Posts tagged ‘New Zealand’

April 17, 2013

New Zealand – Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – Third Reading

Very sweet. From the Huffington Post:

“People watching from the public gallery and some lawmakers immediately broke into song after the result was announced, singing the New Zealand love song “Pokarekare Ana” in the indigenous Maori language.”

MP Maurice Williamson may also win an award for one of the funniest parliamentary contributions I have heard.

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January 20, 2012

Anonymous Responds In A Big Way

Courtesy Akamai

Today was an extraordinary day for those of us who support the legitimate grouses of the hacking community  with government and the legal system being in bed with  the music and film industries. The RIAA and MPAA have been going after individuals for downloading in the US and claiming ridiculous amounts of losses. Kids, grannies and even people without computers are being  threatened and and made to pay thousands of dollars to escape prolonged litigation.

Today the New Zealand authorities acting as lackeys…err… law enforcement agents for the US government arrested the guy behind Megauploads – a site that allows people to upload large files. According to the FBI’s site ( at the time it was working) :

January 19th, 2012

Popular file-sharing website megaupload.com gets shutdown by U.S Justice – FBI and charged its founder with violating piracy laws. Four Megaupload members were also arrested. The FBI released a press release on its website which you can view here:

The thing is, it is never good to piss off Anonymous because shortly thereafter a massive cyber attack was launched through the Anonymous distributed network. That is the picture you see at the top of this post.  A coordinated attack that has knocked out the sites of  justice.gov , universalmusic.com, riaa.org , mpaa.org , copyright.gov ,hadopi.fr , wmg.com , usdoj.gov , bmi.com , fbi.gov. Yes, that’s right they even knocked out the FBI’s site.

This is probably the most ambitious response by  Anonymous yet ( or that we know of). The thing I love about Anonymous or any hacker group for that matter is that it is widespread and everywhere – it is the ultimate in people  power.

Anonymous ( one can never be sure if it is actually them) seemingly released a statement  late this evening which was tweeted by @AnonymousIRC:

January 19th, 2012

Popular file-sharing website megaupload.com gets shutdown by U.S Justice – FBI and charged its founder with violating piracy laws. Four Megaupload members were also arrested. The FBI released a press release on its website which you can view here:
http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/justice-department-charges-leaders-of-megaupload-with-widespread-online-copyright-infringement

We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz. The FBI didn’t think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us.

#OpMegaupload
The following sites were taken down in response to the FBI shutting down megaupload.com
🙂 TANGO DOWN
justice.gov
universalmusic.com
riaa.org
mpaa.org
copyright.gov
hadopi.fr
wmg.com
usdoj.gov
bmi.com
fbi.gov
DOX of MPAA CEO Chris Dodd (original: http://pastebin.com/mvLYNdWB)

Read the rest here ( which also includes some personal info about MPAA execs to let them know it is personal).

We’ll see where the war ends but I must disagree with Star Trek – the internet is the final frontier.

The map above reminded me of  the film War Games :

For the kids out there the movie was pretty amazing in its day –  you can see it in in full ( for the time being) on YouTube.

March 30, 2011

Interview with conservationist Pete Bethune of Whale Wars.

Interview with Pete Bethune on ieTV’s One on One program in Trinidad.  Interview aired  February 24, 2011.

Read more on Pete Bethune here. More on Earthrace on the official site here.

March 2, 2011

Touching story of one of the quiet heroes of the New Zealand Earthquake.

With the earth still shaking Ashei  Sopoaga immediately jumped into action to help those around him. A lesson in what it really means to be human.  He is the picture of quiet dignity.

November 18, 2008

No blog for you today.

100_6221 I could not resist the Seinfeld reference but seriously it was a really long day today of inspections and reviews. I started at 7:45 am and was dropped back at my new home Breezes Curacao at 9:45pm. Glamorous life of a travel writer ….yeah…sure.

At least I had a great dinner at the Marriott with the lovely woman from marketing who hails from New Zealand. Now that would be a great place to visit. The rack of lamb was also quite amazing. 

