Word of the day

September 20, 2011

Yuyin  -the remnants of sound which remain in the ears of the hearer.


Piper shouldn’t have to pipe down at RWC games

September 20, 2011

The pipe band which played before the match between England and Georgia added to the enjoyment of the experience.

There was also someone with an instrument which I couldn’t identify. It sounded a bit like a bugle and was blown to produce a brief volley before the ref blew his whistle for each re-start.

It didn’t interfere with the game in any way and was greeted by loud applause from the crowd.

I don’t know if the musician smuggled her/his instrument into the stadium or if the security people let her/him in with it.

It would be more difficult to smuggle in a set of bagpipes and a Scottish visitor is lamenting the musical instrument ban which means he won’t be able to take his pipes to any games.

Scotland supporter Matt Strachan launched a Facebook page to overturn the ban after being told by New Zealand police that he would be ejected from match venues if he played the pipes he brought with him from Aberdeenshire.

“After spending considerable money getting to New Zealand to support my country I was shocked to hear bagpipes were not allowed in the stadiums,” he told The Scotsman newspaper.

“I’ve played the pipes in most of the UK stadiums and also in France during the last World Cup and they have always been gratefully received.

“Why then after many sporting years have the World Cup organisers decided against having them in stadiums?”

Musical instruments, which in spite of what might think about them does include bag pipes, are among the prohibited items are on the list of items banned from the stadium by RWC  by organisers.

Strachan’s Facebook page had more than 500 supporters early Tuesday, with comments overwhelmingly calling for the ban to be dropped and blaming it on “sassenachs and numpties”.

Strachan said he was advocating “responsible” bagpipe playing and did not want to drown out entire games in a monotonous drone, as the vuvuzelas did at last year’s football World Cup in South Africa.

Sassenachs and numpties indeed.

I love the skirl of the pipes and don’t think the piper should have to pipe down. Providing the pipes were used responsibly, as the instrument was in Dunedin on Sunday, they would enhance the RWC experience.

The Facebook page is here.

Today Italy meets Russia in Nelson. I usually back the underdogs but this evening I’ll be cheering Italy.


Can you trust this trust?

September 20, 2011

Remember the $158,000 New Zealand First still owes the public purse?

Winston Peters reckons he discharged his debt by giving it to charity.

One of the recipients was supposed to be Susan Couch, who received terrible injuries in a burglary.

A Susan Couch Crime Victims Charitable Trust  made a return to the Charities Commission.

It has $85,495 in assets; had income by way of donations/koha totalling $53 and made grants amounting to $1151 in the year to the end of March,  1.32% of which was spent overseas.

I have never seen a financial return of a trust or similar entity which hasn’t earned any interest in a year.

It isn’t unusual for a trust to make such a small donation in a year if it’s trying to build up capital but if the money isn’t invested in something which earns interest this trust can’t be doing that.

A trust must meet several requirements to remain registered by the Charities Commission, and this trust must be doing that.

But what’s the point of having all that money which is neither earning interest nor doing what it was set up to do which is help people?

 We might also ask what happened to the remaining $72,505 Winston Peters said was being donated to charity and let’s not forget that regardless of where that money went it did not discharge the party’s debt to the public.

Hat Tip: Keeping Stock


Hugs out, sex in

September 20, 2011

New Year’s Eve in Argentina was memorable for many reasons, not least of which was the number of kisses.

We spent the evening at a party with extended family and friends. Everyone hugged and kissed everyone on arrival, everyone and kissed everyone at midnight and everyone kissed everyone on departure.

As we left my farmer said, “It’s a long time since I’ve kissed that many women and I’ve never kissed that many men.”

Argentineans, like many others whose culture comes from southern Europe, are much more tactile than most of us. It is normal for them to greet family and friends with a hug and a kiss. 

There’s nothing sexual or uncomfortable in it, it’s usually just a quick hug and air-kiss right cheek to right cheek so heads don’t get kncoked as you work out who’s going which way.

It is something we could do with more of but it looks like we’re going to have even less of it.

Whaleoil reports that hugs and holding hands have been banned at his daughter’s school.

Appar­ently a hug is a form of “sex­ual assault” if one per­son doesn’t want it. The “hug­ging issue” has become an issue because too many girls have been over-using the hug as a form of greet­ing.

Wouldn’t it be better to teach the children what’s appropriate and what’s not and how to stand up for yourself if you feel uncomfortable about what someone else is doing rather than an outright ban?

That is supposed to be one of the goals of sex education in schools although these days lessons go much further than that.

Children as young as 12 are being taught about oral sex and told it’s acceptable to play with a girl’s private parts as long as “she’s okay with it”.

In other cases, 14-year-old girls are being taught how to put condoms on plastic penises, and one female teacher imitated the noises she made during orgasm to her class of 15-year-olds . . .

It included a question-and-answer session that focused on, “I have learned that my girlfriend has a thing called a clitoris. I really want to play with it. Is that okay?” The answer was: “Yes, if you ask her and she’s okay with it.”

The story doesn’t say whether the teacher also pointed out that under the law it is not okay to have sex with anyone under 16.

It doesn’t mention whether the option of chastity is covered. Nor does it say whether lessons go beyond the physical to the emotional and gives pupils the sort of information that alerts them to the dangers of sexual experimentation – especially when they’re  young.

It’s one thing for schools to ensure children know the sexual road rules, basic mechanics and how to keep themselves safe. That doesn’t mean they should be teaching them to drive and showing them the route.

