Word of the day

July 26, 2014

Ihi – power, authority, essential force.


Which dog are you?

July 26, 2014

Which dog are you?

I’m a Great Dane:

You’re genuinely humble and that makes you stand out in a crowded room. Everyone looks up to you and you’re extremely smart, but you’re still approachable due to your warm demeanor. Your elegance and class can sometimes make others feel humbled, but it’s never intentional. You’re the Great Dane, the kind ruler of your own kingdom.

This could well be the first time elegance and class have been attributed to me but perhaps one day my kingdom will come 🙂

 


Saturday’s smiles

July 26, 2014

A magician had a job on a cruise liner, entertaining the passengers with a nightly show. She was a very clever performer and there was always a full house at all her performances.

Life was sweet. The money was rolling in, she had one of the best cabins, ate the best food, mixed with the best people, until one day the captain bought a parrot.

The highlight of the parrot’s day was going along to see the magician in action in the evening. During the magician’s performances, the parrot would watch her very carefully during each trick, and immediately after the magician had completed the trick the parrot would call out in a loud squark, “It’s up her sleeve, it’s up her sleeve,” or, “It’s under her hat, it’s under her hat,” ruining the magician’s trick.

Well life was no longer as sweet and the magician started to struggle to satisfy the passengers. She naturally got very tired of the parrot and began to think of ways to thwart it.

Before she could put his plan into action, one night in the middle of the magician’s performances, the ship hit an iceberg and sank.

The magician managed to swim to a raft, climbed aboard and collapsed. The parrot flew towards the magician and perched on the edge of the raft and stared at her.

For a whole day the magician remained unconscious, and all this time the parrot kept its eyes on her. Eventually the magician started to stir, and looked up not really knowing where she was or what had happened.

She eventually found enough energy to sit up and then noticed the parrot, which had kept its eyes focussed on her all this time.

“Alright I give up …” chirped the parrot, “… what have you done with the ship?”


Story behind story behind picture

July 26, 2014

The picture on the cover of Rugby News has caused a bit of controversy this week.

 

 

The editor explained the story behind the picture and the story on Facebook:

Dear readers,

Given the media exposure around the current edition featuring John Key – in the spirit of openness, I wanted to explain the thinking and reasoning behind the WHOLE process and be totally upfront about ALL aspects.
Firstly – as owner/editor, I am not aligned to the National Party in any way. I am undecided who my vote will go to. Rugby New standpoint (and mine) is that we are not wanting ,or trying, to endorse a candidate or party.

WHY THE ARTICLE?

Firstly – I think if you have any kind of opinion worth listening to you need to read the article too and put it in to context with the front cover.
Over the last 7-8 months, of me putting stories together, I have often come across popular pictures of the PM in the All Blacks changing room, after winning a game. The picture of the PM and Richie having a beer was one. I thought – from an editorial viewpoint – that this was an interesting picture and the seed for an article.
Some of my thoughts were: “Lucky bugger – how cool would that be having a beer with Richie and being in the changing room”. Closely followed by – “How come he gets that and everyday supporters don’t.” Unfair maybe, but that’s how things work.
From there I began thinking that like the PM, or loathe him, he does seem like a genuine rugby fan and obviously a proud Kiwi. This was the start point for the article, but I didn’t want that to be the main aspect.
The main aspect of the article was to see how big the All Blacks brand was overseas from our elected leader’s standpoint – not something that we would know about necessarily. Are we just big in NZ and rugby playing countries? Are we big, just in knowledgeable sporting circles, or does the All Blacks winning brand extend to business/politics in countries that weren’t large rugby nations? In short, the All Blacks brand and how global it is. I imagined that many Kiwi’s may not realise how big-a-deal the AB’s were globally – especially in non-rugby mad countries – and if they did, isn’t it nice to be that respected and in that position?
These two aspects underwrote the article content. It does state that ‘whatever your politics.’ Nowhere did it glorify the PM as a leader, nor did it mention the General Election, or National Party.
As such we wrote an interesting article. I stand by its journalistic credibility as one of a number of rugby themed stories that some people would identify with more than others.

THE FRONT COVER:

The front cover came about through a synergy of ideas. As the issue was about the Rugby Championships, it HAD to have the All Blacks on it. Another article (by Craig Dowd) highlighted the importance of the forwards in the Championship. Hence, the choice of all forwards in the cover picture. We also wanted the PM on the cover issue as having him in the magazine – regardless of his/you/our politics – was something of a coup.
The poses struck were showing the players in a ‘V’ shape – this was to symbolise ‘Victory’. Having the PM at the front of the V (in his supporters jersey) was symbolising all NZ rugby fans – from the lowest/youngest right up to the PM – were right behind our All Blacks, as they went for a world record of wins and in to the (very hard) Rugby Championships.
The title ‘Pack Leader’ was a play on words for the player i/c the forwards in a team and the ‘leaders’ being Richie McCaw (AB’s) and the PM.
#1 All Blacks fan – I am sure people would look at that and think ‘He’s not the number one fan, I am!’ This aspect was about getting people’s attention.
In truth what we set up to do was to produce what, on the face of it, appeared to be a typical, traditional Rugby News cover. What we were looking for is – as people walked through Whitcoull’s – they would walk past and glance, do a double-take, come back and then pick up the magazine to check it out and hopefully buy it. All magazine covers aim to try to draw people in and that is what we were trying to do here beyond our regular, staunch, rugby intelligent customers.

