Photo Of The Day

Jemmy Hirst

Jemmy Hirst

 Animal-lover and Inventor Jemmy Hirst

James “Jemmy” Hirst was born to a farmer family of Rawcliffe, Yorkshire. Even at school he kept a pet jackdaw and trained a hedgehog to follow him around. His parents’ hope that he would become a priest never materialised when he was thrown out of school for his pranks. Hirst was apprenticed to a tanner, fell in love with his daughter and became engaged to her.

Reputedly Hirst’s eccentricity began when his betrothed died of smallpox after he rescued her from a flooding river. At first Hirst retired to his bed and reputedly contracted “brain fever”. When he recovered he continued his habits of animal training.

He made a remarkable comeback and he earned a small fortune speculating on farm produce. This allowed him to spend the rest of his long life back in Rawcliffe as a gentleman farmer, and to be generous in the most eccentric way possible. He supposedly would blow a hunting horn to invite the poor and elderly to his house for refreshments…which were served in his favorite coffin, because where else would you serve them?

In any event, the real boon of his newfound wealth was the ability to take his love of animals to the next level. His two most frequent companions were apparently a fox and an otter, and he even kept a bear named Nicholas. This creature, unfortunately, resisted Hirst’s efforts to tame it, resulting at least once in injury to the eccentric farmer. Equally unsuccessful but significantly less painful was Hirst’s attempt to train a litter of pigs to be foxhounds, but he could never get the piglets to stop grunting, which made them spectacularly ineffective when it came time to sneak up on foxes.

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KiwiRail loses less money than last year, and everyone is excited..why?


Oh yay, Kiwirail lost a little bit less than usual.

KiwiRail had a much better 12 months to June 30 than a year earlier, improving its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and asset impairments to $91 million, 17 percent ahead of the previous financial year, which was marred by several one-off costs.

The result was achieved on total revenues of $721 million, down 3 percent for the year, with freight revenues falling 7 percent to $434 million in an environment where coal deliveries by Solid Energy fell, offset somewhat by higher levels of dairy production.

The forestry, import/export and domestic freight categories together performed slightly ahead of last year.

For the year ahead, chief executive Peter Reidy told BusinessDesk the state-owned rail business expected volatile trading conditions, with Solid Energy recently placed into voluntary administration and a sharp downturn in dairy prices expected to lead a reduction in milk solids production.   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  John Stringer

Credit: John Stringer

A newspaper slips up – reports Charter School success

The PPTA’s embedded education reporter will be apoplectic about this slipping through.

The school ” badly flooded and facing closure ” fought to stay open as a new charter school and was in the process of reopening when Bush came. When Warren Easton reopened in 2006, nearly every student who attended was considered “homeless” because they lived in trailers sent to hurricane victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or slept on couches, school officials said.

Back then, Bush talked about the need for school reforms. His speech was a nod to the city’s efforts to expand charter schools to break up what was widely seen as a failing neighborhood school model. The old public school system was riddled with broken buildings, failing grades and pervasive corruption.   Read more »

Pedo time bomb allowed to run free

The critical part here is that the sicko still denies wrong-doing.  

A man who had more than 1700 objectionable images and films on his computer of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to serve seven months’ home detention.

Jason Oliver, 22, was sentenced in the Wellington District Court on 30 charges of knowingly possessing objectionable material.

Judge Barbara Morris said the images included videos of very young children being raped and other images of children performing sexual acts with animals.

She said Oliver did not view his offending as particularly serious, saying the images existed anyway.    Read more »

Justice Minister Amy Adams opens $51 million Concrete Cancer building


Sometimes, despite all the warnings given, the Government ploughs ahead seemingly with blinkers on.
Whaleoil has ran an extensive investigation into the Concrete Cancer Cover-Up story potentially affecting dozens, if not hundreds of construction projects.
As a quick recap, cement importing company Drymix imported and estimated 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of high alkali cement from Vietnam and flogged it off onto the New Zealand market.
So-called ‘independent’ investigations into concerns raised on this blog by The Cement and Concrete Association of NZ (CCANZ),  resulted in a highly technical report telling people to move on, nothing to see here. More on that later.

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Amy Adams thinks protection orders might need an expiry date. Can anyone see the problem?

Just when I thought Amy Adams was trying to redeem herself after the stupid Harmful Digital Communications Act she goes and does this.

Protection orders should have an expiry date, MPs have recommended.

The Government is overhauling domestic violence laws and Justice Minister Amy Adams won’t rule out adopting the proposal.

But barrister and and anti-domestic violence campaigner Catriona MacLennan says implementing a sunset clause is a “terrible idea” and a “backward step.”

“Under previous law, if a couple reconciled then that brought the protection order to an end,” she explained. This was changed after abusive husband Alan Bristol killed his three daughters, all under 10, in 1994. A judicial inquiry recommended protection orders remain in force permanently.

“With domestic violence there is a pattern of behaviour and then the man might talk the woman into having him back before she finally leaves. If they reconciled under the old law, the woman had to go through the whole process [to obtain a new order] again.

“Now, if there is more violence, it is still in existence but doesn’t have any impact unless the woman wants to use it again. They don’t have to go to court again which is time-consuming, expensive and stressful.”

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Cry Baby of the Week


I beg your pardon?  How can you even run up a $400+ electricity bill for a 2 bedroom flat?

A Nelson beneficiary was shocked to receive a monthly power bill for more than $800 for her two bedroom house despite her efforts to use less power.

Since Kelly Stewart posted about her situation on the Nelson Pay it Forward Facebook page on Tuesday, over 250 people have commented with some saying they had similar experiences with unexpectedly large power bills and problems after the installation of smart meters.

Stewart, who receives a sickness benefit due to ongoing health issues and also works two part time jobs is worried about how she will be able to pay the bill.

“I have cried for two days over this account because where the hell am I going to come up with this money?” said Stewart.    Read more »

Winston Peters takes the China bashing card back from Labour

All I can suggest is that we find a Canadian, American, UK or Australian investor then.  

After all, Labour and NZ First don’t mind if things are owned by foreigners, as long it isn’t anyone from Asia.

New Zealand First is vowing to fight for the continued New Zealand ownership of New Zealand’s second largest meat cooperative as it faces sale to the Chinese.

“Silver Fern Farms is a Kiwi farmer-owned business accounting for over $2.2 billion in sales,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Their farmers have done the hard yards and debt is tracking down Just when it is, the Chinese want at least a $100 million interest in it.

“That will just be the start, as we all know. Why has the co-op not reached out to people who own it? Instead, the board is putting a financial gun to its farmer-owners and effectively saying, ‘sign or else’.     Read more »

Local Government going mad


Local Government is going mad. Every year they complicate the lives of everyone with onerous red tape and looney ideas.

What local government does best is craft stupidity. They are the masters of making sure that everything that takes place in their territories is controlled to the point of being difficult, painful and slow. All without any benefit that can be measured.

But local government are also specialists in the totally absurd; the kind of daft activities that are ordinarily reserved for ludicrous plots in comedic movies and satirical TV shows.

Here is an example:

Washing your car in the driveway is a thing of the past for Porirua residents.   Read more »