Thursday, October 30, 2014

Putting The Sheen On Ocean Research

Award-winning actor Martin Sheen teamed up with conservation group Sea Shepherd this month in California, to launch a new research vessel for the group.
Sheen Snr's support comes hard on the heels of the support given by his son, Charlie Sheen, to SS's confrontational efforts against the Faroe Islands' grindadrap (pilot whale slaughter) this season.
However,as you can see from the photos, this boat is not built for clashing with whaling crews in the Southern Oceans. The 80-foot oceangoing ketch R/V Martin Sheen will focus on battling maritime litter like plastics in the world's oceans.
This vessel carries the prefix of R/V because it'll be a research vessel. Unlike Japan's so-called "research" whaling vessels, this ship will be engaged in legitimate research — including documentation and investigation of ocean-borne pollution.
Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Apocalypse Now and West Wing actor Martin Sheen: "Plastic has become the deadliest predator of the sea. If we fail to clean up the plastic mess that humans have made and stop the pollution ... we face the potential extinction of many species of sea life."
Martin Sheen's been a long-time supporter of Sea Shepherd: he sits on Sea Shepherd USA's Media and Arts Advisory Board and has been friends with SS founder Paul Watson for decades.
For more on ocean plastics, click (here) and (here).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Finding ANZAC Family Members

A website featuring the service records of every New Zealand and Australian soldier who served in World War I launches today.
In this, the 100th.year since the beginning of World War I, the joint
Kiwis in Gallipoli trenches, WWI
project of Archives New Zealand and the National Archives of Australia will feature digitised service dossiers, photographs and other records.
The Discovering Anzacs website will also feature records from the Boer War, and others behind the scenes including munition workers, internees and merchant sailors.
The website will be launched at a ceremony in Canberra.
You can access this treasure trove of ANZAC military history at: http://mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Air NZ: One Last Bite

Air New Zealand's latest safety video takes one last bite at the Middle-earth cake.
Dwarves, orcs and elves take flight once more in The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made - which will be progressively rolled out ahead of the December release of the final film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Cast members from all three Hobbit films - Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Dean O'Gorman (Fili the Dwarf) and Sylvester McCoy (Radagast) - star in the video. It also features cameos from director Sir Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop co-founder Sir Richard Taylor.
The safety video was shot over six days across a number of NZ's Middle-earth locations, including Hobbiton and Central Otago, both of which appear in The Hobbit trilogy.
Sir Peter Jackson: "Air New Zealand has created yet another fantastic video to celebrate The Hobbit films.I had a lot of fun on the set with the team and look forward to seeing the video on board."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fish And Chips - A Whole New Meaning!

A woman in Colombia used a rather bizarre means of contraception recently - she inserted a potato inside her private parts to avoid getting pregnant!
Who needs Durex?
The 22yr-old was hospitalised with severe pain early this month and the cause...was her potato contraceptive.
The nurse initially thought it was some sort of practical joke when she saw roots emerging from the woman's vagina, but the patient had indeed inserted the potato to prevent pregnancy - on the advice of her mother! Obviously, intullugunce does not run strongly in this family...
About two weeks after insertion, the woman suffered intense abdominal pain because the starchy tuber had germinated and was growing roots. Although plants do not normally grow inside the human body, the spud did so because it's a tuber that thrives in the dark.
Fortunately it was a relatively easy job to remove the plant, and doctors expect no lasting effects on the woman's body.
Unconventional means of preventing pregnancy are not just confined to Third World countries. A survey involving 1,500 UK women aged 25-34 revealed that some use sandwich bags, cling film and latex gloves in place of condoms!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

One Debt To Bind Them All

Movie trilogy The Hobbit has so far cost nearly NZ$1-billion!
Financial documents filed this month show production costs up 'til March hit NZ$934 million. This includes filming and digital effects completed over several years but not this year's production costs.
The docs give an unusually detailed account of a mega Hollywood production's costs. Typically, studios both under- and overestimate costs for publicity purposes. But here in NZ, to handle the trilogy, Warner set up a wholly-owned company that's filed regular publicly-available financials.
They show the production received US$122 million from kiwi taxpayers, through an incentive scheme designed to attract big budget movies to NZ. Such schemes are common in US and countries that compete for movies.
Per film however, these aren't the most expensive ever made... not yet! That record goes to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End which cost about US$300 million (NZ$377m) to make.
Of course, the trade-off to this monumental cost is that the first two Hobbit movies took in a combined figure of almost DOUBLE that! So a stunning return, which of course can not calculate accurately the ├╝ber-value to NZ's tourism industry. There can be few who'd deny the incentive scheme has been money well-spent!
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be released this December (check out the promo).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tit-Touching A Toothache Tonic?

