Facebook down, back up

19/06/2014

Facebook went down this evening.

Emergency services report no major problems.

However counselling services report a rush of calls from people seeking advice on communicating with people face to face.

Media were also busy with photo opportunities of people talking to each other, reading books and even working.


Facebook fears, food fads and a furious pear

15/04/2014

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

* Here’s what Facebook’s doing to your brain: it’s kind of shocking

* The Most Challenging Dinner Guest Ever: And 5 Delicious Meals To Feed Them (and yes I do understand that allergies aren’t fads, but let’s not the facts get in the way of an alliterative headline) from The Kitchen.Com

And

* The Furious Pear Pie

 

 


What’s WhatsApp?

22/02/2014

Jan Koum has gone from surviving on food stamps to earning a fortune in 21 years.

He co-founded WhatsApp  in 2009 and this week signed a $19 billion deal with Facebook.

His is an inspirational story but it leaves me with a questions – what is WhatsApp?


Blue’s better

11/02/2014

National needs your help.

Let's turn Facebook blue! Share this post and help National get to 10,000 likes.
When blue’s better why wouldn’t you?
While you’re on Facebook, if you haven’t already done it you can check out John Key too – he’s reached the limit for friend requests but you can follow him.

Issues that matter

28/01/2014

He’s referring to Labour MP David Clark’s suggestion that the government bans Facebook.

Perhaps Andrei is right and Labour is trying to throw the election.

 


Only four days to go

02/04/2013

There’s only four days left before the clocks go back an hour and it can’t come soon enough for me.

For the last month or so we’ve been waking up in darkness.

When the decision was made to move clocks forward an hour for summer in 1974 it started at Labour weekend and finished in early March.

Then some bright sparks got the idea that if some daylight saving is good more would be better without taking into account that the amount of daylight we get isn’t constant.

The result is clocks go forward on the last Sunday in September and don’t go back again until the first Sunday in April when we’ve got no more than 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.

Delaying the start by a couple of weeks and bringing the end back a fortnight or so would allow us to have an extra hour of light in the evening without having to wake up in darkness in the morning.

I’m not alone in wanting an abbreviated version of daylight saving. Lucia Maria says  daylight saving is lasting too long and has started a Facebook page seeking to put the clocks back on the third weekend in March.


Prettiest sheep story no bull

14/10/2012

A Senegal reality show is featuring the prettiest sheep:

The street level of Ousmane Ndiaye’s building features a fabric shop. He and his family live in a posh apartment on the second floor. Their upstairs neighbours? His beloved ram Billal and 10 other sheep.

Here his animals prance on a sunny outdoor terrace well above the commotion of buses and vendors below, and only rarely use the building’s winding staircase.

Billal is fed the family’s dinner leftovers, and Ndiaye jokes that his wife is jealous of his sheep. The family even foregoes potential rental income by leaving the upper level of their building unfinished.

“I could rent this place out for 250,000 francs (US$500) a month, but I prefer to keep Billal and my sheep here,” says Ndiaye, 60, sporting a royal blue boubou as he strokes the head of the sheep he hopes will become a reality television star.

In a nation where sheep are given names and kept inside homes as companion animals, the most popular television show is “Khar Bii,” or literally, “This Sheep,” in the local Wolof language. . . 

This sounds like an Australian satirists idea of life in New Zealand but there’s no bull in this story.
The show even has a Facebook page.

Hate breeds hate

26/08/2012

Film maker Barbara Sumner-Burstyn made the political personal when she used her Facebook page to make harsh criticisms about Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker.

Her words were stupid, insensitive, ugly and wrong.

She made an apology of an apology – in which she mis-spelled Jacinda as Jacinta more than once. And any good would, as Keeping Stock points out,  have been undone by the nine paragraphs of justification which followed it.

The value of the apology can also be judged by her telling the Herald on Sunday she does not resile from her comments.

