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Green Left Weekly
23 November 2005
Richard Neville says New Zealand is an enlightned, new-age, lefty feelgood utopia:
I never appreciated the metaphor of a frog placed in a saucepan of water and so gradually brought to the boil, that it expires unawares, until I flew to New Zealand. Landing at midnight, the change of atmosphere was palpable. Clearing customs a breeze; free tea and baggage trolleys, an absence of gun toting ninja's. I had come to deliver a keynote on the future of recreation, despite its lack in my current incarnation. According to the conference brochure, “recreation is at the heart of our identity, quality of life, health and wellbeing”. New Zealand is an appropriate setting for such an event, themed AT THE HEART, being a land that still has one.
This is a city without fear. In three days I never saw a cop, not even a security guard. The doors of corporate buildings were open wide, no identity tags, no patdowns. “Why are you all so bloody friendly?” I asked the Kiwi at the cappuccino bar. “Because we've still got what Australia once had.” Yep, what we had before we joined the Bush crusade. I felt like the frog fallen from saucepan into a pond. How simple it had been to ignore the rising heat back home. To loll in the Jacuzzi of forgetfulness, until the heart stopped. New Zealand resisted the call of the Devil's bugle, and has grown in moral stature. Australia, on the other hand, puffed up with self importance, still dances to the madman's jig as it sinks into the abyss.
Praise Jesus. One wonders why Kiwis are migrating to Australia at the rate of 30,000 per annum.
Not environmentally friendly
Your 6-wheel SUV too small for you? You need to tow the occasional mountain?
Well, have we got the engine for you.
Here's the specs on the 14 cylinder version...
The cylinder bore is just under 38" and the stroke is just over 98". Each cylinder displaces 111,143 cubic inches (1820 liters) and produces 7780 horsepower. Total displacement comes out to 1,556,002 cubic inches (25,480 liters) for the fourteen cylinder version.
|Total engine weight:
||2300 tons (The crankshaft alone weighs 300 tons.)
||108,920 hp at 102 rpm
||5,608,312 lb/ft at 102rpm
A few days in Sydney
Had a long weekend in Old Syd. Some highlights:
- The annual motorcycle expo at Olympic Park. The eye-catcher was the gorgeous Ducati retro-styled Sport1000. It also draws attention to just how fugly the modern Ducati range really is.
- Getting yelled at on the train for no reason by a middle-aged, grossly obese midget woman who was wearing short-shorts and a fairy outfit. One of the most frightening sights I've seen in years.
- A brilliant beef vindaloo at the Tandoori Palace on Oxford St. Talk about agony and ecstasy. Christ it was hot.
Where to find Thom
If you want to read Crazy Thom in his original text, do the following:
- Go to the Google archive for aus.politics.guns.
- click "view titles only"
- click on any of the following threads: Thom Lyons - where are your "lawyers"? and Myths About Gun Control.
- click on "view as tree" so you can navigate to Thom's posts.
Go and experience the insanity.
Speaking of which, I'm checking up on Thom's Vietnam service claims. Watch this space.
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