Thursday, August 30, 2012

Same Sex Marriage and the age of alcohol

Just when you start to lose hope in Representative Democracy and write the lot of them off as a bunch of out-of-touch buzzword-infested den of compromised sluts, along comes a couple of old-fashioned conscience bills to clear the air. For once, you actually hear what MPs think on things, beyond the fortessed paddocks of usual party politics. Not bad, considering neither bill would have impacted on me in the slightest way.

The first reading vote for Same Sex Marriage was a curious beast indeed. Reluctant plaudits must be given to John Banks. He might have had more strings attached to him than a Thunderbirds puppet, but he did better in the liberal stakes than the appalling Act munsters who were the only party to vote against the NZSL Bill in the last parliament. I witnessed that news broadcast at Wellington's Deaf Club, and the hands flew blue in disgust.

As others have also noted, I tip my hat at the eloquent and reasonable explanation National MP Paul Hutchison gave in support of the bill. I hope in future to draw on that holistic pragmatism on other matters. Labour MP David Clark, who previously seemed to come from the same Steve Maharey batch of clones as Ian Lees-Galloway, demonstrated that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive concepts, even if the God delusion spins your dial.

I've only skipped through a few of the speeches on the Alcohol Reform vote on the purchase age for alcohol so far. Once I see the tally of who voted where, I might might check out more of the whys. But I'm happy that at least NZers can be treated as adults at 18 years old, across the board. All we have to do now is train them for it as best we can.

The speech that has stuck out the most so far has been Grant Robertson's, where he acknowledged under Parliamentary privilege his underage escapades when the purchase age was 20.

Robertson's honesty resonated for me. As someone who has been drinking alcohol for as long as I can remember (the first one I do remember was when I was given a beer on Xmas Day when I was five and ran away to home. Story for another day, but they supposedly had the cops out looking for me and everything).

The purchase age for alcohol was 20 almost up until I was 20. Even so, I was a casual drinker at the age of nine, a regular drinker at 15, and a regular nightclubber at 17. All of this occurred when the age limit was 20.

A few less nonsensical unenforceable laws would be good, a few more rational and realistic approaches would be better. Being honest is a start.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paula Bennett announces Purity Test for Unemployed

Welfare Minister Paula Bennett today announced that beneficiaries will have to undergo a Purity Test from July next year. Clients who fail the test will face loss of welfare payments, compulsory re-education or a range of other sanctions.

The Mazengarb Test, as it will be called, is a type of morality index that was first developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. The Mazengarb Test is a New Zealand adaptation compiled with the assistance of focus groups, church leaders, police, Whanganui city councillors and other leading voices of the community.

"Instead of taking a piecemeal approach to state interference in peoples' lives - limiting welfare to the DPB based on child bearing, drug testing and so forth - National Mazengarb Testing will revolutionise how the government tells people how to live," said Paula Bennett at a press conference announced at short notice this afternoon. "Loose morals will no longer be tolerated like they were when I was a young Mum," she said.

Bennett took only a few questions after she read out the statement. She refused to give any more details on the Mazengarb scheme, and denied the accusation that this announcement had anything to do with the latest inequality rankings or Children's Commissioner's report into child poverty.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Otautahi's CBD needs is a Tesla Coil

Congratulations on The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman securing the future of Nikolai Tesla's lab for posterity. Encouraged by some lawyer monkey backlash that saw him swimming in money on his blog, Inman took the same philanthropic vector to save Tesla's legacy. Here's an interview with the man behind The Oatmeal in New Scientist.

I've always wanted a Tesla Coil on Wellington's waterfront during summer, but with all this interest in rebuilding after the Otautahi earthquakes, I've got a better idea. Instead of building another church on the rubble of the last one, how about something a bit more secular, awe-inspiring and versatile? How about... a large Tesla Coil or two?

Just look at its uses:
Good for Yanks en route to Antarctica:


Otautahi's infamous boy-racers:

Or pretty much anything, as this 2001: A Space Odyssey / Ghostbusters / Jean-Michel Jarre etc. medley shows:


I'm pretty sure it can do Exponents songs too.

The only Tesla Coil I know of in NZ sits on Alan Gibbs' private estate. If Tiwai Point goes tits up, the Mainland will be sitting on a heap of cheap electricity which cannot get up north through the Cook Strait cables, even after the latest upgrade.

