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January 31, 2005

Getting to 4 Kelburn Parade

Well, the new timetables server from the regional council comes up with this route on its automated brain that I'd never thought of. Slightly modified for my writing style, here it is:

  • Turn left into Wellington Station.
  • After 3 metres, continue into Lambton Interchange Subway.
  • After 175 metres, turn left into Lambton Quay.
  • After 250 metres, turn right into Masons Lane.
  • After 50 metres, turn left into The Terrace.
  • After 120 metres, turn right into Aurora Terrace.
  • After 300 metres, continue into Walkway.
  • After 120 metres, turn right into Clermont Terrace.
  • After 80 metres, turn left into Salamanca Road.
  • After 0.5 kilometres, turn right into Kelburn Parade.
  • After 17 metres, arrive at 4 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington.

But if that's not mindless for 25 minutes to Kohanga, the route via the cable car is a bit odd, funnily enough:

  • Turn left into Westpac Stadium Walkway. (Wouldn't it be easier to exit the railway station?)
  • After 60 metres, turn right into Unnamed Road (which I've never heard of, oddly).
  • After 70 metres, turn right into Bunny Street.
  • After 30 metres, turn left into Stout Street.
  • After 350 metres, turn left into Lambton Quay.
  • After 350 metres, turn right into Cable Car Lane.
  • After 60 metres arrive at Cable Car Station (Lambton Quay), Wellington City. (That was a 13 minute walk.)
  • Wait 2 minutes for a cable car.
  • After 3 minutes, arrive at Cable Car Station (Salamanca Road), Wellington City.
  • Turn right into Walkway.
  • After 40 metres, turn left into Salamanca Road.
  • After 175 metres, turn right into Kelburn Parade.
  • After 17 metres, arrive at 4 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington City. (The last bit is a 4 minute walk.)

Maybe I'll stick to human experience. But aren't automated trip planners just fun for odd and unexpected things like this?

January 27, 2005


A quick note: it appears some incoming Internet connectivity for greta.electric.gen.nz is back. Web's not, though, but most major services are. That includes the Jabber server!

I will be back doing Jabber-related stuff soon! In case people were wondering, I was running from a jabber.org.nz for a while. See y'all around. :)

www.telecom.co.nz appears momentarily broken

While just now trying to quickly find out Xtra's prices for 'broadband' (no, wait, boredband, perhaps -- I'm not entirely sure I really, really want it right now, anyway), it seems I can't get on to pretty much any page on www.telecom.co.nz. How odd.

Here's a screen shot of www.telecom.co.nz looking temporarily broken right now. Uh oh.

Before, it were beautiful; after (adware), things got ugly

Ah, the memories of Opera... before it got adware. Ugh. I really must consider trying it again sometime. If the adware has gone, perhaps.

January 26, 2005

The Game of Life!

From the NZH: John Conway and his Game of Life!

I'm sure pointing out individual banner ads doesn't violate my new website host's request that one doesn't place banner ads on their pages. So, on the subject of sexuality education in NZ, here's yet another ad from a certain Microsoft instant messaging program. It's from the No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba campaign:

Here's that banner advertisement from the abovementioned Ministry of Health education campaign.

(And, this is one more reason to use Jabber. Virtually no banner advertisements in most clients, if at all. If it weren't for annoyed friends using Microsoft product that demand to be able to use all the nice little toys in the said products, I'd have switched all my accounts onto the appropriate Jabber transport ages ago. Which reminds me, I need to get my Jabber server back online. Soon.)

Sixteen snippets of supposed 'secrets'/trivia from the world of Google

Ah, alliteration. Here's the write up by someone of a lecture by a Google employee.

With the web server I'm using being a bit faster again, and a new version being introduced in my absence from it, I'm back using the diary posting software w.bloggar.

From Slashdot today: AOL killing Usenet access and a link to a Scientific American article that mentions the NZDL project. S27(1) is probably far small at the moment (possibly forever too small, too) to even think of trying out their software project (Greenstone), of course. And, from the New York Times: a teacher is charged over an attack on her principal. For some reason, the title on its own reminds me of the British-made television show Teachers. Also at the NYT is an article about the differences in form between men and women, but [that these differences do] not mean that they function differently.

Scanning delayed

Due to time constraints today, I didn't finish scanning the Royal Commission report I'd been hoping to by now. Sorry.

