Main

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.

Hugs!

September 14, 2007

All together now...

... it's that time again, kids!

Vote early, and vote often! (Whomever you vote for doesn't bother me that much. And no, I'm not saying vote multiple times and get yourself done for electoral fraud. I hear it's not particularly nice to get caught doing that.)

February 9, 2007

Accident compensation

Who do I have to thank for New Zealand's compulsory accident insurance system and several other social rights laws? Sir Owen Woodhouse, of course.

February 4, 2007

Nailing jelly to the wall

Tried nailing jelly to the wall? Don't bother, the advice would appear to say.

It'd appear the exception is to be found in concentrated jelly cubes. Which, last time I checked, one can't find in NZ. Those just stick to the wall, but can be nailed, anyway. But, as the advice author says:

This is called "cheating".

Another reminder, after going to see the Vagina Monologues for WMNST 205 last night: I should be studying, I should be studying, I should be studying... [instead of looking at articles on nailing jelly on a library laptop!] Anyway, the play was an interesting empowerment of women's sexuality -- because it took not only a positive look, but also a multicultural look at sexuality, including, well, rape.

Not a bad week overall, then. Lots of study has been done. Yay!

But there's still more to do.

Sigh.

January 9, 2007

All I came here for was the snow...

...And one week later, it's still not come. (Though a free t-shirt was given to me by the bank I signed up with, but no jokes on it about snow.) Which I'm told wasn't expected to happen.

Unless I was mistaken, there was a flurry earlier, but hardly enough for me to call it my first romp in the snow.

Even New York City's got the same issues. I picked up the dead tree edition of Saturday's New York Times to find on the caption of a photograph titled With Mild Winter, the City Revisits Fall Fashion and the Record Books:

Karen Flagg with her 3-year-old son, James, on the swings at the Bleecker Street Playground in Greenwich Village. New York City, basking in warm weather, hasn’t gone this long without snow since 1878.

The article is also online.

Other stuff from the same paper, and online:

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.

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 1, 2006

Bedtime reading -- two unrelated stories

I really must have some odd reading tonight. Again, I've included very small fair-use (hopefully) snippets that hopefully summarise each.

  1. Penn State Live: Can school bullying have deadly consequences?

    Studies back up Carney's assertion. A Secret Service report published in 2000 on fatal school shootings since 1974 found that more than 75 percent of all school shooters had experienced ongoing peer bullying. According to the report, the attacker often had felt "persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked or injured before the incident. Many had experienced longstanding and severe bullying and harassment, which some attackers describe as torment."

    Many experts agree that educators bear some responsibility for the school conditions that set the stage for deadly violence. In her 2001 study, "Adult Recognition of School Bullying Situations," Carney and colleague Richard Hazler tested whether teachers and other school personnel could distinguish between bullying and "other forms of youthful play or fighting."

  2. MSNBC: China says North Korea to rejoin 6-nation nuclear talks.

    Chief envoys to the negotiations from China, North Korea and the United States held an informal meeting in Beijing on Tuesday and agreed to resume the six-nation talks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Yeah, I'd say I have some odd reading tonight. The first one goes within my academic area of research interest, though.

October 31, 2006

MySpace to use recognition software to block copyrighted multimedia

The NZH has grabbed from Reuters a report that MySpace wants to use new technology to stop users from posting unauthorised copyrighted music on the social networking website and oust frequent violators of its policy. OK... I guess there must be no one at all that'd be able to claim fair use rights nor claim that they were licensed, then, and that anyone that uses so-called copyrighted music or videos must be doing something illegal and have something to hide -- or so this scheme appears to assume. I'm not necessarily disputing such an identification system, but what if someone does honestly and in good faith try to claim fair use or licensed use? What mechanisms would there be to claim fair use or for licensed uses to be noted? I'd need to know more information before I passed judgement on such a scheme.

