Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Together Alone

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  • Paul Campbell,

    A reminder that PA needs money to operate, I suspect that Russell's been carry the load as it has quietened down, and after today's news that's likely harder for him - I'd like to suggest that old timers who have found themselves back again hit that "supporter" button above

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Have had lots of disagreements with RB but he’s always been a voice of clarity. Much needed now. Will definitely support.

    Since Nov 2016 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks guys. I have indeed been thinking about Public Address and Press Patron as a readymade, modest income stream. I expect to be posting a lot more here – and I'm really keen to get Fiona back on her old TV blog, as soon as she's officially no longer a Bauer employee. Given that she keeps getting paid until that happens, I'm not exactly gagging for it :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Worik,

    I'll bight...

    My daughter was getting mentally prepared to leave Melbourne for NZ (after five years as a street poet... other story that makes her dad proud) as Australia was "literally and figuratively on fire". But plan was to do it some time this year, or next. No rush....

    On end of business 20-March Melbourne was heading into chaos and daughter realised that letting her passport lapse was, erm, inconvenient. Passport arrived late on Tuesday (thank you, from the bottom of my heart to the crew at the consulate, it was due Thursday) on the plane Wednesday, landed in Dunedin one hour before the curfew.

    Happened to have a vacant flat for her to quarantine in... Whew.

    Our band was due to play the awards night at the Fringe here, when it was cancelled we took over the fringe theatre and did a online gig....

    Here we are

    Waitati • Since Jan 2017 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks guys. I have indeed been thinking about Public Address and Press Patron as a readymade, modest income stream. I expect to be posting a lot more here – and I’m really keen to get Fiona back on her old TV blog, as soon as she’s officially no longer a Bauer employee. Given that she keeps getting paid until that happens, I’m not exactly gagging for it :-)

    Will there be robust and filthy discussion threads like when Craig and Emma where contributing, or would you like this 2.0 version to be more a sedate lifestyle magazine collection?

    I could do outdoor adventure, with lots of sailing:-)

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Attachment

    I am building up to being capable of boiling water..

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Professor David Spiegelhalter on the risks of Covid-19 from More or Less 28/03/20 (9 minutes; stream or MP3 download)
    Headline result is that the mortality risk profile from Covid-19 among adults is much the same as the mortality risk profile in general. Essentially, contracting the virus has the effect of compressing your existing annual risk of death into a few weeks: hence the risk increases with age, and for those with other pre-existing conditions that lower life expectancy.

    It follows that, if the virus were allowed to spread unchecked, the effect would be roughly the same as the nation's annual death rate. Spiegelhalter notes that in the UK, that would correspond to 500,000-600,000 deaths.

    Spiegelhalter doesn't explicitly say this, but it also follows from general patterns of life expectancy that the risk is higher for men than for women at any given age -- and the evidence so far does seem to bear this out, as mentioned in a subsequent episode (04/04/20).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Attachment

    There’s a kind of controlled experiment in progress right now, if you want to try to assess the effect of New Zealand’s “fast and hard” lockdown measures.
    Coincidentally, the number of cases in Tokyo is roughly the same, and has been increasing at roughly the same rate, as the number of cases in New Zealand over March. (Yesterday those totals stood at 959 for NZ vs 891 for Tokyo.)

    Tokyo has not (yet) gone into enforced lockdown. (If it does, it will be a local government decision, with the central government having little constitutional authority.) Nevertheless, there are voluntary measures in place that are at least equivalent to NZ’s “Level 3” response: schools are closed (now until at least the first week of May), many chain restaurants have shut, anyone who can work from home is encouraged to do so.
    As of midnight April 3rd, Japan’s borders have been closed to all foreigners (e.g. I could not have re-entered the country this week), and returnees are being quarantined for 2 weeks. (That will include our students returning from Wellington. Stable door, horse, etc.)

    Remembering that the total population of Tokyo is about 6 times that of New Zealand, Tokyo has actually fared quite well so far. But in the past week (after one week of NZ lockdown) the rate of increase in Tokyo has gone consistently above that of New Zealand.

    So yes, NZ’s lockdown does seem to be having a measurable effect already, compared with the closest alternative.
    Stay safe, everyone.

