Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The expedition indoors

Although the report Paul Janman recently sent south from Urupukapuka Island was full of interesting details and provocative speculations, I couldn't read it without feeling a little pained. I feel similarly uncomfortable when I read about older New Zealand adventurers, like William Colenso, the botanist and missionary whose jaunts around Te Ika a Maui are reenacted in new books by Peter Wells and my old friend the late Leicester Kyle. The likes of Colenso and Janman have been making me jealous. Skyler and I moved in the middle of this year to a suburb in the deep west of Auckland, and in recent weeks we - I use the word 'we' very loosely - have begun some renovations here, stripping layers off bedroom walls with an archaeological curiosity, and tearing up leagues of an ancient, peat-coloured carpet in the hope that there will be something solid underneath.

But the Waitakere Ranges rise on one side of our house, and whenever I think about the feats of travellers like Janman and Colenso I want to throw down my hammer or scraper and head for Waiatarua, or Ruaotuwhenua, or one of the other hills where antennae and bush grow.

As the likes of Jack Diamond and Lisa Truttman have reminded us, the Waitakeres have long been a place of refuge and adventure for Aucklanders tempted or forced to abandon city life. Bandits, deserters from imperialist war, and escaped prisoners have all made their ways to the ranges, along with visionary artists like Colin McCahon and Allen Curnow. There are a few research trails I'd like to follow through those hills.

I got a similar desire for flight back in the eighties at Drury Primary School whenever a teacher used to bang on about our area's association with Edmund Hillary. Looking through the Standard Three window past the last subdivisions of Auckland at the the dark blue Drury Hills, and hearing stories of our Ed's alpine daring, I was barely able to control the urge to rush out the classroom door and make for the south.

Skyler argues that living near the edge of the city can give us a certain mental balance, but I wonder whether it actually creates a peculiar sort of melancholy, by continually reminding us of the alternative to our quotidian suburban existences. Because I've been spending more time in hardware and furniture stores than in the countryside lately, I'm unable to respond in kind to Paul Janman's reports from pa sites and historic ruins and picturesquely isolated jetties. Instead, I thought I'd invoke the credo of Alf, and of anti-travel writing, by making the best of a bad situation, and glorifying the outwardly unedifying. In this poem, which I tried and failed to send to Paul yesterday (I suspect that he's once again drifted out of internet range, into one of Northland's serpentine harbours or estuaries), I deport William Colenso to twenty-first century suburbia.

In Defence of William Colenso's Botanical Expedition to a West Auckland branch of Target Furniture

Did you imagine him on a ridge-top,
chatting with cabbage trees,
or chin-deep in some bog
where kahikatea strain the sunlight?

Have you forgotten the forests
in this city?

Have you forgotten the rooms
full of rimu tables,
the oak cabinets varnished
with kauri gum?
Don't you remember
those spiders and dragonflies writhing
in blebs of gold?

Have you forgotten the library
archives, their piles of paper rising
like puriri trunks?

The deepest woods
the best specimens
are always indoors!

To reach the specimens
in the storeroom of this shop
Colenso climbs the staircase
like a tree.

[Posted by Maps/Scott]


Blogger Chris Trotter said...

Spot-on poetry, as always, Scott.

Even if it's been my experience that the mystery of mountains increases in inverse proportion to their proximity?

Dank, gloomy places - and there's nowhere to plug in the TV.

10:18 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Come up to Whangas some time and I will show you the hidden cities on Parihaka and Pukenui, either side of town (and buy you a beer). No one seems to know about the hundreds and pits and terraces that make up these kilometre long pa sites in the bush right next to town. Kurmara pits the size of small swimming pools with perfectly straight sides a metre deep, and stone-slab lined hearths under the duff. You dont need to dig to see them, just shift some leaves around.

Oh yeah, I just got an APA to ANU so OFFIGO to finally do my PhD. You can probably guess the general area of interest :-)

11:15 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is poems such as that one that lead people such as myself to the conclusion that Leftists are, by and large, credulous and uninformed.

11:42 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Also, thats only the second time I have ever seen anyone use the term bleb in a sentence, written or spoken.

Bleb bleb bleb.

