Thursday, June 30, 2011
I arrived from London in a smaller plane than I had coming to New Zealand.
Some thoughts on Split, it has some very old and rundown parts, where we are staying is. I shouldn't have watched the Hostel movies, because there were some friendly locals telling me where to go, but they could have been sending me to a taxidermy place. The businesses like in the Hostel movies, have attractive people on the doors and then once you enter you are handed over to someone else.
The city is amazing at night with an Aussie entertaining the crowds with his busking and making a dick of himself. I am not a massive fan of Aussie yobbos! But the waterfront area is amazing!
The women are supermodels, or they should be . A really high proportion of women are tall and hot, with fine features.
The prices - I bought a struddle, a ham and cheese ficelle, 1.5 litres of water and a Powerade for $8 New Zealand. Things are cheap.
The beach nearest Split is full of tourists and it seems like usual that the best beaches are miles away from where the tourists are. The girls are hot and the guys are tough looking with tough military style hair cuts of their dark hair, chiselled features, tattoos, most guys and girls are really tall and there are plenty of smokers.
Most places sell pizza, gelato and drinks and most of the shops are markets. I wonder where the locals shop? The funny thing with both Split and Dubrovnik is that the tourists hang out in the old town studying the local palace and town, while the locals hideaway in the new town. There are plenty of markets in the old town, but the tourists generally don't go to the new town or city where the locals live.
Dubrovnik is slightly more expensive to eat than in Split and more tourist like, although both places cater well for tourists. The old towns come alive at night and there are so many people from all over the world. It is great to people watch.
On our way to Dubrovnik from Split we crossed into Bosnia briefly, so although I didn't get the passport stamped, it is still something to claim. It is great having a friend to hang out with and the place we are staying in in Dubrovnik is a bargain and we are right in the middle of the old town. It is so cool.
There are always older men and women who meet you at the bus, trying to sell you accommodation. They don't have many hostels here, but instead have heaps of guest houses where older people let out spare rooms.
Nicolai and me in Trafalgar Square - thanks Jons.
I have just left London and thought I would compile a list of likes and dislikes about it.
Dislikes - the queues and crowds - because there are so many people, you have to queue to go to things and it takes ages sometimes.
The tube on a hot day - it is like a sauna in the tube underground rail system and when you are staring at someone's sweaty pits, you know it is going to be a long day, especially if you are wearing a suit to a job interview!
The time - England is home of Greenwich, but that is not the only factor to do with time that typifies London. It takes such a long time to get anywhere around the city, especially if there are problems with train maintenance.
Likes- everyone takes public transport- I love that people from all walks of life have to take public transport in Wellington, that way you get young families, travellers, the works.
Trains- I love to catch trains and London has plenty of these.
Tourist attractions - there are so many tourist attractions in London. I saw most of them last time I was in London. They range from Buckingham Palace to London Tower.
Lillywhites - this is my favourites sports store, a bit like Rebel Sport but bigger and cheaper.
London's proximity to the rest of Europe!
I think there is a vicious cycle between having attractions which attract the visitors, but these visitors mean there are more queues and things take longer, but if there wasn't that demand, these attractions wouldn't be there!
The 1934 Wimbledon Queue
Thursday, June 23, 2011
NBA star Ron Artest is changing his name, he is an interesting character, but what do you think of the proposed change?
It's not the coolest name change in sports history, World B. Free has him beat there, and it's not exactly a novel idea when Chad Ochocinco beats you to the punch a few years before, but Ron Artest's(notes) pending name change to -- get ready -- "Metta World Peace" is a real thing. An all-too real thing.
Apparently, Lakers radio reporter John Ireland broke the news on his show earlier Thursday, and TMZ picked it up from there. AP confirmed the madness is true. Metta World Peace, with "Metta" apparently a word derived from the Buddhist religion and the Sanskrit language meaning "friendliness," "benevolence" and all manner of other heartwarming descriptions.
It's the latest move from the kindler, gentler Ron -- er, Metta World Peace. In the 6 1/2 years since he charged into the stands in Detroit to confront someone who had thrown a drink at him, Peace has rebuilt his image through his play with three other teams, won a championship in Los Angeles, auctioned off his championship ring to raise money for mental health research and care, all while staying incident free. He tended to clang quite a few jumpers as the Lakers disappointed and fell in the second round of the playoffs last month, but how can you get angry at a guy with "Peace" on the back of his jersey?
The change is up to you, Los Angeles Superior Court. Give Peace a chance.
Air New Zealand has slipped down the world rankings of airlines, named sixth best by the latest annual Skytrax World Airline Awards, down from fifth last year.
The airline remains in the top 10 of the world rankings, and its Premium Economy was named best in its class ahead of Turkish Airlines and Qantas.
Qantas also slipped a place, named the world's eighth-best airline, down from number seven in last year's awards.
Qatar Airways was named the best airline in the world. The Middle Eastern carrier has climbed steadily in the rankings from eighth place six years ago.
Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said the award was significant for Qatar Airways, because it "reflects opinions of passengers around the world, and is based on every customer type across all cabins - be they business or leisure, frequent or first-time flyers".
Qatar Airways was followed by 2008 winner Singapore Airlines in second place, with last year's winner, South Korea's Asiana Airlines in third position. Cathay Pacific Airways retained fourth place from last year.
Thai Airways was the big mover, rising four places to fifth position.
In the Pacific region rankings, Air New Zealand ranked best ahead of Qantas. Jetstar was rated third-best for the region.
Jetstar was named the best low-cost carrier for Australia-Pacific.
Asiana Airlines won for the best cabin crew, while Emirates won the best in-flight entertainment award.
