- Bugged by bugs
- Sunshine cities
- Unattainable Barbie bodies
- Bad language day
- Countdown to Doomsday
- The Occupy movement
This comment will probably come back to bite us in the proverbial when we set foot in a Kiwi hotel, but what does this statistic say about our so called rugged character: the NZ Herald reported that a travelbug survey of 11,000 people carried out by Trade Me found that 32% of respondents revealed that their greatest hygiene fear was discovering unwashed sheets, followed by an infestation of bedbugs (24%) and dirty toilets (15%). Most of those afraid of germs were aged between 18-29. Imagine the dread, the pent up horror as these guests open their hotel room and instead of relaxing, gingerly peel back the covers to see if there’s anything other than pristine starched sheets on the bed...
Before Nelson’s flood and related mayhem, Aucklanders always knew the place was the sunshine capital of the country. But not by a whopping 487 hours surely? – It’s weather watchers at NIWA tell us in a recap of 2011, run by stuff.co.nz.
The sunshine city received 2487 hours of sun, followed by Tekapo - Tekapo? – (2463 hours). Whakatane had 2380 hours, Tauranga 2271 and Auckland 2009. Hamilton was, comparatively speaking, in the dark with 1941 hours and Absolutely Positively Wellington was as bad - or nearly - with 1954 hours. In the South Island, Christchurch, which could do with sunshine, had 2030 hours. And Dunedin, last, loveliest and furthest south, had 1804.
Still Aucklanders could take comfort in one statistic: they lived in the place with the warmest average temperature, 15.9. Or did they? No such luck says NIWA. The warmest 2011 average was 16.7, recorded in Leigh, about 40 miles north! Coming second in the major centres was Tauranga with 15.7; Hamilton 14.1; Wellington 13.1; Christchurch 11.6; and Dunedin with 11.4.
If comparing cities hurts a bit, how about countries? Right across the ditch Perth has 3,200 sunshine hours, making it the sunniest city in Oz. But it’s not all sun and games over there - Melbourne has the lowest city level - with 2,200 hours.
‘What women see in the mirror is self-hatred’
Wow! Must read column on among other things, women, self-loathing and barbie dolls. Check out Mary Ann Sieghart in The Independent last week,: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mary-ann-sieghart/mary-ann-sieghart-what-women-see-in-the-mirror-is-selfhatred-6287053.html
‘Three British psychologists have studied the effect of Barbie dolls on five- to eight-year-old girls. Barbie is ubiquitous - 99 per cent of American girls own at least one of her. Yet if Barbie were a real woman, her waist would be 39 per cent smaller than the average anorexic patient, and she would be far too thin to menstruate.
Despite this skeletal state, she miraculously has big breasts. It is a body shape so unattainable that the chances of a woman naturally having her proportions are less than one in 100,000. And guess what? The girls in the study who played with Barbie became more dissatisfied with their own bodies and were more likely to say they wanted to be thinner than the girls who were given a normal-shaped doll to play with. Is it surprising, then, that the average age at which girls start dieting is now eight?’
Bad language day: “Bon noir” said a friend to the hotel receptionist in Paris who didn’t know whether to laugh or not. Her guest had been to the northern suburbs where Africans outnumbered everybody else…
Uh-oh… Just when we thought Nostradamus and the Mayan might be up the pole with their end of world predictions for 2012, along come a bunch of scientists with this:
The Doomsday Clock moved one minute closer to midnight after scientists agreed that a global cataclysm was more likely today. The clock, which last moved in January 2010, is a universally recognised indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change and emerging technologies. The clock now shows five minutes to midnight, said the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in Washington. The clock had been set at six minutes to midnight for the past two years. It was previously set at five minutes to midnight from 2007-2010.
But there’s cause for hope. The closest to midnight the clock has ever been is two minutes, in 1953, when the U.S. developed the hydrogen bomb. The furthest away it has ever been is 17 minutes, in 1991, with the advent of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between Russia and the U.S…
However if angst is your thing go to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2084588/Doomsday-Clock-moves-minute-closer-midnight-Fukushima-Irans-nuclear-pursuit-North-Koreas-leadership-change.html#ixzz1j7H4RuUE
Sound familiar? ...The protest was specifically aimed at a new class of manufacturers who were aggressively undermining wages, dismantling workers' rights and imposing a corrosive early form of free trade. To prove it, they selectively destroyed the machines owned by factory managers who were undercutting prices, leaving the other machines intact.
It was 200 years ago this month that the Luddite protesters began smashing stocking frames. The Guardian’s Elaine Glaser recalls them and their relevance to our technological times at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/17/lessons-of-the-luddites
‘If you were told about an organisation that started from scratch just over four months ago and had already expanded into more than 1,500 towns and cities all over the world, wouldn’t you be impressed? Thought so’.
Check out how clever the originators of the Occupy Movement were in devising their branding, slogans and other design material. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/arts/design/elements-of-style-as-occupy-movement-evolves.html?ref=global-home