How to read what a job ad’s not saying

Most people understand that when a real-estate advertisement promotes a property as ‘ideal for first-home owners’, they mean ‘nobody would live here if they could afford somewhere else’. And when those ads label a house a ‘DIY dream’, they mean ‘the roof is currently held on by duct tape’....

Poem: Without a Name (A Response to Angsty Heartbreak Poems)

I don’t always agree with with Past-Me. She made some stupid choices, and she thought some stupid things. (Like 5ive being better than the Backstreet Boys. She probably based that opinion more on her own hormonal response than on musical acumen.) But she seemed just as unmoved by angsty...

Your Memories are Lying to You

The grass, apparently, is always greener wherever we’re not. I haven’t lived in Queensland, Australia, for almost 10 years now. But I remember it fondly. Especially when winter hits, and in New Zealand everybody stops ageing for several months. Unfortunately, memories often lie, and if I wasn’t such an...

Book Review: Lexicon by Max Barry

A thrilling novel has to have the right balance of plausibility. If it tips too far in either direction, the thrill is replaced with either revulsion or ridicule. Too much plausibility, and it becomes a novelisation of horrific evening news reports. (I don’t know anyone who watches those for...