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Showing posts from July, 2021

Money to watch the world go round

  Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have both recently returned from the edge of space. Virgin Galactic took Branson 86 kilometres away from Earth and Blue Origin with Bezos on board went as far as 100 kilometres. It's all very exciting, and both men have made inspiring speeches on their endeavours, and there have been a few uplifting tweets as well.   I think the impression I get in both cases is that this is rich kids playing with their toys while serious things happen elsewhere. A very quick round up of stories on the net today yields headlines and snippets such as these: Flooded London hospitals ask patients to stay away. Israel to cut 85% of emissions by mid-century. Climate scientists begin debate on vital report. Wildfires surge across US. Thunderstorms leave roads and tube stations flooded in London. ‘Everything is on fire’: Siberia hit by unprecedented burning. The family of elephants trekking across China where swift, deadly flooding this week inundated a network that wasn’t

Why we must work together

After the Howl of a Protest which swept through Cambridge and the rest of the country last Friday, I thought it only natural that I should write about it this week. But what to write? It might be problematic to engage directly with the sentiments expressed on some of the placards. "Jacinda's a communist" and "Stuff the ute tax" being two examples. Neither factual nor constructive in my view. This is a hot issue and feelings were always going run high, and no doubt will continue to do so. One of the cornerstones of democracy is freedom of expression and anyone who truly supports democracy would go a long way to defend it. I am staunchly in favour of any citizen's right to wave a placard stating their opinion, or even the suggested placement of any policy with which they do not agree. At some point, however, there has to take place a rational discussion of the issues. Actually, there is a lot of useful discussion happening across the globe and it is to be hope

On the right track

  We boarded the train en famille at Frankton last Saturday morning at the start of our 'winter break', all six of us frantically recording every moment for the family social media groups. It's a commentary on the times when the best view you get of a scene is when you watch it back on video. The train pulled out of Frankton and the rail yards and suburbs gradually gave way to farmland, which turned slowly from dairy to forestry. For a while I put on the supplied headphones and listened to the commentary which was very interesting. I learned of the rich, albeit short, history of the logging industry in the King Country and Central North Island, of some of the characters and challenges involved in building the railways and transport links with which to remove from the forests the trees, each of which had been growing there for hundreds of years. It was necessary to cut down the trees so that houses could be built for the people who flocked to the area to cut down the trees.

Fluoride: forming a view

Chatting to a client the other day, the conversation turned to a subject I know to be controversial. I won't feign a view I don't hold but sometimes it is best to avoid a subject rather than clash with someone for whom I am, for the time being, working. Referrals are good too, and less likely to come from someone I have recently disagreed with.   As it happens the subject in question was fluoridation of the water supply - a subject on which I do not have a view. This, I thought, is something which needs to be remedied; not the fluoridation of the water - my lack of a viewpoint. So I have been doing a bit of reading. It seems that like many topics, there are as many arguments as there are participants in the conversation. There have certainly been a lot of studies undertaken and the conclusions reached are spread across the spectrum of possible positions. The only demonstrable benefit of putting fluoride in a community's water supply is a probable reduction in dental caries