Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind


Leave a comment

The Orange Guy

240px-trump_circle

All Americans know who the orange guy is, and for that past year, so does most everyone everywhere who is not a cave dwelling hermit. It’s the guy to the right.

For most of us he’s the butt of jokes and provides current affairs programs with something to fill in time when news is otherwise in short supply.

But there is another orange guy who’s been around for for several decades here in Aotearoa New Zealand. As far as we know the guy doesn’t have a name, so is only known as the Orange Guy. The Kiwi orange guy is very different to tRump, except that he too is fake.

Our Orange guy is a gender-neutral, ethnic-neutral, political-neutral amorphous blob that appears for a few months once every few years and then, unlike tRump, completely disappears. The guy has been around for a couple of months now and I quite certain we’ll see no more of the person after the 23rd of this month.

Personally, I think our Orange Guy is much more likeable than the other orange guy. I can’t find any recent clips of the Orange Guy, but here’s one from 2014.

Advertisements


7 Comments

How I know yesterday was Father’s Day

  1. My daughter phoned to wish me a happy Father’s Day.
  2. My son dropped in give me a cordless drill set as a Father’s Day gift.
  3. Ads on TV promoting all kinds of gifts from socks to stuff for DIY projects to massive armchairs with beer chillers in the arm rests suddenly stopped appearing at every commercial break.

Here in Aotearoa New Zealand Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September, but in this household the celebrations are really about the respite loved ones get from being made to feel guilty for not buying their father expensive gifts they can’t afford and he doesn’t need and doesn’t want. It also means that those same commercial interests that had attempted the guilt trip on loved ones also stopped trying to convince me I’m unloved because my children haven’t lavished me with extravagant gifts.

Of course it will start all over again in a few months time as Christmas approaches.

Actually I told a porky above. My son didn’t call in to give me a cordless drill set like the one I’ve been hoping he’d give me ever since the one he borrowed came back with a burnt out motor and a broken gearbox. In fact he didn’t call in at all.

Oh all right. He didn’t even call. Or what’s App. Or text.

I wonder if he’s still alive…


5 Comments

Epidemic or pandemic?

Up until the 1980s Allism was unknown. Since then it has spread rapidly and now it’s acknowledged that perhaps as many as 49 out of 50 people might be allistic. It affects women more than men. With such a high prevalence, it can’t be too long before this condition is recognised as a pandemic.

People with allism are likely to make decisions based on emotions, either their own or those of another person, rather than based on sensory input and rational thought. When it comes to group decision making, the more allistics involved, the more difficult it is to rationalise the outcome. Two very recent examples of this have been the Brexit result and the election of Donald Trump but it can happen with smaller groups such as seen at sports events too. This is due to the mob effect of allism

The Allistic Mob Effect

Special problems occur where a group of allistic people interact with each other. Emotional states, once introduced to the group, get reflected back and forth between allistic people, in a feedback loop. With few or no non-allistic people to provide a damping effect, it is possible for the emotions passing among the group to become significantly amplified. Any change of mood can spread rapidly through the group, like a highly contagious disease, affecting all the allistic people as one.

This leads to a mob effect, where the entire group of allistic people experience emotions that are unusually strong and are the same as what the rest of the group is experiencing. The group acts as one emotionally unbalanced and highly suggestible mind, and may perform acts that no individual member of the group would desire when not affected by the mob.

A Background To Allism

Allism is a debilitating neurological condition which adversely affects emotional stability, sensory perception, self-awareness, attention, and many other areas of mental function. It is a developmental abnormality, arising from congenital neurological defects that affect infantile mental development. The effects are lifelong, and there is no cure. However, despite the wide-ranging effects, sufferers superficially appear normal, and can partially compensate for their deficiencies to lead nearly normal lives.

Because of the superficial normality, allism has only been recently identified as a pathological condition. It has turned out not to be a rare condition; indeed, it is beginning to be recognised as alarmingly prevalent. Yet public knowledge is slow to catch on to these developments. There has been little research so far, and allism is still almost unknown to the general public, and even to mental health professionals.

Because of the lack of common recognition, allism is rarely diagnosed. Indeed, most sufferers are not merely undiagnosed but may be completely unaware of their condition. As understanding of allism improves, it is expected that many people’s eccentricities will turn out to be related to allism.

Combating Allism

In order to combat the allism epidemic, it is vital that parents watch out for the signs. Some common signs are:

  • Playing mindless “pretend” games
  • Overwhelming desire to be touched or held
  • No desire to be alone
  • Talks excessively about feelings
  • No “special interests”
  • No interest in routine
  • No repetitive behaviours
  • Little to no response to strong lights, smells, noises, tastes, or textures
  • Doesn’t repeat words or phrases
  • Fixation on eye contact

If your children show any of the above symptoms, please get them evaluated so that they can be forced to assimilate receive treatment earlier.


