Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A few days away

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  • rodgerd,

    I'm a nervous flyer at the best of times

    Pray you're never on a flight with my daughter. On her second every plane flight - the one back from Dunedin to Wellington on a small prop - we hit turbulence, which caused her to announce to the rest of the plane "Tiny plane jump!" with every hit.

    This was merely the warm-up for the rather rough-by-Wellington standards landing. When I explained to her the plane was going down so we could land she spend the rest of the final approach announcing "Tiny plane going down! Tiny plane going down!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I first heard Montgommery in the 1970s when Peter Lester won a solo dinghy class world champs off Takapuna. He was just as pointlessly noisy - and bereft of insight - then as he is now.

    In the opening ceremony, did anyone else notice the Japanese team waving both Chinese and Japanese flags? I thought that was a nice touch.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 211 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I almost turned the sound off, they were so appalling. At one stage they said something about having attended the run through - and were still far too dunder-headed to remember that the invention of paper was one of the four themes, not of "painting". I'd be docking their pay. Or not relying on bloody sports commentators to call a cultural event.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    rodgerd: that's hilarious.

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 430 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    What I don't get re Quinn etc, is that TVNZ appear to market research everything to death. I mean, why do they change their sets and bring back Jim Hickey? It's surely not just on a whim.

    So who are these people who say they really really like Keith and Co talking non stop through every single event? Same for the rugby and cricket commentaries.

    What is it that drives them to fill every second of a visual medium with chatter?

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    You're not going to be of any help at all in the impending aviation disaster, are you?

    But they're not anyway are they...chances are if the plane goes down at an altitude of more than 100 metres you are royally screwed anyway.

    Has any aircraft ever happily landed in the water so those bright lifejackets can be inflated and the whistles tooted?

    When I fly, which I do a lot, I assume I'm either gonna make it or not, with no middle ground. Then again, many of my flights are on Indonesian airlines and the odds are much shorter.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3206 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    My dad used to turn down the sound on the telly and use the radio commentary alongside the silent pictures. I think I understand better now where he was coming from.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Russia has declared war on Georgia. The United States declared war on Iraq but some of us think the Chinese are the real bad guys

    I'll try not to troll on this subject, but colonialism is bad whoever does it. Even when it's because the colonised people are sooo much better off without their nasty primitive governance, or where the colonists population are overwhelmingly in favour.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    But they're not anyway are they...chances are if the plane goes down at an altitude of more than 100 metres you are royally screwed anyway.

    Dude. I take enough anti-anxiety medication to get on a plane as it is. Do you want me to become completely comatose or something? :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3655 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Actually the Herald seem to have it about right about the commentary:

    ...piped in from the Shady Trees Retirement Village for the Bewildered.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    How many heats would you have for every individual and team event if every single participating country was entered in everything?

    Four rounds (and 42 individual races), if you have eight people in a heat and the top two go through. (Up to 256 countries, so quite a few heats would have seven people).

    The marathon could be run as a single event, just like the London or Boston events, but with many less people.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Agree about Peter Montgomery laying into his commentary, although it was kind of fun waiting for the phrase to reappear; a bit like a parody of a commentary. We enjoyed laughing about it.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Ditchings are rare, but there've been a few. Planes would still be safer than cars if they locked the doors on takeoff and carried no cabin crew, IMHO.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    bitching about McBeth and Quinn

    Look on the bright side - at least it's not Tony Veitch.

    Yes, McBeth and Quinn are silly old bores, but at least they're not obnoxious, braying "celebrities". Also, they both genuinely have a passion and depth of knowledge for sport, unlike Veitch.

    Also, while we're discussing sport...if you'll forgive me for blowing my own trumpet, my team, Leith #2, beat 20 other teams to win the 40km, eight-stage Peninsula Relay, one of the most prestigious events on the Otago athletics schedule, on Saturday. Not quite the Olympics I know, but, hey, indulge me. ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 602 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    Until someone can source the video link let me paraphrase the highlight (for me) of the Opening Ceremony commentary:

    There is a stunning display of fireworks. Keith Quinn points out that the Chinese invented fireworks (a theme for the Opening Ceremony ie China highlighting it's acheivements over the past 8 centuries). Sophie Zhang (there to offer a Chinese insight) points out that before fireworks the Chinese first invented gunpowder, which due to her accent she pronounces 'gunpower'.

