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Felix the furless feline

After being hit by a car, Felix arrived home post-surgery looking like this:

Day after the orthopedic surgeon got at me.

Two weeks later, bandages gone and sutures removed:

Felix two weeks on

He’s semi-naked, resentful and (mainly) confined to a cage – for another month! But he gets out to sunbathe for a while.  And he still knows what handbasins were designed for:

Still knows what handbasins are for

 

 

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A little light relief…

Missing cat

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Is New Zealand TV suffering from thelephobia*?

WitchHere are two breast cancer awareness ads – one from New Zealand, one from Scotland.

Which one do you find more compelling?

 

 

There have been some rather strange explanations as to why nipples are inappropriate for NZ television viewers. It seems to boil down to time-of-broadcast restrictions, which are in place for several categories of advertisement in New Zealand, including alcohol. This would hardly be a hindrance to the message getting out there, since the target audience for these ads is allowed to stay up past 8:30 or 9:00pm. Thus our children would be protected from being permanently damaged by the sight of an adult female nipple – the only sort of nipple that appears to be a problem.

My question is: are we thelephobic? Or just ridiculously prudish?

*thelephobia: fear of nipples

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When cartoonists go too far?

 

Al Nisbet cartoon 1

Marlborough Express 29/4/13

Al Nisbet cartoon 2

The Press 30/5/13

These cartoons by Al Nisbet were published in The Marlborough Express and The Press. The Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, asks if the legal threshold for a finding of racism is too high.

Your comments are invited.

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Ed Miliband demonstrates the danger of ‘Key Messages’

‘I just can’t say often enough…’

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 Paul Holmes

 

Paul Holmes

Broadcaster

1950 – 2013

 

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Confidence in the House: a layman’s guide to Labour’s new voting rules and their possible consequences.

Vote

WitchOn Monday, 4 February 2013, members of the Labour Caucus will take a confidence vote on the leadership of the parliamentary party. This happens in the middle year of each electoral cycle, and generally passes without note. Not so on this occasion. November’s Labour Party Conference put the cat among the pigeons by deciding that this confidence vote would be held under unique conditions. 

In past electoral cycles Labour Party rules required the leader to gain a simple majority of the mid-term vote  to retain the leadership. That will also be the rule in future. However, this year is a one-off: the leader needs 60% of the vote plus one. That means David Shearer needs 22 of the Caucus of to vote for him on Monday.  Should 13 or more of his colleagues vote against him, it will trigger a leadership contest.

Monday’s vote is a secret ballot. There will be independent scrutineers, usually senior members of the Labour Party such as the General Secretary and the President.

Previously the Caucus alone voted on the leadership, but the party wrested that absolute power out of its hands at the last conference. From now on a Labour Party leadership contest will be decided not by Caucus alone, but by an electoral college which includes the party members and its affiliates. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hiding from Christmas

I don’t look forward to Christmas. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I dread it, but it looms on the horizon like a small malevolence – somewhere between weeding the garden and root canal.

I can’t remember when this antipathy started, but it seems to go back to childhood. I suppose reactions are tempered by early experience – and whether your Christmas presents tended towards new bikes or new knickers.

My British Nana insisted that we ate Christmas lunch dressed in our stiff and formal Sunday best, facing an array of roasts, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, dried fruit, nuts and mince pies – in Hawke’s Bay heat that could melt the asphalt on the roads. After lunch the men would rush to discard their suits for shorts and singlets and do mysterious things under car bonnets – headless bodies apparently being devoured by engines. The women, having spent the morning preparing lunch, spent a good part of the afternoon washing up and then preparing the leftovers for dinner.

Christmas was about the only time our family ever took a drink. Needless to say, a glass-and-a-half was all it took for euphoria to set in, quickly followed by the revival of decades-old feuds and resentments.

So when I joined the NZBC’s announcing staff in my late teens and discovered that the young and unattached were expected to cover Christmas Day shifts and release the married and encumbered into the bosoms of their families, colleagues got trampled in my rush to volunteer.   Read the rest of this entry »

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28 November 2012 – Network news from Middle Earth

 

Here is the news.