Tesla Coils for the Otautahi CBD makes more economic sense than a covered stadium, whatever way you look at it. Less collateral damage too, as Russell Brown recently observed.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Drugged Driving Nerd; Beyond the Press Release

Good on the NZ Herald's Nicholas Jones copying and pasting a PR and picking up the phone a couple of times, but the ESR report on drugged driving in NZ he glosses over is far more interesting than the sound bites imply.

So why trust me on the subject? Well, apart from having some experience in drug driving from all sorts of angles, I helped put together NORML New Zealand's select committee submission on drugged driving some years ago. Short story, we cautiously favoured a 10ng/mL limit, while acknowledging the wildly subjective nature of doing so. You can view it here. I have also read P.J. O'Rourke's classic How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Having Your Wing Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink.

The Herald's headline is wrong. The study did not find the most crash drivers had taken drugs. 546 of the 1046 drivers (52 percent) whose blood was analysed were found to be unimpaired by drugs or alcohol.

All sorts of other true yet sensational headlines were possible for the NZ Herald, given the contents of the report (it's here, not that the Herald wants to disclose its publicly available sources or anything); "Females appear more likely to drive on sedatives, as opposed to alcohol or cannabis" would be one. "Maori over-represented in alcohol and cannabis driver deaths" might be another. "Straight people five times more likely to kill than cannabis only drivers" is getting warmer, but "Everyone's on drugs in Auckland, yet few people die on the roads there" would probably be the angle I'd go with.

The study in question polled two groups. The main group of 1046 dead drivers, a census of NZ road deaths spanning a five year period between 1st July 2004 and 30th September 2009, was by far the most interesting. In pleb-speak, the ESR could go all CSI on these dead drivers' blood samples.

The basic PR is mainly true:
Of the 1,046 deceased drivers tested for the presence of both alcohol and drugs:
  • 546 (52%) of drivers were not impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
  • 500 (48%) of drivers tested positive for the presence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Of these 500 drivers who tested positive:
  • 135 (27%) recorded the presence of alcohol only;
  • 96 (19%) recorded the presence of cannabis only;
  • 142 (28%) recorded the presence of both alcohol and cannabis (but no other drug), and;
  • 127 (25%) recorded a combination of drugs, including the combination of alcohol and/or cannabis.
Of the 127 deceased drivers who recorded a combination of drugs (other than alcohol or cannabis):
  • 23% recorded the presence of opioids (such as codeine or morphine);
  • 31% recorded the presence of sedatives (such as diazepam), and;
  • 42% recorded the presence of stimulants (such as methamphetamine).
But the detail is so much more fun. Let's see now... 42 percent of 127 is 53.3. Over those five years, ten people a year died with stims in their blood. That's far less of a bad stat than drownings or suicide, for sure.

No, when you're talking about drugged driving, they're talking about cannabis. If they were thinking of alcohol, they'd say drink driving. And that universal problem solvent of alcohol is still most of the problem. Even Auckland MASH wonk Dr Tim Parke couldn't ignore that pink elephant in the waiting room on Nine to Noon today.

The report has this to say about driving under the influence of cannabis (page 18):
There is not a strong correlation between THC blood levels and impairment.

The report goes on to note that single vehicles accidents are more common in alcohol and alcohol with cannabis deaths (tree, power pole), however cannabis only deaths occurred more frequently in multiple vehicle crashes (trucks, and lots of motorbikes hitting cars).

The report looks at odds ratios, drilling right down to how the 18 (of 96, out of 1046) non-culpable cannabis only drivers and how they died. The comfortably numb motorcyclist (18ng/mL) getting killed by a car who failed to give way was sobering enough, but this poor bastard wins the Milan Kundera Award for this ending:
Car hit another then crossed centre line into path of van driven by deceased
Dodge that one, possum.

I do not support Farrar or AA's call for random drug driving testing. Alcohol is still by far the biggest problem. What I would really appreciate is a mature an honest approach to driving and to drugs. To coin Hunter S. Thompson, you can turn your back on a person, back never turn your back on a drug, especially when that drug is steering a ute home from the pub.

And if that doesn't sway you, consider this. The twisted nature of the polydrug damage this report sought to consider, can easily be replicated within the alcohol only group alone. Anyone who has ever mixed their grains and grapes will agree.

