The tall poppy syndrome is a phenomenon where high-achievers are attacked or resented for their success - New Zealand is particularly known for its intolerance of people who achieve success. A PhD student at Victoria University recently completed a thesis about the syndrome. A linguist, Jay Woodhams concluded that many people pre-empt these attacks by using self-deprecating language about themselves. This is not surprising, and accords with my own experience. However, what is
Who knew? The secret to happiness is going running with your friends in a gorilla suit. I have become very interested in personal resilience lately, and over the weekend I watched the award-winning documentary film 'Happy'. The documentary explores the science of happiness, which has burgeoned over the last couple of decades, especially in the US. Research indicates that while 50 percent of the level of happiness any individual experiences is determined by genes (called the '
This is a photo of the mining settlement of Brunner, perched on the side of the Grey River, on the West Coast of the South Island. The photo is interesting in itself. The mine can be seen in the middle ground, with houses on the deforested flanks of the hills behind the mine. Coal ready for transport by rail can be seen in the foreground. Tailings can also be seen spilling into the river. It is also of historical interest. The Brunner Mine became the site of New Zealand’s wor
Is the Bachelor of the Arts (BA) threatened with extinction? Not according to Prof. Paul Spoonley, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Massey University's College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In fact, in his interview with Radio NZ's Jesse Mulligan last week, Prof. Spoonley argued - rather convincingly - that the BA is the degree of the future. This comes at a time when many students are increasingly turning to 'vocational qualifications' - degrees or other qualifications that prepa