    Some notes and caveats:
    1. NZ case counts were redefined March 25th to include probable cases, some of which later proved negative. The count for March 25th includes an adjustment to add previous probable cases.
    2. Numbers can fluctuate from day to day with little clear trend because many cases originate in infection clusters.
    3. Tokyo numbers also fluctuate because of uneven access to testing (e.g. the figure for Mar 30th, a snowy Sunday, is artificially low for this reason).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to linger,

    Many thanks for this. I have directed it to my daughter in Shibuya.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Excellent suggestion. Done!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Nice weather out on the public walkways down my way. Crossing paths with other walkers can be mildly challenging. Some people realise its healthy to acknowledge one and other as we pass. Others are frightened and don’t make eye contact.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to steven crawford,

    Lighting an open fire?

    Just, wow.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    I don’t know how to respond to that.

    Of corse I light an open fire, its really not very difficult. And I had a massive water tank full of water up hill from it and a hose.

    But I’m tired of that now so I’m going to go cruising all over the city in my car and maybe out to the beach. And just to keep it interesting I’m going to invite anyone I want to come along. Total strangers even. But don’t freak out, I will allow myself to be GPS location monitored at all times.

    How’s your day going?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I just did the pharmacy run to get my neighbours script which will help her to not go psychotic and possibly murder me during this lockdown. Please don’t measure me against yourself. You have no idea what makes me tick.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to steven crawford,

    How’s your day going?

    Typically odd. A conversation with stranger climbing local maunga concerning clear night skies due to lack of Oz fires and vehicle pollution was rudely interrupted by phone call from Work and Income to verify some details of my application as first time bludger. During which, lady out walking her husband gave me the big finger little finger emoji sign, not sure how to interpret that.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    lady out walking her husband

    That certainly conjures up an image.
    (But not of the emoji, which I have no referent for.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    was rudely interrupted by phone call from Work and Income to verify some details of my application as first time bludger.

    I’m sorry to hear that. I am likely to be in the same situation in the not to distant.

    Might I suggest we change the narrative?

    Bludger is a pretty negative self identity. I fell on hard times many years ago and signed up at the department of social welfare, and received the dole. It’s an allowance. It’s a share holders dividend. While out hitch hiking all over the place, I would tell anyone who asked, That I was currently between jobs.

    You can look at that benefit as your shares in the NZ fish quoter. We are all share holders in this countries natural resources y’know.

    And if you are unemployed, you are freed up to be helpful to people.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    This email arrived today, I requested advise on how to operate in a declared state of emergency ten days ago. It’s taken ten days to get this response and its useless.

    Getting kind of hard to feel the love.

    Hello Steven

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    Please refer to the Covid-19 website regarding essential business. I’ve provided the link below:

    https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-level/essential-businesses/

    Our policy team are reviewing the processes for those who need to drive for the purpose of providing essential services. Please check our website regularly for updates in this area. All non-essential driver licence applications and requests will resume once our Customer Service Centre and Driver Licensing Agents re-open.

    If you have any further queries, please refer to our website for more information https://www.nzta.govt.nz/.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Apologies for my porn star name everything else was taken, I'm Michael.

    What are people's thoughts on Simon Bridges Intercity commute?

    It reminds me of how Judges would act "the rules do not apply to me" when I worked in the Courts.

    Surely he has a Wellington address by which to undertake his crucial role in today's Crisis Govt. Or was it just a one off transgression?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2020 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Here is a nice email I received from my friend in India, which has cheered me up:

    Hi, nice to here from you. Here also we lockdown since 10 days, continue till 15th April. But situation under control. Bhavnar city have 11 Covid cases amd major are recovered.

    Any way hope for the best. I eill keep bukh engine for you sure.

    regards,
    Jatin Mehta
    Micro Marine India

    Bhavnagar city has the population of half a million, and they are lovely people.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Another week’s Covid-19 roundup from the Japan Times

    April 1st
    Tottori Prefectural Government has begun using cardboard and plastic sheets as partitions between officials’ desks. Officials explicitly deny that this is an April Fools’ prank.

