September 26, 2007

Back already

Sometimes I wonder if I do forget that I'm back in the United States. Proof that I know I am, though:

  1. The first reason is that I visted Stanford University.
  2. I also visited Tempe, Arizona, which is incidentally one of Lower Hutt's sister cities. So here's a random photograph from Tempe.

I'll put up some more photographs soon, and hopefully I'm allowed to make some announcements on what I'm doing next for my book scanning work.


July 7, 2007

A busy life, but another Project Gutenberg book is now finished!

Yes, it would appear that the first Māori language text to appear on PG has appeared. Yay!

Now available in glorious markup on Project Gutenberg is Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. The S27(1) site also has some nice goodies in its Hinemoa section that might be worth checking out, too.

After a really interesting lesson in the macronisation of Māori over time, it's been great to finally, with the help of DP (plus some very helpful advice from Winifred Bauer at VUW), take part in getting this on to PG. The PG upload, it may be worth noting, preserves the text as published, with no corrections made; there is an 'unofficial' version of sorts, if this is required; see my S27(1) site's Hinemoa section for more details about that.

(By the way, life has been busy lately. If you don't know already why I haven't done much in the way of the diary for a while, you will soon know why, once I can say officially what's happening.)

December 25, 2006

A reason for me to finish packing sooner

I've been packing so busily I didn't realise it became Christmas Day less than twenty minutes ago; I really should finish soon so I can enjoy it (and to sleep first, perhaps). At least that's what our Santa-friendly US-Canadian military agency's NORAD Tracks Santa service just posted, even with some videos:

This is another sign that I should hurry up packing. Not only does the site have videos, they still run a phone-in service. Well, if you live in North America and can get at the toll-free line. The live tracking map, however, either isn't ready yet or shows Santa really hasn't left the North Pole. Heh.

Damn. I should be packing for Penn State and Celebrate quicker.

Merry Christmas!

On other interesting (depending on personal preference, I guess) news, any volunteers to go over and check (and add) the hyphenation and macronisation (for the te reo Māori section) in Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary, as I get it converted in to an e-book through PG/DP?

December 8, 2006

Hinemoa's story is now/not available for proofreading

Well, you'd better hurry if you want to go to Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders website to help proofread Rev Henry James Fletcher's Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary. (Why bother to mention it? It's the first book on the DP site with Te Reo Māori claimed as the primary language.)

So far, it's looking like it will have the fastest first round proofread cycle I've ever seen on the site of anything I've uploaded (not counting a book that was around 5 pages or so I previously uploaded).

Or, if you don't want to proofread it, you could just download the PDF scan of Hinemoa instead. The whole book comes with a glossary (the book appears to be pitched as a textbook for English-speaking learners of Māori language and culture) and some sort of quick summary of the story in English; methinks one would find the entry on the Hinemoa story in the 1966 edition of the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand also useful.

(It's not the only other book in PG or DP that I can find that's in Te Reo. You'll find Edward Shortland's Maori Religion and Mythology floating around DP at the moment; it doesn't claim Māori as the primary language. That appears to be the only other one I can find right now on either website, however.)


November 30, 2006

And finally, the books

All right, so I took like twelve days to get around to filling out the basic bibliographic information, but finally, the two parliamentary papers (well, books, really) I've just uploaded are the Report of the Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library for the year ended 31 March 1958 (Special Centennial Issue) and the Report of the National Library Service for the Year Ended 31 March 1958; the latter has already been converted into HTML for Project Gutenberg, too. Both were, of course, like most if not all other papers in the AJHRs, Presented to the House of Representatives by Leave.

Thanks to the New Zealand Parliamentary Library for telling me what their birthday was by pointing me to their centennial annual report. I ended up using the two above plus their 1925 annual report as birthday texts (their birthday, that is) on Project Gutenberg's Distributed Proofreaders proofreading site. For the record, the library tells me their birthday (albeit in the predecessor name, the General Assembly Library) is 20 September 1858, when that institution we all know and love (or not love, as the case may be), the Parliament of New Zealand (or, again, at the time, the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parliament assembled) appointed a certain Major Francis Campbell as its first librarian.

Methinks now I'll move back to the morality and juvenile delinquency inquiries and texts I usually scan (or find scans of). Problem is deciding what to do next, and means. Case in point is Contraception, sterilisation and abortion in New Zealand: report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry. I'd like to scan it, but problem is, it's 454-odd pages. That means major spine bending if I do, and I don't exactly want to go damaging a book or report (this one's both, I guess) that isn't mine. Same goes for the Mahon Royal Commission's report (or, the Royal Commission to Inquire into the Crash on Mount Erebus, Antarctica of a DC10 Aircraft Operated by Air New Zealand Limited), though not a sexuality- or morality-related text. That one's shorter at 166-odd pages and may be manageable, but there's the problem of the full bleed (edge-to-edge) photographs. That'd make them become difficult to scan -- they are spectacular though for colour photographs of the time and make a compelling part of the report, so I do need to include them. Plus there appear to be copyright notices on some graphs and diagrams, especially near the end of the report (I'm told these are erroneous claims that wouldn't hold up if challenged, but them notices are still there nonetheless, and methinks that I do need further confirmations on those before I scan them; I could scan them without the graphs but I'm also told those diagrams and graphs are important factual documents I can't exclude for balance reasons). The spine's size I imagine might make it easier to scan, however.

Sigh. But I'll figure something out eventually, I'm sure.

