Very cool bike

March 14, 2011

I saw this bike for the first time a few weeks ago and regretted not photographing it – but then it turned up again!

All commuters should make this much effort to pimp their bikes.

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Golden Globes

January 19, 2011

I love this photo so much:

Michael Douglas looks like some punter who had wandered into a photo and can’t believe his luck.


Wikileaks: the NZ connection

December 9, 2010

Hilariously, the New Zealand media has managed to find a local angle to the Wikileaks story – good work, given that NZ is a tiny, peaceful, law-abiding place and, as such, probably isn’t the topic of many secret conversations between various world leaders and diplomats.

Apparently, a couple of our beaches are crucial to Amercian interests:

New Zealand’s sole reference relates to the Southern Cross Cable, a fibre optic link between the US, Australia and New Zealand, via Fiji.

The cable comes ashore on Takapuna beach and is buried in a 15 kilometre link across the North Shore and via Whenuapai before diving back into the sea at the Manukau Harbour and heading out to Australia.

Clinton’s cable requires embassies around the world to build a list of “critical infrastructure and key resources” abroad that could be part of a National Infrastructure Protection Plan.

“The overarching goal of the NIPP is to build a safer, more secure, and more resilient America by enhancing protection of the nation’s CI/KR to prevent, deter, neutralize or mitigate the effects of deliberate efforts by terrorists to destroy, incapacitate or exploit them; and to strengthen national preparedness, timely response, and rapid recovery in the event of an attack, natural disaster or other emergency,” Clinton says.

Referring to sites outside the US, she said they want to “identify these critical US foreign dependencies – foreign CI/KR that may affect systems within the US directly or indirectly”.

Embassies are asked to report on the state of security around the facilities and they are told not – twice – to “consult with host governments”.

Perhaps, after his Rugby World Cup-themed honeymoon, Prince William could check out the relevant sites on NATO’s behalf?


Wellington commuter chaos

November 29, 2010

Oh, how I laughed when I read this news story:

Wellington trains are running again following a 55-minute suspension due to a signals failure this afternoon.

Commuters were stranded during rush hour as all trains in and out of Wellington, except the Johnsonville line, were stopped at 4.35pm.

KiwiRail North Island passenger services manager David Knight said the suspension was due to a fault in the integrated signals and points control system.

“We … temporarily stopped train services into and out of Wellington station while we dealt with the issue.”

Due to the short notice and the number of people waiting to board trains, bus replacements had not been arranged, he said.

A Tranz Metro delay notification said the signal fault was now fixed, and services will be back to timetable about 6.30pm.

“We apologise to our passengers for the delay to the journey and will get them home as soon as we can,” Mr Knight said.

Commuters expressed their frustration on Twitter, with one calling Tranz Metro a “useless third world rail system” and another asking “who the hell did the work on the new lines?”.

Another commuter wrote: “TranzMetro that’s OK. Please accept my invoice for cost of alternative arrangements.”

A two-hour delay in public transport scarcely counts as ‘chaos’, surely?  Or am I just tainted by the ‘commuter chaos’ that I regularly deal with in London: repeated Tube strikes, over-crowded trains, that kind of thing? 

It reminds me of the way in which the British press will describe two inches of snow as a ‘blizzard’, prompting everybody living in Canada and North America to smirk.

Chill out, Wellingtonian commuters.  Go and have a beer or something.


Dogs don’t like change

November 18, 2010

The good looking, smooth talking Narly sent me this link from the blog Hyperbole and a Half.  It is an absolutely hilarious story of two dogs’ struggle to cope with moving house.  You should read it immediately and join Narly and me in crying with laughter.