28 December 2005

Pushing the boundaries of unanimity

GTi is Fairfax Car of the Year

The Volkswagen Golf GTi is the 2006 Fairfax AMI Car of the Year, a decision which was virtually unanimous, with four of the six judges voting for the car...

- Dominion Post motoring section, 24 December 2005

22 December 2005

Star Wars bunnies

Star Wars in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

Star Wars Bunnies

[Courtesy of Louwrens]

Public servants displaying commendable entrepreneurial spirit

'It was a bomb we were dealing with, for god's sake. They should deal with that first before asking for money'

- Indonesian office building manager, after police demanded a bribe before they would respond to a bomb threat (Jakarta Post, quoted in Van Zorge Report, 13 December 2005)

Mr. T! As a duck!

Yes, it's really called a 'celebriduck'. Quite an elaborate biography on this site, considering they're only flogging a weirdo plastic bath toy.

Mr. T Celebriduck

Just a handy hint from a mate

'It is not a criticism, rather a suggestion that he do some exercises and go on a diet, don't you think? I'm doing this for the gentleman's health'

- Fidel Castro, on describing Florida Governor Jeb Bush as the US President's "fat little brother"

[Courtesy of Louwrens]

Perhaps the couples were doing it all wrong

Policewomen slap dating couples

Two policewomen have been suspended in the northern Indian city of Meerut for slapping and punching couples who were dating in a public park.
Police were carrying out "Operation Romeo", which they said was to target the sexual harassment of women.

Anti-police protests erupted after TV pictures showed officers punching and pulling the hair of young women. Police chief Rajiv Ranjan said the drive was to tackle obscenity but the officers had "clearly gone overboard".

BBC News, 21 December 2005

19 December 2005

O the humanity...

A broad selection of some truly awful baby names. Here's a quote from a prospective mum:

'These are the ones I've seen here that I love:

- Avrielle, Olivianna, Sophelia, Allorah, Fairith, Sabriel, Katrien...

Also I love word names, tell me all the word names you can think of! I like:

- Patience, Sailor, Meadow, Journey, Lyric, Ever, Rose, Samaya, Grey, Chance, True, Journey

And one more thing, I love place names, nice sounding ones:

- India, Ireland, Asia, Dallas, London'

Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing

[Courtesy of Jolisa's blog]

16 December 2005

The winner of the annual gobbledegook championship

"The only thing which isn't up for grabs is no change and I think it's fair to say it's all to play for, except for no change."

- Rhodri Morgan, Welsh First Minister, lays down the law

[For eight other fab contenders, see the BBC's article. Includes a definition of 'hot food']

14 December 2005

Vintage Winston

Gerry Brownlee: What negotiating stance will New Zealand be taking in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity with regard to trade in genetic resources, and how does that stance relate to the development of New Zealand's domestic law in that area?

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: That issue is at a putative stage and is in the hands of one of my colleagues, the name of whom the member should know if he is going to be a foreign affairs spokesperson.

Gerry Brownlee: Why does it appear that the Minister is not aware that the briefing to the incoming Minister of Foreign Affairs states specifically on page 49 that officials still require decisions on New Zealand's position in respect of those negotiations, and raises concerns that international negotiations may get ahead of New Zealand's domestic policy; is he unaware because he has not actually read the ministerial briefing papers, or can he answer the question?

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: I think I answered the question by saying that this issue was at its putative stages, and, of course, one has to understand what the word "putative" means, and that is where I lost the member - all of which characteristics are in the emails I have regarding the National Party's internal workings.


Gerry Brownlee: Why does the Minister think this particular [NZ Herald] journalist has it in for him?

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: The answer to that question is to be found in 3 years of emails of the National Party's internal workings, where the New Zealand Herald is concerned. [Interruption] Oh, I know what those members are thinking: they are wondering whether I have one telephone book full of those emails, or 10. Well, I have to tell those members that, in all this excitement, I myself clean forgot to count them. But given that this is the most damaging information seen in the Western World, and could blow their political heads clean off, they have to ask themselves whether they feel lucky. Well, do they - punks?

- Hansard, 13 December 2005

10 December 2005

Elvish translator

Type your text into the box, and it'll render it in willowy Elvish writing. Although it does look like it's written with a felt pen rather than a silver-edged eagle quill.

Elvish translator

[Courtesy of Deeknow's website]

09 December 2005

The Tigger Movie: on a par with Waiting For Godot

"I remember being reduced to a wreck by The Tigger Movie. It's certainly no masterpiece; more a cash-in on Winnie The Pooh. Yet it's utterly devastating when Tigger realises that there are no other tiggers in the Hundred Acre Wood, and that he is essentially alone in the world. Beneath the comic pathos, there's a recognition of primal human pain here that's as bleak as anything in Beckett"

- S.F. SAID, Daily Telegraph

08 December 2005

Something we can beat Australia at

NZ Has More Liquor Outlets Than Australia

NewsRoom.co.nz Agency Story at 11:54 AM, 07 Dec 2005

There are more places in New Zealand to purchase alcohol than there are in Australia, despite the fact that New Zealand only has one fifth Australia's population.

According to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), there are 15,000 liquor outlets in New Zealand, while Australia has about 200 less.

RACP alcohol and drug consultant Ian Scott says New Zealanders aren't necessarily drinking more, but it is the way the drinking is done that is problematic, particularly binge drinking.

Dr Scott says the laws need to be revised and the RACP is calling for a new alcohol policy.

He says fines should be enforced on licensees who sell alcohol to those who are under-aged and there should be changes to the way liquor is marketed to young people.

03 December 2005

Band name ad game

See how many band names you can spot in this Virgin ad. There's at least 20... but I've only managed 15 so far.

