Friday, December 17, 2010

What I’m reading

The always amusing Ally of Today is My Birthday and also, confusingly, TV3, selects the worst pop lyrics of 2010. Idiocy and pop music get along so well, and always have. Always will. As we know from Spinal Tap, it is a fine line between clever and stupid.

Which country is this?:
X is one of the most economically free countries in the world, and has for some time been among the smallest governments in the developed world, with low levels of tax and spending. Last year, according to the OECD’s Economic Outlook, X was the Thatcherite’s number one performer, with not only the lowest level of government spending of all developed countries but also the lowest level of taxes of all developed countries equal with South Korea).
Clue: it is very big and very close. The source is here and a discussion is here.

Mick Hartley has a fabulous photo of Titan and Rhea, Saturn’s largest and second-largest moons, with links to more astropix. I didn’t know that Titan is bigger than Mercury. Or – I have just looked this up elsewhere – that Pluto, the former planet, is smaller than seven of the solar system’s moons, including our own.
Paul Litterick at the Fundy Post weighs in on the proposed demolition of some pretty houses in Turua Street, St Heliers Bay, Auckland. He talks sense, as he often does, but what struck me in the Herald’s reportingwas not just the lazy acceptance that these houses are Art Deco but that this was cited in all seriousness as a reason to keep the houses:
For one St Heliers resident [. . .] the houses have more of a sentimental attachment – both her sisters were born in number 12. Her parents and sisters lived there for six years after it was just built in 1935.
“I love those houses. I’m very attached to them, probably a little more than everyone else because of my connection to them. My sisters and I always fantasised and said if any one of us won Lotto one day, we'd buy all three houses and live next to each other in them.”
I like these houses too, but is someone’s sisters having been born in one of them an argument for their preservation?

Karl du Fresne comments on the ructions in Tainui and reminds us of some recent political history involving Tuku Morgan that I, for one, had forgotten.

Finally, some drama: Shakespeare as she was spoke. This performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is in OP (original pronunciation) which is more American-sounding than English, as any reader of Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue would expect.

1 comment:

Stephanovic said...

Re mysterious low tax rate country: It's very cheap living in a quarry...