Thanks for reading. You've earned a bit of Suzanne Vega:

Monday, August 20, 2012

ANZACs and Afghans

Five dead in a month. A new bloody record. Russell Brown's Media3 has a timely report from NZ's only reporter in Afghanistan, Jon "Eyes Wide Shut" Stephenson. In the extended interview, Stephenson reports that the situation is deteriorating, even in Bamiyan Province. The only sane way to travel in and out of Kabul is by air, as the roads in all directions are too dangerous.

John Key appears to have offended the Hungarian ambassador to Kabul, who called Key's comments on the Hungarian PRT forces malicious and that he didn't seem well-briefed on the matter. Stephenson gives the example that the Hungarian PRT didn't have the job description of Search and Destroy agents, bounty hunters, or whatever elite vigilante protagonists John Key imagined them to be. Not a good look for the Minister responsible for the SIS.

The Economist reports that the Afghan locals have given up all hope of the coalition forces or state police protecting them, and are forming militias. By the sounds of Stephenson, these militias aren't afraid to take on the enemy, be they Taleban or Kiwi. Unless the NZ PRT hunkers down at their base and waits for withdrawal, there will be more dead soldiers.

The only (bittersweet) hope is that China's need for a land route through Afghanistan and Pakistan, linking China through Tibet, provides the infrastructure, security, trust, stability and jobs for the Afghans that the US occupation never did. China's development work in Africa is much more widely respected and encouraged there than anything the former European colonists or the US ever did for them.

The worst case scenarios don't bear thinking about. Only one thing is certain. There is nothing more NZ can do there.


Associate Minister for Education and instigator of charter partnership schools John Banks admits on Christian radio that he believes that the Bible is gospel. In other news, a creationist-leaning school is one of many duller mullahs intending to apply for charter partnership school status, hiring untrained teachers to unleash their unlicensed curriculum:
The Manukau Charitable Christian Trust is one of a number of faith-based groups planning to be, as the Government now calls them, a partnership school. It plans to team up with Manukau Christian School and teach the In God's World philosophy, marked against the Cambridge curriculum.

The philosophy, used at other Christian schools, encourages every subject to be taught so students discover how God made the world, and upholds and governs it. Science and culture modules are taught to equip students to recognise what the In God's World document calls the wonder of God's creation, and that God is the God of history. 
Sweet zombie Jesus, I hope former employer Catherine Isaac can keep the mad-as-a-soup-fork John Banks away from the rubber stamp for approving non-standard schooling (What's with these double standards anyway? Wasn't Act the party of one law for all?) And best of luck to old colleague Cactus Kate, who seems to applying more lipstick than this John Banks pig can handle. Is there any form Banks can transmogrify into that isn't a fuckwit?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lookee Here

Today's DomPost editorial looks at the hypocritical squeals of protest farting out of John Banks over the Electoral Commission's recommendation to abolish Fortress Epsom. But to truly get that acrid taste of reflux from overweaning entitlement, have a listen to NatRad's Focus on Politics, which this week canvasses the views on MMP reform from across the House.

No wonder Readers Digest Trustiness pollsters find politicians ranked alongside used car salesmen and hookers.

Transglobal Underground chaser:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sixed by a bus, not an elbow of flyover

Although I no longer live in Wellington, I keep a keen interest in the evolution of its character. Urban design is one of these aspects. Having walked the streets of Wellington for decades, I have studied its contours, flavours and wind funnels with care.

The recent spate of pedestrian maimings and deaths in the Wellington CBD has been a tragedy. I supported the council's decision to rearrange the bus routes, as long as lower Cuba Street was completely pedestrianised, and most of Mercer St was too. Doing so would help move the foot traffic safely into another stream, away from the old Manners Mall, now Manners Street.

At my verbal submission, this idea was bumped back by Councillors, smirking it off as a bad idea. Lower Cuba Street was a wind-swept area unfit for boulevards or outdoor dining, I was informed. The precinct was best served by a shared space. i.e. road. My written submission also favoured general traffic through Manners Street, not just buses. This point came up in the discussion on the matter on Nine to Noon last Friday.

It's a lot more complex than that, of course. Wellington is full of absent-minded professors, students, joggers, cyclists, rugbyheads and artists in varying states of reverie and/or revelry. They are all creatures of rhythm and habit. It takes years to change that conditioning, their innate trust in the footpath.

