Photo of the Day

Nikola Tesla, in his Colorado Springs laboratory in 1899, sits in front of the operating transformer. Credit: Public domain

Nikola Tesla, in his Colorado Springs laboratory in 1899, sits in front of the operating transformer.?Credit: Public domain

The Genius Who Lit The World

Nikola Tesla was born around midnight, between July 9 and July 10, 1856 during a fierce lightning storm. According to family legend, midway through the birth, the midwife wrung her hands and declared the lightning a bad omen. This child will be a child of darkness, she said, to which his mother replied: ?No. He will be a child of light.?

The boy spent much of his early childhood enduring Serbian traditions, including an overabundance of sloppy kisses from two wrinkly old aunts, one of whom had ?two teeth protruding like the tusks of an elephant,? Nikola?Tesla?wrote in his?autobiography. So one day, when his mother asked him which of the two aunts he thought was prettier, Tesla thoughtfully mulled it over, declaring, ?This here is not as ugly as the other,? and thus revealing an early and wicked sense of humor.

Tesla, the forefather of the internet and the man who essentially invented the 20th century ? with everything from modern electrical engineering advances such as the electric motor to X-rays, remote controls, radars and radio ? didn?t just have a remarkable mind; he also had a witty one. Recognized as one of the greatest?inventors?of his time, his celebrity status saw him hobnobbing with the likes of Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Edison and J.P Morgan.

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Has Andrew Little not heard of power sockets?

Andrew Little wants to force all landlords to provide a heat source for rental properties.

He strangely thinks landlords will, out of the goodness in their hearts, not pass on the costs of providing said heat source.

Andrew Little says it’ll only be “greedy landlords” who hike rents on the back of his proposed Bill to insulate and warm homes.

The Labour leader’s Healthy Homes Guarantees Bill is set to be introduced to the House tomorrow which would make sure all rental homes in New Zealand are warm and dry, including a requirement for a heating source in every property.

A heating source? Does he specify what kind of heating source? A coal range? A fireplace? a two bar electric heater? A heat pump? ? Read more »

Labour still clueless as to what to do – start by throwing out the really wacky policies

Labour really are lost, they are cleaning out their dead wood policies and swallowing plenty of dead rats.

Some in Labour sure are going to have their vitriolic words thrown back at them, particularly the nasty comments they made over raising the retirement age which has now been dumped as a policy.

The Labour Party has officially dumped its policies to introduce a broad capital gains tax and raise the retirement age.

Steps to remove the two policies from the party’s policy platform were approved by delegates at the party’s conference today.

Labour leader Andrew Little would not rule out a comeback for the policies in the future, but said if it got into Government in 2017 it would not introduce them without campaigning on them again in a future election.

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Oh look, the Green Taliban are allowing Gareth Hughes back out to play

Shocking stuff. ?3.8% rise in power costs, and the government must step in?

If that?s the threshold, can Aucklanders please have first dibs on someone ?in the government? sorting out the 9.9% rates rises?

Household electricity prices have increased nearly 4 per cent in the past year, Government figures show.

Opposition parties said the rise beyond inflation showed shareholders in the privatised energy companies were cashing in at the expense of bill payers.

According to the Energy in New Zealand 2015 report, residential prices rose significantly more than the 0.1 per cent inflation incurred in the past year.

“The sales-based residential electricity cost for the March year 2015 rose 3.8 per cent in nominal terms on the March year 2014.”

Increased transmission and distribution charges was one of the main reasons for the increase, the report said. ?? Read more »

Can anyone spot the problem with this picture?

Only the Greens would promote this…in this way.

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From the passenger seat: How to slay Slater?

By Pete

You can’t turn on the radio, TV or read news stories without being bombarded with negatives about Cameron Slater. ?The very Cameron Slater who has come out, legally, squeaky clean out of Government Inquiries, and is facing not a single charge in court for breaking any laws. ?Nor is he charged, or under investigation by police.