But a lot of it is to do with money for equipment. You can't exactly easily run a scanning project, even as specific as mine, on a shoestring type budget. And to make the spine issue (which many of us have have ever gone scanning or photocopying large books are all too aware of) and those curved lines of text less obvious requires better scanning equipment like the OpticBook. (Either one of these kind of scanners, or a really expensive scanning service like the Heritage Materials Imaging Facility -- but use of their top-of-the-line Cruse non-invasive scanner is rather expensive with a per page price, the VUW NZETC tell me!) Quite likely it'd be prohibitive for an individual person like me.) Maybe a contestable fund like what Russell Brown suggests might help here. Either that or winning the national lottery. As Russell puts it:

Develop a simple, contestable fund to allow individuals and groups to have public archive content digitised on request, thus extending decision-making power to the people who will actually use the content. Make all such content available under a Creative Commons licence, thus developing an on-demand archive in parallel with any archive developed as part of an official strategy.

(This idea of his was written in response to Creating Digital New Zealand: The Draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy: Discussion Document. If you wanna comment on this very wordily-titled discussion paper, you'd better hurry. You've only got three weeks; the cover says Comments due by Wednesday 20 December 2006.)

As for why I took so long to post this, hopefully I can announce why come Monday next week. Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, maybe. Or I'll forget to anyway... I'll see.

November 18, 2006

New books uploaded

Well, while I get some things sorted over the next few weeks, I'll be a bit snowed over with things to do -- I can't say yet out loud what's happening, alas. Here's a couple of things that have been happening.

For a break from my usual morality inquiry (and related books) scans, I've been scanning books from other subject areas, such as Hinemoa. New stuff today includes some education-related parliamentary annual reports from the late 1950s. There's a couple of these I'll have links for in the next few weeks once I remember where I've put the PDF scans for them and get full title information for them.

Something that's been sitting on my computer's desktop screen for nearly three weeks now since All Saints' Day is an opinion piece on sainthood from the NYT.

October 14, 2006

Losing luggage in Las Vegas

It'd appear next time you visit LAS, you'd be more likely to lose money at the casino and less likely to lose luggage at the airport, thanks to RFID.

OK, other things: I got around to uploading Hinemoa: with notes and vocabulary (1907) by Henry James Fletcher this afternoon, scanned from a public domain copy in the VUW library.

October 8, 2006

Next book

Things are still happenin' at Section 27(1) Books at the moment, but after noticing there were no books in te reo in Project Gutenberg and only one with Māori as a supporting/secondary language in Distributed Proofreaders, I found, got cleared and scanned a short book on a legend this week -- shortest scan I've ever done. Once I finish up for the term, I'll properly mention the title and post it. It's not quite a, uh, book on my usual topic area (something from the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, that is), but it's a nice distraction/relaxation from the usual.

It's a rather interesting book. Only pages 5 through 11 are actually in Māori to be honest, and the rest of the 28 pages are taken up by a preface, notes and a nice little vocabulary list. Being from the early 1900s, it also is 'pre-macrons'. Disregarding the commentary, methinks this would make it the first primarily Māori book in PG. I was hoping to find a book written only in te reo, though. I'll try again next week for another text. Maybe I'll hit paydirt.

September 11, 2006

Mazengarb Report recommendations

When I wrote the original Wikipedia article on the Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents, I didn't include the recommendations -- I just summarised the conclusions. I've now written a summary of the recommendations as well. Enjoy. As it is Wikipedia, anyone now within good reason has cause to edit them. Have fun...

Continue reading "Mazengarb Report recommendations" »

September 8, 2006

Yesterday's book now uploaded

All right, after some nice and constructive thoughts from Russell Brown (thanks, Russell!), I've uploaded the book that I scanned yesterday, A Plea for the Criminal (1903), as a scanned PDF file.

It may be worth noting that this PDF file is not searchable; it hasn't had even a crude OCR process run over it -- that said, it will as usual be sent through DP for posting on PG as a searchable text e-book.

As Russell suggests (I wouldn't use fancy-ass to describe VUW's non-library-maintained photocopiers, though, but hey, hehe, that's just me -- I just used them because they're there to use, and scanning to e-mail is one of the functions they have), having just the PDF file for download is probably easier. Certainly it's probably easier than converting the whole PDF file into separate PNG files for uploading to the Gallery album, which I've done previously for other books. I may continue doing that, but I'll think about it for the time being.

As long as I'm still around VUW, the speed of these photocopiers' scanning facilities should be bloody useful. Cropping is a much harder, but that scanning speed makes up quite nicely, and then some. :)

Happy reading. I still haven't worked out what to make of the fold-out section between pages 150 and 151 in the book, though.

Now, if only...

...Google Maps had street level coverage of my street. (Now, if you don't want my mini-essay which I wrote for my own amusement, you may want to skip straight to the thoughts I have on my latest batch of scanning for S27(1)'s scanned books collection. Hehe!)

They do do street maps -- it's just got no satellite imagery at street level for my suburb and then some: a good chunk of Lower Hutt is missing from the coverage (at time of writing).

With the new address to location translation on offer, it would be nice if the, uh, hole (no pun intended) in coverage were fixed. (Incidentally, the Windows version of the Google Earth client isn't much better when looking at Lower Hutt [see also below]; it appears to currently use the same data set as Google Earth for Lower Hutt -- you could also try these same coordinates in Google Maps if you can be bothered.) If it were, maybe I could put together some nice mapping stuff.

