Summer is the season of dahlia shows. Every weekend, enthusiasts assemble in town halls around the country to compete for the top prize: Champion of Champions. But participation in these shows is dwindling, and now the country’s top growers are seeking to pass on their expertise to a new generation of gardeners. Meanwhile, dahlia breeders continue to explore the plants’ hidden genes, producing ever newer, stranger, more extravagant cultivars.
The world is complex and confusing, and much of it doesn’t make sense. But there is information available at our fingertips—information of wildly varying quality. Sometimes, this information gets dangerous, especially in situations when we desperately want answers to questions that don’t have answers. So, how’s a rational person to tell truth from fiction these days? How do we, as a society, agree upon what’s true? And why have we been so catastrophically unable to agree in 2021?
Life in the subantarctic is difficult enough for those who arrive prepared. In 1864, castaways from two storm-wrecked ships, the Grafton and the Invercauld, landed on opposite ends of Auckland Island. Survival became a daily challenge. Each group tackled it differently: one fell to violence and cannibalism, while the other became a close-knit brotherhood. Were the wildly different fates of men of the Grafton and the Invercauld down to luck—or leadership?
The second-oldest collection of Māori artefacts in the world—exceeded only by the one amassed by James Cook—is held in Russia. These 200-year-old treasures have immense value to iwi at the top of the South Island, whose ancestors traded with Russian explorers. Now, there’s a movement to bring these taonga home.