Category archive: Information

Kiwiosities: Goat and Rabbit Islands

Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.

New Zealanders are prone to giving trite and unimaginative names to their landmarks. Maori on the other hand used much poetry and polysyllable which has meant that many of their names have slipped from common knowledge over the years.

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Max’s Dogs – Every dog has its day

On the complex subject of a dog’s hearing, it is safe to say that dogs can hear with approximately ten times more efficiency than a human.

By one estimate dogs can locate the source of a sound in 0.6 seconds of a second. Their ears have many sensory nerves – which is a good reason not to blow playfully into them. Gentle as the blowing may be, and even though you can scarcely hear it, the level of amplification inside the ear is enough to cause distress in a dog. A dog has whiskers on its muzzle, under its jaw and over its eyes. Known as vibrissae, they are sensitive to changes in ‘air dynamics’.

Miscellany October

‘The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism. We could turn toward authoritarianism. Imagine President Donald Trump trying to suspend the November election. Consider the prospect of a military crackdown. The dystopian scenario is real. But I believe we will go in the other direction.

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NZ Dementia Action Plan

  This extract from the NZ Dementia Action Plan, prepared by Alzheimers NZ, the New Zealand Dementia Foundation, and Dementia NZ, with the voices and input of over 300 individuals and groups is the proverbial canary in the coalmine. It points to inadequate services especially to the elderly, those with disabilities and minorities among others:

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Referendum

There are so many good referendum arguments for and against the availability of cannabis and ‘end of life choice’ that picking the bones out of them and voting will take a little longer than ticking a box.

In both cases I tend to the liberalisation argument; one from a considered point of view, the other more emotive than intellectual.

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Who said that first? – (To) know what’s what

(To) know what’s what

Sometimes said of society matrons who understand perfect etiquette and the science of dinner-table seating. Or pundits who know local political gossip and the status of the financial markets. The term first appears in Hudibras by Samuel Butler (1663):

He knew what’s what, and that’s as high

As metaphysic wit can fly.

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Great auditions

For some years Chris travelled the country looking for new talent to make their debut on Television. New Zealand has a history of talent quests at the beach over summer or in local halls up and down the country raising funds for all sorts of projects. Radio and television had early versions called “Have a Shot” often compered by John Maybury.  But he remembers a few auditions which returned huge rewards.  

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Journalism in crisis

Sometimes when you begin the belated business of de-cluttering, you find something precious. Much of the other files contained the trite and trivial along with boring ministerial statements and these were binned for they were no longer relevant.

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