THE TIMING

This is the area where – in retrospect – I will concede some journalistic naevity in this regard and also apologise to anyone who was offended. Certainly not what I wanted. I am passionate about rugby at all levels and only interested in the development of the game at all levels and the New Zealand Rugby/All Blacks brand and value.
We started work on the magazine some 6 weeks before it hits the shops at this time there was nothing/very little around the election. Our thoughts about the election only surfaced very close to the actual print date – when the New Zealand Rugby (who were kept fully aware of the article and the cover. It was them who asked that we made it sure that there was a note saying: *Cover image Photo-shopped. Not an official All Blacks/New Zealand Rugby endorsement.

I made the decision that we would go with the cover – for the reasons outlined above. I didn’t for a second imagine it would be swallowed up by the political propaganda machine and make the headlines it has. If I had suspected this, I would not have had the same cover and opted for a quieter life! I simply believed it’s maximum impact would be the Whitcoull’s ‘double-take’ moment. I was wrong and as said before, I apologise to those who feel it was wrong and ill-timed.
I cannot change the decisions and issue now and hope that sincere apologies goes some way to expressing my concern at having upset some people.

PERMISSION

I chased the PM’s press secretary to do the story and take his photograph. The National Party/PM’s office did not offer nor give any financial incentive (or other kinds of incentive) and nor did they initiate the story/cover. The PM’s office was kept fully aware at all times.

We told New Zealand Rugby about the story, but only shared the final cover with them just before it went to print. They rightly requested a clarification to make it clear this was not in any way a cover photo endorsed by New Zealand Rugby or the All Blacks.

The New Zealand Rugby are fantastic supporters of Rugby News and outstanding guardians of the game. They are not in any way to blame, or responsible for this article and cover.

CONCLUSION

I hope that people can appreciate the openness that I have explained here and the thought process behind the article, cover and timing.
In retrospect – a great thing to have – I concede that I did not expect the adverse reaction that I have had from some people or the strength of feeling those people have around this issue. I have learned a valuable lesson there.
I am sorry that this magazine – which is my livelihood – and the game I love and the Rugby News brand may have been tarnished in some people’s eyes. However, the magazine remains highly relevant to Rugby fans and the breadth and quality of our articles is, I believe, the best in NZ as a pre-competition reference magazine.
I would ask that people respect this open and honest explanation and not seek to take parts of it and misrepresent it, me or the Rugby News brand. I would hope that this explanation and frank honesty could be respected – if not applauded by some – as an apology for misreading some people’s depth of opinion and an adult response from a real person and not a heartless, faceless corporate.

Hopefully this is and end to the matter and the focus can return to the Crusaders winning for Canterbury and NZ on Saturday and the All Blacks gaining a world record victory streak and winning the Rugby Championship. Now that really DOES matter!

The story behind this story is one of naivety.

A cover like this was bound to cause a stir at any time and more so this close to an election and anyone atuned to politics would have known that.

But the story behind the story behind the picture is that the editor wasn’t thinking of rugby not politics.

And that’s like a lot of other New Zealanders.

Shortly before the last election I made a comment about the front page story of the paper I was buying to the young man serving me.

It had something to do with the election and his response was, “is there an election this year?”

There’s political tragics like me who are focused on the election and there are a whole lot of others who aren’t .

Among them are people who rarely if ever think of politics and among them will be some people who don’t even know there’s an election in a couple of months.


What matters

July 26, 2014

Early in the week Labour leader David Cunliffe issued some more apologies then vowed to stick to what matters.

If we’re to take him at his word, what matters is who’s hosting the TVNZ debate between the Prime Minister and Opposition leader.

What matters isn’t that people in the media are biased but that we know what their bias is.

When we listen to John Campbell we know his personal bias is left.

When we listen to Mike Hosking we know his personal bias is right.

That is something we can take into account when thinking about what they say and how they conduct themselves and any interviews they do.

That is far better than having people in the media with a bias who aren’t overt about it and, deliberately or not, let it influence their work.

That’s when bias matters in the media.

But this issue isn’t what matters in politics and once more Cunliffe has fallen into a hole of his own making by complaining about something that doesn’t matter which leaves no oxygen for the big things that do – the economy, education, health and welfare.

 

 

 

 


Saturday soapbox

July 26, 2014

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse.

Reality can be so complex that equally valid observations from differing perspectives can appear to be contradictory.


July 26 in history

July 26, 2014

657  Battle of Siffin.

811  Battle of Pliska; Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I was slain, his heir Stauracius was seriously wounded.

920 Rout of an alliance of Christian troops from Navarre and Léon against the Muslims at Pamplona.

1309  Henry VII was recognized King of the Romans by Pope Clement V.

1469  Wars of the Roses: Battle of Edgecote Moor – Pitting the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick against those of King Edward IV.

