Michael Bond 13.1.26 – 27.6.17

June 29, 2017

Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear and author of more than 200 books has died.

What will be wanted on this voyage and will there be marmalade sandwiches when he arrives?


Still don’t risk lives to get dead

June 20, 2017

Families of the men who died in the Pike River mine explosion are understandably upset that video footage from the mine shows intact bodies when they’d previously been told fire would have consumed everything.

It is fair to question why all footage wasn’t shown earlier.

But whatever video shows, Solid Energy chief executive Tony King is right when he says it doesn’t make it safe for people to enter the mine:

“As we have previously said, there is nothing in any of the video footage that has been released that contradicts the ultimate decision that manned re-entry of the mine is unsafe”, said Mr King.

“The lack of damage evident in the video footage of Borehole 44 is consistent with what would be expected in the circumstances. We all saw the images of flames coming out of the shaft. These hot gases established an air current that drew air up the drift, into the fire and then up the shaft. The tendency in an underground fire is for it to burn back towards the source of oxygen i.e. the drift. The roof-fall at the end of the drift is probably due to heat damage, and extensive damage from there through to the shaft and in adjacent roadways would be expected. The inner parts of the mine would be oxygen deficient and there would have been no air current to draw the fire into those areas.” 

The directors of Solid Energy wrote an open letter last year explaining why it is unsafe to enter the mine.

Full information on the technical aspects of re-entry is on their website.

It would be helpful to counter conspiracy theorists if all video footage was released.

But that won’t change the fact that the mine is unsafe and no lives should be risked to rescue the dead.

 


John Clarke 29.7.48 – 9.4.17

April 10, 2017

John Clarke, satirist and comedian extraordinaire has died.

Born in Palmerston North, he studied at Victoria University before heading to London, where he gained a break through with a part in the 1972 Barry Humphries comedy The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.

Clarke came home a year later, and was in the cast of New Zealand’s first sitcom, the student-flat comedy Buck House.

By then, Clarke had already pioneered his iconic character Fred Dagg in short TV sketches and a Country Calendar ‘spoof’ edition. . .

Clarke moved to Australia where he continued to delight audiences as a writer and satirist.

For 25 years he and Brian Bryan Dawe poked the borax at politicians in Clarke and Dawe.

You can see some of his work at Mr John Clarke, read his bio at NZ on Screen and listen to an interview with Jesse Mulligan at RNZ.


London terror

March 23, 2017

Another terror attack in London:

Four people have been killed, including a police officer, in a major terrorist incident just yards from the Houses of Parliament this afternoon. . . 

London is used to terror after decades of attacks by the IRA last century and the 2005 underground and bus bombings.

This is another incident to add to the tragic list with innocent people killed or injured and other lives changed forever.


Chuck Berry 18.10.26 – 18.3.17

March 19, 2017

Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry has died.

Chuck Berry, the singer, songwriter and guitar great who practically defined rock music with his impeccably twangy hits “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Memphis,” “My Ding-a-Ling” and “Sweet Little Sixteen,” has died. He was 90. . . 


Murray Ball 1939 – 12.3.2017

March 12, 2017

Murray Ball who created Footrot Flats has died.

Mr Ball, 78, died at about 11.30am this morning.

Born in Feilding in 1939, Mr Ball became one of New Zealand’s most successful cartoonists. . .

Footrot Flats featured in daily papers for years, bringing rural life and humour to town and country.

Although many of the cartoon strips were simply funny, some carried a message, showing Ball’s political views and environmental concerns.

Update:

Rob Hosking writes on Dog resigning as All Black mascot.

 


Gordon “Gorden” Kaye 7.4.41 – 23.1.17

January 30, 2017

Gordon “Gorden” Kaye has died:

 . .  . Born Gordon Kaye, the unusual spelling of his stage name – Gorden – is said to have come from a typing error at Equity, the actors’ union. He used to say that this was “the result of a misspelt youth”.

Gorden Kaye had his first taste of the entertainment industry when he interviewed The Beatles while working in hospital radio in 1965.

The former grammar school student and rugby player had worked in a variety of jobs – including in radio, positions at a tractor factory and textile mills – when he signed up for a radio play directed by playwright and director Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

Apparently impressed with his ability, Ayckbourn suggested Kaye try out for a theatre company, and his acting career was launched.

He got his TV break playing Elsie Tanner’s nephew, Bernard Butler, in Coronation Street in 1969. Later roles included appearances in the film version of Porridge, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and a BBC production of Mansfield Park.

But it was being vast as cafe owner René Artois in ‘Allo ‘Allo! in 1982 that really put Kaye on the showbiz map.

He appeared in all 84 episodes of the series, which ran until 1992, and reprised the role in a 2007 special. . . .


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