How to cheat at university

A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating at Tertiary Institutions. Now, I […]

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Counting Barretts

Just in case you don’t have a seven-year old boy in your house (in which case this will be obvious) a well-known brand of breakfast cereal here in NZ is currently coming with All-Blacks stats cards. Perfect for finding out your favourite rugby player’s height, number of caps, and how much they can eat for […]

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When the power goes off

This morning we woke up to discover  a power cut. This meant: No electric kettle. We do have a gas stove, however, which we could light with the help of matches (the automatic ignition relies on mains power.) So we did eventually get some hot drinks. No toaster. No microwave. No hot toast, no porridge.  […]

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Quantum cryptography

I was reading last week a children’s book about “Secret codes”.  You probably know the kind of thing I’m talking about – substituting one letter for another, or a squiggly shape for a letter, rearranging letters, and so on. Fun things to do, but not the basis of modern cryptography. However, the book didn’t just […]

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The bed of nails

It’s always fun to see this demonstrated. Here’s Haggis Henderson, at the recent NZ Institute of Physics conference in Christchurch, not only lying on a bed of nails but having a teenager stand on him too. He survived the experience, though I can’t vouch for what his back looked like afterwards. The bed of nails […]

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