The Goon Show

September 8, 2009

In honour of Harry Secombe’s birthday, The Goon Show:

Peter Sellers – A Hard Day’s Night

September 8, 2009

It’s Peter Sellers’ birthday.

Here he performs A Hard Day’s Night:

Do we need two referenda?

September 8, 2009

Last month’s referendum cost around $9 million dollars.

Running one at the same time as a general election would cost less than one held in isolation but whatever the cost, logic suggets two would be twice as expensive as one.

Given that, do we need two referenda on whether or not we want to retain MMP?

I don’t see any point in asking us if we want a change unless we know what the alternatives are, and if we know the alternatives why not let us vote for or against them in a single referendum?

Tuesday’s answers

September 8, 2009

Monday’s questions were:

1. Which countries formed the South East Asia Treaty Organisation?

 2. Who said I suffer fools gladly because I am one of them?

 3. Who wrote Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less?

4. What is borborygmi?

5. Which is Europe’s only Budhist replublic? (Honesty requires I give the credit for this to Andrei from NZ Conservative who left this question for me. I had to look up the answer).


UPDATE: Maybe Gravedodger was right and the degree of diffiuclty in yesterday’s quiz was higher because no-one got all the answers correct.

However, Samo gets an electronic bunch of daffodils  with a score of 3 8/9 (the missing 1/9 was Bangladesh) plus another 1/2  for a good attempt at Kalmykia.

Scoring after that gets complicated because dealing in ninths for question 1 and halves for attempts at others added to the quandry of whether I take off anything for wrong answers defies me.

Let’s just give an electronic sprig of daphne to Ray, Gravedodger, Lilacsigil and Paul Tremewan who made honorable, and sometimes creative, attempts.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Second hand smug endangers credulity

September 8, 2009

This is a contender for sentence of the day. But it’s two sentences because while it’s the second which is worthy of note, it needs the first for context.

Smoking is not good for one’s personal health, that’s for sure, but journalistic credulity isn’t much chop, either. Martin Johnston really seems to have fallen victim — cough, cough! — to breathing in too much second-hand smug.

From David Cohen at the NBR.

Is it over already?

September 8, 2009

Treasury is suggesting that the recession is over.

If it is we’ve wasted it.

The government has used the recession to start cutting back its expenditure and examine potential changes to its income.

But it’s only a start.

New Zealand was in recession before the rest of the world in spite of record payments for dairy products which play a very significant role in our economy.

I don’t think the fundamental problems which led to that early start to the recession have been fully addressed yet.

Unless they are our economic growth will never reach its full potential. 

Until that happens we won’t be able to afford the first world lifestyle – including health, education and other social services – to which we aspire.

Attitude is the problem at any age

September 8, 2009

Southern European attitudes to drinking have always been held up as sensible ones we should emulate.

“The French/Spanish/Italian people drink more than we do but you don’t see them binge drinking,” we say.

But now you do.

In Spain and Italy locals told us that young people have learnt from other cultures. They no longer sip sensibly on wine over long, leisurely meals. They’re throwing back spirits and RTDs and drinking to get drunk.

As their drinking has deteriorated so has their behaviour. Drunken violence, property damage and voiding of stomach contents from one or more orifices in public places have all increased.

Just like here.

We can change the age at which people can purchase alcohol, we can change the number of outlets selling alcohol and the hours they are permitted to do it. But unless and until we change the attitude to drinking we won’t solve the problems of alcohol abuse.

Whether it’s police drinking in their own bars or students partying in the streets, it’s not the age nor the hours that is the real problem, it’s the attitude and changing that takes time.

It’s no longer legal to smoke in enclosed public places in many countries and it’s no longer regarded as a mature or glamorous thing to do.

The attitude to smoking has changed but more than 30 years after the anti-smoking message began, people are still taking it up. It’s going to take even longer to change the attitude to alcohol and the behaviour which goes with drinking to excess.

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