Why Human Beings Need a Hug

Forgive me, dear readers, for I have sinned (giving a hug in the privacy of my own home). A friend I had not seen for six months came to visit and the impulse to hug was too strong. We did the right thing to a degree, our heads facing away from each other, so the droplets would disperse in the same room, (where other people freely mingle). You may have seen examples of people not…

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It’s a Nation, Not Just an Economy

It’s traditional to write about economics and economists at this time of year, the end of the financial year in most jurisdictions. Publishers like to ask economists to offer their predictions for the year. The cruel editors then go back a year later and mark their score cards. Forecasts are all very well in ‘normal’ times, but few had forecast a deadly global pandemic that (so far) would infect 10.5 million people and kill 511,000….

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The Listener and The Discerning Reader

One of my research assistants asked this week if I wanted his back issues of The Listener. I’m now regretting my luke-warm response, given that it is barely two months since the owner, Bauer Media, closed down New Zealand’s 81-year-old current affairs magazine. German-owned Bauer Media had been trying to sell its magazines in Australasia for a while. Things came to a head with COVID-19, as magazines were not considered “essential” under NZ’s strict level…

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A doggy tale in the time of covid-19

By Guest FOMMer Laurel Wilson As anyone who knows me would realise, I love dogs and have had various four-legged companions ever since I can remember. ‘Foxie’ was the first one − a small, non-descript, furry golden mutt, who apparently decided our place was an improvement on her previous abode. Then came ‘Rex the wonder dog’ (or at least, that’s what I called him), also a mutt, but who looked quite a bit like a…

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