But lessons should include advice and strategies that help them postpone going to some destinations too soon and/or in the wrong company.


Would involving these people make things happen?

September 20, 2011

Labour leader Phil Goff announced his party’s earthquake recovery policy yesterday and said:

We can’t fix every problem but we can improve the outcomes for Cantabrians because we’ll get involved and make things happen.”

Would involving a Labour-led government make things happen and even if it did, would it be the right things?

John Key called the proposal a blank cheque and given Goff didn’t give a figure for the total cost of the package, that is what it could be.

This policy might help Labour get some votes in Christchurch and surrounding quake-hit areas where there are some desperate people. But awful as their situations are, they are a minority and there are a lot of other calls on public money.

Labour is also threatening to force land sales:

Labour would compulsorily acquire land if developers did not agree to sell at a reasonable price.

“If there is excessive profiteering and price gouging, we would consider using the provision of the Cera [Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] legislation to compulsorily acquire land at a fair market price,” Goff said.

Would the government be any better at finding a fair market price than the market?

Infinity Investment Group managing director Bob Robertson said it was unlikely a government could develop land cheaper than private companies, and it would be exposing taxpayers to a huge risk.

Infinity is behind the Pegasus development and several others in Canterbury.

Robertson said that at best, a government land purchase would shave 20 per cent off the cost for buyers by forgoing profits, but those savings would probably be lost through “inefficiencies”.

“Developers are already trying hard to get the section prices down because that’s where the market is,” he said.

It’s easy to characterise property developers as jackals but they are in a very risky business and that risk is reflected in land prices. 

Goff is right that his party won’t be able to fix every problem and he won’t improve anything by giving people false-hope.

Earthquake recovery will be a long, complex and expensive process. It won’t be helped by uncosted policies.


It’s about running the country

September 20, 2011

Sir Peter Leitch, who might be better known as the Mad Butcher, was Jim Mora’s guest on Nine Eight Months to Mars yesterday.

At about 14:25 he said:

I’ve never been involved in politics in my life. Never. This year I’ve become very focused on the election because I think the election will be the biggest election of our life, in my time and I’m a great supporter of John Keys (sic). I’m a great supporter and I’m publicly supporting him now and I’ve never done that in my life. Helen Clark was a very good friend of mine but I never came out and endorsed her. But I think this election’s so important that people like me need to make a stand. You know because I think its Christchurch, Pike River, you know my father was from the West Coast so I know about mining. It’s really set us, it’s set the country back, Jim, big time,

Jim Mora: Some of those Christchurch Labour MPs have done a good job though.

Sir Peter: I’m not questioning that. I’m talking about running the country Jim.

The election is about running the country and it’s not just politically blue people like me who think John Key and National are doing that well in extraordinarily difficult times.

Nor is it just hard core supporters who think John Key and the National Party, with the one or more of the minor parties voters decide to make potential allies, that will do that far better than a Labour, Green, New Zealand First, Maori Party, Mana Party coalition.

Sir Peter’s comments mirror the polls which show a lot of people without my bias think so too.

It is not impossible for that thinking to change between now and November 26th, but it would take a lot more than anything Labour has come up with so far.


September 20 in history

September 20, 2011

451  The Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius‘s victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world.

 

524 Kan B’alam I, ruler of Maya state of Palenque, was born (d. 583).

 

1187  Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem

1378  Cardinal Robert of Geneva, known as the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.

 

1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.

1633  Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.

1697 The Treaty of Rijswijk was signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic ending the Nine Years’ War (1688–97) 

1737  The finish of the Walking Purchase which forced the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony. 

1835  Farroupilha’s Revolution began in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

 

1842  James Dewar, Scottish chemist, was born (d. 1923).

1848  The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created.

1854 Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeated Russians in the Crimea.

1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ended with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.

 

1860  The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) visited the United States. 

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga ended. 

1870  Bersaglieri corps entered Rome through the Porta Pia and completed the unification of Italy.

1871  Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, the first bishop of Melanesia, was martyred on the island of Nukapu.

 

1881  Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassination of James Garfield.

 

1891  The first gasoline-powered car debuted in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1906  Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania was launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne.

1914 Kenneth More, English actor, was born (d. 1982).

1920  Foundation of the Spanish Legion.

 

1930 Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was formed by Archbishop Mar Ivanios.

1934 Sophia Loren, Italian actress, was born. 

1942 Holocaust in Letychiv, Ukraine. In the course of two days German SS murdered at least 3,000 Jews.

1946  The first Cannes Film Festival was held.

 

1954  The Mazengarb inquiry into ‘juvenile delinquency’  was released. It 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.

Mazengarb report released

1957   Alannah Currie, New Zealander musician (Thompson Twins), was born.

1957  Michael Hurst, New Zealand actor, was born. 

1962 James Meredith, an African-American, was temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi.

 

1967  The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was launched at John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland.

 

1970  Syrian tanks entered Jordan in response to continued fighting between Jordan and the fedayeen.

1971 – Todd Blackadder, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1973  Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.

 

1979  Lee Iacocca was elected president of the Chrysler Corporation.

1979  A coup d’état in the Central African Empire overthrew Emperor Bokasa I.

 

1984  A suicide bomber in a car attacked the U.S. embassy in Beirut killing 22 people.

1990 South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia.

2000  The British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building was attacked by a Russian-built Mark 22 anti-tank missile. 

2001 In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror”.

2002  The Kolka-Karmadon rock/ice slide started.

2003 Maldives civil unrest: the death of prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem sparked a day of rioting in Malé. 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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