Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Envirologue: Multi-no-choice –…,

    It's also interesting that for a government so quick to tout it's innovation (snort) policies they are clearly don't believe New Zealand could contribute at all to global innovation in the energy and global warming fields.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why…, in reply to Alfie,

    I know this is slightly off-topic, but can I ask if this is the reason some people can smell asparagus pee and others miss it altogether?

    This is from memory but as I recall there are two things going on ...

    First only some people convert the compounds in asparagus into those really smelly compounds in urine. So only some people make the smell. The ability to produce smelly asparagus pee appears to be a fairly simple genetic trait.

    Second only some people can smell those asparagus pee compounds. Again it seems to be a fairly simple genetic trait.

    The fun thing is that both traits appear to be independent. So it is entirely possible to produce the smell and not be able to smell it yourself :). Or not ever produce yourself but if you walk into the loo after a producer ...

    Full disclosure I'm ... nah ... probably TMI

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    “What is truth, anyway?”

    So in a completely random side track. I work at PFR* one of our Crown research institutes and as much as I bitch and moan about the state of our CRIs I do get to work with some amazing folks.

    One of these Richard Newcomb (now our chief scientist) did some really lovely work with the people in our sensory group at PFR that has relevance for "THE TRUTH".

    Two papers in Current Biology, a journal which is sadly pay to view, looked at the ability of people to detect odours, the odours typically found in fruit. They found, as you might expect, different people can smell different odours with different sensitivity. Then they genotyped all the people and looked for and found evidence that the ability to detect some odours is a fairly simple genetic trait.

    In short, it is your genes that determine what you can smell.

    That means since your genes are different from everyone else's, how you perceive the world, in this case how you smell the world, is unique to you.

    Your truth is yours and yours alone.



    * as a complete aside one of the pictures on our website at the moment - the one with the blue light shining on some fruit swirling in water - is a machine called The Turbulator - which is bloody noisy and is right outside my office door!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why…, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    So what are his options now ?

    Woohoo Bingo!

    We now have the
    “Science is never absolutely certain so because there is always some doubt it must be wrong”

    Pity we still know who pays him to post this shit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Beyond 'a bad look', in reply to Alfie,

    We’ve come from a $18 billion deficit five or six years ago ...

    A deficit they created by their ridiculous tax cuts

    to pretty much a surplus.

    Which would be pretty much the truth, much like being mostly a virgin.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Beyond 'a bad look', in reply to Russell Brown,

    Tova O’Brien’s “Angry Andy” report on 3 News last night might as well be a picture of what Keith is talking about in the post.

    It was bizarre. It was like she'd read Kieth's post and thought he was promoting that kind of content free reporting.

    It was mildly amusing in that it made both leaders look like plonkers.

    I guess the only plausible excuse might be that until the actual budget comes out we can't say there is no surplus.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Beyond 'a bad look', in reply to Grant Taylor,

    And I don’t see how the journalism we got, flawed though it was, could have been the decisive factor in either the election result or the behaviour patterns of the current government.

    Except it is pretty clear that elections are now won and lost on the media-driven perception of the parties by the public. Journalists play a significant role in that perception whether they want to have that responsibility or not.

    If you don't believe that then ask yourself why would National spend so much effort to shape the way stories are told about politics by those journalists. Not just wooing them but feeding them stories from multiple directions in a deliberate effort to shape what and when journalists will publish.

    And believe me I have sympathy for the actual journalists. They are caught with mortgages just like the rest of us. they have limited employment opportunities and decision making is largely out of their hands.

    Any journalist who doesn't play by National's rules better have an independent source of income. And before Craig blasts me, Labour is only saved from similar criticism by their incompetence not their intent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Beyond 'a bad look', in reply to Grant Taylor,

    I think it is a bit of a reach to ascribe the behavior of the current government to journalistic ineptitude.

    If you watch the TV news and read the daily newspapers then you'll see story after story that supports and enables the behaviour of this current government.

    The few times a journalist has dared to tread even close to describing faults in the behaviour of the government a legion of stories immediately appears to a) discredit said journalist and b) outright deny any fault regardless of the facts.

    So I disagree with you, our current batch of journalists in the MSM DO enable and support this behaviour.

    More importantly those same journalists enjoy privileges in law and society that they are given because society expects them to ensure our government behave fairly and honestly.

    I think there is a strong case to be made that journalism as a profession has failed New Zealand over the last decade.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why…, in reply to Stamper Stamp,

    shoot the messenger

    Don't be silly, we just call you a troll and wait for the admin to kick you to the curb since you've stopped contributing anything other than recycled lies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Beyond 'a bad look', in reply to JonathanM,

    Continuing to ask the PM for comment, regardless of which political stripe they may be, is ludicrous.

    No it isn't. It's good job security.

    Our PM actively excludes reporters who ask hard questions, so reporters are trained to never ask hard questions and never challenge the ignorant comment given. More importantly they are rewarded for giving the PM air time, both by their employers and by the PM himself (with more access).

    The PM benefits because he gets more and more free uncritical advertising.

    The reporter is rewarded for getting more time with the PM.

    It's a vacuous circle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3674 posts Report Reply

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