Over the weekend, PBS' website was hacked by a group calling itself "The Lulz Boat", or "LulzSec". The PBS site displayed a story claiming that rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and well in New Zealand. (He's not). The hack was apparently over the Frontline program that aired last week, 'Wikisecrets', which Julian Assange called "hostile". This follows a separate, unrelated breach at Lockheed Martin, also publicized over the weekend. (Previously)
It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange (Previously) addressed the Oxford Union in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible". That speech is online at publicaddress.net (audio, transcript, highlights) and still resonates today. [more inside]
The Honeymoon From Hell. Stefan and Erika Svanstrom had planned a long trip that would start in Singapore in early December and end in China four months later. But things didn't go exactly as planned. They encountered floods, fires, tsunamis and earthquakes along the way.
Split Enz were to New Zealand what the Beatles were to the UK, and like the fabs their legacy is impressive: an endlessly entertaining back-catalogue and some inspiring solo and band offshoots. One of these, Crowded House, captured more of the world's attention, but few in New Zealand would question the priority of the Enz. Which must be why, in 2007, Radio New Zealand made an eight-hour documentary series split over ten podcasts about their fascinating journey from art-folk-classical-prog to New Wave pop mastery: Enzology is essential listening for any Split Enz fan, featuring "excerpts from all the hits and numerous album tracks, plus previously unreleased demos, live recordings and studio out-takes gathered from the band members' personal archives and elsewhere". [more inside]
Listen to this first: Fraction Too Much Friction... and then listen to this while watching the clip: Liquefaction. Damned talented, them Kiwi's.
Eerily calm - Civil Defence New Zealand has released footage of post-earthquake Christchurch.
I've been greatly enjoying the NZ MetService weather blog for a while now. There are posts about cloud formations, weather pioneers, forecasting, and all kinds of other weather geekery. It does have an NZ slant in places but everyone has weather, and the technical information included is fascinating whatever your location. [more inside]
A massive quake ripped through the Canterbury area of the south island of New Zealand this morning.
"And she was like 'oh my gosh I'm going to have the son of God'. And then she was like 'no I can't, I'm not married and stuff.'" The Christmas story, told by Kiwi kids.
In May 2010, New Zealand introduced a new Animal Welfare Code effectively banning the kosher slaughter of animals, or “shechita”. Agriculture Minister, David Carter, rejected a recommendation from advisers that Jewish ritual slaughter of livestock be exempted from animal welfare rules under the Bill of Rights - which provides for freedom of religious practice. The new welfare code had a requirement that all commercially slaughtered animals first be stunned, and forbade the importation of raw kosher poultry. Carter argued the Code was required on humane grounds, citing a study that said the animals suffered pain. A study which Dr Temple Grandin has subsequently criticised. Jewish law prevents stunning on the basis that this is, in fact, cruel to animals. Halal meat in New Zealand is stunned prior to slaughter. The Jewish community contested the Code through the courts as a direct attack on the freedom to practise Judaism in New Zealand. Bans on ritual slaughter inevitably raise the ugly spectre of anti-Semitism. In November, immediately before the case was due to be heard, Carter made an abrupt u-turn. The practice of shechita on poultry was declared no longer illegal while the Government also agreed to negotiate the ban on sheep. New Zealand Jews will still have to import beef from Australia, where shechita is allowed. The reversal raised the ire of animal rights groups, and raised questions about Carter's motivations in considering the ban. Previously.
New Zealand Police announced this afternoon that they believe that all 29 miners missing at Pike River are now presumed dead. After several days of raised and dashed hopes, a second explosion at the coal mine has devasted hopes that the miners could possibly be alive.
Out and Proud - Gay and lesbian personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force talk about their lives. In his 30-year career with the army, Wood has attended conferences with officers from American services. The notable difference is that Wood can stand alongside his partner of seven years, Gerald Johnstone, and introduce him as such.
Rolf Potts will travel through 12 countries in 42 days, with his current location updated here. He intends to do all this with no luggage, no backpack, no man purse -- not even a fanny pack. [via mefi projects]
At 4:35 am local time, a 7.2 earthquake hit just outside of Christchurch New Zealand. Reports are just coming in of power outages, damage, etc. 7.2 is considered a major earthquake.
Campus A Low Hum is an independent, 3-day, DIY music festival, held in a disused agricultural college in New Zealand. Conceived as a "campaign against crap festivals", Campus performances are intimate, stages are multiple, parties erupt spontaneously, school-like group activities are participated in with gusto – and it's happening again next year! [more inside]
A 24-hour website-in-a-day competition with national honours on the line, FullCodePress is currently underway. This is the third competition, and the first with a team from the United States. The competition chooses non-profit organisations, and the teams have 24 hours to build a fully-functioning site. Catch up with the overnight highlights, or see the sites being built by the Codaroos, Code Blacks, or Team USA as they develop. For those not allergic to twitter, cheering and trashtalking here.
