Monday nightCap

Roomba v Roomba knife fight (admit it, you’d do it too)


Today’s Trivia




The crew from the plane that bombed Nagasaki took a tour of the city a month later. (source)


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Bad news for aliens, unless they come to church


80 years of Happy

I though I recognised it – this is Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch. On them.

One day, that’s us too.


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Daily Roundup

NY Times endorses legalisation of cannabis

The NY Times has taken an editorial stance supporting the legalisation of cannabis.

The New York Times editorial board endorsed the repeal of federal law banning marijuana use on Saturday, a landmark moment in the decades-long fight for legalization.

The Times is also rolling out an interactive six-part series with more editorials discussing issues related to marijuana use. In the first interactive editorial, which turns the stars of the American flag into marijuana leaves as the user scrolls down, the editorial board argued that the ban on marijuana has caused “great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.”

“There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization,” the board wrote. “That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.”

The Times is the biggest U.S. newspaper to endorse the legalization of marijuana. In recent years magazines like National Review and a few state newspapers like the Las Vegas Review Journal and the Star-Ledger Editorial Board have endorsed legalization.  Read more »

Thanks Len: Fights, vandalism, ticket dodging and threatening behaviour

The Auckland train system is an omnishambles.  Heavily subsidised travel is used as a justification that more of it is needed. (Think about that).  And on top of that, the brand new trains don’t work properly.  They even stopped running when there was a power cut.

And even that isn’t enough to throw it all in the ‘too hard’ pile.  Matthew Dearnaley reports:

Auckland Transport is considering forming a special police force to improve safety on trains.

The idea has emerged after criticism by Auckland Council members of a lack of gates at most stations to stop people catching trains without paying fares.

“The provision of transit police is under investigation as a long-term option,” an Auckland Transport spokesman said.

Well, THAT will drop ticket prices, won’t it?  Apart from the safety aspect, would the cost of employing glorified ticket inspectors be less than the non-subsidised loss of income they are meaning to combat?

Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton says fights on platforms and vandalism are becoming prevalent, and commuters are reconsidering their use of trains after “being intimidated by young people of gang persuasions”.

“They are also seeking money from old people, who are a bit more vulnerable – my concern is that somebody is going to get hurt,” she told the council’s infrastructure committee last week.

This is a policing issue.  We already have a dedicated force to deal with these things.  It is called The Police.

There is absolutely no need for Auckland Council to go the way of special dedicated Auckland Transport police force.

Councillor George Wood said a senior police officer had told a meeting of local board members that police were reluctant to travel on trains in uniform at off-peak hours “because they feel intimidated”, a claim denied to the Herald by Inspector Alan Shearer of the Counties Manukau police.

This is just fantastic.  A senior police officer doesn’t feel safe travelling on these trains while in uniform?


No more rates, no more central government taxes should go to this enormous hole in the ground.

[Auckland Transport] has also hired security guards at 10 stations in a 15-week trial due to end on Friday, when it will review the benefits of keeping them on, against a “considerable resourcing cost”.

Listed offences include assaults on train staff and passengers, vandalism, trespass and “surfing” or clinging dangerously to the outside of trains.

Does this happen to the same extent in Wellington?

Welcome to the world’s Most Livable City.   Thanks Len.


- NZ Herald

Is Colin Craig just unbelievably dense or did he think he’d get lucky?


The Electoral Commission has rejected the Conservative Party logo on the grounds it could “cause confusion or mislead electors”.

The logo the party tried to register was simply the word “vote” inside a bright blue speech bubble.

In a decision released today, the commission said the logo could be confused with other instructions on the voting paper.

“The voting paper prescribed in the legislation contains instructions for voters,” the commission said in a statement.

“The word ‘vote’ is used several times in these instructions.

“The Commission concluded that the appearance of the proposed party logo on the ballot paper featuring the word ‘vote’ could be regarded as instructive and therefore be likely to confuse and mislead voters.”

Using National Party colours, it points at a box, and says “Vote” with no indication that it is actually for the Conservative Party.

You know, the party says you should vote for them and “Stand for something”.

Like a scam?  Stealing votes by subterfuge?

What on earth were they thinking?


- Stacey Kirk, Stuff