But then, there's a million other mapping websites with New Zealand coverage around, with at least one with apparently better street level aerial coverage (as in no holes in coverage, actual image quality being another matter -- hey, at least it's consistent!), and most that I use for every day purposes are developed in and for the local market here. That's not to mention the city council's property information database has really good images of individual properties. Some, though, concentrate on street maps as opposed to aerial maps or satellite imagery, but make up with their trip planning features (two, Metlink and Yellow Pages, claim they do walking directions, too).

I wonder if I should re-learn some programming to get myself away from all the stuff I'm doing for graduate school for a nice little bit of recreation and perhaps do a localised mapping thing (Jabber map stuff sounds like an idea here) for amusement.

Anyway, here's what Google Maps currently looks like to me with its gap in street level satellite imagery coverage when I search for Lower Hutt. Here's a closeup of what Google Earth sees of Lower Hutt at the moment -- note the change in detail. Now, here's the extent of the gaps in street level coverage of Lower Hutt in Google Earth at the moment; it's currently the same as Google Maps.

And, another book scanned

On other matters, I scanned another book today. Yay for high speed multifunction photocopiers that e-mail on stuff in PDF! Which while I'm on that subject, I've done the same for a few other books that will be released on to Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders on September 20 as birthday texts for proofing.

I'll announce what those ones are closer to the day, but in the meantime, I've scanned A Plea for the Criminal (1905). It's a response (and on first skim through while scanning it, a critical response) by an ordained minister to a book I got through PG earlier that sounded to me like something on eugenics, and that went by the name of The Fertility of the Unfit (1903).

I'm debating if I want to have images up as I've done so previously, or just have the PDF (that the photocopier spat out at me) available -- or both. Feedback would certainly be appreciated on this. (Thanks in advance!) If someone wants A Plea for the Criminal before I get around to properly posting it online, let me know and I'll either email it through somehow, or actually get around to posting it. I blame grad school for my lack of alacrity. Heh.

It doesn't mean that my attempts to find additional sources for material to scan (legally, of course) that is Section 27(1) compliant is bearing some success, necessarily, or even at all -- I do hope it does -- but I have found some stuff that should keep me occupied while I do look for things more relevant to my grad school study and research -- though today's scanned book is very much related in some aspects (say, related to the eugenics stuff someone found in a text I'd also scanned and put through PG).

ibiblio server move

The wonderful folks (ibiblio) that host Section 27(1), the dr-fun-changes mailing list, this diary you're reading right now, the SCM e-book editions, and even some teddy bear satire (which I must admit is not really being updated at the moment, partly due to worries over chewing up ibiblio's precious disc space), are having some stuff happening from Saturday, 9 September at 10am (NZST) until Sunday, 10 September at 10am (NZST). Apparently there may be some interruption in service; mail will be down for a wee bit and I won't be able to post, but the site should stay up.

One more time, thanks people for the hosting! Trying to host lots of scans of books to show the publisher's original intent (something I don't think a formatted e-text like what Project Gutenberg do) is rather (though methinks for the value of the intent, not unreasonable or overly onerous) disc intensive (not to mention slightly more demanding on bandwidth and traffic if you get the Slashdot effect or even a comparatively minor 'Public Address effect'), so everything's appreciated. :)

August 31, 2006

Sold your phone lately? Or checked your antivirus program lately?

So, you erased the information as the manual said? Seems like flash memory on phones is a little bit more resilient than you'd want it to be in this situation. Also from MSNBC today:

  • Write an e-mail that actually gets read -- one (opinionated?) person's view on the matter.
  • I'm glad my only potentially difficult encounter with a cell phone company (Vodafone New Zealand) over a billing issue (I was happy to pay the money in this case, I should add, so there wasn't a dispute there) wasn't hard to solve -- one phone call and I never (as they promised) heard back. Apparently it's no fun at all in a certain other place. Mirroring that, credit reports aren't either.
  • Last up for me, there's a debate about the ethics of creating variants of viruses for a consumer test. This is an interesting one -- I can see how creating variants can help antivirus vendors develop better heuristic logic and so on, but it just doesn't seem right.

I've also had a bit of an enlightening day on some new sources of volumes for scanning from for the Section 27(1) books today. If it comes to something, I'll write again.

August 30, 2006

Hospital services in 1973

While going through my Project Gutenberg clearances last night, I noticed I'd forgotten about scanning another book I'd got cleared -- the March 1973 tome Services for the Mentally Handicapped: Third Report of The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Hospital and Related Services. I recall submitting this royal commission report for clearance as a test case for (what should be) Section 27(1)-compliant texts, especially given that it was just 19 pages.

The other reason I think was the use of 'the mentally handicapped'. From what I can tell, it appears the more acceptable term nowadays is 'people with intellectual disabilities'. From a changes over time perspective, it's interesting.

I'll write again later once the scans are cleaned up.

Access is starting to dry up for scans of parliamentary papers, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to do next. At this stage, I'm thinking of doing huge 455-page March 1977 behemoth that is Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion in New Zealand: Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, if I can think of a way to easily scan a large volume. At least I'm not likely to even risk a fraction of a chance of destroying the spines of one of the many volumes of the AJHR -- I've found a reasonably good looking standalone copy of this report. Having a quick skim through it, there's even a chapter on the consequences of refused abortions (the procedure being practically illegal in New Zealand at the time, if I recall correctly). Egads. It's distressing stuff, the whole report.

It's great to be able to put up recent stuff in to Project Gutenberg. It's not just 'classic' texts in the pre-1922 copyright sense of the word -- for me, it's more that some of the texts I've put up are damned hard to get hold of (the irony for me is that I wanted to read some in a hurry).