Director Guillermo Del Toro has announced that he will no longer be directing The Hobbit, and has made a follow up statement today. Speculation is rife as to what he might work on next, having given up that massive commitment. Some are speculating, based on this AICN interview promoting the movie Splice, that going forwards with his adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness may be on his mind again.
Arise, Sir Peter. Renowned film director Peter Jackson was invested by the Queen's representative in New Zealand yesterday, as a Knight Bachelor Companion of the Order of Merit. Modern Knighthoods are principally a British and European convention, exported to the Commonwealth colonies, and seen by some as a continuation of social class. Labour discontinued them in 2000 in favour of more egalitarian titles (and with associated republican ideals), however they were restored in 2009 by the right-wing National party government, to a mixed reception.
American soldiers wounded in the Pacific War recuperate in New Zealand (and check out the women). American Marines mop up in Guadalcanal. US Marine baseball players put on an exhibition game for New Zealanders, to everyone's apparent bemusement. WWII propaganda films made by the New Zealand Film Unit, curated and digitized by Archives New Zealand. [more inside]
Every year for the past 26 years, the United States has faced off against New Zealand in rugby ... on the ice sheets of McMurdo Sound. [Pages 2, 3, 4] [more inside]
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
Ryan Strathfield has uploaded hundreds of rock and pop songs from Australia and New Zealand to YouTube, organized by year (full list inside). Here are some favorites, Marcia Hines' Eleanor Rigby, The Boys Next Door's Shivers, The Falling Joys' You're in a Mess, Split Enz' I See Red and Warumpi Band's Blackfella Whitefella. Strathfield focuses on the period 1974-89 but it extends back into the 60s and forward into the 90s. [more inside]
Just Add New Zealanders — a compilation of short-form film, music videos, movie trailers, and interactive promos. Check out the locations section for photos of the world-class scenic beauty New Zealand is famous for.
3 o' clock in the morning, you're buying a pie from the BP station, what must you always do? New Zealand police officer delivers a stern warning on the hazards of thermo-nuclear pies and becomes a Youtube Hit. [more inside]
Legends from New Zealand held that there was a large predator bird, known as pouakai, that was big enough to carry human beings off to its nest or den. Some people associated stories of Pouakai with the giant flightless Moa, extinct in 1773. Others thought it might be another extinct giant bird on the South Island, Haast's Eagle (Harpagornis moorei). The eagle, locally known as Te Hokioi, has been extinct for 500 years, overlapping with the early settlers by some 200 years. There was some speculation that the giant eagle was a scavenger due to partially protected nasal openings, which are benefit to protect nasal cavities when digging into carcasses, analogous to features found on accipitrid vultures. Recent studies have provide there is proof that the Haast's Eagle was a fearsome predator, with talons like tigers and the ability to dive on prey at 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph). [more inside]
The Commons' Photostream from the National Library of New Zealand is a collection of late 19th and early 20th century photography. Includes a selection of stereographs from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington-based photographer William Hall Raine, and panoramas of New Zealand from Robert Percy Moore. There is lots, lots more, and the NLNZ is continuing to update regularly. [more inside]
Sir George Julius's Automatic Totalisator, first used by the public in New Zealand, and quickly taken up by racetracks throughout Australasia and North America (warning hideous HTML), automates parimutuel betting.
New Zealand voters want to smack their children. 1.4 million New Zealanders (87.6% of votes cast) have voted "No" to the question "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?". Regardless of opinion, this seemingly innocent question has been steeped in controversy. Voters have been confused, ambivalent, and perhaps misunderstood the law. The Prime Minister indicated he would ignore the result, and even the referendum initiators (intent on legalising smacking for corrective purposes) are divided on what the result means, some wanting explicit rights to use wooden spoons. [more inside]
To launch their new "all black" away strip, English premier football side Everton hired a dance troupe perform a "flippant" version of the Maori haka with English lyrics. Ngati Toa, the iwi of the chief Te Rauparaha who penned the haka "Ka mate" performed by the All Blacks, have in the past attempted and failed to trade mark it to prevent commercial use (and misuse), and have had the issue addressed in their Treaty of Waitangi settlement. This follows controversy over the Spice Girls, an alcopop company, Italian models for Fiat, and the Royal Shakespeare Company all performing the haka inappropriately. And Jean Paul Gaultier deploying the moko on models in a French collection. Opinion over the Everton haka is naturally divided. Previously: Lego faced criticism for using Maori names for its Bionicles range, and we talked about the haka and about cultural IP.
