Home' Greymouth Star : December 12th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, December 12, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1574 - Murad III succeeds as Sultan of Turkey
on death of Selim II.
1792 - Ludwig van Beethoven, aged 22 and
newly arrived in Vienna, notes in his diary he
has 15 ducats: enough for his first music lesson
with Franz Joseph Haydn.
1804 - Spain declares war on
1894 - Japanese troops invade
1915 - First all-metal plane,
known as the Tin Donkey, flies for
the first time.
1925 - World’s first motel, the Motel Inn,
opens in San Luis Obispo, California.
1930 - World’s first milk bar is opened in
Sydney by Clarance and Norman Burt.
1963 - Kenya becomes independent within
1966 - British sailor Sir Francis Chichester
arrives in Sydney on round-world voyage.
1992 - A strong earthquake kills 2500 people
on F lores Island, eastern Indonesia.
1995 - The United States approves the
world’s first drug to treat — but not cure — the
degenerative nerve disease, amyotrophic lateral
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Gustave Flaubert, French author (1821-
1880); Edvard Munch, Nor wegian
artist (1863-1944); Frank Sinatra,
US singer-actor (1915-1998);
John Osborne, English playwright
(1929-1994); Connie Francis, US
singer (1938-); Dionne War wick,
US singer (1940-); Sheree J
Wilson, US actress (1958-);
Jennifer Connelly, US actress
(1970-); Mayim Bialik, US actress (1975);
Craig Moore, Australian soccer player (1975-);
Dan Hawkins, UK musician (1976-).
“There are two cardinal sins from which all
the others spring: impatience and laziness.”
— Franz Kafka, Czech author (1883-1924).
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a
sign: The virgin will be with child and will give
birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel.”
— Isaiah 7:14.
Greymouth, valued at
about £4000 now lies
as a heap of wreckage
on the beach four miles north of Chases Beach,
Dargaville. The commercial passenger launch
— which broke from moorings at Opononi and
drifted in the Tasman — has been stripped of all
its equipment and fittings.
Recovery of the four-ton vessel was
impracticable and yesterday a bulldozer
removed the sandbank built around the launch
and chewed into the woodwork to facilitate
salvaging of the engine.
Two deerstalkers canoeing on Lake Brunner
this morning were tipped into the lake when
their craft capsized. Believed to be from Otira,
the two hunters suffered nothing physically
worse than a wetting.
They did however lose their rifles and other
gear and this afternoon were endeavouring to
make contact with skindivers to go down and
recover their lost property.
Kay Churchouse, daughter of Mr and Mrs N
Churchouse, of Wickes Street, Cobden, is this
year’s dux of the Cobden School. Announced
with the dux award is the Firth Scholarship.
This year it has been won by Peter Neame,
son of Mr and Mrs T Neame, of Bright Street,
The altar of the new Sacred Heart Church at
Runanga, which will be opened by the Roman
Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Most Rev Dr
B P Ashby next Sunday, incorporates the new
liturgical requirements. Attention is focused on
the altar and sanctuary by concealed lighting. Of
modern design, the church will accommodate
The parish priest of Runanga is Rev Father B
uFood for thought
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Owner Alan Keery, middle, ser ves cereal at the Cereal Killer Cafe in east London.
Identical twin brothers hope
they have ticked the right boxes,
and ordered in the right flavours,
for their new Cereal Killer Cafe in
London serving only cereal, with
toppings and milk.
Alan and Gary Keery from
Belfast offer 120 different cereals
from around the world at the
cafe, which they say is the first of
its kind in London and opened
They also offer 20 toppings and
30 different types of milk.
“ We thought, ‘ Well, why isn’t
there anywhere that you can
just go and sit down and have
a bowl of cereal?’” Gary Keery
“So we have done some research
into it. Would it work as a
business? How would it look?
Where would we get the cereal
from? And everything was just
ticking all the boxes for us so now
here we are, just nearly a year and
a half later and we are about to
open our doors, so it’s exciting.”