Sigh. It'll be interesting to see the answers. :)

October 30, 2006

Another asthma cause

Over in New Zealand, are you concerned about the condition your home with regards to asthma? In the New York City suburb of South Bronx, I've no idea about environmental conditions in housing, but one newly-identified asthma cause is truck exhaust.

Two other snippets I've found in the New York Times today, with two sentences from each that summarise them:

  1. US Jobs Shape Condoms' Role in Foreign Aid -- Britain, Ireland and Norway have all sought to make aid more cost effective by opening contracts in their programs to fight global poverty to international competition. The United States, meanwhile, continues to restrict bidding on billions of dollars worth of business to companies operating in America, and not just those that make condoms.

    Eek!

  2. What Do Women Want? Just Ask -- More companies, in the United States and elsewhere, have realized that they overlook women at their own financial peril. The companies are realigning their marketing and design practices, learning to court an increasingly female-centric consumer base that boasts more financial muscle and purchasing independence than ever before.

October 29, 2006

Lots of hands, lots of disinfecting gel sort of stuff

Two more stories before I head to bed, both unrelated to the other:

  1. What's next? If politicians use disinfecting handwash stuff to clean their hands after shaking hands with crowds, perhaps it'll be disinfecting lips after kissing babies next.

  2. Archbishop defends faith schools (BBC) -- it's surrounding the controversy of a plan compelling new state-funded faith schools in England to take up to 25% of pupils from outside the religion.

    It's interesting as I recall there's a similar provision for 'non-preference students' in New Zealand's state integrated schools, pretty much most of which are Catholic. As far as I know, many if not all of these schools have a non-preference quota in their integration agreements, given though that I've never actually read any of these agreements.

October 21, 2006

It's the telly -- no wait, it's the programmes they watch... no wait, it's...

Whoever said New Zealand's biggest threat was a moral decline? Maybe even a moral decline thanks to dodgy television programmes and dodgy films? (And with that, dodgy by whose standards?) Anyone thought of all those screens of varying descriptions wasting childhoods? Sometimes it isn't totally the blame of the media or the programmes carried on the media -- it's the use of the media, too, to some extent.

The NZH also run an intergenerational comparison on the abovementioned topic.

Of course it's dangerous to get blinded by one factor, so I won't venture more in to this particular debate.

Other things -- I'm planning a study trip at the moment. For those that don't already know what, I'll mention it if (and once) all the details fall in to place. And Klaatu's Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft is currently playing on my Pandora.com station. Hmmm. I liked the Due South version that they did; it just seems to sound different now.

New on hydro.electric.gen.nz is my take on the 'new' tabbed browsing feature in IE7. It's all right, but tabbed browsing did take a while to get added as a feature (for those our there not having been pestered or nagged by Windows yet to install IE7 yet -- if you're using the operating system at all, I've left the original message window available). Loading third-party solutions (OK, so one was engineered in the form of Microsoft's own Windows Live Toolbar) just isn't my cup of tea for tabbed browsing.

It's a pity that I find Firefox's memory leaks in its current releases on some of my systems at home a little bit too much.

October 12, 2006

Is 30 people big enough for a sample?

While I was writing up my final assignment draft for the university year, I spotted an article on MSNBC about dress style and fertility:

A study of young college women showed they frequently wore more fashionable or flashier clothing and jewelry when they were ovulating, as assessed by a panel of men and women looking at their photographs.

“They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably,” said Martie Haselton, a communication studies and psychology expert at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study.

I can see the point of the research, but as usual it raises the question for me that, OK, money might be a constraint, but 30 for a sample of, uh, people being tested seems a little small to me.

(If you can't be bothered wading through digital rights management hoops for an earlier version of the paper, bothering to Google comes up with a proof version in the author's online papers list, DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.07.007. If you don't mind wading through, for an earlier similar paper from the same journal, prod your favourite web browser at DOI code doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.10.006 via your favourite library journal database or link resolver for some reading.)

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

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 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.

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.

May 8, 2006

Noone Usenet?

