Tumeke! rankings for October


In response to a comment on the Tumeke! blogosphere rankings Tim Selwyn admits he counts the number of posts and comments manually.

That’s a huge task so it’s no wonder it takes two or three weeks for him to do it.

The results of his work show one new entrant in the top 20 – New Zeal moves up 7 to 16 which puts Homepaddock back one to 17.

Kiwiblog retained its first placing and was also first for the average number of comments.

Homepaddock was third for the number of posts – a place I don’t expect to maintain because I’ve been writing fewer posts since the election.

The biggest gain in the top 20 was No Minister which went up 6 places to 4th.

Among my other regular reads Roarprawn gained 2 to 11; Dimpost  dropped 1 to 13; Inquiring Mind  was steady on 15; Poneke  went down 1 to 18 but was 5th for the highest average number of comments (and second in that category for blogs done by individuals rather than a number of contributers.) If I was judging the quality of comments, Ponke would rate highly – he manages to attract mainly intelligent and often witty comments with few which confuse personal invective and debate.

Keeping Stock dropped just 1 to 19 in spite of a decline in the number of posts while cruising for a couple of weeks; and the Visibile Hand in Economics also dropped 1 to 20.

 The Hand Mirror was steady on 22, NZ Conservative was up 1 to 23 and also did well with the average number of comments, due in part to their popular Friday night free for all; Big News leapt 16 to 26;  Anti Dismal gained 8 places to 29 and Something Should Go here gained a couple to 34.

In a Strange Land was down 3 to 52; Monkeywith typewriter gained 1 to 56; exexpat dropped 6 to  59;  goNZo Freakpower  gained 9 places to 87, Cicero made a first appearance at 65 and Macdoctor debuted at 71.

I couldn’t find John Ansell on the list, I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t look properly or his blog is too new to register.



It’s not easy to step back from your own polticial views and praise politicians whose policy and philosophy you oppose.

Denis Welsh does it graciously at Opposable Thumb:

I find it hard to see John Key flushed and grinning like a
schoolboy at realizing his boyhood dream and not smile
too. Other people’s happiness can be contagious, and he
is so manifestly happy at getting the job of Prime
Minister. Good luck to him. So far, 10 days on from the
election, he has not put a foot wrong; he seems to be
putting into practice exactly what he planned to do,
namely, govern as inclusively as he can; and he has
clearly learnt a thing or two from Helen Clark, who pretty
much laid down the template for political management
under MMP. I have no illusions about the direction in
which a National-led government will take New Zealand
(see previous blog) but it would be churlish to deny Key
his moment and not to wish him well.

And Chris Trotter becomes in contrast to his Mr Hyde  from last Sunday, as Inquiring Mind  puts it, Dr Jekyl again:

To my eyes, Mr Key and Bill English have allowed the National Party to assume the mantle of sweet moderation, and his Cabinet choices reflect not a betrayal, but a very fair reflection, of the public mood…

. . .  But, for my money, Mr Key’s most adroit move has been the appointment of a feisty, 39-year- old, former solo mum with a whakapapa as his minister of social development.

Ms Bennett and the prime minister both pose a formidable symbolic problem for the Labour Party. They speak to an ideologically unmoored working class about the power of aspiration and the possibility of self- improvement.

I need to take some lessons from these two because I’m still tending more towards Michael Bassett’s opinion of Helen Clark here  and here than a more gracious view modelled on those Welsh and Trotter take of Key’s first few days in office.

Ancient Greeks did dead parrot first


The first time I saw the dead parrot skit was during an Otago University capping show in 1975. 

I discovered later it was taken from Monty Python but now it seems the idea behind the skit  was much older than that.

For those who believe the ancient Greeks thought of everything first, proof has been found in a 4th century AD joke book featuring an ancestor of Monty Python’s “Dead Parrot” sketch where a man returns a parrot to a shop, complaining it is dead.

