Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bob, Paul And Steve: Where Are You Now?

"Different ages. Different jobs. Different sizes.
But these three guys have one thing in common. Shape."
Yeup, let's all think about guys like this...
Guys like Bob, Paul and Steve...
Think about them appearing in this '70s ad...and then suffering from embarrassment when, decades later, some sod posts this ad on the Interweb!
Bob, Paul and Steve will be forever haunted! How will they explain this to their grandkids?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

There Shalt Be No Happiness In Iran

Having FUN???!!! How despicable!!!
Six Iranian youths, arrested for video-dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy, have been sentenced to up to a year in prison and 91 lashes!
The homemade video (filmed mainly on iPhones) shows three men and three *shock! horror!* unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran. In six months, it had over a million views on YouTube.
The Happy We Are From Tehran clip was spotted by Iranian "morality" authorities, and the group was nabbed for violating oppressive Islamic laws, which prohibit dancing with members of the opposite sex, and women from appearing without a headscarf. They obviously also broke a secret law about being happy! The Thought Police said their "vulgar clip" had "hurt public chastity". Riiiiiight.
The majority of those in the video were sentenced to 6mths' jail, with one member given a year. However the draconian sentences have been suspended for three years, meaning they will not go to prison if they don't re-offend. But hey - no pressure!
The arrests drew global condemnation and sparked a social media campaign calling for their release. Pharrell Williams also protested at the arrests on Facebook: "It's beyond sad that these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness." His song has inspired over a thousand tribute remakes since it was released last year on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.
Supporters were quick to quote Iranian President Hassan Rouhani from a public speech he made in June 2013: "Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviours caused by joy."
He obviously speaks the same BS as his predeccessor!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Space Elevator? Yea, Right!

Straight from the pages of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, a Japanese construction giant says it'll have a space elevator up and running by 2050....reaching 96,000km out into space.
Robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors will carry people and cargo to a newly-built space station, at a fraction of the cost of
rockets. It will take seven days to get there.
The Obayashi company says this fantasy is within reach due to the development of carbon nanotechnology, the tensile strength of which is almost a hundred times stronger than steel cable.
Yoji Ishikawa, R+D manager: "Right now we can't make the cable long enough. We can only make 3cm-long nanotubes but by 2030 we'll be able to do it."
The boffins reckon the space elevator could signal the end of rockets which are hugely expensive - a space shuttle costs about $22,000 per kilogram to take cargo into space: the estimate for the space elevator is about $200!
The elevator would allow small rockets to be housed and launched from stations in space without needing huge amounts of fuel to break the Earth's gravitational pull.
It's also hoped the space elevator could help in solving the world's power problems, by delivering huge amounts of cheap solar power or storing nuclear waste.
And hey, why not idly speculate about space tourism! Obayashi is working on 30-man elevator cars, and believes it won't be too long before the Moon is the next must-see tourist destination.
Yea, right!!! Open the pod bay doors, Hal...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

IWC Is A Eunuch

It's all over, bar the shouting...of which there will be much.
The International Whaling Commission's (IWC) 65th meeting has ended, with an agreement to toughen scrutiny of Japan's Antarctic hunts, but without the balls to do much else.
The 35/20 vote, for a NZ resolution to tighten the review of proposals for research whaling, was hailed by conservationists as a major victory. Patrick Ramage, whale programme director at International Fund for Animal Welfare, called it a great day for NZ's anti-whaling efforts:
"It really tightens the noose on Japan's ongoing scientific whaling in and around Antarctica."
The resolution instructs the IWC's scientific committee to assess whether a research bid is truly science-driven, including by satisfying itself that non-lethal means are not an option. And until such a review is completed, it "requests" that countries do not issue any research whaling permits.
And there's the problem: while the IWC's scientific committee considers proposals for scientific whaling, there's nothing preventing a nation from going ahead without its blessing (as Sara Phillips writes for ABC Environment). So while the majority of nations in this particular vote want to close the "scientific whaling" loophole, they're working with another gap, ie: that the IWC resolution itself is non-binding.
As we already know, Japan cancelled this summer's Antarctic hunt after March's International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling, but says it'll resume in 2015-16, and will file a new "research" plan by the end of this year.
Patrick Ramage: "It's as though Japan is saying: 'Pay no attention to the world court judgment - we are going back to killing in a whale sanctuary around Antarctica.' Ultimately, Japan needs to reconcile itself to the emerging global consensus for whale conservation and the court order of the ICJ."
Let's be BLUNT: Japan is saying "あなたをファック!" to us all!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wally-wood Does It Again

