The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spending $6.25 to save $2.00 

So WINZ and ARC staff are forbidden to use the new Northern Toll Road, unless of course they wish to pay for it out of their own post-tax incomes. (Which I'm guessing they probably don't).

Note that use of the toll road saves, on average, 10 minutes (each way) on a north-south journey in the Orewa/Waiwera area.

Some conservative assumptions suggest that these numbskull organizations are paying $6.25 in wages/salaries in order to save $2.

Given an average hourly rate of $25/employee and an average of 1.5 employees/vehicle, the "extra" 10 minute diversion costs $6.25 in wages. Each way.

So a return voyage in which using the toll road would save 20 minutes actually costs these organizations $12.50 in unnecessary labour costs, while saving them a mere $4 in tolls (and perhaps a little more in adminstration costs). So a net cost of about $8.50 then.

I'll not really consider the administration costs, as I'm not considering the extra fuel costs either. By cutting out 4km of driving - specifically over that break-neck hill around Waiwera, and through the interminable stop-start roads of Orewa - I'd wager the tunnel saves on average 0.5L/fuel per trip. Let's cost that at $0.75 ($1.50 for a return). And then there's the wear and tear, and depreciation of vehicles to consider too.

The break-even point (considering only 'lost' wages) is a single employee in the vehicle earning $12/hour (Calculation: $12*(1/6)=$2). In a curious coincidence, that's the minimum wage. And I don't think these organizations employ too many people at the minimum wage (despite the best intentions of, e.g., Rodney Hide).

It's one thing for private organizations to waste money and act like idiots, but WINZ and the ARC are funded by taxpayers and ratepayers respectively.

Smarten up, morons.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Hangin' Tough 

I don't think anyone realized that the new government's 100 days of action would actually begin with about 20 days of action, followed by 60 days of slumber. Don't worry though, because Bill English sure ain't. He's remarkably chipper:

"People are pretty resilient around this recession," he told reporters.
"Where 20 years ago they might have been paralysed by the prospect of a economic downturn we are talking to businesses, to people on the shop floor, to civil servants – who are rolling up their sleeves ready to do what needs to be done."
Well I know your job is secure for the length of the electoral cycle, Bill, but how would you feel if you were stuck for another two years paying 8.5% on a mortgage worth more than the current market value of your house, with the very real danger of your household income being halved in the immediate future due to one partner being made redundant?

I'm betting you'd be getting pretty close to "paralysis" due to that sensation known as fear.

Hell, even Darth George is getting fed up with your government's do nothing attitude.

Not even a bag of hammers?

It's not that people hold National responsible for the local consequences of world-wide recession (although the baying mob will tell you it's Labour's fault for, um ... I dunno, not capitalizing on good times, or something), or that anyone believes it has a silver bullet unavailable to any other government, but it should at least look lively.

The "nothing to see here, move along" approach just won't cut it.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Canada's Budget: The Worst Joke Ever. 

So let me get this straight:

World economies are messed up beyond belief.
Thousands of Canadians are losing their jobs.
Manufacturing and resource sectors are dying these days.

And Stephen Harper's answer to boosting Canada's economy? Paint your house and replant your lawn for $1,300.

Is this a damn joke? Or are these people completely inept?

What's more alarming is that the opposition didn't sink this stupidity right away.

No, no, we're going to wait around and see the growth and prosperity that comes out of a bag of fertilizer and a bag of hammers.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Your presence here affects the mind of my people like a fever 

If there is one thing that history proves time and time again, it is that every people, regardless of nationality, race or creed, will sooner or later face a previously-unfathomable, yet gaspingly formiddable crisis - one that takes the resolve of their entire people to combat and defeat.

And while I hate to strike fear into your hearts, I must warn one and all: New Zealand's time of reckoning is upon us.

This threat is far greater to our nation that the Yellow Peril, a thousand times more material to New Zealand than terrorism, more blatantly sarcastic in practice than Dear Leader's PR team, and more dangerous to the State's collective mental health than the trip to Room 101 was for poor Winston.

Ladies and gentlemen -- Columninism is already among us.

For those of you who are unaware of the term - columninism represents the growing trend in the mainstream printed media to employ people who by their very nature are prone to intellectual-dishonesty and outright hyprocrisy.