Ahhh, THERE's that
pesky toothache!
If it LOOKS like a duck and QUACKS like a duck... it probably IS a duck!
So when a medical practitioner gropes your breast, telling you it's to fix your toothache... there's a HELLUVA lot of "quackery" goin' on!!
A woman's complained to police after a Christchurch osteopath massaged her boob for almost an hour to try to alleviate a toothache. WTF???!!!
The woman saw him earlier this month, after her dentist told her a toothache was caused by muscle tension. After an examination, "...he (the osteopath) subsequently massaged my breast and nipple area for almost an hour. He stated this was a normal and common treatment for toothache." The pain did not subside (surprise!) and she felt very uneasy afterwards "...but he was reassuring and sounded legitimate. I told myself my discomfort was because I was just old-fashioned and that I should stop being silly."
Silly? SILLY??!! STUPID, more like!!!
She seriously wants the Police to believe that she thought this was perfectly normal and legit??!!
And furthermore, before the tit treatment began, the woman told the osteopath that she'd struggled with depression since 15 after a difficult and abusive childhood. Why tell a total stranger that?! It's leaving the door wide open for emotional manipulation and more abuse!
In her complaint, the woman said she was left feeling powerless, violated and confused, believing the osteopath indecently assaulted her. This bint should instead be feeling gullible, thick, foolish, and needs to take a good hard look at her naivity!
Any medical person who cops an hour-long fondle in the name of fixing a toothache is havin' you on BIG time, and needs to be dealt to...! But similarly, anyone who buys into this buckum and allows it, is plain SIMPLE! Quack, quack, quack.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sense And Sensibility

"Gisborne" is not it's official name!
According to the New Zealand Geographic Board, the city's name has never been gazetted and is regarded (by the board) as a collected or recorded name.
NZ Geo.Board secretary Wendy Shaw: "There is no record for either Gisborne or Turanga (the original maori name)."
During colonial settlement, many place names were classified as 'recorded' and had 'pseudo-official status'. The status of Gisborne as a place name is identical to that of the 'North Island' and 'South Island'. It was revealed last year that those names had never been gazetted... remember what happened after THAT revelation!
87% of public submissions favoured the status quo. However NZGB dismissed those supporting numbers, and was swayed by submitters' reasons. Yeup, if you're a minority holding a good-enough reason (one of the BEST reasons being "I'm an oppressed minority"), you'll win the day!
So...Gisborne was named after William Gisborne, colonial secretary in the William Fox-led NZ Govt from 1869-1872. Good enough reason? The town's Post Office took the name Gisborne in 1870. Howzat! And the next confirmed official usage of the name was in 1877 when Gisborne Borough Council was formed. The clincher, surely!
Ahhhh, but wait: it's believed the name was changed from Turanga (shortened from Turanga-nui-a-Kiwa,"great standing place of Kiwa", to avoid confusion with Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. Kiwa was supposedly the witch doctor of the Horouta canoe, one of the supposed canoes that brought maori from their supposed homeland of Hawaiiki.) Supposed...supposed...supposed...
Well, in THAT case, we MUST change the city name to that of a maori, mustn't we! It's the way of the PC world! No matter that virtually no-one will want it, as long as the vocal minority is placated! But wait: even THEY are confused, having also credited Mr.Kiwa with being the supposed commander of another supposed migratory canoe! And some even claim Gisborne was first named Tairawhiti - "the coast upon which the sun shines across the water."
Oh, the pressure! I know, let's call for public submissions again!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Riding The Ridge

The Ridge is the brand-new film by 28yr.old mountainbiking maniac, Danny MacAskill.
Released on 02 October 2014, it gained over 10 MILLION You Tube views in its first five days!
In it, Danny returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland, to make a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.
No CGI here: this is either insanity or sheer gobsmacking skill - either way, watching this clip will give you stomach twinges...as well as leaving you with amazing views of Skye.
Enjoy...if you can!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Love Me Tinder, Love Me Do...