Not at Xtra anymore, it would seem -- or 'a few hundred' rounded to the nearest thousand below. Hmmm.

May 5, 2006

Privacy and soft drink

Which have nothing to do with each other, but off MSNBC's news website, happenings in the US:

From the latter:

The phone records are generally acquired by the resellers through fraudulent means and would not be admissible in court as evidence, but they are still helpful as an investigative tool, say officials familiar with the investigation.

The alleged use of the customer records by law enforcement officials could raise legal and ethical questions, as it would circumvent due process and years of established laws protecting consumers from random eavesdropping on electronic communications.

And, on a random note: The Style Contest for Movable Type, Typepad and LiveJournal.

April 20, 2006

Google in China: The Big Disconnect

Via David Goldstein, something from NYT: Google in China: The Big Disconnect. David describes it as: what I reckon is an 8,000 word story that deals with China and Google, censorship, internet use in China, cultural differences on the use of the internet between China and the west.

He suspects it won't be up for long. I guess we'll see.

February 17, 2006

North American schools' iPod usage

Older stuff out of the NYT, but nonetheless, something coming from the United States about using iPods in the classroom for podcasting. (Full referencing available on your friendly ProQuest licence. Or, page G4, Late East Coast Edition, 25 January, 2006, if you're lazy.)

Spending $50 to save $40,000

Yes, it's called 'a high school promising to pay pupils who don't wag this year $50'.

Apparently it's one possible way to save on throwing some of them in prison later on.

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.

February 2, 2006

The new advice medium?

That's medium as in media and in terms of online journals and diaries, as opposed to advice books. From One Woman's Words, it's some advice on pushy blokes -- which could basically be summed up as 'stay away'...

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 ...as part of a government probe of online pornography.

January 16, 2006

Leaks and new-ish methods

NZH:

  • Perhaps this is another type of leak?
  • It's apparently the 'suck it and see' method: The number of people coming to New Zealand on temporary permits and later taking residency is on the rise, according to latest migration statistics. The "suck it and see" approach is leading to more successful settlement, says the Immigration Service.

[Listening to: Fall to Pieces -- Avril Lavigne -- Under My Skin (03:29)]

January 11, 2006

Back from leave

Yeah, it's the bottom of a Qantas Airways inflight plastic cup.

Yup, I'm back from leave. May the fun of working on my ibiblio collections again this year soon begin! :)

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! :)

November 23, 2005

Upcoming new site

After a bit of discussion back and forth about my honours research project, I've decided to do part of it as a student-run website on women's studies. I've sorted out a domain name and at the moment I'm sorting out hosting. If you're interested in contributing links and short thoughts of women's, sexuality and gender issues now and again diary/blog style, drop me a line and I'll keep you in the loop. (I reserve the right to edit contributions for grammatical clarity and for markup validation purposes, but I won't edit the substance of contributions, unless a sane law court threatens me with jail or something like that. Which I'd imagine would be rather unlikely.)

Thanks!

November 2, 2005

More advertisements!

I've published more photographs of advertisements mostly targeting women from around Wellington. The prize for oddest element would be a morning-after pill billboard that has a radio station's web address in the corner. Then there's the Dove Firming 'as tested on real curves' billboard on Lambton Quay. But this text on a billboard I saw on Willis Streethad me kind of speechless. I'm not sure what to say.

Girl available for only $3.50. [Vodafone advertisement on a bus, Willis Street, Wellington.]

Yikes.

Get a free rootkit with your next music purchase

That's right, people, according to Sysinternals. Buy the album Get Right with the Man by the Van Zant brothers, and courtesy of their record label, one apparently will get a rootkit installed on their Windows system that's difficult to remove.

And if you buy it in the next fifteen minutes, I imagine that, instead of steak knives, you'll get a lot of frustration instead.

October 29, 2005

Islam feminists urge gender jihad

Here's something hopeful, it appears: Islam feminists urge gender jihad.

