Posts by Stephen R

  • Legal Beagle: A war crimes inquiry; or…, in reply to william blake,

    They were expecting opposition and interpreted innocent civilian action incorrectly because of the misaprehended context.

    My impression is that the SAS got the right houses for the people they were looking for (the ones that had been shooting at NZ soldiers a few days earlier) but that the actual combatants expected that someone might come for retribution, and had disappeared off into the hills to lie low. Only non-combatants were left behind, but the SAS didn't know that. So the SAS were in the right place, just the people they were hunting weren't.

    In a situation where the SAS are expecting to be shot at (and using night vision gear which isn't nearly as good as Hollywood would have us believe,) I can totally see how they'd be inclined to see what they expect when someone heads towards them (someone who doesn't have NVG and so doesn't know they're headed towards the soldiers until the soldiers start shooting).

    At the point when the shooting starts, the difference between how innocent people trying to get away from danger and combatants trying to get away from danger behave is probably hard to distinguish in the dark using NVGs.

    Bit hard on the civilians though.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: A war crimes inquiry; or…, in reply to nzlemming,

    After reading Jon Stephenson's rebuttal, I think some comms idiot gave Keating appalling advice. JS makes it clear that the two villages named in the book are part of the area that Keating names. Someone's in trouble at NZDF...

    I just can't understand why, having had their arse handed to them last time they accused Jon Stephenson of lying/being wrong, that they chose this response to the book. It just makes them look stupid.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The long road to Hit and Run, in reply to Kevin McCready,

    Follow me on twitter if you're serious about this.

    Does the irony meter of anyone else trigger on this sentence? Or is it just me?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The long road to Hit and Run,

    If an electorate MP leaves parliament closer than x months from an election, they don't have to run a bye-election because there would be not much point - they'd hardly get a result before the actual election.

    That would of course, mean that National lost some of it's majority, but luckily, a Labour MP (David Cunliffe) quit as well to maintain the power balance...

    WTF?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Cracker: We're Going on a Bat Hunt,

    That was a pretty cool post, thanks Damian.

    I think the Bat detectors sound awesome

    I wonder if they'd be at all useful anywhere near Wellington...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fear of Cycling, in reply to David Hood,

    As I understand it, in Japan the less vulnerable party in an accident is normally held responsible, so in general cars are held responsible for accidents with cycles, and cycles are held responsible for accidents with pedestrians.

    When I visited Kyoto/Osaka last year, there were shared pedestrian/cycle/car ways down malls and side-streets with no defined footpaths or lanes. The general attitude seemed to match your understanding, in so far as cyclists gave way to pedestrians, and cars gave way to cyclists, while at the same time a general politeness meant that pedestrians would leave room for cyclists to get past when the pavement allowed it, and both pedestrians and cycles would let cars past.

    The cyclists were in general going only slightly faster than the pedestrians (There were lots of cycles on pavement, but I don't remember seeing any doing faster than 1.5 times average walking speed) and the cars were likewise ambling along at walking speed in the shared zones.

    Because the relative speeds were so close, it was relatively easy to make eye contact and negotiate right-of-way; I don't know how much it works because people are just polite about the whole thing, and would be embarrassed to be seen as blocking the way unnecessarily.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fear of Cycling,

    One of the reasons that reducing the number of cyclists is said to increase the risk to them on the road is that car drivers need to see cyclists reasonably often to remember to leave room for them on the road.

    More cyclists == more reminders == more considerate driving.

    I wonder if the same is true for shared footpaths/cycle ways? Frequently encountering cyclists reminds the pedestrians not to wander quite as randomly...

    On shared pedestrian/cycle paths, I'm always twitchy around small children, who can change direction really quickly and don't always look. That requires keeping my speed slow enough (and leaving enough room to dodge) that I can stop if I have to. That speed is considerably below what most cyclists can manage without trying too hard, so I'm not sure shared pedestrian/cycleways are without drawbacks for bike-commutes.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Media Media,

    If a lot of the point of the ratings is to be able to price advertising, then including RadioNZ doesn't help them since RadioNZ doesn't sell advertising.

    Being able to say "Most listened to station-that-will-take-your-advertising-dollars" is less attractive than being able to say "most listened to station".

    From a RadioNZ point of view, being able to get someone to give them some numbers so they can track it over time is worth something and I don't know that they care about being able to brag to advertisers; I'd bet that being able to say to the Gummint that they have better listener numbers than the commercial stations is useful come time to argue about budgets.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fear of Cycling,

    As a cyclist, sometimes ringing my bell causes the pedestrians in front of me to walk in random directions as they look over their shoulder to see what that noise is (for some reason, turning their head to the left tends to make them walk to the left into my path.)

    What I do try to make a point of doing is thanking them as I roll past. Maybe it will make them happier to share in the future.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fear of Cycling, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Oddly enough, I’m just back in the door having been reminded that my bete noire is the black BMW.

    Black BMWs give me the shits when I'm driving, but on the bike, white taxis are scarier - they tend to take their corners closer to the edge of the road (lower side-ways-G for their passengers?) without regard for whether they're in the cycle lane when they're doing it.

    From William Blake:

    Many of us are pedestrians, cyclists and motorists at one time or another, why do we adopt intolerant and aggressive positions when we know exactly how and why others are behaving

    Speaking for myself, I'm a lot more considerate of cyclists as a driver and a pedestrian since I started biking. Perhaps yet another example of how the general population and I don't share views on certain topics...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 251 posts Report Reply

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