Slagging your employer off on Facebook

February 5th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

3 News has a story on Julie Tyler who is facing the sack from Burger King after she said on Facebook “Real jobs don’t under pay and over work people like BK does!”.

They also have a copy of the official letters from BK.

Sometimes an employer can over-react to comments on Facebook, but in this case I don’t think Burger King is over-reacting. She directly slagged her employer off in a public forum.

If she had not named the employer, then that would not be an issue. Likewise if an employee just posts about a bad day at work, then an employer might be over-reacting to take action. But the comments made by Tyler undermine the good faith needed in the employer/employee relationship.

As it happens, she was also on a final warning for swearing and customer relations.

Citing Facebook as support

January 31st, 2011 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

An article in the Herald proclaims “Labour move to save public holidays gains wide support”

Now as it so happens, I support Grant Robertson’s bill, and think it probably does have wide support. But what I want to focus on is this segment of the story:

A Facebook page – dubbed Mondayise NZ – has called on the Government to make the move.

One post reads: “Crazy. Currently if our NZ national day Waitangi Day falls on a weekend, we don’t get the day off! What’s that about?”

Another said: “Let’s tell the New Zealand Government through a Facebook community [that] we want our public holidays Mondayised!”

If one is going to cite a Facebook group as evidence of wide support, one should cite how many members belong to or “like” the page. In this case, it is 47 people.

Herald slams Laura Petrova Isaac

November 17th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

More than 1500 Facebook users, most of whom appear to be students, say they plan to attend the “Castor Bay Beach Party 2!” on Auckland’s North Shore in December.

At a similar gathering last Saturday night some 130 drunken youths refused to leave Castor Bay about 10pm. Police were pelted with bottles after they were called by residents when property was damaged. One man was arrested for jumping on a vehicle.

The mayhem mirrored a similar party at Cheltenham Beach the previous weekend.

More than 1500 people have signalled their intention to attend the December Castor Bay event, organised by student Ash Hilton, with another 440 “maybe attending”.

On the Facebook page, posters do not appear to care about the residents of the area, the police, the illegality of their actions, or grammar. …

Laura Petrova Isaac also intends on going.

“ha ha went to the first one… and the next day it was all over the news and i was watching it with mum and she goes ‘some children these days! im glad u dont do stupid things like this’ lol… uuhhmmm…. [sic]” she wrote.

Oh dear. Laura should know Facebook is public. Her mum probably doesn’t read Facebook, but I am sure Laura is hoping her Mum (or Mum’s friends) don’t read the Herald (or Kiwiblog)!

I can just imagine the thought process of the reporter as they read those comments, thinking I am going to teach that little miss a lesson.

Jail for Facebook photo

November 13th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

A jilted lover has made legal history by being jailed for posting a photograph of his ex-girlfriend naked for millions of Facebook users to see.

After 12 hours, police and Facebook authorities shut down the woman’s account but not before it was available to all 500 million active users of the social network.

Joshua Simon Ashby, 20, held a piece of paper over his face yesterday in an attempt to prevent The Dominion Post photographing him as he was being sentenced.

Judge Andrew Becroft, in Wellington District Court, allowed Ashby’s photo to be taken, saying “there was a certain symmetry to it”, then stepped in to tell Ashby not to hide his face.

Yeah if you post naked photos of your ex for revenge, you can’t expect to have the media unable to take your photo.

Ashby posted the photo in an “irresponsible drunken jealous rage” after the breakup of their five-month relationship, the judge said.

It is believed to be the first time someone has been sentenced for a crime committed using social media under the seldom-used morality and decency section of the Crimes Act.

At first I thought jail might be over the top, but then I see he was not sentenced only for the photo.

The Island Bay painter was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to a charge of distributing indecent matter and six others of threatening to kill, wilful damage, theft of the woman’s clothes, and assault.

He had included in text messages to her on July 23: “I’m going to kill you” and “Dead bitch”. He then posted a photograph he had of her naked in front of a mirror to her Facebook page. Initially, 218 of her friends had access to it, but Ashby then made it publicly available and changed her password. Her friends saw the photo and texted her to tell her.