Islamic Feminism argues that the inferior legal and social status of women in Muslim countries is a result of misogynistic distortions of the teachings in the Koran.

Organisers say they want more collaboration with western feminists but say non-Muslim feminists need to challenge their anti-Islamic stereotypes.

Sounds like a really useful start for a conference.

October 26, 2005

Things to read later

Note to self -- read these things later, especially the online diaries story...

[Listening to: Sk8er Boi -- Avril Lavigne -- Let Go (03:24)]

Oh yeah, and I got the album Let Go last week. Not bad... maybe I could do research on female artists and singers and implicit messages related to feminism for honours instead. :)

October 15, 2005

What girls really want is a cellphone

From the pages of the NZH: fun things with statistics and kids. Apparently what school-age girls really, really want is a cellphone.

And here's an interesting sort-of one: One in five cellphone owners spent more than $50 a month sending text messages.

I wonder what the heck kids spend $50 of text messages talking about?

October 8, 2005

Keeping New Zealand beautiful...

...by eating sausages. Really, you can do so, too! Or so this advertising billboard might be interpreted as saying.

However, I'm trying to give it a sympathetic interpretation, but it still looks rather odd.

The Max advertising billboard on the corner of Willis and Mercer Streets, Wellington. Another Max advertising billboard, this time near Feltex Lane, Wellington.

My resistant reading asks why there's the need for the cheerio sausages, the way they're held and eaten, and the use of the tomato sauce bottle.

But then, I'm new to this academic discipline, so time will tell. :)

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 greta.electric.gen.nz to www.ibiblio.org.

(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

Body moulds

Here's something fun and cool, methinks: pregnant mothers getting body moulds of their pregnant form.

September 15, 2005

Another Google News page

I've put together a new customised Google News page. This one contains searches on Student Christian Movement, ecumenism, religious dialogue, Christianity, religious tolerance, social justice, human rights, New Zealand churches, civil unions and gay marriage.

Apparently it's the 'best nation' in which to do business

In the New York Times: New Zealand Named Best Nation for Business. On why New Zealand is a good place to do one's business, only this is offered: The United States and New Zealand, for example, were the only two countries in the rankings that imposed no requirement at all to give severance pay to workers who had been laid off.

Politics doesn't even come in to it, considering there's an election on Saturday (which, as I've said, I'm not going to comment on -- I feel I need to be neutral and non-political regarding it). I just want to know far more on why New Zealand is a good place for commerce, not just one terse sentence in the whole story.

The following paragraphs do actually talk about some of the arguments related to that sentence, but I'm sure there's more to it than what the newspaper mentions.

September 7, 2005

Texas struggles to cope as refugees hit 250,000

NZH: With still more refugees pouring in every day, Governor Rick Perry issued an appeal to counterparts in other states to take some of the pressure off Texas.

Also -- Garden gnome used in fight: A fight between two men in the backyard of a Masterton house turned bizarre when one of the men hit the other with a garden gnome. Right...

September 1, 2005

Lower Hutt youth centre opening party

Well, the youth centre's official opening party, anyway. To cut a long story short, here's some photographs of the place just after the party was over. It looks pretty good, and of course it turned into another of those Bear Committee impromptu meetings.

Anyway, here's a set of highlights from the set.

Little Albert Kenby-Bear at the Secret Level opening party. Move Bar at Secret Level. View of Move Bar at Secret Level, from the High Street window side. The raised stage area at Secret Level, with one of the pool tables in the foreground. Some of the large chess pieces at Secret Level. The Move Bar menu. Completely non-alcoholic, too. The Move Bar coffee supply. At the top of the stairs to Secret Level. The view from Secret Level, northbound along High Street, from Move Bar. Look for this sign when visiting Secret Level.

In short, it's a bloody good place. Go use the facility when it's available (most days during the week, I understand) and you're free. It's for all you youth and young adults out there in Lower Hutt. While I don't work there, it'd be good to see y'all there if I'm around, of course. :)

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 http://www.scm.org.nz/go/234 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.

