Posts by ARVNranger

  • Field Theory: The second test and the…,

    There was a documentary series, presented by Jeremy Coney, about historic cricket tests and tours. It's bugging me that I can't remember precisely the title but I remember the episode about this test match and it was gripping, stirring stuff. Bert Sutcliffe and Bob Blair told the story in their own words and the emotion was still evident 50 years after the event. Can anybody remind me of the series title (and where I might view it again)?

    Since Nov 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Chocolate elitism,

    An age-old tactic applied by Cadbury is to shrink the weight of a selling unit while maintaining the facing area presented on the shelf (ie the package is made less deep). Supermarket sales, and buyers' behaviour while trapped in these places, are the subject of extensive analysis and exploitation. The marketeers have worked out all the plum positions in which to place their products (eg shelves at eye level, ends of aisles) and the various suppliers fight like cats and dogs to get their products into these spaces. They've also worked out, some time since I should imagine, that humans are generally poor sensors of absolutes but extremely acute in sensing relative differences. In the case of a 'thick' 250g block vis-a-vis a 'thin' 200g block the buyer is not likely to notice that weight is different when the apparent size (of the 2 dimensions visible) is the same. They *will* notice that the 'thin' block is 15% cheaper. The proportions are pertinent - 20% reduction in product moved but only 15% reduction price = significant improvement in margin. This is like Farmers putting up their prices up 20% the week before a "15% Off Sale". Hmm.

    Disclosure: I worked for Nestle during the '90s - another evil corporation from which I got time off for good behaviour.

    Since Nov 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: Difficult to swallow,

    > Red Squad. Move Move Move he said.

    "Eat more, root more, sink more piss" was the Red Squad 'haka' used to get their blood rising so they could stand up to the HART thugs and those evil clowns, so I'm told. Years later, in a Listener article, Meurant was interviewed about the incident and gave the pro forma denial before ingenuously mentioning, "Off the record, yeah we did". This guy ended up pulling a Col Kurtz on the Rodney District Coucil in one of his later public-life incarnations - his rants were eerily reminiscent of that military man with the apocalyptic ambition, littered with talk of "his mission to destroy his enemies".

    Since Nov 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Life at Paremoremo Boys' High,

    "I'm envious, all I've got (OK, I attended 3 colleges around the world, but the one I was longest at) is Sir Bob Jones, Bill & Boyd & convicted murderer, Graeme Burton."

    Ahh - that one. I was there through the early '80s. My then girl friend's parents taught there and I remember overhearing (though I'm surethey didn't intend it) a conversation at their house between some of the teachers, at a social occasion, regarding zoning and the removal of streaming. One side of the debate was that by spreading the few bright sparks across classes of otherwise disinterested non-performers a synergy would be achieved whereby the hitherto backmarkers would be inspired to improve themselves. Ya - rly. The counter-argument was that mixing ice-cream and sh*t simply produced sh*tty ice-cream.

    Since Nov 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: A Year Ago Today,

    My deepest sympathies, pkiwi. Reading your account has brought rushing back the wrenching memories of our son's birth at Middlemore in the mid-90s. It was our second hospital birth and my wife was ill with toxaemia/high BP (?) and she was admitted a week before the birth was due. I received a phone call at 3am advising that she was well advanced in labour and the birth was imminent and I raced the 60km to the hospital. As events transpired it was 4pm before the action really started. We had been assigned a trainee midwife whose bedside manner I instantly disliked - flippant and superior. Roving bands of students/registrars (?) trailed in the wake of a woman I presume was in charge that day (cf Monty Python's MoL where the sycophants compete to applaud loudest at the administrator's smug disclosure of his tax-efficient funding wheezes). The birthing suites were being renovated and the attendant dispruption seemed to affect the operation of the entire department's staff and systems. Baby was largish, presented posterior and got jammed when just his head was born. It was now they discovered the umbilical around his neck. The midwife clamped and cut the umbilical at this point and then couldn't deliver him. 2 minutes passed and a crowd of nurses and a specialist appeared. An older, more experienced, midwife or nurse shoved from the top of my wife's belly (fundus?) and literally yanked baby out. She held this limp, grey, silent form before me and, exhausted and stressed, I crumpled. For about 20 seconds I sobbed uncontrollably as they worked to revive him. I was jolted back to the world by my wife's pleading, "Don't leave him". In the wake of the Ob specialist and nurses I ran to SCBU where I watched them place him in one of the incubators, a palsy in his wrist suggesting he'd taken some spinal injury. He survived. He's 12 now and while he has some issues [he's on that spectrum, RB] I think with our continuing help he'll be ok in life. What makes me shake with anger at this recollection is the behaviour of the hospital staff immediately following the incident. My wife was quite badly injured and she was left alone, naked and bleeding - no bed coverings, while the staff who had attended her disappeared. My firm belief is that they predicted a fatality and immediately gathered to get their respective stories straight. The trainee midwife returned to torment my wife with a catalogue of likely brain damage to our son. My mother in law had arrived , bless her, she booted the mid-wife out. Everything in the hospital staff's actions suggested to me that their primary intention was to deny or distribute liability - exactly the realignment of priorities I feared would grip social institutions once the then-government's "funder-provider" model gained sufficient traction in popular opinion to permit them to abrogate their responsibility to maintain standards.

    Since Nov 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Singing g against the E chord,

    songs like Dangerous Game from Diatribe

    Dire Tribe? I think this was on an early '80s compliation LP titled "Barking up the Right Tree"

    Since Nov 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply