Post election thoughts

John Key got his best result: a majority on his own or with young David Seymour if National’s vote drops on the special votes as much as the half per cent it dropped in 2011. He didn’t need the Conservatives to keep him safe from Winston Peters.
In fact the Conservatives helped him by boosting the “wasted vote”, with Internet Mana [...]

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I am a Luddite

Chris HoranLuddite – the word has become synonymous with ridiculous. Who but a fool would protest against labour-saving machinery? Of course, we should now be aware that the term labour-saving carries with it a considerable amount of political spin. One could with equal logic use [...]

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How to take a good nap

New findings on napping will come as  a bit of a yawn to Latins, accustomed as they are to the Siesta. The much maligned nap has been getting  renewed support from medical  researchers who are exploring its refreshing qualities – while also warning that daytime sleepiness, and napping to relieve it, can also be a sign of a health problem.
Harvard [...]

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Miscellany mid September

A moving story involving  Swiss sex… and  Spanish Justice
Six holidaymakers in Ibiza were fined last month by police after they were caught having sex in the back of a van. Police swooped on the Swiss tourists after stopping their van at a roadblock set up to trap drink drivers.
Officers saw the three couples in the throes of passion after they [...]

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Media bias?

Paul SmithAnybody else out there think that media – apart from outstanding exceptions like John Campbell, and Radio New Zealand’s editorial teams – have it in for Labour leader David Cunliffe?
Any notions of  editorial balance so necessary to good reporting, seem to have disappeared. Cunliffe slips on [...]

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A plea to the nation’s young…

I remember being young. It was a long time ago. I made so many stupid mistakes, and I said and did things I regret.
Most of all I regret the voting decisions I made. Back then I really had no idea about politics and politicians, but I felt compelled to cast my vote. People would tell me I was truly blessed [...]

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In Praise of Ageing – Part 4

Reaching a century used to be a rare event but is now a growing phenomenon. People over 90 are the fastest growing population group in the country but we know very little about them. An ongoing study of more than 200 Sydney centenarians by the Centre for Health Brain Ageing at the University of New South Wales has found very [...]

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This month in History – mid September

*  The Battle of Britain begins
*  ‘Originals’ kick off All Black tradition
*  Death penalty abolished
*  First state house
*  Women’s suffrage day
*  Mazengarb report
*  Domestic workers call for 68-hour week
*  NZ’s first grape vines planted?
*  NZ’s first professional opera performance
*  New Zealand’s first Ombudsman
Names and dates, people and places, they vanish in the slipstream of daily life. But in this section [...]

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An A-Z of New Zealand traditions & Folklore by Gordon Ell
(Published by New Holland)

Massey’s Cossacks
The Conservative prime minister William Ferguson Massey (1856-1925) turned the mounted might of the Farmers’ Union onto the workers to break the 1913 General Strike. Sworn in as special constables, the farmers supported mounted police who overcame pickets with long batons and got the wharves open [...]

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