In the meantime, however, the DP OCR process for the Court of Appeal decision from the early 1980s I talked about earlier has finished. I'm going to create it at DP as an anniversary/birthday project for NZ -- it's Waitangi Day on 6 February.

I'll be disappearing from tomorrow until at least Monday afternoon, so there won't be any scanning until then, and probably not until after Waitangi Day, though I'll try to get the Royal Commission report scanned and reading for DP project creation before the special day.

A footnote: I'd thought about whether a Court of Appeal judgment and/or a Royal Commission report was an appropriate set of books to put in for Waitangi Day on DP, but I reasoned that it's a case of important documents in NZ's constitutional history. People might consider them of lesser importance and significance than the Treaty of Waitangi itself, but I believe whatever their importance that they've got their place with the Treaty as a point of development in NZ's historical events. I'm happy to hear other views if people disagree, of course.

As for further nominees for other stuff to scan next, I'm looking at some select committee reports of passed and failed proposals for legislation (about three books/reports come under this). A close finalist for scanning next is the 1955 followup to the Mazengarb Report (1954) that Tony Simpson mentions in his book Shame and Disgrace (1992). Closer yet is possibly Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand. What is it? It's the report of the Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion, which reported in 1977. It would be an interesting step to have that alongside Mazengarb and maybe the 1990 amendments to legislation liberalising access to contraception information for minors.

January 24, 2005

Link resolvers

Well, I had some progress persuading my copy of EndNote 7 (as kindly provided by a VUW instutional licence that covers students) to like the VUW Library's link resolver. So far, I've had some luck with the path set to http://victorialink.lconz.ac.nz/lfp/LinkFinderPlus/Display and the arguments set to ?genre=article&issn=ISSN&volume=VOLUME&issue=ISSUE&date=DATE&spage=SPAGE&sid=&title=TITLE&atitle=ATITLE&aulast=AULAST&pid=.

However, even that isn't perfect. Or the resolver itself isn't: even with the path set to go through the library's EZproxy server (http://helicon.vuw.ac.nz:2669/lfp/LinkFinderPlus/Display), it still has some issues, activated from EndNote or within a database. At least it does tell me which databases are good for looking through for a specific article, and it does work/link through with some databases.

As for the actual use of link resolvers, I'm finding them really useful, especially within EndNote when I need to find an article again. While some databases like EBSCOhost does provide me a link I can bung through VUW's EZproxy server to (legally) get the article again.

Good thing there's also the Serial Solutions list that VUW subscribes to, too. Unfortunately it doesn't list some databases due to (presumably) non-supply of suitable collections data by them. Mumble. Never mind.

January 22, 2005

An earthquakes feed

Someone's put together an earthquakes XML feed for GeoNet's recent quakes page. Alas, the feed's home page is a little sparse, but the feed seems valid, recent and seems to work.

There's now a report for the last earthquake, too -- it says it was an aftershock of yesterday morning's.

Right, enough about earthquakes from me. For now.

And another one goes!

Yes, looks like there was another earthquake that's now on the GeoNet drum. In addition to Friday morning's. And some of the others from this week.

By the way, I may if I have time, before going to Hamilton, be going to the blogger drinks on Wednesday night. Even though I detest the word 'weblog' or 'blog' and I consider this a 'diary'. Never mind. :)

News feed at the Electricity Commission

I thought that seeing the power house officially says it's web news management for hydroelectric power stations, I'd better create a category/section about electricity policy and issues, even if it's now mainly a place to talk about books without copyright. So, here I go.

A quango that has an XML news feed on its front page. Now, let's see if in the new year the Electricity Commission maintains it. And its insurance policy.

On the subject of linking, Six Apart have put together a Q&A page on rel="nofollow".

In the area of S27(1) books, Venereal Diseases in New Zealand is now In Post-Processing in DP too, like the Mazengarb Report. My next document is currently sitting in the DP OCR pool, now. Alas, the next one to scan is going to be quite huge. Eeeek. I guess that I'd better have a good lunch before I start scanning, this next time.

