Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A few days away

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    [NBC shows] so much beach volleyball it's creepy.

    To be fair to NBC, with their on-line coverage, they're showing more hours of Olympic coverage than were shown in the US in all the earlier Olympics combined. I think they're just showing a lot of everything.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    To paraphrase a poster in an earlier conversation, someone is lying about what National will do after election day. Are they lying to Stephen Franks, or to the electorate?

    I'm hoping the latter.

    I suspect Franks is willfully blind and hoping he can be a bridge to ACT in the future. National's as broader church as is Labour, but whereas Clark represents the conensus-point within Labour, I suspect Key's in a minority - one that doesn't include Franks.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I think the key here is that the figures count native speakers. Many more people speak English but it will be their second third or more language.

    I'd argue that in the case of Indonesian it's pretty much a native language. It's almost universally spoken, 99% of the media is in it, almost all signage, all official and commercial communication etc. Local languages tend to be spoken in the street, in face to face communication much (but not all) of the time.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    The commentators during the footie were pretty bad. Constantly trying to talk up the genius and creativity of Brazil's play when it was actually a fairly workman-like performance on the Brazilians part. The oppo were so poor they never had to pull any tricks out of the bag, just a patient passing game. They were really treading water for most of the game in the certainty it was going to be 4+ in the net regardless.

    Besides football shouldn't be in the Olympics anyway. It's too big a sport and they don't have their best players there (well the men's football anyway.)

    Football, tennis and golf should not be there. The Olympics should be the ultimate for an athlete to achieve in their sport but that's not the case for any of these sports, it's a diversion. Ask Lionel Messi if he'd rather have a World Cup and a Champions League trophy medal or an Olympic Gold. No contest.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    I accept that but technically, the first language Indonesians learn at home as children before they go to school would be their first language - whether it is Javanese, Balinese or Bahasa. English is a language accretion that comes a little later. I lived in Indonesia as a child so I know what you are saying but I suspect that social scientists tend to be quite technical about the first language definition. Mind you the statistics probably don't accommodate people who grew up speaking two or more languages concurrently. But I'm being pedantic. Still there may be a PhD in there for some budding linguist.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Peter Darlington - I completely agree!

    Brazil looked very routine and New Zealand looked awful! It depresses me the way they can't keep possession for more than two or three passes.

    As a mad soccer fan, i actually also agree football shouldn't be at the Olympics and get the horse events and board sailing and tennis. The horse events and board sailing are boring. So is shooting. Tennis and football have their own global showcases.

    And another rule of thumb could be sex appeal - if it hasn't got sex appeal, dump it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    I'll shut up now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Ask Lionel Messi if he'd rather have a World Cup and a Champions League trophy medal or an Olympic Gold. No contest

    Or ask Ryan Nelson if he’d rather help the All Whites qualify for World Cup against New Caledonia / Fiji, and big note it round China with all the big name players… While taking pot-shots at the Phoenix.

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist that dig)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I meant "or" big-note it...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Michael Phelps Michael Phelps Michael Phelps

    yeah... but did you see the 400m freestyle relay just now? Overtaking the french at the last metre to take gold, while knocking 4 seconds off the world record they set a few days ago. unbelievable

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This is quite cool, in the circumstances:

    GEORGIAN, RUSSIAN SHOOTERS EMBRACE

    Well, in the circumstances, I think there are part of Georgia where the fewer Olympic-standard marksmen in the neighbourhood the better.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Yeah that was awesome. But that was Jason Lezak that swam that last lap. Anyway, I'm not denying that Phelps is an incredible athlete, but when the commentators consider his coming third in a semifinal (after coming second in the heat) a great victory, and don't notice Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry setting a world record because they're too busy comparing Natalie Coughlin to Jesus-in-togs, you've really gotta wonder.

    And Graeme, it's true that you can get lots of other coverage on the NBC website if you say you've got cable, but that's lying to the internet.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Jesus wouldn't wear togs, he'd just walk on the water.

    good point about Lezak. Explains why his name was on the swimcap. duh me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    When did the French become a force in swimming relays?

    Hmmm…

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I accept that but technically, the first language Indonesians learn at home as children before they go to school would be their first language

    it's quite an interesting thing this one. There have been a few studies of recent that suggest that, in urban Java at least, Bahasa is wiping out many of the smaller languages, or at least absorbs them.

