Arctic haze In the 1950’s, pilots traveling on weather reconnaissance flights in the Canadian high Arctic reported seeing bands of haze in the springtime in the Arctic region. It was during this time that the term “Arctic haze” was first used, referring to this smog of unknown origin. But it was not until 1972, that … more →

Children’s thinking One of the most eminent of psychologists, Clark Hull, claimed that the essence of reasoning lies in the putting together of two ‘behavior segments’ in some novel way, never actually performed before, so as to reach a goal. Two followers of Clark Hull, Howard and Tracey Kendler, devised a test for children that … more →

Tornadoes Tornadoes are one of the most severe types of weather phenomena. While many people fear tornadoes and their destructive power, few people understand their real causes and effects, nor are they aware of how to protect themselves from their devastating force. Tornadoes, violently rotating columns of air, occur when a change in wind direction, … more →

Early childhood education New Zealand’s National Pony spokesman on education, Dr Lockwood Smith, recently visited the US and Britain. Here he reports on the findings of his trip and what they could mean for New Zealand’s education policy A ‘Education To Be More’ was published last August. It was the report of the New Zealand … more →

Air traffic control in the USA A An accident that occurred in the skies over the Grand Canyon in 1956 resulted in the establishment of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to regulate and oversee the operation of aircraft in the skies over the United States, which were becoming quite congested. The resulting structure of air … more →

The truth about the environment For many environmentalists, the world seems to be getting worse. They have developed a hit-list of our main fears: that natural resources are running out, that the population is ever growing, leaving less and less to eat, that species are becoming extinct in vast numbers, and that the planet’s air … more →

Nature or nurture A A few years ago, in one of the most fascinating and disturbing experiments in behavioral psychology, Stanley Milgram of Yale University tested 40 subjects from all walks of life for their willingness to obey instructions given by a ‘leader’ in a situation in which the subjects might feel a personal distaste … more →

The birth of scientific English World science is dominated today by a small number of languages, including Japanese, German and French, but it is English which is probably the most popular global language of science. This is not just because of the importance of English-speaking countries such as the USA in scientific research; the scientists … more →

Johnson’s dictionary For the century before Johnson’s Dictionary was published in 1775, there had been concern about the state of the English language. There was no standard way of speaking or writing and no agreement as to the best way of bringing some order to the chaos of English spelling. Dr Johnson provided the solution. … more →

Urban planning in Singapore British merchants established a trading post in Singapore in the early nineteenth century, and for more than a century trading interests dominated. However, in 1965 the newly independent island state was cut off from its hinterland, and so it set about pursuing a survival strategy. The good international communications it already … more →