They are employed by the mainstream media solely for their ability for mouth off on things about which they specifically know nothing about.

Example 1: Garth George meets global warming

In January 2008, following the previous month's United Nations Climate Change conference in Bali the NZ Herald's columnist decided to branch out from his usual conservative religious realm of writing and wade into the topic of climate change.

To the average Joe one might assume a writer researching a piece on climate change, and who wasn't a scientist by training, would search the world wide web for information and perhaps look at the largest bodies looking into and conducting reasearch on the matter like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Or perhaps that's too heavy for an untrained eye - perhaps you could even pop along to the local video store and hire a copy of the easily-digestable and well-known film like Al Gore's An Incovenient Truth.

But that would be a logical and intelligent approach to a deadly serious issue - something columninism simply has no time for.

Instead, Garth George clutches at the entirely discredited climate change-denialist straw, and highlights the "most important document tabled":

It was a letter written on behalf of more than 100 prominent scientists from around the world, including at least seven from New Zealand, to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. And it said that the climate conference was taking the world in entirely the wrong direction because significant new peer-reviewed research had cast even more doubt on the theory of dangerous human-caused warming...."Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile," the scientists wrote, "and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems."

There's a copy of the letter here and more interestingly a list of signatories to this letter.

Now if you have a look through the list of "100 prominent scientists from around the world" you will see that many are from disciplines perhaps you wouldn't equate with expertise in climate change.

The number of economists, geophysicists, and people leading organisations such as the "Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity" start to raise questions about many of the signatories climate change deducing abilities.

Shucks, our own Owen McShane, "PhD, economist, head of the International Climate Science Coalition; Director, Centre for Resource Management Studies" - even makes an appearance on the do many others from this organisation whose credibility Garth George's own publication has regularly poured scorn on:

Mr Boxer said the incident came just as a New Zealand sceptic Owen McShane, linked to the Heartland Institute, yesterday put his case to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Government's emissions trading scheme.
"If this latest incident is any indication of the veracity of sceptics' case, let's hope the select committee paid no heed to his submission."
Heartland paid for Mr McShane to attend a conference in New York and also helped him and a fellow member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, Bryan Leyland, to travel to the recent UN climate conference in Bali.
Mr McShane confirmed to the Herald he had his airfares to New York paid for by Heartland.

Indeed, many of bloggingitreal's friends over at nzclimatescience make an appearance on the list. 

And I'm not really sure whether claiming to be "director" of this organisation and "head" of this one, to boost your prominence when signing your name on international letters to the United Nations, is really valid when those organisations are completely your own creations. 

A bit like a paper boy calling himself the senior representative of Neighbourhood Deliveries Inc and Executive vice president of the Mobile News. 

And just out of interest if Owen McShane really does have a PhD - as claimed in this letter - isn't it strange he makes no mention of it on his list of qualifications on his own website...nor at nzclimatescience? 

Can anyone say Mary-Anne Thompson three times fast?

I wonder how many of the other 100 signatories fly around the world courtesy of big oil?

Despite my best investigations I have been unable to confirm whether this impassioned plea to Ban Ki-moon arrived with a Shell Group letterhead.

Nor does Garth George mention that at the end of the conference all delegates...including George Bush's United States conceded that:

...pollution that causes global warming will have to be cut in half around the globe by the middle of the century if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
The verbal concession, a dramatic U-turn, came amid unprecedented pressure on the United States in the closing session of the top-level climate conference in Bali. In scenes never before witnessed in international diplomacy, the US was booed and hissed by the representatives of nearly 190 nations for trying to obstruct agreement.

This is not to say there are not valid criticisms to be made of the Bali conference - there are many - but to deliberately align yourself with the idiots is classic columninism.

2) Michael Laws meets the Middle East

In his column for the Sunday Star-Times Michael Laws rushes to the defence of an Israeli tennis player targetted for peaceful protest by Aucklanders at the recent ASB Classic while Israel conducted its massacre in Gaza.

IT WAS no surprise that anti-West activist, John Minto, singled out Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer as an agent of evil this past week but that was the minor aberration in a week of anti-Jewish weirdness.
There was twit-nit Catholic priest Gerard Burns daubing his blood over a peace monument, bizarro MP Keith Locke accusing Israel of war crimes, and sundry radio commentators giving full voice to anti-Semitic outrage....They were assisted in their cause by an error of war a UN-controlled school receiving a direct hit from an Israeli shell.