Wellington Airport is facing more flak over its controversial Wellington Blown Away sign!
You may recall the public hoohah when the sign plan was first announced, and the huge campaign to select the eventual design.
Wow! Was that a FART???
Well, the sign's changed twice in recent months, first to Vellington to support the Kiwi vampire movie What We Do In The Shadows and now to WOWington to celebrate the upcoming World of Wearable Arts show.
But the changes have attracted criticism from a local concert promoter, who reckons it's simply become a billboard.
However, airport spokesman Greg Thomas says they're using the sign exactly as it was intended: "There's one thing that the sign was put up for - which was about showcasing Wellington. And both of these two changes have very much been in line with that, to showcase Wellington. They've only been subtle changes." He says it'll be changed back to Wellington Blown Away after WOW.
The airport first announced plans to build a Wellywood sign (a copy of the Hollywood sign) in early 2010, to promote Wellington's film industry to visitors. That met with intense backlash (plus legal threats from USA) and was slammed by many who thought it unoriginal.
So the airport backed down and an independent panel helped choose an alternative. The panel ran a public competition and Wellington Blown Away was selected as the winner, scoring 18,862 of 33,027 votes.
Interesting to note that, contrary to Greg Thomas' position, at no stage during the initial discussions over the $80K sign, was there ever any mention of repeated promotional changes.
In the USA, the now-iconic Hollywood sign was originally merely a 1923 real estate advertisement, originally saying Hollywoodland! No changes were made to that sign: the -land bit simply fell off with old age!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stranding In Titahi Bay

A whale from one of the least known marine mammal families was found early yesterday morning, beached at the southern end of Titahi Bay near Porirua, Wellington.
It appeared to be a 5-7m Cuvier's Beaked Whale, part of a family of beaked whales that dive to at least 300m to hunt squid. This one had scars caused by bites from "cookie-cutter" sharks, but these marks were common and unlikely to have caused fatal injuries.
Beaked whales are unusual in that they have very reduced teeth, whereas their close relatives such as sperm whales and dolphins generally have multiple teeth. Beaked whales can suck in their food without need of teeth - rather like we can suck in spaghetti.
Cuvier's beaked whales are wellknown from strandings around NZ and are found in most of the world's oceans. But the chances of actually seeing any of the 11 beaked whale species known to inhabit our waters is slight - in some cases, they're only known to exist due to their bodies washing up.
It's unclear if this particular whale had stranded or had died and was then washed up on the beach: an autopsy will hopefully confirm the cause of death.
This is not the first whale to die on Titahi Bay. In the 1950s, a large sperm whale washed up in the area.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Battling For Whales Again

New Zealand is expecting a fight, over it's bid to have the World Court's ban on Japan's scientific whaling adopted by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
The IWC meeting starting today in Slovenia will be decisive: it's the first since the ruling and there's not another until 2016.
It is in effect a battle over Antarctic whaling, because Japan has a new plan to resume commercial whaling next season which will also be presented to the IWC. The nasty Nippons have said they'll restart Southern Ocean whaling with a "redesigned scientific whaling programme" in the 2015/16 season which will meet the requirements of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The ICJ ruled this annual expedition is a commercial activity masquerading as research. NZ wants to set that judgment into IWC stone, so no further illegal scientific whaling happens.
The resolution needs just a majority of 50% of countries plus one to pass. But, knowing the way Japan buys supporters' votes, it's likely the resolution will be hard-fought.
The debate will be a key test of NZ/Australia resolve, as well as other like-minded governments, to ensure the resolution is passed without watering-down. If successful, it'll prevent Japan from whaling in Antarctica until 2016/17 at the earliest.
Another country targeted at the IWC is Iceland, where commercial whaling was resumed in 2006, in addition to a "scientific programme" of research whaling. A proposal for a Sth.Atlantic whale sanctuary will also be put forward. And recent figures show Norway killed a record 729 whales so far this year, the highest since 1993 when it resumed whaling.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Catch Of The Day!