[From: http://www.ibiblio.org/ahkitj/section27/multimedia/related/2005-07-08/]

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 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 http://www.ibiblio.org/ahkitj/wscfap/arms1974/.

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

July 14, 2005

Music for minors

Not a new idea, but nonetheless, a North Shore pub manager, wants to have teenagers in his pub on Saturdays for concerts.

July 10, 2005

UniQ protest

In case you didn't know already, two of us SCMA people joined in a UniQ protest outside what appeared to be a Destiny Church rally in Lower Hutt. I decided to make an appearance (thanks for the ride, Fionnaigh!) to take photographs for SCMA's website at the very last minute. Anyway, Fionnaigh has written a review of the protest, and the video being handed out.

My photographs for SCM Victoria are linked to from www.scm.org.nz/go/234, for those that are interested.

Streaming video clips will be officially available shortly, with some luck!

July 7, 2005

Net users change habits to avoid spyware

NZH: The Pew internet and American Life Project found that an overwhelming majority of internet users have stopped opening questionable email attachments, or taken other steps to avoid a plague of stealthy, unwanted programs that can disable computers or secretly monitor online activity.

July 6, 2005

Identical twins grow apart with age

ABC News Online: the study of identical twins shows the genetic code itself does not change, but rather chemical changes after birth alter the way the gene is expressed, a process known as epigenetics.

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

Booklet provides guide to Territory sexuality laws

ABC News Online: The Darwin Community Legal Service has produced a guide to the law for gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the Territory. Pity that it's not on DCLS's website, yet.

Across Darwin, in the post-vote count it appears to still be the biggest landslide in the grand electoral steeplechase. Ever. Good for some, but bad for others, alas.

June 23, 2005

Again?

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.

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

Biggest. Defeat. Ever.

Fun and games at the ABC tonight!

It looks like it's going to be the biggest landslide defeat ever for the NT CLP in the great electoral steeplechase.

Oh, and something about girl being born from a frozen egg, a Man keeps wife on life support to save unborn child and Fleet Street ends its days as journalism hub.

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 15, 2005

Court finds in favour of school over playground accident

ABC News Online: The High Court has dismissed an attempt by a schoolgirl to sue a Catholic primary school in Canberra after she was injured on a flying fox.

Thank goodness we have the ACC in NZ...

The family of the schoolgirl argued St Anthony's had been negligent in its duty of care.

But the High Court has found in favour of the school, saying it had a well known hands-off rule, which barred children from touching each other during playtime.

[Listening to: 702 ABC Sydney -- Afternoons with James Valentine]

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.

June 8, 2005

Sexual behaviour in the playground

NZH: Sexual behaviour in the playground. Apparently children as young as four are engaging in adult sexual behaviour, but the agency involved does not know if the rise is because it is happening more, or if more parents are simply coming forward.

The general conclusion of the experts interviewed appears to be that early intervention -- including prevention measures -- appears to be the key.

Abortion legal moves

From the NZH yesterday: Court case a bid to raise abortion issue, says MP.

Court action claiming that too many abortions are being allowed is a pre-election bid to raise the focus on a divisive issue, says Health Select Committee chairwoman Steve Chadwick.

The anti-abortion group, Right To Life New Zealand, has filed legal action in the High Court at Wellington against the Abortion Supervisory Committee, saying it has misinterpreted the law and allowed too many pregnancy terminations.

It appears it's mostly a matter of viewpoints as to whether or not the law has been misinterpreted on the part of the Abortion Supervisory Committee -- for example, the ALRANZ's Margaret Sparrow calls it a final attempt.

Whatever views are involved, it does look like an attempt to politicise the issue again.

June 4, 2005

Smoking banned in Indian films

From the ABC:

[Listening to: Radio New Zealand International]

Marketing...

Tobacco companies designed cigarettes to appeal to women's desires to be thin and healthy in ways that went "far beyond marketing and advertising", say health researchers.

