Promoting Inter-polar Understanding

NZ Antarctic scientists are joining Bulgarian and American researchers at the Canadian high Arctic this year in a bid to exchange information about their respective poles. By pooling their findings, the scientists hope to better understand the…

Words into Mouths – Fingering the Leap to Language

Words into Mouths – Fingering the Leap to Language

An NYT feature explores the impetus that gave man the edge to evolve from animal to language (the only characteristic that differentiates us from animals). A debate taking in Chomsky and Pinker asks which came first…

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m … 35?!

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m … 35?!

Canterbury University psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa lumps men of scientific brilliance and criminals in the same psychological boat, claiming that both dwindle in the creative stakes post-35 – typically sapped by marriage! Kanazawa gathered the ages of 280 scientists…

Hi-tech NZ

Hi-tech NZ

NZ was named 6th most high-tech nation in an annual survey by the IDC/World Times Information Society Index. The list – topped by Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands – ranks 55 countries in their use of information…

Scientists Ruminate on Ruminants

Scientists Ruminate on Ruminants

NZ scientists have joined the fight to save the planet – from methane. The gas produced by ruminants (cud-chewing animals) is one of the leading causes of global warming, well ahead of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide….

Edge Location: Best in Show

Edge Location: Best in Show

A personal navigation system produced by NZ company, Navman, topped the Herald‘s list of best inventions at Sydney’s Consumer Electronics and Entertainment exhibition. The handheld device uses GPS satellite tracking technology to steer tourists around foreign…

What Lies Beneath…

What Lies Beneath…

A month-long exploration of the Tasman Sea by NZ and Australian scientists has uncovered hundreds of new species of fish and invertebrates. Previously unknown critters trawling the depths include gelatinous sea cucumbers, fish resembling globs of mucous…

On Father Figures and Wayward Teens

On Father Figures and Wayward Teens

New Scientist profiles the work of Canterbury University psychologist Bruce Ellis, who has recently published a study on the effects of absentee fathers on teenage girls. Ellis has monitored 700 girls from pre-school to high-school, in an…

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

NZer David J. Stevenson – a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology – has a project up his sleeve straight out of science fiction, but grounded in the search for science fact.    Stevenson’s proposal – outlined…

Third Culture Kiwi Guides Lodestar

Third Culture Kiwi Guides Lodestar

New Zealander Tim Radford (the “doyen” of UK science editors) is the Guardian‘s science editor and recently introduced their new weekly science supplement, Life. Radford has been the paper’s general science editor since 1988, as well as…

Free GE or GE-free?

Free GE or GE-free?

The GE debate steps up a notch as the government prepares to lift its current moratorium on modified organisms. A commissioned financial projection of the pros and cons of going GE (by Business and Economic Research Ltd)…

Evolutionary Edge

Evolutionary Edge

Soil-analysis undertaken in a NZ cave has uncovered a rich and previously unknown evolutionary heritage. A team of scientists have found DNA traces of an extinct animal and from plants alive 3,000 years before the first human…

Belated Acclaim for Unsung Edge Hero

Belated Acclaim for Unsung Edge Hero

“The Wright Brothers get all the credit, but a little-known NZ farmer and self-taught aviation pioneer deserves some recognition too.” Richard Pearse featured in LA Times as both NZ and America approach the centennial celebrations of their…

Icarus Down-under

Icarus Down-under

Richard – “Bamboo Dick” – Pearse profiled in China Daily as New Zealand celebrates the centenary of his (world?) first flight. Says biographer Gordon Ogilvie; “He was an inventive phenomenon in a small community where farming was…

Gattaca Genetics

Gattaca Genetics

Ground-breaking research into congenital birth abnormalities by Otago University professor Stephen Robertson has been published in leading scientific journal, Nature Genetics. Robertson has identified a previously unknown gene responsible for severe malformations in infants. His success makes…

Bee Conga Line

Bee Conga Line

Canterbrian entymologist Barry Donovan has won the prestigious Khwarizmi International Award, in recognition of his ground-breaking theory on how bees forage. The award – named after the 9th century Iranian scientist – was presented to Donovan by…

A Life Story

A Life Story

NZ scientist Maurice Wilkins is the least recognised of the three discoverers of DNA; a fact which is finally being rectified by this year’s 50th anniversary celebrations. 2003 will also see the release of Wilkins’ long-awaited autobiography,…

Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution

“New Zealand is leading the mobile revolution in Australasia,” says BIZ IT managing director John Kennett. Telecom’s recent launch of Mobile JetStream has paved the way for radical innovations in the very near future; including high-speed mobile…

Believe the Hype

Believe the Hype

The Hyperfactory continue their good work at the forefront of SMS technology. Australian and British buyers are showing great interest in the company’s SMSJukeBox application, which has already gained over 70,000 members in New Zealand through ClubZM.

