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Tim Richards
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Montreal Biodome: Former Olympic Velodrome Now Houses Penguins and Puffins
Traveller, 5 August 2022

"Everyone needs a puffin in their lives, I realise, as I peer through the glass of an exhibit at the Montreal Biodome. There's something inherently comical about Atlantic puffins' spherical heads and curvy orange beaks, as if they're an unlikely children's toy which came alive and was released into the wild. Next door to them is a more familiar bird: the penguin. These bird species normally live thousands of kilometres apart, but I'm able to see them together because they share the Subpolar Regions section of the Biodome..."

Visiting an intriguing collection of environments in Montreal, Canada.

[Read the full article here]

Royal Exhibition Building: Australia's World Heritage-listed Vaccination Centre
Traveller, 11 June 2021

"As a global pandemic hits Australia, Melbourne's grand Royal Exhibition Building is pressed into service to help combat the virus. Opened in 1880 as a symbol of hope and progress, it's now a crucial part of the city's fight against an insidious invisible enemy. Sound like 2021? Actually, it was February 1919. With the so-called Spanish Flu sweeping the world, a temporary field hospital was opened within its cavernous halls to help relieve crowded hospitals. Now, more than 100 years later, the Royal Exhibition Building is again part of the response to a global health crisis, as a state government-run vaccine hub..."

Exploring the history of Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building, and its role in the fight against pandemics

[Read the full article here]

Learn About our Distant Relations at the Neanderthal Museum
, 9 March 2020

"There's something uncanny about the man in a suit as he leans on a concrete wall. No matter how much I try to focus on the museum's exhibits, my eye is drawn back to him. It's as if my brain can't believe that he's real. And that's fair enough, for the figure in a business suit is a dummy and not quite human – or at least, not human as we think of it today. He's a Neanderthal, a member of the species Homo neanderthalensis, which disappeared from the Earth about 40,000 years ago..."

Learning about pre-history at the Neanderthal Museum near Düsseldorf, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

The Dinosaurs of Winton
Active Retirees
, December 2018

"I’m glad I made it here, to see the aftermath of a prehistoric event preserved forever in the rock of Lark Quarry. All those millions of years ago, when this was much wetter terrain, herds of two-legged dinosaurs came one night to drink here. Suddenly a huge carnivorous theropod, looking something like a tyrannosaurus, charged the gathered prey. Their fleeing footprints were later covered in sediment, and now they’re visible forever..."

Discovering dinosaur fossils near the Outback town of Winton, Queensland.

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Get Served by Robots, and Look into the Future
, 29 December 2018

"Who would you rather check in to your hotel with? A robot or a velociraptor? And would the choice be easier if the toothy dinosaur was wearing a pillbox hat? That’s the dilemma which confronts me at the Henn-na Hotel, at Huis Ten Bosch near Nagasaki. Huis Ten Bosch’s un-Japanese name can be explained by the fact that it’s a theme park containing a perfect replica of a 17th century Dutch town. But more of that strangeness later..."

Checking into a curious robot-run hotel at a Dutch theme park near Nagasaki, Japan.

[Read the full article here]

I Travelled the World Without (Much) Cash
The Age & Sydney Morning Herald
31 January 2018

"It was at Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology that I finally had to stump up some cash. Since arriving in the Canadian city two days before, I'd been paying for everything via my phone using Apple Pay. It had been such a successful strategy that I still had the C$100 I'd arrived with in cash. Now, however, I needed to hire a locker before I enjoyed the institution's spectacular collection of First Nations totem poles. To do that, I had to break a note and put a Canadian quarter into the slot..."

Trying to pay for everything using contactless payment methods in Hong Kong, Canada, the USA & the UK.

[Read the full article here]

The Science of LA
, 24 August 2016

"You might think that Los Angeles is all about entertainment, with major drawcards such as Hollywood and Disneyland. But there’s another side to the city, in which science and technology are celebrated. From prehistoric fossils to space travel, LA is home to excellent museums which explore human ingenuity and the world around us. Here are four of the best..."