The annual awards by Skytrax are based on surveys with more than 18 million passengers, carried out over 10 months.
The awards were announced at this week's Paris Air Show.
THE WORLD'S BEST AIRLINES : 2011
1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific Airways
5. Thai Airways International
6. Etihad Airways
7. Air New Zealand
8. Qantas Airways
9. Turkish Airlines
World's Best First Class Airline Seat
1. Cathay Pacific Airways
2. Etihad Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
Best Airline Inflight Entertainment
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Cathay Pacific Airways
World's Best Business Class Airline Seat
1. Oman Air
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Qatar Airways
Best Premium Economy Class Airline
1. Air New Zealand
2. Turkish Airlines
3. Qantas Airways
World's Most Improved Airline
1. China Southern Airlines
2. Air China
3. Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Me with some tall Asian women at Galaxy casino.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Watch live streaming Sportscafe Wednesday 8:30pm.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Ross Taylor has been named as the New Zealand cricket captain taking over from Daniel Vettori. Is he a good choice? He is one of our most talented players, but he is considered to be safe and cautious rather than Brendon McCullum who was the other option, but more aggressive. Taylor is younger and seems to be more of a team player. Do you think Taylor can save New Zealand cricket or do we need someone more aggressive like McCullum?
Ross Taylor has been named New Zealand's new cricket captain.
The 27-year-old Central Districts batsman will lead the side in all forms of the game - test, one-day internationals and Twenty20 - after being announced in Auckland this afternoon as the successor to Daniel Vettori.
Vettori stepped down from the role when the Black Caps exited the World Cup after losing by five wickets to Sri Lanka in the semifinals in March.
Some interesting figures were released based on a Statistics New Zealand survey. It seems that women do more around the house (hardly surprising) and spend longer at work but are not rewarded for this. Is this because women want to earn respect by working overtime? Or is it because men are in higher paid employment? I guess it depends what industry you are in, because in mine it would be even. Or is it because women don't have as relaxed attitude to work than men? It is interesting to note that on average people don't even spend seven hours at work, although this is probably because of part-time jobs. Finally, it is hardly surprising that men spend longer on the couch and less time doing chores than women. It's good to be a guy!
Or is this article just telling us that more women stay at home to look after the children than men?
What point do you think this article is making?
Women's hard work is continuing to go unpaid, as men dominate the TV remote and spend more time on video games, according to the latest figures on how Kiwis spend their time.
Men and women spend the same amount of time working, but men are getting paid for more of that labour, new time use figures released by Statistics New Zealand this morning show.
Men and women spend about six hours and 44 minutes a day at work. But, while 63 per cent of men's work was paid, about 65 per cent of women's work was unpaid.
Women spend about four hours, 20 minutes a day on unpaid work, mostly at home, compared to two hours, 32 minutes for men.
Men also spend 13 minutes more than women watching television and twice as much time playing computer or video games (17 minutes) than participating in active sport.
Overall the population spends about two hours and eight minutes a day in front of the small screen, up seven minutes since the last survey was done in 1998/99.
But while people spent more time on the couch, overall exercise has not changed, staying at about 19 minutes a day.
Free Live Streaming Wimbledon Day 1. Who will win this year? I am picking that Roger Federer has to win this if he is going to win another Grand Slam. Coverage in New Zealand is on TV One, which isn't as comprehensive as SKY Television. I am hoping to make it to Wimbledon for some matches. Serena Williams to take the Ladies Singles.
Watch free live streaming Wimbledon below.
I am going on an adventure holiday and it is hard to know what lies around the corner. There are going to be so many new things to see and do since I have only been to a few of the places I am heading to. The thing is, what counts as trying something in a country for the first time for experiencing a culture vs doing something frowned upon by some quarters of the Christian community? I am going to places like Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Croatia, Berlin and Venice in high season and there will be plenty of things that happen in these places which are considered normal there, but borderline in New Zealand. What do you think my attitude should be to such things? I am not going to mention these 'temptations' because you can probably figure them out based on the places I am going to. Is it a case of "When in Rome ...."?
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The New Zealand Under 17 football team created history by being the first New Zealand national football team to win a match at any level away from home in a FIFA World Cup. They thrashed Uzbekistan 4-1 thanks to a hattrick from Stephen Carmichael. I know that The Wellington Phoenix are looking for some new youth players, are some of these guys too young to be included in the Phoenix? I would say that they are ideal targets for the Wellington based team and coach Ricki Herbert with the support of owner Terry Serepisos should sign these guys up. They could be the next Marco Rojas and Kosta Barbourses.
The latest reputable list of the most trusted New Zealanders has been revealed and The Flight of the Conchords stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement are in the top 10, while Richie McCaw and Sir Peter Jackson have fallen down the list drastically. It is hardly surprising that politicians make up most of the bottom placings in the top 100 list as voted by Reader's Digest. Should we be alarmed that the New Zealand Prime Minister is ranked 90th?
Renegade politician Hone Harawira is the least trusted New Zealander, and the Flight of the Conchords among the most trusted, according to a new poll.
The former Maori Party MP, looking to regain his Te Tai Tokerau seat under his Mana Party banner, is dead last in the Reader's Digest New Zealand's 100 most trusted people survey.
He is joined by MPs from across the political spectrum in the bottom 10, along with broadcasters Paul Henry and Paul Holmes.
The Flight of the Conchords duo, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, enter the top 10 for the first time, at sixth and eighth place respectively. Last year they were 55th and 53rd.
Their rise comes as Sir Peter Jackson falls from sixth-equal last year to 74th place, and All Black captain Richie McCaw fell from 11th to 55th.
