15 years fomenting happy mischief

July 27, 2018

Kiwiblog marks 15 years of David Farrar’s fomenting happy mischief * today.

To maintain both the quantity and quality of posts every day for so long is no small achievement.

David has a readership that would be the envy of many professional pundits and media outlets.

His blog is one of relatively few that is consistently well reasoned and reasonable.

He is partisan but will give credit and criticism where it’s due regardless of political hue.

His was the first blog I ever read, it’s one I read every day and I look forward to the next 15 years and beyond of essential reading.

* Fomenting happy mischief was adopted by David as a slogan after a letter to the NZ Herald by Peter Davis, husband of then-PM Helen Clark, accused the paper of doing that.

 


Point of Order

June 7, 2018

Point of Order is a welcome addition to the blogosphere.

In their words:

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy produced by a small team veteran newspaper reporters who were responsible for much of the content of the authoritative weekly newsletter, TransTasman, before its change of ownership early this year.

Team members include – Bob Edlin, Brian Lockstone and Ian Templeton.

All are experienced, well connected with and informed about New Zealand politics.

The first posts indicate their work will be essential reading.


NZ’s got talent

June 16, 2015

The blogosphere has a newcomer – New Zealand’s Got Talent – The Media Edition.

It’s the work of Shayne McLean who describes himself as  old, grumpy and not going to take it anymore.

In his first post he writes:

It has come to my attention that the New Zealand media have a habit of taking themselves far too seriously.  They even think the public may just keep in their heads those potential Pulitzer prize winning pieces more than thirty seconds.

The recent Canon Awards were a pivotal example of the mediocrity and banal existence of the very few who feel they should have the power to inform the public.  John Campbell and the faux tears another example. He came and went and well, life goes on.  We still have Mike Hosking and if he dies from overexposure to hair dye – Jeremy Wells.

New Zealand media have so much become the news and in doing so forgotten their only role which is to report on it. . .

He launched the blog last week and has already lived up to his aim to shine a light on some of the finer works of well-known New Zealand columnists, bloggers and journalists that perhaps did not make the final cut of their Canon entries.

This is a welcome addition to the satirical corner of the blogosphere.


Cards, days and cardboard boxes

May 12, 2015

Discussion on Critical Mass with Simon Mercep today was sparked by:

* 8  non-traditional and wonderfully empathetic cards. I came across them at Upworthy which links to the site of their creator Emily McDowell.

* Days of the Year which celebrates serious and strange celebrations. Today is both Nurses Day and Limerick Day

* Poetry through the ages gives us the history of limericks and some examples of them.

And via Mums on Top I found 50 things to do with a cardboard box at Kids’ Activities Blog.


Critical Mass

April 21, 2015

Discussion on Critical Mass with Noelle McCarthy today was sparked by:

* Owner’s Manual for a Child by Donna Bryant Goertz (hat tip to Not PC).

* Finding Your Voice at the Kitchensgarden (hat tip to Valerie Davies).

and

* 25 live changing style charts every guy needs in his life by Julie Gerstein.


Gardening and domesticity

October 28, 2014

Discussion on Critical Mass with Paul Brennan was sparked by:

* Sarah the Gardener

and

* The Domestic Executive


Congratulations Cameron

May 10, 2014

Cameron Slater won the Best Blog at the Canon Media Awards last night.

The award recognises the impact he makes with Whaleoil.

It doesn’t condone all, or in fact any, of his posts.

I find some offensive and don’t bother going past the headline on many.

But some are well researched and break news  and make an impact in a way no other blog in New Zealand does.

Congratulations, Cameron, that’s why you got the award and you deserved it.

 

 


More coverage, new powers for Press Council

March 24, 2014

The New Zealand Press Council is to offer membership to new digital media and gain additional powers to deal with complaints against traditional print media.

The moves follow a review of the Press Council by its main funder, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, which considered recommendations by the Press Council and a report last year by the Law Commission.

The Press Council was established in 1972 to adjudicate on complaints against member newspapers. Newspaper publishers decided to include magazines in 1998 and the council’s mandate was further expanded in 2002 to include members’ websites. Current chair is former High Court judge Sir John Hansen and the council has a majority of non-media industry members.

Newspaper Publishers’ Association editorial director Rick Neville, who chairs the Press Council’s executive committee, said most publishers felt the time had come to strengthen the Press Council’s authority, and to extend its coverage to handle complaints against digital media, including bloggers.

“The media world is changing and fragmenting. It’s important that a body set up to maintain high standards, and provide an avenue for reader complaints, keeps pace with those changes.”