But none of that justifies the response which incited violence against her.

Politics should stay well above the personal and debate should focus on ideas not people.

Hate breeds hate but that doesn’t make it right.


Comparing apples with milk – updated

23/08/2012

Update: The tech fairy is playing games with this post.

It first made the comments I wrote below the picture, which I found on Facebook, disappear. Then it got rid of the all the links in the side bar.

Because of that I’ve dumped the picture and typed what it said:

If everyone went vegan, would it destroy our economy?

The milk industry uses 1,638,706 hectares of land. With this it employs 45,000 people and earns, $NZ10.4b in profit annually.

Per hectare of land that is:45000/1638706 = 0.027 employees and 10.4×106 = $6.346.47 in profit.The horticulture industry uses 121,000 hectares of land. With his, it employs 50,000 people and earns $NZ 4b in profit annually. Per hectare of land that is 50000/121000 = 0.4 employees and 4×106 /121000 = $33.057.85 in profit.

Changing land from dairy to horticulture would employ 15 times as many people and improved New Zealand’s profit 5-fold.

No it would probably improve it.

I have no idea if those figures are correct but even if they are, there is a serious problem with the reasoning because it’s not comparing apples with apples.

 

Not all land which is suitable for dairying is suitable for horticulture.
Many horticulture products are fragile, don’t travel well and have short shelf-lives. If they’re not sold they perish; milk powder travels well and can be stored for ages.
Dairy products are high in protein and calcium, few if any horticulture products have these nutrients.
Markets which want dairy products want dairy products. If they can’t buy ours they’ll buy someone else’s, they won’t swap to fruit and vegetables instead.
The anti-dairy lobby is visible and vocal but if this picture is typical their arguments are long on emotion and short on facts.

New social networking tool

17/06/2012

If you haven’t got in to Facebook, don’t worry, there’s something even better:

SILICON VALLEY (The Borowitz Report) – A new social network is about to alter the playing field of the social media world, and it’s called PhoneBook.

According to its creators, who invented the network in their dorm room at Berkeley, PhoneBook is the game-changer that will leave Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare in a cloud of dust.

“With PhoneBook, you have a book that has a list of all your friends in the city, plus everyone else who lives there,” says Danny Fruber, one of PhoneBook’s creators.

“When you want to chat with a friend, you look them up in PhoneBook, and find their unique PhoneBook number,” Fruber explains.  “Then you enter that number into your phone and it connects you directly to them.” . . .

Read more, including the strange phenomenon of real life, real time face to face meetings at the Borowitz Report.


Last words, robots and predictions

31/01/2012

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

The ultimate Facebook app, if I die.

Children’s ideas on  a robot-influenced future – more details at Latitude

Predictions for 2112

Hat tip for links – Idealog’s email newsletter  Daily Bacon


Untrue colours

30/05/2011

Towards the end of my time at high school the board decided on a uniform change.

The grey gym frock which we wore with short sleeved shirts and socks in summer and long sleeved shirts and black tights in winters was to be replaced with a red tartan kilt in winter and a blue dress in summer.

“Blue? Why blue when the school colours were red and black?” we asked.

Those on the right side of the Waitaki River who are interested in rugby, and some who are not, are asking a similar question today: green, why green?

The question comes in response to the decision to change the Highlanders’ jersey from blue, gold and maroon the colours of Otago, North Otago and Southland, to green the colour of um, the grass they play on and some other province.

Respondents to an ODT poll have voted 90% (1321) to 10% (148) to keep the southern colours.

The Facebook page has attracted 1,853 likes and lots of comments including this from National’s Dunedin MP (and rugby referee) Michael Woodhouse:

 . . .  As for this happening because of the many players drafted in from outside the franchise area – sorry to be blunt but it’s not about you! You will leave. The fans won’t. this is about the thousands of fans who support this team through thick and thin over the past 15 years. Not a single one of them relates to anything but blue, maroon and gold. C’mon guys, be big enough to stop or reverse the announcement.