On a related note, while in the Official Publications section of the VUW Library today, I was told by the librarian in attendance that the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (sometimes I've also seen it variously as Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand and Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand for whatever reason -- fortunately practically everyone calls it AJHR, though) has been renamed New Zealand Parliamentary Papers. (That is, she said, unless I wanted subject group I -- which as those eagle-eyed will know are select committee reports. Most of what I grab is in subject group H, or 'reports of commissions and committees of inquiry'.)

August 28, 2006

Abortion in New Zealand in 1937

Well, in 1937, it was illegal in New Zealand.

Apparently I've forgotten that I've had the McMillan Report, or 1937's Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Various Aspects of the Problem of Abortion in New Zealand, available in scanned form for some time now. Having forgotten to send it through PG DP, it's now on my queue of things to send through. (Note: I'm guessing given the topic, some discretion would probably be advised with regards to reading the report.)

To sum up the report, the committee concludes that economic issues, unmarried mothers, 'fears of childbirth' and 'changes in social and moral outlook' (page 26).

As to solutions, it suggests that 'full publicity' should be made of the facts laid out in the inquiry (page 28).

It suggests that with regards to contraceptives, that for the 'problem of the unmarried mother' things might be resolved by banning the sale of them to 'the young' (page 27). This is an interesting mirror of the Mazengarb Report's conclusions 17 years later, following the start of the post-war baby boom.

Whether you think abortion is an abomination (or a mortal sin, perhaps), et cetera, or that it's a case of a woman's choice, or any view along the continuum, really, reading a report like this is conjunction with others makes interesting reading in charting the change in social attitudes over time. It helps knowing the past, methinks.

This adds on to the list of reports that I've scanned that I want to write a review of and or write an expanded analysis of. Anyone else want to try before I find the time? I don't mind if I'm beaten to it, though I'll try to find the time to write one of my own either way. Let me know if you want to -- I'd favourably consider linking to it.

August 25, 2006

1955's Mazengarb followup ready for proofing

For your Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders proofreading pleasure, and sooner than expected, too, that 1955 followup to the Mazengarb Report, the Report of Juvenile Delinquency Committee, is now available for proofreading on Distributed Proofreaders. You'll need to log in (and if you're new, register) first to proofread some pages. (If you still can't access the proofing page for the book, just manually search for it on the site.)

August 24, 2006

More! More! More!

All right, I'm putting 1955's Report of the Juvenile Delinquency Committee (or, the Mazengarb Report) through PGDP finally. I've had the scans available for viewing on the S27(1) and PD Page as scans for some time now (since 10 February 2006, it seems). I've just forgotten to put it up for proofreading and formatting.

I'll, going to plan, do a write-up of my impressions of it next week after I finish part of an essay. The key thing to remember for me when doing an analysis will be to remember that I'm looking at a followup to the Mazengarb Report. I'll look forward to it when I find the time.

[Update: well, finding someone at PGDP to run it through an OCR package took less time than expected, so now the report is now available for proofing. Enjoy!]

August 19, 2006

Analyses of some of those morality reports I've scanned

Thank goodness we've moved on from the dark days of the 1920s here in New Zealand where we'd been implored by a ministerial inquiry to take drastic measures to stop certain groups of supposed degenerates from reproducing (eugenics, anyone?) and making more babies. The question is begged, then, who are the degenerates you want to stop? Sounds very suspiciously to me like a proposal to have some really bad stuff happen.

So, thank goodness then that someone's written an analysis of 1925's Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders: Report of The Committee of Inquiry Appointed by the Hon Sir Maui Pomare, KBE, CMG, Minister of Health. My favourite part of Dana's posting:

One of the main problems? Those pesky mentally defective girls!

There are many cases of mentally defective girls, liberated from institutions in New Zealand for the purpose of engaging in domestic service or other work, returning afterwards the mothers of illegitimate children, probably also mentally defective. Unless such are to be maintained for years as wards of the State in institutions, should they ever again be allowed their liberty unless they undergo the operation of sterilization?

[um, why put the onus on the girls? What about the men who impregnated these girls?]

That's just sad. Surely men have some responsibility. Not to mention the use of the word 'girls' as opposed to 'women' or even 'ladies'.

Really, the whole thing is just great if you need a primer before reading the report. Do it. Now. Yet, this said, it's also sad reading. Personally, I'd advise discretion.

Someone, in the NZ Listener, has written a response to them on what he thinks was the trigger for my perennial favourite, the Mazengarb Report (or, of course, the Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents of 1954). I like Keith Ross's insight, but I think it doesn't take in to account that the two incidents (the 'Petone Incident' and the murder) were pretty much reported on in the media in the same week; two days even, if my notes are correct. I'd say it were an amalgam of reasons and or triggers, but I like how Keith puts it.

I like his quote from the report about the increase in newspaper purchasing by schoolchildren. I give those kids credit for knowing where to go for information! Seriously. Heh.

August 14, 2006

So, it was of some use

It seems someone else has actually been reading the Mazengarb Report, otherwise known euphemistically as that Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents, after all. Looks like Russell Brown in the NZ Listener (in the July 29-August 4 issue) has linked to the Project Gutenberg edition.

Of all of the texts I've scanned and arranged to be proofed on DP, this one's still my original and all-time favourite. It's got moral panic written all over it, albeit in hindsight.