Michael Laws employs the key tactic of columninism - ignore the facts! 

Don't mention the massive disparity in the use of force and death, don't mention that the "error of war" was repeated time and time again as UN vehicles and their personal were directly targetted, nor Israel's alleged use of chemical weapons, don't mention that those in Gaza are prisoners in their own country and oppressed on a daily basis by Israel's blockades, nor the thousands of Palestinians made homeless, nor that Hamas' rockets, while undoubtedly terrifying, are largely ineffective in terms of killing.

Instead use inane comparisons....which are so out of context they would enrage anyone with half a brain:

If Fiji, for example, were to send suicide bombers and rain down rockets on Auckland and surrounds, in protest at past actions, I wonder how long before New Zealand's patience similarly snapped? Especially if the governing Fijian regime wanted this country for themselves.

3) Adam Parore meets Jesse Ryder

In the sports media you will find that columninism is particularly entrenched.

Columnists concoct deliberately inflammatory and unproven statements that the media then feed on like incestuous cannibals in a drunken frenzy -endlessly repeating the initial crap ensuring that nothing more than gallon after gallon of publicised intellectually-retarding bile is ever produced.

Its personalities over performance, off-field rumours as opposed to on-field stats, egos over accomplishments.

Lets take Adam Parore's infamous criticism of Jesse Ryder as being too fat to represent New Zealand at cricket:

In recent times I've generally supported the work of the national selectors. In most respects I believe they've done a good job. But this decision leaves me cold.
For a start, the way Ryder presents himself is a bad sign.
He's too fat. He's in no fit state to play for New Zealand and if I was still in the national side, I wouldn't want him in my dressing room.
He claims to have lost 10kg, in which case you can only wonder what shape he was in before that.
This selection sends a poor message to other players. There is an implication that fitness parameters only apply to some players.....One way of judging whether a player is fit for international cricket is simply by looking at him. You can usually get a good gauge whether they will be up to the job of spending a hot day in the field without falling apart in the final session. On that score, Ryder simply doesn't cut it.

No doubt, Jesse Ryder has had his off-field dramas but his statistics speak for themselves - he was never too fat to play international cricket.

And if Parore sees fit to question Ryder's off field behaviour - "Then you consider Ryder's off-field track record, his problems with discipline and alcohol" - then surely it should come with some disclaimer about his own light-fingered off-field behaviour?

That's what decent people do.

4) Bill Ralston meets domestic violence

Over at Public Address Russell Brown has recently been raging against the columinism machine.

In the past year, Bill Ralston has frequently seemed to have more words to write in columns every week than he has ideas to write about. But I'm not sure if he's written anything as poor and tendentious as his column in last weekend's Herald on Sunday

Ralston's attack on the government's attempt to highlight domestic violence, through an advertising campaign largely focussed on male-led violence, (and in which Russell Brown) prompted Brown to look at the facts and statistics surrounding the issue:

No one is denying that women commit violence in relationships or families. It happens. I've seen it. But the fact sheet notes that that six times as many men in New Zealand are apprehended for family violence offences as women and that 92% of protection orders are sought by women...

Ralston is welcome to think me "smug". And I will have no choice but to regard him as a fool until he stops writing like one.

5) Germaine Greer on Steve Irwin

Like many ills - columninism does not respect international borders nor only afflict New Zealanders.

Australians and the world must endure Germaine Greer: her cruel column attacking world-wide nature icon, and seriously all-round nice guy, Steve Irwin when his body was barely out of the water, was designed to boost her own profile and infuriate grieving people:
The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn.
These columnists are often nothing more insidious than loud-mouthed idiots (Laws/Parore), or just out to boost their own egos (Ralston/Greer) or just plain fucking morons (George) but they are fools who the mainstream media devotes massive amount of time and column inches towards - succeeding in bending the shape of the news to their own conflict-orientated desire and deliberately making us all a little stupider in the process.

Like the old saying goes - better dead than read.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Zealand Cricket, a Hazard to your Batsman's Health 

After an exhaustive study lasting for about 3 hours spread over 3 nights and 9 beers I have come up with the following statistics PROVING beyond a shadow of a doubt that being selected for the Blackcaps and going into their 'environment' is a bad career move if you enjoy gripping a wooden tool.