So says the New Zealand Herald -- apparently some cigarettes were especially created to target the female image, whatever that means.

And more on Mark Felt (from Reuters) can be found.

May 25, 2005

I'm a big boy now, says solo shopper Roscoe, 3

From the New Zealand Herald: I'm a big boy now, says solo shopper Roscoe, 3. Truth is stranger than fiction, it seems, of course.

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 23, 2005

New Zealand faces up to a diverse future

From the NZH and the Herald on Sunday: Coping with the great Kiwi identity crisis and New Zealand faces up to a diverse future...

New Zealanders are obsessed with it, intellectuals are fascinated by it and migrants are giving it a new twist. Amid all the gnashing of teeth over the great Kiwi identity crisis, what seems to endure is a love of the land and laissez-faire egalitarianism.

We are, we believe, a society free of classes but stingy with emotions. We don’t like tall poppies, but we’re resilient, laid back, and multicultural.

Yeah right.

Immigration is changing our national identity, and according to academics, despite our claimed tolerance, we don’t like it much.

These articles have some relevance to the future of youth in terms of changing ethnicity statistics and tolerance and acceptance issues.

May 22, 2005

Final presentation

I have (if I have added my papers -- courses, if you will -- and points right), I have the final assessment piece for my major tomorrow. There are some ancillary bits such as a literature review and reflection to also do that are due on 27 May, but other than that, I am done.

May 20, 2005

Student political activism on blackboards

Student political activism at Victoria University of Wellington.

Student political activism at VUW.

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Ah Kit.

I don't know about other universities or colleges other than VUW, but here (well, at least everywhere at VUW but the former WCE, it seems), but here, there's a lot of blackboard (not usually whiteboards, oddly) political graffiti in lecture theatres. Otherwise notices about gatherings and 'advertisements' for commercial websites are put up, but I find it's usually political rants. Anyway, this was a rather odd one to turn up to at a GEND 101 lecture; I'm sure any pun wasn't intended. Ugh. From what I gather, it was probably written yesterday (Thursday) about student aid in the 2005 government budget presented at Parliament yesterday. I guess after the student protest at Parliament earlier this week people weren't too hopeful for all the youth undertaking tertiary study.

May 16, 2005

College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age

From the New York Times: College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age. Some shades of Cambridge High School anyone, but perhaps at least in a more positive (and, well, American, geographically, as opposed to New Zealand) setting? And to imagine if VUW tried this... and to think of the digital rights management costs, especially with those non-one-off licence payments! Still, the basic principle shows much promise. Interesting, this all -- will be equally interesting to see how it turns out. Outside the world of education, I do wonder what uses there may be.

Time will tell.

On another note potentially stupid note, I managed to coax my DVD-ROM drive here to play the Brooke Fraser DVD, though not using my preferred software video player. But in any case, I'm playing it a few times now in case I don't get a chance to do it again on this computer. It's an improvement on the results of my last attempt to play the disc, anyway.

[Listening to: Saving The World, Lifeline, Arithmetic and Better -- Brooke Fraser -- What To Do With Daylight: Special Edition (Disc Two: DVD) (18:51/19:09)]

May 10, 2005

Eugenics!

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.

Enjoy!

May 7, 2005

Parthenon

It's odd what has the most views in the greta.electric.gen.nz album: a picture of what I presume is a replica Parthenon that a friend uploaded. Maybe it has something to do with the rather odd comments the photograph received over the course of a couple of months. (Some other photographs suffered from a similar fate; I tried to get rid of the comments with obscene language or porn or other unwanted comment spam links. I don't like doing that. I feel like a censor. Yuck.)

Anyway, I imagine that Kari photographed the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee.

Raspberry Coke

More marketing madness: Coca-Cola with Raspberry. When will this endless marketing end? And what about Cherry Coke again? Someone?

In Internet-related stuff, Australia seems to be making motions with its upcoming ENUM trial. In education, evolution and creation come up again, this time in Kansas.

