March 30, 2005


Hot weetbix are just about the best thing on a horrible, cold, feeling-pathetic morning like this. Carbohydraty, milky joy!

Posted by carla at 09:08 AM

March 29, 2005

terms of use

I'm always amazed by what software companies put in their terms of use. "We will never, ever, ever, be responsible for any damage at all that you may or may not be caused by using our software - no matter how reasonable it might be to expect our software to not harm you."

In other words, if it is carcenogenic, tough bikkies, baby.

Interestingly, Skype run out of Luxemburg, and claim a non-exclusive licence to reuse anything you put on the Skype website anywhere across the known universe. Universe no less! I would have thought the Solar system would pretty much handle most possible use they could get out of my writing, but God Bless Em for thinking ahead...

Posted by carla at 10:07 PM

March 28, 2005


Very stink.

Paul Hester was always one of my favourite drummers. Never put too much in, managed to add enough to carry his own weight in a 4 piece band (Neil had 2). I always found what he did innovative and interesting (at least in comparison to anything else I've ever heard on a top ten), and sensitive to the rest of the music in the song.


Posted by carla at 10:29 PM

March 23, 2005


We actually have a little orange sit-on-the-top-of-the-plughole with a little arm and hand poking straight up. It was a gift, and has fitted two baths.

But also, the post is a reference to an article in New Scientist in which someone applies a new mathematical model to understanding generosity in human beings. The insight I was interested in is that generosity survives in groups bigger than 30 only if people punish others for not being generous, and will also punish people who don't punish people for not being generous.

So, if you want to live in a nice (and stable) group, you need to beat up the odd person (or at least carry a really big stick). There seems to be an inherant paradox in that position, one which I most often notice in 'enthusiastic punitive Christians'.

Secondly, enforced generosity would be required for human beings to gather in groups of more than 30. No other primate gathers in groups of more than 100, and most of them live in groups of 30 or less. Human beings ability to sustain bigger groups efficiently provided us with the advantage of large groups and therefore specialisation and all the modern things that has brought.

Other parts of this large groupiness seem to include language (so you can keep tabs on someone without picking fleas off them) and farming (higher birth rates and surplus food).

So, here is this paradoxical, hypocritical system which might be a lynchpin to human bigger-than-family-group behaviour.

How should a Minister of Justice (who is largely our delegated punishment representative) handle offenders if our sense of justice is actually a vaguely genetic driver which serves a amoral force?

(Incidentally, listening to random songs from your partner's music collection can lead to very odd moments...)

Posted by carla at 10:50 PM

March 16, 2005


On Saturday I went to see Sarah McLaughin at the Michael Fowler Centre. I've always seen part of the fun of a live gig being access to a different version of a song. But Sarah sang it just like on the album. Most of the arrangements were just like on the album. And sadly, I would have been better off listening to the concert on my stereo.

What is it about the mfc? Why does our premier music venue produce such a dreadful quality of sound? I mean, it made Sarah's voice sound awful in patches, which I can pretty much guarantee it isn't. It made her two guitarists sound like one overzealous teenager and made the two keyboardists look like they were just waving their hands around and not actually adding anything. Humph.

But it was lovely to get the audience interaction (especially as she genuinely seemed to enjoy the enthusiasm we showed her) and to see how the visual side of the show comes together with the sound. Lovely to be able to watch a breath being taken in before being sung. It's just darn special.

She also seemed to like Wellington, if only because we are summery and she was coming from wintery Vancouver. There is certainly enough in common between the two cities, and we each seem to think the other's access is cute. She also mentioned that Canadians and New Zealanders seem to have more in common than you would initially expect. I think we definitely share many similarities in temperament and what we think is appropriate interpersonal behaviour. We also share little brotherness, British heritage, colonialism and a fair bit in common with approaches to relationships with indigenous races.

It makes me wonder if we won't end up with more in common with (at least Western) Canadians than Australians.

And we'd be able to beat them at rugby and cricket. ;)

Posted by carla at 10:16 PM

March 14, 2005


So, Winston Peters is at it again. For a man who seems to genuinely care about constitutional proprietry, he's dragging our system through the mud in high style.

So, MPs should be able to say what they need to with out fear of libel cases being slapped on them left, right and centre. But that doesn't justify using Parliamentary Priviledge indescriminately (in the interests of getting re-elected) or victimising people you have taken a dislike to.

There is a modicum of balance to the priviledge, in that a politician can loose popularity if they are venal, nasty or patently stupid. Though not always.

I think it needs bolstering though. The speaker could use their considerable powers to place boundaries around the use of parliamentary priviledge. For example, if a citizen writes to the speaker indicating that they have suffered harm based on lies or false statements said in the House (or where the speaker decided an MP had crossed a line) the speaker could investigate the issue and sanction the MP as appropriate. In an institution in which you are not allowed to swear or insult other MPs, it would seem reasonable to expect they should be held to minimum standards about how truthful they are in describing private citizens.

Posted by carla at 09:11 PM

March 09, 2005

ask that mountain

gains a whole new level of meaning if you are an animist.

ask that mountain review.

Posted by carla at 08:38 PM

March 02, 2005

second generation circus

Yup, it's another show recommendation:

7 Fingers of the Hand is bloody good. It is far into the second generation of circus performance, and full some of the best quality material I've seen in a while. The show hangs together as a whole really well, and has engaging characters, humour, sex, dark yearnings and comedy (including lovely use of latercomers). There is also the best tissue work I've ever seen and some fabulous acrobatic jugglers.

In fact, I'd say it was better than Happy Hour for Miserable Childern (which I saw at Bats last year and was excellent).

By second generation circus I mean non-animal circus, which uses theatre and sometimes dance to augment the shows and often has live music. It is starting to get to the point where second generation circus is meshing the circus performance and the theatrical performance to a high enough degree that the joins are seamless.

Posted by carla at 08:31 PM