“Misty morning, clouds in the sky/Without warning, a podcast about a wizard walks by”
Given the state of the economy, some of us might be pondering career changes at the moment.
If that’s you, here’s a question: ever thought of becoming a wizard?
And yes, there is at least one person in the world who is paid to be a wizard.
The city of Christchurch, New Zealand, pays him 16,000 New Zealand dollars to “provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch.”
The Wizard (officially Ian Brackenbury Channell, though The Wizard has been the name printed on his driver’s license) actually started in Australia, where he’d been working as a teaching fellow.
When that job ended, he stuck around in a new role, aimed at making campus more fun and less stuffy.
But he only truly became a fixture in Christchurch, dressing in actual wizard clothes and becoming an attraction in town.
Perhaps The Wizard’s most famous moment was in 1988, when a nearby town asked him to come and do something about the long drought they’d been in.
He started banging his drum and doing a rain dance, and a few hours later it was raining.
In 1990, New Zealand’s prime minister suggested he take on the wizard’s job for the entire country, though the actual work has mostly been taking part in events in and around Christchurch.
In the last few years he’s taken on an apprentice, a guitar teacher called Ari Freeman, who hopes to keep the tradition alive in the years to come.
If you’re wondering what training under a wizard is like, CNN reported that most of the time it just means they “meet up and argue a lot.”
There are thousands of languages in the world.
Some are global, some are spoken by a relatively small number of people, and some are not really languages at all.
A new exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in Switzerland highlights some 300 works made up of imaginary or invented languages.
But don’t worry, the signs that explain each piece are in languages people actually speak and read.
When Writing Has No Meaning (Hyperallergic)