Posts by Patrick Xavier

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Aretha and the…,

    Terrific lead, Russell, thanks. As to Miss Franklin, there is also that great New Yorker article from a couple of years ago
    her Carole King Kennedy Center Awards performance

    and this from her granddaughter:

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to Nick Russell,

    I’ve just returned to Auckland after an inadvertent 20+ year diversion to Wellington. A couple of years into my Wellington relocation, it occurred to me I had not experienced a single power. Now I am thinking I never experienced a power cut in the entirety of my time in Wellington. (There were occasional power cuts in Wellington; it’s just I did not experience them.) But there is something else about Wellington: there is a degree of maintenance of its infrastructure that is simply missing in Auckland. In Wellington’s CBD and inner suburbs, streets are cleaned nightly, including by mobile vacuum cleaner; drains and pavements are maintained; and fallen debris is removed promptly. I am quite surprised, on my return to Auckland, to discover that basic level of civic civility is absent. Pavements and drains, in particular, are an absolute disaster, broken by tree roots and blocked by leaves. Stormwater facilities are inept, to put it mildly. Presumably that affects other infrastructure. Perhaps it’s reflective of a more deep-seated malaise. I have no answer; it’s just my observations.

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Long, Strange Trip,

    This American Life commissioned Sara Bareilles to write a musical theatre song about Obama's election eve thoughts. Leslie Odom Jr (fresh from 'Hamilton') sings 'Seriously'.

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Legal Beagle: Necessity: or the Sky is Falling,

    The feared consequences that had necessitated the passing of retrospective validating legislation had in fact occurred, because the validating legislation itself hadn’t done enough to fix the problem.

    Then there's AG v Spencer, referred to here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Up Front: Stand for... Something,

    George Bernard Shaw said words to the effect "Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it" - The World , 15 November 1893. I think that's probably (a) an accurate description of the quality, and (b) not something I can really be bothered with.

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    There was also some sort of mechanical phonecard purchasable at newsagents, which had a ridged strip down its middle. Gears inside the payphone would click across (and flatten) the ridges until the card's value had been consumed. Calls to NZ from London sounded like a racetrack as the card was dragged at speed into the phone's maw. Local calls were at a much more pedestrian pace. There was some sort of con with those cards too, but I cannot know recall what it was - deepening the ridges, so the gears couldn't climb over them, something like that?

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Love Unknown Orchestra,

    Great Roy Colbert column. Mondegreens. The New Yorker recently attributed them largely to 'oronyms': "word strings in which the sounds can be logically divided multiple ways".

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Wild in the…,

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Capture: Peak Pohutukawa,


    While I think of it, Belinda Ellis’ amazing ICONZ collection includes the above representation of a pohutukawa flower (icon 35).

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

  • Capture: Peak Pohutukawa, in reply to Che Tibby,

    That whole line is right outside my house. (I like the southernmost one the best this year.) I wait in anticipation every year for the flocks of dive-bombing tuis, scaring the crap out of the resident starlings. WCC pruned all these trees between Xmas and NY. They seem to have done a good job,

    Since Nov 2006 • 49 posts Report

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