Essentially what I did was go back and look at all our batsmen that have played test cricket for NZ post 2000 and compared the first half of their careers with the second half of their careers.

Now you would expect that when a player first plays test cricket they are a bit inexperienced, raw and prone to performing a little below their ability. And as time goes by they gain confidence and experience and improve on their performance. There is an expression often bandied around in the NRL that players don't become really useful until they have played 100 first grade games. For most players that would be in their 5th season. Now I'm aware that batting in cricket is for the most parts a game based around eye sight and reflexes on the back of a solid foundation of being able to play cricket strokes but all the same, I expect NZ batsmen to improve after being called into the Blackcaps. They have access to the best coaches, facilities and technology in terms of analysis. They also get to face the best bowlers in the world and should become more comfortable facing them over time, NOT LESS.

But indeed ladies and gentlemen, out batsmen as a whole have worsened while being a part of the Blackcaps setup.

And here is the proof. Of the 24 players I looked at, 14 have seen their average go down and just 10 have improved over the second half of their career. The 'average average' for the first half of their careers is 33.53 and the average for the second half of their careers is 30.04. Bare in mind that those stats would look even worse if they didn't drop players for crap form.

Here's the stats fo yo ass in alfabetakill orda.

ASTLE 35.94 to 37.06 improved with age until Bracewell fucked him off (or told him to fuck off).

BELL 14.7 to 33.9 I don't think you could do worse than 14.7 but that's a respectable second half from Bell. A shame about the 3 ducks in his last 5 innings.

CAIRNS 27.78 to 39.41 As raw as hell when first selected as a 19 year old, he started to own that shit late in his career and went from a pie chucker to quite a skillful bowler as well.

CUMMING 27.89 to 23.75 A 74 on debut and then fails to pass 50 thereafter. Probably a bit limited for this level. Solid (and I mean that in a nice way) failure.

FLEMING 37.18 to 44.92 No point commenting on this guys career. We all analysed it to shit.

FLYNN 38.8 to 46.17 Helped by not outs. Limited ability, relies on Yamis's stock shot of the angled bat down through gully for a single or better yet a 4. Expect him to crash and burn and never been seen in a NZ shirt with black stripy arms again beyond 2009.

FULTON 29 to 19.6 Lacks technique against top bowlers but possibly a victim of the life and form sucking Bracewell vampire era.

HORNE 38.63 to 17.8 What the fuck happened here? old age?

HOW 21.19 to 25.41 Showed real promise but for some reason has had a mental implosion and now seems to lack basic intelligence as to how to craft an innings. Form has turned to shit but may get it back.

McCULLUM 33.7 to 29.4 Now this is concerning and I put it down to Twenty FUCKING 20 (and John Bracewell). This guy is New Zealand Crickets answer to Dan Carters sabbatical accept McCullum will seemingly be allowed one EVERY FUCKING YEAR GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

McMILLAN 40.3 to 36.5 Ummmmmmm, diabetes plus Bracewell?

J MARSHALL 26 to 12.4 How did this guy get selected in the first place? Mind you he probably just about deserves it on current form. A nice wee example of a guy who got worse after being in the BC setup.

H MARSHALL 60.4 to 13.5 Now that is a booming fall from grace. He looked like THA BOMB for a while there but then NZC sunk their ugly claws into him.

ORAM 43.73 to 31.17 This crippled old fool reckons he's about one more serious injury away from becoming a batsman only. I say he's about one serious injury away from a dog food factory. Another good example though of a talented cricketer losing it at the batting crease after too many meetings with Bracewell.

PARORE 25.42 to 27.23 Almost doesn't qualify for the list because he's been gone for a fair while but a solid second half to his career but never quite produced as we all expected. Probably should have averaged about 30.

PAPPS 24.57 to 9.25 Yep, awesome.

REDMOND 10.4 to 37.7 Selected because of his dads long and illustrious career. The jury is still out after just 14 innings but I'd say he's fairly close to being out himself.

RICHARDSON 47.1 to 37.7 No brainer here. Old age and stress caused this second half decline but even so, this was a REAL opener produced in NZ (excusing the fact he started as an offspinner). I often lay awake at night with tears on my pillow thinking about a NZ opener who was making serious runs.

