Silent protest

September 20, 2009

Bhig News and Nhot PC are making silent protests.

I suppose this blog could become Omepaddock in a gesture of solidarity but I’m more in sympathy with Monkeywith Typewriter who says it’s all in the head.

I also think Kerre Woodham  makes a good point when she says:

The “h” in Michael isn’t pronounced either, but it would look jolly funny spelled Micael.

Language is a fluid thing. Regardless of what is decided officially, time and use will be the ultimate arbiters of whether its Whanganui or Wanganui.

Besides, it’s an h of a thing to be getting het up about when there are so many more important things needing urgent attention.

Update: Scrubone has a poll Wanganui – lend me your H’s (in which a pedant might point out there’s a stray apostrophe).


Education priorities

September 20, 2009

Whether you’re an individual or a government, when your expenditure exceeds your income you’ve got to set priorities.

Education Minister Anne Tolley made it clear on Q&A this morning that her priority for the education budget is younger people.

Well 124 million dollars will still be spent in adult and community education. What I’ve said is we’re going to focus on literacy, numeracy, language, foundation skills – those courses that will lead on to employment. We’re still in an economic recession, there are people out there, particularly young people, who are the most vulnerable, they are the most likely to lose their jobs and the least ones likely to get jobs.

PAUL Yes, but night classes in schools of course as adults – migrants, refugees adults trying to improve their lot – the strugglers.

ANNE Some of them are, some of them are hobby courses courses like belly dancing, ukulele playing. We’ve got courses like pilates and yoga – I’ve attended those classes myself. The average age of people attending those night classes is about 46. What we’re saying I had a half billion debt from the previous government to find in tertiary education what we’re saying is we’re going to put those tax dollars into supporting our young people through the recession.

Tolley said that English language classes will remain and, pointed out what seems to escape many of the critics, that schools will still be able to offer other classes on a user pays basis.

She also countered the criticism about taking money from Adult Community Education while funding private schools.

Economically, private schools save the State system money. I’m looking at a small private school at the moment that’s probably going to close – wants to integrate – currently costs the State around $65,000 a year. If it integrates and comes into the State network it’s going to cost $380,000 a year which is an enormous difference.

That argument might not sway people who are ideologically opposed to private education and think they should be self-supporting. But if it costs the state less to keep them going than to bring them, or their pupils, into the state system it makes sense to take the least expensive option.


Playing tourists at home

September 20, 2009

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to give the partners of conference attendees a taste of North Otago, the caller told me.

It’s not often I get to play tourists at home so I was happy to accept the challenge to occupy 10 people for three hours. The difficulty wasn’t what to show them but what to leave out.

saturday 003

We started in Oamaru’s historic precinct where attractions include Lavish Soap,  the New Zealand Malt Whisky Company, and the Grainstore Gallery.

Donna Demente is one of the artists whose work is available in the gallery. She’d parked her car downstairs:

car

Our second stop was Parkside Garden a two acre testament to the creativity and energy of Linda Wilson and Bob Wilson, of Parkside Quarry where Oamaru stone comes from.

A 15 minute drive from the downlands to the Waitaki Valley took us to Riverstone Kitchen  .  Fortified by a sumptuous afternoon tea we then partook of a little retail therapy in the adjoining gift shop:

choc 009


Sunrise, sunset

September 20, 2009

The sun rose here at about 6.30 this morning and it will set at about 6.30 this evening.

If you’re in East Cape sunrise and sunset are about half an hour earlier. If you’re in Bluff they’re about quarter of an hour later.

In the normal course of events next week sunrise in Bluff would be at 6.23am  and sunset at 6.52pm. In East Cape sunrise would be 5.45am and sunset 6.08pm. But wherever you are in New Zealand, next Sunday clocks will have gone forward which will make sunrise and sunset an hour later than it ought to be.

The benefits of daylight saving compensate for the disadvantages in the middle of summer when temperatures are warmer and days are longer anyway. But extending daylight saving so it lasts from the last weekend in September until the first Sunday in April is giving us so much of a good thing it becomes a bad thing.

Putting the clock forward this early makes it darker and colder for longer in the morning without giving enough extra heat and light in the evening to make much difference. People, especially those in primary production, who have to start work early are disadvantaged without there being enough gain for those who want to play in the evenings to compensate.

LINZ has sunrise and sunset times for Auckland, Bluff, Dunedin, East Cape, Gisborne and Lyttelton.

The Royal Astronomical Society has sunrise and sunset times for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Grump warning: this is the first of what may be several annual complaints about the length of the period in which daylight saving time applies.


The youth of yesterday

September 20, 2009

Worried about the youth of today?

The Mazengarb report  was at least as worried about the youth of yesterday. The Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and adolescents, chaired by Oswald Mazengarb released its report 55 years ago today:

The Mazengarb inquiry into ‘juvenile delinquency’ blamed the perceived promiscuity of the nation’s youth on the absence from home of working mothers, the easy availability of contraceptives, and on young women who enticed men into having sex.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


September 20 in history

September 20, 2009

On September 20:

1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on a voyage to circumnavigate the globe.

1633 Galileo Galilei was tried by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching the earth orbits the sun.

1946 The first Cannes Film Festival was held.

Festival de cannes logo.png

1954 New Zealand’s Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents released the Mazengarb report.

1957 Musician Alannah Currie was born.

1962 The RMS Queen Elizabeth II was launched.

1971 All Black Todd Blackadder was born.

1979 Lee Iacocca was elected president of the Chrysler Corporation.

Sourced from Wikipedia.


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