September 2013

Monday nightCap

Glacier calving – AKA nature is awesome


Today’s Trivia



Houston airport was receiving so many complaints about the time it took bags to be delivered off the plane to passengers they reconfigured the airport to make passengers walk further, thus cutting the ‘waiting’ time at the baggage carousel. Net result: practically no complaints. (source)

Read more »

She quits. I think.

Angular Momentum and Torque. No surprises, just science.

Confidence. It works.



Local Government Roulette – come play, it’s free

Soon we’ll have to pick from a very shallow talent pool that is the bunch of dodgy misfits that are standing for Mayor in your area.  Here’s one that I found in the corner of the barrel (care of Stuff)

Wayne Young, aka Tamaki Drive Man

Wayne Young

[Occupation] Unknown

Young says he was made homeless after he was forced into a mortgagee sale of his leaky home, an apartment in the Auckland suburb of Parnell. Young could not afford to pay for the necessary repairs and a bailiff finally evicted him from the property in 2010. He is now sleeping in his car. It is the second time he has run for mayor and the honesty he brings to his motivations is refreshing. “To be honest the salary of a quarter of a million dollars for mayor appeals,” he says. But he has policy also. He believes the council is saddled with too many council-controlled organisations costing several hundred million dollars, and believes services can be provided cheaper. Not surprisingly given his background as a victim of the leaky home saga, he also has a focus on building and construction inspections. He says: “We remain sceptical of opponents that offer their visionary finance strategies already implemented and deeply ingrained in the media psyche. And technically the half-million-dollar candidate expenditure potentially comes from the ratepayers. I pray the majority of voters are not so easily taken advantage of under my leadership.”

Lives Homeless, lives in his car.

Big Idea To provide non-profit water, refuse collection and maintenance of sewage, footpaths and roads, and also “proper” building and construction inspections.

Biggest Mistake Losing his house in upmarket Parnell.

What you’ll find likeable Waves at motorists and holds up cheeky signs on Auckland’s Tamaki Drive each weekday morning.

What could be irritating Waves at motorists and holds up cheeky signs on Auckland’s Tamaki Drive each weekday morning.

He wants to run New Zealand’s Super City.

But astoundingly, and scarily at the same time, so do these people Read more »

Misunderstanding? How about a colossal cockup?

These are the sort of news stories that leak out into the world and make people wonder about New Zealand.

Four police cars met an Air New Zealand plane carrying the Tasman Makos rugby team when it landed at Nelson, in what the team says was an overreaction due to a misunderstanding.

The team has conducted an internal investigation into an incident that took place on the flight from Auckland on Friday, following the Makos’ 28-13 victory against Northland.

Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Andrew Flexman accepted that a member of the squad prematurely activated his laptop computer before the safety instructions from the cabin crew.

4 Police cars for a laptop.  I wonder how many units will arrive for an iPad, or a smartphone?   Read more »

“Sad-faced young couples” make for good copy and good economics

Liam Dann would like to hate the Reserve Bank for their apparently callous treatment of the hopes and aspirations of first time house buyers, but finds the reality to be very reasonable

You might think, for all the fuss about them, that the Reserve Bank’s new loan restrictions are being introduced to punish hipster house hunters for ironic facial hair and forcing middle-aged people to wear uncomfortably skinny jeans.

But it turns out the Reserve Bank has other reasons for limiting the amount of high loan to value ratio (LVR) lending that the banks can do.

If you’ve heard him speak, you’ll know that Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler makes an extremely good case for the new policy.

Although sad-faced young couples, who have missed out on their dream home because they need a bigger deposit, make a better-looking one and have been getting all the attention lately.

Personally, I was sceptical about the LVR policy precisely because it does put the squeeze on first-home buyers and makes it harder for them to get into the property market in the short term.

But I’ve been convinced that the reasons for introducing the policy are valid.

The real question is why young people think it is their birthright to jump into a pallacial home 95% paid for by the bank from Day One?   Read more »