Simply The Best

November 26, 2009

Happy birthday Tina Turner.

Geoscience delegates dine well

November 26, 2009

The annual Geosciences conference is taking place in Oamaru this week.

Last night about 200 delegates were dining at Burnside Homestead. The owners asked my farmer and a friend to lend a hand.

They were happy to oblige and spent most of the day tending two lambs and a leg of venison as they cooked over the fire.

They’re getting well practised and have found the secret. They use hard wood like manuka or blue gum which burns hot, then use the heat from the embers rather than the flames so the meat cooks slowly.

The result is tender, succulent meat which almost falls off the bones.

One of the delegates was Argentinean and was thrilled to have an asasdo  for the first time since she’d left home.

Just a little click

November 26, 2009

Osward Bastable has written a book which has been published on-line.

He’s asking people to click on the free download to help him up the list to where a browser is more likely to see it.

It’s just a little click and a big of bandwidth; and if you like what you read he’s offering a discount on sales.

(I did the clicks but got called away from the computer before I had time to read past the opening paragraph).

Greens on good farms

November 26, 2009

The Green Party is often regarded with suspicion by farmers because they appear to be far better at putting the spot light on bad practices than acknowledging good ones.

However, the party is launching a new initiative today telling good farm stories.

Jeanette Fitzsimons says:

There’s plenty of good farmers pioneering new ideas to make farming more sustainable, and we’re keen to tell New Zealand about them. . .

There’s great stuff going on down on the farm, and I thought it was time some of these stories got out. They include clever innovations, quality animal husbandry, excellent protection of waterways and biodiversity, reduced pesticide use, and lots of pride and pleasure in running a good farm.

This is a really good idea and I look forward to reading these stories.

Sometimes you’re lucky

November 26, 2009

The bloke who took over from me at the Rotary chocolate wheel at Sunday’s Victorian fete had bought five batons from me so I felt obligated to return the favour.

The first spin landed on one of my numbers and the second landed on another.

Shortly after I got home I received a phone call telling me I’d won a prize in a raffle.

The following evening I won a bottle of wine in the Rotary raffle.

I’ve heard of bad luck coming in threes, this week good luck did too.


November 26, 2009

10/10 in 46 seconds in this week’s Dominion Post politics quiz.

Just one lucky guess – I never remember numbers.

Show don’t tell

November 26, 2009

Show don’t tell.

That’s the advice given at creative writing classes and it also applies to journalism.

Why then does television, the medium best equipped to show, waste so much time telling us things?

An example that stuck in my mind was the reporter standing in the empty Wellington stadium telling us how full it had been for the football game the night before. When she’d finished talking we were shown the stadium from the night before and surprise, surprise, we could see that it was full.

One of the lessons drummed into me at journalism school was that we look before we listen and so whenever possible we should let the pictures tell the story.

That lesson must have by-passed whoever directs TV news these days. Not content with showing us the story, reporters have to start by telling us what we’re about to see and finish by telling us what we should think and how we should feel about it.

If the pictures and voice-over don’t convey everything that’s needed, the solution isn’t breathless to-camera reporting telling us the story from the journalist. It’s better pictures,  showing us the story with the voice-over explanations kept to a minimum and without gratuitous comments and opinions at the end.

What we get now isn’t reporting, it’s an unhappy cross between amateur dramatics and propaganda.

TV needs to do less telling, more showing and leave the thinking and feeling to the viewers.

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