From Trash to Flash

From Trash to Flash

A NZ company – Waste Solutions – has provided part of the technology behind a radical new energy-producing venture in western Sydney. The project in question is an $AUS36 million power plant which converts organic waste…

Wireless Oscars

Wireless Oscars

Auckland based company, The Hyperfactory, were commended at the 2003 GSM Awards in Cannes this month for their TXTDJ innovation. This was The Hyperfactory’s second consecutive nomination for what is essentially the wireless industry’s Oscar equivalent.

“It’s Life James, but Not as We Know It”

“It’s Life James, but Not as We Know It”

Time devotes a special issue to DNA and its discoverers, including NZ born scientist Maurice Wilkins. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize winning and paradigm shifting findings of Crick, Watson, and Wilkins: “The…

From Dreams to (Augmented) Reality

From Dreams to (Augmented) Reality

SMH interviews “augmented reality” guru Mark Billinghurst, director of NZ’s Human Interface Technology Lab. HIT works in conjunction with Seattle’s University of Washington designing cutting-edge communications technology reminiscent of Star Wars’ virtual projections. Billinghurst: “Twenty years later, we…

Destruction and Creation

Destruction and Creation

Newsday feature on Nobel-winning NZ scientist Maurice Wilkins documents his epoch-breaking career shift from researching weapons of mass destruction to unearthing the secrets of life itself. Horrified at the results of Hiroshima, Wilkins became (and remains)…

Cheese Guaranteed to Please?

Cheese Guaranteed to Please?

NZ scientists have genetically modified cows to produce high-protein milk for the country’s cheese industry. The altered protein-levels would allow cheese-makers to produce more of their product from the same quantity of milk, and at a significantly…

Cheese to Please?

Cheese to Please?

NZ scientists at the Ruakura Research Centre in Hamilton in a radical innovation have genetically modified cows to produce high-protein milk for the country’s cheese industry. The altered protein-levels would allow cheese-makers to produce more from the…

Science Cynics and Bad News

Science Cynics and Bad News

Denis Dutton plays scientific advisor to the president in Edge.org‘s hypothetical survey on issues facing governments in 2003. His counsel? Do away with the scare-mongering and cynicism typifying science (and its media coverage) today in favour of “…

Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Canterbury University’s Andy Cockburn is leading a team of computer scientists in redesigning the back button function on computers. In a bid to up the popular button’s efficiency, Cockburn and co. have reprogrammed web browsers so that…

Cleaner Greener NZ

Cleaner Greener NZ

The Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions came one step closer to enforcement after its ratification by the NZ and Canadian governments. Although both countries are relatively minor industrial polluters their signatures are vital in making up the…

Kiwi Geeks Take a Stand

Kiwi Geeks Take a Stand

In a bid to be “taken seriously,” members of NZ’s IT community have requested permission to use geek.nz as a second-level domain in the country. The office of the NZ Domain Name Commissioner plans to stage…

Kiwi Scientists Search for Merrick’s Ma

Kiwi Scientists Search for Merrick’s Ma

Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man) is still drawing crowds. This time round, Merrick’s deformities are attracting genealogists and scientists, rather than circus-goers. A team of NZ researchers wants to find living descendents of Merrick and take samples…

Bamboo Dick: First Flyer

Bamboo Dick: First Flyer

“What’s all the fuss about the Wright Bros? All good Kiwis know New Zealand’s Richard Pearse got there first.” With the centenary of his flight looming, Debbi Gardiner, writes in Salon about his place in history and…

Hi-fi Goes Hi-tech

Hi-fi Goes Hi-tech

More Hyperfactory innovation. Popular NZ dance music radio station – GeorgeFM – has introduced a streaming SMS system to interact with their audience. Listeners can now text their requests, queries, and feedback directly to the…

Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture

The argument over whether environment or genetics plays the bigger part in creating violent dispositions is moving towards a tentative reconciliation. London-based research has proposed that the level of a particular gene – MAOA, which regulates an…

Celebrations on Ice

Celebrations on Ice

NZ and US scientists in Antarctica recently celebrated the centenary of the first midwinter stopover by British explorers. Fun and games included swimming naked in an ice hole and hurling a (frozen) turkey in Scottish Highland-style games….

To Ge or Not to Ge?

To Ge or Not to Ge?

As the ethical, economic and emotional problem of how to approach GE shapes to be a central issue in the upcoming NZ election a high profile group has formed to argue for caution and the extension…

iEdge

iEdge

The SMH tries to find the code behind the icon-making, convention busting, award winning (but secretive) Apple design team after, for the fourth year running, Apple takes out the British Design and Art Direction Association’s top award…