Scientists proved to be the most trustworthy in New Zealand, with scientist, inventor and 2010 New Zealander of the year Sir Ray Avery ranking number one, followed by Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Adviser to the Prime Minister, and Sir Paul Callaghan, physicist and New Zealander of the Year 2011.
The Top 10:
1 - Sir Ray Avery, scientist, inventor, New Zealander of the Year 2010
2 - Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Adviser to the Prime Minister
3 - Sir Paul Callaghan, physicist and New Zealander of the Year 2011
4 - The Hon. Justice Helen Winkelmann, Chief High Court Judge
5 - Roger Hall, film, TV and theatre actor, playwright
6 - Bret McKenzie, comedian, actor, and musician
7 - Denise L'Estrange-Corbet, fashion designer
8 - Jemaine Clement, comedian, actor, and musician
9 - Simon Gault, celebrity chef and MasterChef judge
10 - Tony Kokshoorn Grey District Mayor
The other end:
90 - John Key, current Prime Minister
91 - Paul Holmes, broadcaster
92 - Paul Henry, journalist, radio and TV presenter
93 - Jim Anderton, Progressive Party leader
94 - Bill English, Deputy Prime Minister
95 - Pita Sharples, Minister of Maori Affairs
96 - Phil Goff, Labour Party leader
97 - Tariana Turia, Maori Party co-leader
98 - Winston Peters, New Zealand First leader
99 - Rodney Hide, Minister of Local Government
100 - Hone Harawira, Mana Party politician and former Member for Te Tai Tokerau.
Dame Edna Everage's alter ego Barry Humphries will star as the Goblin King in Sir Peter Jackson's movie The Hobbit. It probably means nothing to people under 30, but this is definitely going to be in the back of my mind when I see the movie. Can we take this guy seriously?
The man behind Dame Edna Everage will need to lose the sparkly glasses and pink wig for his new role in The Hobbit.
Sir Peter Jackson this morning announced two new cast members would be joining the production team in its second block of shooting.
Barry Humphries, the man behind Dame Edna Everage, will play the Goblin King. Sir Peter this morning likened his upcoming portrayal of the role to the way Andy Serkis created Gollum. "Barry is also a fine actor, and we're looking forward to seeing him invest the Goblin King with the delicate sensitivity and emotional depth this character deserves."
Evangeline Lilly, from the hit drama Lost will take up the role of a new character, Tuariel, a woodland elf. "Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing!" Sir Peter told fans on his Facebook page.
The crew have now finished their first block of shooting and are scouting locations before the second block starts.
The announcement of the two newest cast members, along with the news that Welsh actor Luke Evans will play Bard and Benedict Cumberbatch will play Smaug, means most of the major roles have now been filled.
For those of you who don't know who Dame Edna is, here is some more recent footage. She seemed to make it big in England after starting off in Australia.
Here is some very early footage of Dame Edna Everage.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Free Live Streaming National Rugby League Cowboys vs Warriors.
Friday, June 17, 2011
The Wimbledon draw is out with John Isner and Nicolas Mahut doing battle again a year after their world record marathon match which ended with both guys out on their feet 70-68 in the fifth set. I am hoping to get Wimbledon tickets and go straight from the airport to Wimbledon next Saturday.
The draw was done randomly, but what were the chances of this happening?
Wimbledon announced a first-round match next week: John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut.
Yes, one year after their epic three-day match, which Isner won, 70-68, in the fifth set, they are going to play again. Whatever the mathematical odds of this happening, with names drawn at random, it was just luck of the draw.
Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/sport/story/2011-06-17/wimbledon-draw-provides-rematch-for-epic-isner-mahut-marathon#ixzz1PbEmm1bP
The latest internet sensation is this photo taken during the riots in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup defeat of the Canucks by the Boston Bruins. Do you think this photo is real or has been digitally edited? I think it has definitely been altered, but there may have been an element of truth to it.
A couple photographed in a sensual kiss, lying on the street during the post-Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver yesterday, may now be the most sought-after pair on the internet.
As Vancouver Canucks hockey fans took to the streets after the team lost to the Boston Bruins in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup, Getty photographer Rich Lam snapped the candid photo.
The photo is quickly turning into the latest internet meme, with photoshopped versions already popping up.
* Email your kiss couple meme photos to email@example.com
Lam today told MSNBC he didn't realise what was going on when the frame was shot.
People were being pushed by police out on the streets, when he spotted two people on the ground, he said.
Lam's first instinct was that they were hurt.
"I looked back and thought someone was injured and I shot that. I framed it up, juxtaposed with the policemen."
He gave the images to the photo editors who were processing shots of the mayhem.
A while later, another photographer from the Getty team came up to Lam and said "nice picture of the couple kissing".
"Oh my God - they're making out!" he said.
"It was just crazy for them to do something like that. I don't understand why people riot to begin with."
Meanwhile, Canadian public broadcaster CBC was looking for the couple via Twitter.
But some say the photo was staged with Twitter user @balsac posting another photo that shows a small group around the couple, suggesting it was staged.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The DogRun website has been launched for tennis players wanting to find people to play tennis with. At the moment when you get to a certain level you have to play with people from your team or club, but this way you can get a better variety of opponents who are at your level. Go to the website for details. I think it is a good idea, but if I want a hit I generally have people I can hit with. I might try it out. It could be a great chance to meet some more people of a similar ability who I don't usually play with.
What is DogRun?
DogRun is an online player matching service. DogRun offers tennis players an opportunity to play tennis where and when they want by advertising their availability for free on DogRun. Registered members are able to select their level of skill and look for other registered players to verse, increasing the chances of finding someone to play against. DogRun enables you to challenge players in and outside your club, or players that do not belong to a club giving you the opportunity to meet people and socialise while enjoying the sport.