Sir John Hansen welcomed the industry’s initiative in broadening the council’s remit by offering coverage to digital media while also providing more tools to deal effectively with complaints.

“It’s important that all consumers of media have an avenue for complaint, and for them to believe their complaint has been handled with fairness and professionalism. ”

Under the present structure, newspapers and magazines pay an annual membership fee to the Press Council. They are also required to abide by the council’s statement of principles and accept the council’s complaints processes.

The intention is to offer a new form of membership to other, non-newspaper digital media, conditional on their agreeing to the same conditions as those applying to current members. A new fee structure will be set based on the size of the digital entity and its commercial or non-commercial status. The new structure, including changes affecting current members of the Press Council, will take effect from May 1.

Among the new powers being taken on by the council is the right, in exceptional circumstances, to censure a newspaper, magazine or website. Such a move would require a unanimous decision from the Press Council.

The council is also assuming greater powers to direct where an adjudication should appear in a publication, and members will be required to regularly publicise the existence of the Press Council and how complaints should be pursued. For instance, where an offending article has been published on one or more of the first three pages of a newspaper, the council will be able to direct an adjudication to be published on page three. Similar placement requirements will cover magazines and websites.

Editors will be required to publicise the council’s complaints processes by way of a fortnightly item at either the foot of a news briefs column, or on the editorial or letters page. Regular notices will also have to be published in member magazines and websites.

Member websites will be required to provide an easy-to-find complaints channel, advising how viewers can make a complaint to the media organization, then onto the Press Council if the complainant remains dissatisfied.

Where the council believes the potential harm or damage to an individual or organization outweighs the need to keep the public record straight, it will have the right to direct the excising of elements of a story from an online article, or for an article to be taken down.

Last year, the Law Commission produced a report entitled The News Media Meets ‘New Media’. It recommended the merger of the Press Council, the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the broadcasters’ Online Media Standards Authority (OMSA) into a new, self-regulatory body to handle complaints against all media. The majority of print media opposed the recommendation, preferring instead to strengthen the Press Council.

The Government opted not to act on the Law Commission’s proposals but Ministers gave notice that they wanted to see media self-regulation continue to improve, and to cater for complaints against digital media.

This will be opt-in but will offer standing to non traditional media, including I presume blogs, which choose to take up the offer, and are accepted.

It will require responsibility and give some protection.

This move could also give credence to bloggers’ right to maintain confidentiality of sources as traditional media do.


Being human

February 23, 2014

Quote of the day:

“. . . The country’s best-read blogs are all political, they’re all partisan, and they make no apology for it. Indeed, journalists in the mainstream media might learn a thing or two from that: television viewers and newspaper readers would prefer that journalists be transparently partisan than pretend to some high-and-mighty objectivity that nobody can ever really achieve. Everyone has a world view, and it affects how they interpret and report the events around them. That’s called being human. . . . ”  Jonathan Milne

Journalists in the mainstream media, especially if it’s state owned, have a duty to be balanced, fair and objective.

That doesn’t mean not having views, it means not letting those views cloud their judgement or influence their work.


New blogs

February 7, 2014

A couple of new blogs on matters political:

Matthew Beveridge, a post-grad student at Massey, looks at politics with a focus on the use of social media.

. . . The point of this blog is to look at the use of social media, by parties, media and voters, and compare it to previous elections in New Zealand as well as elections and campaigns overseas. As part of this, I would be interested in anyone sending in links of stories/posts/comments they see online that they think would add to the conversation. These tips can be sent to politics@matthewbeveridge.co.nz.

Decisionz14 is run by a self-described vibrant team of very nerdy pols geeks. We all come from different political backgrounds and have different views.


Arguing better, Good Wolf & dullest blog

January 21, 2014

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked off by:

*   Three destructive behaviours we all fall back on when arguing and how to fix them.  The suggestions solutions sound easy in theory, the challenge will be to remember and apply them in practice.

* The Good Wolf Manifesto – food for mind, body and spirit (check out the story behind the blog name on the about page and what success looks like on signing off the Good Wolf for 2013).

* The Dullest Blog in the World – 393 comments on tidying some pencils – I can only shake my head in wonder.


Vocab test, weird food and Daily Oats

November 5, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass this afternoon was sparked by:

* Vocabulary test.

I thought I was quite smart until I got to the end of the fourth column and came across legerdemain  which I recognised but couldn’t define and sparge which was totally unfamiliar.

I scored 33,300  when I did it first last week and 33,500 today – not sure why I’d improved. Perhpas my subconscious had mulled over some of the words I’d met the first time or maybe I wasn’t as tough on myself the second time.