11:58 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi Chris,

have you read John Pascoe's Unclimbed New Zealand, with its accounts of poetry-quoting Canterbury clerks ascending previously 'virgin' peaks during their weekends and holidays in the 1930s? I discovered the book recently, and I'm finding that, even though it deserves to rate alongside the '30s work of Curnow and Brasch and Fairburn and other 'classic' Pakeha nationalists, it simply isn't known by Aucklanders. Does Pascoe figure in South Islanders' consciousness?

Hi Jono,

bleb's a great word, isn't it? I think I first encountered it in a poem by Seamus Heaney - 'keep your vision as clear as a bleb of cave-ice' or something like that.

I'm definitely keen to look at those sites up in Whanga - we're heading up to Kohukohu for a wedding on the 7th, actually.

Congrats on the PhD candidacy. Are you excavating or surveying or both? When Edward Ashby did a site survey of Mahinepua I travelled up north to inspect his labours. He discovered a buried wall and a waka portage route on the day I visited!

12:55 pm  
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4:53 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Good poem Scott

I worked on the two then NZED (now probably Transpower) microwave towers on the Waiataruas. The other tower was the TV transmitter. I think the CAA (Air people) shared the NZED towers. You can see them on the more south western side.

I was in Taranaki recently. When I was there with my daughter about 1990 I remember being on the side and feeling a deep fear as people left the mountain. Climbing it though on another face I lost some sense it was a mountain. But as it was misting I decided to abandon tying to get to the top.

But Taranaki I think retains its beauty and mystery and power as you circle it and approach it. There is sense that it almost moves away then towards one. The landscape and particular biosphere is unique I believe (even though farming has transformed the area). I was also fasconated for some reason by Mt Pirongia. Albeit (indeed) from quite distance mostly...

11:43 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Re mountains and beauty and fear and mystery (The Sublime)...Huxley quotes this from Wordsworth's 'The Prelude' in 'Texts and Pretexts'. The point is that sometimes nature which usually seems beneficial (to such nature lovers as WW himself), beautiful etc, sometimes takes on troubling or dark, or sinister aspect. ("Nature" or "God" of course is probably indifferent to human beings. This I feel is seen in many of Smithyman's poems.

From 'The Prelude'

The mind of Man is fram'd even like the breath
And harmony of music. There is a dark
Invisible workmanship that reconciles
Discordant elements, and makes them move
In one society. Ah me! that all
The terrors, all the early miseries
Regrets, vexations, lassitudes,
that all
The thoughts and feelings which have been infus'd
Into my mind, should ever have made up
The calm existence that is mine when I
Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end!
Thanks likewise for the means! But I believe
That Nature, oftentimes, when she would frame
A favor'd Being, from his earliest dawn
Of infancy doth open out the clouds,
As at the touch of lightning, seeking him
With gentlest visitation; not the less,
Though haply aiming at the self-same end,
Does it delight her sometimes to employ
Severer interventions, ministry
More palpable, and so she dealt with me.

One evening (surely I was led by her)
I went alone into a Shepherd's Boat,
A Skiff that to a Willow tree was tied
Within a rocky Cave, its usual home.
'Twas by the shores of Patterdale, a Vale
Wherein I was a Stranger, thither come
A School-boy Traveller, at the Holidays.
Forth rambled from the Village Inn alone
No sooner had I sight of this small Skiff,
Discover'd thus by unexpected chance,
Than I unloos'd her tether and embark'd.
The moon was up, the Lake was shining clear
Among the hoary mountains; from the Shore
I push'd, and struck the oars and struck again
In cadence, and my little Boat mov'd on
Even like a Man who walks with stately step
Though bent on speed. It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure; not without the voice
Of mountain-echoes did my Boat move on,
Leaving behind her still on either side
Small circles glittering idly in the moon,
Until they melted all into one track
Of sparkling light. A rocky Steep uprose
Above the Cavern of the Willow tree
And now, as suited one who proudly row'd
With his best skill, I fix'd a steady view
Upon the top of that same craggy ridge,
The bound of the horizon, for behind
Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.
She was an elfin Pinnace; lustily
I dipp'd my oars into the silent Lake,
And, as I rose upon the stroke, my Boat
Went heaving through the water, like a Swan;
When from behind that craggy Steep, till then
The bound of the horizon, a huge Cliff,
As if with voluntary power instinct,
Uprear'd its head. I struck, and struck again
And, growing still in stature, the huge Cliff
Rose up between me and the stars, and still,
With measur'd motion, like a living thing,
Strode after me. With trembling hands I turn'd,
And through the silent water stole my way
Back to the Cavern of the Willow tree.
There, in her mooring-place, I left my Bark,
And, through the meadows homeward went, with grave
And serious thoughts; and after I had seen
That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Work'd with a dim and undetermin'd sense
Of unknown modes of being; in my thoughts
There was a darkness, call it solitude,
Or blank desertion, no familiar shapes
Of hourly objects, images of trees,
Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
But huge and mighty Forms that do not live
Like living men mov'd slowly through the mind
By day and were the trouble of my dreams.