RYDER 44.6 to 44.2 Just starting out but expect that average to drop to 40 (if he turns out to be good) or 35 (if he turns out to have just been lucky so far). Or it could just stay at 44.5 after he gets busted for shagging a blowup doll on a beach in Wellington in broad daylight after a night on the turps.

SINCLAIR 44.5 to 22 A headjob. Nothing to blame here except genetics.

STYRIS 41.2 to 30.9 The passion disappeared here. Or skill? Or the body? or else fucking Bracewell!

TAYLOR 45.6 to 24.2 Now this is just not on! Sort yourself out. This is the McCullum illness here. Twenty FUCKING 20 and John Bracewell!

VETTORI 16.8 to 38.2 Here is a man who has grown some balls at the crease. Although it was largely forced on him by the abomination known as the NZ batting lineup over several years. Well done that man.

VINCENT 29.4 to 38.7 Looking at that you'd wonder why he still isn't having a crack especially when his last 6 test scores were 52, 224, 13, 92, 33 and 4. Anyway, I'm off to buy a lotto ticket.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gone by lunchtime 

It's taken barely a day for the new United States President Barack Obama to declare his support for an ideal New Zealand has staunchly cherished for the last two and a half decades - a world without nuclear weapons.
The other notable shift in US foreign policy announced today was a strategic decision to move towards a "nuclear free world", through bilateral and multilateral disarmament. "Obama and [Vice President Joe] Biden will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons, and pursue it," according to the agenda. It is a long term goal. The US will maintain a "strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist", but begin to take steps on the "long road towards eliminating nuclear weapons".
The development of new nuclear weapons will be stopped, a sharp change from the Bush administration that pushed for a new generation of warheads, and the new administration will work with Moscow to take US and Russian missiles off their current hair trigger alert, while seeking "dramatic reductions in US and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapons and material".

Big ups to the former Labour Prime Minister David Lange et al for standing strong for all those years in the face of massive criticism from international and domestic right wing fools.

Time will prove what visionary leaders these New Zealanders were.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out 

So long, Dubya. You've been a complete and utter fuckwit. As NRT suggests, even if Obama "is only as bad as Clinton, he'll still be a vast improvement on the Bush Administration." Clinton was frequently a jackass - who victimized the poor in his own country, and instigated various atrocities abroad - but is made to look really bloody good by virtue of being bookended by the mediocre George H. W. Bush, and his atrocious son.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Where's the video? 

John Key fell down and broke his arm. I look forward to the usual suspect posting video footage on his blog, thereby inviting the ridicule and hate-filled invective of the baying mob.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

This is what sport is all about 

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars," said George Best. "The rest I just squandered."

There's a great article to accompany this great quote in the Herald at the moment, albeit mistitled, profiling some of the great drinking sportsmen of the past and present.

These are men who rise to the pinnacle of their chosen profession because of their never say die competitveness, the same temperament which sees great things occur on the sports field sees them out perform others in bars and clubs damned the social consequences inflicted upon them by the goody-two-shoes, toffee-nosed you 'shouldn't be behaving in this manner' hypocritical Ruth Dyson's of our world.

While some, rush to condemn young sportsmen like Jesse Ryder for going out and having a few beers with the lads I applaud this behaviour - suppressing the overwhelming desire to socialise many young people have can have devastating effects on high performance - ask Chris Pringle, who qualifies in cricket's all time boozers XI over at

I recall Ken Rutherford writing that if Pringle was banned from socializing on tour his performance would inevitably suffer - couldn't find a line or a length, but if he rocked in to the team hotel at 5am in the morning drunk as a skunk he would inevitably be in devastating form.

Sure, people will rush to point out that there are occassionally accidents and incidents associated with this type of behaviour that negatively effect the sportsman.... like Jesse's finger....but they forget that sometimes shit just happens.

Look at the talented league player Sione Faumuina who was minding his own business driving home when his car flipped!

Celebrate diversity!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"I'll wallpaper, you take a rest" 

So my wife just said to me and don't mind if I do.