A very nasty piece of work.

At the same time as the Facebook incident, Ashby stole two of the woman’s dresses, soaked them in water and cut them up. She forgave him and they reunited briefly before a drunken argument in October led to Ashby pushing her to the ground and snapping her cellphone in half.

Oh, why did she go back to him. The moment anyone texts their ex to say “I’m going to kill you”, the Police should be breaking down his front door and arresting him.

I think he is lucky to only have four months jail.

A case in point

August 28th, 2010 at 8:18 pm by David Farrar

At the #openlabournz conference earlier today, there was a good discussion about how social media can help improve interactions with Government, and we focused specifically on getting a culture in the public service where staff can engage in social media.

I made the point that the problem is the media can take a flippant comment online, and treat it as a press release, and demand the CEO comment on it or respond to it. My suggestion was that a good CEO should tell anyone who comes to them with a media inquiry about a flippant comment on Facebook or Twitter, that the person needs a life and the CEO is too busy with real issues.

In the few hours since the conference, we’ve had a perfect example of this play out – but with MPs not public servants.

In the House on Thursday, Melissa Lee embellished her question to Judith Collins of “Can she explain the reasons behind the record low number of escapes” by adding on “except for the fact she is such a fantastic minister”.

Nikki Kaye promptly facebooked that Melissa’s effort should win her “brown nosing backbencher of the year”.

Now Nikki and Melissa are good mates. Melissa actually responds to “Blondie” in the facebook thread. It is very obviously two mates having a friendly hassle.

Then early this morning on Red Alert Trevor Mallard posted a screenshot of the Facebook thread. It is bloody obvious that it is a friendly exchange. They even have Melissa doing a lol on it.

So far so good. But then someone at NewstalkZB thinks this is somehow a newsworthy story. They actually dispatch a reporter to phone Nikki Kaye up and ask her why she called a colleague a brown noser, and does she think John Key would approve of it.

For fuck’s sake. This was the exact point I was making at the Labour conference. An idiot media outlet thinking that a piece of friendly banter is somehow a news story, let alone some sort of scandal that the Prime Minister might need to be informed about.

The Prime Minister, I am confident to predict, would find the exchange as funny as most people would.

What really annoys me is that the consequences of such media stupidity is to encourage our MPs to become automatons – never showing any personality or humour – playing everything safe, just to avoid a potentially bad media story.

Slagging your employer off online

June 11th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

One of New Zealand’s largest unions says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) is “scaremongering” when it claims employees should face legal action for complaining about their jobs on Facebook.

The Engineering and Manufacturers Union (EPMU) has come out strongly against the call from the EMA, saying that prosecuting people for what they say online comes “dangerously close” to impinging on fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression.

EMA employment services manager David Lowe said the use of social media was untested in employment law but employers should take action if employees badmouthed them online.

“Some employees continue to say things on their social networking pages forgetting it isn’t private. Businesses must not sit back and allow their reputations to be sullied by the thoughtless comments of employees or ex-employees.”

Not much one can do about ex-employees, except to point out the obvious that slagging a former employer off in public may make it difficult for them to get future jobs.

In terms of current employees, the EPMU’s position seems rather strange. As much as I support free speech, that is not to say speech does not have consequences.

If an employer or manager posted on their Facebook site that they wanted to strangle a employee because the employee was always fucking things up, I have no doubt the EPMU would say this is outrageous and a breach of the good faith needed in employment relationships.

The same applies in reverse. If an employee is slagging off the employer, managers or even colleagues, that is a breach of the relationship.

Now having said that, an employer should not over react. If an employee is being indiscreet with their comments on say Facebook, the best approach would be to point out why this is a bad idea, and the consequences that could occur.

Now if someone has their Facebook page restricted to friends only, you can argue this is not in public. But then one presumes an employer would not get to see it. If they do, then pretty much by definition it is not private.