Cai Chengzhu was fishing in eastern China, when he found a giant "fish" thrashing around in his net.
It was in fact a two-tonne 4.5m-long whale shark!
Chengzu says the whale shark tried to escape the net but died soon afterwards. He decided to take it to the fishing harbour with the rest of his catch, so he somehow lugged it up over his vehicle. He claims he didn't know it was endangered, and was planning to sell it at the wholesale market in Xiangzhi for around 20,000 yuan (NZ$4,000), until Fisheries halted the sale.

Whale sharks are a vulnerable species and protected in China, making it illegal to either buy or sell them. They're the largest of all fish species and an adult can live up to 100 years. They can grow to around 10m long, suggesting this one was a juvenile.
Whale shark populations have been depleted by harpoon fisheries in SE Asia. They're highly valued on the black market: a single animal can be worth as much as NZ$36,000, while the fins are sold to restaurants to make shark fin soup. The skin is also sold for handbags, and other parts of the body are processed to make fish oil supplements.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cashing In On Ebola

Hey, never let a large-scale health disaster get in the way of good hard-earned money scams, I say!
I notice one of the latest rip-offs to circulate into my in-box is a rewriting of the usual crap...with all the same-ol' same-ol' spelling mistakes, but with an Ebola twist:

"Hello sir /madam,
Thanks be and God richly bless you for your kind gesture in helping me out of this critical situations.
Yes i,m Peter Karu a Sierra Leone citizen from West Africa sub region of Africa.
My father and my mother has died currently from Ebola Diseases virus, and i am manage to escaped from Sierra Leone to Ghana a country alsos in West Africa.
meanwhile my late father Chief Karu was a Gold merchanter , and have his Gold delivery office in Ghana.
I want you to help to ship my late father 120 kilograms of Gold ,out of Africa as soon as possible.
meanwhile , my late father also deposited $3,2M America dollar with a private security bank company in Ghana.
I need your help quickly , so that i can continued my education.
I,m 16 years old now. and i now stay in an uncompleted house building in Ghana Africa now.
I need your help very urgently.
Thank you, your son Peter Karu "

Well, I've never slept with an African gal so Peter Karu is definitely NOT my son! How dare he get so familiar! LOL And if he WAS, his grammatical skills would be much higher than this clown's!
Further, as you'll see at this [link], young "Peter" has changed his name from "Solomon Korobo", son of "Chief Korobo".
You KNOW what these vultures are up to. Do NOT be tempted... unlike THIS gullible Australian pillick [link]!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Air New Zealand Farewells Its Last Jumbo

Air New Zealand's last jumbo jet, ZK-NBV, makes its final passenger flight this Wednesday.
The 16-year-old Boeing 747-400 flys Auckland-San Francisco and returns two days later.

1981: AirNZ's first jumbo lands
The plane was named in honour of Christchurch when it joined the fleet, and played a role in providing emergency transport for those wanting to leave the city, immediately following the 2011 earthquake.
The airline's first 747 arrived in mid-1981, and there've been 13 flown by AirNZ since. It has had to keep the planes longer than planned, because of delays to the arrival of the more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first of which has now joined the airline and is flying the trans-Tasman route.
While several airlines are keeping their jumbos - notably Lufthansa which is upgrading to the latest cargo-carrying version of the plane and KLM which still has 15 in its fleet - others are disposing of them in favour of lighter more efficient twin-engine aircraft.
ZK-NBV's sister, ZK-SUH (named for the southern city of Dunedin), retired from AirNZ's flight in July. The former Lord of The Rings jet was sold to new owners GE as a engine test jet.
Boeing produced more than 1500 jumbos, which revolutionised long-haul travel during the 1970s.
2014: ZK-NBV, seen at Auckland International Airport yesterday...