When was DogRun started?
DogRun was established in April 2011 by Anton Koukine – “I always wanted to play more tennis but struggled to find players to play with, and my floating schedule did not help. DogRun fixed all that”. Although only established two months ago, DogRun already has over 100 registered players finding the site very useful.
Benefits of DogRun
More chances of finding someone to play
Play when you are available
Select level of players to challenge
Play club members or non-club members
Great opportunity to meet people and socialise
Effective and dynamic ranking system (adjusted after each match)
Ability to track your performance
Unisex – ladies can challenge men and vice versa
How do I Join?
DogRun can be accessed by visiting www.dogrun.co.nz. Players wishing to use DogRun must register. To register, click on the register icon on the right hand side of the screen and enter your details. Select the statement that applies to you. Identify your level of play or select your current TOPDOG ranking and set your playing level. DogRun will then calculate your DogRun ranking and you will be directed to the DogRun homepage.
DogRun can also be accessed via TOPDOG and on the Tennis NZ website in the Popular Links section.
For more information or enquires please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find players today - Register on DogRun!
Please note: DogRun matches DO NOT count for TOPDOG points
Watch this footage from Australian television which gets awkward when the Dalai Lama needs an interpreter to translate the joke and really doesn't understand what is so funny about a pizza. It is a borderline lame joke anyway, but gets painful the longer this video goes on!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Carnage on the Streets of Vancouver As Canucks Lose - A Sign of Things To Come For New Zealand Fans?
There is carnage on the streets of Vancouver as the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in ice hockey's Stanley Cup Game 7 final of the National Hockey League. I hope these scenes aren't repeated in New Zealand on October 23 if New Zealand struggle to break a long standing curse of their own when trying to win the Rugby World Cup 2011. Are our fans crazy enough to do this? We are generally not as passionate fans in New Zealand, but I am hoping this doesn't happen in Auckland, because I will be there. People always need God as they search for answers after such losses, attendances at churches around the country increased on that fateful day in 2007.
VANCOUVER - Jerseys were set on fire and cars were overturned moments after the Canucks suffered a crushing defeat and failed to break a 40-year curse and bring home the Stanley Cup.
While there was a mass exodus before the end of the second period, when Vancouver was down by three, tens of thousands of people were still downtown when the crowd turned ugly.
When the third period buzzer marked the end of the epic series, fans started throwing bottles and cans at the massive TV screens set up on Georgia Street and Hamilton.
One Canucks fan reported that a man in a Bruins shirt turned to him and punched him in the face, leaving him bleeding.
A vehicle was overturned and its bumper and doors ripped off before people jumped on the top of it and set it on fire.
Within a few minutes, police were putting on riot gear and preparing to deal with the unruly crowds.
Humiliation for Hugh Hefner as Crystal Harris Appears on Latest Cover as Mrs Hefner - Do You Have Any Sympathy?
Hugh Hefner has been left licking his wounds with his ex fiancee 25 year old Crystal Harris appearing on the latest cover of Playboy magazine with the title "Introducing Mrs Hefner". The only problem for Hef is that she left him just before the wedding and it was too late to stop production of the new cover. Do you have any sympathy for the 85 year old man? I do for a split second, but that is about it!
Just when Hugh Hefner thought he had suffered enough embarrassment with his bride calling off their wedding just days out from the event, a new issue of the magazine he founded has only added to it.
Hefner took to Twitter yesterday to announce his 25-year-old fiancee, Crystal Harris, had had a "change of heart" and the wedding was off.
However, today, the latest issue of Playboy hit stands featuring Crystal on the cover with the tagline "Introducing Mrs Crystal Hefner".
Bad timing, much?
It gets worse inside the magazine, with Crystal saying of her former beau: "I'm happier now than I've ever been in my whole life."
The Daily Mail reports it was too late to stop the shipment of the magazine, with the July issue now set to become a collector's item.
Meanwhile, Hefner has announced his plans for what was to be his wedding day on Twitter.
"Since we're not getting married on Saturday, I've scheduled a movie: Runaway Bride. Seems appropriate."
American political comedian Jon Stewart makes a joke about New Zealand politics on The Daily Show in America recently. One New Zealand girl in the audience asked him about it before the show. It is funny seeing how the world sees us, albeit how Americans see us! Not that I am much of a political fan, but I thought this was cool.
She wasn't an official guest on The Daily Show, simply a kiwi in the audience who provided Jon Stewart his opening laugh.
“Obviously the top story tonight, New Zealand politics. I had a half hour conversation with a lady about New Zealand politics. It was so intricate,” Stewart said on his show.
That lady was New Zealander Christine Brooks who secured a spot in the spotlight at the pre-show warm up.
“So he opened up the floor to questions, so I put my hand up and I asked him, we had a general election coming up in New Zealand in November and I wondered if he had any advice to offer us on behalf of America,” says Mrs Brooks.
He didn't provide any.
“He acknowledged he didn't know much about New Zealand politics, I think he said he knew more about Iceland than New Zealand,” she says.
She promises she did not wipe out most of our population, insisting she said it was more than 4 million, though Stewart made a joke referring to the country having a population of ‘13’.
“The reason I was at the show was I think he is a fabulous comedian, I like his satire. And that's the tone it was intended. It was satricial,” she says.
It turns out this wasn't Mrs Brooks only brush with fame this week. An hour before her interview with 3 News this afternoon, she was front row at a Robin Williams play, winning tickets in a lottery. But this time, no questions asked.
Watch the video here!
