Thursday, April 2, 2009

Odds and/or ends

Disingenuous comment of the day: 'Sir' John Wells, made Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, on accepting the optional title of 'Sir':
"I will accept the title - not for me, but for the sport sector."
Sure, buddy. I definitely noticed our Olympic medal haul tailing off after 2000.

Bainwatch: South Island correspondent (lucky nothing else is going on in that island at the moment) Jarrod Booker may be in danger of running out of ideas:
"Bain trial: Bloody sockprints scrutinised"

Herald exclusive - Herald Herald Herald: Yesterday was April Fool's Day. You'll notice that I didn't post anything, as I consider AFD to be a de facto public holiday. But man-oh-man, I hope you saw some of the hilarious April Fool ads in the paper. But in case you were so busy breathing through your mouth that you didn't pick up on the fact that Pacific Blue won't actually be having a 'Bronze Class' featuring an on-board spray-tan booth, or that Hugh Hefner won't really be relocating the Playboy Mansion to Rotorua, then someone at the Herald got up, went to work without throwing themselves in front of a train, and wrote an article about ads that were in the Herald the previous day. Go on, read it. Journalist Alanah May Eriksen sounds quite happy with herself.

Goff Corner rides again: It's been a while, but Goff Corner is back. Today we have GC article hemmed in by a piece on MPs libelled on Twitter, and an ad for the Honda Jazz encouraging one to 'discover freedom', presumably through purchasing a car. The article itself, hidden all the way down there, is about New Zealand dropping its bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in favour of letting the US take it. Foreign Minister Murray 'Maverick' McCully has truly learned how to tug his forelock in the past few weeks, which is good considering that he will be meeting with his new boss, Hillary Clinton, in the near future:

"The Human Rights Council has been widely criticised. It was our intention, in seeking election, to provide a force for change and improvement," he said.

"However, we believe that US membership of the council will strengthen it and make it more effective."

The US has been a harsh critic of the council and its past reincarnations [Um, what? 'And on the third day the UNHRC rose again...'], saying it members are quick to criticise others, but slow to recognise their own poor human rights records.

Well that makes sense - because (without flogging a dead horse) whenever I think of a country that is quick to criticise others, but slow to recognise their own poor human rights record, I never think 'the US'. And they are totally into reform of the UN in general. So yeah, let's see what happens, shall we?

Letters on Wanganui/Whanganui: Anyone else bored yet?


  1. A full-page notice in the Herald by so-called lawyers Kurtze & Grieve declares the word 'mini' protected by international copyright law.

    It provided a list of alternatives for certain words including miniskirt now becoming teenyskirt, minibus now babybus and minibar now now shorty-bar.

    Uuuurrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhh. What the hell is that feeling?? Oh yeah, fucking cultural cringe. I thought NZ humour had got past this shite. Though it's obviously alive and kicking in some ad agencies.

    Thank Christ for great NZ comedy like FotC and... um.. NZ's next top model!

  2. Don't forget Breakfast with Mike Hosking.

  3. Mike Hosking? I'm getting my TV wankers mixed up.

    Paul Henry.

  4. May I draw your attention to the article on how it's allegedly cheaper to skive off work? The Herald's inability to comprehend basic maths strikes again...

  5. The UN story could have been very interesting, if you're into that sort of thing and if it was written well. So, erm, we're on a loser straight away.


    The fact that NZ is trying to get the US onto the UN's HR body for the first time since its inception in 1946 is very significant, given the historical animosity between the two nations.

    Also that the US would be on such a body after boycotting it for God knows how long due to nations like Sudan, Saudi Arabia and others being voted on by their mates.

    And what will the US presence affect? The US isn't answerable to the ICC but it's on the UNHRC. Is that about to change? The UNHRC was reorganised for the very purpose of getting US support. Will it have more moral authority or will it remain the world's biggest talking shop?

    I guess no one in New Zealand without an internet connection will ever know. All of this could have been explored. Instead, a fairly significant story found its way to Goff corner.

  6. Who me? Here

  7. the numbers seem fairly solid, if you think there are 1.3 million people working in new zealand.

    but it's one of those numbers-that-mean-absolutely-nothing stories.

    and the answer to all of them? so f*cking what?

  8. actually, I take that back. the story doesn't state how large the NZ workforce is. first, big mistake.

    second: WTF are the 700 and 900 about? per day? per week? per year? and they conflict with the $1500 figure stated in the intro. where does that one come from?

    in conclusion: bollocks.

  9. Here's another good one:

    Was there a 'conflict of interest' in Internal Affair Minister Richard Worth's India trip? Here is the latest selection of Your Views:

    And I thought it was the Herald who was supposed to give us the news... instead of investigating and reporting they've thrown a pretty simple yes/no question out to the public. Even in the story they've only quoted MPs and haven't bothered to check with other sources.

    The Herald - NZ's Your Viewspaper of Record

  10. Hop to it and make sure Goff Corner remains a piece of the internet future

    Oh, and while you're at it try this one too

  11. The problem with the maths is that in terms of *total* cost over the whole workforce, people turning up to work sick costs more, because it happens more often - 11.1 days/year vs 4.2.

    But in terms of an individual person on an individual day it (obviously) costs more to take a sicky than it does to turn up to work - but the headline says the exact opposite.

    There aren't enough numbers quoted to check their maths, but basically everything in the article is consistent, just contradicted by the headline, which is not what the study says at all. The Herald is blatantly lying to you.

    Anyway the whole thing *is* bollocks because it's all built on the assumption that a sick worker is "half as productive" as a well one. I don't know about you but I doubt a lot of scientific research went into coming up with that number.

  12. Yep that's my point, thanks gazzaj. Not even the body of the article makes that clear (well, presuming you're not smart enough to work it out yourself). Personally, I think whoever the reporter/copy editor/whoever was who put it there falls into that category. Morons.

  13. Copy / paste / forget.

  14. To start with I gave the benefit of the doubt to the reporter, and assumed that there was something study about people coming in sick lengthen their own period of sickness, and make other people sick.

    But based on the final two paragraph summarising the reports conclusions, I think the report must have simply been about working out the cost to ill health on the economy. And the reporter just didn't get it. You would think reporters would run their draft stories past their interviewees if they weren't sure...

  15. Yeah from the headline I would have assumed that that would be the story as well, but apparently not. If you can't work out that coming in sick = (allegedly) 50% productivity loss but not coming in at all = 100% productivity loss then you're a tard frankly.

  16. I noticed the article refered to pulling a sicky, which I thought meant taking a day off work and claiming illness rather than actually necessarily being ill. Meaning that the article claimed people who turned up to work ill were less productive than people who stayed home healthy (or just feeling lazy).

  17. I'm pretty sure that the Herald has a rule that every day's Bain trial update *must* have the word "blood" in the headline.