* 10 of the weirdest things eaten by travel bloggers.

The weirdest thing I can claim to ahve eaten was what my host in Argentina called small bowel – I decided he meant small intestine but it didn’t make it any easier to eat.

I also ate viscacha in Argentina. It’s a small burrowing animal which looks a bit like a cross between a possum and a rabbit.

* Daily Oats – this was chosen for the tenuous link with the Melbourne Cup though the blog author is a horse lover rather than a racing aficionado. It includes:

How bad is your horse addiction?

You are Very Bad if!

 *if you have hay under your hat as you walk in the house.
*If you examine every piece of rope or twine for its halter potential.
*If you take someone’s temperature and think 102°F is normal.
*If you always keep carrots, apples, and sugar cubes in your refrigerator and ginger snaps on the shelf.
*If you prefer the smell of stable to perfume. . .

and All I’ve learned in my life I’ve learned from my horse:

• When in doubt, run far, far away.
• You can never have too many treats.
• Passing gas in public is nothing to be ashamed of.
• New shoes are an absolute necessity every 6 weeks.
• Ignore cues. They’re just a prompt to do more work.
• Everyone loves a good, wet, slobbery kiss.
• Never run when you can jog. Never jog when you can walk. And never walk when you can stand still.
• Heaven is eating at least 10 hours a day… and then sleeping the rest.
• Eat plenty of roughage.
• Great legs and a nice rear will get you anywhere. . . .

 

 

 


Bizarre literary landmarks & chocolate

October 22, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* 10 bizarre literary landmarks everyone should visit. (It would help to be familiar with the literature first. I was woefully ignorant of most of them).

* Chocablog is devoted to all things chocolatey including recipes. Apple and white chocolate crumble  and artistically  dipped strawberries caught my eye.


Nerdy book club, face recognition and annoying husband

October 1, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* Nerdy Book Club – by and for people who love reading, and reading books for children and young adults in particular. The post heartprints by JoEllen McCarthy resonated in particular because I love Peter H. Reynolds’ books too.

He blogs at Stellar Cafe and Creative Juices and you’ll find out more at his website.

* Thanks to Richard, who comments here, for pointing me to the Mail Online’s story on Scotland Yard’s elite squad of ‘super recognisers’ and this test to determine how good you are at face recognition.

* My Husband is Annoying – she stated the blog in 2009 to vent. Her marriage has survived the blogging  so the vent must work and he mustn’t mind.

 


. . . and statistics

September 1, 2013

Open Parachute has posted his regular monthly blog rankings:

There are now 279 New Zealand blogs in the list.

The top 30 are:

Visit Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Whale oil beef hooked 767409 1628849
2 Kiwiblog 374944 648727
3 The Standard 193319 438265
4 The Daily Blog 181888 281529
5 Auckland Transport Blog 142709 148616
6 Throng New Zealand 52676 101376
7 Sciblogs 46993 65302
8 NewZeal 41815 54563
9 Liturgy 39849 55479
10 The Dim-Post 38214 52953
11 Canterbury Atheists 34294 36159
12 No Right Turn 31480 40742
13 Keeping stock 25187 40021
14 No Minister 23892 31330
15 The REAL Steve Gray 21122 22357
16 Homepaddock 20620 50402
17 coNZervative 18573 18758
18 Colour me there 17209 22516
19 Fields of Blood 13774 21793
20 TVHE 13693 19495
21 Hot Topic 12695 17613
22 Imperator Fish 11814 17214
23 Liberation 11069 18453
24 Sportsfreak 10386 10510
25 Offsetting Behaviour 9683 13687
26 Lance Wiggs 9074 10741
27 Open Parachute 8664 12530
28 MandM 8395 10061
29 Matte Shot 7579 12341
30 Tikorangi The Jury Garden 7318 11162

There was an unusual spike in visits here on Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th.

stats august

Nothing in the search terms indicated a reason nor was tehre anything out of the ordinary about any of the posts or comments that day to explain it but statcounter, recorded a similar spike.
stats

Page Views

Unique Visits

First Time Visits

Returning Visits

Total

54,591

44,881

36,355

8,526

Average

1,761

1,448

1,173

275

Friday 9th August 2013

936

636

390

246

Thursday 8th August 2013

1,032

724

473

251

Wednesday 7th August 2013

1,257

809

511

298

Tuesday 6th August 2013

3,244

2,942

2,641

301

Monday 5th August 2013

19,128

18,565

18,197

368

Sunday 4th August 2013

1,104

684

451

233

Saturday 3rd August 2013

1,873

1,496

1,274

222

Friday 2nd August 2013

1,205

721

421

300

Thursday 1st August 2013

1,303

765

457

308


NZ blog montage

April 8, 2013

Ken Perrott at Open Parachute compiles a monthly record of New Zealand blog rankings.