Editorials 3 June 2010

June 3rd, 2010 at 11:15 am by David Farrar

The Herald wants an FTA with Russia given priority:

Last year, New Zealand exports to Russia were worth $187 million, a modest sum even if well up on the $51 million of a decade earlier. As Russia has a population of 142 million, those figures hint at the potential of a free-trade pact.

But more telling still is the fact that not so long ago, New Zealand enjoyed thriving commercial arrangements with the former Soviet Union despite an often strained diplomatic relationship, not least over the invasion of Afghanistan.

But Keith Locke supported that invasion, so maybe we should make Keith the free trade negotiator for Russia 🙂

The Press supports the creation of a new bank:

The proposal to merge three finance organisations to create a new locally owned bank is a timely one.

For the finance institutions themselves, it is an opportunity, driven by necessity, to turn themselves into stronger, more robust entities, particularly after the turmoil of the last three years or so.

For investors, looking to diversify their investments away from the great Kiwi stand-by, domestic real estate, it could provide a worthwhile and productive place to put their money.

And for borrowers, particularly small-business owners who have complained of being cold-shouldered by unsympathetic banks during the financial crisis, it could provide a friendlier, more knowledgeable lender to local business. …

The three entities involved – Pyne Gould Corporation’s finance arm Marac Finance, the Canterbury Building Society and the Southern Cross Building Society – are established names in finance.

They have not been unscathed by the upheavals of the financial crisis, but they have survived it with credit ratings still at very respectable levels for non-bank institutions.

Two have BB+ ratings and the other a BB rating, which is at the high end for entities that are not banks.

But still not great. The acceptable grades are:

  • AAA : the best quality borrowers, reliable and stable (many of them governments)
  • AA : quality borrowers, a bit higher risk than AAA
  • A : economic situation can affect finance
  • BBB : medium class borrowers, which are satisfactory at the moment
  • BB : more prone to changes in the economy
  • B : financial situation varies noticeably

Once you start to get into CCC and below, institutions are officially vulnerable.

The Dom Post talks off shore drilling:

But for recent events in the Gulf of Mexico, the Government would be making more of a fuss of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras’ decision to explore for oil and gas off the East Coast of the North Island.

The world’s fourth-biggest energy company, a world leader in offshore drilling, this week won the right to explore about half of the Raukumara Basin, which extends north and east of East Cape. The company will spend up to US$118 million (NZ$174m) over the next five years gathering seismic data and drilling an exploratory well.

The project will create jobs and draw international attention to New Zealand as a potential source of petroleum.

But the big gains will come if Petrobras makes a commercial find. Already the petroleum sector generates about $3 billion a year in export revenue. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee has estimated that figure could rise to $30b by 2025 if preliminary estimates of New Zealand’s petroleum resources prove to be correct.

Which would make a huge difference to our standard of living, and ability to fund health and education services.

However, celebrations this week have been muted by the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Six weeks after an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers, the well 1.6 kilometres beneath the sea is continuing to spew between 1.9b and 3b litres of oil a day into the gulf, polluting the fragile Louisiana coastline, threatening fisheries and destroying the livelihoods of fishermen and tourist operators.

For that reason it is essential that the promised overhaul of New Zealand’s health, safety and environmental arrangements for offshore petroleum operations is completed well before any deepwater drilling begins.


The ODT looks at Facebook and privacy:

Facebook, once a small, “free” social networking site for university undergraduates to share personal information, has become a vast subdivision on the information super highway.

It is expected soon to reach a landmark figure of 500 million registered users.

This would make it the third largest country on Earth, bigger than all but India and China.

On Monday this week – “Quit Facebook Day” – Canadian campaigners urged people worldwide to remove themselves from the site.

They, and many others, were riled about the way in which they felt their privacy was being purloined for profit.

Quite why they should have been so surprised is another matter: you do not pay upfront to belong to Facebook, but the company must make ends meet – and a tidy profit – somehow.

That “somehow” is no great secret.

The site sells advertising to companies tailored to the defined demographics of its users.

The “footprint” they create in their Facebook activities is like gold to advertisers and marketers who will pay accordingly.

