Friday, November 28, 2014

Japanese Women Compared To Whalemeat?

Australia's anti-whaling campaign...is like restricting the right of Japanese women to wear the kimono!
Joji Morishita, Japan's chief negotiator at the International Whaling Commission (IWC), says Japan will defy "eco-imperialist" anti-whaling countries and resume killing in the Southern Ocean in late 2015.
This contravenes the March 2014 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), that Japan could not justify its "research" killing of whales.
Note the similarity...?
No, neither do I!

Morishita says international objections to whaling compare to restrictions on the wearing of kimono (!!!): "The average Japanese woman wears kimono perhaps 2-3 in her lifetime. Those ceremonial kimono cost millions of yen, so some might argue they're a waste of money. But what if another country then said that only a small number of women could wear kimono?"
Say WHAT?? Such a bizarre argument!!
The world court withdrew Japan's whaling licence in the Antarctic, forcing it to devise a new programme it claims has solid scientific foundations. In its revised scheme, Japan will kill 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean next year, and a total of 3,996 over 12 years. The quota is significantly lower than the 850 minke it targeted each year, until Australia's legal challenge at The Hague put a temporary halt to the hunt.
However environmental groups have condemned the new plans, saying the hunt is still commercial – not science.
Morishita claims Japan is only interested in scientific proof that sustainable use of an "ordinary marine resource" is possible. He says weak demand for whale meat among Japanese consumers is no reason to end the slaughter. (A dramatic drop in demand in recent decades means thousands of tonnes of meat have been left unsold.) He fully expects the whaling fleet will leave for the Antarctic at the end of next year.
But the resumption of Antarctic whaling could be short-lived. From 2016, 'scientific' whale hunts must first be reviewed and approved by the general membership of the IWC, the majority of which is anti-whaling. The next hunt will not be subject to the requirement, because it's due to start a year before the IWC's next meeting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Attractive Pedestrians Are Bad For Your Health!

The survey proves what we all knew - that good-looking pedestrians are a distraction for kiwi drivers!
A new survey has also found one in five NZers is still texting while driving, despite this being illegal.
The Drivers Index Survey (which asked 1,000 regular NZ drivers 18yrs+ to rate 12 distractions) found nearly half of younger drivers 18-24 break the texting law.
20% of drivers said people outside the car were also a major problem, with 25% of men admitting they're likely to find attractive pedestrians a distraction than women do.
So here's the AA's definitive Top Ten Driver Distractions:
1st equal: Texting, and reading a newspaper or magazine
2. Applying make-up, shaving or other personal grooming
3. Talking on a mobile phone WITHOUT a hands-free kit
4. Changing the radio/iPod/MP3 player
5. Eating while driving
6. Children in the car
7th equal: Talking on a mobile phone WITH a hands-free kit, and using GPS or other navigation system
8. Billboards /outdoor advertising
9. People outside the car
10. Passenger in the car (sheep were not mentioned!)

But NZers are not alone - up to a million UK drivers crash their cars while perving at pedestrians.
Distracted Brit motorists cause 921,840 crashes per year (roughly 2,500 per day!)- with many of these checking out sexy people.
Not surprisingly, men are the worst offenders in the UK as well. 60% admitted to being distracted by attractive women. 12% of women said an attractive man would divert their gaze from the road.
And it's not just the sight of genetically-lucky people: even the sight of a billboard with a pretty lady or bloke can be an issue - 21% admitted it! You may recall about 10yrs back in Auckland, the gridlock-causing billboard of the Elle McPherson Intimates Collection, unveiled by two studs dressed only in boxers?!!!
This behaviour gets worse in summer when there's more flesh on display. Maybe manufacturers need to install cold showers in cars!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Changes To Our Change

