Go vote!

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Forest and Bird are holding their annual Bird of the Year poll. It closes on the 14th inst. So, Go Vote! It is your civic duty. I don’t know who else will properly represent us in this cold and uncaring world.

I voted for Silvereyes, the cute little birds who come off the mountains every year to feed during the bushes of the city and make their nests. Cute for Australian immigrants.

Go vote!

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Forest and Bird are holding their annual Bird of the Year poll. It closes on the 14th inst. So, Go Vote! It is your civic duty. I don’t know who else will properly represent us in this cold and uncaring world.

I voted for Silvereyes, the cute little birds who come off the mountains every year to feed during the bushes of the city and make their nests. Cute for Australian immigrants.

Whanganui or Wanganui?

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The New Zealand Geographic Board has advised the Minister of Land Information that the city of Wanganui should be renamed Whanganui. This is proving to be trollbait for rednecks. In standard Maori WH is pronounced /f/ and in the local dialect around the city the H was silent and the pronunciation was /w/. 3News in reporting the news was diplomatic and pronounced it as ‘hwanganui’. It’s up to the minister to decide now. My suspicion that as a member of a right-wing populist government he will come down on the side of the loud voices.

My own feeling is the H should be included. The name comes from Whanga, harbour, + nui, augmentive, big, large: Big Harbour. I understand that *wanga is not a word in Maori. Pelliondance can correct me on that. Does that mean that Wanganui translates as Big Wang? Their mayor is certainly behaving like Biggus Dickus!

Public Address System found this quote on Papers Past from the Manawatu Herald of 18 April 1890.

The Manawatu Herald quotes as follows from the local school inspector’s report:— « Pronunciation of names in the colony should receive more attention from several teachers. For instance, that ‘ang’ in Wanganui, Tauranga, & is pronounced by them like ang in ‘hang,’ seems very curious. » The Herald thinks that the critic should have gone farther and indicated how the vowel should be sounded. Does he adopt the vulgar pronunciation, which turns the a into the o in « song »? The a is the same as in « Rangiora » —longer than the English vowel in « hang, » and not quite so long as the a in « far. » The g is commonly mispronounced. In the Maori the ng is always inseparable, and is very commonly an initial sound. In divisions of words this is often overlooked by the comp. « Tau-ra-nga » is the proper division—not « Tau-ran-ga. » The Herald pertinently asks why, if the Inspector stands up for correctness, he falls into the common error of dropping the h from « Whanganui. »

This weekend

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There was a riot in Dunedin over the weekend. I understand that it was mostly confined to a couple of blocks next to the university, in an area densely occupied with studends. In Dunedin the area is known as Scarfieland; a Scarfie is a student at the University of Otago. The name appears to come from the students wearing colourful scarves to keep warm in Dunedin’s winter. It is now a historical name, and any scarves, if they are worn, are now in Otago’s provincial colours of blue and gold, according to Wikipedia. Or they are those dinky Arabic scarves which are so popular at the moment.

The riot happened over the hill from me, across the Botanical Gardens. I didn’t hear it, and it didn’t impact on me at all. This would have to be the fourth time this has happened in the years I have lived in Dunedin, of and on, about 15 years. None of them have affected me personally. By the language used on national television people outside of Dunedin would think that there is civil unrest going on in the deep south. It is simply untrue. (Except in the opinion that national politics has nothing to do with what is going on in our region, but there you are!)

The trigger again was the Undie 500 when Engineering Students from Christchurch have a rally down to Dunedin in cheap cars bought especially for the ride and decorated, get pissed, and go home again. 500-800 People gathered on Castle Street. They set fires and burnt furniture, and made a lot of noise much to the nuisance of older residents. No cars were set on fire this time. The police intervened in full riot gear. They were heavy-handed, breaking into houses and flats to maintain control. I expect that there will be reports of police abuse. At least one young women is making a complaint because she was pepper-sprayed, more or less, for answering the door. No cars were set alight this time at least.

The organisers of the rally attempted to co-ordinate with city council. They wanted space to be made at a local sports ground, or a sports centre in south Dunedin, for a musical event. They were rebuffed. As far as the city council is concerned this was just delaying the inevitable. It wants the event to be crushed and extinct. Their opinion is if Cantabrian students should keep their rally in Cantabury and have a barbeque in Cathedral Square when they get back. Dunedin local authorities are determined to make this an unpleasant affair for all involved. High-jinks and darker spirits are colluding together, helped by the binge culture that has become the norm among students. The majority of students arrested in the rioting were inhabitants of Dunedin. It seems to me that the problem begins at home, and there is a lot of sensible talking to be done by responsible people before this happens again. Unfortunately I don’t see it happening and it’s just a matter of time before something equally stupid happens again. Because it’s a rush for those involved! What a load of nonsense!

The Ten Doctors

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I should put up this link in the eternal and futile quest to find distractions to annoy Southern Dave, a pencil sketched comic of an encounter between all ten current incarnations of Doctor Who. I’ve only read the first ten pages or so. Each one has made me laugh aloud with delight.

Also Denis Welch talks about street names

The Ten Doctors

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I should put up this link in the eternal and futile quest to find distractions to annoy Southern Dave, a pencil sketched comic of an encounter between all ten current incarnations of Doctor Who. I’ve only read the first ten pages or so. Each one has made me laugh aloud with delight.

Also Denis Welch talks about street names

Harrius Potter et Lapis Philosophi

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A friend tells me he is enjoying reading the above title. Apparently the humour in the text translates very well into Latin. I looked at his copy and was amused to see a reference to Sirius Niger. Also the text declines Albus Dumbledore, which was what I was looking for. My own understanding of Latin is self-taught and extremely patchy.