12:15 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Interesting to hear that you worked at Waiatarua, Richard. What tasks did you have to perform? I was up at the Elevation cafe, which sits beside the Piha turnoff from Scenic Drive, close to the summit of Waiatarua, the other day (the meals at Elevation are ludicrously expensive, but one can order a coffee and admire the views!)

Both the Opanuku and Oratia Creeks seem to flow from the eastern slopes of Waiatarua, and the transmitters on the summit seem to have worked their way into the consciousness of Aucklanders - think of Don MacGlashan's line 'He watches the city, he can see the antennas (sic?) in the hills' in that famous song 'Dominion Road'.
I can't decide whether it is sacrilegious to put transmission gear on the summit of a hill or mountain or not. I remember being dismayed to learn that a transmitter sat on the top of Mt Te Aroha...

2:16 am  
Blogger Chris Trotter said...

No, never heard of Pascoe, Scott.

Which seems odd to me, because I am, as you know, a great fan of the NZ nationalist poets of the 1930s and 40s.

Poetry-quoting Canterbury clerks climbing virgin mountain peaks, eh?

Eeee, by gum, those were the days, eh!

8:21 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Hey Scott,

assuming you are not too stuffed with wedding food and drink, the van on the side of the road at Koko sells the best pies in the universe, and passable coffee too. I recommend the fish, or the steak and blue cheese. I think they used to operate out of the old hotel but couldnt make a go of it, so now they are a mobile pie cart (cash only from memory).

Also, check out the old school house on the corner of Yarborough and Kirkpatrick; its a lovely re late 19th century building that serves as a hall and occasional doss :-) The original hand written building specifications have been hunted down by the historic ranger up in Kaitaia and make an interesting read if you are in to that sort of thing. There is also the site of one of NZs earliest stone bridges, under reclaimed land south of the old wharf/mill yard.

Re Whangarei, I will probably be around if you make a pit stop.

3:58 pm  
Anonymous Nate said...

Great poem, great post.

4:23 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Scott - in 1985 I joined the NZED (equiv to Transpower I suppose) (from the NZPO - now Chorus). I was involved in all kinds (too much in fact) of telecommunications and electronics. (But not "heavy" or high voltage work). We used to take about $500,000 worth of equipment sometimes to make about three tests or whatever!! It was relatively routine. The NZED were setting up a microwave network for data transmission back to the Otahuhu Power station (where they controlled all Auckland power and received all data from power used etc). The Waiatarua transmitter-receivers connect (if I recall rightly) Glenfield - which then was the highest user of power in the Auckland region, it may still be) with Otahuhu. At Otahuhu the data is (or was) processed and stored in a central computer system. A lot of the data relates to usage by local body substations (in those for example one was The Auckland Power Board).

Data is (or was) sent either on the high voltage lines or by UHF radio systems or microwave or even via their own telephone cables. At Waiatarua they use solar power for most of the communications equipment. The whole system is very complex. The NZED even had there own telephone exchanges completely separate from the NZPO (now Chorus). Microwave, fibre optics, Protection systems, and systems using PCM or say what are called PLCs (Power Line Carriers) were some of what I was involved in.

We ran the (coaxial) cables up the towers. I actually had to go onto the outside of one of towers as one is send the other is receive and the polarity of the signals are meant to be at right angles to each other (to prevent to reduce inter-modulation distortions). Now up there it feels very high and I had to lean out into space so to speak and rotate one of the antenna elements 90 degrees (so polarities were not "parallel). But I had been used to using safety belts for some time so it was the job for me!

The Meremere Power station (while a fascinating place when it was going, it was like being inside the bowels of a gigantic steam ship!)) and village; was pretty chaotic. The telephone exchange inside Meremere Power Station was BPO (British post office) as we used in NZ) but worked kind of in a reverse manner to the NZ exchanges or later BPO ones! hardly anyone (except my two immediate superiors) had much idea how they worked). The houses in the village were or are made of steel! I was drilling into one of the houses to instal a telephone and couldn't make much progress until I realised it was a steel wall!