 

Off now to have a quick Pernod poolside so I can face another day of this tomorrow. At this point on the trip I don’t know if I am coming or going. I also note with alarm that rains in Trinidad have turned the area of my condo into a disaster area..a fact verified by Alvin who was spending the night at my place and is now stuck.

September 28, 2008

Feasting on culinary programmes

Another Sunday, another day of working with Giselle, Ria and Nadine and another evening of watching the food programmes on cable. News was great today and we managed to pull the newscast together primarily because of Giselle’s uncanny ability to remain unruffled in the face of anything. I swear if civilians heard the bawdy conversations we have while creating a newscast they would probably throw holy water on us. Giselle did an excellent job of reading this evening as usual and I was happy to be able to just behave as the conductor.

 

I made it home to revel in another evening of watching food programmes. The main event for me this evening was Alton Brown’s Feasting on Waves which, as it turns out, was the final part of his four part series. Before that I watched Challenge on Food Network with some dreadful display of odd cooking in what seems to have been a beef cooking challenge that resulted in a few winners with rather yawnable dishes. At least I managed to grab dinner and have a shower during the programme. This was followed by a difficult time for me when I was confronted with Iron Chef America ( a poor imitation of the Japanese version of the show) running against Anthony Bourdain with his No Reservations. Normally I am glued to Iron Chef America but dammit Jim …it was Anthony Bourdain and an episode I had never seen before on the Travel Channel with him in New Zealand. I flipped back and forth and then saw that the challengers on Iron Chef chose Bobby Flay and ..well…Bourdain won.

 

Bourdain was his usual self as he bombed at a culinary speech in New Zealand and proceeded to find the ethos of the country before venturing into his next presentation. I know it was all staged TV ( I work in the medium – after all) but it was well done and there was wild boar involved and Bourdain did the butchering. I think I adore the guy because when i watch him and his sarcastic and cynical ways I see myself and in a world when I often feel I am the last caustic person on the planet  – it comforts me. His insatiable curiosity also strikes a chord with me. Bourdain was happy with his visit to the Antipodes and I was pretty darned happy too. BTW I managed to catch the last minute of Iron Chef and was pleased to see that Flay lost the challenge.

 

I was going to make this entry a detailed discussion about the last episode of Feasting on Waves but despite my extensive note taking on Scrivener  I feel that would miss the point of the last episode. Yes, he spoke of pelau and had more johnny cakes which, inexplicably, seem ubiquitous in the upper Caribbean but not Trinidad. And , yes, he insists on pronouncing Anguilla as “angweela” as opposed to “angwilla”. He also continued his concentration on the smaller territories ignoring the islands that really dictate the cuisine of the Caribbean but it was a four part series so I can only assume he has a plan for a larger series.

 

My views on the the series after seeing the final episode are actually quite basic. I am happy I have seen another side of Alton Brown. A less perfect and much more interesting side that…dare I say it…makes him more human. I saw our region force Alton to relax and just be himself which I guess is what we are best at doing. We break people down and force them to realize we are ultimately about being human and that involves the fun of learning we are not perfect and that life is really about a little bit of this and little bit of that and damn the exact measurements. Caribbean culture, built on African, Indian, European, Chinese, Arabic and heaven knows what else is about just doing what feels right. That is what I love about living here. Then Alton, the most uptight person on the Food Network made the ultimate announcement in his last episode. He said that in the Caribbean ( in local food places) we cook food with love and that is very different from cooking it “lovingly”. Ding ding ding Alton….you got it. That is what we are about as a people and a region and most observers miss it but you didn’t. So I now have a new respect for Alton who was always struck me as a soulless but very knowledgeable food expert. He clearly has soul and after seeing him barefoot in a kitchen and seeing him taste  a dish by sucking it out of his hand ( I always thought that was normal) he is now fully OK with me. I love the line he said in the BVI regarding a great coconut fish chowder passed down to the cook by his grandmother which he described as “drinking  his history out of a cup”.

 

Ironically, living in the Caribbean I now see that one of my best friends Bruce, who is also a travel writer but times 100, is facing Hurricane Kyle in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. How odd that I am safe in the Southern Caribbean and he is now dealing with one of our most infamous exports – bad weather.