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Meme (aka what the hell...)

You can tell a lot about someone by the type of music they listen to. Hit shuffle on your ipod, phone, itunes, media player, etc. and write down the first 10 songs.

1) It's alright with me (The Idea of the North)
2) Tahiti Trot (Queensland SO)
3) Liebestraum No 3 in A flat (Franz Liszt)
4) No Matter What (Boyzone)
5) Sister Rose (Sky)
6) After You Came (The Moody Blues)
7) Waltz from Sleeping Beauty (NZSO)
8) Sheep may Safely Graze (Sarah McIvor)
9) Georgia on my Mind (Ray Charles)
10) Flatbush Waltz and Catharsis (Pinniped)


Earlier this week I completed my 25,567th day of respiration, which caused me to spend an evening in the company of my local offspring and their partners consuming pleasant food and enjoying the usual crazy banter that passes for conversation at family gatherings.

Numerous friends seem to think it also a cause for some sort of congratulations, even though to me it's just another day which others seem to think auspicious.

A cause for some celebration was the presentation of a hand made card entitling self & $wife to a short train trip on the little island next door on the planet (airfares included) at a time of our choosing. It should be interesting revisiting a place I have no recollection of being at, given I left it at least 25,000 days ago, although I have been on an earlier incarnation of the train as a callow young lad of 15 summers...

Shaky town

We've just had a good little shake - sufficiently strong for me to consider getting under the desk...

Magnitude 5.7, 9km deep, about 25km south west of where I work...

Details here, complete with maps even...

(The NZ earthquake set up is pretty fantastic given that within 5 minutes of feeling the building wobble their website had processed over 2200 reports submitted via their website as well as providing comprehensive details of the event, all automatically produced, then reviewed by the duty seismologist)

A beautiful video

Not a prolific poster by any means, but I found this a very relaxing three and a half minutes...


I received this from Avaaz.org this morning and would like to think I can do a small bit to help improve the planet by spreading the message.

Please consider your response to the corporate take-over of democracy on the world stage...

Dear friends,

Over a million people have called on world leaders to end fossil fuel subsidies at the Rio Earth Summit -- a no-brainer policy that could take one trillion tax dollars from Big Oil and reinvest it in green energy. But they’ve failed to deliver -- even with the backing of the EU, the US and most G20 countries! The talks end in 48 hours. Now is our chance to save them and the planet’s future.

Brazil’s President Dilma is hosting the summit and has the power to reopen discussions and demand a timeline for ending polluter payouts, but she is considering walking away with the weak language presented by a team of bureaucrats. We can stop her in her tracks.

Dilma has 2 days to emerge as a global climate hero. Sign this urgent petition now and forward to everyone -- at 500,000 signers, Avaaz will deliver it straight to Dilma’s hands and run an urgent, hard-hitting ad in the Financial Times:


In the last 2 weeks, we've already made huge strides towards an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Together, we've:

*Unfurled giant trillion dollar bills with our friends 350 on beaches in Rio and in Los Cabos that garnered the attention of major media across the globe and delivered a 1 million strong call to end harmful polluter subsidies.

*Delivered a petition with over 750,000 signers directly to UK Prime Minister Cameron and the Mexican chair of the G20 summit.

*Massively impacted the vote in a UN poll -- making fossil fuel subsidies the top priority for the Earth Summit. We won with over 66% of the vote!

*Flooded the Mexican and New Zealand environment ministers with messages calling on them to push for an end to polluter payouts.

* And our team on the ground in Rio and Los Cabos has tirelessly lobbied politicians -- attending dozens of meetings with high level officials from key countries.

The stage is set and Dilma has the perfect solution to turn the talks around: a clear and timely end to fossil fuel subsidies. We only have 48 hours for this final push to action --- click below to sign:


The movement to end fossil fuel subsidies is at a tipping point. Over 1 million of us signed petitions calling for action, from Rio and Delhi to London and Sydney. As we enter the 11th hour of the Rio Earth Summit, let’s continue to push until we win!

With hope,

Iain, Antonia, Jamie, Emma, Ricken, Diego, Pedro and the rest of the Avaaz team
This just arrived in my inbox, and seems like a worthwhile cause to support...

A nuclear disaster ten times as big as Chernobyl is threatening to devastate Japan, but the government is not responding. Now, only urgent international intervention can stop catastrophe.

Right now, a pool of explosive nuclear waste sits in the crumbling Fukushima no. 4 reactor. Experts say it is only a matter of time before it leaks or another earthquake causes a radioactive fire that would force the evacuation of up to 35 million people! Japan’s government has refused to act, not wanting to cause panic. But the UN can intervene, and now dozens of Japanese experts and ten of thousands of citizens are calling for urgent action.

A meltdown in Japan would have devastating effects across the world -- sending radiation into the skies across Asia and North America. Let's call on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to address this emergency immediately. Click below to sign the petition and forward this to everyone -- it’ll be delivered straight to the UN when we reach 500,000 signatures:


The Fukushima nuclear waste sits in an open air pool with no containment structure surrounding it -- a common safety measure in other countries. It must be constantly cooled in order to avoid a spontaneous fire and any increase in temperature causes further degradation in the pool's walls. Experts say the waste must be moved to a modern and safe facility, a process which will likely take Japan, on its own, over two years to complete.

Still TEPCO, Japan's embattled nuclear energy giant, insists everything is fine and won't even allow international assessment. This, despite the fact that TEPCO was caught lying about the safety of Fukushima reactors before last year's disaster.

Occupy Wall Street

This would seem to be indicative of a deeply immoral attitude of authorities in New York towards peaceful protesters.

And why is mainstream media not yelling this from the rooftops?

Hospital visit

Further to recent comments in tatjna's journal about medical costs, and what the TPPA negotiations are threatening to do to Pharmac in New Zealand, I'd just like to record my experince last Monday evening...

About 10pm Istarted to feel rather weary and overdue for bed, particularly as my shoulders began to ache rathr uncomfortably, so I duly retired. Once n bed Igot nicely settled and begn to shake uncontrollably like I was out in a snow storm with not enough cothes, even though I felt warm. Rapid cnsultation with $wife and notnotabouthim ensued, followed by a call to emergency for an ambulance. Duly a couple of young (to me anyway) paramedics turned up and proceeded to quickly diagnose hat I wasn't having a heart attack or any other direly urgent condition, but nonetheless I should be taken to the local Emergency Department. Blood samples were taken and various medications were applied during the transfer. At the ED more blood samples and tests, a couple of Xrays and a CAT scan later the conclusion was reached that I had suffered an infection on my upper lungs, and I was sent home with a prescription for a course of antibiotics.

So the cost to me for all that? $3.00 (for the medicine).

And the US wants to impose it's medical system on us, and our government is bending over and asking "how far?". The billboards get it right - Yeah Right!


Some of you out there may have noticed that a little city about 300km south of me got all shook up about lunchtime today (1251NZDT Feb 22).

I was on my feet when the tremor went through our town so I didn't feel it although several folk in the office did.

I have a son living & studying in Christchurch, who has come through unscathed, and seemingly unperturbed, but as his sister writes here he's a pretty laid back sort of guy and doubtless will be out there helping out in whatever way he can, as he did in September.

The official stats on the event can be found here.