The communication system and associated gear was (are still?) so complex and so hybrid I had no idea how it all worked to be honest. Well...I had some idea! Main thing was to twist wires together and collect my pay! But there were guys who had worked there for years and others who had very good knowledge or ability (the trouble was that the really talented technicians used to leave in those days to work "in computers" as anyone in that field was guaranteed a job and also made good money and they still do).

The problem with the job is that I hardly ever saw the public. Just NZED staff.

In the Post Office I did more or less routine cable and telephone work and so on and it was pretty easy but I got a bit bored with it. But we at least often saw the public.

But in my 'Chains' there is a "reference" to telecommunications.

All (or much) the AC power systems we use are modeled on methods developed by the eccentric genius Tessla. He "rewired" power stations in the US in the early days! But people couldn't complain as he was one of the few engineers in the early days who knew how things actually worked and also knew how to connect it all up...

9:26 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Re transmitters etc I am a big fan of power systems and radio also. I love e.g. the Huntly Power station and find the Otahuhu Power station a very exciting place.

Radio transmitters are fascinating also - one can specialize in transmitters! It is all very erotic!

I also love the wind farm they have put near Raglan.

There are three lines over the Panmure lagoon and one is being dismantled and will be put underground. I love to see them (like Auden and the Pylon poets - recall that Auden had considered training as an engineer before he became a poet, a lot of his (early) stuff relates to underground mining tunnels and some Freudian stuff!)...

People get mixed up about technology. After all spiders are very ingenious and very technical beings.
They construct complex webs (see Primo Levi (who was chemist and understood the chemical processes spiders are involved in) in "The Mirror Maker" on spiders and the way they are able to make sticky webs that they can walk around.

Now we use a world wide web! But Maori had a complex technology. Try living in place like NZ was 300 years ago without any technology (applied practical knowledge and techniques and use of materials).

Bats use radar systems.

Al living things are technicians.

Even Chris Trotter uses a computer and possibly a pen!

Transmitters do no harm at all. Unless, in the case of microwave, you place yourself at the focal point of the transmitter/receiver. * Radio, or any electromagnetic radiation decreases from source as the inverse square of the distance from it. Want to avoid EMR? Switch the sun off.

But I have been "in love" with electricity since I had an electricity set as boy of about 10 or so. It showed the magical (and still mysterious) relationship between magnetism and electricity.

But I actually only got into telephones etc by chance as needed job when I got married!

But I love machines and power stations, transmitters, power pylons, cables etc. Even making concrete. (By hand or other or reading about the process of it). People don't realise that the formation of concrete involves an extremely complex chemical reaction. I love concrete.

I should, I'm made of concrete.

*From memory the EPR is, hmm, maybe, 100 watts (but even 1000 watts is quite low, (think of a single bar heater), but I don't think they put out that much) from the transmitters, but at the receivers you are picking up micro volts (ants put out more voltage from their antennae than that!) They send to far as they send in a straight line much as a car headlight does.

10:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once an Aucklander, I read Pascoe’s
Tales of mountains and gorges far away south
Become familiar through worn-out boots,
Deepening love,
As stretching leather shoulder straps
Measured the years of burdened pack,
It carried the load, I carried the mule.

Nah but, John Pascoe (1908-72), he’s notable for his prose writing and editing mainly on the mountains and exploratory journeys, but not for his poetry –
You see that bit I tried myself –
well his free verse
was worse.

Good photographer, valuable social history record of NZ in the war years, much involved with the NZ centennial publications, and subsequent historical research, conservation and national archives – over a page in the DNZB, and a fine hefty beautifully illustrated biography John Pascoe by Chris MacLean (Craig Potton, 2003).

Auckland was the far-off land to him, never settled north of Wellington, saw the Waitakere Ranges once and dismissed them as an insignificant hedge on the horizon. He was fit for mountain climbing till he died abruptly of a stroke, a shock to my mountain-climbing professor of the same age (and the youthful me).

The lines in Denis Glover’s Arawata Bill – “I met a man from the mountains/ Who told me that Bill/ Left cairns across the ravines …” – that’s his chief claim to poetic fame, he was the man from the mountains who told Glover the story and its flavours he thought suited to poetic treatment.