[Listening to: All I Need -- Bethany Dillon -- Bethany Dillon (03:16)]

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 28, 2005

Radio feeds

How to waste one's 'broadband' traffic quota: listen to radio feeds!

[Listening to: Concerto in C (in the style of Vivaldi): Andante doloroso -- Fritz Kreisler -- Fritz Kreisler Edition (04:07)]

[Listening to: Imagine Me Without You (LP Version) -- Jaci Velasquez -- Crystal Clear (04:10)]

[Listening to: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op 61: Wedding March -- Aaron Rosand -- The Story Of Mendelssohn (01:32)]

[Listening to: WFUV Stream]

[Listening to: God Of Wonders -- Rebecca St James -- Worship God (04:13)]

(Yes, I do have a QuickTime and RealAudio player installed somewhere, the latter for Humour Australia tracks primarily, and the former for some video clips from school, but it seems, alas or otherwise, Microsoft have the best feeds.)

[Listening to: Messiah Highlights: Hallelujah! -- Sir Thomas Beecham -- Händel: Messiah - Highlights (03:33)]

[Listening to: I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever -- Sonicflood -- Sonicpraise (04:47)]

[Listening to: You Are So Good To Me -- Third Day -- Offerings II: All I Have to Give (04:02)]

[Listening to: 50/50 -- Metal Urbain -- Anarchy In Paris (02:45)]

[Listening to: audioad9 -- Steven Curtis Chapman -- All Things New (00:11)]

[Listening to: Passenger Side (LP Version) -- Wilco -- Wilco A.M. (03:34)]

But, the best feed on the Microsoft list, of course, is...

[Listening to: BBC News -- Yahoo! Broadcast]

On the subject of wasting my broadband traffic and Telecom, their Rex & Molly site has me suspicious. It just doesn't seem right...

News wise, here's an afternoon roundup. Quite a lot of gender- and sexuality-related stories at the New York Times this week, it seems.

[Listening to: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Sunrise) -- Saint Louis So/Walter Susskind -- 25 Thunderous Classics (01:43)]

[Listening to: Polonaise -- Moscow Symphony Orchestra -- Orchestral Works Volume 17 (05:02)]

April 25, 2005

Roundup

In the absence of much time lately to write about exciting things, here's a roundup of new stories I found perhaps even just vaguely interesting. Most of them were from the NZH or the BBC. They're in no intentional or particular order.

As usual, I haven't included any items from Fairfax's Stuff site. And not until they have a reasonable archival policy, anyway.

[Listening to: Humour Australia]

April 10, 2005

People

There are New Zealand Herald and Herald on Sunday stories on (and slight mentions of) people I know of (or know) this week: Archbishop John Dew, and Michael and Sylvia!

And, from Michael, this, hot on the heels of my last entry on typos in Mazengarb: unfortunate headlines.

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? :)

April 5, 2005

Vibe opening

I was briefly at the Vibe (aka the Hutt Valley Youth Health Service) opening of new premises at 12 Daly Street, Lower Hutt last night, wearing my Youth Infusion hat, to show support for the redefined venture. $15,000 (according to the Vibe press release) does seem like an awful lot just to 'rebrand' at first, especially with a $500,000 budget, but if it keeps the service relevant in the minds of youth, it is worth it. But I do believe the new environment compared to my prior visits to many of the prior premises of the HVYHS showed the need for new digs in an appropriate place -- there's a reasonable level of parking onsite, at least for staff, and certainly on-street parking, despite utilising parking meters, is nearby. It really is a great place. Visit there soon!

Incidentally, I can't wait for the next YI meeting.

An expensive delay for everyone but the couple

Well, here's a wedding delay that doesn't inconvenience the couple so much as the guests, or perhaps it will be the souvenir makers losing out the most?

And, from a prison officer in Sweden on taking away heavy weights from inmates:

"We don't feel it is part of the mission that society has given us to create ... over-sized muscle builders."

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 25, 2005

Eat more fruit and keep fit!

