Test your words

September 16, 2008

Do you know the 100 most common words in the English language and could you type them in five minutes?

I could get only 58 – and that was after several attempts.

I noted none of the important words for social interaction – please, thank you, sorry … were in the top 10; and no was but yes wasn’t.

Hat Tip: Ex-expat

Alien alert

September 16, 2008

Adam Smith over at Inquiring Mind has located evidence of visitors from Planet Winston including those here, and  here. 

Another has left a letter to the editor of the ODT:

May I suggest Tremain depict Winston Peters grappling with the demon like ogres that threaten peace in this land, display all the folds Mr Peters has won for his country and crown his head with laurel in recognition of his achievements and love of country. Fair is fair and I, too, love my country and the people who serve it.

Bill Lucas,  Green Island.

Benson-Pope still prevaricating

September 16, 2008

David Benson-Pope is still prevaricating on whether or not he’s planning to seek the Dunedin South seat as an independent – or for a party other than Labour.

He said he took the Labour signage off his electorate office a couple of weeks ago to comply with the Electoral Finance Act. But that excuse doesn’t hold water because the EFA takes effect from January 1st so he’d hardly breach the Act for eight months then suddenly decide to abide by it.

He could just be playing games but TV3 says he’s asked the council where billboards could be erected. Given the bad blood between him and Clare Curran Labour’s canddiate for the seat he currently holds it is unlikely he’s asking so he can help her.

Emotion beats facts with food

September 16, 2008

When Aim toothpaste moved its production to India I stopped buying it.

When I read in a newspaper that most of the garlic in our supermarkets came from China I detoured to an organic shop to get my supplies, on the assumption they’d be locally grown.

While chatting to the woman serving me I mentioned why I was there. She replied, “This probably comes from China too.”

Seeing the look on my face she sought to reassure me by saying it would be organic. The reassurance didn’t work because I don’t have strong feelings about the benefits of organic over whatever food that isn’t organic is called (because it can’t be inorganic).

But I do have very strong feelings about food safety and I’m not confident enough about standards in places like India and China to put their produce in my mouth if there’s an alternative.

I say feelings because this is primarily an emotional response not a rational one. I don’t have any facts about the companies which make the toothpaste and grow the garlic to back up my reservations, and I’ve never been to either country.

But it’s not facts that matter here it’s feelings and that should be worrying Fonterra because as Philippa Stephenson points out over at Dig ‘n’ Stir the news of the contaminated infant milk formula has hit the world headlines.

Fonterra said it did everything it could once it found out about the contamination. That will be cold comfort for the families whose babies died or are ill and it won’t wash with consumers who regardless of the facts might feel happier choosing another brand next time.

It’s a long story

September 16, 2008


Brian Henry admitted to the privileges committee  this morning that he and Winston Peters had a poor recollection of events and:

. . . their earlier story did not now seem correct.

He acknowledged that Mr Peters must be the client referred to but said that did not conclusively show Mr Peters’ solicited a donation towards his legal fees.

Not conclusively? What about beyond reasonable doubt?

As Keeping Stock  puts it this story get more bizarre by the day; and Matthew Hooton suggests there might be another chapter involving the IRD.


Mud Cake

September 16, 2008


Take equal quanitites of philosophy and ambition and discard principles.

Seive envy through prejudice spiced with innuendo and mix with bile.

Add raw desperation and duplicity and stir until beaten up.

Cook over simmering resentment until well done.

Ice with sound bites.

Serve immediately because this dish has a tendency to curdle as it cools.

This is the second in a series of posts featuring recipes from an old book recently discoverd by the Enfield Windsor Ngapara Picnic Table. The first was a Campaign Casserole.

South pays North gains

September 16, 2008

The cable through which electricity is sent between the North and South Islands has generated many an argument.

The latest has southern generators sparking because they have to pay for it but no longer gain most from it.

In the past they’ve paid because they got the benefit from spending power north but now a similar amount of electricity comes south.

South Island generator Meridian Energy said the link should be paid for by “anyone who uses and everyone who benefits from it”.

That sounds fair to me, although of course no matter who wins this argument, in the end it will be the consumers who pick up the final bill.

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