1. I meet Gareth Hughes today as he made a very brief stop at the stall Jeanette Elley and I were running at Unitec, in between his really very busy schedule.  He had been out West at Laingholm School with Russel Norman announcing a plan to invest $20m to install solar PV systems in schools - saving the schools money on electricity that can be directly invested back into etching and learning - good stuff!

    (Source: nzpol)

  2. socialismartnature:

    Breaking via ABC News: UN Human Rights Council votes to open inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza; U.S. is the ONLY “no” vote.

    That’s because the U.S. is a direct accomplice to every war crime that Israel commits.

    and all the other western countries abstained…

    (Source: twitter.com, via sugerrtits)

  3. clarawebbwillcutoffyourhead:





    The fact that this even needs to be posted is fucking ridiculous

    and why is “from” in quotations…

    because racist white dudes have a tendency to ask woc where they’re “from” and they actually mean “what is your racial heritage to the nearest percent”

    thank you!

    Who do I contact to get these plastered over trimet

    "If you’re unable to refrain from harassing other passengers please change seats and notify the bus operator." - brilliant!

    (via aqtyctrl)


  4. Sorry? What on earth was wrong with Cunliffe’s red scarf? It’s winter, he’s out in the cold weather campaigning. I don’t get how that could possibly have an impact on the polls. This is just getting silly. Unfortunately, the MSM have achieved their end: he now looks weak.


  5. Diary of An Interplanetary Naturalist - The Sarlacc



    C-3PO: “You will therefore be taken to the Dune Sea and cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful sarlacc.”

    C-3PO: “In his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.”

    It was twenty years ago that I came into possession of that protocol droid. I was its fourteenth owner, although it would not disclose any information on the thirteen previous ones. By the time it entered my possession its body’s brass plating was almost as thin and timid as its AI. For the first year after I purchased this tarnished, golden droid from the district auction, this memory recall occurred without warning, at first daily, then weekly, then, for some reason, scarcely at all.

    Owing to this unpredictable glitch, I was never able to make use of the C-3PO unit as a translator or a cultural mediator, not that I ever really needed it considering the advancement of modern neural AI embeds. But C-3PO’s terror, its obsession stuck with me.

    It’s a fool’s errand to project free will or desire upon even the most sentient of droids, but there was something about this recall, its intensity, its pain… its fear, so unlike anything I had ever heard uttered in digital voice, that called like a Siren to my curiosity. Never could I have imagined how a droid so distressed would guide my journeys.

    What did it mean? What is the “sarlacc” this droid spoke of?

    Historic records from the time of the Galactic Rebellion are sadly incomplete thanks to the Great Cyberwar, but even a child would turn rapt at the mention of the legendary Han Solo, and from that very first mention I knew I must uncover more.

    What I, an interplanetary naturalist, have observed in my lifetime of exploration and study, may top the list of “horrible ways to die in the known universe”, this thousand-year psychotorture, this eon of agony. I present here my natural observations of the sarlacc.

    Read More


  6. han-nara:

    New research suggests that subtle linguistic differences can frame our approaches to difficult problems— and even affect our views on space and time

    By Mitch Moxley

    During the first quarter of this year, the U.S. economy grew a dismal 0.1 percent, well below predictions. Depending on which pundit you listen to, this was a sign of either a stalling economy or an ailing one. The choice of words is more important than you might think. So important, in fact, that word choice can actually affect not just how we describe the economy, but also how we try to fix it.

    Subtle linguistic differences and figures of speech can frame our approaches to difficult problems, beyond just the economy. That’s what research from the University of California, San Diego, is showing. Choose your metaphors carefully, people. They do more than just describe a problem—they help shape the solution.

    Lera Boroditsky, associate professor of cognitive science at UC San Diego has spent years examining how different languages might encourage different cognitive abilities. A growing body of evidence suggests that a person’s mother tongue shapes the way they think about many aspects of the world, including space and time. The results, Boroditsky says, have broad implications in the spheres of politics and law.

    In the case of the economy, the word “stalled” implies the need for a quick solution. “We know what it means to jumpstart a car—we know that a short-term infusion of energy will help get everything restored back to normal,” Boroditsky says. “When we use that analogy we’re implying that a short term financial stimulus will help us get the economy going again.”

    On the other hand, when the economy is “ailing,” like a sick patient, it requires constant, long-term care. The difference is crucial.

    Or consider a city with a high crime rate: Is crime a beast, or is it a virus?

    “In the beast case, people say, ‘Bring in more police, harsher jail sentences’—the kinds of things that you would imagine doing for a real beast. Put out a hunting party and cage and kill it,” Boroditsky says. “Whereas for a virus people come up with more preventative solutions—diagnose the root cause of the problem, inoculate the population, improve education, deal with economic problems in the community so people are not as susceptible to crime.”

    In a series of experiments by Boroditsky and Paul Thibodeau, test subjects were asked to read short paragraphs about rising crime rates in a fictional city and answer questions about the city. The researchers then assessed how people answered the questions based on whether crime was described as a beast or a virus. In one study, 71 percent of the participants called for more enforcement when they read crime described as a beast. When the metaphor was changed to virus, the number dropped to 54 percent.

