About sixty bright young secondary students from throughout New Zealand met in Auckland to compete in the Young Enterprise Trust competition 2012. The competition was held at Massey University Albany. However, the students were allocated into a dozen teams that were dispersed in several sponsor-mentor premises throughout the city.
These photos illustrates the journey of one team, Team Unitec, hosted on Unitec Institute of Technology’s Mount Albert campus. The soundtrack presents their response to the challenge: “Create a new venture business plan using a wood-based product sourced from New Zealand that can be used to create a valuable business solving human issues in Indonesia”.
LinkedIn brought me a re-connection with a university flatmate from 1973-1975. He lamented the absence of mementos from the period, due to his ex girlfriend taking them with her after they split.
I brainstormed this list of memes reflecting life of a kiwi student in the early 1970s at Massey University.
Fresh sunday bread and honey
Great feasts…. When the TAB (horse betting) payoff to Ronald and Jones paid out bigtime.
Battered lambs brains … with battered parsnips and carrots.
The Goon show
… Tough? You think that’s tough! I remember when….
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Stanley Kubrick movies
2001 A Space Odyssey
A Clockwork Orange
Let it be
The Massey drama society Shakespeare productions
Lord of the Rings
Black and white tv
Days of our lives
The glittering prizes
Roasting chestnuts on an open fireplace
The Massey Technosoc Scroll
B.Tech and The Technocrats
100 watt. Yamaha stereo systems
Pogus’ 3 watt valve amp (mono!)
Hitchhiking to Wellington for NZSO concerts
Mahler and Shostakovich
Herbert von Karajan
$2.00 for a Chinese dinner
Security intelligence service
Wanganui Police computer
End of national conscription
NZ exits Viet Nam war … a precursor to exiting ANZUS a dozen years later.
NZ opens diplomatic relations with China
Mao and Joe Walding
Death of Norman Kirk
Our first time voting in a national election
The Values Party (The world’s first ‘Green party’, according to Alvin Toffler)
RAS Rob Shirley and his territorial army/weekend warrior recruits
NZUSU sports festival
Blue jeans and tea shirts
A toilet glued down (with Araldite?) somewhere on the Palmerston North Square
Anarchic disruption of the Massey Anarchists foundation meeting
The Mini on top of the vet tower
The Austin Fairline? Sheerline? Whatever… A huge grey Rolls Royce-sized car that Mac owned?
Bob Doran’s PLI programming puzzles
Boxes of punch cards
Operating systems and compilers
Algol v PLI
Two brands of beer Lion and DB … and occasionally Tui
A flagon of port
Veluto Rosso wine
Montana Sauternes or was it McWilliams?
… And that was pretty much the choice of wines!
Bursary and schol
Summer work in the abattoirs or hay paddocks
The court hostels
Terms and finals
Jones and his once per term clothes washing expedition … home
Jones and his pet mouse
Crun and Pog
Gus the black samoid dog
Hoop, Helen and Noon. Alyson. Rob Kay. Nev Jeans. Pramda L. Ronald L. Phil J.
Pogic - Peter’s creative logic
Bachelor of Technology students at Massey University, 1973
(Author: top right)
I remember watching the series The Glittering Prizes on tv (Fredrick Raphael). (Clearly, whilst I was doing postgraduate studies in the late 1970s) Similar to the book I have just started reading (Faulks: Engleby) it was set in the then contemporary period of the fifties through the seventies following the progress of Oxbridge graduates get jobs. Get married. Have affairs. Have crises.Tom Conti was one of the actors. I recall the events seemed absolutely fantastic compared with our lives and how we imagined they might unfold. In the ‘unbelievable fantasy’ sense of the word. Incredible. Ten years later (I guess) I re-read the book and it all seemed far more credible and close to home! strange. I can’t recall any other tv programs we might have watched. Perhaps the tv blew up and or we didn’t watch tv much.
To start at the very top of the list you might recall that -music was stored employing scratches inflicted on disks of black polyvinyl chloride. When a student flat possessed 100 LPs it would arrange a continuous playing of the 100 said lps commencing mid Friday afternoon interspersed with grog and greasies (Beer, fish, and chips). At 45 mins per LP I estimate 75 hours. A long sleepless weekend! Perhaps just one side for each LP? Hence ‘thon’, an abbreviation of marathon.
I recall that for our thon held at The Wynd (88 Grey Street. Now flattened and replaced with an office block) I was restricted to play just one side only from my 14 volume set of Mahler Von Karajan symphonies. Can’t think why! Probably the fifth, since I was proceeding through all the great composer’s fifth symphonies at that time. Try it sometime!
I think we invented Multinational Monopoly during our thon. Multinational Monopoly required two Monopoly boards and required two full time bankers who adjusted financial parameters such as the salary level, financial transactions tax rate on each board and the travel fare between each board. Each banker’s aim was to increase the wealth of ‘their’ citizens as they traveled form country to country buying properties and collecting rents. We never finished a game as I recall.