And, last for now, I took some photographs of the Wellington Railway Station, Waterloo Quay, Parliament Building, Government Building and the Wellington Cenotaph late last night on a fifteen second exposure for most of them. At first impressions, I think that the seemingly (at first, at least) over-exposed photograph of the railway station actually looks good, with the blurred flags flapping and the large golden ball of light leaving the station could be interpreted in many ways as a static image. The album is currently offline, but hopefully not for much longer. I'll add the photographs when it's available again.

Smith Street Mall

Seeing that for non-Section 27(1) stuff on tph I thought I should start talking about the most banal stuff I can think of, there is some otherwise random news that I noticed this afternoon from page 004 of yesterday's Northern Territory News:

So, the (bored?) NT CLP opposition leader wants to move not only the Darwin GPO into the Smith Street Mall, but both the public library and the territory library as well. There seems to be some support from the territory government and the lord mayor, but there are probably two problems. Smith Street Mall was fairly full last time I was there, and the post office doesn't want to move (if no plans to do so counts as that).

If I've counted the years right, it's election year, so maybe the fun for those on the sidelines has started. Yay. The article seems to be available on EBSCOhost, if you can somehow authenticate through an EPIC-subscribing library or similar database system.

January 20, 2005


Mmmm, I had a pretty happy day today, meeting quite a few friends. Some I somehow randomly managed to see, one friend I saw unexpectedly for a second time. Then there was the invitation to the twenty first birthday party that I only got this morning through a text message from yet another friend.

So, I'm unusually happily happy. So there. :)

January 18, 2005

A big thing or two

In a moment, something about food. But first, that earthquake. Yes, an earthquake in 'the' Shaky Isles.

Well, as DPF said, it was big and that there was an earlier one I don't remember.

Here's the GeoNet national drum image from some time tonight.

At least hopefully the effects of this weren't too big. Don't think I can say the same for the trouble at Panix. No pun intended.

Other stuff I've found interesting in David's diary tonight: the ALP's Mark Latham disappearing from the Australian federal parliament (I knew that already, though from one of those e-mail alerts, from The Age's web presence), and person having too much food. And it doesn't end there.

In Section 27(1) news, I've received clearance for the Court of Appeal decision and, separately, the Royal Commission report I'd applied for copyright clearance for PG. They will be two interesting books to scan!

January 15, 2005

Weekend reading, or lack thereof (at least in Section 27), and the week that was

In Section 27(1) news, obtaining the next book on my list of finalists to scan next (which, incidentally, as I've said, wasn't actually a S27 book, just PD in the US and NZ) has hit a snag. Looks like it's onto the next possibilities on the list, though there are some further options to explore. Which does include looking for more finalists for the next list. Suggestions appreciated, though my own personal interest and academic study takes precedence. So there.

Now for some (mostly) education-related weekend reading for everybody. Starting off at InternetNZ: happen to be a lawyer looking for some teaching and research work? Maybe a fellowship might be useful.

Anyone else smell qualifications inflation in this New York Times article, too?

Looks like I'll need a bit more than a BA, then from the SES -- I mean the School of Education Studies. Or should that be a FOE of Still Eating (or Emulsifying) Something? I'm not sure. Hehehehe. Actually, that's what I intend to do, anyway, and not get into the satire business. For the time being, at least.

Interestingly, the last three or four paragraphs of that article seem to be the most useful. I'll have to make a note of them.

And, I now know why libraries for sight impaired people don't like using CDs for distributing books. And why fields alongside parking barriers are bad. For business or security, anyway. (And if it were Photoshop, it was funny anyway.)

Oh well. I've had an odd week, and two wonderful people helped out with making things a little better. (Thanks!) On to the weekend now, I think.

(To the abovementioned people: I hope you don't mind not being named. Unless it's to do with services rendered to get my sites up and running, I'm generally hesitant to thank people online in such a place like this without their knowledge.)

January 12, 2005

Wireless improvements

Looks like the VUW wireless 802.11 trial is finally allowing better unproxied access to a wider range of stuff on the vuw.ac.nz domain. I'm now able to avoid the 'no, you're not supposed to bill me for library database access' problem I had to go through last year when (seemingly) forced to use the proxy.

It's not totally fixed, yet. It's still locked down unproxied to only a small selection of the vuw.ac.nz domain, and it still doesn't exactly like library databases authenticated through the university's EZproxy server that insist on redirecting to their own hostname instead of browsing via a port on the EZproxy hostname. I probably should bother telling them, as I often use them to download some rather large printable versions. Sometimes it's up to a few megabytes in size.

