lossy Aussie men's magazine Ralph is closing down after 13 years in print, after struggling in the competitive print magazine marketplace. Changing tastes have lifted Zoo Weekly to the most popular men's mag with young Australian men.
The July 2010 edition of Ralph will be the final print version of the magazine, although the brand is expected to continue through an online presence.
The magazine launched back in 1997, with the honour of being the last Ralph covergirl has gone to 20 year old Sydney babe Clare Werbeloff - better known to most people as the "Chk Chk Boom Girl".
Her account was later revealed to be false, apparently made in the heat of the moment after a drunken night on the town. Werbeloff told reporters, "I didn’t think it would blow out of proportion like this".
Final issue of Ralph Magazine, July 2010, Clare Werbeloff.
* Ralph - Chk Chk Boom babe Clare Werbeloff
- Can't remember Clare the Kings Cross bogan's eyewitness story?...
“There were these two wogs fighting, The fatter wog said to the skinnier wog: ‘Oi bro, you slept with my cousin’.Pure class! Werbeloff is now also working on the Australian version of the TV show The Real Hustle for the Nine network.
And the other one said: ‘Nah man, I didn’t for shit, eh’ and the other one goes: ‘I will call on my fully sick boys, eh’.
And then pulled out a gun and went chk-chk boom!”
Posted at 2:47 pm Monday, 21 June 2010
There were big celebrations in Dunedin on Saturday night, as the All Blacks beat the Welsh 42-9 in their final rugby test at Carisbrook ground.
Earlier that day, their naked rugby counterparts the Nude Blacks beat rivals the Welsh Leeks at Logan Park ground (an unofficial score had the result as 20-15).
It's currently winter in Dunedin (in the South Island of New Zealand), but it was an unseasonally day for this year's nude rugby game, which attracted its largest ever crowd. Over a thousand spectators (including students, couples, and families) turned out to watch the fun and cheer on the brave players.
Veteran local player Dave Bourke again led the Nude Blacks in the 7th Bottom Bus Nude Rugby International, while visiting newcomer Johnny Morris captained the Welsh Leeks.
The Nude Blacks perform a haka before the game
And the Welsh Leeks respond with an equally intimidating Welsh Jig...
Former All Blacks John Timu and Richard Lowe acted as the (fully clothed) referees for the game, which featured all the traditional nude rugby elements, including a nude haka, a clothed streaker, a staged brawl, and a toilet-seat trophy.
A female nude streaker also got in on the action this year, being persuaded to stay in join in the game and take part in a lineout.
She then managed to score a try for the Nude Blacks, rejoining the action later as a naked cop to arrest an ill-disciplined clothed streaker.
A female streaker joins in the fun on the field
Referee Richard Loe struggles to stop the on-field brawl...
* More info & photos here: 7th Annual Nude Rugby International (Part 2)...
Posted at 9:55 pm
The Nude Blacks continued their winning streak in Dunedin this past weekend, and have now won all 7 naked rugby test victories (5 on the beach, 2 on grass).
The popular annual event is an unofficial curtain raiser to All Blacks test matches staged in Dunedin. It's organised by New Zealand local touring companies Bottom Bus and Headfirst Travel, and features a mix of Otago students and visiting players.
The naked policewoman runs in to arrest the game's clothed streaker...
The Nude Blacks celebrate another victory
Members of the NZ and Welsh 2010 nude rugby teams
Fans mob the nude rugby players after the game for photos & autographs
Organiser Ralph Davies and Welsh Captain Johnny Morris
giving interviews to the local and international media
* Also see: Nude Rugby Attracts Big Crowd in Dunedin...
Posted at 9:47 pm Monday, 14 June 2010
Is that constant buzzing noise during the FIFA World Cup matches doing your head in yet?
As football fans are learning, the sound isn't coming from a swarm of angry bees or locusts, that buzzing is apparently a "musical instrument" (of sorts).
South African fans are used to the colourful plastic horns known as Vuvuzelas (or Lepatata in the Setswana language), which they say sound like a herd of charging elephants. The stadium horns are about a metre long, and produce an annoyingly loud high-pitched noise which many people say is drowning out the usual singing and other match atmosphere.
The vuvuzelas have been slammed by everyone from the international footballers, through to the visiting fans, and the broadcasters trying to cover the matches at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa (who say it drowns out the commentators).
Soccer fans have described the noise from the horns as "mindless" and "excruciating", with petitions and Facebook groups being set up calling for them to be banned at the event.
However Fifa president Sepp Blatter claims the vuvuzela-haters just don't understand African culture, and he reckons it adds to the atmosphere in South Africa.