    The media being in Bahasa Indonesia, and English and the rise of a middle class for whom local languages are often seen as quaint and almost primitive is killing the local dialects. You are as likely to meet an middle class person in Jakarta for who English is their second language rather than Javanese or Betawi.

    That said, Jakarta has it's own particular street take on Bahasa which can be almost unintelligible to a non resident. Many kids there, and in other urban centres have almost never heard their Bahasa Adat spoken, even in the family house.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    I'm hoping the latter.

    not the latter, dammit. If there's a National government, I would prefer it to be one where Franks, Lockwood, and Mad Dog McCully are the ones upset with its direction.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    I pine every 4 years for a return to the original Olympics: no clothes, no teams, no women.
    Regards the "Berlin" comparison, Triangle & Stratos TV are screening the Leni Riefenstahl documentary Olympia and it is uncanny to see how those Olympic rituals fit in nicely with any regime that wants to use them as propaganda. Hitler using the same phrase as Hu Jintao to declare the games open was expected but still sounded eery.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    no women

    no fun

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    not the latter, dammit. If there's a National government, I would prefer it to be one where Franks, Lockwood, and Mad Dog McCully are the ones upset with its direction.

    I think Key's constant refrain about "in the first term" suggests he's well aware of the limits of his influence; he's not the policy leader of his party, he's the front man - English made that clear.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Nothing to do with the Olympics, I'm afraid, but I'd hope that a corner suite with balcony would have 270 degree views. Even if they are only views of Wellington architecture.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think Key's constant refrain about "in the first term" suggests he's well aware of the limits of his influence; he's not the policy leader of his party, he's the front man - English made that clear.

    It might also suggest a refreshingly realistic understanding that politicians who write things on tablets of stone have a nasty habit of getting them broken over their heads... But don't let me disturb the rather charming finger puppet meme.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    It might also suggest a refreshingly realistic understanding that politicians who write things on tablets of stone have a nasty habit of getting them broken over their heads...

    I'd welcome some elaboration of this Craig. If which circumstances changed would there be a shift in the policy?

    I'm not one of the band-wagon and would rather you not treat me as if I were (just as I don't refer to you an apologist). I'm not of the view that no assets can be sold under any circumstances ever; I've commented elsewhere for instance that I think PPPs might work in some situations.

    My point is that clothing the equivocation in terms of pragmatism avoids the discussion of what the preferred option is. And English's admission in the infamous taped conversation suggests that were it politically palatable, any asset might be sold. If Key said this, that he'd sell whatever he thought he could get a mandate for, rather than his current prevarication, that'd be better IMHO.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Belt,

    RB: "hard-case cabin culture"

    I still smile at the stock-joke of the Tranz Scenic staff, unchanged for decades....

    "while on the observation deck, please keep cameras and all body parts inside the train. Although we're fully trained in first aid, there is only so much we can do with a sticking plaster".

    and

    "The special for the day: Two cans of Speights for only $8 which is a 50 cent saving. Come to the dining car and drink yourself rich".

    (the latter on the Tranzalpine - of course)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report Reply

  • Stupid,

    Re: "hard-case cabin culture"...
    I just read the fine print on my internet booking with Pacifier Blue... it says this...

    SECURITY MESSAGE
    Pacific Blue takes jokes about safety and security seriously. Federal legislation provides significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment,
    for those persons convicted of making threats against aviation, even if they are made as a joke or a hoax. In addition to any action law
    enforcement agencies may take against you as a result of such threats, Pacific Blue also reserves the right to seek recovery of any financial loss
    suffered as a direct or indirect result of any joke or hoax threats.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    Like Danielle I found the opening ceremony quite startling and dazzling. My partner was in another room and I called out to him "they are opening up the floor of the stadium," to which he responded "they just stole that off the Romans." Which was all well and good until a f*cking PLANET came up and turned into a lantern, and had all these people running around it and wow!

    Although I did think there might have been some unintentional symbolism in the children carrying the Chinese flag towards the flagpole, then having it taken off them by some rather precise soldiers who took it the rest of the way...

    Anna McM shares her thoughts on the hypocritical criticism of China's human rights record here.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

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