I guess you can't have everything, but it's at least a bit more useful now.

Oh, and in other news, Venereal Diseases in New Zealand (1922) is now available, scanned, on the Section 27(1) page.

January 11, 2005

And the winner is...

And, the winner of what Section 27(1) content to scan next is the ministerial inquiry report Venereal Diseases in New Zealand, aka the Report of the Committee of the Board of Health appointed by the Hon Minister of Health, or AJHR, 1922, H-31A. At only twenty seven pages, it's pretty slim compared to the last report I scanned. (And, it was published before 1923, so Section 27 isn't even needed, anyway!)

This is subject, of course, to any persuasion I might get not to rescan and republish. There is also the minor issue that I need to mention now that like Mazengarb, it talks in terms of what was mainstream medical opinion of the time (see Tony Simpson's 1992 book Shame and Disgrace for more on this), so like with all historical texts I guess it's best to read about it in context, not take things too literally, think about the background and so on. I mean, for example, it talks in ways I'd imagine that we'd as mainstream New Zealanders probably find difficult to even say nowadays, such as Mentally Defective Adolescents: Danger and Cost to the State, which is used as a section heading. Take it all with a grain of salt, or however the saying goes. Like Fair Go on TVNZ say when they re-play their old humorous skits explaining drink-driving laws in NZ: the laws they describe are completely different now!

That all probably goes without saying, though. Sorry.

Two of the three other finalists are still in the PG copyright clearance queue (the other 'one', the other non-Section 27 one I mentioned earlier that I wanted to interloan, is still waiting for me to get a copy in my hands to confirm the public domain status so I can scan the copyright notices to upload for clearance).

All right, off to lunch, and no more entries today, methinks! Looks like the timestamps are behaving again.

Yesterday's entries' timestamps muddled

In case you're wondering, some of yesterday's entries were in the wrong order because of some timestamp problem.

I'm not sure what happened (I must not have noticed the 'authored on' date as I got the 'create new entry' page), but my guess is time zone issues. But that doesn't explain why my evening entry was after my afternoon one!

(If you're reading this much later than today, I may have made an attempt, by the time you have read this, to fix it using known approximate times. For example, that Texas Teenage Virgins documentary I saw finished some time after 9.30 in the evening.)

Weird. I'll closely watch my next couple entries.

January 10, 2005

Found some books

I've found some potential books to scan next, but they won't all be books covered by Section 27(1).

My choice of book will appear once I see the books come through on interloan and determine if they're public domain in the US or not.

As for Section 27(1) books, I'm looking at a couple mentioned in a Tony Simpson book. More on that as well once I make my selection. At this stage, it looks like it will be another ministerial inquiry report.

Also, any NZ-related books or other suggested Section 27(1) publications are still appreciated. For the time being, I've left TypeKey authentication as compulsory to be nice on the server load.

Virginity pledges

I've just finished watching the Channel Four documentary Texas Teenage Virgins on TVNZ. It appears to be at least a year old, but makes for an interesting episode from what appears to be a television series on religion.

It's almost as if Texas (and much of the USA is going through much of what we in NZ went through from the 1950s (see 1954's Mazengarb Report which I've just digitised) through to 1990, when a lot of contraception education was legalised (and it's been further liberalised since, judging by the self-adhesive addenda stuck into my printed copy of Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum when I got it. (Disclaimer: I'm not necessarily expressing any views on sexual education policy in Texas, just an observation.)

On the subject of what to scan next and digitise, I've put in copyright clearance for PG for one ministerial inquiry from 1922 (actually, I'm about to upload it), one landmark Court of Appeal judgment from the early 1980s (though I'm also wondering if I should pick another one on the Western Samoan citizenship case from around the same time), and a Royal Commission from the 1980s.

I'll probably actually stick to stuff I'm interested in for my graduate study, actually. But it's so easy to get distracted when reading primary source documents.

January 8, 2005

A summary of the Mazengarb Report conclusions

Yesterday, I wrote the whole Wikipedia entry on the Mazengarb Report. The best part, though I guess very rushed, was a very quick run down of the conclusions in the report. I didn't summarise the recommendations, however. That seemed a bit long to do in an evening with a reasonable level of analysis (and hopefully better than the job I did with the conclusions).