Free Live Streaming Stanley Cup National Hockey League Finals Game 7 2011 Boston Bruins vs Vancouver Canucks
Free Live Streaming Stanley Cup National Hockey League Finals Game 7 2011 Boston Bruins vs Vancouver Canucks.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Ash clouds from the Chilean Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano have caused disruptions to travellers in Australia and New Zealand. The crazy thing with this situation is that if you are lucky enough to be flying with Air New Zealand, then your flights are continuing as usual, while Qantas and JetStar have far stricter policies and are not flying. This has left passengers stranded for days, while others have flown home pretty much unaffected. It ends up that Air New Zealand can use technological assistance from Civil Aviation and the Metservice to avoid the ash cloud and cruise under it which has seen it use ten percent more fuel, but has seen it deliver 50,000 passengers to their destination while competitors have been grounded. I am glad I am flying Air New Zealand to Europe!
Qantas planes will be parked for a fifth day as the airline today cancelled all trans-Tasman flights until 2pm tomorrow.
Jetstar also cancelled domestic and trans-Tasman flights, as an ash cloud from the Chilean Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano continued to drift over New Zealand.
Qantas was monitoring the situation and Jetstar has cancelled domestic and trans-Tasman flights for the rest of the day, as the ash cloud continued to drift over New Zealand.
The airline will provide an update this evening on tomorrow's services and the scheduled departure of a Singapore to Auckland return flight due to depart tonight.
"The safety of our passengers and crew is Jetstar's number one priority," the company said in a statement.
"Jetstar will not be flying into airspace that remains affected by the ash cloud until we are confident that it is safe to do so."
Virgin Blue cancelled flights to and from Perth due to forecast ash cloud in the area.
But Air New Zealand continues to operate flights, and yesterday said it had carried more than 50,000 passengers since the cloud arrived in New Zealand airspace on Sunday.
Aviation Industry Association of New Zealand chief executive Irene King said neither Air New Zealand's decision to fly or Jetstar and Quantas' decision not to fly was wrong.
"Both companies are right." It comes down to the airlines' policy.
"Qantas and Jetstar have a less permissive policy. Their policy would appear to be pretty blanket. If there is ash in the sky they can't fly.
"I think that's what is confusing the public a lot. They think, 'how can both companies be right?' Well at the end of the day it comes down to what your [policy] says as to how you manage these sorts of issues."
Captain David Morgan, Air New Zealand general manager of airline operations and its chief pilot, said the national carrier was working closely with the MetService and Civil Aviation Authority to determine safe flight paths to avoid the ash.
"The authorities are providing excellent information about the ash, which is at high altitude and very predictable in its movement.
"By adjusting cruising altitudes of our aircraft we are able to continue to safely deliver customers to their destinations.
"Lower cruising altitudes mean we need to burn around 10 per cent more fuel than normal, but we don't believe that's a reason to stop flying when there are perfectly safe flight paths available below the level of the ash," he said.
Emirates, Virgin Blue, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia X, Air Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Korean Air were all offering international services yesterday.
Weatherwatch's Philip Duncan expressed surprise some airlines were still not flying, since they could safely avoid the cloud.
"It does seem strange that one airline can fly and another can't."
Meanwhile, GNS vulcanologist Graham Leonard said New Zealand's volcanoes Ruapehu, Tongariro and Taranaki were all capable of producing eruptions with as much force as Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano.
New Zealand volcanoes erupted more frequently because of the type they were, he said. "All likelihoods are that we will all see multiple eruptions in our lifetimes."
Ash fallout from a nearby volcano could, at less than one millimetre thick, irritate the lungs and eyes, and people should be prepared to wear dust masks and goggles after an eruption.
Dr Leonard said ash from Chile presented no health risks to New Zealanders. The only risks were to aviation.
New South Wales university senior adjunct lecturer and aircraft maintenance expert Peter Marosszeky said volcanic ash had "disastrous consequences" on aircraft that flew into such clouds.
Dry ash acted as a sandpaper-like abrasive on all exterior parts of an aircraft. "In addition, it will choke up the sensitive ports within the engines and block them, as well as melting in the turbine area and forming an undesirable coating not dissimilar to glass."
The ash would form a glass-like coating and destroy some aerodynamic characteristics, he said.
Watch Live Streaming Sportscafe Wednesday 15th June at 8:30pm online
Yachting traitor Russell Coutts was made to look stupid when a public unveiling of the Oracle America's Cup catamaran went horribly wrong and he capsized the boat. It couldn't happen to a more worthy candidate. As you can tell, most New Zealanders don't really like Russell Coutts and there was plenty of media present to make sure he doesn't forget the event!
Here is some video footage!
Oracle Racing's chief executive Russell Coutts has had embarrassing moment on San Francisco Bay, capsizing one of the new class of catamarans to be used in the America's Cup World Series.
The former Team New Zealand and Alinghi cup winner sent one of the
nimble New Zealand-built AC45's into a cartwheel during an informal race against skipper James Spithill.
The capsize damaged the hard, aeroplane wing-shaped sail, sending a crew member to hospital for x-rays.
Spithill says there's a significant amount of risk, so crews wear helmets.
The 45-foot carbon-fibre catamarans will be used in the World Series, starting in, Portugal in August, with larger AC72s, which have yet to be built, to be raced in 2013 at the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco.
The catamarans are intended to boost spectator interest.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Some options include abandoning the city, or at least parts of it, moving the entire city to another location or flattening the city and rebuilding it from scratch once the earthquakes finish.