For the technically minded, the droning sound can sometimes be reduced or cancelled out on modern TVs, by adjusting the sound settings to drop a specific frequency. You can even buy an 'Anti Vuvuzela Filter', which claims to cancel out the sound of the horns.
* NZ Herald - FIFA World Cup: Ban vuvuzelas, say football fans
* Guardian.co.uk - Vuvuzelas set to soundtrack tournament
* Pocket-link - How to cancel out the vuvuzela on your TV
^ Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)
^ Game On (World Cup Mascot Song) ]
Posted at 4:50 pm
Have the blokes out there got a favourite cologne? For me it's definitely Abercrombie & Fitch's popular cologne Fierce (a version of which they spritz on the clothes they sell in stores), followed closely by Hollister's SoCal (another familiar smell, thanks to more in-store clothes spritzing).
On the other hand if you're looking for a cougar, you might be better off going for something more traditional, like Cool Water by Davidoff or Diesel Fuel for Life.
But watch out next time you go tramping in the jungles of Guatemala, and leave your CK at home! Biologists tracking and photographing jaguars in Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve have found the big cats are big fans of the Calvin Klein cologne Obsession for Men.
* Reuters - Scientists use Calvin Klein cologne to lure jaguars
Posted at 4:22 pm Friday, 28 May 2010
This was the scene recently at Otago University, as warriors clad in cardboard and rolled up newspapers battled rival soldiers along the Leith River and on the Union Lawn...
The female students also have a vital role to play in the battle. The girls take on the role of Nurses, "reviving" fallen warriors on the battlefield with a nip of red wine (or whatever red liquid they decide to fill their bottles with that day).
For now, it's all fun. But don't be surprised to see a similar uprising from the wider student body in a few years time, if the crazy old cats running Otago University continue down their current crusade of self destruction.
Varsity bigwigs recently unveiled a grand 25-year 'Master Plan' for the University of Otago Campus. Planners are expecting an extra 7,000 students by the end of that period, along with 500 more staff, and the need for an additional 100,000sqm in floor space.
The 'powers that be' seem to have convinced themselves that students from all over the country choose Otago purely on academic grounds, with no consideration for the unique 'Studentville' atmosphere which has attracted young people to the chilly south for decades.
The Otago University Council recently voted to close down the Design Studies department for apparent financial reasons.
Yet somehow it managed to find the spare funds to buy local drinking landmark 'The Gardies', paying around half a million dollars over the market value for the pub to ensure it stayed out of the hands of anyone else.
The University still hasn't decided what to do with the building, although it has made it clear it doesn't have any plans to get into the pub business.
The Gardens Tavern, at the end of Castle Street, was partly squeezed out by restrictive opening hours (which the University and Police campaigned heavily in favour of). The University has already taken over the former premises of The Bowler, and is trying hard to trip up The Cook.
Otago University is now looking to put another nail into Castle Street, by leasing 14 flats from a tenancy agency (plus 6 in Cumberland St), which it will sub-let only to International Students.
The University obviously believes these students will not indulge in evil activities like drinking games or couch fires, and the new-approved residents will all be in bed by 10pm.
(Except for weekends, when Castle Street can probably look forward to non-stop Karaoke sessions, including painful renditions of the Bob Dylan classic 'Ray Rady Ray').
OUSA magazine Critic rightly described the move as another step in the University's "ongoing war against the `Scarfie' drinking culture". Local rag the ODT however bought the line of University officials, who not surprisingly denied the plan was "designed to counter the excesses of student culture".
Could this be the caption in 25 years time?... R.I.P. Otago University?
Posted at 9:19 pm Thursday, 20 May 2010
Yes it may be Budget Day in New Zealand, but worldwide people are celebrating the first annual 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' (aka Everybody Draw Muhammed/Mohammad Day, the apparent prophet likes to mix it up when it comes to the spelling of his name).
The celebration was initially dreamt up American cartoonist Molly Norris, following the controversy over an episode of the tv cartoon South Park, which depicted Mr Mohammed dressed up in a bear costume.
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker received a number of death threats after the episode, as did the Comedy Central tv network.
I Can Haz Jihad?
The online protest is described as a "protest against those Islamists who attempt to restrict freedom of speech by threatening violence against anyone who offends them or Islam."
Internet protestors are encouraged to "create a drawing representing Muhammad, a prophet of Islam, on May 20, 2010, as a protest against efforts to limit freedom of speech". (Depictions of the so-called prophet are explicitly forbidden by some Islamic texts, although not actually by the Qur'an).