When James K Baxter died 2 days after John Pascoe, a correspondent to The Dominion quoted JamesK’s ‘High Country Weather’ as fitting to them both. Denis Glover knew them both and wrote in objecting to the canonisation of Baxter and the media prominence given to his death obscuring that of the more worthy Pascoe’s. History may not agree, but still, John Pascoe and his works are worth knowing, whatever his opinion of the wonderful Waitakeres.


10:25 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks for that comment Chris - I agree that Pascoe's poetry is pretty weak, even if it did spur Glover to create his most famous work, but I think that Unclimbed New Zealand is a tremendous book, a memorial not only to the mountains of Canterbury but to the middle class and proletarian young men and women who defied polite Christchurch society and the snobbish mountaineering establishment symbolised by the Hermitage by rushing off every weekend in scruffy clothes with knapsacks full of poetry books to ascend obscure peaks.

In Unclimbed New Zealand, at least, Pascoe writes well, in short vigorous sentences burnished with salty neologisms and quotes from his famous poets. The unashamedly digressive structure of the book reminds me a little of English ramblers like Edward Thomas and Robert Macfarland. And Pascoe's passion for the alpine landscape and for South Island history - there's a chapter on Westland bushrangers, and another on Samuel Butler - is so pure, so unproblematic, when laid beside either the existential 'lonely land' agonies of southerners like McCahon and Brasch and Curnow or the postcolonial concerns of nothern writers like Smithyman! (Of course, purity is not always a good thing...)

I'm sure Pascoe was unimpressed by the Waitakeres, but some of the gang of young intellectuals who used to tramp the ranges in the
'30s and hole up at Anawhata were Canterbury exiles, who would have been exposed to the alpinist subculture Pascoe and other students created at Canty University. For Allen Curnow and other homesick Cantabrians, the Waitakeres were probably the Auckland Alps.

I'm going to do an anti-travel piece where I carry Pascoe's book up into the mighty Waitakeres, and dip into it for inspiration in the same way he dipped into poets like Flecker and Auden during his spells to the Southern Alps. I'll be home in time for tea, of course...

2:41 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Interesting stuff Richard. Do you know about Bruce Cathie, the former commercial pilot and Ufologist who believes, or seems to believe, that there are secret UFO bases in the Waitakeres and that a secret energy grid involving aerials and aether operates across Auckland's suburbs?

'Over the next four months I spent my days off work cruising around the Auckland area looking for anything unusual in the way of masts and aerials. Results exceeded all expectations. A surprisingly large number of strange aerials turned up; plotted on the Auckland map, they showed quite clearly that they were more than ham listening-posts — although in every instance they were in fact listed as belonging to ham stations in the official ham radio yearbook. It was clear that the specialized aerials were set up in straight lines in relationship to one another — and in addition were blended into the UFO grid pattern established over the Auckland area.

At this point I was faced with the obvious conclusion that a group of electronics experts knew far more than I did about the grid system — and moreover, that the knowledge must have been in their possession for quite some years. Some of the aerials, we found, had been located on the present sites for periods ranging up to several years...'


Pretty strange stuff: indicative partly of a paranoid response to the Waiatarua aerials and similar structures?

3:01 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Hi Jono,

I was last up in Kohukohu a couple of years ago, for the opening of an exhibition of long-absent local boy Ralph Hotere's anti-war painting Song of Solomon in the little local gallery run by the mother of a friend of Skyler's - that was quite an occasion, with locals come down from their farms in gumboots rubbing shoulders with disorientated Ponsonby artfolk, some of whom seemed to be fingering their GPS devices like rosaries, and politicians like Shane Jones, who made a loud and not very complementary remark about the science of global warming.

Earlier on the same day we'd day we had gone driving round the harbour, and found a descendant of Papahurihia doing repair work on some of the wooden grave markers in the Omanaia cemetery where the prophet lies. There were a couple of stone fetishes covered in strange paintings lying on Papahurihia's slab. The Hokianga's a place I always enjoy visiting - it is one of the several regions of New Zealand which seem to me to have the density of history we find in a place like Europe as well as the wildness and romance associated with the nineteenth century New World. Probably that's a sentimental statement, but you hopefully know what I mean...