When she told me she wanted to wallpaper a couple of rooms in the house I had visions of people wallpapering in 1893 and wondered if they still even made wallpaper but a trip to Resenes has shown me that they certainly do. In fact there are tens of thousands of designs to choose from and a lot of them are very cool. Just a shame it is costing about 320 dollars to wallpaper a room that it would cost 20 dollars to paint. And then of course there was the moulding that we put around the room that was another $100. There goes SKY for another year.

Anyway, I'm off to rest.

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I wonder why it is cheaper to fly from Edmonton-Las Vegas than from Edmonton-Vancouver?

The distance between Edmonton and Las Vegas is basically double that of Edmonton to Vancouver (2200 vs 1100 km), and the flight time is more than double (a little over 3 hours 10 mins vs 1 hour 20 mins). Methinks that there may be certain hotel/casino chains subsidizing the cost of airfares to and from Vegas ... because Canadian airlines which normally never hesitate to subject the flying public to the most heinous price-gouging consistently offer very reasonable fares. That is, the kind of fares where the taxes are almost as much as the ticket.

Interestingly, google maps tells me I could walk from Edmonton to Las Vegas in 18 days and 21 hours. But given how cheap airfares are I don't think I'll bother.

For next to nothing I can be on Bob Hope's turf. Frank Sinatra's. Spiro Agnew's.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This is our 1294th post for the record. I don't know how many I've made. A stab in the dark at about 500 odd.

Righty oh, the NFL this year has seen me see exactly ZERO games on TV. The old curse of having no sky tv (may bother to get it this year) and being at work when most of it has been on is the main reason. My St Louis Rams had an outstanding season with 2 wins and 14 losses. Amazingly they weren't the worst team in the comp. That tag goes to the Detroit Lions who lost all 16 games to become (technically) the worst team in NFL history. I guess it has something to do with the car industry.

The Rams "greatest show on turf" sure seems like a long time ago now. Hopefully they can get a decent fucking quarterback and a few players that stay healthy for a season next year.

But to move to the teams that are still alive (and there are 4)...
Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC
Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals in the NFC

To explain the different conferences... they are fucking stupid like all American sports. It's divided into the AFC and the NFC and the best team from each conference plays off for the Superbowl. So theoretically (and often factually) the best teams do not play in the Superbowl because they are on the same side of the draw. Imagine the Super 14 being split into pools say where the Blues and Crusaders were in the same pool and only one team could advance to the playoffs EVERY YEAR, while they went on to meet the Hurricanes in a conference playoff game and only one team could advance to the final.

That's American sport.

So under the current system you could never ever, in the history of the sport see the following Superbowl matches...
New England v New York Jets
Miami v Denver
Pittsburgh v Indianapolis
Dallas v Washington
Philadelphia v San Francisco

Just to name a few. In fact I think there are something like 270 (or close to it) match ups that CANNOT POSSIBLY HAPPEN. And that is not an exageration. Literally 50% of any matchup cannot happen because none of the 16 teams in each conference can play a side in the final from their conference.

Anyways, of the teams left its wide open. The home teams have lost an extraordinary number of games this season. It wasn't until the last few weeks that the home sides actually moved into the clear in terms of a win loss record and in the playoffs the record is 5 and 3 in favour of the away team. So Arizona and Pittsburgh are by no means in the box seat this weekend. Although I guess all the losses by home teams will mean they aren't complacent so thats why I'll tip them.

The Steelers and Ravens play in the same division (in the same conference) so they meet twice every year while often going 3 or 4 years between games v some sides. And that's another fucked thing. You can play 3 crap sides each year twice (like the Cardinals in the NFC west where the other 3 teams had a 13 win, 35 loss record) while not playing any of the top 2 or 3 sides in the NFL. It's not seeded. Imagine Nadal and Federer being drawn to play each other in the first round of every major in a year and that's similar to what the NFL serves up on some occasions.

Or a rugby world cup where NZ, Australia, South Africa, England and Samoa are in one pool while in another pool you have France, Tonga, Georgia, Scotland and Canada.

The Steelers or Ravens are most likely to provide this years winner as they are 13-4 and 13-5 respectively. While the Eagles and Cardinals are 11-6-1 and 11-7 respectively.