Put on your sunnies: New Zealand's new banknotes bring more splash when you flash your cash.
They're so bright they even have their own website to promote 'em.
I can imagine many people may initially consider them as excessively vivid forgeries!
Our main themes remain the same, but the colours are brighter with more security features. Plus there's some PC tokenism, with the maori name for New Zealand and the Reserve Bank appearing for the first time.
It's our first banknote upgrade since 1999 (when we switched from paper notes to polymer ones printed by Australia). The newies will be made in Canada for five years. So...good day, eh!
New notes for old...
With about 148 million banknotes in circulation (= NZ$4.7 billion), the oldies will be phased out as they're returned to the Reserve Bank. Target date for release of the new $5 and $10 is Oct.2015, with the $20, $50 and $100 notes released in April 2016. Both the new and current notes will circulate together, and of course both will be legal tender.
On our current notes are Edmund Hillary, explorer ($5/orange); Kate Sheppard, suffragette ($10/blue); The Queen ($20/green); Apirana Ngata, maori politician ($50, purple); Ernest Rutherford, physicist ($100, red)...with various birds, plants and other pretty pics to link into the themes.
But the new images appear to have been "tweeked". Hillary looks even more manly and rugged - is that possible?! - Ngata and Rutherford look 'smoother' (though I still couldn't identify them if my life depended on it!), Sheppard looks softer and more feminine (probably anathema to her values!), but the Queen...sorry, darls, the artists have done you no favours!
Interesting that these designs have been assessed by a range of folk (obviously security experts, equipment manufacturers etc) but also - get this - design, history and cultural experts, "to ensure they reflect NZ's culture and history"! Perhaps there's a subtle agenda by those experts: ease in some maori words, make a fool of the monarchy, nudge us towards PM John Key's 'Banana Republic' dream...?
Well, at least we haven't gone as far as THIS suggestion (below)...
Oh, my Lorde!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frog In A Blender

How does the old joke go?
Q: What's green and wizzes round and round very fast?
A: A frog in a blender!
Peruvians recommend freshly-blended FROGS as a cure for stress and
special of the day
low sex drives!
Villagers in the Andes have a traditional cure-all that they use to treat everything from a slow sex drive and high stress levels, to asthma and bronchitis: blended frog juice. Many locals living in Peru and Bolivia believe it's the ultimate fix for almost any illness.
The most popular recipe calls for the use of whole frogs, which are beaten to death and skinned before being put into the blender. Many local food vendors then add a number of other healthy ingredients, such as carrots, Peruvian maca root and honey, before blending the mixture until it is smooth. The finished product is usually light green in colour and is served to customers right there on the spot.
"Jump, Forrest, JUMP!"
The Medical College of Lima reports there is no scientific evidence that frog juice is a cure for anything, despite its continuing popularity within Andean culture.
And unfortunately, the juice requires the use of one specific type of frog... thetelmatobius culeus, from remote Lake Titicaca, a species that's listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stand Tall, Christchurch!

Giraffes are roaming through Christchurch and beyond.
This one's in Kaiapoi
"Christchurch Stand Tall" is a mass-appeal public art project organised by UK organisation, Wild in Art.
More than fifty 2.5m fibreglass giraffes have been painted and decorated by local artists and planted in parks, streets and open spaces. Christchurch schools have decorated another 50 baby giraffes, and the detail that has been put into the decorating is quite
Such detail!
impressive!
Wild in Art has produced several other public displays around the world. Liverpool (UK) had penguins, Sydney had rhinos and Bristol hosted Gromits - from Wallace and Gromit.
The multi-coloured giraffes will be on display over summer and then auctioned off, with proceeds going to charities.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Interislander: Just GIVE UP!

Another nail in the Interislander ferry fleet coffin...
but surely it's hammering these in by itself?!
Sailing in troubled waters
Last Thursday the 31yr.old Arahura lost power in Wellington Harbour, and began drifting towards rocks. (Lucky this didn't happen during the big storm earlier in the week! Another Wahine disaster in-waiting...?)
The ship had completed its crossing and was turning to enter the berth when power was lost. Two tugboats had to help it dock.
This follows delays over Labour Weekend: Arahura was overloaded with passengers while in Wellington Harbour, and had to return to port to offload freight. Surely that instance could've been avoided by staff keeping a closer watch on how many passengers had booked to come aboard?
It's simple maths, something KiwiRail seems unable to calculate.
Look at the numbers: number of incidents + number of days lost + cost of repairs + loss of public confidence, and let's not forget to add in the rising costs of maintaining these tired vessels...and KiwiRail may (eventually) reach the same conclusion as the majority of the travelling public.
The fleet is CRAP and a NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT! The vessels are no more use than as naval targets! Scrap these before something REALLY bad happens!
What with Aratere's broken propeller, and the temporary substitute Stena Alegra also proving itself to be a rip-off, Interislander's entire operation deserves a government enquiry!

Friday, November 7, 2014

America, The Ignorant?

The Star-Spangled Banner was sung by the Chicago fans...
The haka was pumped out by the opposition...
and the slaughter began!
But wait: WHERE did that opposing team come from?
A Chicago newspaper has apologised after delivering the ultimate insult to the All Blacks and New Zealand - calling them Australians!
Check out the headline that followed last weekend's match!