It was bad enough that the bypass has turned Upper Cuba and Upper Willis Streets into a game of Frogger for impatient pedestrians. I've lost count of the times I've almost been street-pizzaed when they re-arranged the Ghuznee Street flow. Now the Manners Street/Willis Street nexus has become a new kill zone.

Sean Plunket spoke truth to power on the matter last weekend, pointing out that most of the Council's alleged solutions to the black spot are stupid. I gather temporary fences are currently in vogue, which might stop soccer Mums with prams or mobility scooters, but it's just a small leap for this freedom walker.

The only advice I can offer is what it has always been; keep the traffic types separate as much as possible. When the fleshy bodies have to intersect with the screaming metal boxes, ensure they have weight of numbers and regular crossing times on the fleshy ones' side.

That principle was behind my entry for the aBc urban design competition back in 2007. I'm glad to see that the Basin flyover is going ahead, as well as the cut and cover tunnel under the War Memorial Park. Get that traffic away from cyclists and pedestrians. The only thing they aren't doing which was in my entry was to put the airport bypass through Government House.

Tommy Honey did have a point about the new park on NatRad earlier this week, in that it will be a disjointed open space with no links to the waterfront. Car yards litter the main lateral thoroughfares on either side, in Taranaki St and Cambridge Terrace.  Hopefully, once the tunnel and park are finished and the traffic flows settle down again, Tory Street might become viable as a more pedestrianised link to Courtenay Place and the waterfront.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Bryce Edwards has widened the debate over the Labour party's open heart surgery into a look at the Public Choice Theory / Public Good Practice debate.

On one side of the debate are the Aristotlean realists, who see the body politic as base clay fit only for making ashtrays. Yes Minister was a classic example of this Fuck You Buddy game theory:

On the other are the idealistic Platonists, who see every child as a possible future leader. They don't mourn the expense of welfare. They despair at the waste of human potential, the paragon of animals reduced to silent squalor, indignity and malice.

These are qualities usually exhibited in the social democratic or progressive sphere, which may explain what so many hackles have been raised by Labour's dismal trajectory this year. The party of labour continues to employ the tactics which favour capital instead of working to their traditional strength of sheer (hu)manpower. Au contraire mon frere, the Parliamentary wing is doing a damned good job of alienating all their little helpers.

I've said it before. Fuck the polls. It's a failure of argument. The story Labour are telling is shit. They're telling it all wrong. There's less point to it all than a Seinfeld episode, but the unintentional humour is much more grating. Their main characters seem to be phoning in their performances, and what little plot that exists has all the continuity of amateur porn.

But what do I know? I'm not in a focus group.

Another stab at MMP

I've finally got around to reading the MMP Review's Proposal Paper. Another round of public huinui is being sought before submissions close early next month, before a final list of recommendations is placed before Parliamentarians to Hollywood over/ prevaricate/ cushion the fall.

The report is a largely noddable affair. Yep, good on them saying the biggest single rort that should go is the one seat party fortress that gave disproportionate proportionality to selected swing seats such as Wigram, Epsom and Ohariu. That is, the party threshold is 5 percent, except for Jim Anderton's 1.7 percent in 2002 giving him a free Robson, or Act's 1.51 percent getting a free Roy in 2005, or Act's 3.65 percent in 2008, which bought in Act's penultimate line-up of munsters. The fiddling John Banks can only blame his own party for giving cushion fortresses a bad name.

And good on them for mentioning the proportional crunch on the long horizon, when electorates and List seats face a patching. But that's a whole other can of worms along with Broadcasting allocations, Parliamentary back-doors that favour incumbents, the democratic deficit and all other electoral conundrums that were beyond the group's terms of reference.

If there's any strong objection I have with the report, it is with one word; most. It appears on the rather important matter of the Party Vote threshold, the so-called Goldilocks number. The word is used in a most inappropriate fashion after a long string of similarly non-quantitative qualifiers.

WTF? OK, put the following phrases in order of the size they are describing: A great many, a few, a substantial number, great weight, most, significant number, some. The words appear in the following text:

According to the approximate figures gleaned off the accompanying graphs, the correct answer is:

Some (200), a few (550), most (600), substantial number (950), significant number (1000), great weight (1700), with great many being the superlative (3040).

More bluntly, most submitters (1000 cumulatively) favoured a threshold lower than four per cent. The number of submitters supporting a four cent threshold (600) was only slightly more than all the nutjobs , feather-bed incumbents and Peter Shirtcliffe groupies who wanted the threshold raised.

