WTF?

Some things just defy normality. Some of them are named Kanye and have recording contracts. Others are here.

From the ‘no shit, Sherlock’ files (an ongoing series)

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When did Christmas happen?

It seems that the start of November also marks the start of the festive season, if our local shops are to be believed. Especially Starbucks, with all its tinselly bits and bobs, little white Christmas trees and assorted festive-themed drinks.

Yes, I know some stores start cranking out the Christmassy stuff in October but I figure that actually means they are insane so I ignore them.

While awaiting my beverage of choice at Starbucks yesterday, I happened to mention to a workmate (who was also awaiting her beverage of choice) that every time I see tinsel I imagine it’s the result of a reindeer fart. She looked at me like I needed treatment and told me my mind was a scary place.

Meh, she should see it from this side.

Anyway, merry Christmas.

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That’s a ballsy auction

There are times when I stumble across auctions on Trade Me and am left with one small question: Why?

If you fancy taking ownership of a a set of cat testicles, here’s your chance. Winky the cat had his nads removed about 10 years ago and those very same fur-balls are now on offer, with bidding currently sitting at $5050. You’ve got until next Thursday to stake your claim.

An even more disturbing auction was withdrawn by the seller before it closed: a preserved pit-bull puppy in a jar. Ick.

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Ripped from the (old) headlines

What is it with all the anti-news stories about lately? I thought news stories were meant to inform us, to educate and offer us fresh facts and opinions. 

I can sort of forgive “Words can ease pain, I swear” from the Sydney Morning Herald because I guess while most of us already knew dropping the F-bomb in response to physical pain was helpful but it’s nice to see scientific proof to back it up. 

However, did we really need a news report to tell us (again) that meat pies are bad for us? Didn’t we already know they are loaded with fat and other nasties, just itching to clog up our arteries and make us extinct? And we certainly didn’t need an Aussie consumer watchdog group to tell us this time around. 

Speaking of Aussie, the news that Australian employers are ditching Kiwi workers in favour of Aussies as the recession bites and jobs become less plentiful should come as no surprise. It’s nice to see them showing loyalty to their own citizens (okay, so that  might not be a politically correct comment on my part, but tough). Now, if they were ditching Aussies and taking on Kiwis instead, that would be a story. 

Oh, and about that recession. It seems the banks have a bit of wiggle room when it comes to lending rates. No shit, Sherlock. The bastards are making huge profits while the average Joe Bloggs is struggling. Parliament’s finance and expenditure select committee has released a scathing report on the matter. Apparently they’ve “lashed out” at banks and been highly critical. Oooh, I bet the big, nasty bank managers are quaking in their boots. 

I’d be more impressed if all that lashing out and criticism was accompanied by the waving of a big stick and some action.

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Cute (in a weird kinda way)

We have new arrivals at Wellington Zoo: pygmy marmosets. I don’t know about you, but I reckon they look a bit like a Furby, minus the ears. You remember Furbys don’t you? (Please say yes, or I’ll feel even more old).

These are pygmy marmosets. All eyes and sharp teeth, apparently.

furbies

Furbies: Batteries not included.

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In case of emergency … cross your fingers

I see there’s another drama involving our not-always-efficient 111 emergency services phone system. 

This time, it’s come out that police 111 staff have been reprimanded for their failings: 

  • One Wellington staffer swore at and was rude to a caller (on their second warning);
  • A South Islander call-centre worker had a good old nosey through the National Intelligence Application, which lists criminal history (on their final warning);
  • Another Wellingtonian failed to send officers to respond to 19 “serious complaints” despite telling the callers police were on their way.

The first two cases are bad enough, although I can probably forgive the nosey parker more easily than the rude bugger because I guess it’s human nature to be nosey but not human nature to swear at people who are having a crisis but it’s almost unbelievable that this isn’t a first offence for either worker. 

However, not sending help while lying to the poor bugger on the other end of the phone is unforgivable. 

The news report on Stuff says police bosses are trying to sack the worker responsible for failing to log the 19 “serious complaints” but police communications centre acting national manager Superintendent Kelvin Powell reckons some of the calls  were simply to ask advice and others to report bad driving. 

I’m confused, were these “serious complaints” or not? 

Either way, it’s ridiculous that they are “trying” to sack a worker who surely has failed in the most basic execution of their duty: take a call and send help. I would have thought such a monumental cock up would mean it should be pretty easy to show them the door. 

ON THE WEB 

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You’ve goat to be kidding

Ever wanted a pet goat? Something to snuggle up with at night, take for walks or train to fetch your slippers?

Now you can get one for free. You just have to stump up the cash for a new ute (a pickup, for the Americans out there).

Mitsubishi is offering  a free goat with every Triton ute sold before August in a ploy aimed at the rural market. The company says the bearded ruminants, like Tritons, are ”hardy, versatile units which will integrate directly into existing farm operations.”  

According to the news report, they also defend against weeds and there is no risk of goat flu affecting the tourism industry.

And, in the best quote I’ve heard for a long, long time, Mitsubishi NZ general sales and marketing manager Peter Wilkins says:  ”…what better time to float the goat?”

They also have a goat-free package available, but where’s the fun in that?

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Yes, people like this still exist

Okay, so I know tolerance isn’t one of my strong points but compared to Pat Robertson I’m a breeze! I’m gobsmacked that in this day and age we still have people as ignorant as this sucker.

I’m even more gobsmacked that this so-called Christian televangelist has so many glowing terms sprinkled through his Wikipeida entry. I guess that’s all the proof you really need that Wikipedia isn’t always accurate.

Robertson does, however, have a whole list of controversies on Wikipedia, not just this hateful little episode you’ve just viewed. It seems he’s also predicted a bunch of things that never actually eventuated, like Doomsday in 1982.

Sounds to me like the man’s a few sandwiches short of the full picnic.

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Now that’s just creepy!

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Our ridiculous new law

The protest are mounting against the new law that will be inflicted upon us from next week but are the politicians listening? 

And more to the point, do they care?

The drama is all over “Section 92a”, a proposed amendment to our copyright law that’s scheduled to become a happening thing from February 28.

This ridiculous piece of legislation says internet service providers “must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination” of accounts used by anyone deemed a “repeat infringer”.

Now here’s the best bit: Those “repeat offenders” who much be “terminated” don’t necessarily have to actually be convicted of a crime, nothing has to be proved. Just accused.

What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Net providers are going to be lumbered with the job of policing the whole thing, an unenviable task. 

While I agree with the need to stamp out copyright violations via illegal downloading of movies and music, pirated programs, image theft or any other method, I don’t think this is the way to go about it.

What happens if Telecom, Vodafone or Slingshot doesn’t stop someone? Will they be given a penalty for not enforcing the law? Or how about if they terminate the account of someone who wasn’t breaching copyright? Someone with money and a good lawyer?

For once, I actually feel sorry for the like of Telecom. ISPs are going to be in an incredibly messy spot with this one.

British actor Stephen Fry has joined in the protest, bringing international attention to our plight. He’s raised the issue on his Twitter page and has blacked out his profile image as part of the Creative Freedom blackout protest.

If you want join in the blackout, sign the petition or simly learn more, click on that blackout link above.

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MEET YOUR BLOGGER

Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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