I also recall writing the original version of the Wikipedia entry on the Mazengarb Report that is linked to as well. I -- or someone else, it doesn't really matter ultimately -- must get around to expanding that some time. It needs some expansion of the report conclusions to really be of use, methinks.

Going back 29 calendar years earlier, I also see that the DP effort on 1925's Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders: Report of The Committee of Inquiry Appointed by the Hon Sir Maui Pomare, KBE, CMG, Minister of Health (or simply put, the Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders report) has made it to PG. Enjoy. Maybe. It makes somewhat chilling reading, depending on what perspective you take.

July 20, 2006

More books soonish

Hot on the heels of finally getting my Jabber server back up, I'm settling on a few possible books to put on the S27(1) and PD Books pages. At this stage, it'll possibly be some of the documents surrounding An Act to specify the circumstances in which contraceptives and information relating to contraception may be supplied and given to young persons, to define the circumstances under which sterilisations may be undertaken, and to provide for the circumstances and procedures under which abortions may be authorised after having full regard to the rights of the unborn child (or, the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 for short). The related Royal Commission inquiry report might be a bit of a push with my current time commitments, so I'm considering a look primarily at the select committee reports instead. I am, nonetheless tempted to try scanning the Royal Commission report. Time will see! :)

I'm still also looking in to some 1950s-era stuff (such as Mazengarb's report, of course, but I think at this stage that I've covered the vast majority of what I'm interested in.

June 22, 2006

Postgraduate school

Yeah well, it will be over for the term by Monday. Methinks.

Which is what I've been up to. 'Regular service will resume shortly.'

On other matters, my Jabber server,, is back up! Turns out all I needed was five minutes to read through and configure jabber.xml, and then three more minutes to generate a certificate and turn on port 5223. Easy! Why I didn't do it sooner... sigh. All this getting busy at postgraduate school seems silly if it was only going to take this little time.

Just in case it comes in handy for anyone else consider a move (albeit on jabberd 1.4), I'll write up the painless experience next week. (Actually, it was painful. Once I realised how simple it was.) At this rate, maybe I'll look at ejabberd as well and open registrations a little more for fun.

See y'all Monday evening, hopefully. :)

February 9, 2006

Another H-31A inquiry

Apparently there was quite a problem with abortions in 1937 -- septic abortions at least, anyway; I've just scanned the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Various Aspects of the Problem of Abortion in New Zealand from H-31A, Volume 3, AJHR 1937.

Once I tidy up the scans I'll publish the link.

January 20, 2006

Who'd threaten elderly relations for money, anyway?

It'd appear that some heartless individuals are forcing elderly family members to give them money. Losers.

Elsewhere: Google resists demand to reveal search terms part of a government probe of online pornography.

December 16, 2005

Some photos already!

And, less than half an hour later, there are some photographs on Flickr. Enjoy!

Here's a selection. More commentary later; I'm in the Launceston reference room of the Tasmanian State Library right now.

Tiny Albert eats Hungry Jack's/Burger King.

Hobart, Tasmania from Mount Wellington.

A cruise ship in Hobart harbour.

And, finally, a toilet sign that I think could be rather badly misinterpreted. Sadly. :(

Toilet sign, Highway 1, Hobart to Launceston.

See you all in a few days! :)

September 29, 2005

Nikster moves home

Sorry, no new photo shoot, as it only involved a pile of tarballs transferred over SSH and the usuall tinkering with a text editor. But to cut the story short, after poking through ibiblio's collection policy, Nikster's pile of humorous photo shoots have moved from to

(At least I wouldn't consider it a vanity site, anyway. It's mostly a pile of satirical cuisine and travel reviews. When I remember to put in captions.)

The main collections, though, are the Section 27(1)-related materials. I haven't had much time this term to scan and upload any new books, but with my plans to start honours next year studying the books, things should get rather interesting.

September 16, 2005

Gallery on the Section 27(1) site upgraded

To avoid the nasty issues I had with Gallery 1.4 disagreeing with ibiblio's web server proxy (which was a bearable but slightly icky problem to work around), I've upgraded the Gallery software powering the Section 27(1) site to 2.0. It seems to be working so far, and the only major thing that's broken appears to be the feed. Apparently there's no feed support in the current release. In the meantime, I'm getting the feed to 307 to the old version's feed.

Apart from that, at least the caching issues are gone for those that log in to view/do stuff. And the old links should redirect fine. Apparently.

More later.

September 14, 2005


Yay, less than a month of second trimester left! So time for more scanning again, soon... :)

August 4, 2005

Projects and news

I've been working on a few GEND-related projects and assignments lately, so while the scanning is related, that's been put back a little. So, if anyone's looking for a reason why I've decided to leave the InternetNZ council, there you go.

Anyway, one's a short 20-shot photographic essay of supermarket shopping, which I've titled I Promise I'll Be Gentle. More about it once I hand it in.

July 25, 2005

Video clips!

That's right, kids, some new streaming video clips at the S27(1) website!

Tēnā koe! On 8 July 2005, Section 27(1) in a journalism capacity visited a UniQ Victoria protest outside a Destiny Church rally organised by Brian Tamaki in Lower Hutt. Here's some videos; you will find the photographs taken by the S27(1) crew at instead.

  1. Dial-up: 28 and 56 modems
  2. Broadband: 64, 128 and 256 DSL

These two video streams are a collection of 10 short highlights from the event, from singing to some speeches and interviews (filmed spontaneously using a Canon PowerShot A80).

Hosting for the streams as part of the S27(1) and PD Books Page is kindly provided by ibiblio.

