Men (in Israel, at least) are the weaker sex

May 31, 2009

It is with consternation that Alf reports on the results of research showing men are the weaker sex.

Scientists have found that boys are more likely to develop complications during a mother’s pregnancy.

Males are more vulnerable to infections, too, and less able to withstand diseases than women.

The findings come from work by a Professor Marek Glezerman, who studied 66,000 births at Israel’s
Rabin Medical Centre between 1995 and 2006.

So it’s no longer an old wives’ tale that boy fetuses are more troublesome in the womb and the delivery room.
Read the rest of this entry »

Rankin’s record of missed meetings

May 31, 2009

The media jackals have found fresh Rankin bones to gnaw into.

They have shifted from Christine’s bed chamber ( tittle-tattle stuff on marriage, divorce, suicide and what have-you) and into the council chamber.

The Herald on Sunday has gone there and pounced on Rankin’s attendance record at Auckland Regional Council meetings.

It’s the worst among elected members of Greater Auckland’s major councils.
Read the rest of this entry »

Mayor bridles at attendance check-up

May 31, 2009

Good grief. How did North Shore ratepayers finish up with such a grouchy bugger as their mayor.

In today’s report on attendance at local body meetings, the Herald on Sunday says its requests for meeting attendance records received different responses at the five major councils around Auckland.

Manukau City and Waitakere City supplied full details promptly. Auckland City met our request a day later than agreed.

The Auckland Regional Council agreed to provide the figures but later said they couldn’t because staff were away sick. And North Shore City directed the Herald on Sunday to minutes on its website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Declaring expenses is admirable (in principle)

May 31, 2009

Gotta say Alf is a tad perplexed by Greenie Russel Norman and Act’s John Boscowen.

The buggers have broken ranks with the rest of us in Parliament during the heat of the Mt Albert by-election battle and disclosed their Parliamentary expenses.

News media and the public at large will be apt to applaud this gesture, thereby encouraging a bloody avalanche of disclosures.

Three cheers, then for our candidate, Melissa Lee, who has refused to reveal what she spends her $14,800 annual expenses top-up on, and how much she claims for accommodation in Wellington, and on taxis, rental cars and airfares.

As the Herald on Sunday reports, if she was to disclose her expenses, it would put pressure on other National MPs to do the same.
Read the rest of this entry »

How to keep a Dick from freezing

May 30, 2009

Alf wryly observes that the ODT had no problems finding a Dick to talk about a motor-bike rally this weekend.

Large groups of motorcyclists – the paper said – would be donning warm jackets and riding to Central Otago for the 29th annual Otago Motorcycle Club Brass Monkey Rally at Oturehua.

Local property owner Ken Gillespie said registration numbers were on a par with previous years and a crowd of between 1800 and 2200 was expected, depending on weather.

But the weekend forecast was “not flash”, with a possibility of snow.

Of course, it’s typically cold in those parts at this time of year.

But steps can be taken to minimise the chill.

Wanaka Motorcycle Club member Mark Dick does not want the predicted snow to cast a chill over a first big outing on his “brand new” Honda CB1000R Predator to the Brass Monkey Rally on Saturday, so he opted for a heating upgrade. Fellow club member and Wanaka electrician Brendon Voyce installed an adjustable handgrip warming system yesterday

The Otago Motorcycle Club organises the rally, with help from local organisations, including the Oturehua Winter Sports Club, which supplies food for the event.

Alf will be giving it a miss. He will celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday at his favourite haunt in Eketahuna.

By-election shenanigans

May 30, 2009

The Labour rabble are up to their tricks in Mt Albert – or so it has been alleged – and Alf applauds John Boscowen, who has lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer.

This follows a report that a Labour Party volunteer coerced a voter to vote early in the Mt Albert by-election.

Radio NZ reports:

ACT Party candidate John Boscawen says he filed the complaint following a report a Labour supporter told a Chinese immigrant it was illegal not to vote in New Zealand.

The man reportedly told the Labour volunteer he did not want to vote until the by-election.
Read the rest of this entry »

Spare those tigers

May 30, 2009

After the fuss raised by the shooting of the rare white tiger that killed a keeper at the Zion wildlife park, Alf welcomes hearing the case for the defence presented today by one of the company’s bosses.

One concern is that the killer tiger, Abu, was one of only 120 white tigers left in the world. But –

Yesterday, park operations manager Glen Holland said people were wrong to think that the death of white tigers might endanger the population of Bengal tigers.

“I just cannot get over the public of New Zealand saying ‘the poor tiger’ – it really is just unbelievable,” he said.
Read the rest of this entry »