Mohammad Says Smile!
* Check out WhaleOil for his collection of New Zealand Mohammed drawings...
Posted at 8:12 am Sunday, 25 April 2010
Political ad-man John Ansell has called out National's "greenie in drag" Nick Smith, who along with Johnkey is intent on forcing a barmy Emissions Trading Scheme on unsuspecting New Zealanders from 1 July.
Ansell has shown Nick Smith to be a hypocrite, after digging comments the MP made back in November 2005, where he described Labour's proposed carbon tax as "madness".
At the time, Smith claimed to be vehemently opposed to a carbon tax which would "drive up the costs of living and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain"...
The appetite of Dr Cullen and this Government for more taxes is legendary, 43 new and increased levies and taxes have been introduced.That now rings as true as Labour's current 'Axe the Tax' campaign, which has Phil Goff and co. slamming the proposal to increase GST by 2.5% to 15%, while at the same time admitting the Labour Party is unlikely to reverse the increase (and certainly isn't considering "axing" it).
The latest is the carbon tax. It will add 6c per litre to the price of petrol, 7c per litre to diesel, 6% to all power bills and put the price of coal and gas up by 9%.
(Nick Smith, 2005)
Ansell has labelled Smith's flip flop as "Nickpocrisy", as the Gnats prepare to go against the worldwide trend and force a crazy climate tax on kiwi workers and businesses, along with an increase in GST, and a significant increase in State spending.
These new taxes are theoretically to pay for a ridiculous creation called "carbon credits", which is simply an underhand way of getting western countries to fund the workings of a left-leaning one world government.
(That plan however has stalled, with most countries in the world - including Australia, Canada, China, Russia, India, Japan, and the United States - backing away from the loopy and costly proposal).
John Ansell estimates the average New Zealand household will be saddled with at least $3,000 a year in extra costs because of National's ETS. And that's based on a carbon price of around $25. A increase to $100 which some are tipping will leave the average household facing a massive $12,000 bill every year!
NBR columnist Matthew Hooton recently noted that John Key's mind "must soon turn to extricating his government from the hole it dug itself by ramming its economically-vandalous and environmentally-pointless Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) through Parliament before Christmas."
Despite the best efforts of the so-called mainstream media, the general public are starting to see through the bucketloads of green propaganda being thrown at them each day.
The relative failure of Earth Hour recently proved that New Zealanders can now see through the lies of "climate change". (Despite the internet hype, Rick Giles was totally right, and Earth Hour was an absolute bomb!)
I take that tiny vote and general apathy to mean most kiwis don't want action on something based on lies and plain bad science.
* WhaleOil has added Smith's new name to his official Polictionary.
* John Ansell - Nickpocrisy
Posted at 8:21 pm Saturday, 24 April 2010
A bunch of terrorist-loving muslims have got their tea towels in a twist, after being offended by a television cartoon show. A few issued barely-disguised death threats against the creators of the Comedy Central tv show South Park, after it made fun of the so-called prophet Muhammad (aka Mohammed, aka Bobo).
The long-running animated series has poked fun at pretty much every major Hollywood celebrity, political name, and even religious figures. (Show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are currently working on a Broadway musical comedy about Mormons, due to hit the stage in March 2011).
In the episode, Muhammad is brought to the fictional Colorado town of South Park. He is initially heard speaking from inside a U-Haul trailer, before being let out into the town, dressed in a bear costume...
Islam apparently forbids the depiction of Mr Muhammad, and so a member of the Revolution Muslim website decided the episode "outright insulted" the prophet.
Mr Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee (aka Zach Chesser) posted a thinly veiled death threat, saying they "will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show". (Dutch filmmaker van Gogh was killed by an Islamic militant in The Netherlands in 2004). A link to the address of the South Park creators was also posted.
The media-shy Muhammad did partially stop by in a 2006 South Park episode, which followed the muslim-led controversy over the satirical Danish Muhammad cartoons.
In that episode, Big Mu was hidden behind a large black box marked "CENSORED", after the Comedy Central network refused to let Matt Stone and Trey Parker show the shy prophet. (MTV Networks president Doug Herzog later admitted that Comedy Central had caved to political and commercial pressure, and given a fresh chance he'd do it differently).
In the recent 2-part 200th episode, the Mu character was again Censored, and his name was bleeped. Stone and Parker said Comedy Central also added "numerous additional audio bleeps" to the episode, after it was delivered to the network (including during an end speech "about intimidation and fear"). The network also wouldn't let the episode be streamed as normal on the its website.