Anyway, here is how it went (thanks in part to the glories of the GFDL).

The report came up with 27 conclusions and around 20 recommendations. Among the conclusions, in summary:

  • 1 through 4 and 26 dealt with sexual immorality, noting that "immorality has been [organised]", and the unfairness that boys could be charged for indecent conduct, but girls could not be charged.
  • 5 through 9 urged a tightening of censorship laws.
  • 10 urged a "closer bond between school and home."
  • 11 discounted the contribution that coeducation schools had made to "sexual delinquency".
  • 12 urged tightening of a school leaving age of 15.
  • 13 recommended that a school principal should be notified of students under government care.
  • 14 and 21: "The school is not the proper place for fully instructing children about sex." However, the report suggested it was a good place to "listen to addresses or see appropriate films." It also claimed (21) that police found in many incidents that many youths were either "too ignorant" about sex, or knew too much about it.
  • 15 appears to be an attack on the previous Labour government's state housing scheme, believing in "the new housing developments" thre were large numbers of young children, without the good modelling of older people and organisations. Similarly, 16 says while community groups were doing their best, "facilities for recreation and entertainment will not cure juvenile delinquency".
  • 17 placed some blame at parents allowing consumption of alcohol at "young people's parties", without specifying the age of the said young people.
  • 18 and 19 thought parental neglect left children feeling unloved, something the Committee believed was conducive to delinquent acts.
  • 20 appears to blame high wages of the time discouraging careful use of money (and thus, the Committee concluded, self reliance).
  • 22 and 23 were concerned with religion and family life -- the "present state of morals in the community has indicated the value of a religious faith" and that decline in family life was due to a lack of respect for the "worth" of religious and social boundaries.
  • 24 blamed "new concepts" coming about due to the destabilising effects of world wars, contraceptives, divorce liberalisation and increasing popularity of sexual relations before marriage, and 25 saw the unaminous recommendation that minors should not be allowed contraceptives.
  • 27 wanted more preventive measures taken by the government on child welfare.

Perhaps later on I'll have time to do a better version of it.

A new project, and a new location!

Well, to cut a long story short, the power house has indeed changed locations. For now, at least, but that said, it's not an experience I want to repeat any time soon.

Sorry for the long entry, too. Got heaps to mention.

(Yes, kids, greta.electric.gen.nz is still experiencing trouble. Sorry. I'm working on it with Philip as time allows either of us. :) Thanks for everything, definitely, Philip!)

Part of the reason is that I've decided to take on a new project, digitising books that come under Section 27(1) of the Copyright Act 1994 (NZ). So far, I've only done 1954's Mazengarb Report, but I think there's some good, promising targets for the Section 27(1) treatment. (It's going through the Distributed Proofreading process to become a Project Gutenberg e-book, too, which coincidentally -- read on for the coincidence -- is also hosted on ibiblio.)

As a result, I'll be spending less time on esoteric things, and mainly talking here about the books I republish on the Section 27 pages, both on the Section 27 project itself, and commenting on the books I post. I'll be creating a category presently for all that stuff.

TypeKey authentication is, for the time being, compulsory. My web host for the dr-fun-changes list and the Section 27 pages has suggested it. And, yes, it's the fine, gentle creatures at ibiblio. (I like their self description on their front page, the public's library and digital archive, incidentally -- fits in with PG and Section 27 quite well, methinks.) Thanks, guys, for taking my pages on for hosting.

It was actually for the dr-fun-changes list to be closer to the people who host the Doctor Fun pages that I originially decided to move. Then I came up with the Section 27 project, so after a bit of consultation with librarians, my university's copyright officer (even though I didn't use and don't intend to use VUW books for the time being), and a couple other allied experts, it appeared that ibiblio was also a good fit for digitised books that have no copyright in New Zealand.

You'll find more gormless information on the Section 27 page.

There's much more in the way of news I want to mention that I haven't while tph has been down, but I'll save that for a bit later. Such as the fact that a lot of inter-entry links are hard coded for the previous location. Never mind. They might get fixed, some day, if I have time. I knew I should have used relative links...

But, to cut things short, I'm back in business! At least completely so once my Jabber server has Internet connectivity again. :) I'm doing new projects now, so old ones may fall by the wayside, but that's another story, too. I'll keep you all updated.