And an online petition has been launched saying:

Tradition and recognition is a huge part of the sport and yet the Highlanders Management seek to dissociate the Highlanders from the region. Sign this petition and Boycott the Force game!

The Highlanders have struggled for several seasons, severely testing the loyalty of fans. This year they’ve had some good wins and have been  regaining  support. This silly change in colours threatens to lose it again.

Have the people behind it spent too much time at the bottom of rucks?


Top of the food chain

26/05/2011

Quote of the week:

Peter Talley at the Maori Fisheries Conference :

“I, for one, certainly did not fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”

(Spotted on Facebook – I’m not sure of the etiquette around this – am I supposed to link to and/or name the person who posted it?)


Quake communication by social media and memoirs

01/03/2011

Discussion of on-line matters with Jim Mora on Critical Mass started with how on-line media complemented the MSM in coverage of the Christchurch earthquake.

Facebook, Twitter and blogs helped people connect with family and friends and also mobilise volunteers and equipment to help with recovery effort.

Among the many blog posts was one in which Brian Edwards and  Judy Callingham wrote of how Twitter brought us news that our family in Christchurch was safe.

Another which caught my eye was Not PC, who wrote of the tragedy and included descriptions of what happened to the buildings.

Many bloggers in Christchurch didn’t have power or internet connections at first but started posting when they could and their accounts provide a powerful human record of the quake and its aftermath.

It might be just as well they didn’t read the problem with memoirs first. In this column Neil Genzlinger, a staff editor at the New York Times writes disparagingly on memoirs written by people with nothing much to say.

One of those whose memoir he disparages, Sean Manning, responded in the Daily Beast.


Vulgarity rules

23/11/2010

Noelle McCarthy is hosting Critical Mass today and we began with Letters From Wetville where Sandra posts on Acting Like Normal, Hibernation, In Solidarity with Our Town and Waiting, Hoping and Praying.

These are insider’s thoughts on the Pike River mine explosion. She’s writing from inside about her own community and people which gives her posts a poignancy and intimacy which other media, looking from the outside in, can’t replicate.

We moved on to something completely different – Theodore Dalrymple believes that vulgarity is now the ruling characteristic of England.

And we finished by discussing Noelle’s column in the Herald on the problem of having too many Facebook friends.


Delay daylight saving

25/09/2010

My campaign to delay the start of daylight saving has a Facebook Group.

On it I say:

Extending daylight saving so it starts in September and ends in April was a mistake.

We’ve just had the spring solstice which means there’s only 12 hours between sunrise and sunset. Putting the clocks forward to move sunset from 6ish to 7ish in the evening means sunrise moves from 6ish to 7ish in the morning.

It’s too late to do anything this year – but if there was enough support it could be changed from next year.

If the change to daylight saving was delayed until mid to late October there’d be 14 hours between sunrise and sunset. We’d get more light at both ends of the day and it should be warm enough to be outside.

The Royal Astronomical Society has sunrise and sunset times for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

LINZ has sunrise and sunset times for  Auckland, Bluff, Dunedin, East Cape, Gisborne & Lyttelton.


Confusingly simple, crazily confusing or simply crazy?

18/07/2010

Wisdom from my niece on Facebook:

Males are simple! We just think they’re confusing because we can’t believe how simple they are.

And in response:

. . . and females aren’t confusing, they are just crazy. we think they are confusing cause they are so crazy.
 
So: are men confusingly simple, or simply confusing and women confusingly crazy or crazily confusing, or are we all simply crazy?

Facebook fans for Hubbard

24/06/2010

Supporters of Allan Hubbard and  his wife Margaret have undertaken an advertising campaign and set up a $1m fighting fund.

The couple and some trust have been put in statutory management and are being investigated by the SFO.