    April 2nd
    Tokyo logs 97 new cases.

    April 3rd
    Total Covid-19 infections in Japan reach 3113 (excluding the Diamond Princess cluster); Tokyo logs 89 new cases.

    April 4th
    Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike continues to urge residents to stay indoors.
    Tokyo logs 117 new cases.

    April 5th
    Tokyo logs 143 new cases, putting its total over 1000.
    Now “just a matter of time” before Abe declares a state of emergency, says a government source.
    Chiba prefecture closes schools until May.

    April 6th
    Total Covid-19 infections in Japan reach 4041 (excluding the Diamond Princess cluster); death toll stands at 108.
    Tokyo logs 83 new cases – lower mostly because fewer tests are conducted over the weekend.
    The Tokyo Medical Association declares a state of medical emergency.
    U.S. Forces Japan announces a public health emergency for the Kanto region until May 5th.
    Finally bowing to the inevitable, Abe signals a coming announcement of a state of emergency.

    April 7th
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declares a 1-month state of emergency (effective April 8th) covering Tokyo, Osaka, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures.

    In the Japanese context, a state of emergency is not an enforced lockdown. Prefectural governments can only issue a “strong request” to stay at home except for essential tasks, though they have more direct power to close schools, childcare, and other public facilities.

    Footnote: As of April 5th, there was a striking imbalance in hospitalisations in NZ (13 out of about 1000 cases) and Tokyo (over 800 out of about 1000 cases). Both Tokyo and Osaka are now moving mild and asymptomatic cases out into hotels to keep ICU capacity open (e.g. one hotel in Tokyo will take 100 patients today). On the one hand, this suggests that the bar for hospitalisation has so far been much lower in Japan. Probably it is logistically harder to quarantine Tokyo cases at home. Tokyo hospitals may also be treating some patients from surrounding prefectures. But on the other hand, this large discrepancy in hospitalisations may also mean that some asymptomatic (but still contagious) cases in Japan have gone undetected, which would help explain the current spike in new cases.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Email from Wuhan.

    Hello Steven,

    Thanks for your email.

    Our city is back to normal now and i trust your country will be normal quickly.

    I look forward to cooperate with you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    Jessica
    Sales Manager | WUHAN LINMEI HEAD PLATE CO.,LTD.

    Jessica and I have been building a business rapport since before the virus problem.

    Linmei Head Plate Company make giant steel spheres.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Shep Cheyenne,

    What are people’s thoughts on Simon Bridges Intercity commute?

    He sure seems to be getting a lot of ‘love’ at The Guardian at the moment for some reason…
    One puff piece by a Charlotte Graham-McLay
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/05/simon-bridges-the-former-prosecutor-who-faces-his-greatest-trial-against-nice-person-ardern
    and a piece he wrote all by himself
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/03/in-the-absence-of-parliament-we-must-ensure-new-zealands-response-to-covid-19-is-the-best-it-can-be
    Speaking of which the first ‘Zoomed’ meeting of the Opposition led Covid-19 Response oversight select committee was initially headlined by Stuff in their live coverage was headlined:

    Live: Simon Bridges grills Ashley Bloomfield on coronavirus response

    I emailed the editorial section to say that that did not accurately portray what was happening and was a tad OTT – so they changed it to:

    Live: Special committee scrutinises Government’s coronavirus response

    Hah! That’s way more accurate – that wasn’t too hard was it – gotta watch that creeping spin.

    The other thing with the meeting was all the ‘face touchers’ – I emailed 6 of the worst offenders (cross-party it must be said) during the meeting asking them to try and set better examples, you know ‘lead by example’ – 2 responded and acknowledged the point 2 others noticeably modified their behaviour – Simon never responded or altered his ‘digital interface’ – c’est la vie

    We all need guidelines that are mirrored on high and easy to understand – luckily we now have an easy new ‘social distancing’ measure – ’The Lying Trump’ he is 6ft you just have to imagine having a ring of flat Trumps around you at all times.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to steven crawford,

    Bludger is a pretty negative self identity.

    Thanks Steven, I agree and regret my callous choice of words.

    I am not sure what day it is but hope you are having a good one.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 68 posts Report Reply

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