Daily Trivia

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Acne affects 79-95% of western adolescents, yet a study of non-westernized tribes in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay found no cases of acne. (source)   Read more »

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How to rotate tyres on a Toyota FJ Land Cruiser

Card control

Click here if you want to see the whole show.

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.

Hi mum!

CAUTION: If you have a deep fear of spiders, then don’t watch

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The BBC is smug, wasteful and unfair says Jeremy Paxman

James Delingpole examines Jeremy Paxman’s belief that the BBC is smug, wasteful and unfair.

The BBC is a smug and wasteful “closed corporate culture” whose special, licence-fee-subsidised status “hugely distorts the marketplace.”

Well we knew all this already of course but it’s interesting to hear it from the mouth of one of the BBC’s starriest presenters, Jeremy Paxman.

Interviewed in the Guardian, he talks about his love-hate relationship with his employer.

“It is smug. I love the BBC in many ways, but at the same time it has made me loathe aspects of it, and that’s a very odd state of affairs. When I see people being given £1m merely for walking out of the door, when I see £100m being blown on that DMI [digital media initiative] thing, a stupid technical initiative like that, I start wondering: how much longer are we going to test the public’s patience?”

He goes on: Read more »

The seppos are looking at fart taxes now

We managed to defeat Helen Clark’s plans to impose fart taxes on the nations cattle.

The battle is only beginning in the US where a wider ranging fart tax is being proposed.

Last month, the President released a climate action plan designed to cut methane emissions.

If you are a cow, be afraid. Be very afraid.

The same goes for humans.

The plan outlines voluntary measures, such as a “Biogas Roadmap,” to reduce dairy sector greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. There’s concern though that these measures merely represent the tip of the iceberg.

Agriculture accounts for only about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Within that 8 percent, the second largest source of agriculture emissions is enteric fermentation—the digestive process that leads to cow methane emissions, which are emittedin ways that are not appreciated at dinner parties. Methane emissions from enteric fermentation, while covering numerous livestock animals, are overwhelmingly from cows. Read more »

Who is paying Brian Edwards to push this idea so hard?

Some time back my good friend Brian Edwards cried off blogging, but it seems he has found a new source of luncheon sausage because he is back in the saddle so to speak and blogging up a storm.

His latest post suggests that Shane Jones’ time has come to lead the Labour party.

From the tone of his post it seems he has given up on the Cunliffe experiment.

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as a future leader of the Party, but as a worthwhile Member Of Parliament and a decent human being.

Then, yesterday, I came across this video on the Herald’s website. And I had no choice but to radically change my previous opinion and to do so with a degree of regret that it had ever been expressed. I’d had a preview of Shane Jones’ debating skill and facility with words a week or two back when he was interviewed on The Nation by Paddy Gower. But this was something different. It was an extraordinary display not only of oratory and the art of persuasive communication but of subtlety of thought and intellectual depth, leavened with humour. It was theatre.

One need not go far to look for a reason. Jones is equally fluent in Maori and English. But his impact when he combines the two is nothing less than extraordinary.

Well, he is also a man who provokes strong feelings of approval and disapproval, a high-risk candidate for the highest office in the land. But as I watched and re-watched this speech, I thought I could perhaps see a Leader of the Opposition there and a Prime Minister to boot.

Read more »

Quote for the Day

From an interview with Mark Phelps, the son of deceased Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps.

Ed: What are your thoughts on Westboro Baptist Church?

Mark: If I had to take my family to court and convict them of being followers of Christ, I am not sure where I would find the evidence.

An orange tree produces oranges. A thorn bush produces thorns. Each person is known by the fruit produced in their life, including me. The fruit of the Spirit is found in the life of a true follower of Christ.

What wise words…and how difficult must it be to have to say that about your own father.

Mark Phelps also explains why it was that he left his father’s church.   Read more »