I was talking last night to someone about Facebook, with the idea being that if a user is aged under 18 then their privacy settings are set by default to not share data with anyone but friends.

The power of Facebook

April 25th, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Jen McCreight responded to the claim of the Iranian cleric that girls dressing unmodestly have been causing earthquakes:

I have a modest proposal.

Sedighi claims that not dressing modestly causes earthquakes. If so, we should be able to test this claim scientifically. You all remember the homeopathy overdose?

Time for a Boobquake.

On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble.

It seems a most worthy scientific experiment.

And in just a few days, the Facebook page for the event has 145,000 confirmed attendees.

I suspect we will see a lot of coverage of this event on TV!

Do the Greens want 60 Maori seats?

April 6th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

On Facebook there is a group called Maori 60. It’s description is:

Maori should be equal partners with settlers in the NZ government. There are now 120 MPs. Maori should control 60 seats.

The most prominent member of Maori 60 is Green co-leader Metiria Turei.

That is some heavweight support, to have a party leader join your group.

I wonder how many Green Party voters know that their co-leader does not support a democracy where all votes are roughly equal, but where 15% of the population should have 50% of the seats, and the other 85% have the other 50%. That make a vote from someone with Maori ancestry six times more powerful than a vote from someone who does not have the right relatives.

The powerful Rick Giles

April 2nd, 2010 at 11:51 am by David Farrar

Heh, I have just caught up with this. Act on Campus President Rick Giles has become a media sensation.

It started with this interview on Sunrise with Oliver Driver where he was advocating Edison Hour over Earth Hour.

The talk turned to climate change, and Rick was trying to say that his arguments against Earth Hour stood up, regardless of whether or not you thought man-made climate change was happening. However his exact use of words was:

I think my argument is so powerful, it’s not necessary to talk about it

He meant of course that you don’t need to debate whether climate change is happening to talk about whether Earth Hour is a good thing or not, but the phrase has become one of legend.

The “I think my argument is so powerful that it’s not necessary to talk about it” Facebook page was born shortly thereafter and is now up to an impressive 3,400 members.

TV3, knowing when they are onto a good thing, gave Rick the opportunity to submit a home video where he makes his case without interjection.

I especially like the part about the communists, the Islamists and all of Ghengis Khan’s hoardes.

I understand there is already a competition between certain MPs for who can be the first in the House to use the phrase “I think my argument is so powerful that it’s not necessary to talk about it” 🙂

Support a Weta

March 31st, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Wellington Airport have not totally given up it seems on the Wellywood sign. They have said they are willing to consider alternatives that get across a message of “Wellington, “Film” and “Global”.

So unless enough people support an alternative, we may still end up with a Wellywood sign. So for those who like the idea of a giant weta, I’ve set up a Facebook page you can join to show your support.

A stupid idea

March 1st, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he will look into the idea of appointing an online ombudsman after Facebook tribute pages were defaced with pornography and offensive comments.

Pages set up to honour slain Queensland children Trinity Bates and Elliott Fletcher have been defaced in the past fortnight.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon has proposed the appointment of an online ombudsman to deal with such incidents.

“Specifically on Nick’s idea, let’s look at it,” Rudd told the Seven Network.

“The role of cyber crime and internet bullying on children is frankly frightening and we need to be deploying all practical measures.”

God knows what they think an online ombudsman will do, but I’d rather not find out.

The Facebook pages will have an owner who set them up. That owner has the ability to remove any offensive comments made on the tribute pages. No need for the state to intervene.

I’d go for the embarrassment

February 26th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

AP report:

A US teen convicted of using Facebook to blackmail dozens of male classmates into sex has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Nineteen-year-old Anthony Stancl of New Berlin showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down on Wednesday.

Stancl pleaded no contest in December to two felonies, including repeated sexual assault of a child.

He apologised during sentencing, saying he has learned to understand what his victims went through.

He had faced a maximum 30-year sentence.

Stancl is accused of posing as a girl on Facebook and tricking more than 30 male classmates into sending him naked photos of themselves, then using the photos to blackmail them for sex.

