Posts by Stephen R

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…, in reply to steven crawford,

    in the privet/public cusp.

    Leaning on the hedge, as it were?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Big Bang, in reply to Yamis,

    One thing which freaks me at live games now is those flame throwers that shoot up in to the air. I have visions of some schmuck wandering over to one and looking into the top of it (they're about 4 feet tall) just as some bloke on the switch turns it on.

    I was once told a story about the opening of Crown Casino in Melbourne (by someone who used to work there). Along the riverbank outside they have these big pillars which they bellow pillars of flame once an hour, on the hour. Well, the story says, the opening was the first time they were fired.

    Because they're opening a casino, and they're trying to appeal to the superstitious, they had arranged for 88 white doves to be released at some point of the program. The radio-controlled cages were placed on a high point where they'd be out of the way, and look good when the doves all flew into the sky. Yes, on top of the pillars.

    At some point on the evening, some middle manager decided now would be a good time to set the flames off to highlight some bigwigs speech. The technician in charge of flames protested, but had his job threatened, so he triggered the flames.

    The technician in charge of the bird cages looked on in horror and immediately triggered the cage releases, leaving burning doves to launch themselves into the sky and plummet amongst the crowd. At least one was carried up to a security guard by a young girl who asked the guard "Please mister, make it better".

    I'm told the middle manager didn't have a job after that...

    I've no idea how accurate this story is as related to me, but I did ask someone who was a manager there at one stage who allowed uncomfortably that some misunderstanding might have happened.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Moz,

    I find that helps. And then there are groups like Lesiem who just make up their own language and sing in that. It's kind of like opera - the music is great, but the plot is awful.

    I feel the same way about Icelandic heavy metal and French pop songs...
    Great music to code by.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    And it really has been good general knowledge to have. For example, you really can't understand Spanish literature in depth without a good knowledge of bible stories, and ideally Catholic imagery as well (which I picked up elsewhere).

    I agree, completely. I think there might also be some negative correlation between knowing what's in the bible and being unthinkingly Christian (According to one book I read, 10% of American "Christians" think Joan of Arc was Noah's wife).

    When my wife was singing with the Catholic Cathedral Choir in Christchurch, about half the choir was atheist, singing because they liked the music, and in general more educated about the history and credo of the church. One of the priests was heard to lament "Oh that the learned were more pious, and the pious more learned."

    I'm an atheist, but I've been to midnight Mass, Latin Mass, and even Mass in a cathedral in Paris when we were there (Cathedral Notre Dame - great singing by a bunch of Nuns). I play along (stand when they stand, sit when they sit), and don't pretend that I'm a member (I don't take communion), but I'm pretty happy with saying to other people "Peace be with you".

    I once made the mistake of saying that I was pretty laid back about tolerating religion, since I didn't see that it did that much harm, and a friend that I'd not known about his childhood went off about how much it fucked him up and damaged his entire family, and he really really didn't like the idea of allowing parents and teachers to propagandise children and make them feel terrible if they didn't play along. I've since thought about it a bit, and I see his point.

    So teaching religious history in schools? No problem.

    Trying to make children good little co-religionists? Not nearly so keen.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ...,

    My recollection is that nice Mr Key was saying that David Cunliffe couldn't be trusted to run the country because he couldn't remember a letter he wrote in support of Mr Liu 11 years ago, and was therefore shifty and unreliable.

    Since Mr Key now appears to be unable to remember a briefing five years ago, does that make him twice as shifty and unreliable?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ..., in reply to izogi,

    Hey, you bet me too it. I should reload more frequently.

    You added the damning transcript, so superior service slightly slower.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ...,

    Video of John Key (taken just after the SIS OIA was released to Cameron Slater) saying he'd been told by Tucker that he had to release it... It rather directly contradicts the "I was never told" message.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10411491/Keys-SIS-claims-contradicted-by-video

    Just .... I don't even.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ...,

    There seems to be an art to refuting only what someone has actually claimed, so that when they come up with the next lie, you can reveal your next document demonstrating that too is a lie.

    I don't think I'm cunning enough to do that properly, but I do appreciate seeing it in action.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ..., in reply to Emma Hart,

    Our whole system, when it comes to the process of casting a vote, is basically the polar opposite of the US, and I'm pretty proud of that.

    100% agree, and I'd much rather keep doing it on paper than moving to e-voting.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ...,

    An interesting link off that article - John Armstrong on the Inspector General investigation into the SIS/Slater/Key
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11312115

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 149 posts Report Reply

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