There has been billions of dollars worth of damage caused by the September, February and now the latest 6.3 magnitude earthquakes, but there has also been heaps of smaller earthquakes happening all the time in between times. This has made making repairs difficult for everyone as the liquefaction and general land instability has made rebuilding difficult, while even general repairs are expensive and take time, but unfortunately the moment something gets fixed it is exposed to another earthquake. Is there any point undoing your good work of fixing buildings if they are going to need fixing again?
How many clean ups to houses and businesses like supermarkets have to do before they say enough is enough? It will be interesting to see the population of Christchurch when the next census eventually takes place. People must be wanting to leave the city.
So what do you think they should do? Abandon Christchurch completely? Abandon parts of it? Move the city to another location where there is space like in Nelson, Queenstown, Invercargill or Blenheim? Bulldoze the city and when the earthquakes stop, build a new city from scratch. While it is tough for people with houses, family and jobs in the area, it is difficult to know what is practical.
What do you think they should do?
Three people from the same family were arrested after a “vicious’ mid-flight brawl above the Atlantic that lasted half an hour.
The fight broke out on a Virgin Atlantic flight from England's Gatwick airport to Barbados, the Daily Mail reported.
A Danish family complained that Derek Edmond, 76, his daughter Zoe King and her husband Martin King were being too noisy.
The complaint did not go down too well.
Passengers watched aghast as 49-year-old Mr King and his 46-year-old wife allegedly began punching the family that was sitting in front of them.
Passenger Elsa Brandford told the Daily Mail it was "like something out of a movie".
"There was about five minutes of shouting while people gathered around and before I knew it they were throwing punches and jumping on each other.
"Most of the people were standing on their seats while throwing punches.
"It was vicious. It was frightening."
Flight crew and other passengers tried to pull them apart but Ms Brandford said it took nearly half-an-hour before the situation was under control.
Police said the trio had been drinking for much of the eight-hour flight.
The pilot informed security at Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados and all three were arrested when the plane landed.
More than a dozen officers were there to greet the accused and question witnesses.
The Kings and Mr Edmond have been charged with disruptive behaviour on an aircraft. They face two years in prison or a fine if convicted.
Sprint king Usain Bolt has revealed that he wants to pursue a second sporting career as a footballer.
The 24-year-old first wants to set a 100m record of 9.4 seconds - a time he says will "probably never be beaten".
Then the Jamaican says he will turn his attention to the beautiful game in about four year's time.
"I'm definitely a good player - a defensive or attacking midfielder," the Olympic 100m and 200m champion told BBC 5 live's Sportweek programme.
Bolt, a Manchester United fan, believes he has what it takes to make a name for himself on the pitch.
"I always watch those guys and I think I could be a professional footballer," he told Sportsweek.
"I'd like to play football for two years. Maybe I could get into a good side or even an average side."
Earlier in the week, Bolt told CBBC Newsround that had he not made it in athletics he would have been a cricketer.
"I was playing cricket one day and my coach said, 'You know what? Try track and field', because I was running pretty quickly."
On a more serious note, Bolt spoke of what he believes is the growing reputation of athletics for dealing with drugs cheats.
"In track and field they're doing a really good job of catching the cheats, so it's hard to cheat.
"It will get cleaner and will be back to a sport with no problem. We need nothing but time."
Sunday, June 12, 2011
The latest Canterbury earthquake Monday 13th June at around 2:20pm measuring over 6 magnitude, this comes after a 1pm measured 5.5 magnitude 11km depth it followed a 12:29pm 4.3 at a depth of 11km. There are reports of damage and abandoning of Riccarton Mall and University of Canterbury. There are also phone outages and liquefaction. Let me know if you have any further details. Can you please let me know how you are after this latest one Christchurch.
What should happen to Christchurch? They have had regular earthquakes since September and it is getting to the stage where there is no point fixing buildings because they are only going to get damaged again. I know they are thinking of doing that with some suburbs. Is there a point where they should abandone Christchurch? The land is unstable, so people can't rebuild. It must be causing so much heartache and financial strain on everyone.
Three men who caught a taxi 800 kilometres from Melbourne to Sydney for $1200 to get to Sydney, got a good deal. That is one hell of a taxi ride, but split between three people it is only $400 each and beats catching a bus while it also avoided the busy airports congested with stranded people waiting for the ash from a South American volcano to clear. It beats waiting around an airport while they can now do normal business in Sydney rather than having to sit around at the airport wasting time. Time is money in business.
A Melbourne taxi driver hit the jackpot overnight when three men stranded by the volcanic ash cloud paid him $1200 (NZ$1542) to drive them to Sydney.
George drove the trio 800 kilometres to Sydney's western suburbs late last night and immediately returned to Melbourne, arriving about 8.30am today as delays and cancellations continued to affect passengers at Melbourne Airport.
George told 3AW that the men knew of the impending disruption to airline schedules about 3.50pm yesterday, well before other passengers discovered the extent of the problem.
"I didn't ask (how they knew), I didn't want to, but I certainly realise now that everything's going haywire," George said.
"These guys knew it was going to happen, they definitely knew it was going to happen so they took off."
He said they agreed on a flat rate of $1200 before leaving.
"I didn't have to go over the (Sydney Harbour) Bridge, otherwise I'd still be coming back and I've just come back right now," George said.
"I've already had a two-litre cappuccino and a one-kilogram muffin."
In April last year, three Melbourne men paid almost $4000 for a taxi ride from France to Spain after their flight home was cancelled due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Paul Toohey and his friends Roger Ellul and Shane Cumming were so desperate to get back to Australia that they made the 12.5-hour, 800-kilometre journey from Avignon to Madrid at a cost of 2400 euros, plus road tolls.
They then flew from Madrid to Melbourne.