It is no wonder that there is a full court press from Labour. ?Not only are they implicitly scared of him and his abilities, they also know that a black cloud is forming over them, and their associates. ?They failed to take him down the first time, and now, they are all out to do a job that they failed to do a few months ago.

What may be odd is that the media are now all after Cam Slater as well. ?They are assisting Labour in trying to paint Slater as some kind of evil to New Zealand. ? But what is it that he actually does?

He runs a blog.

Surely that can’t be it? ? Should someone with a web site, that nobody is?forced to visit, be so feared and vilified?

The media have other motivations, the least of which is that they have been, and still are, working closely with Cam when it suits them, but at the same time, they are trying to make it look like he’s one of the most evil people in the country.

Why would that be? ? Read more »


Tricky David Cunliffe at it again

David Cunliffe’s messaging on power prices is as wonky as everything else he does.

On Facebook on April 8 he stated that Labour would be bringing prices down.


That is pretty clear…David Cunliffe says Labour will bring down power prices.? Read more »

Nationalisation of power to save us $1.25 a week?

So let me get this straight…the Greens and Labour want to nationalise an industry so they can save us $1.25 a week?

Martin Johnston writes about power prices.

Home electricity bills rose by $63 on average in the 12 months to February, with the biggest increases generally occurring in some smaller cities and their large rural hinterlands.

Dunedin got off lightest, with an increase of $9, and Auckland came second at $13, a rise of just 0.6 per cent in the retail price, weighted by retailers’ market shares.

At the top end of the scale, families and other domestic power users in Nelson/Marlborough suffered the biggest increases, of $133 (6.2 per cent), followed by the East Coast on $128. The figures come from an analysis – done by small retailer Powershop – of survey data published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Powershop shows up in the ministry data as having imposed increases towards the upper end in some of the areas where it operates. In the Auckland area fed by the Vector lines network, for instance, Powershop’s retail price rose by 4.1 per cent in the 12 months, approaching double the 2.3 per cent increase of the area’s biggest retailer, Mercury Energy.? Read more »

More on Labour’s power lies

Yesterday we blogged about how out of whack David Cunliffe’s power graph was. We presented a nother view from the same data.

Another reader has emailed with his thoughts.


Haven’t really followed the arguments around?power?prices. But what really grinds my gears is bad data analysis. I have done quite a bit of normalizing of data in my time and although it is a powerful tool, it has to be used with caution because it can really skew the data. As soon as I saw Labours press release I was suspicious about why they chose to normalize to the date they did.

Thanks to previous correspondent who made the raw data easily available, I normalized the data to 1990, as this was the closest data point to the reforms that people complain about. Also have blocked out via color who was in?power. Because of the data, I have “logged” the y-axis, so the changes are non-linear wrt this axis.

NZ is in black / bold. Shows that the price rise was not due to the early 90’s reforms. As there was almost no price increase from 1990 to year 2000. Furthermore the price was increasing before the reforms, then had reduced increases post reforms. So it is impossible to blame the reforms for the price increases.? Read more »

Labour’s power scheme lies

The other day David Cunliffe tweeted a misleading chart about power price rises. He was lambasted about the chart because it didn’t show when Labour was in government when the largest rises occurred.

An observant reader decided to look into these claims…and he didn;t think it look right in any case.

This is what he found.

I was a little surprised by the graph on the tweet from Cunners the other day regarding NZ power prices. It looked like an outrageous manipulation.

So I checked for the source: NZ Power policy doc on Labour website. It shows the ?change in power prices, base year 1986? even though the graph shows from 1978. So it?s some sort of percentage increase from a base? Way too obscure for me and an obvious obfuscation.

Hmmmm?funny. So I went to the source of their info?( a very large report pdf).

On page 132 is Table 3.7: Electricity prices for households in US dollars/kWh?III.56 which I thought was much more illuminating. Here is the reproduced table (most of it anyway) ? Read more »