Category Archive 'New Zealand'
28 Mar 2019

Gun Control


25 Mar 2019

New Zealand Gun Ban

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15 Nov 2016

Cows Stranded by NZ Earthquake Rescued

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Science Alert has videos.

Helicopter footage captured over the demolished farmlands outside the New Zealand town of Kaikoura has revealed the fate of three cows after Monday’s devastating magnitude 7.5 earthquake.

The three cows – including one very chill calf – managed to huddle together on a small patch of grass, as everything around them crumbled to form a tiny island.

“It was clear that the cows had slipped down on this big chunk of land,” Newshub camera operator Chris Jones explained. “The cattle had obviously ridden these islands of land, and there’s this group of cows suspended 20 feet [6 metres] in the air.”

Jones estimates that the island is between 50 and 80 metres across.

While the trio would not have lasted long stuck on such a small area of grass, their owner counts them as lucky to have found a safe place amid the chaos.

The Kaikoura farmer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, told Newshub he managed to save 14 cows in total (including these three), but did lose a few in the destruction.

“We did lose stock, there were stock losses, but the whole hillside fell during the earthquake and we had a lot of stock on there – we don’t know what we’ve got,” he said.

“It was very steep limestone bluff covered in lovely pasture a week ago and now it’s all in the gully.”

The good news is that while the cows had to stay put for a day while the safety of the area was assessed, they’ve now been rescued, and the internet can breathe a sigh of relief that our favourite cow buddies are in safe hands once again.

Complete story.

01 Oct 2016

The Kākāpō

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New Zealand’s flightless, wingless parrot has had its genes thoroughly sequenced. All 123 of them. (Atlas Obscura)

New Zealand has only three native mammals (all bats), and the country is full of birds that have taken advantage of this lack of predators, acting more like rodents or weasels than your average winged creature. Kākāpōs are no exception. Their faces are covered in feathery whiskers, which they drag on the ground to help them navigate. They’re layered with body fat, and astoundingly heavy—the largest males can weigh as much as a housecat.

Their weight keeps them from flying, but they’re adept at climbing trees, scrabbling up the bark with extra-sharp claws and “parachuting” down with their wings outstretched, like hang gliders. Although technically parrots, they’re so far removed from even their closest relatives that they have an entire genus all to themselves. Even their official government information page calls them “eccentric.”

These eccentricities worked well in a predator-free environment. But once humans brought rats and cats to New Zealand, they decimated the formerly thriving population. Ornithologists in New Zealand got serious about the kākāpō in the late 1980s, and set up a government-sponsored Kākāpō Recovery Programme. In the decades since, the Programme has relocated the entire the entire kākāpō population to three small islands, which they’ve cleared of invasive predators. They have collared and named nearly every individual, and keep careful track of the bird’s family tree.

Their efforts have paid off, and the kākāpō population is up to 123, nearly triple its record low. But it’s still difficult to understand these weirdos. For one thing, they’re simply terrible at mating—they only attempt it every two or three years, when the fruit of their favorite tree, the podocarp, is ripe. When they do try, it’s often a bit pathetic. Males will climb the highest hill they can find, dig a hole, lie in it, and make a booming sound until an intrigued female wanders past.

07 Nov 2014

Walking in Aukland

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When 24-year-old aspiring actress Shoshana Roberts was filmed with a hidden camera walking around New York in a plain T-shirt, jeans and trainers she received 108 “catcalls”.

Roberts’ social experiment has spawned many spoof videos since it came out, but recently, a model from Auckland, New Zealand, decided to conduct Roberts’ experiment in her native land.

The results are shockingly different.

Unlike Roberts who was stopped over 100 times, Simpson was only stopped twice. But how she was stopped in these situations were completely different.

The first time Simpson was stopped, an Italian man chased after her to ask if she was from Italy. The man then proceeded to apologize for stopping her. The second time was simply a man asking her for directions.

New York City is home to 8.4 million people, while Auckland only has a population of 1.3 million. That may have something to do with the difference in reactions, but it definitely doesn’t explain all of it. As you can probably tell, there’s just a culture difference at play.

13 Sep 2014

True Marriage Equality in Action

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Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick

The NZ Herald reports that two New Zealanders who aren’t queer were planning to marry yesterday in order to win a radio station competition of some kind with a prize consisting of a trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

But some people cling to privilege and don’t like equality.

[G]ay rights groups have condemned the union.

Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support co-ordinator Neill Ballantyne, of Dunedin, said the wedding was an”insult” because marriage equality was a”hard fought” battle for gay people.

“Something like this trivialises what we fought for.” The competition promoted the marriage of two men as something negative,”as something outrageous that you’d never consider”, Mr Ballantyne said.

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood said the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at …

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh.

“But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

01 Dec 2013

Another Air New Zealand Middle Earth Commercial

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21 Nov 2013

Air New Zealand Safety Video

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Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

02 Nov 2013

“Anybody Have a Can-Opener?”

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Feeding time at the Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

23 Mar 2013

Weather Forecast In Elvish

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06 Jan 2012

New Zealand Lottery Faithful Terrier Commercial

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29 Sep 2011

Earliest Surviving Hitchcock Film Found in New Zealand Archive

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Looks like the naughty sister to me.

Roughly half of a 1923 silent film representing the earliest surviving work from Alfred Hitchcock’s pre-directorially-credited career was discovered, after sitting for 22 years in the collection of the New Zealand Film Archive.

The film’s discovery was the result of the American National Film Preservation Foundation‘s efforts to recover lost films preserved by New Zealand collector James Murtagh, which were donated to the New Zealand Film Archive at the time of his death in 1989. New Zealand’s remoteness and the high expense of shipping films caused distributors to treat the island as an end of the road screening destination. Films were sent there last, and were intended to be destroyed, rather than returned, after their theatrical run.

The White Shadow (1923), a melodrama revolving around the conflict between two sisters (both played by Betty Compson), one angelic, one “without a soul,” featured the 24 year-old Hitchcock serving as writer, art drector, assistant director, and editor.

The surviving half of the film was screened last Thursday for cineastes at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences article

LA Times

Long-Lost Hitchcock Film Found

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