Post Office

Photo Of The Day

W. Reginald Bray being delivered by registered post to his home on Devonshire Road. His patient father Edmund Bray is standing in the doorway accepting the receipt from the postman.

W. Reginald Bray being delivered by registered post to his home on Devonshire Road. His patient father Edmund Bray is standing in the doorway accepting the receipt from the postman.

The Englishman Who Posted Himself

and Other Curious Objects

Reginald Bray, was a legendary prankster who, more than one hundred years ago, tested the limits of the British postal system. I?m not sure whether today you could get away with mailing a stamp-covered skull.

Bray was an avid collector who amassed stamps, postmarks, train tickets, and girlfriends, and who, after reading the entire British Post Office Guide, impishly determined to take the rules as challenges. He tried posting an unimaginable array of things, to see whether the post office would deliver them. Apparently, at the time, the smallest item that could be posted was a bee, and the largest an elephant.

Bray seems to have tried most things in between. At one point or another, he mailed a bowler hat, a rabbit skull (the address spelled out on the nasal bone, and the stamps pasted to the back), a purse, a slipper, a clothes brush, seaweed, shirt collars, a penny, a turnip (address and message carved into the durable tuber), an Irish Terrier, and a pipe, among other curios.

Perhaps most remarkably, he posted himself, becoming the first man to send a human through the mail in 1900, and then, through registered mail, in 1903.

Read more »

Keeping our mail safe?

via the tipline

This taken last evening, around?7:45pm?outside the Beach Haven post office … One presumes this is the day mail ready to be collected…

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Imagine the treasures to be found in there….letters, bill payments, courier packages, Trademe deliveries…

Rodney Hide on Chorus

Rodney Hide has a good article in the NBR about Chorus?[paywalled], Matthew Hooton’s corporate wrecking crew and businesses exposed to government meddling.

I was reminded of Professor Ron Johnson when National talked up the Big Idea of the 2008 election: its promise to spend $1.5 billion kick-starting ultra-fast broadband. It showed National having vision, National proving tech savvy and National switched on to the needs of modern business and young voters.

Oh, and National would enlist private enterprise to deliver, so putting distance between Muldoon?s disastrous policies and modern National. The government would simply set the contracts and provide the money. That showed National had learned and could still ?Think Big? while valuing private enterprise.

The policy has proved what every free-market thinker feared: a political, economic and technologic cluster bomb. Telcos ? and potential telcos ? focused on lobbying, not providing service; the policy chilled investment and development as business had to await government decisions; and politics now dominates and dictates telecommunications.? Read more »

Creating the jobs of yesterday, tomorrow

We see this everywhere in NZ politics, the demand by various politicians and?parties?to create the jobs of yesterday, tomorrow. It’s a great line and one I borrow from David Harsanyi at RealClearPolitics as he discusses Obama’s State of the Union speech.

It was a speech not unlike that which David Shearer would give, or is indeed giving when he talks about manufacturing…but make no mistake it is the sort of speech and ideas that focuses on the past, for our future.

Take Labour’s insistence on building railway wagons in Dunedin….jobs of the yesterday…with demands for them to be there tomorrow.

Does it bother anyone else that the president of the United States seems to believe that our collective future entails assembling battery parts in a government-subsidized factory for $9 an hour? Is that really what Americans envision for their kids — an assembly line? Because when you look past Barack Obama’s mesmerizingly hollow rhetoric, what he’s proposing is a return of jobs that progress and prosperity have left behind.

In his State of the Union speech, the president laid out a vision that we’ve heard countless times. In his world, billionaires and their high-powered accountants are sticking it to the middle class. It’s a place where wealth is static and one person’s success always diminishes another’s fortunes. The president explained that “it’s not a bigger government we need but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”? Read more »

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