Posts by st ephen

  • Hard News: Memories of the news, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's fascinating how this exercise provides a demographic picture that wasn't apparent before.

    Yep, because while there's not much difference between a 51 year-old and a 59 year-old now, there's a huge difference between a 1 year-old and a 9 year-old then. It's funny how time compresses and you catch up in age to the big kids from your childhood.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: On benefit fraud,

    "Metiria Turei campaigned for political parties but didn't work while lying to Winz"

    Perhaps it was just the clickbait headline, but the comments below this Stuff article seem like a coordinated up-voting campaign in action. Troops mobilised for the election campaign - on one side at least.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Drug policy: women lead the way,

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: On Gell-Mann Amnesia; or…, in reply to Sacha,

    ...anybody who thrusts a broken bottle at a person's throat half a dozen times is charged with at least that.

    ??? Sure, but what has that got to do with the case Graeme linked to in his attempt to show the even hand of justice?

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: On Gell-Mann Amnesia; or…, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Oh FFS - " ultimately received ". If Kingi had been white he never would have been charged with 'assault with intent to injure' in the first place, let alone been sentenced to five months in jail.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    The best part is that having shown how to get the answer that "most people" get, they don't point out that you can only get that answer by swapping the multiplication sign in the final equation for a plus sign.
    (I do know an artist who thinks that if it's OK to say "Let horse = x", you might just as well say "Let x = +").

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: A Tale of Two Iceblocks: Part…, in reply to David Haywood,

    I think it's recognised that the Kyoto Protocol (and therefore the ETS) doesn't make any sense if there are parts of the world outside the system. China does at least report its emissions under the UNFCCC, so we do get to see the ice block manufacturing emissions even if they don't enter an accounting system.
    Shifting everything to a point of consumption would be interesting - we could sheet home most of those livestock methane emissions to someone else. The flip side is that the plantation forests that have offset over one-third of our gross emissions for the last 25 years have mostly been grown for someone else too. (One of the proposed accounting approaches did allow us to claim credit for sequestration by trees here, while making the wood product end-users in our export markets liable for emissions at the end of the product lifetime. Great for a country with a small population and big net exports. Naturally none of the heavies at the negotiating table were keen to join NZ in pushing for that option).

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Høstens Vemod,

    The flip-side of the possibly non-existent høstens vemod is våren eufori. The dull grey day in autumn that brings on melancholy is matched by an equally dull grey day in spring that ignites euphoria, even though the weather is exactly the same. I know a kiwi in Norway who finds these extreme reactions a bit odd, but that may be the Presbyterian in him.
    My experience of Finns is that they stoically endure all four seasons equally.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: If the fish stinks ...,

    Twenty years ago I talked to a guy who worked as an observer on fishing boats in the Southern Ocean. He said the by-catch reports radioed in were something like:
    Boat A - 1 albatross, no dolphins
    Boat B - 0 albatross, 1 dolphin
    Boat C - 13 albatross, 7 dolphins
    Boat D - 1 albatross, no dolphins
    Boat E - 25 albatross, 11 dolphins
    Boat F - 0 albatross, no dolphins
    It wasn't hard to guess where the observers were...

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    I had a look at one taxi business when I was helping to extract someone from a financial hole they found themselves in. That company operated like a franchise - you bought the taxi, bought a license from them, paid for all the other licenses/vetting + training + installing the RT system and EFTPos and uniform and signage etc. Plus petrol, tyres, maintenance, insurance etc. And you paid them a flat monthly fee regardless of how many jobs you got, plus a proportion of each fare. In return, they guaranteed two jobs a day for the first month and...well, that's it really. They also negotiated some fixed-fare rates that cut into the drivers' margins.
    As soon as it looked like he might be able to make some money they just sold more franchises in the area and fed them what little work there was. He couldn't on-sell his license as the company already had a stack of them ready to sell, and in the end he had to sell the car (still owes money on it) because it got older than was acceptable. He ended up relief driving: no cost revenue-sharing - 70 hours per week at what worked out to be < $4 per hour.
    I think the company sees it less as exploitation, and more as providing a hobby for the lonely.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 251 posts Report Reply

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