Virgin ad game

[Courtesy of Alpen]

02 December 2005

"Are you sure this was in the job description?"

Women sacked 'for not baring breasts to gorilla'

Two former caretakers who refused to bare their breasts to a 300lb (136kg) sign language-speaking gorilla named Koko have settled a lawsuit against the Gorilla Foundation.

Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller said that they were dismissed after they refused to expose their bosoms and reported sanitary problems at Koko's home in Woodside, south of San Francisco. They were told that if they "did not indulge Koko's nipple fetish, their employment with the Gorilla Foundation would suffer", their claim alleged.

Ms Alperin and Ms Keller said that Francine Patterson, Koko's caretaker and president of the Gorilla Foundation, pushed them to bare their breasts to bond with the 33-year-old female simian.

The foundation has denied the allegations. The settlement's terms were not disclosed. (AP)

- The Times, 2 December 2005

01 December 2005

Parliamentary report card

TransTasman has a nice line in being bitchy about nearly everyone...

Shane Ardern (National, Taranaki-King Country) 'Chair of Govt Admin committee will give him some work to do, unaccustomed to it as he may be'

Gerry Brownlee (National, Ilam) 'Makes a habit of making a prat of himself but it can be effective in smothering government good news spin'

Ashraf Choudhary (Labour, list) 'Profile below the horizon, doesn't seem to want it any other way'

Brian Connell (National, Rakaia) 'Totally unimportant'

Gordon Copeland (United Future, list) 'Lacks personality and makes no impact'

Hon Clayton Cosgrove (Labour, Waimakariri) 'Not short of self-belief'

Hon Harry Duynhoven (Labour, New Plymouth) 'If he hasn't given up Cabinet aspirations by now, hope really does spring eternal'

Martin Gallagher (Labour, Hamilton West) 'Unremittingly boring'

Sandra Goudie (National, Coromandel) 'Sometimes shrill'

Dave Hereora (Labour, list) 'Don't feel bad if you can't remember this man'

Sue Kedgley (Greens, list) 'Putting a scatterbrain in charge of the health committee was a high-risk move'

Hon Steve Maharey (Labour, Palmerston North) 'Certainly has the women's vote'

Hon Mahara Okeroa (Labour, Te Tai Tonga) 'Intellectual mystery, sporadic rants largely incomprehensible'

Pita Paraone (NZ First, list) 'Rarely speaks in the House now, sensible move'

Lynne Pillay (Labour, Waitakere) 'Professional non-entity'

Hon Tony Ryall (National, Bay of Plenty) 'He'll be effective against Hodgson, even though he doesn't know anything about health'

Hon Dr Nick Smith (National, Nelson) 'Needs to lighten up a little'

Hon Judith Tizard (Labour, Auckland Central) 'Must be doing something in Auckland. Presence otherwise meaningless'

Richard Worth (National, list) 'Laid back approach hides a sharp mind - if he'd be bothered to use it'

- Excerpts from TransTasman's 'roll call' of MPs in 2005

40 Things That Only Happen In Movies

Number 17: 'If you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts, your opponents will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have defeated their predecessor'

40 Things That Only Happen In Movies

I guess it's a matter of priorities

"No . . . . Awfully jolly of you to suggest it, though."

- Last words of Ronald Knox, a priest and author who served as the Catholic chaplain at Oxford for many years. For several days before his death from liver cancer, he lay comatose, attended by close friends. Shortly before his death, Lady Elton noticed that he had stirred slightly and asked if he would like her to read from his own translation of the New Testament.

[From Last Words. Knox also perpetrated one of the great radio hoaxes - in 1926 his BBC radio broadcast had listeners panicking that the capital was aflame]

So do they like TV in Syria?

If this picture is anything to go by, the answer is yes.


Nothing on the internet is true, dammit

Someone edited a Wikipedia site to claim that a journalist was a suspect in the Kennedy assassinations. It stayed on the site for four months until it was finally deleted. His solution to the problem? Well, he's American, so it involves lawyers.

The Danger of Wikipedia

A singular command of geography

Channeling Borges and Garcia Marquez - with a dash of L. Ron Hubbard and Erich von Daniken - Busyboy tells endlessly entertaining tales of a place called South America. It is an extraordinary realm where anything is possible.

In South America, boy chickens lay eggs and nobody ever dies. Whenever you step on a crack in South America, a trapdoor opens up underneath you, which is both exciting and scary. You need to know that the land is largely frozen, and patrolled by transparent glowing robot police hippos, who travel on ice skates.

His Nonna and Poppa tried showing him photos of their own travels to a place they were pretty sure was South America, to no avail. "I know all about South America, and that's not it." Nope, it takes about fourteen days to get there on a plane, and when you do there is nowhere to stay because there are no people and no hotels (and the transparent glowing robot police hippos don't run B & Bs, more's the pity).

This South America has a rich and astonishing history. Brandishing a Lego construction that has five wheels and an indeterminate number of projecting bumps, he informs me: "This is a jet-jet. It was one of the first South American planes that was ever built. A hundred and fifty thousand years ago, when there was nuffing, even dinosaurs, or people, or cats, or dogs, or trees, or spiders, or anything else. That's when this plane was built, when there was no anything, just nuffing. Just that plane. And robots. Actually, the plane was built by robots. Then the robots died out and the people came, and the dinosaurs. And that's its real name, jet-jet. I didn't make it up. That's what they call it, in South America." See, not a lot of people know that.

- Jolisa Gracewood's four-year-old (a.k.a. Busyboy) is a devotee of the magical realist style.

For the geek who has everything

...a clock that tells the time using a round-the-clock game of Pong.

Pong Clock

[Courtesy of Alpen]