1581 Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration). The declaration of independence of the northern Low Countries from the Spanish king, Philip II.

1745  The first recorded women’s cricket match took place near Guildford,.

1758  French and Indian War: Siege of Louisbourg ened with British forces defeating the French and taking control of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

1803 The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opened in south London.

1822  José de San Martín arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to meet Simón Bolívar.

1847 Liberia declared independence.

1856 George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, Nobel Laureate, was born (d. 1950).

1861 American Civil War: George B. McClellan assumed command of the Army of the Potomac following a disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.

1863 American Civil War: Morgan’s Raid ended –  Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers were captured by Union forces.

1865 New Zealand’s parliament moved from Auckland to Wellington.

Parliament moves to Wellington

1875  Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist, was born  (d. 1961).

1878 Poet and American West outlaw calling himself “Black Bart” made his last clean getaway when he stole a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box was found later with a taunting poem inside.

1882 Premiere of Richard Wagner‘s Parsifal at Bayreuth.

1882 The Republic of Stellaland was founded in Southern Africa.

1887 Publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.

1890 In Buenos Aires, the Revolución del Parque forced President Juárez Celman’s resignation.

1891  France annexed Tahiti.

1894 Aldous Huxley, English-born author, was born (d. 1963).

1895 Jane Bunford, Britain’s tallest-ever person, was born (d. 1922).

1897  Paul Gallico, American author, was born  (d. 1976).

1908  United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issued an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

1909 – Vivian Vance, American actress, was born (d. 1979).

1922 Blake Edwards, American film director, was born.

1928  Gisborne-born Tom Heeney took on Gene Tunney for the world heavyweight title in front of 46,000 spectators at Yankee Stadium, New York. Although he was defeated, his title bid aroused tremendous interest in both New Zealand and the US.

Kiwi boxer fights for world heavyweight title

1928 Stanley Kubrick, American film director, was born (d. 1999).

1936 Mary Millar, English actress, was born(d. 1998).

1936  The Axis Powers decided to intervene in the Spanish Civil War.

1936  King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicated the throne, officially unveiled the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

1937  End of the Battle of Brunete in the Spanish Civil War.

1939 John Howard, 25th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1941 In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.

1943 Mick Jagger, English singer (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1944  World War II: Soviet army entered Lviv,  liberating it from the Nazis. Only 300 Jewish survivors left, out of 160,000 prior to Nazi occupation.

1944 – The first German V-2 rocket hit Great Britain.

1945 Dame Helen Mirren, English actress, was born.

1945  The Labour Party won the United Kingdom general election of July 5 by a landslide, removing Winston Churchill from power.

1945  The Potsdam Declaration was signed.

1945 The US Navy cruiser Indianapolis arrived at Tinian with the warhead for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

1946 Aloha Airlines began service from Honolulu International Airport.

1947  Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act into law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.

1948  U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military of the United States.

1949 Roger Taylor, English musician (Queen), was born.

1950 Susan George, English actress, was born.

1952 King Farouk of Egypt abdicated in favor of his son Fuad.

1953 Fidel Castro led an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks beginning the Cuban Revolution.

1953  Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle ordered an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on residents of Short Creek – the Short Creek Raid.

1956  Following the World Bank’s refusal to fund building the Aswan High Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.

1957  Carlos Castillo Armas, dictator of Guatemala, was assassinated.

1958 Explorer 4 was launched.

1959 Kevin Spacey, American actor, was born.

1963  Syncom 2, the world’s first geosynchronous satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster.

1963 – Earthquake in Skopje, Macedonia left 1100 dead

1964 Sandra Bullock, American actress, was born.

1965  Full independence was granted to the Maldives.

1966  Lord Gardiner issued the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House was not bound to follow its own previous precedent.

1968 Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Truong Dinh Dzu was sentenced to five years hard labour for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.

1971   Apollo 15 launched.

1973 Kate Beckinsale, British actress, was born.

1974  Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis formed the country’s first civil government after seven years of military rule.

1975 Formation of a military triumvirate in Portugal.

1977 The National Assembly of Quebec imposed the use of French as the official language of the provincial government.

1989 A federal grand jury indicted Cornell University student Robert T. Morris, Jr. for releasing the Morris worm, the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

1994 Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered the removal of Russian troops from Estonia.

1999 Cessation of combat activities after the Kargil War; celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas in India.

2005   STS-114 Mission – Launch of Discovery, NASA’s first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003.

2005  Mumbai received 99.5cm of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours, bringing the city to a halt for over 2 days.

2005  Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces (LF) leader, was released after spending 11 years in a solitary confinement.

2007 – Shambo, a black cow in Wales that had been adopted by the local Hindu community, was slaughtered due to a bovine tuberculosis infection, causing widespread controversy.

2008 – 56 people were killed and over 200 people were injured in 21 bomb blasts in Ahmedabad bombing in India.

2009 – The militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram attacked a police station in Bauchi, leading to reprisals by the Nigeria Police Force and four days of violence across multiple cities.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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