Tonight there is a film premiere, so all of us at TVNZ and TV3 got very excited and decided to dress up in inappropriate newsreading gear and get on a plane to  Wellington. Except for Simon who got left behind in the studio, LOL.

We’re interviewing everyone we recognise and a whole lot of people we don’t, asking them important questions like how they’re feeling.

We’re shouting the rest of the news over a highly relevant background of screaming movie fans. Here it is: some teachers didn’t get paid today.

Oh – and something happened in Syria.

And now over to Mark/John for another half hour of the same sort of thing…

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Kev can’t spell!

 

Seems my old friend and former journalism student Kevin Milne is losing his spelling ability along with his hair!

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Woodward and Bernstein talk Watergate 40 years on

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A promotion like this might even save TVNZ7!

 Need a little drama to get things moving?

 

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Banks in the hot seat

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TVNZ7: if you want to save it – adopt it out.

Q:        What do you call public service television that almost no-one watches, because almost no-one knows about it?

A:        TVNZ7

Q:        Why aren’t the programmes advertised?

A:        Because they might attract viewers from the commercial channels run by TVNZ.

It appeared to be an inspired plan, to get our state broadcaster to run the two commercial-free channels TVNZ6 and TVNZ7. TVNZ had the infrastructure, the studios, the staff and the know-how. It also had millions of dollars, kindly donated by the Government, to run the channels.

It was in fact an invitation for TVNZ to shoot itself in the foot. 

Our state broadcaster operates with one hand tied behind its back at the best of times. The mixed model that requires it to be mindful of public broadcasting requirements and programming  and at the same time be commercially successful and return a healthy profit to the government, is as daft as claiming someone’s a little bit pregnant. You can be a successful public broadcaster; you can be a successful commercial broadcaster. You can’t do both successfully because their aims and objectives are antipathetic.

Every viewer who switches to TVNZ7 is a viewer who isn’t watching TVOne or TV2. Why on earth would TVNZ  encourage people to switch to it? That would be commercially irresponsible. It’s also a dilemma the network faces every time it puts a public service programme to air, which is why most of them are broadcast in the dead of night or on Sunday mornings. The programmes that make up good public service broadcasting are in the main programmes that networks believe would spell death to the ratings. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Urewera Six – the new face of terrorism.

Image created by Alison Withers

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Here it is: The Teapot Tape. Listen and marvel!

Here’s the tape that’s caused all the fuss. Fairfax has confirmed that it’s the real thing.

After listening to it, you might well decide that it is truly a storm in a teacup. But – it got Winston Peters and his motley crew into Parliament, so the PM may now be wishing he’d released it on the spot!

It’s difficult to decipher, but here’s a link to a transcript on The Jackal’s blog.

 

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And it just keeps trickling down…

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The ultimate extreme makeover

 

 

 

Time for a little light relief. Brilliant mock-advertisement by Jesse Rosten.

 

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Milk and Honey off the menu

 

Photo: Dorothea Lange

Today  the Herald published a story lamenting the extra cost of local, free-range and organic foods, the very foods we’re being encouraged to buy and eat.  They estimate that the clean, green Kiwi options cost us on average 25% more. For people on a limited budget, that isn’t an option at all.

The Taranaki Daily News got closer to the heart of the problem with a story headlined ‘Free food draws poor kids to class’.  It quotes principals from Taranaki schools who say that some of their students rely on their school to provide breakfast and even lunch, just to survive.

Poverty in New Zealand is a problem we often conveniently ignore, preferring to see our country as a land of milk and honey.  Unfortunately, milk and honey are off the menu for hundreds of thousands of Kiwis. More than 200,000 of our kids are living below the poverty line; over 48,000 of them go to school without breakfast.  

This is a disgrace. No child in this country should go hungry. No New Zealand child should be cold or ill-clothed or living in an unhealthy or overcrowded house.  No child should be denied an education just because learning is too hard when you arrive at school cold, wet and hungry – if you get there at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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