The announcement of a new holder of the Guinness Book of World Records title for the World's Shortest Man has given Junrey Balawing from Sindangan in the southern Philippines fame, but where to from here? Will this man who is less than 60 centimetres tall now be exploited for the rest of his life as a freakshow? Will he join the circus? It sounds as if he is pretty much destined to be judging by this article which suggests he has the demeanour of a baby to match his height. Would not claiming the world record have been better so he could live the quiet life away from the spotlight and being pointed and jeered at? Or could this lead to fame and fortune for his poor family and a chance at a better life? It will be interesting to see what happens. I didn't stop growing at age 18, but it looks like this guy has. Should the record go to someone over 21 years old to avoid the chance of him having a late growth spurt?
A poor Filipino blacksmith's son who stands just under 60 centimetres tall was declared the world's shortest man by Guinness World Records on his 18th birthday yesterday, sparking a celebration in his hometown.
The title was bestowed on Junrey Balawing in Sindangan in the southern Philippines, with his parents, villagers and officials showering the coastal town's newly famous resident with a feast, cake, balloons and cash gifts.
Balawing measured 59.93cm during the ceremony attended by about 100 villagers and journalists. Guinness World Records representative Craig Glenday presented Balawing with official recognition of his status as the shortest adult man in the world.
Balawing, who wore a white shirt emblazoned with the Guinness seal, took over the title from Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal, who is 67 centimetres tall, Glenday said.
Dozens of journalists descended on Sindangan, a fishing and farming town of 90,000 located about 730 kilometres south of Manila, to cover the event.
"Thank you," Balawing told the crowd in a local dialect which was translated by his father, Reynaldo. Balawing blew out the candles on the cake and clapped heartily each time the crowd applauded. He was later heard saying "Kapoy," or "I'm tired."
Balawing - who is about the size of a toddler and has a child's demeanour - needs to hold something to be able to stand because of weak knees. He was photographed propping himself up with empty Coca-Cola bottles, which were taller than his waistline.
Balawing's mother grew teary-eyed during the ceremony. She earlier said she was happy with her son's instant fame.
Glenday said he was struck with Balawing's lively personality and constant smile.
"Although he's short, he takes that in stride," Glenday told The Associated Press. "He has this cheeky smile."
Aside from a Guinness certificate, the crown does not come with any cash award. Glenday said he hopes the international fame will bring in gifts and donations, particularly medical supplies to ensure Balawing's health.
Nobody could explain why Balawing stopped growing a few months after his birth, his father said.
Sindangan Vice Mayor Bess Jagonio, a doctor, speculated that he may have an endocrine or a birth-related defect.
Balawing's brother and two sisters are all average size.
His family said they tried to send Balawing to school but withdrew him after he distracted other children's attention.
Local officials got the idea of informing the Guinness records committee about Balawing from journalists who learned about his size.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
LONDON — Thousands of women took part in a so-called Slut Walk in London on Saturday, insisting that they should be able to wear as much or as little as they like without facing sexual harassment by men.
The colourful march saw most people wearing everyday clothing but some wore provocative outfits as they marched on London's central Trafalgar Square.
Slut Walk was first held in Toronto earlier this year after a police officer caused outrage by stating that "women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised" during a speech to university students.
The protest soon spread to cities around the world where women joined in huge numbers to challenge the mindset that victims of sexual assault should bear a degree of responsibility on the grounds that they were "asking for it".
The London march kicked off behind a banner reading "Slut Walk London: because we've had enough".
Others carried placards reading "It's a dress, not a yes"; "Women against rape"; "No means no" and "Hijabs, hoodies, hotpants, our bodies, our choices".
One sign read "We are all chambermaids" -- a reference to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex case.
The former International Monetary Fund chief has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of sex crimes, including attempted rape, against a 32-year-old woman cleaning his New York hotel suite.
"It's not the victim's fault if they're raped. Some men think they own the right to women's bodies," 25-year-old student Sofia Capel told AFP.
Casually dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, Rachel Sullivan, 35, who works with adults with learning difficulties, said: "I reserve the right to dress as I like.
"It's unusual for us in England to demonstrate like this, but this is too much, what this policeman said."
A man and a woman, walking arm in arm, both wore bras and had the word "slut" written across the midriff.
Student Liz Kedde, 27, wore a see-through top over her bra.
"I think it's important that women are not seen as disposable," she said, adding: "I never dress like this in the daytime, of course."
Several men joined the protest, among them Andy Fell, a 27-year-old sound engineer.
"I came to show my solidarity with my girlfriend, and with the issue as well," he said.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Watch Live Streaming Netball Australia Diamonds vs New Zealand Silver Ferns Second Test From Auckland 12th June 2011
I went and saw Super 8 and enjoyed it. Sure, it got a bit ridiculous how a bunch of dorky teenage boys managed to go through the entire movie pretty much unscathed while some kind of alien ripped apart their town in an attempt to build a spaceship.
These dorky teens show that making movies can be a dangerous task and funny things can happen. Take note V 48 hour film competition!
It was funny having the main hero and love interest all being around the age of puberty, especially the scene where one of them manages to talk the alien into building a spaceship and leaving and in the process avoids being killed. Just reading this review probably makes you wonder about this movie.
It was entertaining!
The outbreak of E. coli in Germany which has killed 29 people and sickened 3,000 has been blamed on sprouts. There were initially fears that cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuces were to blame. It makes you wonder about the merits of eating healthy food and gives me more incentive to eat less vegetables when I am in Europe in two weeks.
BERLIN—The head of Germany's national disease control center says investigators have determined that locally-grown vegetable sprouts are the cause of the European E. coli outbreak that has killed 29 and sickened nearly 3,000.
