Japan & New Zealand

Church in Christchurch
Atomic Dome, Hiroshima, Japan

Having visited Christchurch, South Island New Zealand many times; and Japan at least 4 times – I can clearly state they are some of the greatest places in the world to visit. The people are friendly; the sights and experiences are extraordinary. The places are relatively safe.

One would think.

In both instances, they live on the edge of the “Pacific Rim of Fire”, the edge of the Pacific tectonic plate that rings Western America around to New Zealand: the ‘shaky isles’

It is with much inner turmoil and sadness to see both places crumble and sucumb to devestation.

This only makes me want to revisit when the time is right, to show support. That their choice to live in a shaky place is not a ghetto nor a place to be shunned.

In Like Mike

WW2 Fun emplacement, Godley Head

Uncle Mike talked about this last week: why you tag your photos (cc) and geotag your photos.

Unlike other large corporations who have mis-used (cc) licensed photos, Schmap correctly asked and obtained permission to use one of my photos on their site:

Schmap Christchurch Third Edition: Photo Inclusion

Hi Nick,
I am delighted to let you know that your two submitted photos have been selected for inclusion in the newly released third edition of our Schmap Christchurch Guide:
Godley Head
Godley Head
If you like the guide and have a website, blog or personal page, then please also check out our schmapplets – customizable widgetized versions of our Schmap Christchurch Guide, complete with your published photos:
Thanks so much for letting us include your photos – please enjoy the guide!

Like all pictures, there is a back story, too.

Note: 11th September

(cc) Creative Commons Australia has further discussion

Kings of an Older Generation

Paul Brickhill, original Australian author of The Dam Busters may be turning in his grave. The master of fakery is now in charge of re-kindling the memories of the bravest men who never had the chance to pass on their bravery to younger generations.

The director of the longest movies I am thankful I’ve never seen: Lord of the Rings; Peter Jackson, is now remaking the classic 1950s British movie of the book of the famous raid on the dams of the Ruhr valley in 1943.

If he destroys this like he has decimated the love of his childhood, King Kong (1933) , almost as much as the 1976 version: I am going to be livid. This movie is not about ILM/Weta technical gee-whizzery. It is about the men who flew in World War II, and those who lost their lives on both sides for reasons the current young un’s have forgotten.

The Dam Busters movie/book is a salute to quirky English scientist (Barnes Wallis) and to the bravery of airmen of the Empire; in a time that the current generation has quickly forgotten. Richard Todd, himself a veteran, played Wing Commander Guy Gibson (Victoria Cross), who died in a de Havilland Mosquito in Holland, September 1944.

During the Dam Busters raid in May of 1943 Guy was in command, and merely 25 years old. I trust that an appropriate age (that is, young) actor is chosen to provide realism to what otherwise could go the way of King Kong.

We need to remember; and I hope the movie does for the airmen of the Empire what Saving Private Ryan has done for the veterans of D-Day. To remember, not be entertained.


Arrived in the US. Again. Managed to take a side trip on the way to Auckland airport to the prettiest place in the world: Piha, June 2003. This scenery is less than 1 hour away from Auckland International Airport.