After all, it's the fruits of perfect health.

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)]

March 6, 2005

Signs malware and spyware are both getting out of hand

Here's another sign (courtesy of Slashdot) that malware is getting out of hand: at least 23 megabytes of bandwidth used up without asking. Not to mention in the same story someone discovering that they've been had for no less than 65 megabytes for a .NET Framework installation they never asked for, excluding the adware, malware and advertisements that came with it.

I wonder if Microsoft AntiSpyware and Norton AntiVirus will come out with definitions against the web page markup that does this, if not already... as someone on a byte cap, this is not only below the belt, in a very uncomfortable spot, but quite probably unethical.

I guess I have to be very careful what websites I visit, now. Grumble. Not that I wasn't already, however.

February 28, 2005

The digital divide is 'narrowing fast' -- apparently

Well, that digital divide between rich and poor nations is narrowing fast, the World Bank said on Thursday. Apparently, so says Reuters, in the New Zealand Herald.

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.

February 2, 2005

The publicity effect

Seeing the Close Up story last night on TVNZ publicising the Mount Wave Cam as a place for voyeurs has me speechless a little. I'm not sure what to think. There is a video clip of their report that's around six-odd minutes long, if you can manage it.

Seems like whoever's controlling the Java applet at the moment is trying to find women to zoom in on (it's on full zooom right now, too). No such luck, really. It's obviously raining pretty heavily, by the looks of things.

Whatever one's views, it does look slightly alarmist but the report, whether or not it is indeed alarmist, does raise some privacy issues. It is a public place, on one hand. Maybe warning signs might be appropriate. Perhaps.

It's going to be a mine field to work through, no pun intended.

In other news, Gopher access is back on greta.electric.gen.nz on a pygopherd daemon, so it's also available once again in non-Gopher browsers. I need some content to put on there, though. I wonder if photographs from my trip to Hamilton would be of use?

My Jabber work should also continue, from late February, once my school timetable is finalised.

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 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.

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.

November 27, 2004

Misusing statistics?

I prefer to be non-political (certainly in public, anyway, and almost so privately) and I also prefer to be able to call myself politically inactive, but I also believe that I can stay neutral when coming across some weird uses of statistics.

A site against same sex relationships and civil unions, civil-unions.org, appears to be misusing statistics. If you follow the reasoning, the site appears to be saying that because less than 4% of people in same sex relationships (according to their reading of census results), they don't deserve the rights the current Bills under consideration provide. Moving along, they also claim significant support for their position because only 4.5% of submissions were in favour of the Bills. What they don't realise is that it's easy to stack those sorts of statistics with submission writing campaigns (it's not new). But the best one doesn't involve statistics at all. It says: Think of the bad effects this Bill, if allowed to pass, will have on future generations and younger children. They don't even use statistics at all.

Thanks to DPF, who appears to be in favour, for the link.

I'm not mentioning my position here at all. I just find it interesting when sides in an argument are seemingly so selective in their facts, even if I agree, overall. (Incidentally, I would look at the 'other side' of the debate, but I can't easily find statistics on civilunions.org.nz right now with the time I have left online tonight.)

November 15, 2004

Another one bites the dust!

Hot on the heals of ACE's demise, WCE have finally got their death wish.

From January, I'll be a student in the renamed School of Education Studies, in the Faculty of Education. Why can't there be a School of Musical Chairs instead? Or perhaps using the same letters, Still Enamoured with Studying?

I see the price harmonisation between the two institutions is finally moving beyond the tripling in price of student influenza vaccinations at WCE, too. Ouch.

Of course, however, the nice papers on youth issues, such as EDUC 229, will continue. Well, they'd better. I'm likely to be signing up for EDUC 228 and or EDUC 340 next year.

November 10, 2004

A child sues his parent for not buying him a computer

OK, an 11 year old child suing a parent because she didn't buy him a computer as promised has to be a little crazy, even if it were the proper thing to do, right?