University of Canterbury

If this doesn’t make you angry then who knows what will

The University of Canterbury believes it is appropriate to spend $530,000 on some research into why Southlanders roller their Rs.

I’m not kidding.

Ask a?Southlander?where they’re from, preferably one from Gore or Mossburn, and you get the same heavy burr in response.

Southlanders?roll their Rs. Everyone knows that. But why?

A researcher?at the University of?Canterbury now has half a million dollars?to find out.

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We, the taxpayer, pay Dr Christoph Barteck to play with Lego

Why are we paying (let?s be generous) our best and brightest academics to do hit jobs on corporates that are some of the most benign in the world?

All the tough problems must have been solved already then?

A favourite childhood toy may now be a source of concern for parents, after a study revealed Lego was becoming “significantly” more violent every year.

Dr Christoph Barteck from the University of Canterbury has been looking into the changes in the much-loved, building block-based product — and the findings could cause a worry or two for parents.

Lego was chosen as a case study simply because of its popularity and longevity, with early research revealing that the proportion of sets featuring some sort of weapon — such as toy knives, swords or guns — has risen considerably.

“Today, approximately 30 percent of all the sets currently in the market do contain some form of weapon,” Dr Barteck explained.

Like these?

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Awesome: New Zealand trougher gets a slice of Swedish taxpayers’ money

Conceptual 3d abstract illustration.

New Zealand astrophysicists have won a $1M “prize” paid for by Swedish taxpayers.

A New Zealand astrophysicist has been jointly-awarded a $1 million prize for his fundamental work around the creation and consequences of black holes.

The University of Canterbury’s Roy Kerr will be awarded The Crafoord Prize Royal from the Swedish Academy of Science’s, along with Stanford University’s Roger Blandford for his research on black holes. Read more »

What’s the matter media, can’t you say Maori?

Look at these headlines and articles from yesterday:

Fairfax headline

Fairfax headline

NZ Herald headline

NZ Herald headline

Both articles then explain the situation. First up the NZ Herald:

Even small human populations can wipe out big animal species, according to local researchers who suggest moa extinction was rapid.

Researchers from the University of Canterbury and University of Otago contributed to the new findings, which appeared in the journal Nature Communications.

Professor Richard Holdaway from Canterbury and Otago’s Chris Jacomb said early Polynesians who caused moa extinction in little more than a century had amongst the lowest human population densities on record.

They found that during the peak period of moa hunting, there were fewer than 1500 Polynesian settlers in New Zealand, or about 1 person per 100 square km. New Zealand’s population density today is 17 per square km.

The researchers started with the latest estimate for a founding population of about 400 people, including 170-230 women. They then applied population growth rates in the range achieved by past and present populations and modelled the human population size through the moa hunter period and beyond.

Prof Holdaway and Mr Jacomb said when moa and seals were still available, the better diet likely fuelled higher population growth.

But the moa’s total extinction most probably occurred within a decade either side of 1425. This was barely a century after East Polynesians settled the earliest well-dated site, at Wairau Bar near Blenheim.

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Underbelly of Hate?

Are we living in the same country? ?Because I just reckon this guy is a precious petal

Canterbury University academic Ekant Veer has been flooded with support since returning his student-voted lecturer of the year award in a stand against an “underbelly of hate” and racism on campus.

Veer has received emails, calls, and more than 2100 likes on a Facebook post about his decision, and even had an email of support from Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr’s office – quashing his initial fears he might lose his job for speaking out.

He said the university itself was by no means racist, it was just the actions of some ”stupid individuals” that encouraged his decision.

He had not yet heard from the Students’ Association or the Engineering Society which organised the recent controversial RoUndie 500 event that sparked about 100 complaints of racism and sexism.

”I wasn’t expecting anything, I don’t need anything, but it’s nice to see the support.”

Veer, who is of Indian descent, said he first experienced racism when he was reading anonymous feedback from students in his first semester of teaching in 2010.

“In the section where it asked ?what should be changed to improve the course’, one student wrote ?his ethnicity’,” he said.

So you had a racist student. ?So what? ? They exist. ? No need to throw your toys out of your cot and use being “of Indian descent” as a weapon.

Try being a woman. ?You think women should give their awards back because there are misogynists in our society?

If you won the award for good work, you’ve just slapped everyone who’s ever supported you in the face, you idiot. ? ? Read more »


From The Press today an article with a bunch of whining university professors. Take this whinger:

An associate professor, who has worked at the university for almost 20 years, said changes to his timetable had led him to look for a job overseas.

The man, who did not want to be named, said that for more than five years he had been able to work “family-friendly” hours that had allowed him to drop off and pick up his children from childcare and school.

The proposed timetable would make that impossible for him to do.

A surefire sign that?University payrolls and employee conditions of service are unreal, padded and lead to these entitlement attitudes.

He believed the new system was bought in to maximise student enrolments, with little consideration to the impact on staff.

“People are sending furious emails. People are contacting the union and people are printing off resumes.”

Leave…I am sure there will plenty lining up to take your padded, soft-arse job.

Meanwhile the students are very happy with the new timetable…aren’t they the customers?