Robert Koch Institute's president, Reinhard Burger told reporters Friday that even though no tests of the sprouts from a farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive, the epidemiological investigation of the pattern of the outbreak had produced enough evidence to draw the conclusion.
"It is the sprouts," Burger says.
Burger says the institute is lifting its warning against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce but keeping the warning in place for the sprouts.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
BERLIN (AP) -- German health officials say they have new results in the search for the source of a deadly European E. coli outbreak that has killed 29 people and sickened nearly 3,000.
The Robert Koch Institute's disease control center and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment have called a press conference for later Friday to announce their findings.
Neither would comment ahead of time on the developments, nor on German media reports that that the warning against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce has been lifted -- indicating those vegetables have been determined safe.
Since the beginning of May, 2, 808 people have been sickened in Germany. The World Health Organization says 97 others have fallen ill in 12 other European countries, as well as three people in the United States.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
A public gay march in Wellington last night in protest of recent prejudice and to raise awareness has been staged. The funny thing is that I thought there is a massive acceptance of the queer community in Wellington compared with other parts of New Zealand. I come from Southland and you would seriously be forced to leave town with the amount of prejudice. Per capita of gay people I think there would be less amounts of violent attacks and prejudice than other parts of New Zealand. But because Wellington is the gay capital of New Zealand (they hosted the Gay Out Games earlier this year) and therefore there are heaps of gay people here that when there are some acts of prejudice there is still more than other places.
I think people are far more open minded to the plights of the homosexual community in New Zealand now than in the past, especially in Wellington. Not that I agree with people being gay, but I am slightly more comfortable with the idea than I was in my time in Southland.
Do you think there is increasing prejudice towards gay people?
P.S. I hate to think what this is doing to my Google ads!
Hundreds of people joined a "Queer the Night" march through central Wellington last night to protest against the physical and verbal harassment of gays.
The protest organisers included activist Kassie Hartendorp and drag queen and activist Brendan Goudswaard, 26, who was attacked in Vivian St at the end of February.
A group of three men rammed his head into a wall as he tried to pass them on the footpath while walking home from work about 2am. He said details of the attack were fuzzy but one of the men asked him how his night was going before bashing him.
"I was taken to hospital by an ambulance," he said. "I had a black eye, a swollen face and I now have a scar on my forehead.
"I had to take a week off work but I know quite a few gays who have been beaten up or harassed. It's just what happens.
"I am quite openly gay when I am in public and sometimes I go out with the queens and we dress up in heels. I have been around long enough to know that it was a hate crime."
Mr Goudswaard was at the same high school as Jeff Whittington, a teenager murdered by two anti-gay men in 1999, and said the murder left him shocked and determined to speak out. He is now a youth worker with the School's Out programme, a support group for young people identifying as gay or lesbian, and their friends.
The march from Waitangi Park to Cuba St also targeted the fear of bullying in school, discrimination that transgender and gay people faced at work and the fear of being shunned by friends and rejected by families.
A public meeting is to be held next week so supporters can contribute their opinions on how to tackle prejudice.
Drunken man gets caught on CCTV going home.
Here is another piece of footage of a drunk man trying to buy beer.
Check out these two hilarious videos of CCTV footage showing a drunken man trying to get home and one trying to buy beer. These are brilliant. It is amazing how their legs are jelly.
Those who say clubbing baby seals is the cruelest activity imaginable have clearly never witnessed a group of "intellectuals" and/or "pop culture enthusiasts" try to work together in an evening of casual trivia at a local bar. With the right mix of hubris, self-doubt and pun-making, this simple game of knowledge can render an evening into a series of heated silences and hurt egos. (The only solution to which—or perhaps a cause in and of itself—is copious amounts of alcohol.)
But what makes trivia in particular socially taxing are certain traits that become manifest in our friends. Among them:
1. The friend who insists on using the same Ron Burgundy Anchorman joke for a team name. Every. Single. Time. First things first, that was seven years ago. Second, hell no. Then there's the friend who never gets tired of lobbying for "I Quizzed In My Pants." It's not that I don't understand the desire to be clever and funny, but you can only make the trivia jockey cringe so hard.
2. The friend who doubtfully whispers the correct answer, often too softly for anyone to hear. Then when the team happens to choose the wrong answer, he wonders aloud—now at a perfectly normal volume—why no one heard him. This irritating attribute aligns this friend with another trivia companion: the friend who claims to have known all the correct answers but never bothered to say them. Hindsight is 20/20; in trivia, however, it's Hawkeye/Hawkeye.
3. The Debbie Downer/Doubter who wrinkles her face and injects an ominous “I don't knooooow" to every suggested answer. Which is all well and fine, except she is also unable to produce alternatives.
4. The friend who will fight the rest of the team to the bloody end in defense of a singular, outlier answer. You think you know someone, until his vehement confidence in knowing Agent Dale Cooper's favorite style of pie overrides all the goodwill built over ten years of friendship. (It's cherry, motherfucker, it was always cherry.)
5. The friend who instinctively shouts an answer like a retiree who has just won a round of Bingo at the country house. Thank you, the entire bar would now like to repay your public service with mocking smirks and snickers.
6. The friend who opens his smartphone to check a text and/or email and gets the team called out on for cheating, thereby causing the entire game to be put on hold as we, embarrassed and flustered, have to clear our good name to those around us.
7. The friend who calls everyone else out on the above traits.
Which brings me to this point: an acknowledgment that I'm guilty of manifesting a good handful of these traits whenever playing this most dangerous game. But at the risk of never being invited again, I swear I've never been all seven of these people. Not in one night, anyway.