Today’s Trivia




In 1950 South Korea executed over 100,000 suspected Communist sympathisers. (source)


Read more »

Hail our Insect Overlords

Taking things a little too seriously, or pretty cool?


Improve your PIN security – good tip, and it’s easy


Pregnant AGAIN? That’s exasperating!


Daily roundup

Michael Woodhouse has taken years to find a parking meter that is shorter than him, no wonder he is pleased.


Read more »

Whaleoil Backchat

Good Evening, welcome to the daily Whaleoil Backchat.

You don’t have to stay “on topic” in these posts like you do in all others. Feel free to share your own stories, links to other news or catch up with friends. If you haven’t tried it before, signing in to a Disqus account is free, quick, and it is easy.

New commenters should familiarise themselves with our Commenting and Moderation rules. Thank you.


Trouble commenting on Whaleoil? You can receive free help.

Just email [email protected] with your concerns.  Please be polite and as precise as you can be.  Remember: this is a volunteer service provided by other Whaleoil readers.  Only contact them with commenting related problems.


Kim Dotcom roundup

Getty / via CNBC

Getty / via CNBC

Got to the end of the day, and not a single mention of Kim Dotcom.  Wouldn’t want Tom and Jerry* to have to write off today as non-billable, so here goes:

First, will Dotcom crash the New Zealand dollar?

Do you think that’s a strange question?  Well, it’s what they are talking about overseas:

What on earth is the connection between Kim Dotcom – one of the world’s biggest internet pirates – and the New Zealand dollar, you ask?

Dotcom, who is fighting extradition to the United States on piracy charges, launched a political party earlier this year to contest New Zealand’s general elections on September 30.

In late-May, his Internet Party entered an alliance with the Mana Party, a small party that advocates for the nation’s indigenous Maori, to improve his chances of gaining political clout.

Their joint party, Internet Mana, is gaining popularity among young voters and is in striking distance of the five percent threshold needed to guarantee representation in parliament, according to the One News-Colmar Brunton poll published on August 17.

“Fears that the infamous web entrepreneur Kim Dotcom may be starting to influence the New Zealand election is affecting the currency. Mr. Dotcom’s party has aligned itself with the Maori party and is polling at 5 percentage points – a big enough swing in New Zealand politics that could possibly give the ruling majority to the opposition Labour party,” Boris Schlossberg, Managing Director of FX Strategy at BK Asset Management wrote in a note.

“Such a move leftward would no doubt shake up the currency markets which have been caught by surprise expecting yet another win by the National party that would maintain the economic status quo,” he said.

I think fears of Internet Mana taking 5% are overstated, but I suppose they are trying to avoid the argument that Kim Dotcom has bought a sitting Maori electorate MP.

(As I write that, I can’t believe I’m writing it.  It’s true.  It really is, and there is NOTHING anyone is doing about it.  Anyway, Tom and Jerry, before you get too excited, the proof of this has been presented to the police, so I’m fairly sure you can’t use it in a defamation case)

Read more »


Who remembers the Pakeha Party?

Oh how we laughed when some web designed guy tried to sell his Facebook page for $100,000 to the people that liked the idea of a Pakeha Party, only to discover that the membership fee was being used to buy alcohol for the scam artist.

Did they stop?   (Were they ever charged?)   Nope, and nope.


Well, yes.  Now they are an NGO, apparently.

It also highlighted, at the time, the practice of “buying likes”   Read more »

Who is this Hager chap? (The stories keep coming in)

I normally wouldn’t publish this, but I’m only using the “Hager close enough” evidence method here.  I think it is fair, under the circumstances, and I didn’t break the law to do it.

Via the tipline

Hi Cam

In 1989-90 I was working in the Betty Campbell centre in Wellington.  The Betty Campbell Centre was on the 9th floor of what used to be known as the James Smith Car park, and was fitted out as offices for community organisations.  I had a training room there, teaching long term unemployed how to run a business.

One day the woman who ran the New Zealand branch of a UN interest group came to me after class, white and shaking.  I sat her down and got her a cup of tea.  She had just spent several hours trying to calm Nicky Hager down as he was carrying a bomb.  Now the next bit may not be correct. I recall her saying that she had seen a bomb strapped to his body.  But this is before suicide bombers were popular, so I may be remembering the “strapped to the body”  with hindsight.  However he had a bomb on his person.

After a couple of hours of talking to him she rang someone (family?) and got them to come and collect him.

Why did we not go to the police?  She decided that he was in the middle of a breakdown and as the family had taken over she didn’t see the need to involve the police.  And I went along with her as a good lefty at the time and felt sorry for him.

Read more »