Tuesday 28 October 2014

Afternoon roundup

Stories hitting today's mark:
  • Can't it be both? NZTA shut down a website offering $20 sober driver services via Facebook. Apparently it's cool to catch a ride with anybody you meet at the bar, but if you want to charge $20 for it, it's illegal because safety. Anyway, taxi driver David Buckingham comments "People thought [closing the page] was anti-competition. The reality is that actually it's pro-safety.". Sounds like the great "More taste" vs "less filling" debates of the 1980s. It's definitely anti-competitive. And maybe it's pro-safety, if people catch a ride in a cab as alternative. If they drive home drunk or catch a ride with a random stranger they met at the pub, perhaps less so. The "More taste" part of the older debate was always pretty dubious too.

  • James Moore points to one part of Christchurch's continued insanity: the SimCity precincts
    Last month's revelation that the Government - which appears to have taken over the project from the Christchurch City Council for reasons unexplained - is lobbying cinema operators for an on-site art- house cinema appeared to reveal a mood of increasing desperation and unreality.
    Not only would such a development place pressure on what is a confined site, it fails to recognise that when the neighbouring Isaac Theatre Royal reopens next month, it will contain state of the art cinema facilities.
    Two film theatres within yards of each other? Oh please.
    With no firm indications about The Court Theatre's possible return to the precinct and criticisms about the proposed rentals in the music building, the performing arts precinct in its existing form is flopping around the stage like an ageing ballerina attempting a final performance of The Dying Swan.
    Indeed. If investors want to run a second cinema near an existing one, I'd be the last person to complain. But where the government's lobbying them to do it... I'm glad I left. Too much of Christchurch is still the Inside of the Asylum. 

  • The University of Canterbury continues to be gifted wonderful headlines about on-campus racism. There really isn't anything new in the story but for this excellent photo of James Graham from 2007, which I'm sure somebody somewhere will somehow find offensive.


  1. It's the uncovered udder that gets to people.

  2. I'm a vegetarian. Is that a religion? If not, I'm thinking of declaring it one and then informing my employers that all those sausage rolls and meat pies they sell in the cafes around campus are making it impossible for me to do my job. Ergo, I can only work during the hours the cafes are closed--no more 9am lectures! If my employers demur, it's comforting to know I'll receive a sympathetic hearing from the Employment Court.

  3. Eric, these type of religious conversions are quite common in US prisons as well with the self-authored creed that include steak for breakfast.

    in Holt v Hobbs, Gregory Holt, a Muslim inmate in Arkansas who says his faith requires him to wear a half-inch beard. Arkansas forbids this, arguing that a beard could be used to hide drugs, blades or telephone SIM cards. At the oral arguments this year, the justices groped for a legal principle that would In Justice Scalia's words save them from approaching “these cases half-inch by half-inch”.

    Richard Posner forward the test for religious accommodations of where people wanting something passionately that others place a trivial value upon such as type of headgear.

  4. So is car pooling also illegal?

  5. Y'know, people always mention Sim City when they talk about micromanaging councils/governments, but from what I remember, you mostly zoned areas residential, commercial or industrial of varying densities and then houses and businesses would just pop up. The specific buildings you placed were things like hospitals and police stations. Maybe city planners need to play more Sim City, not less.