Investigating insitutions dedicated to science and technology in Los Angeles, USA

[Read the full article here]

Lightning Rod for Science
, 28 November 2015

"I clap my hands over my ears at the loud crackling sound, as a great arcing blaze of electrical power strikes a suspended metal sphere. However, the man seated inside its confined space survives thousands of volts of pure, deadly force. There will be no electrocution today. It's a regular demonstration at Munich's Deutsches Museum, but no less spectacular for its harmless outcome..."

Investigating the exhibits at a major science & technology museum
in Munich, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

The App of Luxury
Living the Dream, April 2014

"Apple’s famous slogan claims 'There’s an app for that.' And if you browse through its App Store, there are plenty of alarm apps, notepad apps, calculator apps and amusing games. But there’s a level well above these everyday practical apps. Many of the world’s top luxury brands are here as well, with apps that are stylish, sleek and inspirational. Here are some of the best."

Surveying a range of mobile apps issued by luxury brands.

Travel Smart: Top Travel Apps
Discover, Autumn 2011

"This free app lights up the entire iPhone screen with a white light when activated. It’s invaluable to help you read those bar menus with insanely tiny print..."

Overview of eight useful iPhone apps for the tech-equipped traveller.

Have Blog, Will Travel
The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 2009

"Ben Southall may officially have the Best Job in the World, having been appointed Island Caretaker by Tourism Queensland after a worldwide search that garnered enormous publicity, but he faces the same challenges of anyone writing a travel blog. How often should I post? How long should it be? What would interest my readers? Should I add images and links? And what does it take to please some people?"

Discovering whether travelling and blogging really do mix.

[Read the full article here]
Mobile Manners
MOB, April 2007

"I asked four mobile users, of different ages and backgrounds, about some problematic situations... In the end, mobile etiquette and safety are both about paying attention to the world around you. So watch out for others and keep your mobile safe, and we can all text happily ever after."

Examines the issues of mobile phone etiquette and safety, including users' opinions.

Running on Empty
Vegetables Australia, November 2006

"If you told anyone nowadays that it costs peanuts to run a vehicle, they’d think you were mad. But over a hundred years ago, at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, Dr Rudolf Diesel demonstrated a diesel engine that ran on peanut oil. Biofuels have been around since motor vehicles were invented; but in the 21st century, attention has turned to these alternatives in a big way."

A look at biofuels and their potential to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Ghosts of Futures Past
MXP, June 2005

"Nostradamus had enough sense to keep it vague. His mysterious predictions kept the punters guessing well past his death. If only his descendants had learned from his wisdom. Time and again, 20th century prognosticators set their books, films and TV series in a specific year of the future. In many cases, these years have now actually passed, enabling us to check the accuracy of their predictions."

Nostalgia piece about TV shows set in a future year which has now passed, with mobile technology highlights.

Mobile Phone Etiquette
MXP, February 2005

"Secret agent Maxwell Smart is sitting in the middle of a crowded theatre, when he’s embarrassed by a louding ringing from the concealed phone in his shoe. Yesterday’s TV gag is today’s question of mobile phone etiquette. Most of us have got the message about not using them in cinemas by now, but what are the rules about using them in cafes? Or in a meeting with a friend? Or on public transport?"

A look at vexed issues involving the polite use of mobile phones, with comments from users.

Log-on Laughs
Herald Sun, 26 April 2004

"There’s nothing funny about technology. Just think about it: spam, pop-ups, incompatible hardware and help files poorly translated from Japanese. Worst of all, computer crashes. There’s nothing remotely funny about your hard drive crashing..."

Examines a number of Comedy Festival shows focusing on the funny side of technology. 

Science & Technology

This page contains examples of my science and technology writing, organised by date. Each entry includes a sample paragraph, and indications of available rights.

If you'd like to republish one of these pieces, or would like a new piece, please get in touch via the contacts below.

All articles in this archive are available for republication (fee to be negotiated). Articles can be rewritten to meet your style or length requirements. Please contact me by email with your query.

articles by subject:



Science & Technology





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