Friday nightCap



Daily Trivia


Some frogs vomit by throwing up their entire stomach, emptying it with their arms, then swallowing it again. (source)   Read more »


On Swedishness…


Clever bird


Avoid The Mudhoot Plaza snack bar, terminal 2, Mumbai


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.

Ground opening up during an earthquake

Reader Observations of Auckland Dawn Service

Some readers have emailed about this morning’s dawn service in Auckland.

I have gone to the Anzac Day dawn service for years, and in Auckland it is traditional for the Mayor to speak.

Dame Cath, Les Mills Christine Fletcher, John Banks, Dick Hubbard, others and for the last term Len Brown spoke.

This year someone recognised that the mayor was no longer respected enough to take on this serious role.

The gelded mayor was relegated to delivering a wreath to the cenotaph on behalf of the citizens of Auckland.

I felt even that was not appropriate, and comments from those around me supported my views. More emphatic was that everyone was standing in silence until Len’s diminished task was announced.

It was good that someone realised that his participation was not appropriate. To debase a ceremony so important to New Zealanders would be unthinkable.

Read more »

Media is more entertainment, less facts – Hillary Clinton

Hilary Clinton once famously declared that there was a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” out there and coined a phrase at the same time. I’m not so sure it was vast.

Now she has decided to round on the media…again.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lamented the state of journalism on Wednesday, telling an audience at the University of Connecticut that journalism is now driven more by entertainment than fact based reporting.

Clinton, who has been the focus of national media attention since the early 1990s, told the 2,300-person audience that “journalism has changed quite a bit in a way that is not good for the country and not good for journalism.”

“A lot of serious news reporting has become more entertainment driven and more opinion-driven as opposed to factual,” she said. “People book onto the shows, political figures, commentators who will be controversial who will be provocative because it’s a good show. You might not learn anything but you might be entertained and I think that’s just become an unfortunate pattern that I wish could be broken.”

Clinton’s comments came as part of the question and answer portion to Wednesday’s event. University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst asked Clinton about how journalism has changed and whether journalists could help break gridlock that has halted work in Washington.

The former secretary of state went on to say that she feels there is a space for “explanatory journalism because there’s a lot going on in the world that needs explanation.”

The former first lady also had a tip for journalists: Do your homework.  Read more »