UPDATE: 12 Sept.2014 - Champagne for all on the final flight.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Denmark Breaks EU Rules In Faroe Islands

Fourteen Sea Shepherd activists have been detained, while trying to stop a whale hunt on the Faroes island of Sandoy.
Prisoners of WAR???
They were held last Saturday when attempting to save a pod of 33 pilot whales, as the mammals were driven to shore to be killed by waiting hunting parties.
The detainees included six SS shore crew, and eight who were on three small boats near the island (one who'd been violently assaulted in the Faroes just days before).
A Danish Navy vessel ordered the three boats back and later seized them. Despite being a member of the EU and subject to laws prohibiting the slaughter of cetaceans, Denmark has officially shown its support of — and now direct collaboration with — the Faroese whalers, by sending the Danish Navy to defend the whale slaughter alongside Faroese police. Danish Armed Forces' Arctic Command says it's standard procedure for the Danish Navy to assist the Faroese police in its work. Faroese police would not comment.
"Off with their heads!"
After the arrests, the hunt went ahead and all 33 pilot whales were killed...
...just two days prior, five bottlenose whales stranded on the island of Suduroy, on the killing beach of Hvalba. The population of these rather rare Northern bottlenose whales is believed to be no more than 10,000. In most places around the world, cetaceans stranded in shallow waters are helped by compassionate humans and ushered back to sea. However, rather than attempting to rescue them, Faroese butchered the stranded whales while SS volunteers were blocked from approaching (Faroese regulations allow for the killing of beached bottlenose whales ONLY if they can't be rescued).
Fins from babies ripped from womb
A possible cause of the stranding is seismic testing. Currently, extensive testing is ongoing between the Shetland and Faroe Islands. Many species of marine mammals are vulnerable to the effects of such testing - beaked whales, of which the Northern bottlenose whale is one, are particularly susceptible.
Update: All fourteen SS crew have now been released from custody, with some court appearances due this week. The boat team will have their court day on 25 Sept. This later date allows the police to hold the three SS boats until the end of September.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Power To Play God…

An experimental drug has healed all 18 monkeys infected with the deadly Ebola virus!
The monkeys were given ZMapp 3-5 days after they were infected with Ebola and symptomatic: that's several days later than any other experimental Ebola treatment tested so far. This is the first monkey test ever done with ZMapp.
It's not known how well the drug would work in people, who can take up to 21 days to show symptoms and are not infected the way these monkeys were in a lab, but it's very encouraging that the animals recovered...even after advanced Ebola had developed.
ZMapp had never been tested in humans, before two US aid workers in Africa who got Ebola were allowed it. The rest of the limited supply was given to five others.
Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people this year. Last Friday, it spread to a 5th.African country - Senegal.
ZMapp's maker says the small supply of the drug is now exhausted and it'll take about a month to make 20-40 doses. There're plans for a clinical trial on people early next year eg: experts need to know what a safe and proper dose for humans should be.
Meanwhile those infected have nothing left to lose, so surely it would be humane to use ZMapp as soon as some is produced. The big question is not "should it be used on humans before it has been trialled?"...but more, "who should be given it before trials are done?"
Which organisation will be given the power over life-and-death...
and the authority to save a life BEFORE trials are over?
Who gets to play God?

Monday, September 1, 2014

One Law for ALL, Bro!

Bright-lookin' kid, eh bro!
So The Crown WILL appeal the maori king's son avoiding drink-driving and theft charges.
There was social uproar when 19yr.old Korotangi Paki dodged two counts of burglary, one of theft and one of drink-driving last month. His lawyer successfully argued that a conviction could bar Paki from ascending the maori throne. Potential successors needed an unblemished record because of the custodial responsibilities involved as king. The discharge was widely criticised, with cries of racial favouritism and political intervention being levelled at the judge.
Paki was stopped in Gisborne last October with a breath test reading of 761: the current limit for drivers under 20 is zero. He got off. Paki's three co-accused in a March theft and burglary were each fined $400 and discharged without conviction. He got off this too.
The Crown Law Office has laid the appeal after "a very thorough review" by senior counsel, and the hearing's set for 17 November.
Quite frankly, if wanna-be maori kings need a squeaky-clean record, then it is up to THEM to behave in a law-abiding honest upright manner, as befitting a future leader. There is NO REASON for ANYONE from WHATEVER walk of life to think they can get away with lawbreaking because of race, colour or creed.
Let unbiased justice prevail.