To its credit, the Chicago Sun-Times added a correction to its online story the next day...but that did not counteract its incompetance.
For the record, the NEW ZEALAND All Blacks completely blew away the United States, 74-6!
Yeup, 74-6...did I mention the mighty US was thrashed 74-6?
Just sayin'...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mass Stranding At Whakatane

This morning dawned on more than 20 dead pilot whales in the Bay of Plenty.
Yesterday, two pods of pilot whales were seen in Ohiwa Harbour near Whakatane. Some of the whales beached themselves on the ocean side of the harbour. A badly injured whale was found up the harbour channel early yesterday afternoon. It's companions were probably concerned for its well-being, causing the mass stranding.
By 7am this morning, about 20 whales were dead, half of those euthanased by Dept.of Conservation (DoC) officers. A helicopter prevented more deaths by shepherding others to safety: the noise turned the whales around, and they went back out the harbour mouth.
Experienced volunteers from around the country have arrived to help save the remaining whales. Ohiwa's next high tide is at around 6pm this evening, 1½ hours before sunset.
Mass pilot whale strandings are more common in the Golden Bay area, the Far North, and the Chatham Islands. Most strandings occur in spring and summer.
UPDATE: 06 Nov.2014 - Rescue mission fails - all whales are lost.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Maori Muslim Radical: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The spectre of maori radicals has raised its ugly head again, with an influential NZ maori Muslim openly supporting the Islamic State
rabid radical
militancy.
Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga heads the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Assn. In 2010, he was named in the world's 500 most influential Muslims by a Jordanian group.
He says NZ fighters should not be stopped from joining IS. His Facebook page - adorned with IS images - has been repeatedly shut down by administrators.
Islamic State has been taking over towns in Syria and Iraq, killing and beheading hostages, as it tries to impose its rabid ultra-radical view of Islam.
Spoiling for a fight
Kireka-Whaanga says Muslims are being killed all over the world, the United Nations "doesn't care" and he understands IS's actions. Ahhhhh, so this is all about defending the Muslim faith, is it? Nothing to do with his own violent tendencies and Mongrel Mob gang connections?? Or that he may have a poor-little-hard-done-by maori-underdog axe to grind against the oppressive colonial white pigdog NZ govt.???
Federation of Islamic Associations (FIANZ) met last week with the govt.over public harassment concerns, while police asked community leaders to keep an eye out for changing behaviour among potential radicals.
Kireka-Whaanga says PM John Key should be worried, because IS was going to "bring down Western civilisation". He says his family wants to move to Syria but he expects his passport would be cancelled.
Key is due to make a speech tomorrow, outlining the govt's plans to combat foreign fighters.
Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge says IS urgings, that "every Muslim should find a crusader and kill him", brings the threat closer to home than NZers think: "There're people we're concerned about here..." She refused to discuss individuals, but these are not empty words. Any civil libertarian wanting to argue the toss need only recall Daryl Jones from Christchurch (aka Muslim bin John), killed by a drone in Yemen in November 2013.
One of the few recognised terrorist experts in this region - Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research - said in 2005 that there were up to 10 potential cells here in NZ. That number is sure to have increased in light of current global events.
FIANZ vice-prez Jahved Khan says Kireka-Whaanga is well-known to them but he doesn't believe NZ has anything to fear: "We are concerned about his statements but we're not really concerned that he will do something vicious."
Ironically, on the same day this story broke, the headlines read:
IS Militants kill 322 Iraqis, including women and children, and dump their bodies down a well.
So we have nothing to fear from IS? Riiiiigghhtt!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Norway Whale Meat to Iceland

US-based Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) say Norwegian whaling company Lofothval wants to ship up to 10 tons of whale meat to Iceland!
The export request comes barely a month after the US raised concerns about Norway's escalating whaling and trade in whale products, during the International Whaling Commission meeting.
Norwegian whalers killed 731 minke whales in 2014, the most since the country resumed commercial whaling in 1993, and the hunt yielded a record 871 metric tons of whale meat. However, domestic sales of whale meat are struggling, so the whalers want increased exports, claiming international trade in whale meat is needed to help ensure the survival of the industry.
Susan Millward, AWI executive director: "Norway has systematically increased its cruel slaughter of whales in recent years. The US recently imposed diplomatic measures against Iceland for its whaling
Loftsson: blood money
and trade in whale products, and these same penalties should be imposed on Norway."
And if this whale meat reaches Iceland, we all know where it'll go from there! This latest Lofothval request follows a huge 2,100 ton fin whale meat shipment from Iceland to Japan, executed by Kristj√°n Loftsson, managing director of the Hvalur fin whaling company. Loftsson, who is also chair of the Icelandic seafood giant HB Grandi, is a shareholder in the Lofothval company.
Surprise-surprise...not!