Crikey Creek

Science in New Zealand

the-cosmic-engine Feb 02, 2012

Here’s the dream: New Zealand continues its superbly innovate and world beating work in the dairying industry and continues to star in Hollywood thanks to the amazing efforts of Weta Workshop and Peter Jackson. These two outstanding examples show that NZ can take on the world and win. But this is not enough; we need more world class companies, we … Read More

Eco-friendly vs appropriate technology

Daniel Collins Jul 14, 2010

The BBC has a nice photo essay on the up-take of a low-tech irrigation device – a treadle pump. The BBC, perhaps echoing IDEI, is calling it “eco-friendly”. But it’s not. There’s nothing environmentally friendly about pumping out more water from an aquifer than is recharged. Even pumping less than the recharge rate can be problematic for groundwater-dependent … Read More

The case of the blue mozzarella

Daniel Collins Jul 07, 2010

Back in June, 70,000 balls of mozzarella were confiscated in Turin, Italy because they were blue. This was not an evolutionary step in cheese manufacturing – the offspring with an amorous roquefort – but a consequence of contaminated water. Italians weren’t happy, with farmers demonstrating near the border with Austria, the blue cheese’s country of origin. The cause … Read More

Texas GOP water platform

Daniel Collins Jun 29, 2010

The Texas Republican Party has renewed their election platform. In addition to opposing oral sex, a single world currency and membership in the UN, they have a few things to say about water: “We believe that … groundwater is a vested ownership right;…” That is to say, groundwater is a property right, and any groundwater that passes through … Read More

CSI-Silurian: The biological roots of landforms

Daniel Collins May 24, 2010

Imagine an episode of CSI-Silurian. The team of detective-scientists are investigating a case of wholescale graffiti in the middle Silurian, and they’re looking for fingerprints. Someone – or something – has taken a knife to the land and carved out a network of rivers and streams. The usual suspect is quickly identified: the climate. In particular, … Read More

Canadian house swallowed by sarlacc

Daniel Collins May 12, 2010

Okay, so the house wasn’t swallowed by a sarlacc. But nor was it swallowed by a sinkhole, as the Associated Press is telling us. You may have seen the news: “Family killed as home swallowed up by giant sinkhole in Quebec”, or variations upon a theme. If you look at the aerial photos, you’ll see scars of … Read More

Drought, kiwi and ecological dominoes

Daniel Collins Apr 27, 2010

Two weeks ago news hit the TV of the impact the Northland drought is having on kiwi. It had already been picked up far and wide back in February, but as the drought continues, so does the story. The story is this: drought has caused nocturnal kiwi to forage for food during the day. These normally nocturnal … Read More

Discontent bubbling to the surface in Canterbury

Daniel Collins Apr 16, 2010

When it comes to Canterbury water governance, the balance of satisfaction has shifted dramatically over the last few weeks. Some are happier now that government-appointed commissioners will replace elected councilors at ECan. Some are not. And those who are not are increasingly making themselves heard. At two meetings recently the malcontents voiced their feelings, from calm criticism to vociferous outrage. Read More

Introducing a new series: Horton’s Index

Daniel Collins Apr 14, 2010

After much mulling, distilling and filtering, Crikey Creek is introducing another new series: Horton’s Index. Many readers will know the name Horton. Not the one who heard a who, but Robert E. Horton – hydrologist extraordinaire. Horton was instrumental in the 20th century quantitative revolution in hydrology. He even got his name attached to one of the water cycle’s … Read More