Some people are just never happy

Some people are just never happy, even when they are being rewarded.

Let’s face it, only the congenitally stupid now smoke, after all the years of advertising bans, public health messages, documentaries, increased tobacco taxes and every conceivable strategy short of an outright ban people are either retarded or wilfully choosing to smoke.

The country has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on smoking cessation programmes for no discernible reduction in smoking. Sure the smoking rate is dropping, but that is because the number of smokers is remaining static and the population is increasing.

Witness yet another trougher organisation using taxpayer money to ‘reward’ people for stopping smoking.

The people getting the rewards however are unhappy…its not enough they say…as if the chance of getting all sorts of nasty cancers being drmatically reduced by stopping smoking isn’t enough of a reward by itself, they still want more.

A $13,000 programme enticing expectant Maori and Pasifika mothers with jewellery and gift vouchers to stop smoking has been slammed as insulting and undignified by critics.

But a doctor behind the scheme has defended it, saying two in five Maori women smoke in pregnancy which she described as a “public health emergency”.

The Waikato District Health Board incentive programme is offered to mostly Maori and Pasifika mothers who are less than 28 weeks pregnant.

A total of $13,000 of DHB money has been specifically allocated to the project.   Read more »

Fiji vs NZ – Media blackouts

While I was in Fiji the foreign media, including NZ media were complaining about “censorship of media by the regime”.

It was a constant low grade whine for 3 days….the duration of the media blackout on reporting the election.

The refrain back in NZ by idiots like David Farrar and Barry Soper was the same. “Media need to be free to report”, “this is an outrageous restriction on media freedoms.”..all calls made by various media, and commentators like the idiot from Amnesty International.

Of course they all forgot that we have a media blackout in New Zealand too, it is just that ours is only one day.

Under the Electoral Act, it is an offence to influence a voter in any way on polling day.

This covers who they should or shouldn’t vote for and statements which might influence a person to abstain from voting.

Political parties and the media are included in this, meaning news outlets must not run stories which are likely to influence voters.

Political coverage can start again when voting closes at 7pm.

Read more »

What’s in a phrase: The meaning of ‘By and Large.’

Guest post

In our everyday vernacular, we have a tendency to use phrases and expressions to augment or conversations. Whilst many of these are self evident in their meaning, others have a more obscure origin. We will look at one such example below that is still in regular use, but is not immediately obvious in its origin.

“By and large”

A great many terms are incorrectly assumed to be nautical in origin, simply because they sound like old time sailors parlance. The example given above, is actually grounded in maritime terminology.

To begin with, we need to look at the nautical import of the two terms ‘by’ and ‘large’.

“Large’ is the more straight forward so we will begin there. When the wind is blowing from a compass point behind the direction of a ships travel, it is thus said to be ‘large’, and this has been used by sailors for many centuries. We find it expressed in Richard Hakluyt’s work, The Principall Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation of 1591.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherché Archipelago, a group of about 105 islands and over 1,200 ‘obstacles to shipping’. The tiny lake only spans about 600 meters wide but its rose pink colour is unmistakable. However, the reason why it’s pink remains a mystery.

Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News
Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherché Archipelago, a group of about 105 islands and over 1,200 ‘obstacles to shipping’. The tiny lake only spans about 600 meters wide but its rose pink colour is unmistakable. However, the reason why it’s pink remains a mystery.

Lake Hillier: Australian Natural Wonder

A Lake whose Pink Hue Defies Scientific Explanation Read more »

Midday madness

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The Whys of Trivial Things

imagesGuest post

Just an idea for some trivia today.  With all the witty comments the WO contributors come up with, I though this may be something we could have fun with.  Tell me I’m mad if you wish – it wont be the first time I’ve been accused of that.

Why is it that we drive on the left hand side of the road and yet, when walking on a path, most people always walk on the right side?   Read more »

Where do our readers live? (A mapping project)

Go to this Google map:

Drop a marker close to where you normally call home. Not EXACTLY on the spot – this map is public, so you don’t want surprise visits.  Just somewhere safe like the middle of a sports field or park nearby.

Do NOT name your marker in any way that can identify who you are, and it will be completely anonymous.

Once the Map loads, move it about and zoom in or out until you can select a PUBLIC SPACE near to your normal home.

Then click on the marker icon:


Click on the map.   It will drop the marker where you click.   Read more »

A mobile coverage technical dilemma

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 9.47.02 pm

I have a technical dilemma.

I have moved house, no you can’t know where I live…because the media will then know. I am not having my family hounded by them again.

However I have a problem.

Mobile coverage.

I am currently with Telecom…and live in a black spot. 200m in any direction and I have full coverage but have no bars at all in most of the house, but out by the fence one bar, or upstairs. This is unacceptable. The network coverage map shows no 4G coverage, little or no 3G coverage nor any other sort of coverage. It is next to useless.

Is there a solution? I’m thinking no, and so have some choices to make.   Read more »

Common misconceptions

Here, care of the Internet, an attempt to make some common misconceptions less common.  I’ve picked ones that I understood to be true.

George Washington did not have wooden teeth. His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth), and probably human teeth from slaves.

There was no widespread outbreak of panic across the United States in response to Orson Welles’ 1938 radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Only a very small share of the radio audience was even listening to it, and isolated reports of scattered incidents and increased call volume to emergency services were played up the next day by newspapers, eager to discredit radio as a competitor for advertising. Both Welles and CBS, which had initially reacted apologetically, later came to realize that the myth benefited them and actively embraced it in their later years.

Microwave ovens do not cook food from the inside out. Upon penetrating food, microwave radiation decays exponentially due to the skin effect and does not directly heat food significantly beyond the skin depth. As an example, lean meat has a skin depth of only about 1 centimeter at microwave oven frequencies.

Meteorites are not necessarily hot when they reach the Earth. In fact, many meteorites are found with frost on them. As they enter the atmosphere, having been warmed only by the sun, meteors have a temperature below freezing. The intense heat produced during passage through the upper atmosphere at very high speed then melts a meteor’s outside layer, but molten material is blown off and the interior does not have time to warm appreciably. Most meteorites fall through the relatively cool lower atmosphere for as long as several minutes at subsonic velocity before reaching the ground, giving plenty of time for their exterior to cool off again.

A duck’s quack actually does echo, although the echo may be difficult to hear for humans under some circumstances.   Read more »

Adam’s Calendar

Excuse me if a few of these are really out of left field, but I find these sorts of things interesting, so I’m pointing people at them in the hope you might too.  – Pete

…an ancient circular monolithic stone calendar site in Mpumalanga has proven to be at least 75,000 years old, pre-dating any other structure found to date. Southern Africa holds some of the deepest mysteries in all of human history. What we are told is that at around 60,000 years ago the early humans migrated from Africa and populated the rest of the world.
Who were these first humans? What did they do? And where did they disappear to?

It estimated that there are well over 1,000,000 (one million) ancient stone ruins scattered throughout the mountains of southern Africa. Various tools and artefacts that have been recovered from these ruins show a long and extended period of settlement that spans well over 200,000 years.

Many of these artefacts that include, coins, carvings, swords, symbols, head rests, bowls, statues and more, show that virtually every ancient culture was present here in southern Africa at some point in history. This includes the Sumerians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Dogon, Dravidians, and even the Incas. The most spectacular examples of these ancient ruins lie between Machadodorp and Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga. Modern historians have been speculating about the origins of these ruins, often calling them ‘cattle kraal of little historic importance’

Read more »