In case anyone fails to realise the above post is an attempt at satire, “allism” and allistic” are terms used by the autistic community when referring to non-autistic people and the unempathetic manner in which they treat autistic individuals, and the autistic community.

Thanks to Allism Speaks and Cure Allism Now for parts of the above post.


Leave a comment

School production of Sweeney Todd brings a new level of realism

For some reason that I’m unable to fathom, Sweeney Todd is a popular school production here. Perhaps there’s something in the collective Kiwi psyche that leans towards the macabre, especially if it’s coupled with humour. Even Peter Jackson cut his cinematic skills in movies such as Brain Dead, Bad Taste, and The Frighteners before rising to world game with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Any way, back to the school production at Saint Kentigern College. It seems that to make the show as realistic as possible, they really did cut the throats of two performers. Has a public performance of Sweeney Todd gone to such levels of realism anywhere else in the world? I can only commend the director and actors for their dedication to their art.

For full details of this brave venture into bringing realism in stage plays to a new level,  see this New Zealand Herald article.


1 Comment

Pukeko Pong Pot

Pukeko

The pukeko is a bird as likely to be seen as road kill as alive and and scratching in a roadside swamp. As you’ll learn if read the original story linked to below, it’s not the most palatable bird around.

Where I grew up there was a well known recipe for pukeko, although no one knew anybody who had actually tried it:

Place a plucked pukeko in the bottom of a very large pot. Place a rock on top of the bird and add enough water to cover both pukeko and rock. The rock must be heavy enough to keep the bird at the bottom of the pot. Place on heat and bring to the boil. Boil vigorously for 8 hours, adding water as needed to cover the rock. Then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and maintain it for 48 hours. At the end of the cooking period, carefully remove the rock and place to one side. Discard the water and pukeko carcase. Carve the rock and serve on a bed of kumera mash with seasonal vegetables. If you make a gravy, do not use the water the bird was cooked in.

For a humorous, and possible more accurate set of instructions of how to cook pukeko, click here for Philip J Bradbury’s Pukeko Pong Pot.


9 Comments

New Zealand 6, Australia 0

Over the last week I seem to have come across an unusually large number of blogs discussing the oddities of the English language. So here is my little contribution to the discussion relating to regional dialects.

Most English speakers from outside the antipodes are unable to distinguish the difference between New Zealand and Australian English. But there are differences, particularly in vowel shifts. In Australian English (Strine) The “I” sound in hit has moved to sound more like heat. In New Zealand English (Nyu Zild), Vowels have moved further but in the opposite direction, resulting in hit sounding more like hut.

Nyu Zild has also seen shift in “e” in red and pen so that it sounds like rid and pin to British and American speakers. A similar shift has occurred with the “a” sound as in mat and sad sound like met and said.

So If I were to say “Peck the pack of pickles“, an American might hear “Pick the peck of puckles“. If I said “Fix the bit that’s bent” they might hear “Fucks the but thets bint“.

A New Zealander can sound like Lyn of Tawa:

Or like Member of Parliament Maurice Williamson during his speech supporting the the final reading of the Definition of Marriage Bill:

Oh what a beautiful sound!

So what’s the relevance to the Title of this post?

A Kiwi was driving on an Australian motorway, and noticed some graffiti on a overpass, which read NZ sux (New Zealand sucks). A few days later, he passed under the overpass, but now someone had added AUS nil. Get it?


10 Comments

New Zealand beats Sri Lanka in the World Cup opener

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 98 runs in the first match of the ICC World Cup. I know this will be late news for almost every NZer, but just in case there are some who slept all through yesterday, or were otherwise not able to communicate with anyone or have access to the radio, television, newspapers, Internet or smoke signals, remember you read it here first.

For those who are unfortunate to live where the gentlemen’s sport of cricket is unknown, New Zealand and Australia are co-hosting the 2015 ICC World cup between 14 February and 29 March. The competition sees 14 countries compete for the cup, playing the ODI (One Day International) version of the game. The countries taking part are (by ranking) England, South Africa, India, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland, and United Arab Emirates.

If you are unsure how the game of cricket is played, here’s a simple explanation:

  • You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
  • Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.
  • When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.
  • Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
  • When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.
  • There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
  • Depending on the weather and the light, the umpires can also send everybody in, no matter if they’re in or out.
  • When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game

The rules, of course, are much more complicated but the above explanation should go a long way to making sense of the game.