Nationally famous (in New Zealand) dance troupe the Real Hot Bitches set the world record for synchronised dance. [SLYT]
As a belated tribute (of sorts) to Victoria Day, may you find interest in a variety of Victorina era literature, short and long. In the short category, there is Chit-Chat of Humor, Wit, and Anecdote (Edited by Pierce Pungent; New York: Stringer & Townsend (1857), who has written quite a bit of such work) [via mefi projects], and Conundrums New and Old (Collected by John Ray Frederick; J. Drake & Company Publishers Chicago, 1902) [via mefi projects] This publishing house also published The Art of Characturing, copyright 1941. If you prefer your antiquated humor with a twist, take a gander at bizarro version of Conundrums New and Old [via mefi projects]. In the category of longer works, behold the The Lost Novels of Victorian New Zealand [via an older mefi projects]. [more inside]
Sixto Rodriguez aka Rod Riguez was a platinum-selling urban-poet folk-funk singer in South Africa, a hit across Australia and New Zealand -- and had no idea. He was working on a construction site in his home town of Detroit until his daughter Eva Alicia found a fansite called "The Great Rodriguez Hunt". [more inside]
Tomorrow is ANZAC Day, when Australia and New Zealand remembers its fallen diggers who gave their lives (video link) in defence of our freedoms in the major conflicts of the 20th century. If you can, you really should try and attend one of the many dawn services that will be held at numerous war memorials located all around both countries tomorrow. Many of these memorials to the fallen have been documented and are now viewable online. Check out the war memorial pages for Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria (The Shrine of Rememberance in Victoria has its own web page), South Australia and the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the big one in the ACT, the Australian War Memorial. New Zealand has documented many of theirs online as well. Lest we forget, there's also a memorial at ANZAC Cove itself.
In 1939, a 13-year-old boy discovered New Zealand's most significant archaeological site—the remains of a 700-year-old Māori village on the Wairau Bar, Marlborough ... [more inside]
What DeLillo can tell us about Gilchrist Nicely-composed meditation on the parallels between the career of NZ political police tout Rob Gilchrist and the characters described in Don DeLillo's 1988 novel Libra.
The first episode of the new season of Flight of the Conchords is available to watch free online (US only, sorry). "Formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo," their first season was chock full of hilarious moments and musical interludes, including some drawn from their live performances. Previously on Metafilter.
It's election season, and the stakes are high. The incumbent party is looking a little frayed, and people are looking for change. The opposition leader (a young chap, who despite being neither gifted, nor black, has likened himself to someone of that definition) is accused of profiting from parliamentary questions about undeclared shareholdings. And forget about your $700 Billion, this election has been rocked by scandal over an undeclared NZ$100,000 donation. Some would suggest that the state of the nation can be read largely through sales of doggy chew toys.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice surprised New Zealand during her visit by calling us allies, despite our long history of disagreement over certain issues. The Auckland Student Association's shameless plug for self promotion has prompted a response.
New Zealand War Art showcases about 1,500 images of New Zealanders at war beginning with World War I. Lots and lots and lots and lots of images in a wide variety of media by a long list of artists. [more inside]
Urban Pasifika, a sub-genre of hip hop which combines American style hip hop or R&B rhyming and beats with Pacific Island or Māori instrumentation. While older artist covered topics like polynesian heritage, the disconnect from immgration to another land and support for Māori sovereignty. [more inside]
Joseph Herscher spent 6 months creating his "Monster Marble Machine," an entrant in Cadbury's "Unleash The Goo" competition. While just a runner-up, he's gaining attention for his Rube Goldberg inspired solution.
First, a bit of an introduction to the game of Cricket (youtube) for those of us who may not be familiar with the sport. Next, a few clips (1, 2, 3, 4) on how awesome the Gentleman's Game can be (and you thought we didn't do anything but roam around in our white pants and cotton shirts...). But, if that wasn't enough for you, then here's a taste of Twenty20 Cricket (the fast, fast paced version of the game), and the new DLF Indian (pdf) Premier League. (This is in addition to the One Day Matches, which were instituted to bring in a bit more excitement into the game during the 1970's, prior to which the match only consisted of Tests. However, some purists still maintain that the game would've been better served had it not been commercalized to the extent that it has, and still prefer the leisurely pace of the original format to its current incarnation.) [more inside]
Sir Edmund Hillary died today, aged 88. Best known as the man who "knocked the bastard off", by scaling Mt Everest, Hillary was an adventurer, activist, and all round kiwi bloke. We will miss you.
Tame Iti, Maori activist, is no stranger to controversy - with his full facial moko he has a face you won't soon forget. But is he a terrorist? Recently, the New Zealand Police force carried out a series of "raids" against a "training camp" in the north island, in the first use of the Terrorism Suppression Act, legislated in 2002. The act itself is not without it's critics but the country seems divided about the raids. Deluded extremists? Harmless Activist? or Real Threat? Some have claimed the raids are politically motivated, enacted by a police force with a declining public image. The whole case is racially loaded [more inside]
The New Zealand media knows when something is funny[youtube], but seems parliament lacks a sense of humor. Parliament is moving to restrict publication of footage of MPs misbehaving. Oh well. No more of this then. Censorship of satire? What Next?