Andrew Stephens decided it wasn’t sufficiently visual and has come up with this montage:

NZ-blogs


Did you see the one about . . .

January 23, 2012

Go back at RivettingKate Taylor – bad word, clever cartoon.

Building a cheese press at The Road to Raelands – latest post on a new (to me) blog – other posts have recipes including yoghurt and quark and buttermilk pot cheese and  biscuits.

Red flags of quackery – Sci-ence.og’s guide to spotting quacks. Hat tip: Sciblogs

Mere desire vs burning ambition – Not PC has a clip explaining the difference.

Every presentation ever – Whaleoil has a clip of where we’ve all been.

Calligrams – Visual Poetry and The Power of Visual Poetry – Destiny –  Look Up at the Sky makes wonderful word pictures.


You show me yours . . .

December 1, 2011

Keeping Stock has shown us his stats for a record month and Lindsay Mitchell also recorded an increase in visitors.

There’s no doubt the election was good for readership.

I can’t compete with the popularity of  Kiwiblog and Whaleoil whose stats here and here show almost as many readers a week as I got in the month. But the number of visitors to this blog in November was the highest yet:

This Year's Visits and Page Views by Month

UPDATE: Open Parachute has the sitemeter blog rankings here.


Spam attack

November 13, 2011

Spammers have been increasing their comments on this blog, it’s got to the stage I don’t check the spam file anymore, just delete the contents.

If you leave a comment and it’s not published imemdiately it might be in moderation if it contains more than one link. Otherwise it might go straight to spam and be lost.


Laugh for peace

September 21, 2011

Three years ago I did a bungy jump from the bridge across the Kawarau River.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I enjoyed the experience but it has had a positive impact on my life.

Now when I am faced with something challenging I think, if I can throw myself off a bridge then  I can do this.

What’s more as a result of that jump I now deliberately do something outside my comfort zone at least once a year because I know I can and feel better for it.

I tackled this year’s challenge last weekend. It was a Laughter Yoga workshop which though challenging in anticipation was not at all challenging in the doing.

The premise behind Laughter Yoga is that anyone can laugh for no reason without relying on or resorting to comedy, humour or jokes.

In a LY session laughter is initiated through laughter exercises then with eye contact and childlike (but not childish) playfulness it soon turns into real and contagious laughter.

Its called LY because laughter exercises are combined with yoga breathing, bringing more oxygen into the body and brain which boosts energy, health and well being.

LY is backed up by science, including the fact that the body can’t differentiate between fake and real laughter if it’s done willingly. Whether you’re faking it or laughing for real you get the same physiological and psychological benefits.

LY was started by a medical doctor, Dr Madan Kataria, with just five people in a Mumbai park. There are now thousands of laughter clubs in more than 65 countries.

Last weekend a dozen learners and two facilitators of us gathered in the Otago Pioneer Women’s hall (a gem of a building in Moray Place which I must have passed by hundreds of times without ever noticing).

We learned about the four stages of LY through doing – starting with clapping, then deep breathing and stretching followed by laughter exercises and relaxation/meditation.

I did a short session by myself on Monday which wasn’t as much fun as the groups ones had been, but still gave similar benefits afterwards and I went down to Dunedin for a Laughter Yoga session  last night.

It didn’t feel physically demanding at the time but I’m noticing stomach muscles I obviously hadn’t used for a long time.

I’m also feeling more relaxed, energised and in control than I have for longer than I can remember.

Laughter Yoga isn’t magic but it’s cast a spell over me and I’m loving it.

One of the exercises you can do is laughter arguing. You sit in pairs back to back, tell each other exactly what you think – at the same time, in gibberish with an Italian accent.

I defy you to stay angry after that which shows that LY isn’t only good for individuals but for relationships.

A smile is the shortest bridge between two people, if smiling and laughing work between individuals why not groups, communities and even countries?

Why not laugh for peace?

Today is the International Day of Peace (Facebook page here) and this post is a contribution to Save the Children’s blog for peace. There is more on their Facebook page.

Blog for Peace website badge

You can read more about LY at Laughteryoga.org on Facebook and YouTube.

Other blog posts for peace:

(I’ll update this as I come across them, please feel free to leave links in the comments).

My blog for Peace: From Battle Parent to Peace Parent in the Autism World at Autism and Oughtisms.


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