Other writing from Peter Macinnis

  • Current work
  • Magazine pieces
  • Science activities
  • On air
  • The Ugly Islands
  • Crooked Mick of the Speewah
  • On air

    I am an occasional essayist on Australia's ABC Radio National. To access the essays which are online, either on this site or at the ABC, see my list of Ockham's talks. I recorded a new talk, on climbing small mountains (it went to air on October 29, 2006), and I was on the Science Show, with a follow-up the next week. I am full of good intentions to do more, but books keep on rearing up at me.

    Some of the likely future scripts may be found if you follow your nose to my repository of partly-baked ideas, rants, heresies and different views. Every so often, the fit takes me to grab one of those and worry it into shape as something bigger. There is also a blog for my travels.

    I was twice (1991 and 1992) awarded a "highly commended" in the Michael Daley Awards for excellence in science journalism for radio pieces. Then they started messing around with the rules so that weirdos like me no longer fitted in . . .

    Current work:

    This is always changing: see my journal or find me on Goodreads.


    I also write radio and magazine essays for adults, and you used to find me mainly in GEO magazine. The pieces in GEO related to whatever came to hand pieces about the sandstone of Sydney, and the introduction of exotic species to Australia in the 19th century.

    To find a recent example, seem my look at science literacy.

    Science Activities

    One of my main interests is in getting young people to relate to science (see the note about science literacy above), and to that end, I have put together a collection of interesting science things to do. You can get to the start of this at my Science Playwiths home page.

    The most recent addition is a collection of ideas for science fairs and projects. There must be close to a thousand of these, and you can get them as about 22 crammed pages in PDF format, ready to print out, if you so wish.

    The collection also includes some interesting open-ended stuff, but I will leave you to dig for that.

    Crooked Mick of the Speewah

    If you search carefully through the Web, you will find many true stories from my pen about Australia. Absolutely true. I never tell a lie, and Crooked Mick of the Speewah is a real person, in spite of what some leg-pullers may tell you.

    Well, hardly ever. Crooked Mick is a legendary Australian, created about a century ago, as a means of taking down skites and boasters. Whatever the skite had done, Mick would somehow have done it better. I have been extending this legend to a certain extent, but only in a completely truthful way. I am still looking for a publisher (hint, hint!).

    You will find two Crooked Mick stories by clicking Crooked Mick builds a railway and The Great Speewah Flood. And when I get organised, there will be a couple of others as well, and maybe some more reports on the latest news from Yandackworroby. Look for those soon, though there may also be a published version before too long more on that some other time :-)

    I also do occasional pieces about other aspects of Australia to get my story-telling eye in, and a few of them may be found by clicking on Yandackworroby and following the links from there. A tangled web of data is being assembled for you behind that pointer.

    The Ugly islands have arrived on the Web.

    The Ugly islands is a simulation exercise for science teachers and students, some parts of which may be familiar to older science teachers in new South Wales. To find out more, you had better go to the Ugly Islands Home Page. Be warned, though, that I have been too busy to complete this project, but there is enough there to play with.

    The Ugly Islands were conceived by me in 1976, but the idea has needed to wait until the Web for it to have a chance of working as it should. The location has been mapped, and it is now being described. One day, it will be ready to use as a source of complex thinking problems. But for now, it is worth wandering through -- I need people to spot inconsistencies, and to suggest other areas of research which need to be included.

    And even on microfiche . . .

    I have appeared from time to time in the annals of ERIC, the Educational Resources Information Center in the USA, including ED 260 113, "Sorts of Report", and ED223615 to ED223627, some of which are eccentrically attributed to other authors, at the whim of somebody who thought acknowledgements in alphabetical order was the same as authorship in seniority order. Well them's the breaks :-)

    I also had a hand in ED223628 to ED233633 and ED223731, while ED223729, ED223730 and ED223732 are all mine as well -- all of these are collections of test items published by the NSW Department of Education in the late 1970s and into the 1980s.

    Life is busy . . .

    This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/writing/others.htm
    It was last revised on February 24, 2009.
    It was created by Peter Macinnis -- macinnis@ozemail.com.au (but if you want to get in touch, put my first name in front of that e-mail address! If you don't, the message will never be seen!
    Unless otherwise indicated, all materials shown here are free of any copyright restrictions. The home page of this set is here.
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