All, I should add, were very interesting, whatever side you support. For supporters, Scott Stevens' review of the event might be fun. In case someone's worried about balance or bias, I haven't been able to find any written by Destiny Church supporters yet.


Update: Unfortunately, you need pesky old RealPlayer or some compatible player or clone thing to play the clips. Sorry.

Update: Oops! I forgot to fix the addresses for the streams when pasting in the quote source. Should be better now.

July 24, 2005

Marriage is the most dangerous social institution!

Ouch! Well, guess whom this is from, without Googling?

At present marriage is easily the most dangerous of all our social institutions. This is partly due to the colossal ignorance of the public in regard to sex, and partly due to the fact that marriage is mainly controlled by lawyers and priests instead of by women and doctors. The legal and religious aspects of marriage are not the primary ones. A marriage may be legal—and miserable; religious—and diseased. The law pays no heed to the suitability of the partners, and the Church takes no regard for their health. Nevertheless, the basis of marriage is obviously mating, or sexual intercourse. Without that there is no marriage, and with it come not merely health and happiness but life itself. Cut out sexual intercourse, and society becomes extinct in one generation. Every generation must, of necessity, pass through the bodies of its women; there is no other way of obtaining entry into the world. Hence, it is clearly the duty of women to understand precisely the processes involved, from beginning to end.

With the lower animals sexual intercourse is desired only seasonally, and only for the purpose of reproduction. With the higher animals—man and women—sexual intercourse is desired more or less continuously throughout adult life, and desired much more for romantic than for reproductive considerations—that is, for the sake of health and happiness rather than for the sake of procreation only. A few women, and still fewer men, have no sexual desires. To them sexual abstinence seems more natural than sexual satisfaction. But for the majority of mankind and womankind—for all normally healthy men and women—there is this continuous desire to be happily mated.

Yup, it's our friendly Ettie Rout, kids! In the above, she's writing in that great 1922 classic Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity, from the S27(1) bookshelf.

It's interesting from any viewpoint how she gets quickly to her views and ideas on certain things. That's the first two paragraphs of the introduction above. The first five sentences, and especially the fourth, are quite telling in this regard.

[Listening to: Breathless -- The Corrs -- In Blue (03:29)]

July 23, 2005

Book changes

To prevent pesky scripting resizing your page, and to keep some layout within the SCMA design, the WSCF-AP electronic books' Flash-enabled menus now 307 to a WSCF-AP publications page at The content is the same -- it's just easier to manage for us at SCMA -- and though the layout fits the current SCMA style guide, the content is clearly marked as being hosted at ibiblio.

I'll be likely to start scanning a circa 1937 select committee inquiry on abortion next month, time permitting.

July 18, 2005

More electronic books!

All right, so they're not Section 27(1) books. But if you're finding that your copy of the CD World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific Library: Archives and Resource Materials Since 1974 shows up too many pesky security errors thanks to Windows XP SP2, you might want to try a copy I've installed at

(I've done a preliminary copyright clearance of sorts in the last week -- I see also that it's already up at -- if the link is still available this time tomorrow, my double check worked out fine.)

June 27, 2005

Friday night at Jet Bar

Wine glass and lamp shade, Courtenay Place.

Wine glass and lamp shade, Courtenay Place.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

Friday night, downstairs, over at Jet Bar in Courtenay Place, Wellington.

In unrelated news, Judgments of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on Proceedings to Review Aspects of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster and Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity got posted to Project Gutenbery today as 16130 and 16135 respectively. Yay! The Section 27(1) pages will also get updated this week with the links.

June 26, 2005

Browsing a safari

Some random thoughts from browsing one man safari today:

(And no, I don't endorse any of the last set of external links. Proceed at your own risk!)

Sheesh. Some of the stuff I come across is just plain odd, if not crazy.

Thanks be made to a friend who gave me a tipoff to oms.

[Listening to: Better Be Home Soon -- Crowded House -- Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House (03:10)]

June 23, 2005


Didn't one of the Nationals' previous deputy prime ministers also resign from the Australian federal cabinet for family reasons?

Over in Europe, Spain's gay marriage bill is apparently secure to pass, despite the upper house rejecting the bill.

June 21, 2005

Award for sexual health awareness programme

The No Rubba, No Hubba Hubba programme has won an Asian regional award for a television advertisement.

Incidentally it's interesting to see a reworking of the advertisement to take into account other sexual orientations that are out there, which I've seen screened on television channels recently. It's also on the site's video and audio clips page.

Downloadable archives this week

This week, apart from requested 600 dpi re-scans of some of the issues of The Economist from 1843 that I'm doing, I may have time to finally officially put archives (either as a tarball, zip file or both) available. I'll be starting off with just the Mazengarb Report, as I want to make sure I get it right first time.

More books!

Two new books today. For your reading enjoyment, Mental Defectives and Sexual Offenders and General Assembly Library: Report of the Chief Librarian for the Year 1924-25, both from 1925, have been uploaded. All right, so the latter is only four pages long -- and that's counting the blank back cover page -- but it has some remarks between the lines partly of humorous interest, and of historical value, anyway...

As usual, both will be going through DP, in due course. At least Mental Defectives, anyway -- I suspect of course that the library report may be a bit short!

June 18, 2005

Marriage, civil unions, religion, solo parenting and families

If you're not busy pondering new theories on time travel or reading a paper on using RPC ports, the NZH has a good set of articles on marriage, civil unions, religion, solo parenting and family generally today.

