Word of the day

May 17, 2011

Rancidification – chemical decomposition of fats, oils and other lipids; disagreeable odour or taste of decomposing oils or fats; rank; repugnant; nasty, rancid remarks.

Alf Grumble ruminates on rancidification and its political implications here.


Coroner’s recommendation not realistic for quads

January 12, 2011

The deaths of 120 people in quad bike accidents over the last 10 years is a matter of concern but the Labour Department has made the right call in rejecting a coroner’s recommendations for compulsory  lap belts and roll bars.

The department says lap belts would make it extremely difficult to “actively ride” a quad bike and the science of roll bar protection is incomplete.

Filipino beekeeper Jody Dean Santos, 21, of Masterton, died from a massive skull fracture days after he was “catapulted” off a quad bike he was riding at work in August 2008.

In his findings on the death, Wellington Coroner Ian Smith said accidents involving quad bikes had concerned coroners for a long time – about 120 had been killed on them in the past 10 years.

Mr Smith said he was frustrated by the failure of authorities to take up the recommendations coroners “consistently” made.

He recommended the Labour and Transport ministers undertake an immediate investigation to consider the mandatory use of helmets, roll bars and lap belts on all quad bikes.

There’s no debate about the use of helmets but roll bars require more research and lap belts would increase the danger of riding quads.

But Department of Labour national support manager Mike Munnelly said that while it supported compulsory helmet wearing, to ride a quad bike safely it was absolutely necessary to be able to stand up and to shift body weight for balance – or “active riding”.

“A lap belt or restraining system makes it extremely difficult for a rider to make these safety corrections and exposes them to increased danger,” Mr Munnelly said.

Even if this wasn’t the case the number of times riders get on and off a bike on farms would mean they’d be very unlikely to use a belt.

The department launched a quad bike safety programme last year. It pushes the message that riders must be trained and experienced enough to do the job, children should not ride adult quad bikes, always wear a helmet and choose the right vehicle for the job.

That is very good advice which we do our best to ensure our employees heed.

Alf Grumble gives his view on this issue in: if it’s a good idea for more people to belt up let’s start with coroners.


Did you see the one about . . .

July 11, 2010

Chris Trotter on party central – Dim Post at his satirical best again.

I feel such a failure – Quote Unquote’s confounded by his chidlren’s cultural choices.

Just when you think we’re over the recessionary hump – Alf Grumble is worried about camel milk.

Packing myself – Today Is My Birthday shows bigger is better when it comes to suitcases.

Otago Museum Kiwiblog took time out from the International Science Festival to visit the museum.  He also did  the Speights Brewery tour and a Monarch cruise

Stimulus in pictures – Not PC  shows what the money didn’t do.

Why I’ve fallen behind on my reading – Karl du Fresne didn’t find much to like on television.


Making the news

January 18, 2010

Good journalists are supposed to report the news not make it.

This has escaped Australia’s Channel 9 which was disappointed by the handful of people who turned out to see Prince William arrive.

A reporter from Channel Nine’s Today show was asked by her bosses to find some fans holding signs.

When she couldn’t, the reporter says she was told by the studio in Sydney to “make some up herself”.

The Channel Nine reporter wrote signs in pen saying “I love William” and gave them to a small group of women.

The reporter then did a live cross in front of the signs but did not mention they were her own creation.

The reporter told the ABC it was a “light hearted running joke on breakfast television” and the signs will not be on the news tonight.

Had the reporter been on the ball she’d have realised the real news story is that royal visits don’t really rate with the public any more which is a symptom of the slow but inevitable move towards a republic.

Journalists following the prince seem to be a lot more excited than the locals:

“It’s low-key to say the least,” said Hello! reporter Judy Wade, a longtime royal watcher who has followed Prince William since the day he was born.

“Compared to people back home, those here really don’t seem that interested at all.

“As one Kiwi I spoke to put it: I think they’d rather spend a nice day like this at the beach.”

Quite.

But while the lack of interest might be a symptom of a move towards a republic, No Right Turn thinks it might also be a hand brake because too few people care enough to agitate for change:

The British royal-watchers call this “a distinct pro-republican feeling”, but its more that we just don’t give a damn – the monarchy is simply utterly irrelevant to our lives. Though from a republican view, that irrelevance is a two-edged sword; not giving a damn also tends to mean not giving a damn about getting rid of them. Hence the slow drift to republicanism; no-one cares about them, but no-one cares enough to finally sign the paperwork to get them out of our lives either…

I think a republic is inevitable,  I’m generally supportive of that in theory and have no problem with people not turning out in droves to meet the Prince. But I am not impressed by those who plan to protest at the opening of the Supreme Court building today.

I won’t second Alf Grumble’s desire to behead anti-royalists but I think the anti royal protest, and another by Justice staff who want a pay increase, are merely displaying bad manners and a desire for publicity.

Though at least this time the crowd will probably bring their own placards  which will save the reporters from having to make some themselves.

Hat Tip: NBR


Did you see the one about . . .

September 23, 2009

Friday motivation: Life = Risk  at Motella.

The Year 2050 at No Minister where Gooner says it’s time to cut to the core.

The daffy ambition of turning gold to blue – Alf Grumble digs up some facts on bulb breeding.

That was my suggestion! – Kiwiblog looks at negotiations on the 3 strikes policy.

Sensible shoes a safety issue – the Hand Mirror discusses heels high & low.

More court secrecy – Stephen Franks isn’t impressed by name suppression.

Wowser Alert! Destroy all those cute photos of the kids!!!! – Opinionated Mummy calls for common sense.

Get your free immigration advice here!! – Monkey with Typewriter wasn’t impressed with the service.


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