The word seemingly on everyone's lips right now is Tinder.
Not because of what it can potentially get you, but because of what it can potentially get you!
It's a dating app...no, let's be honest, it's a fucking app. Tinder finds your location using GPS, then uses your Facebook info to create your profile. It then finds you possible nearby matches (or "dates" if you're so naive as to call them that!).
Yeup, those on Tinder are there because they wanna get laid. NOW. If they see a pic of a potential bedmate they fancy, they swipe right (for 'like') or if they don't wanna shag 'em, they swipe left ('dislike'). Simple as that. Essentially it's "Here I am, baby. I wanna sleep with someone right now. You wanna play?"
And although sex is a basic human desire, Tinder reduces it to a mere animal action. Cut through the social circling, the get-to-know-you stage...just a quick fuck, and back onto Tinder for more not-quite-so-fresh recently-used meat! It's exactly as UrbanDictionary.com defines it: the McDonalds of sex.
However, if you reduce sex to nothing more than a Playstation-type activity, then you accept the risks involved. The major one is that by giving intimacy away so flippantly, you invite others to treat you exactly the same. You become a commodity to use, abuse and cast aside...
...or even get cast off a multi-storey tower balcony when finished with, as happened to a woman last month on Ozzie's Gold Coast, just hours after meeting a man on Tinder.
While Tinder is the platform for this 'on-call-casual-free-sex' service, it's the responsibility of the user to gauge whether hooking up with a total stranger is safe or wise.
Users who put themselves in harm's way for a fuck must be prepared to be fucked over. Need I be any more blunt?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Boeing Boys Don't Want New Toys

The world's largest commercial planemakers disagree about 'black boxes' that eject in the event of a crash.
Airbus is nearly ready to equip airliners with recorders that eject, so that they float to the ocean's
surface instead of being trapped in wreckage. But Boeing reckons such recorders are prone to ejecting accidentally and creating a safety risk.
Black boxes are equipped with an emergency locator transmitter that would be easier to detect if floating on the water's surface.
Questions about deployable black boxes arose after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March 2014 (although I blogged about this very issue back in June 2009, after Air France 447 went down over the Atlantic).
Airbus plans to put deployable recorders in its A350 and A380 airliners, which are designed for long-haul flights over ocean. But Boeing says there'll statistically be only one accident every 10 years where a commercial jet crashes into the ocean and can't be found for more than a year, whereas 5-6 accidental ejections are likely each year.
Surely if the issue is whether or not a black box may self-eject (and that's a highly speculative may, given that these have not yet been introduced), the answer is to have a duplicate box installed in the usual place. If one is lost, the other continues to operate!
...or, as I said 5yrs ago, military-grade nano-burst technology (readily available now) that negates the need for a 'black box'!
For every problem, there's a solution...and the travelling public's peace-of-mind requires a solution.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

OMG! The All Blacks Are Human!

Meads and McCaw:
mighty...but still human!
Rugby legend Sir Colin Meads played a record 133 games for the All Blacks from 1957-1971.
ABs captain Richie McCaw broke that record when playing against South Africa recently. Pretty bloody impressive, wouldn't you think? But hardly a word was actually said.
The All Blacks just ended a 22-test unbeaten run stretching back to 2012. Prior that, their longest unbeaten streak was 23 games without loss: 1987-1990. Again, rather impressive. And again, "mum" was pretty much the word. Why...? Because the All Blacks LOST.
Yeup, all good things must come to an end - as they did on Ellis Park in Jo'burg last week, when the 'boks beat the ABs 27-25.
But AB rugby, wallowing in its over-glorified status, can't POSSIBLY be criticised or spoken ill of. Oh, no!
I've listened all week, but the kiwi press hacks were conspicuous by their relative silence over the mighty All Blacks' defeat. Far be it from them to spread the word that the ABs are after all...*whisper* human!
Jeeeez!!! Get a grip!!!
As I've often written, rugby - is - just - a - game!
If its elevated to unsustainable lofty heights, sooner or later it'll suffer altitude sickness! And then, humble pie doesn't taste too good, eh.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Parking Up With Alice

To paraphrase Pete Seeger: "Where do all the old planes go, long time passin'..."
They either fall out of the sky due to crap maintenance; are cut up for scrap; rot in a far corner of an airport somewhere... or are stored in an aircraft boneyard. These so-called boneyards are mainly in the SW US, where the dry desert conditions inhibit corrosion.
unwanted Top Guns, Tucson
The largest of these is a US Air Force aircraft and missile storage facility in Tucson, Arizona, which takes care of more than 4,400 military aircraft (at 1000 hectares, it's the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world). The nearby Pinal Airpark provides storage for civilian aircraft.
Now, Alice Springs in Australia has been selected to be the first aircraft "boneyard" outside the US. Traveller.com reports it'll take planes being decommissioned from service, which will be stripped of parts like engines, electronics and wiring to be re-cycled.
excesses in the sandpit, Mojave Desert
Dry climates are best for the storage and preservation of aircraft, so Alice Springs in the arid centre of Australia is ideally suited. It's big market will be the Asia-Pacific carriers, because of the proximity. Airlines will also be able to store aircraft as big as the A380 when not in use: the airport has a runway large enough to take big planes and plenty of room to expand.
Initially the site will cover 110 hectares. Work on a taxiway begins later this year with the first planes expected to arrive early next year.
Wonder if there's a similar type of facility for past-best-date air stewardesses...?