Posts by Marcus Turner

  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading, in reply to simon g,

    We don't have Woodward and Bernstein, we have Hosking and Henry.


    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: To renew, you first…, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Leapfrog down here. In years gone by, each year at the Whare Flat Folk Festival, held at the New Year, it was the done thing to take a bottle of it - or some other malt - and throw the top away. These bottles were shared around at the New Year's Eve barn dance. Women would fill their mouths with whisky - or Drambuie - and share as they kissed. Hence the term "whisky kiss", which transferred itself to an album by Shooglenifty.

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interview: Glenn Greenwald, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Remember when most of the country did not want NZ troops in Vietnam. They went anyway

    An then years later it turned out that LBJ had secretly threatened to cut off all our trade ties if we didn’t go and our (National) government acceded without a peep

    This is really interesting: can you provide a reference?

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Why we thought what we thought,

    A factor in all this that keeps disappointing me is the role of news organisations. Besides assorted internet news sites, my main source of "audio news" is National Radio. I've been disappointed with how much presenters seem to have been concentrating on who "scored points" in a debate. I presume that there's research showing this sort of thing can influence elections, but can't help wondering if this is partly because news organisations make a feature of it.

    And even though media organisations seem to acknowledge the "horse race" nature of election coverage, it doesn't appear to have actually caused them to change the style of their coverage.

    While some people are having "great fun" with politics and the election process, decisions are being made about my personal freedoms and opportunities.

    I hope I'm more likely to be swayed by facts than rhetoric: I'd like to see more of this reflected in news coverage, and less about "who won on points" or who made whom look silly.

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…,

    If you're looking to make some sort of start in learning Maori, you might like to try this page One of the ways you can use it, is to receive one word every day by email.

    For other languages, you might like Duolingo, though Chinese or Japanese for English speakers aren't available. For those, you could try Memrise.

    All of these services allow you to choose your own pace, and begin with non-intimidating bite-sized pieces.

    (And if you do want to learn code, you could similarly use Code Academy.)

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Upright citizens, though, Ian.

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Graeme: I have to say that went through my mind, too.

    ETA. Just read Russell’s reply. Fair enough, but it still might look a bit ad hominoid to newcomers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?, in reply to BenWilson,

    I endorse this: both the part about meditating all night if necessary, and the part that you probably won’t.

    It’s my understanding that Zen meditation is carried out with eyes open. (Maybe not in all groups: I’m not sure.) There’s some story about the founder ripping his eyelids off.

    Edit: Here's the story:

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?,

    I've been telling people for years that the "Hogamus Higamus" poem was composed by somebody writing down something they'd dreamed in the night. That turns out to be probably untrue:

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?,

    A couple of pieces of advice I was given, that work for me:

    1. Train yourself to associate light with being awake and dark with being asleep. When you can't sleep, turn the light on. When you want to try to go back to sleep, turn the light off. If you can't sleep, turn the light back on. I eventually found that turning off the light helped signal to me that dark was sleep time.

    2. Keep something by the bed to write down any thoughts, so you won't be worried that you'll forget something. Once it's written down, you won't forget it, so there's no need to dwell on it.

    Some other things that have helped:

    Making sure the bed is a well-kept, nice place to be.

    Taking care to be comfortable before going to bed: make something of a routine of carefully preparing for bed, and winding down.

    And, of course, medication. (I slept right through a bluegrass band right outside the tent, playing most of the night, after taking one pill. And we're talking banjos here ...) But I don't think it's recommended for more than occasional use.

    Being physically active for a period each day also helps.

    I've found the problem with reading in bed is that I just don't have the self-discipline to stop.

    I've found meditation techniques very useful, adapted for going to sleep.

    The fact that I use all these methods shows that nothing is guaranteed to work. I expect everyone has sleepless nights sometimes.

    Worrying about it caused a feedback loop, that made the problem worse. At various times, some of the above techniques have overcome that.

    In contrast to some people, I've found the issue easier to address as I've aged.

    Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

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