Once in 10 year storm?

Now there is absolutely no denying that the storm that has hit us during the last two days has been particularly nasty, however, one thing that is getting to me is the way the media blow it up, and the way in which the general public then go into panic mode. I had a friend telling me that the motorway was closed and they shouldn’t be driving because there are slips and stuff. The irony here is that the motorway was never closed and the person couldn’t explain to me how you could get a slip in the middle of central Auckland where there are no hills to slip.

Coming back to the one in 10 year storm idea. Compare these two police media release pages. The first is for yesterday. The second is for July 10 2007. One year ago. Where we got hit by a very similar storm which took out power up here for two days. 48 hours. Not 3. And that was a year ago, not 10.

26 July 2008:

10 July 2007:

Whakapapa vs Whangaparaoa

At first I was laughing at this press release by the NZ Police which was released in the middle of yesterday’s storm.

***Urgent Media Release***

There have been reports in the Media about the evacuation of Whangaparaoa.

There is NO Evacuation of Whanagaparaoa.

However, I think I may have no have worked out where the confussion arised from. At 10.30am the Whakapapa Ski Field at Ruapehu was evacuated due to the storm. Reading more about it you can see why:

Between 10am and 10:40am the wind speed went from 0 to 100kph and it’s now sitting at over 200kph. Our extremely hardy road crew are currently out being blasted by wind and snow as they fit chains onto all vehicles to get the public safely down the road.

Now I can imagine that the media would of probably just confussed the word Whakapapa with the word Whangarparaoa quite easily. One is a ski field on Ruapehu which often gets hits by snow storms. The other is a peninsula north of Auckland with lots of homes on it. Given the storm would of been bad at both areas a mix up in words is not supprising at all.

The Weather “Bomb”

I will do a full blog post after the storm.

But nothing that exciting to report.

Given that this is meant to be the worse storm in years it seems very similar to this post from february this year (5 months ago, not years): http://www.brad.net.nz/blog/2008/02/the-flooded-garden/

Update #1: Okay we can now call this storm a real storm. Power cut out at around 3.50pm this afternoon. Came back on at 6.45pm which meant I missed the news. Grr.

I listened to the 5 and 6 o’clock newstalkzb radio updates. First there were 35,000 and then at 6pm 53,000 homes in northern Auckland without power. At the time they stated that any above ground power cuts would not be fixed today as it was dangerous. So I was presently surprised when the power came back on at 6.45pm.

The eye of the storm crossed Albany at around 5.50pm and it was indeed a sight to behold. Not as impressive as you see in the movies, however, you could still see the wall of storm cloud and clearish skies directly above you with no wind or rain for about 15 or so minutes. Quite cool really.

Note to self: Make sure you have candles, fresh torch batteries and gas for gas cooker ready for next storm. I had a cousin drop off candles and batterys but tonights dinner was cold. Thank God for canned fish. I had a milo the instant the power came back on.

Power restored over networks

Date: 26-07-2008
Updated at 6:45pm.
The following areas have had power restored throughout the day. There still may be pockets of no power remaining due to further network damage and damaged customer owned service lines. Our crews will continue to work throughout the night and tomorrow to restore power.

Atkinson Rd, Belmont, Browns Bay, Coatesville, Helensville, Henderson Valley, Howick, Laingholm, Mangere East, Manly, Manukau, Maraetai, Northern, Papakura, Riverhead, Snells Beach, Spur Road, Swanson, Takanini, Torbay, Parts of Waiheke, Waimauku, Warkworth, Wellsford, Woodford Ave,

Update #2: Well the power came back on and then about an hour and a half later my Internet connection died. I can’t win. It has finally come back on, 15 hours after it went out. Grrr. Anyway storm is over now. I will post full analysis soon.

Customers may experience intermittent disruption of Wireless connectivity in Auckland (Albany, North Harbour, Rosedale) between Saturday, 26 July 2008 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, 27 July 2008 11:05 a.m.. Engineers are working to resolve this issue. Woosh Wireless apologises for any inconvenience caused and thank you in advance for your co-operation.

Citizen’s Arrest

This weekend the U.S. Seceraty of State is visiting NZ. It is truely an honour for this country to be hosting such an important dipomat.

Unfortunately AUSA (the students’ association at Auckland University) have issued a media released advising that it is offering a $5000 reward to any student who citizen’s arrest Mrs Rice.

The key reasoning for this is the war in Iraq. In particular the fact that the USA invaded another country aka interferreed in another countrys politics.

What I find quite ironic here is that by trying to citizen’s arrest Rise the students themselves are interferring in the politics of another country. How bizzaire.

Universal Living Allowances

There has been a lot of noise in the media recently about Universal Living Allowances for all students.

I am a strong believer in the fact that you go to University to learn and get an education that will better you and the country. I do not believe that you should have to distract yourself away from studies to do part time work to support yourself financially. If the Government wants an knowledge economy of the future they must first fund it.

What I propose is a Universal Living Allowance for all fulltime students as follows:

  • To qualify you must be enrolled as a fulltime student in a course with a minimum length of 6 months.
  • The student allowance rate should be set at the same amount as the dole.
  • Once you have completed your first year on the USL you can only qualify for subsequent years if and only if you pass 75% of your papers in your previous years.
  • USL should only be available to undergraduate and honours students. Any research driven post-graduate qualifications should be paid for through scholarships.
  • Only University and Polytech students in a recognised post-secondary course should be eligible.

Now I have no idea of how much this would cost. But this is what this country needs. Hand ups to those who deserve it, not hand outs to those that don’t.

A World that Stands as One

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more – not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.

The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand.

The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand.

The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand.

These now are the walls we must tear down.

Barack Obama – 24/7/8 Berlin.

Yet again Obama has managed to draw out a huge crowd. Over 200,000 this time – in Berlin. I believe that we are at a major crossroad in our recent history. We can choose, we can choose to continue down the same old path we have been on for the past few years. Or we can actually (well in the U.S. anyway) choose to make a change and elect a leader of the free world who practices what he preaces.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

Obama – A More Perfect Union, 18 March

If you get the chance make sure you watch the videos of both speeches. A true politican at work.

Nerds

Don’t you just love it when nerds realise they don’t know they are nerds

Mr Burns – Fraudulent News (1522), The Simspons