Word of the day

April 7, 2013

Ukase – a proclamation by a Russian emperor or government having the force of law; an order or decree issued by an authority; an edict.

Very promising

April 7, 2013

Quote of the day:

“All I can tell you is the IMF is very supportive of what is being done by the Government in that respect.

“If you look at the numbers, if you look whether it is growth, whether it is employment, whether it is inflation, whether it is debt, overall it is very stable and it is also very promising.

“If you compare the potential growth rate of New Zealand and thee forecasts we have which I will not disclose because they will be disclosed in a couple of weeks time, it’s certainly a lot better than what we see in other parts of the world.

“An economy grew on the basis of its components – resources, manpower, capital, financial markets and policies and policies and the policies we believe are sound and solid.” IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.


The head of the International Monetary Fund, an organisation of 188 countries, has praised the direction of New Zealand's economy.


April 7, 2013

The New Zealand Initiative has come up with a BlaBlaMeter which rates the amount of bull in a piece of writing.

I copied a few extracts from posts and got ratings from o.o8 – your text shows no or marginal indications of ‘bulls***’-English through .11 – your text shows only a few indications of ‘bull****’-English. .29 – your text shows some indications of ‘bull***’-English, but is still within an acceptable range to .41 something’s getting a bit fishy. You probably want to sell something, or you’re trying to impress somebody. It still may be an acceptable result for a scientific text.

The last one was from a post on irrigation which might fit the criteria of scientific text.

Hat tip: Lindsay Mitchell.


April 7, 2013

6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Saturday’s quiz

April 7, 2013

Andrei made up for my not posting a quiz this week by posing five questions in yesterday’s soapbox.

I’m sure someone can do better than me – I googled to check after I answered and managed only one correct answer.

Forwards or backwards?

April 7, 2013

Richard raised the issue of getting in and out of  angle parks.

Apparently the is law that one must go front first into angle car park or you risk a fine. That is OK but the problem is when you leave and have to back out. In the last two years my wife and me have had four bumps backing out of angle car parks always with others also backing out.
Its not our bad driving, at least not mine. Rather it is easier and safer to take the time to back in because you can watch the vehicles either side and you should know when to stop?
I think this issue could be a game changer in politics but have not worked out how.

Entering an angle park frontwards as they’re designed now would require an awkward manoeuvre, going past the park, then reversing back into oncoming traffic.

Even if there was a change in direction to make going in backwards easier, I’d prefer to back out into open space than into a confined area between two other vehicles.

However, visibility when backing out can be restricted, especially if there’s a bigger vehicle beside you.

Angle parks take less space than parallel ones but whichever way they’re angled and which ever way you tackle them, entering and exiting requires care.

Southland’s loss NZ’s gain?

April 7, 2013

Invercargill City Council has resolved to take out full-page advertisements in all major New Zealand newspapers to get across what it calls the “correct information” about the deal Meridian Energy and the smelter’s owner, Rio Tinto, are trying to negotiate over power prices.

I’m pleased my rates won’t be paying for that.

The rest of New Zealand, or at least the newspaper reading segment of it, might have a great deal of sympathy for the plight of workers facing redundancy and the downstream impact on Invercargill and Southland.

But sympathy is very unlikely to translate into action and if it did, what action would that be?

When the price of aluminium was high it might have made sense to import bauxite, use our relatively cheap power to convert it into aluminium and export that. But the world price of aluminium has plummeted and Rio Tinto says the power isn’t cheap enough to keep it here.

Getting across the “correct information” isn’t going to change that.

The ads are going to be even less effective if those who read them also read that there’d be no trouble getting excess power to Auckland if the smelter closed.

The ICC would be better employed working out how to attract businesses to the south to help employ those who would lose jobs in the smelter closed.

That might also provide a use for at least some of the excess power so it wouldn’t need to be sent north.

Without that, the loss of the smelter in Southland could turn into the gain of a greater supply and therefore lower priced power for the rest of New Zealand.

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