What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? — Discover

Would a basic level of income change the world for the better? At FiveThirtyEight, Andrew Flowers writes on how guaranteed income is gaining traction.

via What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? — Discover

Te Mata Coleraine 2013

Te Mata Coleraine 2013 (16 March 2015)

Te Mata Coleraine 2013 (16 March 2015)

A six-pack with a difference, this box of Coleraine 2013 held still for me and my camera at Wineseeker, Wellington. I’ll be adding only a single bottle to my modest Coleraine collection, but I’ve been given a spare box to house them in.

Te Mata Estate released Coleraine 2013 in the first week of March 2015. The final blend was 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc.

“This is arguably the most important wine release New Zealand has ever seen,” according to the Advintage website. “Certainly, in our 15 years in this industry, we have never before seen such hype and anticipation surrounding a new vintage. But this is Coleraine. And it is Coleraine from the vintage of a lifetime.”

Advintage goes on to assert: “… 2013 sets a dramatic new standard for Coleraine – a wine already considered the pinnacle of Hawke’s Bay red wine production. It’s an ethereal, complete experience – plusher and weightier than previous vintages. Very clearly a new benchmark for New Zealand Cabernet Merlot blends has been set.”

“From the depths of its saturated inky appearance, Coleraine ’13 is a commanding statement of the vintage. Its powerful attack of beautifully ripened blackberries and black plums integrates with an accompanying surge of immediate tannin which quickly becomes the focus as the wine flows across the palate.

“Coleraine ’13 is a wine to contemplate, from a large glass, over several hours. It is a 30 year wine of impeccable style and character.” (Tasting note on Te Mata website)

“Coleraine derives its name from the Coleraine vineyard, home of John and Wendy Buck of Te Mata Estate. John’s late grandfather was born in Coleraine in Northern Ireland and the name has been maintained through the family home to the wine. Originally a single vineyard wine, from 1989 Coleraine has been an assemblage of the finest wines produced from distinct plots within Te Mata Estate’s oldest vineyards on the Havelock Hills.” (Cited on the webpage for Coleraine ’13)

Te Mata Estate was established in Hawke’s Bay in 1896, and wines have been made there for over a century. Specialising in high-quality wines of classical style, Te Mata sees itself as having been at the forefront of the modern rejuvenation of the New Zealand wine scene for the last forty years. “Every step in the production of our wines is undertaken by us, from grape growing and pruning through to winemaking and bottling.” “We are large enough to be well-resourced but small enough to concentrate on detail.” (Text adapted from descriptive material found on the Te Mata website)

A meditation

Quite without effort,
words coalesce: the bright brooch
of significance.

A wisp, a whisper
of wistfulness, of wanting …
gritted teeth, desire.

Breathing empties me;
a single candle flickers,
sparks a forest-fire.

All futures blossom
on one ancient tree; sways still
the eternal dance.

(08 February 2015)

 

Old walnut

old walnut (19 October 2013)

old walnut (19 October 2013)

My friend recently expressed a concern that the old walnut tree in his garden “might be on its way out.” It has lost a couple of dead limbs in high winds over recent months, but leaf-buds are beginning to burst.

Planted by his father during the 1920s, this walnut is one of a small number of exotic trees that have thrived amongst the natives. There’s an enormous elm nearby – on the other side of the fence that went up when the property was subdivided. It has sent out numerous suckers over the years, and they will cause problems for future generations.

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NOTE:

Elm trees have extensive, aggressive root systems that grow laterally and close to the surface, perfect conditions for the development of suckers. Suckers, also referred to as basal shoots, emerge from a tree’s root system, siphoning its energy and overtaking the tree if left unattended. See How to Cut Elm Suckers

The fundamental tendency of matter

Legion (cover)

Legion (cover)

The human brain, three pounds of tissue, held more than a hundred billion brain cells and five hundred trillion synaptic connections. It dreamed and wrote music and Einstein’s equations, it created the language and the geometry and engines that probed the stars, and it cradled a mother asleep through a storm while it woke her at the faintest cry from her child. A computer that could handle all of its functions would cover the surface of the earth.

The hundreds of millions of years of evolution from paramecium to man didn’t solve the mystery, thought Kinderman. The mystery was evolution itself. The fundamental tendency of matter was toward a total disorganization, toward a final state of utter randomness from which the universe would never recover. Each moment its connections were becoming unthreaded as it flung itself headlong into the void in a reckless scattering of itself, impatient for the death of its cooling suns. And yet here was evolution, Kinderman marvelled, a hurricane piling up straw into haystacks, bundles of ever-increasing complexity that denied the very nature of their stuff. Evolution was a theorem written on a leaf that was floating against the direction of the river. A Designer was at work. So what else? It’s as plain as can be. When a man hears hoofbeats in Central Park, he shouldn’t be looking around for zebras. (William Peter Blatty, in Legion [pp104-5]) 

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Originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1983, and subsequently turned into what Rinker calls “a more than satisfactory sequel … Exorcist III (which, mercifully, has nothing to do with Exorcist II: The Heretic).” Legion appeared in a Tor paperback edition in 2011 (Tom Doherty Associates, New York).

Hitting that impenetrable wall of reality

American Subversive - cover

American Subversive – cover

And when you’ve fallen for all the youthful clichés about making a difference, when you’ve tailored your life around them, hitting that impenetrable wall of reality is devastating. For things were only getting worse. The global economy was in shambles, the developing world falling out of reach. I was falling out of reach. I was losing myself.

And then I lost my brother.

(David Goodwillie, in American Subversive, p31)

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David Goodwillie. 2010. American subversive. New York: Scribner.

“This thriller is less a whodunit than an exploration of what motivates radicalism in an age of disillusionment and impotence.” (Malena Watrous, in a review for The New York Times)