You know if I was 16 and  a guy gave me a choice of him releasing a naked photo of me, or having sex with him, it would not be a difficult decision. I’d choose the embarrassing photo over well, coerced sex.

It seems he coerced 7 out of 31 classmates into sex over having the photos released. Amazing.

Trevor lashes back at Metiria

January 29th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard hits back at Metiria Turei after she highlighted how he had unfriended her on Facebook:

Last night Metiria Turei used my status to attack Labour. Of all things it was on our record on the minimum wage – probably one of the best areas of progress the last government – but the subject doesn’t matter.

As I said above I’m new to facebook.  I regard my page like my home. I chose who is there. While there are lots of discussions initiated by constituents I decide whether they run or not. But the idea of politicians using the comments section of my status to attack me just doesn’t seem right.

Good God. If you are an MP and you use your Facebook page to try and score political points, it is rather precious to then ban people because they disagree with you. Let alone the co-leader of your own remaining friendly party.

Metiria herself is an avid user of social media and on Twitter (for example) people often disagree with her on an issue. She normally responds constructively, and all is fine.

ps   I found Rod Donald and Sue Bradford good to work with (and Jeanette but only for a short time) – so its not a green allergy.

Ouch that makes it worse. He is saying it is personal with Metiria. And consider his earlier comment:

Not much real help from you guys esp since Russel started cuddling tories.

So Trevor is slagging off not one but both co-leaders of the Greens. Way to go.

I really wonder if Phil Goff is in control of his own caucus.

Trevor unfriends Metiria

January 28th, 2010 at 5:17 pm by David Farrar

Metiria Turia blogs:

Trevor Mallard defriended me on Facebook last night and I have to tell you the story. He also defriended another person for asking the same questions I did. Not terribly sporting, I would have thought.

Metiria’s sin was to point out the gap between Labour’s rhetoric on the minimum wage and their record.

And Trevor got so annoyed he unfriended her!! Seriously – just like a teenager does when they are in a huff.

I love Labour’s strategy for making friends and influencing people.

First Shane Jones insults a priest at Ratana, and them declares war against the Maori Party.

And now Trevor Mallard defriends on Facebook the co-leader of the Green Party.

What next? Will Annette King call Jim Anderton a authoritarian tyrant, to get rid of their one remaining friend?

The John Key for Movember campaign

October 29th, 2009 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Damien Christie has set up a campaign to convince John Key to grow a moustache for Movember. Now personally I am not sure it is a good look for NZ to have a PM who looks like a paedophile (I think most men with moustaches look that way) and that it is a bit undignified, but Damien has made the point that going on Letterman wasn’t exactly dignified, and this is for a good charitable cause.

Anyway Damien has set up a Facebook group called I’ll (at least consider) voting for National if John Key grows a Mo’

So if you want to join the campaign to have John Key do Movember, join the Facebook group and promote it to your friends.

An over-reaction

September 1st, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Daily Telegraph reports:

Council staff have been stopped from using Facebook during office hours after they ran up 572 hours, the equivalent of 71 working days, in one month.

Sounds awful doesn’t it. But then further on:

Portsmouth City Council introduced the organisation-wide ban on the popular website after the figures emerged under Freedom of Information rules.

Current internet usage rules allow staff to access Facebook during lunch breaks and after work, but now all 4,500 council employees will have to justify having access to the site.

On average this is seven and a half minutes a month on Facebook. They would be better to do what one Wellington firm does – restrict access during work hours but allow it during the lunch break, plus before and after work.

Peter Gibbons researches politics on Facebook

August 11th, 2009 at 7:46 am by Peter Gibbons

What if everything you knew about politics came from the internet?  What if people based their vote on which politician was the most popular on Facebook or Bebo?  It’s unlikely and a bit of a nightmare scenario really but on-line sources of information are becoming increasingly important for voters. 