3:17 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

I know what you mean, about the remotest place up here that I have got into was the Warawara forest. We almost didnt make it out as the rain came in the wet bits got wetter, and we ripped a tire off the rim of the ute on the way down the escarpement (always at 430 on a friday afternoon). It was the last place in the North Island to get possums, and when native logging stopped the NZFS just bailed, leaving bulldozers and graders and hauling gear to lie derelict on the sides of the tracks. My missus was up there doing a rifleman survey a few years ago and its one of the few places left where you can see those little buggers riffling up kauri that would give Tane Mahuta a run for his money.

Re Auden and freudian tunnels, I accidentally read a poem Andrew Sullivan posted last week in one of his many rememberances for Hitchens, "A Platonic Blow (Nice Day for a Lay)". I had to go have a lie down afterwards.

11:16 am  
Anonymous Scott said...

Thanks for your kind words Nate. That's a fascinating anecdote about the Warawara forest, Jono - you archaeologists have all the best work stories! The last poem in Smithyman's Atua Wera deals with a group of Taranaki Maori who had taken up residence in an abandoned forestry camp in the Warawara forest after having a religious vision there. Smithyman based his poem on a newspaper article which described the opposition the newcomers were facing from locals.
Maybe you visited the forest camp in question?


One hundred and one years after Aperahama
in the same valley God spoke
to Tamawahine and her sister Mihirangi.
He led them from the valley across the harbour
to the next harbour, turned them
inland and took them up into a high place
within the Forest. He sealed
their new home for them,
an abandoned Forest Service camp.
Children will be better off here, they say,
than out where people get into trouble.
Police and Welfare came, they took some of the children.
Kaumatua refused to go up and speak —
it's a question of good manners,
the intruders should come down.
Two older women went, inviting the strangers.
They went with rangers and 'a church minister'
who was told to go away.
Local people are conservative and mainly Catholic.
They are not anxious to hear the sisters.
Tamawahine and Mihirangi are saddened by this.
They have news about Jehovah.

2:25 pm  
Anonymous Jono said...

Funny, I had never made the connection, but I read Atua Wera perhaps six months after I went up there.

It cant have been much fun, it can be pretty cold and wet up there and track in can get pretty gnarly; it needs several hundred thousand dollars of work to make it driveable apparantly, but no one needs to get up there that badly. There isnt that much archaeology recorded but there is a cool little kauri shingle forest rangers hut on the Mitimiti side (which we were trying to find, but missed). An acquaintance of mine did say he had found some seriously big stone platforms in from Mitimiti once but I never got any details.

2:50 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I have been so long out of that field I don't know where transmitters are - if I ever did. (At one stage a lot of Radio stations used Mt Eden). If he is commenting recently he probably means the aerials associated with cell phones and maybe additions to the internet. Not sure. You cant really see that much from a commercial jet.

The military of course use various radio and other systems (radar and microwave). It is possible in theory to transmit power via some kind of "big pulse" via some kind of radar of microwave network (point to point). But I don't think that has been done anywhere.

Radio hams sometimes set up quite big antennae. My (immediate) boss at the NZED and been and an electrician but had learnt everything from his own nous and via his interest as a radio ham. I was still learning when they re-offered everyone their jobs and I decided to take the money and run. I thought of studying engineering but decided instead for literature (1990). I think it would have meant disappearing into some ares of specialization (probably some kind of routine thing) as that "field" is vast. I cant really even recall what I was doing in those days very clearly. I remember testing batteries at Penrose and so on.

Years ago in the 60s I went through a Sci Fi period and read and read Sci Fi, and then my brother in law - who was interested in science and electronics etc was also interested in all kinds of things (he gave me an early edition of 1984) got me reading about UFOs. Now I read Adamski and other things and the USAF reports. But in the end I decided that if there were "aliens" they hadn't reached here yet.

I knew about Cathie, his books still sell quite well. I suspect he is a bit touched but who knows - it's a strange world.

4:07 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Tessla also went mad and believed he had found a power source throughout the world and people think his ideas are being suppressed. But Tessla (before he "lost it") did important work (practical and theoretical) in high voltage AC electrical transmission.

A tessla is unit of magnetic flux density or something so he is thought of enough. Also current is measured in Amperes (Ampere was a scientist) and there are other units sued named after experimenters and scientists etc

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:49 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I may have been a bit harsh (or not supportive enough) on or of Tesla.

He really deserved the Nobel Prize if anyone did. Incredible amount of stuff he did. And he knew literary people (Mark Twain, Hawthorne) also

11:10 pm  

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