In 2013, New Zealand passed a law creating the world’s first set of regulations to allow the clinical testing and approval of new recreational drugs. Much as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does for medicines, New Zealand’s system stands to create a government-regulated market for legal highs—an attempt to tame the industry not by stamping it out, but by guiding consumers to safe, reliable products, and giving suppliers an incentive to bring such products to market. [more inside]
The school in Auckland with a radical 'no rules' policy (12:00; 2014) [via] has a little in common with the school in Framingham with a radical 'no curriculum' policy (9:13; 2009) [previously], which has a little in common with the self-directed IT school in Paris for ages 18 to 30 (2:13; 2014), which takes some inspiration from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (excerpt, 12:24; 1981).
Following a question posted on social media forum Reddit asking if gardening in New Zealand was illegal, a satirical thread on the topic has gone viral. "My brother was killed in the Moutua Gardens protest. My uncle lost an arm in the 1981 Spring Bok-choi Riots. My sisters were arrested and thrown into prison, without trial, by a police-led mob after they were discovered re-potting gardenias. Every day I live in fear, alienated by my community for having relatives marked by the Green Thumb. I envy the dead."
You're Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk: "The A1/A2 debate has raged for years in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, but it is still virtually unheard of across the pond. That could soon change..." [more inside]
John Green: "Why Are Americans Health Care Costs So High?" A quick, handy little overview of common misconceptions on the US healthcare system. (SLYT)
Just over a year ago New Zealand's parliament debated, passed and then scrapped a law which would in effect withdraw internet access from those accused of illegal filesharing. Today, the New Zealand government is using "urgency" (ostensibly called in order to pass Christchurch earthquake emergency legislation) to pass a new version of that controversial law.
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]
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.
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]
In New Zealand at Ferrit you can buy things online. It hasn't had the best press. But it doesn't do itself any favours either.
New Zealand is a backwater when it comes to high speed internet. Today the government has done something about it.
Kiwi Actually French: Film At 11. The French wine industry is notably protective of domestic producers' rights to use terms like Champagne and Burgundy, both geographic indications of areas of France. The Institut National des Appellation d’Origine even protested against the US registration of the trademark Goats do Roam (sounding similar to Côtes du Rhône). Now one winemaker, Lacheteau, which sells French wine under the brand Kiwi Cuvee, has successfully scared off a New Zealand winery from using the "Kiwi" appelation in the EU.
Time machine for sale. Not too novel, no, but the answers to the questions are great. "Its reassuring to me to know that it all works and i was on the right track. i alot of people thought i was dreamin, and said I was crazy and a dick head. the spatial retemporalizer was added after I sold it so can't help there."
The New Zealand Net Awards have announced their finalists. Picked by a panel of people including Web saavy magazine editors, personal Web site operators, and tech-radio deejays, the NZ awards seem much more even handed, open, and real than the Webbies (albeit only for NZ sites...) And, as far as I can tell, they're doing it on almost no budget. Pretty impressive. Why doesn't this community start something like it?