The 1,600-year-old work entitled Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, one of the world’s oldest joke books, features a joke in which a man complains that a slave he has just bought has died, its publisher said on Friday.
“By the gods”, answers the slave’s seller, “when he was with me, he never did any such thing!”
In a British comedy act Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch, first aired in 1969 and regularly voted one of the funniest ever, the pet-shop owner says the parrot, a “Norwegian Blue”, is not dead, just “resting” or “pining for the fjords”.
The English-language book will appeal to those who swear that the old jokes are the best ones. Many of its 265 gags will seem strikingly familiar, suggesting that sex, dimwits, nagging wives and flatulence have raised laughs for centuries.
In many of the jokes, a slow-witted figure known as the “student dunce” is the butt of the jokes. In one, the student dunce goes to the city and a friend asks him to buy two 15-year-old slaves: “No problem,” responds the dunce. “If I don’t find two 15-year-olds, I’ll get one 30-year-old.”
In another, someone asks to borrow the student’s cloak to go down to the country. “I have a cloak to go down to your ankle, but I don’t have one that reaches to the country,” he replies.
The manuscript is attributed to a pair of ancient comedians called Hierocles and Philagrius. Little is known about them except that they were most likely the compilers of the jokes, not the original writers.
The multi-media e-book, which can be purchased online (www.yudu.com/oldestjokebook), features veteran British comedian Jim Bowen, 71, reviving the lines before a 21-century audience.
I can’t bring you the ancient Greeks, but here’s Monty Python:

Greens +1 Nats -1 after specials counted


The Green party gained an MP and National lost one in the official election results when special votes were all counted.

That means Kennedy Graham will become and MP and Cam Calder, the last MP in on National’s list won’t be.


Polling Places Counted: 6,656 of 6,656 (100.0%)
Total Votes Counted: 2,356,536
Party Party
National Party 1,053,398 44.93 41 17 58
Labour Party 796,880 33.99 21 22 43
Green Party 157,613 6.72 0 9 9
ACT New Zealand 85,496 3.65 1 4 5
Mäori Party 55,980 2.39 5 0 5
Jim Anderton’s Progressive 21,241 0.91 1 0 1
United Future 20,497 0.87 1 0 1
New Zealand First Party 95,356 4.07 0 0 0
The Bill and Ben Party 13,016 0.56 0 0 0
Kiwi Party 12,755 0.54 0 0 0
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 9,515 0.41 0 0 0
New Zealand Pacific Party 8,640 0.37 0 0 0
Family Party 8,176 0.35 0 0 0
Alliance 1,909 0.08 0 0 0
Democrats for Social Credit 1,208 0.05 0 0 0
Libertarianz 1,176 0.05 0 0 0
Workers Party 932 0.04 0 0 0
RAM – Residents Action Movement 465 0.02 0 0 0
The Republic of New Zealand Party 313 0.01 0 0 0
  70 52 122

Clean hands & smoking shouldn’t mix


Part way through a story on the inadequacy of hand washing facilities in many public loos I came across a new reminder on the dangers of smoking:

So what should people do in the meantime, if they have to use a public toilet where there is no soap or anything for drying hands? Dunedin City Council senior environmental health inspector Judy Austin suggests carrying a small bottle of hand sanitiser (at a cost of around $3) could be a solution.

It was small enough to be popped in a handbag or pocket or carried in a car glove box. It could be used in those situations where there was no visible dirt on the hands.

Smokers needed to be aware of the risk of lighting up soon after using it as the alcohol could ignite and burn hands or the face.

Sign of the times


We were in Christchurch on Thursday and noticed six empty shops in Cashel Mall between Oxford Terrace and Columbo Street.

And we were the only ones breakfasting on the strip.

EFA bites again


Just in case anyone thinks the Electoral Finance Act was good legislation, yesterday’s NBR reminds us it wasn’t.

ACC’s plans to consult on fully-funding ACC by 2014 or 2019 were put on hold because they could have breached the Act.

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