    If changing the way you speak your language affects thinking, what happens when you switch languages altogether? Opinions on the subject date back centuries (Charlemagne once said, “to have a second language is to have a second soul”). In the 1930s, two American linguists, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf popularized the hypothesis that the languages we speak may shape the ways we think.

    There are some 7,000 languages spoken in the world, and they exhibit tremendous variance. Boroditsky and her colleagues’ research has shown that language—from verb tenses to gender to metaphors—can shape the most fundamental dimensions of human cognition, including space, time, causality, and our relationships with others.

    “I was always interested in how humans become so smart. How do we build complex knowledge? How are we able to think about things that go far beyond our physical experience?” she says. “It became clear quite early that there wasn’t any way to explain how we build such complex and sophisticated knowledge unless you look at patterns in language.”

    For a striking example of how language shapes thought, Boroditsky points to Aboriginal languages in Australia that don’t use terms like “left” and “right.” Instead, they use cardinal directions—east, west, etc. “There is an ant on your southwest leg,” a speaker might say.

    Studies have found that speakers of such languages are remarkably good at staying oriented, even when inside a building. When asked to lay out a series of cards that included earlier and later events, members of the community will arrange the cards from east to west (the direction of the sun) no matter which direction they are facing. English speakers, meanwhile, will lay them out left to right (the way English is written), while Hebrew speakers will lay the cards out right to left (the direction of Hebrew script).

    There are practical implications to better understanding how language shapes the way we perceive reality. In a courtroom, for example, the way in which English, Spanish or Japanese speakers recall events can be dramatically different—which, of course, can be candy to lawyers.

    English speakers usually describe events in terms of agents doing things: “John broke the vase.” Speakers of Spanish or Japanese are less likely to mention the agent when describing an accident: “The vase broke.” These differences can affect how speakers of different languages actually remember the same event. In one study, speakers of English, Spanish, and Japanese watched videos of two people popping balloons, breaking eggs, and intentionally or unintentionally spilling drinks. When asked later who broke what, speakers of Spanish and Japanese did not remember who was responsible for the accidents as well as English speakers did. But they had no problem identifying who was responsible for intentional events, for which their language would mention the agent.

    Boroditsky is currently looking at metaphors used to describe economic inequality. She’s trying to understand whether there are differences that result from describing inequality as a “gap” or a “chasm,” or the result of a race—winning or falling behind in a race—or climbing and falling off a ladder.

    “We’re asking if these metaphors actually have different consequences,” Boroditsky says. “We use metaphor because issues like crime or the economy are hard to think about. They are complex systems that we’re talking about. None of us has a complete understanding of the systems, so we draw on knowledge of what’s familiar to us.”

    It is, to use an aptly fraught metaphor, a rich vein of inquiry.

    (via sabelmouse)


  7. "Let’s do the math on “cruelty free”. Squirrels are almond orchard pests that are killed regularly in the field. When I was growing almonds I was trapping & shooting about 2 per acre per month during their peak activity season (about 6 months). That’s 12 squirrel deaths/acre/year. Killing a squirrel pest per acre is very common with almonds, as well as pistachios.There are about 800,000 acres of almonds in production in CA. 12 x 800,000 acres = 9,600,000 intentionally shot or poisoned squirrels. Most growers poison, because most almond growers are not organic so they have no restriction against poisoning. Squirrel death by poisoning is very slow and painful. There is no cruelty free food in commercial agriculture."
  8. julykind:

    Vancouver’s thought-provoking response to other cities’ anti-homeless architecture: a public bench that doubles as a temporary shelter from rain.

    (via urbntings)


    Anei te waiata hou a Stan Walker rātou ko Ria Hall, ko Maisey Rika, ko Troy Kingi e kiia nei ko ‘AOTEAROA’

    A waiata launched at ‘Te Wiki o te Reo Māori on July 21, 2014 in Porirua, with the premiere of the video clip on Pūkana, Māori Television at 4:30pm. 

    It’s a song to acknowledge our Reo, our unique indigenous culture and who we are as New Zealanders, as well as our connection to Aotearoa.

    Directed by Shae Sterling

    Exec Producers : Matai Smith, Viv Wigby-Ngatai (Cinco Cine)

    Produced by Annette Eggers (Feijoa films)

    Initial concept by Mel Price

    Styling by Sammy Salsa

    Edited by Mikey Rockwell

    Art Director - Annette Eggers

    Props - Paulo Machado, Judy Robson-Deane, Jared Diprose.

    Additional aerial footage courtesy of Silverfox Productions

    Special thanks to Black Sands Lodge, Sheep World and Ryan Talent.

    I’m told this waiata was conceived after the realisation by key players that the last NZ pop hit in full Te Reo was Poi E in 1984…  30 years is a long time coming.

    Annette Eggers is a friend who works in the same building as me, it has been such fun, over the last few weeks, coming into work and seeing a new letter sitting against the wall.  It’s great to see such hard work all come together like this.  Ka pai.  Engari tonu!


  10. Seriously, for women, and anyone else who cares about domestic violence and violence against women, this election should be a no-brainer…