Saturday nightCap

Stop telling women to smile

Daily Trivia


There is an atomic bomb museum in New Mexico, where the first a-bomb was detonated. The museum is only open 12 hours each year. (source)   Read more »


2D Rubens’ tube (wot?)

English sucks


Easter Video of the Day

Whaleoil Backchat

Welcome to the daily Whaleoil Backchat – posted at 6:30 pm every day.

This post is like an end-of-day General Debate post.

Happy sea dogs



Did we really need scientific research to prove that homeopathic products have no greater efficacy than what can be achieved via the placebo effect?

New Zealand doctors are said to be backing the findings of an Australian study that says homeopathic remedies do not work – but Kiwis practising the alternative treatment say the study is flawed.

A draft paper released by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council this week stated homeopathic remedies were no more effective than a placebo when used to treat 68 health conditions.

Conducted by a working committee of medical experts, the paper assessed 57 clinical studies that tested homeopathic remedies on a range of ailments including asthma, arthritis, sleep disturbances, cold and flu, eczema, burns and even heroin addiction. It concluded there was no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.

You might as well drink water and think positive thoughts.  Oh, wait…   Read more »

Welfare changes slowly taking effect

Simon Collins has taken a break from pimping the poor to write about the mindset changes occurring in welfare as a result of the changes made by Paula Bennett.

A single parents’ group says “a complete change of mindset” has helped reduce the number of people on the sole parent benefit to the lowest level in more than 20 years.

Numbers on sole parent support have plunged by 8600, or 10 per cent, in the year to March.

It is the biggest drop in a single year since the benefit – previously known as the domestic purposes benefit, or DPB – was created in 1974.

Sole parent support is now being paid to 75,844 sole parents, fewer than in any year in the DPB’s history since 1988.

About 22,000 people with no children under 14 were moved to other benefits when the DPB was abolished last July, but even if they were added back in, the total number of sole parents on any kind of benefit is the lowest since 1993.

Auckland Single Parents Trust founder Julie Whitehouse said tighter rules, which require sole parents to look for part-time work when their youngest child turns 5 and fulltime work when that child turns 14, had completely changed attitudes.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s so good that I can’t even get them to volunteer time. The whole mindset has changed.”

Asked how many of her 580 members now had jobs, she said: “The shift is incredible, I’m almost tempted to say 100 per cent – it really is big. All the attitudes changed. Everybody knew that when your child is 5 you have to go to work.”

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