The bard still has fans

November 15, 2008

Should Shakespeare still be taught in schools?

Yes – Shakespeare is still unsurpassed (3948 votes, 59.4%)

No – Shakespeare is old, English and irrelevant (817 votes, 12.3%)

Studying Shakespeare should be optional (1882 votes, 28.3%)

Stuff polls are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those internet users who have chosen to participate
So the bard still has fans, but the Dim Post is not among them.

Four down . . .

November 15, 2008

First Chris Trotter and Matthew Hooton  hung up their keyboards, then Busted Blonde announced she and the prawns are taking an extended holiday from Roarprawn.

And today Queen Bee posted a final dispatch over at  The Hive .

All have made an intelligent (well, apart from Chris when he wrote under the influence of psychosclerosis) contribution to debate on the blogosphere.

I’ll miss them, though other things on my to-do-list might benefit from their absence which will give me fewer excuses for work avoidance. 🙂


Saturday’s smiles

November 15, 2008

Investment advice from the UK:

If you’d bought L1000 worth of Northern Rock shares a year ago they’d now be worth L4.95.

If you’d invested LUK 1000 in HBOS you’d get only L16.50 for it now.

An investment of L1000 in XL Leisure would be worth only L5.

But if you’d bought L1000 of Tennents Lager a year ago, drank it all and took the empty cans to an aluminium recylcers you’d get L214.

Based on that the best investment advice is drink more and recycle.

This came from the weekly Ag Letter produced by Baker & Associates, you can view a recent copy and subscribe to it here.


Scrubone’s blog stats

November 15, 2008

Scrubone has posted blog stats for the first half of November at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later.

The list goes up to 169 and the top 20 are:

Rank

Site

Alexa

Alexa NZ

Auth.

Score

1

www.Kiwiblog.co.nz

61380

95

255

2

2

www.Whaleoil.co.nz

118717

254

109

28

3

www.Thestandard.org.nz

215632

375

111

73

4

www.Publicaddress.net

197414

711

174

81

5

www.Pc.blogspot.com

243241

542

95

139

6

www.Nominister.blogspot.com

233270

369

62

139

7

www.Wellingtonhive.blogspot.com

233894

359

54

155

8

www.Nzconservative.blogspot.com

382437

533

53

385

9

www.Asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com

354539

516

46

398

10

www.Homepaddock.wordpress.com

354822

726

63

409

11

www.Tumeke.blogspot.com

456643

818

70

534

12

www.Dimpost.wordpress.com

377176

638

40

602

13

www.Adamsmith.wordpress.com

426748

994

54

786

14

www.Newzeal.blogspot.com

412032

4374

202

892

15

www.Poneke.wordpress.com

550343

1763

94

1032

16

www.Keepingstock.blogspot.com

527388

1204

32

1984

17

www.Libertyscott.blogspot.com

648509

1394

32

2825

18

www.Tvhe.wordpress.com

647618

2551

58

2848

19

www.Norightturn.blogspot.com

858163

5050

133

3258

20

www.Barnsleybill.blogspot.com

772669

1598

33

3742

 What strikes me is how much ahead of the field Kiwiblog is, and deservedly so because David Farrar consistently manages to maintain both the quantity and quality of his posts.

Scrubone explains how the rankings were reached here.


Bluewash margins

November 15, 2008

The NZ Herald graphics show the bluewash of the country and party vote margins after last week’s election.

I’m posting it as an indulgence, if you want analysis pop over to Kiwiblog where  David Farrar has looked at the numbers for:

The upper North Island, Auckland, central North Islandlower North Islandupper South Islandcentral South Island  and lower South Island  .

 

 

 

 

Free education costly

November 15, 2008

Otago University students were outraged at proposed fee increases but the University Council followed what Student Association president Simon Wilson described as a familiar dance.

“Staff recommend the maximum increases allowed by the Government, students recommend a zero increase, and the council agrees with the staff recommendation.”

The ODT editorialises that years of  free university education  go further into the past with each fee rise.

New Zealand has evolved a mixed funding system where the State still pays about 65% of the tuition costs, with fees making up most of the rest.

As long as fees do not become too prohibitive, they have the positive effects of encouraging students to focus on their courses, teachers to be more accountable and universities to be more relevant.

Students are likely to better appreciate something for which they pay, and waste is less likely. Thus, a return to those bygone years would not be wise even if it was possible.

I was one of the students who benefitted from the “free” education of the past.

But of course it wasn’t free. Although I wasn’t paying fees taxpayers were, some as much as 66% of their earnings.

Students and their politicians have put a lot of energy into trying to reduce the cost of studying but it’s a war that can’t be won. There’s a limited amount of taxpayer money available for tertiary education, the more that goes into reducing the costs for students with policies such as interest-free loans, the less there is for the universities which then have to increase fees which then increases costs for students . . .

Most students are at university for three or four years but pay tax for the rest of their lives.

They’d be better off paying a bit more while studying and a lot less in tax when they graduate than paying a little less now and a lot more through their taxes for the students of the future.


Big wheels & bustles

November 15, 2008

The end of the four-day penny farthing tour  on Thursday marked the start of Oamaru’s heritage celebrations.

Yesterday dozens of people dressed in Victorian clothes strolled the main street for the annual promenade.

Today’s street parade is a celebration of wheels among which will be a stage coach.


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