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.

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+00:00 October 17th, 2017|Numbers, Psychology|0 Comments

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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 March 21st, 2016|Personal|0 Comments

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+00:00 March 15th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

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+00:00 March 7th, 2016|Personal, Uncategorised|0 Comments

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+00:00 February 22nd, 2016|Legal writing|0 Comments

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+00:00 February 1st, 2016|Personal|0 Comments

Word of the Day: Polymath

Definition: A person of wide knowledge or learning. The word comes from ‘polumathes’—a 17th-century Greek word that means ‘having learned much’. Polymaths are usually associated with the explosion of art, creativity and critical thinking that happened during the Renaissance. One example was Leonardo da Vinci—a great painter, sculptor, cartographer and writer, who may have invented [...]

By | 2017-05-19T08:20:29+00:00 January 29th, 2016|WOTD|2 Comments

Meanwhile, in India…

January 26 is Republic Day—the date in 1950 that India’s constitution came into effect. Marking the end of British rule in India, the new constitution is the People of India’s statement of justice, liberty and equality. This is not just a country reacting against 90 years of unequal treatment and exploitation by outsiders, but a rejection [...]

By | 2016-01-26T19:34:47+00:00 January 26th, 2016|Personal, World|0 Comments