Map of the Day

Rules are rules. Stuff humanity

In this Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 photo provided by Ashley Bartyik, her grandparents Wolfram and Anita Gottschalk of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, cry as they say goodbye near the end of a visit with each other in Wolfram's elderly care home in Surrey. The couple, who are in their 80s, were separated into two different care homes a half an hour apart after 62 years of marriage because no beds were available together. (Ashley Bartyik via AP)

(Ashley Bartyik via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A photograph of a crying elderly Canadian couple in wheelchairs, separated into two different care homes after 62 years of marriage because no beds were available together, has received international attention.

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All Black bug was live and meant for them

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The listening device found hidden in a chair at the All Blacks team hotel in Sydney had a battery life of about three days and was still operational when discovered, according to an NZME report.

The new information – gleaned from a “well-placed Australian source” by NZME – suggests the All Blacks were the intended target of the device and narrows down the range of possible suspects.

The lifespan of the device’s batteries appears to discredit speculation that previous guests at the InterContinental Hotel in Double Bay could have been the targets, not the New Zealand side.

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver has categorically cleared the ARU from any involvement with the device and described its discovery the day before last weekend’s Bledisloe Cup opener as an “unnecessary distraction”. Read more »

Bwahahahaha… awesome!

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The Moscow Times is reporting that Bulgarian pranksters are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that the Soviet military heroes depicted are recast as American Superheroes (h/t to trans-atlantyk posting at reddit’s /r/worldnews):

Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported.

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Photo of the Day

Since the air in the tunnel was so toxic, the divers needed to bring their own air. But their air supply system, which had never before been used on a project, malfunctioned – proving deadly for two divers. By the time it was completed, the outfall tunnel contained oxygen-starved, toxic air that would be deadly to anyone who breathed it. Credit: MWRA file photo

Since the air in the tunnel was so toxic, the divers needed to bring their own air. But their air supply system, which had never before been used on a project, malfunctioned – proving deadly for two divers. By the time it was completed, the outfall tunnel contained oxygen-starved, toxic air that would be deadly to anyone who breathed it. Credit: MWRA file photo

Trapped In a Sewer Tunnel under Boston Harbour

 The plan was ambitious but simple: Build a 9.5-mile sewer tunnel hundreds of feet below the ocean floor to help clean up Boston Harbour. Five divers went deep, deep into the project for one final step – with deadly results.

This is their harrowing story…

Just over a quarter-century ago, Boston Harbour was infamous for being “the dirtiest harbour in America,” an open sewer that became a major issue in the presidential campaign of 1988. Today, Boston can boast of having the nation’s cleanest urban harbour. The key to that undisputed environmental triumph is a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant sitting on tiny Deer Island north of Boston, and an engineering marvel of an outfall tunnel.

Every day, that nearly 10-mile-long Deer Island Tunnel, built hundreds of feet below the ocean floor, carries up to 1 billion gallons of wastewater from the plant out into the deep Atlantic waters of Massachusetts Bay. And gravity, rather pumps or machines, is the force powering that flow.

The tunnel was billed as the longest single-entrance (or dead-end) tunnel in the world, and it is the largely unknown workhorse behind the multi-billion dollar court-ordered cleanup of the harbour that has transformed Boston. But at the end of a decade of construction, handled by some of the country’s top designers and contractors, the massive tunnel would not work until someone figured out how to tackle one final and extremely hazardous task.

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Why isn’t Trevor Mallard on the list?

Helen Clark and Trevir Mallard with Labour's biggest donor, Owen Glenn,  at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard with Labour’s biggest donor, Owen Glenn, at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

When it comes to what people will illegally dump in Lower Hutt, Hutt City Council has seen it all – and then some.

Council staff often encounter items with a high yuck factor, including condoms, hypodermic syringes, animal carcasses and used nappies. But they are far from the most unusual or most common objects found dumped in the city.

Keep Hutt City Beautiful has been continually surprised by what it has found during its annual Clean Up Week. To mark the next Clean Up Week on 12-18 September and Keep Hutt City Beautiful’s 25th anniversary, it has compiled its top five oddest dumped items.

1. A statue of Hindu deity Ganesh. This was discovered by Keep Hutt City Beautiful’s diving group underwater near Petone Wharf.

2. Twelve rusting supermarket trollies. While abandoned supermarket trollies are a staple of many cities, the diving group were surprised to find so many in one place under Petone Wharf.

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Whaleoil News Quiz

“Child poverty in New Zealand doesn’t exist”

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NZ child poverty on the left, real child poverty on the right

Sitting in a restaurant, quaffing whine, Ms Marvelly goes into bat for the less fortunate

Out at dinner with family friends last week, I found myself drawn into a heated discussion.

“Child poverty in New Zealand doesn’t exist,” my friend said, as I choked on my wine. “Really?” I asked warily. I should’ve known better. I was duly treated to a full shopping list of popular myths about poverty here.

The irony of discussing deprivation and hardship over a meal at an upmarket Ponsonby restaurant wasn’t lost on me. It’s a jarring experience having a conversation about how much money struggling parents allegedly spend on alcohol as the waiter tops up everyone’s champagne flutes.

At least we can celebrate she has that much self awareness.  Read more »

Kid’s costume of his sports idol wins competition and Social Media outrage

Australian mum paints son in blackface for school costume competition - and wins 76 The mum's photo of her son in blackface sparked outrage. FACEBOOK The mum's photo of her son in blackface sparked outrage. An Australian mother who painted her son's skin black for a school costume competition has caused outrage for a moment she described as a "parenting win". The photo, which was posted on the Facebook wall of mummy-blogger Constance Hall, has prompted widespread condemnation online. In her original post, the mother said her son's school was running a Book Week competition, where kids were required to dress as their favourite book character. AFL player Nic Naitanui hasn't weighed in on the drama. DANIEL CARSON/AFL MEDIA


AFL player Nic Naitanui DANIEL CARSON/AFL MEDIA

AFL player Nic Naitanui is the boy in question’s idol and he has said nothing about the outrage that has been fanned predictably by white social justice warriors who have taken offence on his behalf.

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Lucky bastards in Timaru actually have someone decent to vote for

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I’m Jock Anderson, a 69-year young semi-retired journalist, columnist, commentator, scribbler and Independent candidate for the District Council Timaru Ward.

[My correct first name is Russell but, as a Scotsman, I have been known as Jock professionally for 50 years, everyone calls me Jock and Jock is my name on the ballot paper.]

As South Islanders originally from Dunedin, my girlfriend Lorraine Craighead and I chose to move to Timaru with our Tonkinese cat Clio because we like it here.

We bought a house with an adjoining section where we are building a new home. Read more »