I've probably entered the Auckland casino about a dozen times since it opened. If I'm visiting Auckland and happen to have some spare time while in the CBD, I find it a curious and weirdly interesting place to drop into and look around. The only gambling I have ever done there was to drop a $2 coin into a five-cents-a-spin pokie (I had no idea what all the flashing lights meant and got bored very quickly). Anyway... despite visiting on different days of the week and at different times of the day and night (including what I would assume to be the peak periods of casino gambling late on Friday and Saturday nights) I can honestly say that I have never seen the casino even remotely full. Dozens upon dozens of pokie machines sit unused (whole rows of them at times) and there are always several tables not operating. I'm certainly not denying that there is a serious issue of problem gambling associated with the casino, but I'm curious as to how Sky City think they are going to fill the place with more punters with another 200+ machines and 11 more tables. Perhaps they are taking the "if we build it they will come" approach, though the place is hardly heaving at the moment. Is there perhaps some strange time like 3.15am on a Tuesday morning when everyone visits and the place looks busy?
An excellent clip of The Yoots
You should have heard them at WOMAD last month when they teamed up with the 80-voice Aotearoa National Maori Choir who reformed for the occasion; it was sublime. That the choir have been virtually dormant for about a decade is such a shame.
All of this takes me back to THAT day when she was rolled by her cabinet. I was working for The Independent at the time and the excitement and tension building up in the office in the weeks leading up to the coup made this period one of the most exhilarating work experiences of my life. In the two minutes it took to walk from the tube station to my office the announcement that she was standing down was broadcast over BBC Radio 4. I walked in the door and a colleague announced to me "she's gone". We immediately rushed outside (this was in the City of London) where we witnessed an extraordinary bush-telegraph system which appeared from no where. In a pre-internet, pre-txting age, the news spread rapidly through the streets via....black cab taxi drivers. Word had been sent out over their radio network and suddenly almost every taxi stopped dead in its tracks, stopping all traffic. Some drivers were yelling out the news at the top of their lungs, I saw a couple dancing a jig together while many of the City of London-types looked shocked and stunned. It was a remarkable experience.
Mid-week holidays always throw my perceptions of which day it is out the window. Tuesday night felt like Friday night, yesterday morning felt like it was Saturday and by the evening I thought it was Sunday. I was coming out of the lift this morning at work and for a fraction of a second I thought it was Monday…
As a relative new-comer to these shores, I have always felt that I was missing or had missed something when it came to Paul Holmes - some great feat he had performed back in the day that had allowed him to subsequently have a ubiquitous platform from which to broadcast whatever crossed his mind. But for a long time, I have felt that his primary concern was to maintain his own public profile. Unfair perhaps, but for me the man (or the persona?) had long since got in the way of any message he may have been trying to impart.
Agreed. I came back from an extended OE to find everyone making a big deal about this chap called Paul Holmes and his "new" and "innovative" 7pm television show. I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about and remained ambivalent about the show for its entire run.
Funnily enough, I recall feeling something similar about Jimmy Savile who was knighted a couple of years after I arrived in the UK. Everyone was fawning over this "lovable icon" of British television. Not having been exposed to 20 years of Jim'll Fix It, Savile struck me as being a revolting little turd and I really couldn’t see what people saw in him (leaving my English friends spluttering into their cups of tea that I should even consider blackening Saint Jimmy's name). Turns out I was right...
p.s. Just in case you were wondering, please don't think I'm associating the work of P.H with the deeds of J.S...completely different ball-park...
Only a select few Americans (vetted by the ATF) are allowed to buy a full-auto machine guns
Though actually quite a few do (Google "OFASTS" for an example). The procedure is not too dissimilar to the process that target pistol shooters in NZ need to go through buy a pistol. However as many Americans consider this an affront to their "rights" (with both the owner and the gun having to be registered with Federal authorities) it is a relatively niche area compared to the huge numbers that buy Military-style semi-auto rifles.
Rod Oram's recent SST column was rather interesting about the agricultural/dairy access to the USA. (No link as I can't unscramble Fairax's Stuff site.)
Press Display folks.
Most municipal and university libraries subscribe to it and offer free access to library card holders. Go to your local library's website and check their list of databases.
Also worth a look is Labour's remarkable cinema / television campaign advertisement from the 1969 election. Admittedly it didn't work quite as well as Labour hoped as they lost the election but in terms of its message, the extraordinary multiple split-screen technique on 35mm film (very innovative for the time) and a catchy song that didn't suck, it marked the start of a new era of political advertising.
Labour must have had a great deal of faith in Kirk to keep him as their leader after losing the 69 election. These days losing an election normally means it curtains for the Leader of the Opposition.
The last time I played video games, these were at the top of my list (in all their 8-bit glory)
Vanguard was pretty neat- especially with a base-heavy arcade game cabinet (and it had a voice synthesizer which was way-cool...)
Rally X was good for a while but could sure as hell get on your nerves after 15 minutes or so. I recall a group releasing a funky jazzy version of the tune and calling it "Cheeseburger"
Best of all was Gyruss (in part because I was actually quite good at it). It was the first (and probably last) time that Bach's Toccata and Fugue played such a major role in a game's soundtrack
Should I pronounce it "Media Three” or "Media Cubed"?