    'Gunpowder' corrects Quinn.
    [pause]
    'Gunpowder' says Zhang.
    [pause]
    And then on with the blather. I noticed that by the end of the ceremony Zhang seemed to have decided to STFU.

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Ditchings are rare, but there've been a few.

    It seems that this is about as close as it gets for a modern airliner

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3206 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    What, you think London's going to do a wee montage of All the Ways We Have Fucked Up Our Colonies in *their* opening ceremony?

    I watched the British version of the opening ceremony, and the commentators did allow themselves some snide commentary on how China totally skipped on portraying the Opium Wars and colonialism in their potted history montage. Funnily enough, they forgot to mention exactly where the finger can be pointed for said events.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I suspect having to strike such poses is coming at the cost of degree of cognitive dissonance for Franks

    I think he overcame that when he became the National Party candidate surely? Once a stalwart and potential leader of Act, now a member of Labour-lite, whatever dissonance much have a very low amplitude!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2230 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    [On S Franks]

    To paraphrase a poster in an earlier conversation, someone is lying about what National will do after election day. Are they lying to Stephen Franks, or to the electorate?

    I'm hoping the latter.

    [On Quinn]

    I was surprised how good his blog has been from the little I read. His annoyingly wordy style on TV turns into rather good bloggin.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    I watched the British version of the opening ceremony, and the commentators did allow themselves some snide commentary on how China...

    Watching the opening ceremony all I could think of was throwing my hands up and surrendering now. China will rule the planet one day. Possibly in my lifetime.


    from this morning's Sideswipe

    The 20 most spoken languages in the world:

    Mandarin 873 million, Hindi 450 million, English 341 million, Spanish 320 million, Arabic 250 million, Portuguese 177.5 million, Bengali 171 million, Russian 170 million, Japanese 122 million, German 100 million, Punjabi 88 million, French 79,572,000, Wu 77.2 million, Javanese 75. 5 million, Korean 74 million, Vietnamese 67.4 million, Marathi 68 million, Telugu 69.7 million, Tamil 66 million, Italian 61.5 million.

    (Via Wikipedia's List of languages by number of native speakers)

    (They speak Portugese in Brazil, hence it's high ranking)

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    That English speaking figure seems a bit light to me.

    Unless they’re not counting Americans. :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Watching the opening ceremony all I could think of was throwing my hands up and surrendering now. China will rule the planet one day. Possibly in my lifetime.

    In Guangzhou an Australian manufacturer I was having a few beers with said..You are looking at the future here, they just need to invent a giant vacuum cleaner to clear the sky.

    That list misses Bahasa Malay which in it's various forms has some 300 million speakers (240 million in Indonesia alone)

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3206 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    It seems that this is about as close as it gets for a modern airliner

    Wikipedia has this to say about the crash.

    Many of the passengers who died survived the crash but they had disregarded or did not hear Abate's warning not to inflate their life jackets inside the aircraft

    Verily, follow the instructions of your crew. They know what to do.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    For those Michael Phelps complaining about the TVNZ commentary Michael Phelps, just be thankful you're not exposed to the Michael Phelps NBC version Michael Phelps. There's this American swimmer Michael Phelps who is quite good, I would forget his name but they Michael Phelps see fit to mention it Michael Phelps every three seconds. I swear to Michael Phelps that one of them pondered how Michael Phelps would have fared in the torrential Michael Phelps rain of the women's road cycle Phelps.

    And they show so much beach volleyball it's creepy.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    I think the key here is that the figures count native speakers. Many more people speak English but it will be their second third or more language.

    I too did notice Sophie Zhang dropped out of the commentary midway but I think her role was to offer comments and insights on the Chinese cultural aspects on the first part of the opening ceremony. Her job had been done by the time the teams filed in.

    And yes, nice touch with the team from Japan waving both Japanese and Chinese flags. I guess given the China's post war sensitivity over Japan revisionist view of its war history, it was a really diplomatic solution! Well done, the team from Japan.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

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