Good Article on Earthquake Prone Buildings

Ann Brower: Earthquake risk? Fix the parapets first

 

 

Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter
Ann Brower was the sole survivor of 13 people who were crushed in a bus on Colombo St during the February 22 earthquake. Photo / Martin Hunter

On February 22, 2011, I was riding a bus up Colombo Street in Christchurch, when a parapet and façade collapsed onto us. Only I survived. And I was far from unscathed.

During that Christchurch earthquake,16 people were killed on that one block of Colombo Street – and New Zealand is full of places just like Colombo Street – with masonry facades, parapets, and gables.

Link

I agree with pretty much everything she says.  And so does everyone else in the seismic area it seems.  Just gotta get the politicians on board.

Mike McDonald Bankrupted

Mike McDonald was bankrupted in the high court this morning.

At long last.

He’s ducked and dived and managed to string things out for a long time but I’ve managed to catch up with him now.

Of course I would have rather had the $35 to $40k he owes me, but when someone refuses to pay, what do you do?

So that finishes this process.

However the Serious Fraud Office are still investigating him, so it will be interesting to see if anything happens there.

And of course, don’t deal with him!

Exercise Doesn’t Help You Lose Weight

I found this article really good.  It tallies with what I have found with exercise, eating etc.

How exercise can make you fat

Ever spent hours pounding away on a treadmill, then coming to the end of the week and finding your weight hasn’t shifted at all?

Or how about eating cake in the knowledge you’d been for a long cycle ride, yet somehow piling on the pounds? You’re not alone – or going mad. You’ve simply fallen foul of something scientists are increasingly recognising: exercise often doesn’t help you lose weight. And worse yet, there’s increasing evidence that it could even make you fatter. Just last month, in an article for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine, doctors said we have wrongly emphasised that physical activity can prevent people becoming very overweight.

The truth, they said, is that while physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of disease, it “does not promote weight loss”. That false perception, they claimed, “is rooted in the food industry’s public relations machine, which uses tactics chillingly similar to big tobacco companies – denial, doubt and confusing the public”.

Link

So I think exercise is good for all sorts of reasons, but losing weight is not one of them.

 

 

Interesting Article on Patagonia

Patagonia’s Anti-Growth Strategy

Yet anti-consumerism is clearly helping to build the Patagonia brand. Indeed, the company is seeing double-digit annual growth.

The company’s anti-materialistic stance ramped up on Black Friday, 2011, with a memorable full-page advertisement in the Times that read, “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” The ad’s text broke down the environmental costs of the company’s top-selling R2 fleece sweater and asked consumers to think twice before buying it or any other product. The attention the ad received helped to bump Patagonia’s 2012 sales significantly.

 

Link

Rats

I’ve written a couple of posts on how I’m trying to catch/kill rats around our property in west Auckland.

I’ve tried a GoodNature trap – which has caught a total of 1 rat in over 6  months.  Got to say I’m dissappointed with it.

And a couple of weeks ago, we started hearing rats in the roof/ceiling cavity.

So we investigated, found lots of rat droppings up there.  Put the GoodNature trap up there along with 4 conventional traps.  We have caught 1 in a conventional trap.

Today we had a ceiling hatch put in a part of the roof/ceiling cavity we couldn’t get access into.  And I’ve set 2 conventional traps along with a bait station.

I hate to use the toxic stuff, but have no choice really, the rats are making a real mess up there and are really noisy too, waking us up each night as they scurry about, scratch etc.

Also put 2 bait stations outside the house.  Will be interesting to see if they get rat attention.

The cat has been catching one about every 10 days or so as well.  The other day he caught and killed a really big one.

So there’s obviously heaps of them about.  Will be good to get rid of them!

Auckland Ratepayer’s Alliance

This organisation: http://www.ratepayers.nz/ has started today. They are called the Auckland Ratepayer’s Alliance. Their aims are:

What are the aims of the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance?
The aims of the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance are to:

  • reduce wasteful Council spending;
  • increase transparency and accountability of those funded by ratepayers;
  • increase institutional checks on the Council;
  • enable Aucklanders to easily scrutinise Council spending;
  • lower the rates burden; and
  • promote evidence-based public policy.

I might join, it’s free.

Haha Someone Actually Dumps Shit on Otago Regional Council

Well I had to laugh at this:

Upset farmers dump excrement at regional council

By Timothy Brown

Contractors prepare to clean up excrement dumped outside the Otago Regional Council's Dunedin office by a disgruntled North Otago farming couple. Photo / Peter McIntosh
Contractors prepare to clean up excrement dumped outside the Otago Regional Council’s Dunedin office by a disgruntled North Otago farming couple. Photo / Peter McIntosh

An ongoing dispute with a North Otago farmer who says he is at his wit’s end has landed the Otago Regional Council in the poo – literally.

Five Forks farmer Robert Borst says the ORC’s water plan change 6A has ”destroyed us as a family” and provided four years of ”sheer frustration and exhaustion” for him and his wife, Sylvia.

When told last night the ORC still hoped to resolve the dispute, he replied: ”Bull… – absolute bull…”.

Link

Man I feel for these people.  Dealing with councils is one of life’s most frustrating things.

 

Celebrating Life's Little Achievements