Tuesday 29 September 2009

Morning roundup

  • Ministry of Justice releases its proposal document on NZ campaign finance; looking forward to reading it.

  • There is no such thing as cultural authenticity: all culture is syncretic. Nothing as Irish as Guinness? Think again. HT: Marginal Revolution.

  • Lindsay Mitchell on alcohol an moral panics: per capita alcohol availability just hasn't grown much.

  • Lindsay Mitchell has excerpts from an interview with Hone Harawira in which he figures that prohibiting tobacco would be just great, with none of the adverse consequences we've seen from other forms of prohibition. Strange beliefs.

  • Brad Taylor notes that Brew Dog has come back from its scrap with the Brit regulators by releasing a low alcohol beer called "Nanny State". Excellent. Taylor double-dog dares Luke Nicholas to brew a beer as offensive as Brew Dog's "Tokyo" (18%). If anybody would do it here, it would be Nicholas...

  • Boris Hampton's "Diary of a Wellington Insider" remains excellent. This week's had this gem:
    Tuesday 22 September 2009

    To the Ministry of Education for a working group to discuss a new health and safety initiative in schools. There has been growing concern in the ministry about children walking on the cracks in the pavements.

    According to some research, it causes anyone who does it to marry a rat, later in life. Another school of thought says that if you stand on a crack, you’ll break your back. Another further stream of work indicates that a pupil who stands on a line will marry a porcupine.

    The Ministry has commissioned several work-streams on this. They have discovered that there is a higher degree of crack-walking among the decile one to four schools. This has them both worried but gratified.

    They are also worried about whether crack-walking fits within the Treaty of Waitangi.

    And passive crack walking opens up a whole new area of work.

    I ask whether this work fits with the Minister’s priorities for education. But everyone just sniggers.

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