Posts by Joe Wylie

  • Up Front: So Farewell Then, UCSA, in reply to Howard Edwards,

    Concerts and plays in the Ngaio Marsh theatre, both in the audience (as a school kid in the 60s and as a student in the 70s)

    Seeing as it seems to be OK to go back that far, there was the special meeting in the Ngaio Marsh in 1968 over a motion of no confidence in then student president Paul Grocott. Grocott was seen as insufficiently radical. For example, he refused to condemn the engineers' haka party, which if half the stories were true enjoyed a virtual license to rape during capping week. Anyway he survived the motion, only to be "shot" - with presumably a starting pistol - from somewhere up the back of the audience, followed by the lights being turned off.

    As people left they were presented with a copy of a special edition of Kobold, an upstart rival to Canta, with a front-page "Grocott Assassinated" headline. There were supporting articles with headlines such as "Aesthetics of the Death Wish".

    Innocent times.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: TPP, eh?, in reply to steven crawford,

    The remains of the Auto industrie workers exist by scavenging scrap metal Etc.

    Like this?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: So Farewell Then, UCSA,

    There's a stainless steel memorial plaque affixed to a large boulder just across the Avon footbridge from the UCSA. From memory it reads:


    There's also a year, I think late 1970s. Anyone know Tom's story?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Greg King Memorial…, in reply to linger,

    he invented a machine to turn him over in bed ... and was strangled by his sheets when it malfunctioned.

    Midgely's life story would make a better movie than Ed Wood.

    By way of a small footnote, leaded fuel contained an acid scavenging compound to prevent the buildup of lead deposits on internal engine components. When this acid compound recombined with the dampness that condenses on a cold exhaust from the combustion of hydrocarbon with oxygen in the air it formed pockets of wet acid.

    Muffler shops loved lead tetraethyl and the rampant corrosion it produced. Now that it's gone, specialty exhaust chains such as Midas have had to reinvent themselves as general repair shops. Also spark plugs that formerly became fouled with lead residues now last much longer.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The Greg King Memorial…, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Lead was banned here in 96

    Lead tetraethyl was a seriously vile neurotoxin, with a very effective lobby actively overselling its spurious benefits. The phaseout in NZ only began thanks to then Minister of the Environment Phil Goff, who prevailed over Energy Minister Bob Tizard in convincing Transport Minister Prebble.

    At the time it was played as a generational victory within Labour, with the hapless Tizard claiming that it wasn't an issue in a "well ventilated" country like NZ.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: About Chris Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...and please after seeing the pandas in Tokyo zoo, don't do it!
    Poor beasts looked despairingly bored and trapped (I know i'm being anthropomorphic), but there is little return to the animal's quality of life from our 'benign interest'.

    Tokyo's Ueno was a surprisingly horrible zoo when I was there 20+ years ago.

    A pair of pandas were exhibited at Auckland zoo as part of a Chinese diplomatic offensive in November 1988. I guess whatever goodwill they created got wiped with the Tienanmen Square events of the following year.

    The only upside I can see is the handy metaphor pandas provide for political cartoons. The pair that visited Auckland in the 1980s had spent time at Sydney's Taronga Park, where they dined on bamboo donated in response to a public appeal. A cartoon from that time showed a reluctant Hawke and Keating being forced to eat "grassroots" at a Labor Party conference, while a zookeeper stood by thanking party members for "bringing their special food".

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Steal Magnolia, in reply to Soon Lee,

    Pretty. (The top & bottom ones look more like water lilies to me)

    They're gorgeous. Are you using "water lilies" in a strictly botanical/taxonomic sense? While I'm no expert, I've always been intrigued by the idea of convergent evolution, so I was interested to discover a while back that the "true lotuses" are more closely related to proteas and plane trees than they are to water lilies.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: 11 ways the Opposition has…, in reply to Leigh Russell,

    In October of 2012 I wrote an article outlining the post-earthquake loss of democratic process in Christchurch and critiqued the power structures that replaced it. It’s frightening.

    A memorable article, thanks for the reminder.
    It's edifying to be reminded that in May 2012 Lianne Dalziel denied having any mayoral ambitrions. Instead she was making it plain that she intended to take over Brownlee's job after a Labour victory.

    These days, Dalziel has reinvented herself to the point where sometimes she works in concert with Labour, while perhaps just as often she definitely doesn't. So far it's a strategy that appears to have won significant concessions from her former arch-enemy Brownlee, but we'll see.

    With the benefit of hindsight though, Labour's resolve on the Canterbury earthquakes appears to have been squandered in early 2013, when the Anyone But Cunliffes decided that a tilt at power via the hapless Shearer was way more important. Dalziel had the ground cut from under her, and "the whole front bench would work on Christchurch issues". Except, of course, it didn't. And there are still people here wondering why Labour's local vote appeared to collapse

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: 11 ways the Opposition has…, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    the cancellation of democracy at ECan (how many terms is it now?)

    Councillors were sacked in May 2010. As elections were previously held every three years, that's 1.76 or thereabouts terms.

    For the record, the Central Plains Water scheme was one of the issues that Megan Woods campaigned against when she stood for the Chch mayoralty against the then-unstoppable Bob Parker. Eugenie Sage was one of the opposing ECAN councillors fired in May 2010.

    Dennis O'Rourke's chairmanship of the CPW oversight trust dates from the year before the mass sacking of ECAN. I don't know if he was ever called upon to justify why he remained in the role after 2010. In retrospect, resigning in support of the sacked councillors would seem to have been the honourable course for someone who hasn't been shy of boasting about his own claimed integrity. Surely the kindest assessment that can be made now is that he spent the last four years asleep at the CPW trust wheel.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: 11 ways the Opposition has…, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Williams set up a special event for coastal communities on that hazard issue and Denis O'Rourke too was lobbying hard on that score - I know of Parliamentary questions he was researching/submitting.

    Nice to know O'Rourke's keeping busy with something other than his long-running personal skirmish with local media. Apart from having been an NZ First MP since 2011, the former Chch City Councillor also happens to be chairman of the trust overseeing the Central Plains Water irrigation scheme:

    When he took over as trust leader in 2009 O'Rourke said CPW consents were held by the trust and licensed back to CPW. The trust was to "monitor the mandatory sustainable farming protocol and undertake environmental enhancement with funding from the company".

    Trust-held water consents would become the template for sustainable farming in New Zealand, he said.

    According to Tim Fulton in yesterday's Press, operating consents for the Canterbury Councils-owned scheme have since been hocked to major banks as a condition of funding. In case of default, they'll own the water. Having long since burnt his bridges with the media, "CPW Trust chairman Denis O'Rourke did not respond to a request for comment."

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4019 posts Report Reply

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