But since I'm racist I'm going to be cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles because they have a black quarterback. Donovan McNabb. And he isn't involved in dog fighting either.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Alas, poor Skippy 

So Mathew Sinclair is dropped from the NZ cricket squad after a less-than-inspiring innings of 2 runs, to make way for the fat drunk known as Jesse "the body" Ryder. Sinclair was out caught behind to a prod outside off stump ... the same shot that Guptill got away with when the Windies 'keeper spilled a regulation edge. In fact, hero Guptill was dropped 3 times before he reached 30. If Sinclair had one third of that luck, he might have gone on to a great innings too.

Also interesting is that Guptill is dropped down the order to make way for the body (after making the most of his chances as opener, and then going on to score a great century). The logical choice would have been to drop McCullum - who can hardly buy a solid innings at the moment - down to #3.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

bullshit and poppycock 

No sooner had bloggingitreal come to the defence of New Zealand's premier scientific institution - nzclimatescience - and championed its cause, than the Mainstream Media launched an attack on another of the institute's founding members.

The journalist George Monbiot saw fit to question not only the science of the leading exposer of the global warming hoax, David Bellamy, but also his ethics:
There is no pool so shallow that a thousand bloggers won’t drown in it. Take the latest claims from the former broadcaster David Bellamy. You may remember that Bellamy came famously unstuck three years ago when he stated that 555 of the 625 glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were growing. Now he has made an even stranger allegation.

In early November the Express ran an interview with Bellamy under the headline “BBC shunned me for denying climate change.” “The sad fact is,” he explained, “that since I said I didn’t believe human beings caused global warming I’ve not been allowed to make a TV programme.” He had been brave enough to state that global warming was “poppycock”, and that caused the end of his career. “Back then, at the BBC you had to toe the line and I wasn’t doing that.”

This article received more hits than almost anything else the Express has published, so ten days ago the paper interviewed Mr Bellamy again. He took the opportunity to explain just how far the conspiracy had spread. “Have you noticed there is a wind turbine on Teletubbies? That’s subliminal advertising, isn’t it?”

There is just one problem with this story: it is bollocks from start to finish. Bellamy last presented a programme on the BBC in 1994. The first time he publicly challenged the theory of manmade climate change was ten years later, in 2004, when he claimed in the Daily Mail that it was “poppycock”. Until at least the year 2000 he supported the theory.

In 1992, for example, he signed an open letter, published in the Guardian, urging George Bush Sr “to fight global warming … We are convinced that the continued emission of carbon dioxide at current rates could result in dramatic and devastating climate change in all regions of the world.”(8) In 1996 he signed a letter to the Times arguing that “Continued increases in the global emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels are likely to lead to climate change at a rate greater than the Earth has experienced at any time during the last 10,000 years.”(9) In the same year he called for the replacement of fossil fuels with wind power(10). In 2000 he announced that he was supporting a plan to sue climate change “criminals”: governments and industries which blocked attempts to stop global warming(11). But Bellamy’s new claims about the end of his career have been repeated as gospel in several newspapers (12,13) and all over the web(14).

But what Monbiot and the mainstream media fails to grasp is that attacking the founders of nzclimatescience by using facts, figures and scientific evidence doesn't change a thing.

As sure as Israel will be slaughtering Palestinians tomorrow, our men at nzclimatescience will be getting media coverage tomorrow.

I mean, anyone could find examples of Bellamy's hypocrisy...just check out his wikipedia page:

In 1997 he stood unsuccessfully against the incumbent Prime Minister John Major for the Referendum Party. Bellamy credits this campaign with the decline in his career as a popular celebrity and television personality, stating in 2002:

"In some ways it was probably the most stupid thing I ever did because I'm sure that if I have been banned from television, that's why. I used to be on Blue Peter and all those things, regularly, and it all, pffffft, stopped."

He is Britain's most prominent campaigner against the construction of wind farms in undeveloped areas. This is despite appearing very enthusiastic about wind power in the educational video Power from the Wind produced by Britain's Central Electricity Generating Board.

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a mighty interesting puddle outside that needs my attention.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Sonny Fai 

Friday, January 02, 2009

Feliz Cumpleaños a Cuba 

Happy Birthday to the Cuban Revolution.

Congratulations on Fifty Years of stable government, and outlasting 10 U.S. Presidents who tried to topple it all.

Good luck on the next 50!

¡Viva la revolucion!  

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

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