Free speech campaigners have slammed the censorship by Comedy Central, and now thanks to WhaleOil it seems there's an important date for all free speech proponents to mark on the calendar. May 10, 2010 has officially been declared the First Annual "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day!"
The event has been organised... In light of the recent "veiled" (ha!) threats aimed at the creators of the television show South Park (for depicting the prophet Mohammad in a bear suit) by bloggers on Revolution Muslim's website...
* New York Times - ‘South Park’ Episode Altered After Muslim Group’s Warning
* EW.com - 'South Park' creators 'warned' by radical Muslim website: Um, holy [beep]!
* BBC News - South Park duo write Broadway musical about Mormons
* The Strangler - Everybody Draw Mohammad Day!
^ Jason Derulo - In My Head (Derulo/Claude Kelly/JR Rotem) ]
Posted at 7:24 pm Saturday, 27 March 2010
Turn on your lights, your heaters, and your power-hungry appliances! There's a celebration going on tonight, right across the world. A celebration of Human achievement.
While the misguided hippies and misinformed and brainwashed muppets of the world will be flailing around in the dark for their media-promoted WWF event 'Earth Hour', free-thinking households will be celebrating the incredible accomplishments of the human race from 8.30 this evening.
Here in New Zealand, the Gnats may be preparing to unleash their fake carbon taxes on innocent kiwis (despite almost every other country in the world backing off an Emissions Trading Scheme or similar fraud), but thankfully there are a few sane politicians over the ditch in Australia (strange but true!)
A group chaired by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi is promoting the Anti-Earth Hour event known as Human Achievement Hour on its website...
"Don't be stuck in the dark with the communists. Turn your lights on!
While earth hour activists will be left in the dark, Human Achievement Hour participants will be going to the cinema, enjoying a hot meal, driving their car or watching television."
South Australian Senator Bernardi is a vocal sceptic of the theory of man-made climate change and global warming. Bernardi helped topple former Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull (who supported the Labour Government's ETS), replacing him with Tony Abbott.
(Unfortunately the Liberals also have their own 'Nick Smith, with misguided Shadow environment spokesman Greg Hunt planning to support Earth Hour).
Canadian-based kiwi David Seymour writes in the Victoria Times Colonist that the Earth Hour festival "is an annual occult exercise" which has "no effect on climate, and sends the wrong message".
A story in the NZ Herald notes that some "cynics" are planning to celebrate "Edison Hour", recognising "enlightenment and technology by wasting as much electricity as possible during the hour".
The story borrows a quote from last year, when ACT on Campus President Rick Giles described Earth Hour as "an embarrassment ... based on phoney science in an attempt to promote phoney awareness".
And Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath has encouraged all New Zealanders to turn on all their lights during Earth Hour...
“This Saturday evening I will be turning on every light in the house, and lighting a bonfire outside, in memory of the industrialists, scientists and economists who made possible all the luxuries we take for granted today – the computer, television, motor vehicles, comfortable housing – and the electric light.”
(Last year's promotion, but the sentiment's the same)
There are some unusual "partners" and sponsors of the Earth Hour promotion here in NZ. I will be boycotting McDonalds for the next few months, due to their support of the silly festival. I have also made a mental note not to buy a Toyota next time I'm car hunting.
I do find it odd that TV and Radio broadcaster Mediaworks is encouraging people to participate. I assume includes encouraging people to turn off their tvs and radios for the hour this evening, depriving their advertisers (the life-blood of a commercial broadcaster) of viewers and listeners.
TradeMe also seems to be hoping nobody visits their online auction site, or places any bids between 8.30 and 9.30pm this evening. And online power retailer Powershop is encouraging customers to buy less of their electricity.
* The Anti Earth Hour Blog
* Scoop - Light Up The Country This Earth Hour, Say Libz
* The Age - Call to turn on the lights
* NZ Herald - Earth Hour not without its grinches
* Times Colonist - Earth Hour: It's an annual occult exercise
Leave a Light On - Save Civilization...
UPDATE: If you're in Auckland, head to the Racket Bar tonight, down by Britomart...
"The world's longest multi-box chain, Coal-fired air-conditioning, and a light show visible from outer space!"
plus... "Bring your own appliance, and receive a Free Tiger beer!"
Posted at 4:38 pm Monday, 15 February 2010
Workers in the North Otago town of Oamaru seem pretty happy with their life, going by a story in this morning's Otago Daily Times newspaper...
A planned 4-hour protest outside Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean's office on Saturday (to campaign against the 25c/hr minimum wage increase) had to be cancelled after just two people turned up, one being the protest organiser herself! ;-)
The protest was to coincide with nationwide demonstrations over the Government's decision to increase the minimum hourly rate from $12.50 to $12.75 from April 1 and called for a minimum rate of $15 an hour.