The report's Goldilocks number of four percent is weakly supported.

The report wisely cautions against applying a different threshold onto elections past. True dat. For all this talk of the Bill and Ben Party getting a seat, the reality is that it will never happen. Likewise, the threat of too many parties in Parliament is an empty threat that is getting emptier as each election comes around. Here's a few factoids from all 6 of NZ's MMP elections:

The report completely ignored any possible link between party list thresholds and voter turnout. Fair go, you can't get too bogged down in the nebulous world of political activity. However, enrolled non-voters are still part of the proportionality mix. Their lack of interest in the dwindling range of parties on offer might just have some effect on the future of MMP.

Likewise, the report ignored that Parliament operated perfectly fine when sub 5 per cent parties were in the House, as noted back there in the second graf. The report also seemed to put too much stock in the public perception that there are too many parties in Parliament, therefore the threshold shouldn't be lowered. This is arrant nonsense. Not only have the numbers of parties contesting elections dropped precipitously, the existing DAGGS (Devil's Advocate Gone Gliding Solo) of Dunne, Banks and Harawira will be unaffected by whatever the party list threshold is set at.

Nor does the report adequately explain how a candidate can win an electorate needing no more than 17,500 votes to secure an electorate of around 35,000 constituents (Nicky Wagner won Otautahi Central last election with 12,064 votes). Yet if that candidate wanted to run a wider, regional and List-only based campaign under a 4 percent threshold, they would need to secure around 92,000 votes to become an MP (Down from the current 115,000 under a 5 percent threshold). Sure, they would also pull in another 4 MPs, at a cost of 18,400 votes each.

That's not proportionate at all. A three percent threshold is the upper reasonable limit for haggling over, not 4. Two and a half is still my sale point.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

House of Palangi

Labour's week of self-harm has led to some excellent commentary. Even the usually dire The Standard has had some good writing from Jenny Michie and Mike Smith. Rob Salmond over at Pundit surveys some factoids, but it is Jordan Carter who hits closest to the mark:
Sometimes I think Josie's notion that there are lessons for us from British Labour's experience is a misreading of New Zealand, but I welcome her reminder that modernisation involves looking forward not back (to quote a Blair slogan).
I came across the same myopia on John Pagani's blog. The post on Philip Gould has been privatised, but Google has an artifact from my comment on Pagani's eulogy:

My comment enquired whether Pagani was familiar with Adam Curtis' series of documentaries, in particular the last episode of Century of Self, featuring a look at the cynical manipulation of the body politic by pollsters and PR manipulators such as Philip Gould. The reply from Pagani above shows his ignorance, as well as his unabashed adoration of Gould's tactics.

NZ is not England, regardless of what the expat Brits escaping Thatcher's England to emigrate to NZ in the 1980's think. If NZ Labour is to move into the 21st century, it must decouple from the UK Labour party and stop copying and pasting its strategy from Old Blighty. All politics is local, and lying back to think of England will not inspire local activists.

Friday, August 10, 2012

We Got the Gun

The old man posing with one of his many shotguns in the local paper

I've been transfixed by the justifications submitted in court for the STG and AOS cameos at the Kim Dotcom mansion. Of course, it's all sub judice still, a bit like the Pussy Riot trial, so I'll have to leave the quality of transfixation to your imagination.

Suffice it to say, the AOS get around. They stormed into a fellow cannabis law reformer's house in Waihi not so long ago, resulting in her appearance in court this week. Ann wouldn't say boo to a schmoo, yet the long armoured arm of the law sez otherwise. But my lips are zipped.

Nor can I comment on the imminent trial of Green Cross founder and cannabis law reformer Billy McKee, who is appearing next month at Palmerston North High Court. The authorities consider him such a clear and present danger to the public, they've called up the prosecutor's A-team from Wellington to lead the attack. Best of luck to Michael Appleby, whom I understand will be defending Billy.

What I can say, is that the shotgun-wielding gentleman at the top of this post voted in favour of Homosexual Law Reform. This man killed more animals than Hemingway, a high score manly member for West Coast-Tasman Damien O'Connor will never beat. But as the Labour MP for Palmerston North, happily married to his second wife, he voted in favour of equal treatment of all people in 1985, regardless of their way of life. He believed people shouldn't be criminalised for their private pursuits of happiness.

