About Minnie

Minnie has a Master of Public and International Law degree, and specialises in writing for vulnerable audiences—making complex policy meaningful to those who need it most.

Christmas carols aren’t about Christmas

Happy New Year, everyone! Guess what? Christmas is over and we don’t have to sing about it anymore. Not that any of the usual suspects mention the word. Instead, there is the decking of halls, jingling of bells and converging of ye faithful. Activities that could happen at any time of the year—and are less [...]

By |2018-01-08T14:43:54+10:00January 8th, 2018|Etymology, Music|2 Comments

Stories in numbers

Numbers are tricky. Some are too big to think about—like the ‘googol’ (10 to the power of 100), which has so many digits (101) that storing it in our heads would hypothetically turn our brains into a black hole. Even for fathomable numbers, our brains are hardwired to process them like sensory information. Instinctively, but [...]

By |2017-10-17T13:01:54+10:00October 17th, 2017|Numbers, Psychology|Comments Off on Stories in numbers

Word of the Day: Mondegreen

Definition: A misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from mishearing the lyrics of a song. The word, ‘mondegreen’ was coined in the 1950s. Writer, Sylvia Wright, described listening to her mother read old poems to her when she was a child. One had the line ‘…and laid him on the green’, which she misheard [...]

By |2017-02-22T21:45:49+10:00February 23rd, 2017|WOTD|4 Comments

Word of the Day: Millennial

Definition: People reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century (there are other unrelated definitions too). But what is ‘young adulthood’? And is the ‘early 21st century’ earlier than 4am? I’m not the only one confused, am I? A dedicated millennial marketing firm says that a ‘millennial’ is anyone born between 1977 and 2000 (gosh, [...]

By |2017-02-05T22:48:31+10:00February 6th, 2017|Personal, WOTD|3 Comments

International Happiness Day

Oh no, I missed International Happiness Day. Not sure why. I guess I was doing stuff. Being tired. I forgot to stop and think. Anyway, International Happiness Day is March 20. And this year, Denmark is officially the happiest country in the world. Bhutan didn't make the list this year, but it used to be the [...]

By |2017-05-19T08:20:27+10:00March 21st, 2016|Personal|Comments Off on International Happiness Day

Pi Day

Today is Pi Day. You might have come across π at school—π is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, or 3.14159265359… and so on until infinity. Maths hurt my brain—I couldn’t understand numbers at the best of times. And I stopped being able to cope when I encountered equations that had only letters [...]

By |2017-05-19T08:20:27+10:00March 15th, 2016|Uncategorised|Comments Off on Pi Day

What Harper Lee teaches us about talent

Nelle Harper Lee died last month at 89. Among the countless obituaries printed for her in the last few days is a tweet by Congressman John Lewis: One of the greatest writers of all time, Harper Lee laid bare the soul of America and her work will continue to educate for generations.  She has won [...]

By |2017-05-19T08:20:28+10:00March 7th, 2016|Personal, Uncategorised|Comments Off on What Harper Lee teaches us about talent

The (legal) difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker

Sometimes, it might seem, contentious political issues are all about terminology. Words that dehumanise. Words that legalise—that is, words that tell people something’s acceptable. Not enough words simply explain. The High Court recently ruled that the government’s offshore detention centre on Nauru is constitutional (PDF, 78KB). Possibly the only good thing about this is that it’s made [...]

By |2017-05-19T08:20:28+10:00February 22nd, 2016|Legal writing|Comments Off on The (legal) difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker

The impossible task (of cleaning a bookshelf)

The situation was getting desperate. The shelves were bending. The thing looked like this: The geckos had started renting out The Prophet’s dust jacket to a family of huntsmen. No mercy, we said. Only if we’ll read it again. We said. The rest can go into this empty beer carton and we will have pretty [...]

By |2017-05-19T08:20:28+10:00February 1st, 2016|Personal|Comments Off on The impossible task (of cleaning a bookshelf)
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