No-one who knows them doubts their inegrity but someone has raised questions about paper work:

Timaru lawyer Edgar Bradley, who has been a friend of Mr Hubbard’s for more than 50 years, was another staunch supporter.

“Allan takes a long-term point of view and does not look at things on a daily basis or on a three-yearly basis as politicians do.

“He has the ability to stand back from a problem and look at it dispassionately. Even if it affects him personally, he does not allow that to affect his judgment.

“If a sometime criticism of Allan is a lack of documentation then it must be remembered he is a product of the days when trust was more important than paperwork. Sadly the reverse is now the case.”

There’s a Help Allan Hubbard page on Facebook and another page Leave Allan Hubbard Alone.


February 4 in history

04/02/2010

On February 4:

211 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.

Septimius Severus busto-Musei Capitolini.jpg

960 The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries.

1677 Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer, was born.

1703 In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commited seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.

 Incense burns at the burial graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengaku-ji.

1789 George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1792 George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1794 The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.

1810 The Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe.

1820 The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald completed the 2 day long capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.

 

1825 The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.

1859 The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.

 Luke 11, 2 in Codex Sinaiticus

1902 Charles Lindbergh, American pilot, was born.

1905 Hylda Baker, English comedy actress, was born.

1913 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activistwas, born.

1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston, was born.

1915 Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, was born.

1921 Betty Friedan, American feminist, was born.

1921 Lotfi Asker Zadeh, American-Iranian/Russian mathematician and computer scientist and the father of fuzzy logic., was born.

1936 Radium becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.

1941 The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops.

Small web logo.jpg

1941 John Steel, British musician (The Animals), was born.

 

1945 World War II: The Yalta Conference began.

 The “Big Three” at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF (both standing behind Churchill); and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt).

1947  Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1948 Alice Cooper, American musician, was born.

1948 Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) became independent.

1957 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne‘s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.

1966 All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 jet plunges into Tokyo Bay, killing 133.

1967  Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

Lunar orbiter 1 (large).jpg

1969 Yasser Arafat took over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1974 The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.

 

1975 American Lynne Cox became the first woman to swim Cook Strait when she swam from the North Island to the South in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

First woman to swim Cook Strait

1975 Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.

1976 In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake killed more than 22,000.

1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.

1985 The New Zealand Labour government refused the USS Buchanan entry to the country on the grounds that the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the ship had nuclear capability.

USS <em>Buchanan</em> refused entry to NZ

1992 A Coup d’état led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.

             

1996 Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin tied all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)

1997 Two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

1997 Serbian  President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.

1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000.

1999 Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an urelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.

1999 The New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon.

The New Carissa
 

2003 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution.

2004 Facebook, a mainstream online social network was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook.svg 

2006 A stampede occured in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.

2008 – The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme began to oeprate.

LOWEMZONEfeb08.PNG

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


The next generation

04/12/2009

We’re expecting a great nephew and another great-baby whose gender is yet to be determined.

Two of our nieces are pregnant and the extended families are tickled pink.

It’s all so different from when we were expecting our own children. The surgeon, who was the only one who did scans in Oamaru, wouldn’t let fathers watch and if he could tell whether it was a boy or a girl he didn’t share that information with the mothers.

Now expectant fathers, and sometimes other family members, are encouraged to be present at scans which is definitely a change for the better.

I wasn’t so sure about knowing the gender before the birth. I’d always thought it would be a bit like taking a sneak peek at Christmas presents in advance.

However, when the mother to be had her 12 week scan she  was told the gender and shared the news with us. He’s a he and we’ve seen his scan image on Facebook.

Knowing that, and his name, makes the news of a new baby in the family more real and more exciting.

Had my mother still been alive she’d have greeted the news with joy and would then have started knitting singlets. Since she’s not I’m doing the knitting instead.

My farmer asked me if it wouldn’t be easier to buy some singlets.

It would, but knitting is like home cooking, doing it with love adds something which can’t be bought.


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