Posts by Biobbs

  • Hard News: Radio being made, in reply to linger,

    A picture may be worth a thousand words

    Sometimes the words are more valuable, and the pictures, as James Littlewood says, are

    generic, often irrelevant, more often distracting than enlightening

    — as sent up mercilessly in this clip from ABC’s The Hamster Wheel (Season 2, Episode 4, 17 October 2012)

    And such criticism isn't new. Remember the Lord Privy Seal?

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Music: The year the…, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    In a Xmas miracle, McGowan gets new teeth

    http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/dec/20/shane-macgowan-a-wreck-reborn-new-teeth-tv-special

    - as long as he can still sing this with his new chompers, we're all happy for him.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Reading Murder Books, in reply to sandra,

    Staying in London, my absolute fav detective of all time is Lauren Henderson's hilarious Sam Jones . Sam is a Camden girl - hedonistic, foul-mouthed and witty, and when not detecting or doing her day job as a sculptor, spends her time clubbing in black leather and rubber (one of the books is even called Black Rubber Dress). Lauren also has a newer YA detective series which I've not read, but has really good reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

    Sam Jones is part of the English 'Tart Noir' wave of the 90s - to which our Stella Duffy and her fantastic Saz Martin series also belong, although the Saz novels are much more violent and less humorous.

    Also really enjoy Carol O'Connell's long-running Kathy Mallory series. Mallory is definitely not immediately likeable, but the depths of her character make her a great protagonist.

    More innocent younger pleasures: I was a huge Dick Francis fan back in the day, read almost every one of his books, even though I've never had anything to do with the equestrian world. My work took me back and forth to Oz fairly often in the late 80s and early 90s, and they were a perfect length for Trans-Tasman travel in the days before personal entertainment systems in planes. I'm sure they would seem very dated now, but a few of those written at his late 70s/early 80s peak (Knock Down, Risk, Whip Hand and Reflex in particular) had surprisingly deep characterisation.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Cold, calculated and cynical,

    The shame is spreading: now front page on the Guardian's international edition:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/11/new-zealand-female-mps-mass-walkout-pm-rapists-comment

    So much for NZ's repuatation for progressive politics.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: CWC 2015: Contains graphic horror,

    Attachment

    Oops. Don't they proofread anything in ChChCh?

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Let's talk about class, in reply to DeepRed,

    I don't know where certain people have gotten the idea that "eco-nuts" were responsible for Pike River happening because they wouldn't allow strip-mining

    From the Herald of course. With this piece of 'responsible journalism' just a few days after the event:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10690389

    - the blubbery one, Kiwibl*g, Paul Holmes (Herald again), and Gadsby (Letter to The Press) all chimed in and the meme spread rapidly from there.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we…, in reply to alobar,

    Was it Rowan Atkinson ( in character ) that said "But we've got the recipe now , so can't they go back?"

    One of his many glorious moments in the undiluted brilliance that was NTNON:

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Scary thing is, same thing would probably happen today :-(

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    One of the funny ones that once happened in the EC was when an opposing counsel tried to attack my independence because I was a trustee for a grass-roots environmental restoration group in the area of science I worked in.

    Something the lawyer only knew because you’d fully and properly disclosed that fact in accordance with your legal, contractual and ethical obligations?

    Well, I'd just routinely put it in my bio details/ qualifications at the start of my evidence brief like I always did, as a positive thing (demonstrating 'expertise' in applying science to the real world and community involvement), never dreaming that this time it would be used against me! There's no requirement to reveal your every activity related to your area of expertise in your evidence - you just have to make sure you don't leave out anything that could raise genuine doubt about your neutrality and independence. My experience was that EC judges were pretty smart - they understood the difference between actual conflicts of interest and stuff that all professional people in resource management do.

    Nowadays, it's compulsory for all EC expert witnesses to state in their evidence that they have read and agreed to abide by the Court's Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses (especially the bit that says you understand that your duty is to the Court, not your client), but back then it was optional. It was pretty obvious that some ew's had never even heard of the thing, let alone read it :-)

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    Well, thanks again for your sage advice. Guess we'll leave those hoardings down for the time being, or just flash them at sympathetic passers-by.

    Hi Carol - I worked for a CRI for 12 years, including at middle management level, and we had very few restrictions to what you were allowed to do on your own property (like letting a political party put up hoardings), or being politically active in your own time. We were just told to use our common sense and that we had a responsibility to be always seen to be providing neutral scientific advice to whichever client was employing us (important here to stress that CRI staff do not work for the government, they work for clients, who may be either govt or private concerns) - this was also stated in our CEC.

    So hosting a meeting of a political party on-site would have been an absolute no-no, but using your work email to organise a political meeting at your own home out of work hours would have been fine, for example.

    As mentioned earlier, how senior/high public profile you were played into this. A clerical or IT employee, or low-level technician, had more leeway than a senior scientist. In my case, I appeared occasionally at hearings and in the Environment Court as an expert witness, so I was personally very conscious of not giving opposing counsel any chinks in my armour to attack my independence (and they really *do* dig around in your past for any dirt - one of my colleagues had been a member of Greenpeace 10 years before he even joined the CRI, and this was used to attack his credibility in the EC). So I chose to avoid any political involvement in those years, without ever really discussing it with my bosses.

    One of the funny ones that once happened in the EC was when an opposing counsel tried to attack my independence because I was a trustee for a grass-roots environmental restoration group in the area of science I worked in. Taking on roles like that was actually a requirement of the FRST funding of our research (in the community engagement/research outcomes bit of the bid and contract), but I had to go through about 15 minutes of cross-examination about whether this proved I was some kind of biased greenie sleeper before the judge finally instructed connsel that it was an irrelevant line of questioning and to please move on :-).

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 112 posts Report Reply

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