The Land of Giants – Humanoid Power Pylons

Choi+Shine Architects designed these beautiful, yet functional humanoid power pylons for Iceland’s electrical transmission system:

You can see more here:

This reminded me of a quote from one of my favourite movies, The Castle‘s Darryl Kerrigan: “Dad, he reckons powerlines are a reminder of man’s ability to generate electricity.”

(Hat tip: teh_aimee)

What Have We Learned in 2,065 Years? (Updated)

“The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

– Cicero, 55 BC

Evidently nothing.

(Hat tip: my dad)

UPDATE: See the comment by Grant. It seems there is some doubt around the origins of this quote. Thanks Grant! I still approve of the sentiment, and wish more modern politicians would too.

Petition: Help Suspend the Emissions Trading Scheme

On July 1st National intends to inflict on New Zealand the world’s most comprehensive and expensive emissions trading scheme. It will increase the cost of power and petrol, forcing food prices to rise along with the cost of all other goods and services. Australia has just suspended their scheme until 2013. New Zealand should do the same otherwise we risk an exodus of businesses relocating to Australia to avoid the cost-burden on wealth creators that this scheme will impose. We want this petition to send the Prime Minister the strongest possible message to suspend the ETS. Please support this petition and get everyone else to do so too as the more people who sign, the more powerful our message.

To sign the petition please click here

Kiwis Don’t Quack

Yesterday I picked up a copy of the ‘Herald on Sunday’. I don’t normally read the newspaper, but Lindsay Perigo told me to have a look. Since I’ve last read it, the editors of ‘Herald on Sunday’ have aimed straight for the lowest common denominator, and gone down the road of tabloid dross. It seems that amongst all the celebrity gossip, astrology and other mind-numbing waste of paper, there was, however, an article worth reading; it was an article by Deborah Coddington on the appalling standards of speech of television presenters, politicians, etc.:

Yeah, no, we’d like totally label your diction airy

As Coddington writes:

Journalism is a craft, be it print or broadcast, and for television reporters pronunciation is just as important as all other skills, like investigating the story, getting the facts correct and looking tidy and presentable.

So why are we assailed night after night by journalists who say “ower” instead of “hour”, “ear-lifted” instead of “air-lifted”, “wow” for “well”, choowdren, Wallington, vunrable, New Zilland and alactricity?

If they were print journalists and wrote that way, they’d be taken aside by the sub-editors and retrained, so why are they cruelly shoved in front of the cameras by their bosses and allowed to make the same mistakes?

Hear, hear! It’s good to see that the overwhelming majority of the comments at the bottom of the article agree with her.

In the article she also mentioned Mr Perigo’s recently launched campaign – Kiwis Don’t Quack. You can read more about this laudable campaign to reclaim the English language here:

A while ago I put my money where my mouth is, and enrolled in Mr Perigo’s speech training course. My de-quacking is progressing well, and I am much more confident when speaking. The only problem is that I am now even more aware of the horrible English all around us, particularly from those who should know better.

I hope Mr Perigo succeeds in getting through to the gate keepers of New Zealand’s broadcast media. I might one day be able to watch the “sucks o’clock news” again without wincing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to a speech from John Key without wincing, but at least it shouldn’t be because of his pronunciation.