To test my vague theory in New Zealand politics, I searched on Facebook for each party leader and examined the groups supporting and, in some cases opposing, them.  Here are the results:

John Key (National) – 14,388 supporters.  Interestingly the “I HEART John Key” and “Scientologists for John Key” groups have exactly the same number of members.  I’m presuming they are the same people.

Helen Clark (United Nations) – 5, 408 supporters.

Phil Goff (Labour) – 1,112 members of a group wanting him to be Prime Minister in 2011 and 3 in a quite different group who think he is a DILF.  Look up what it means at your peril.

Rodney Hide (Act) – 719 supporters.

Russel Norman (Green) – 567 supporters.  His on-line presence grew significantly when I spelled his first name correctly in the search field.

Metiria Turei (Green) – 339 supporters.

Winston Peters (Retired) – 236 supporters for Prime Minister, 11 supporters for next year’s Dancing with the Stars.  Both quite terrifying prospects really.

Jim Anderton (Progressive) – 17 supporters, much higher than expected.

Pita Sharples (Maori Party) – No Facebook groups supporting him but a couple which are worryingly opposed (and in apparent breach of Facebook policies).

Tariana Turia (Maori Party) – No Facebook groups supporting or opposing her.  There is one offering to be a support group for Mrs Turia going back to school but the tag is “just for fun – outlandish statements.”

Peter Dunne (United Future) – Mr Dunne does not have an official supporters group.  The group “I lost my phone drinking in London – numbers please!!! (Peter Dunne)” is almost certainly not him.  Peter Dunne does not strike me as the kind of man who, under any circumstances, would use three exclamation points.

God’s Facebook

April 9th, 2009 at 4:46 pm by David Farrar


Got sent this by email. Very good. Especially like the fake dinosaur fossils album.

Humour from The Standard

April 1st, 2009 at 5:27 am by David Farrar


From The Standard.

Which National MP are you?

March 26th, 2009 at 5:05 am by David Farrar

Someone has designed a Facebook quiz on Which National MP are you?

I got:

David took Which National Party MP are you? quiz and the result is Murray McCully

You make Machiavelli look like an amateur. You are crafty, scheming and a world champion greaser. There is no lengths you wont go to, not to be in power, but to be the power behind the throne. You are a survivor. But look out, you also have a list of enemies growing by the day…

Jordan Carter commented that he was not surprised by the result 🙂

Served on Facebook

March 16th, 2009 at 6:51 pm by David Farrar

Interesting NZPA article:

A High Court judge today approved the serving of court papers via Facebook, the popular social network web site, in what is thought to be a New Zealand first.

The High Court in Wellington was told that Axe Market Garden is trying to sue Craig Axe who is alleged to have taken $241,000 from the firm account.

Counsel for the company Daniel Vincent said the plaintiff was effectively Axe’s father John and there were difficulties in serving papers on his son.

Craig Axe was known to be living in Britain but his exact whereabouts were not known.

Mr Vincent said Axe had corresponded via email and was also known to have a Facebook site.

He asked associate justice David Gendall if he would take the unusual step of approving a secondary service order on Axe via Facebook and email to avoid him frustrating his client’s court action.

Justice Gendall did not bat an eyelid in the court room when approving the order after being assured that newspaper adverts could not be effectively targeted.

Good to see the Judge being flexible. Will be rather funny when someone checks their Facebook messages to find legal papers!

PMS alerts

February 1st, 2009 at 12:58 pm by David Farrar

The HoS editorial approves of a new service:

Every so often an invention comes along which is so brilliant that we wonder how we ever got on without it. Fire is an excellent example. Ditto the flush lavatory and sunglasses.

A new reminder service established by an enterprising American might not beat, say, child immunisation as a contribution to human civilisation, but it has to be reckoned a contender., a website on which you can sign up to be sent an email alert that someone in your life might be approaching a particularly tricky time of the month, has received more than 100,000 enrolments. Men who enter the date and length of the last menstrual cycle of up to five women, will receive timely messages like “She’s on yellow – tread carefully, fella”. The founder of the free service, 28-year-old Jordan Eisenberg, says he hopes to launch it as an iPhone application soon – presumably a must for subscribers who don’t check their emails regularly.