Hope this brings back interesting memories for any Massey student from the 70s.
The ch**** mile.
Curious. My Zemanta blog-writing helper makes no connection with the NZ Values Party, Waddington’s Monopoly, Sebastian Faulks, Monty Python, or the Goon Show.
Image via Wikipedia
I had a dream last night:
I was reading a scientific texbook co-authored by two mid-career Massey University chemists. The section I was reading was explaining about biochemical cycles, such as the Krebs Cycle. However, the authors were explaining how they had identified a radically different way for explaining the same results that were achieved by the Krebs Cycle. Their explanations gave rise to the possibility of new biochemical compounds, particularly those chellated with metals such as gold, Au. They had succesfully synthesised some of the compounds that they had forecasted were possible ONLY through their new explanation.
The book was primarily a textbook about biochemistry and organic chemistry. It was a fine-quality printed hard-cover book that spoke with the confident authority of its authors backed by their publisher [Oxford or Cambridge University Press?]. Consquently, the text was written in the ‘third person’ and contained detailed drawings of biochemical pathways such as the Krebs Cycle. [I had to memorise these pathways as a student of biochemistry and organic chemistry during my degree studies in biotechnology in the 1970s]
However, the authors introduced their personal story of how they had discovered a new biochemical pathway. In the tradition of science writing, it was an ‘objectivised’ rather than ‘autobiographical’ story. One of the authors was surnamed John. [My middle name, incidentally]. I recall that in the dream I was very impressed by their feat of discovery. It reminded me of the same feat of scientific imagination that lead 19th century German scientist Kekule to identify the ringed structure for C6H6, benzene.
I awoke from the dream surprised to find I had been dreaming: the detail on the textbook pages seemed so realistic and credible. What is the importance of this dream to me? Is this my ‘Kekule dream’? … Have I made a discovery that will lay down the foundations for a vast industrial empire such as Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Hoechst, and Du Pont? Or perhaps a post-industrial empire based on eco-magination, eco-innovation, eco-sustainability, or industrial ecology?
Metabolism. Image via Wikipedia
My partner was interested to learn about my dream. We spent our breakfast hours this morning discussing. Literal objectivist that I am, I explained how Kekule dreamed he saw snakes chasing each other. Eventually, two snakes caught each others’ tale, and formed a ring. This ring inspiration inspired Kekule to propose - and subsequently validate through experiment - the ringed structure of benzene with alternating double and single bonds between the carbon atoms.
Aside: Kekule’s discovery opened up a whole new field of chemistry and chemical manufacture since the ringed structure had never before been conceived. Now we know that ringed biochemical structures are vital for life on this planet: consider the chlorophyll molecule that creates oxygen and biochemical energy for plants from carbon dioxide, water and sunlight.
With the convenience of my NEW iPad 2, I was able quickly to find some entertaining and/or informative YouTube videos about the Krebs cycle, Kekule, and organic chemistry generally. These YouTubes my partner enjoyed (The first being a ‘rap’ version my niece might appreciate as part of her science studies!).
Video: Benzene: A true story
My partner proposed that my dream was a response to my recent reading of Logan and Logan’s (2006) inspirational writings from the world’s leading thinkers. Many of the selections in their book portrayed practical - but revolutionary - scientists’ thinking and approach in quite a different light to that which I had let myself become ‘conditioned’ to believe: an approach of systematic, logical investigation propelled by diligent adoption of ‘The Scientific Method’. The Mr Spock (of Start Trek) Method. For example, see my quote about Pasteur’s method of practice, here.
I feel the dream is ‘knocking on my door’ about writing a different kind of book. A book DIFFERENT to the style that I feel compelled and expected to write as a university-based ‘academician’. A new, though not radically innovative, genre of writing style that is substantially more engaging for the reader than a traditional academic text or journal article. Namely, a book that is BOTH strongly educative (facts, ideas, arguments) as one sees in a textbook PLUS engaging through personal, but relevant anecdotes about the journey - or struggle - of the professional discipline about which I am writing…. Perhaps a ‘bloggy’ style of book, like my pogus tumblr writing…..
As I re-read the previous paragraph I am reminded of a book I read at school that taught me organic chemistry. The book was constructed landscape with the left column presenting the main text, but with blanks you had to fill in. The right column included the answers. Simple, but an effective self-teaching resource.
There is a (real) knock on the door. A package has arrived delivered by courier. I am surprised - and delighted - to find a book I ordered only earlier this week:
Mann, S. (2011). The green graduate: Educating every student as a sustainable practitioner. Wellington, NZ: NZCER.
What do you think my dream is telling me?
(I sketched out half a dozen responses to this question - but my tumblr editor DELETED them! What does that mean!)
Logan, P., & Logan, R. (2005). Your True Purpose: Inspirational readings from the world’s leading thinkers. Christchurch, N.Z.: Hazard Press. Retrieved from http://www.johnreedbooks.com.au/catalog/10226-YourTruePurpose-9781877270956/16351