The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

June Bloggage due soon folks

Just a gentle reminder that your blog stats for June will be due soon.

Best idea is to email them to me, spanblatheratgmaildotcom, including:

  • your blog url
  • your total number of posts and comments for June
  • your pick for your best post of the month if you are so inclined.
These will be up a little later than 1st July, but they will go up later in the same week.

Hoping to be back to blog proper like in a week or so!

Ka kite ano

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dalliances with the Dalai Lama

I'm still not really back to blog, but I'm perplexed by the Dalai Lama Fever that seems to be gripping our politicians - to meet, not to meet, to meet with this hat on or that one.

Maybe I've been watching too much Penn & Teller*, but what's so fabbo about shaking the hand of a man who wants to return Tibet to a repressive theocratic state? I mean sure, some self-determination would be ace, and I'd like to see an end to the Chinese occupation, but I'm not convinced that having the country run by misogynistic priests is really the best alternative.

Am I missing something major here?

* I was going to embed the YouTube clip as a footnote (!!) but it wouldn't work straight off so I gave up.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cheating cheaters and their cheating ways

Jeremy has mentioned the kerfuffle about cheating at Canterbury in a footnote, and it seems to me that's about all it deserves - oblique mentions on ex-student politician blogs, like I'm about to do.

I sat on a university disciplinary committee for about two years. Most of the cases we dealt with were cheating, but almost all were on assignments rather than exams, and in fact I always had the impression that a lot of departments dealt with assignment cheating in-house so we probably saw a small proportion. Exam cheating went straight to the committee and I can only recall two cases, although I'm sure there were a few more. Not a big problem then, imho.

Some of the efforts cheaters would go to was extraordinary. I remember one very careful woman who managed to write out a whole lot of info on a piece of tissue - the labour involved was significant, even if she managed not to wreck it first time, and maybe she should have just spent the time studying.

The best case I ever sat on was for an auditing paper - a group of students had got together to cheat on an assignment worth 1% of the total internal assessment. The auditing lecturers were outraged and wanted these students expelled, but that wasn't exactly commensurate with the crime. I think they thought there ought to be some kind of strict liability for auditing students who cheat - one strike and you are out.

All up it looks like the Canta article was a joke, pure and simple, and that Canterbury University wasn't so much responding to it as putting in place precautions already in use elsewhere. The UCSA president (Belinda?) dealt with it well on Checkpoint, clearly showing it was a media beat-up without falling into the Winston Peters trap of abusing the media.

And that ought to be the end of that.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sometimes the Sky Tower can be pretty

Mt Eden to the City, April 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007


Well isn't this always what drives me back to the blog - I'm bugged.

Specifically I am bugged by three things right at the moment:

1. Those stupid Clever Toys adverts - quite aside from the lame-o racial and sexual stereotypes (gay character is a lion with a lisp, female is an empty-headed bunny rabbit, Maori is a gorilla of below average intelligence) they are immensely irritating. And relentlessly ubiquitous. I guess I'm just not the target market.

2. People saying they'll vote National when their politics aren't actually with the Blue Team - it's part of this whole "mood for change" thang. Well actually National isn't the only political alternative if you want to shake things up. It's like everyone has forgotten the 1990s, then failed to notice National has very little policy out there and is simply coasting along on John Key's smile. Having to rely on Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Mike Williams and co to rescue this shebang isn't making me any less grumpy.

3. Feeling too crummy to write much and/or write anything decent - but I did manage to do some ironing tonight, so surely that's a step forward?

So, what's bugging you?

(Pic Via)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bloggage - May 2007

Once again, here are the NZ Pol Blog stats for the last month. Apologies for lateness, I haven't been at a puter since Friday morning.

As with last month, I've indicated the blogs that have selected a post of the month by afixing an asterisk at the end of the blogname. If they haven't nominated one then it will just go to their front page.

MAY 2007

Fly (1 post)
(no one put their hand up)

Bantam(2 - 9 posts)
Anarchia* - 6 posts, 28 comments
mutopia - 8 posts, 2 comments

Feather (10 - 19 posts)
Joe Hendren* - 11 posts, 16 comments
eggs benedict and two flat whites - 12 posts, 43 comments
sport review nz* - 13 posts, 5 comments
The Strategist* - 16 posts, 77 comments
goNZo Freakpower Brains Trust* - 17 posts, 9 comments
Long Ago and Not True Anyway - 18 posts, 13 comments
From the morgue - 19 posts, 78 comments

Light (20 - 29 posts)
Brainstab* - 20 posts, 31 desired comments
Object Dart - 20 posts, 119 comments

Welter (30 - 49 posts)
Andrew Falloon's Diary* - 32 posts, 125 comments
Spanblather* - 33 posts, 282 comments
Just Left* - 36 posts, 160 comments (no comment on some posts)
Red Confectionery - 38 posts, 176 comments
The Fundy Post*- 46 posts, 133 comments

Middle (50 - 74 posts) and Cruiser (75 - 99 posts)
(no one yet)

Heavy (100 - 199 posts)
Something should go here, maybe later - 101 posts, 76 comments
No Right Turn - 132 posts, 871 comments

Super Heavy (200+)
Kiwiblog - 230 posts, 8066 comments, over 25000 spam comments

If you're not listed then I suggest you add them in comments below, as I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to add you into the main post.


Past Bloggage:
- February 2007
- March 2007
- April 2007