I have more bias against the institution of marriage than I do with buggery brothers and scissoring sisters. This is partly due to my father's divorce lawyering, but mainly due to direct observation of the illusion of permanence that sanctified marriage promises. If the LGBT's really want to drink that glamorous Kool Aid, go for it. I just hope they return the favour one day and help stop this other disproportionate invasion of the state into our homes.

You are right, Mr Cohen. Pi is the better movie.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Fred Dagg might be a household god, but I disagree with John Clarke that the most absurd Olympic Sport is rhythmic gymnasts. Nothing is crazier than dressage. No, all gymnastics is missing is the right soundtrack. And Sofia Coppola.

Rest in Peace, PJ.

Methodists in Labour's Madness

The bad blood bubbling within the Labour party has once again spilled out into the MSM.

Senior Labour MPs have gone on record to Duncan Garner saying Cunliffe will never be leader, and that he is not well liked within caucus. This insane tactic is messaging with hand grenades. There's nothing preventing Cunliffe from doing what John A. Lee, Jim Anderton, Peter Dunne and Tariana Turia have done before; spray and walk away. A new Left party with Cunliffe as leader would do unto Labour what Mana did unto the Maori Party.

Meantime, neighbouring Auckland Labour MPs for Mangere and Manurewa are at war over gay marriage. Heir to the Methodist Labour throne of Mangere, Su'a William Sio, has objected to holy-roller Louisa Wall's Private Member's Bill on same-sex marriage and wants the bill withdrawn. Sio can't or won't argue the merits of his alleged colleague's bill to his constituents, while Wall explains that church compassion will be unaffected and can continue along the same lines of ignorance and superstition as the Manurewa Cossie Club's approach to Sikhs.

There is clearly a lot of blood to go under the bridge yet. Here's hoping Tim Barnett, the man who was never minister but made a damned fine senior whip for Clark's government, can instil some discipline into the party. He's got his work cut out for him.

Friday, August 03, 2012

The 49th Paralytics

According to the World Health Organisation, New Zealand drinks around 9.62 litres of alcohol per capita. In the international drinking tables, that puts us 49th= with Namibia. (Hat Tip Boing Boing).

It's not what we're drinking. It's where we're drinking it. And it's certainly not in this country, at least comparatively.

NZ drinks slightly more than the Mormontastic USA (9.44 litres), and slightly more than half the consumption of Moldova, which tops the chart with 18.22 litres per person per year. NZ's consumption rate is lower than our peers in Australia, the Netherlands and Palau (which is one of the few countries who smoke more cannabis per capita than NZ), although way below tight Old Blighty and the Emerald Isles.

1. Moldova     18.22
2. Czech Rep. 16.45
3. Hungary     16.27
4. Russia         15.76
5. Ukraine      15.60
6. Estonia       15.57
7. Andorra     15.48
8. Romania    15.30
9. Slovenia      15.19
10. Belarus     15.13
11.  Croatia    15.11
12. Lithuania  15.03
13. South Korea 14.80
14. Portugal    14.55
15. Ireland      14.41
16. France       13.66
17= United Kingdom   13.37
17= Denmark   13.37
19. Slovakia    13.33
20. Poland      13.25
21. Austria      13.24
22. Luxembourg   13.01
23. Germany  12.81
24. Finland     12.52
25. Latvia       12.50
26. Bulgaria    12.44
27. Uganda     11.93
28. Saint Lucia  11.85
29. Spain         11.62
30. Armenia    11.35
31. Serbia        11.09
32. Switzerland 11.06
33. Kazakhstan  10.96
34. Belgium       10.77
35. Greece         10.75
36. Italy              10.68
37. Azerbaijan   10.60
38. Seychelles     10.59
39. Granada       10.35
40. Sweden         10.30
41. Palau             10.10
42. Netherlands  10.05
43 Australia        10.02
44. Argentina      10
45. Rwanda         9.80
46. Canada          9.77
47. Sierra Leone 9.72
48. Bosnia / Herzegovina  9.63
49= Namibia         9.62

49= New Zealand 9.62

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Satellite of Love

What a bummer that the Pacific Fibre idea has burned out. We're stuck with the Southern Cross cable for monopoly pipe until the Otaki Space program gets capable of launching NZ's own communications satellite (FFS, do not let Telecom organise that project or it'll be CDMA all over again).

In other news, the biggest dune buggy to bugger around on another planet is not expected to burn out when it lands next week. Curiosity abides.