Our Chief Reporter at The Auckland Star  never stopped reminding cadet reporters how important weather news was to readers. We sighed - there seemed to be more important things happening. But we dutifully drove to the Met Office and returned with the Weather Forecast. Later we sidled self-consciously down to Queen Street with an embarrassment in our hands: a foot-long barometer. Then we scurried back to the office to write the noon temperature. How things have changed.  When Australian bushfires can create sepia skies over Auckland, it’s tangible evidence of climate change - and interest in this phenomenon intensifies. Our insistent Chief Reporter was right after all.

M’aidez or Mayday?

Max

From Max Cryer‘s  book ‘Is It True?’

The distress call ‘mayday’ is English for the French term m’aidez.

 Using the word ‘mayday’ dates from 1923, when a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport was asked to think of an easily understood  word which could indicate distress.

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Babyboomer on board…

auckland-northstarDay 1:  Slightly lost. Ask an old derro if the 277 bus goes past here.

“No Sevens here!” he shouts and I move away just a little. “No mate,  not here. Only Sixes come past here” he yells.

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Tax Haven? What – us?

Watching the Government defend the indefensible is often more comedy than drama. Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse tells Newshub that New Zealand has ‘a sound tax system on par with the rest of the world’; Health Minister  Jonathan Coleman tastes woeful hospital fare at Dunedin hospital after a blizzard  of complaints  about its quality but only  after barring media….  So for all we know, the good doctor might well have dined on caviar.

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How to Move Beyond Your Comfort Zone

To-be-outstanding-get-comfortable-with-being-uncomfortable.You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself  “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you cannot do.”

Been out of your comfort zone lately? Can you recall how you reacted how it  influenced  making the right decisions?

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Wet and moist and dry and arid

She runs a  computer and  gizmo repair business in  a Central Auckland Mall. When I visited with   my  lame duck cellphone  which didn’t  seem to want to re-charge, she diagnosed the problem  immediately.  Mould, or at least something resembling that  at the end of the  charger line.

Hmm” she  said, casting for the word.  “Wet…”

“Damp”  I said, thinking it would help.

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False Prophets

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)

My brother, an Australian citizen, was once a strong trade unionist and Labour supporter.

When he retired he maintained his interest in politics and trade unions. In earlier days on the building sites he worked on, he rubbed shoulders with some of the young men who would later lead his union and other unions and eventually become public figures.

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Should We Worry About Surveillance?

Bansky_one_nation_under_cctvSurveillance is back in the news again, now that the government has received the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security Services by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy. Later this year there may well be a new law in place with enhanced surveillance capacity for our intelligence agencies.

So, what is ‘surveillance’? Why should we be concerned about it?

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Seeing ourselves more clearly…

For a long time, my friend, a former journalist and writing pro used to be on my case.

Every few months we would catch up for a coffee at the local and have a rant and rave about all things that either fired us up or depressed us including injuries and accidental mishaps!

That is what you do with your friends, right?

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