Protest organiser Rebecca Anderson was disappointed with the response in Oamaru, despite having spread the word it was on.
The Oamaru protest was to have been part of a national campaign organised by Unite, a private sector community union.
The town of Oamaru has a reasonably solid population of around 13,000, and the meeting was promoted during the week in the local media...
* ODT - Minimal interest in minimum wage protest
* ODT - Protest over minimum wage rise
Posted at 8:21 am Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Prime Minister John Key delivered his speech to the nation this afternoon, at the opening of Parliament for 2010. It was billed as the National Party leader's most important speech of the year, but aside from a few highlights has largely failed to live up to those hyped expectations.
Kiwiblog's David Farrar had a full point-by-point analysis out in record time, allowing Labour Party leader Phil Goff to quote his "B" grade at the start of his speech in reply!
* GST increased to 15%, but with no introduction of any exemptions (which reduces its efficiency). If there has to be taxes in some form, a consumption tax is one the better options as everyone has to pay it (many people avoid paying income tax, either through Labour's 'Working for Families', or through trusts and other structuring of their personal finances).
* Changes to property taxation, and the way depreciation is taxed (but no Land Tax because National was scared of upsetting property investors).
* Some reductions to personal (and company?) tax rates, but will have to wait until May's budget for details. Currently the top 10% of all income earners pay over 75% of New Zealand's net tax, while around 40% of people pay no income tax at all.
* An "action plan to unlock New Zealand’s petroleum potential", and opening up land locked up under the guise of conservation for mining.
* I am cautiously interested in the 'Whanau Ora' initiative of social services delivery, provided it isn't restricted to being a race-based programme.
* Stricter monitoring of standards in education, and demanding better performances from the crap teachers and schools currently failing our kids.
* Reform of the welfare system, which hopefully will translate into more than just talk. Getting people away from the idea of welfare dependency, stricter benefit rules, increased testing. As John Key points out in his speech...
"In 2010, New Zealand taxpayers will fund an estimated $7.6 billion of benefits and income support, not including Superannuation. This amounts to $20.8 million every day, or $867,500 every hour. It is critical we ensure this money is spent effectively...
...I need to be able to look taxpayers in the eye and assure them that their hard-earned wages are not being used to support those who lack the will or desire to work as hard for their living as their fellow New Zealanders."* Reaffirming the goal of concluding all Treaty of Waitangi settlements by 2014.
• Negatives and missed opportunities in John Key's speech
* Labour's 'Working for Families' welfare regime (described by John Key as "Communism by stealth") won't be abolished, although National will tinker with the system slightly. WFF recipients and beneficiaries will be compensated for the 2.5% increase in GST.
* No Land Tax. Claims by Property Investors that this would have meant higher rates aren't quite true. NZ property prices are artificially inflated thanks to the current system. A land tax would contribute to a reduction in property investment, and a reduction in prices. This would allow more kiwis to buy their own homes, and the rental market would be forced to come down to earth.
* Opening up of land for mining and exploration will unfortunately be balanced by replacing it with other land not currently protected under 'Section 4'.
* Government spending will continue to increase. Billions of dollars more will be thrown at education, health, roads, etc...
Of course it is a better programme than we would have seen had voters allowed Labour and its mates the Greens and NZ First to continue running New Zealand.
However Key's speech this afternoon wasn't as bold as might have been expected, considering the PM said beforehand he expected the policy programme could erode his political popularity. The pressure is on to prove this year that he is not simply a 'do nothing' Prime Minister.
The next instalment is due in May... ;-)
* Stuff - Key confirms GST increase being considered
* NZ Herald - Bernard Hickey: Leave the country now Gen X & Y
* Not PC - Fisking that “step change”
* Kiwiblog - PM’s 2010 Statement to Parliament
* UPDATE: TV1 and TV3 6PM News Ultimate Maths Fail
Both of the country's major tv news bulletins failed with basic mathematical calculations tonight, when trying to illustrate the effect a 2.5% increase in GST would have on certain consumer goods. (TV3 also made a secondary mistake in their graphic by losing track of the decimal point).
As the post by Steve Biddle at Geekzone points out, How can you trust either network to deliver us accurate news when they're unable to calculate a basic maths equation?
(It's actually the third financial misstep at 3 News in the last month. It miscalculated the extra amount someone on the minimum wage will receive per week, and confused "million" with the slightly larger "billion" when talking about an education spending item).
Posted at 5:29 pm