Rejoicing in the slogan “saving relationships one month at a time”, the website should prove a boon for men who lose track of time while trying to work out what they did wrong two weeks ago.

This reminds me of an incident at Otago University. One day, one of my good friends, Jo, snapped at something I said or did. I was, as usual, being provocative and deserved it but normally Jo was very placid and never responded to my stupidities. I was surprised she did and cracked a time of month joke. She responded that it was in fact that time, and that might be why she was cranky.

Anyway I said that it is more fun when she bites back at my hassles, so I wrote up on my wall planner her cycle dates, so I would know when to best hassle her. Jo was there when I did this, and was laughing. We were good mates, but totally platonic.

Now what I didn’t consider was how people might react, without knowing the context of it being a joke between Jo and I. Anyway the next day we were having a party in my room, and suddenly one of the attendees asks whether Jo and I are sleeping together.  We both basically call him crazy and say how in hells name led him to think and ask that. He then pointed to my wall planner and asked why did I have Jo’s cycle marked on it for the rest of the year.

We both looked at each other and burst into hysterical giggles. This made everyone more suspicious until we explained. I’m still not sure everyone believed us!

Anyway back to the main topic of PMS alerts, I was about to joke that there is probably a Facebook application that allows you to notify certain friends of your timing. And to my astonishment, there actually is. It has 791 users!

Stupid burglar, smart police

January 14th, 2009 at 8:38 am by David Farrar

The stupidity award goes to the 21 year old alleged burglar in Queenstown who removes his balaclava while trying to break into a safe, giving us his picture on the security camera.

The smartness award goes to the Queenstown Police for putting the photos up on their Facebook page to see if people recognised him. They did and he was arrested.

Bits and Bytes

August 14th, 2008 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Lots to cover in brief. First the Australian political party leader who told off his 17 year old daughter on Facebook, exposing her drunken party photos to the world! Also wonderful is the conversation between two of Alexander Downer’s children on Facebook about why he was so pompous in a photo 🙂

Bernard Hickey complains (as I often have done) that we are paying $79 million into TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 yet they won’t make them available on Sky TV. He quotes former TVNZ Head of News Paul Norris in support – they have a reponsibility to make them widely available and could extend them with a flick of a switch to 700,000 households overnight.

Andrew Bolt has a fascinating exchange with an academic over the “stolen generation”. While there certainly is much in Australia’s past that was deplorable (as in NZ), it is apparent that certain portions of it such as the “stolen generation” have been over-hyped. He cites the example of one Aboriginal leader who claimed to be part of the “stolen” generation who was “taken from my family” but in fact was put up for adoption by her father who could not cope with five children.

Lindsay Perigo writes a moving account of his last face to face meal with Anna Woolf, who is dying of brain cancer. Even just reading his account makes the eyes water – I can’t imagine how hard it is for those who are close to Anna, let alone Anna herself.

The Telegraph points out that if Michael Phelps was a country, he would be coming 5th on the Olympic medal table – ahead of Italy, Russia, Australian and Great Britain.

Frog Blog joins Nick Smith on wondering why DOC is spending so much money on a new corporate brand, when it has just laid off 60 workers to save money.

Liberty Scott exposes Sue Kedgley’s scaremongering over cellphone towers. Good God, this debate was settled over a decade ago in terms of science. I’d be more inclined to take Sue’s campaign against the towers seriously if she’d give up her cellphone.

Lindsay Mitchell covers the launch of a second Maori based party. The Hapu Party is led by David Rankin, and three policies to date:

  1. To have Maori eligible for the pension at age 56, because of the lower life-expectancy of Maori
  2. To introduce a flat rate 18% personal tax and GST rate.
  3. To immediately allocate all treaty settlement money directly to hapu and marae

They have me with policy No 2. Policy No 3 is between Iwi and Hapu to resolve in my opinion, and Policy No 1 has no chance. Worryingly for the Maori Party, Rankin also talks of financial irregularities with a Maori Party MP and a SFO complaint.