  • How solo parents became a political football: Forty-one per cent of Pakeha babies, 55 per cent of Pacific babies and 76 per cent of Maori babies were born last year to unmarried parents.
  • Don't turn children into the scapegoats: political parties are being warned not to punish the children as they grapple with policy to offset one of New Zealand's most common and growing family formats -- the sole-parent family.
  • Young women flock to NZ: ever wondered why some ethnic groups are represented in New Zealand more by women than men? A new study has found that New Zealand has a higher ratio of women to men in the peak childbearing ages of 30 to 34 than any other industrialised country, with 9 per cent more women than men.
  • New Pope takes swipe at Labour's civil union law: The Vatican's news service reported that he made the comments specifically about New Zealand at a speech to seven new ambassadors to the Holy See.
  • Tamaki becomes a Bishop today: apparently 3000 people showed up at a ticket cost of $55 (in other words, of course, giving around $165000 in revenue). Yikes.
  • Underdog-fighter scrubs up: Sue Bradford says she discovered through politics that there were people in the world like her.

On a related note, there will be some more scanning of S27(1) books next week.

June 12, 2005

Pope rejects condoms for Africa

BBC: Aids in Africa should be tackled through fidelity and abstinence and not by condoms, Pope Benedict XVI has said.

May 24, 2005

Christian porn filter seen as censorship

From the NZH: Christian porn filter seen as censorship.

Anti-porn software developed for schools by a company with links to fundamentalist Christians has been criticised for blocking students' access to leftist political forums and websites on sexuality and health.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard approved the Watchdog Corporation's CampusNet filtering software last year, as part of a $9.5 million package to help schools screen out hackers and objectionable material such as pornography.

I wonder if my Section 27(1) and public domain books page will be next? :)

A neutral thought here: perhaps it's better to not block information sites so students can get both sides of arguments, so they can research these views? Perhaps doing so, and providing some teacher guidance anyway for any Internet access, would help students form balanced and fair assignments and personal world views and opinions?

May 14, 2005

Brothels in Kent

According to the venerable site that is The Register, a search for brothels near postal code TN12 7EA shows a police station. Also mentioned is a pointer to Dutch academic research material archives, and a new way to use Skype for the classic scam. Yes, the 419. In other possibly equally venerable (or otherwise; I'm not intentionally judging them) spots:

On a different tack, I ended up buying the 'special edition' of Brooke Fraser's album. Unfortunately, the bonus DVD suffered pretty much the same fate that Centre Stage (which I can't seem to find right now) suffered on my computer -- it wouldn't play. Odd. It did when put into the television, so I'm still happy. Just someone don't tell me I need to send the computer in again for warranty service. The lack of a local authorised warranty centre gave me quite a shock in courier charges. The transportation charge was peanuts, but once the postal worker got to the compulsory insurance bit... apparently whole computers are quite a risk.

More books will be scanned from about Monday week. Watch the bookshelf. As for the quick table, it wasn't much of a success, but I might keep it anyway.

May 11, 2005

A quick table of contents at the Section 27(1) page

I'm trialling a quick lookup table for the S27(1) and PD titles detailed at the Section 27(1) page. I'll have to decide shortly how to deal with the documents that appear in the Gallery area but not the S27(1) page itself, though. At this stage, I imagine they'll continue being unlisted on the S27(1) page, however. All good.

Constructive feedback would be appreciated, as usual. Thanks!

May 10, 2005


Apparently I've scanned a book on eugenics, I'm told! Or, something called The Fertility of the Unfit, by a William Allan Chapple, in any case. I've got a preliminary scan available now. A split page version will be available once I get my act together and put it through the DP OCR pool. Or, if I have enough time, I do that bit myself. As it happens, it will probably the former, due to school stuff to do.

This is one odd text published in 1903 (hey, it even had what appears to be the original cover still on it), but then again, I only skimmed it as I was scanning it tonight.


May 4, 2005

Scanning more books

Thanks to a suggestion from someone obtained from an SCMA-sourced contact, I've started scanning a book from a William Allan Chapple, as well as a response to that book written by someone else. I expect I'll finish these by mid-June, though there are no guarantees, of course.

More details to follow. After some discussions with a local university library, I am also likely to have another select committee report from the 1920s scanned in addition to Venereal Diseases in New Zealand (1922). This will be likely to occur during the mid-year break at VUW.

[Listening to: On My Knees (LP Version) -- Jaci Velasquez -- Heavenly Place (03:49)]

Some more education-related articles from mostly the NYT and the BBC:

All right. Sleep seems good now.

[Listening to: Legacy -- Nichole Nordeman -- Live At The Door (04:16)]

[Listening to: My God (LP Version) -- Point Of Grace -- Steady On (05:04)]

April 9, 2005

Contradicting typos in Mazengarb

I've been thinking about the amusing typos one can find in the Mazengarb Report (1954). My favourite so far is the following, which was found by another user (in a paragraph on the school leaving age) on DP, while preparing the PG edition of the text:

The school leaving age is now 15, but there are obviously some pupils, in the upper forms of primary schools and the lower in post-primary, who, either through lack of ability or lack of interest, are not only deriving "appreciable benefit" from their further education, but are indeed unsettling and sometimes dangerous to other children.

It's subtle, but it can be an amusing contradiction. I wonder if anyone picked it up at the time? :)

March 26, 2005

There is a social emergency!

Yes, that does sound like something out of a speech during a moral panic, perhaps.

