3 am Suddenly awake. Screaming. Sweating. I had had a terrible dream. I had been on a plane with a terrorist. I could tell he was a terrorist due to the fact he had a towel on his head. The scene dissolved into that of a sauna. What am I doing in a sauna with a terrorist? I slap myself. Again. Harder. I’m awake. Calm. I calmly take out the Walther PPK out from under my pillow, calmy. With calmness I stroke it. Sleep comes back to me. Continue reading →
All posts in Public Service Announcements
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jackson Wood
Date: 12 February 2013 10:58
Subject: Job application with spine
To: John Ansell
A bit of a dreary way to start a letter, what with all the connotations about heart wrenching break ups from afar. However, John, this is not a break up letter. It could be, in fact, the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship. Continue reading →
Recently Gareth Morgan — economist, investor, philanthropist, et al — launched a campaign to slowly eradicate all cats in NZ.
I made this image for the lols.
A little while back I heard that The Truth — “New Zealand news the way you want it – for more than 105 years” — was banned in NZ prisons. I wanted to confirm this and see if any other publications were outright banned in NZ prisons.
According to the letter below from the Department of Corrections, The Truth is the only specifically named publication which is banned by Auckland prisons.
“The Auckland Prison Manger and other staff believed the Truth newspaper contained objectionable material and was compromising the prison safety and security. The Truth ban at Auckland Prison was tested by a complaint to the ombudsman and was not upheld.”
The letter goes on to say that other publications may be banned because they are pornographic, violent, gang-related, or prison staff consider they will interfere with effective management of prison.
So each prison has a long list of items, not just publications, which are banned. The general terms are put on this schedule.
Not sure what to make of this. Is The Truth really that objectionable? It would be interesting to see the list of publications which had been confiscated or stopped from coming into the prison under the discretion of prison staff.
Catherine and I got the idea to put together a work-related play list. We solicited input via Twitter and Facebook. This is what we ended up with. We could easily have kept going. But even this selection, which ranges from 1944 to 2012, shows how pervasive drug use is in artistic endeavors and how it sends ripples through our culture. Track listing below the jump. Continue reading →
Last week submissions on the Ministry of Health’s proposal to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in New Zealand closed.
Here are some exerts from my submission.
There is no specific evidence that plain packaging will work. No, they are right. There isn’t. So let’s make some evidence. Data from the New Zealand and Australian experience can be compared to the USA, Canada, and the UK and we can tell if plain packaging has an effect. If not, then the tobacco industry loses nothing.
Should I be able to use my laptop during a meeting? I think yes.
Some of us use our smartphones, tablet, and laptops to take notes and make memos to ourselves.
I can understand not using them in some sessions. You know, like, if it’s a one on one, or you’ve got some high flyer coming to talk to you. Continue reading →
Last week at the Cutting Edge conference the Ministry of Health’s new Director of Mental Health, Dr John Cranshaw, spoke about the Government and ministry priorities in the addiction sector. It was an interesting talk.
Dr Cranshaw pointed out that New Zealand has the second highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD and that alcohol is the major factor in youth suicide.
Recently we have been having a nation-wide debate about alcohol. For the most part the brouhaha around purchase age has been a smoke screen for the alcohol industry to hide behind, diverting attention from the quantifiably more important issues around alcohol price, marketing, and availability.
Continue reading →