Anyway, thanks to a kind someone who scanned it especially for PG's DP site, Social Emergency (1914), edited by some William Trufant Foster, is now available. It's a book published in the US, so it could be interesting for academic study in terms of sexual health issues in that country during the decade in which it was written. The Social Emergency: Studies in Sex Hygiene and Morals (that's its full title) is also available in the usual Gallery interface.

I still haven't described the unrelated books I uploaded the other day. I may do so shortly once I evaluate whether Beatrix Potter books are fun enough to add. :)

Anyway, enjoy studying the new book.

March 22, 2005

New experiment: some new books uploaded

To cut a long story short, I've uploaded some books that I've been assured are public domain. I'll describe them in a couple of days when I have time to do so.

March 14, 2005

Restored, but not from a backup!

There are days when you wished you'd kept more recent tarballs. Today was one of them, after being alerted by someone (thanks!) that Safe Marriage had disappeared from the Section 27 and Public Domain Books Gallery. Oops. At first I thought someone must have tried to put on a copyright infringement claim, but of course the book was a pre-1923 book, so was definitely covered under the expiry provisions of US copyright legislation as I understand it. It is also way out of copyright in the NZ legislation, so I should have been covered both ways. Anyway, it's been so good to have some cool people from DP helping me fix this.

But, whatever the case, I now have a tarball copy of a new known good copy of all the books, so we can all rest easily. For now.

Well, you too can now, once again, enjoy Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity! Or, if you'd prefer, just one page at a time.

At this point, I should probably suggest some discretion is advised reading the book, as it talks about sexual issues. But, that said, it was a best seller in England, and was popular in Australia, even if the New Zealand authorities banned a book by a New Zealander...

In any case, there's no lurid interest in putting these books online. It's all good academic interest, and I hope other people can find some use for these books, such as the person above (who e-mailed me about the missing book problem) appears to possibly have.

Which, by the way, if anyone needs a tarball or other archive of some or all of the books, please tell me. Attribution would be useful, by the way, thanks. :)

Back to the original topic, yes, I've learnt my lesson with backups. Naughty Jonathan!

[Listening to: We Don't Know How Lucky We Are -- Frederick Dagg -- Fred Dagg: Anthology (02:49)]

March 13, 2005

New document requested

I've had a couple suggestions for new documents to scan. These may take precedence over scanning stuff currently in progress due to size problems with those. In particular, I've had a suggestion of a 1925 document that appears to be a ministerial inquiry's report.

More details will follow once I clarify what will actually be available to me -- including a good scanner.

[Listening to: Laugh and Half-Draft -- Irish Jigs & Reels (02:59)]

February 27, 2005

Erebus appeal available

I've now published the Judgments of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand on Proceedings to Review Aspects of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Erebus Aircraft Disaster (1981). It may be pertinent to mention my disclaimer on the page, however:

Disclaimer: This judgment is published here as part of the proof of concept for this page. I do not necessarily endorse, approve of or otherwise make comment on it or the Royal Commission it discusses.

Not that it matters, I suppose, but yes. I've been paranoid. And, yes, this is the court judgment I've been scanning for some time, and yes, the abovementioned Royal Commission is the Mahon Report.

Have a great Sunday!

February 25, 2005

Another book finishes proofreading, sort of

My first solely public domain book that I've scanned, Ettie Annie Rout's Safe Marriage: A Return to Sanity (1922) has finished the DP proofreading rounds and is now In Post-Processing. It's not a S27(1) book, as I may have said earlier, but it is closely related to some of the books that are S27(1)-compliant that I have listed on my page.

February 18, 2005

Jelly bracelets

Something from Close Up tonight: an approximately four minute video clip on jelly bracelets and the sexual game behind the fashion items.

There's a potential point for discussion here -- is this another panic (like Mazengarb?), or is it a fashion that will fade, as the journalist implies it might?

February 15, 2005

Royal Commission report scanning temporarily suspended

I've temporarily suspended scanning on the Royal Commission report I was scanning. The page sizes are becoming an issue, unfortunately. And the minor issue that the scanners I were using seemed to have had the computers they were attached to changed, causing some 'interesting' issues. Oh dear.

Hopefully, however, I can have another go at it tomorrow. Here's hoping!

The scans of the Court of Appeal ruling will be made available, probably as early as next week. Chances are I will throw a login system to access it, however. Time (and changing thoughts) will tell.

Still, four books scanned, with three of them with scans posted isn't bad for a couple months here and there.

I have another finalist coming up after (or before, if my current scanning project falls apart). It's a short select committee report, to see how feasible a new scanning method might be.

February 12, 2005

Public domain-only book added to the Section 27(1) page

I've added a PD-only book, Ettie Annie Rout's Safe Marriage (1922) to a new section of PD-only books on the S27(1) page.

You may also wish to read this fine PD book in the S27(1) book shelf. A 'split page' version, courtesy of DP's OCR processes, is also available, and may be far more legible for you.

February 8, 2005

Mazengarb Report (1954) posted to Project Gutenberg

Thanks to Cori and several others, Oswald Mazengarb and friends' Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents is now available in a Project Gutenberg HTML edition! Other editions appear to be available, including archived files of the two plaintext editions on offer.

For some reason, book 14760 in the catalogue currently appears to point to a different book at the moment, but nonetheless the links go to Mazengarb's report. How odd. So, I guess chances are they might reassign numbers to the book at some point. But, it's there for now! :)

Thanks again go to Cori and other DP-related people for their help, and so on.

January 26, 2005

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 22, 2005

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.

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 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 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.

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, 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.