The cafe is on Brick Lane in
London’s East End, stretching
across two floors, with seating for
The walls showcase colourful
cereal boxes, plus some fictional
“serial killers” rendered in cereal,
while the shelves house various
pieces of memorabilia from the
1980s and ‘90s.
“ We just wanted to play on the
nostalgia so we’ve got a lot of
vintage cereal boxes. We’ve got
all these toys that you used to
get so a lot of the music we’re
playing is 80s and 90s music
with magazines that are all 80s
“ We want people to come in and
think, ‘God, do you remember
this?’ and just really re-live, just
feel like a kid again,” Keery said.
The cafe also offers cereal
“cocktails” in which various cereals
are mixed together.
“I think a lot of kids when
they were younger used to do
that themselves so they basically
designed a whole range of
‘cocktails’ that mix them up and
take advantage of the toppings
we have as well,” Jules Prentice,
who works at the cafe, said before
demonstrating how to make a
The cafe offers popular British,
American and international
cereals, including some that are
hard to source, like an Oreo-
flavoured product from South
And Gary’s own favourite?
Krispies, he said, adding that he
always has 30 or 40 boxes of it at
home. — Reuters
New cafe serves best
Battle for our birds
Military metaphors abounded in January
when the Government launched New
Zealand’s largest-everspecies protection
programme, increasing the use of aerial
1080 poison to control a rapidly increasing
army of millions of rodents and stoats
triggered by high seed production in beech
forests. The first major offensive kicked
off in August in Fiordland with support
from numerous stakeholders, although the
impact of 1080 on trout raised concern in
No more moa
When did the last moa die? This
question was the focus of not one but
two research papers published within
just weeks of each other. In October, a
radiocarbon dating study from Landcare
Research and the University of Auckland
estimated the moa population died out
between 1440 and 1445. Just two weeks
later a similar radiocarbon dating study
from University of Canterbury and
University of Otago researchers suggested
the giant bird kicked the bucket 20 years
earlier (give or take a decade). Ultimately
the question will become moot if Labor
MP Trevor Mallard’s suggestion of moa
de-extinction comes to pass.
Mystery food poisoning
When hundreds of people started falling
foul of a nasty stomach bug in October,
health authorities scrambled to get a
handle on the outbreak. The culprit was
soon identified as the bacteria Yersinia
pseudotuberculosis, but the source of the
bacteria was debated in the media, with
a Canterbury health official squaring off
against MPI over the the non-release of
ESR reports implicating certain foods,
including lettuce and carrots, as potential
sources of the bug. Ultimately, the source
was never identified.
Health Food Star system
A new voluntary food labelling system
was introduced in June to give Australian
and New Zealand consumers greater
insight in the nutritional value of their
food at a glance. However the final
labelling format — and its voluntary
status — was a trade-off between public
health academics and the grocery sector.
Although there was scant evidence the star
system would lead to healthier choices,
experts conceded it was a step in the right
What is a GMO?
Crown Research Institute Scion and the
Sustainability Council of New Zealand
came to loggerheads in May over the
definition of genetic modification, taking
it all the way to the High Court. At the
heart of the controversy was Scion’s plans
to develop pine tree strains using new
molecular techniques that alter the genetic
code of an organism without incorporating
foreign genetic material into the genome
of the cell. The High Court ruled that the
pine trees created would be genetically
modified, but noted the current definition
was “not well drafted”.
Animal testing come down for legal
As new laws were drawn up to control,
but not necessarily outlaw, ‘novel
psychoactive substances’, legal highs
manufacturers were asked to prove their
products were safe. However when animal
testing of recreational drugs was brought
into the discussion, the public backlash
was fast and sharp. Scientists offered
conflicting views on whether animals
testing was necessary to prove human
safety. Ultimately the government tweaked
the proposed law to rule out the use of
animal data in proving safety.
Kiwi’s bizarre relative
Twenty years after the fact, Expat New
Zealander Dr Alan Cooper redeemed
himself for hypothesising that the iconic
Kiwi was originally from Australia. At
a press conference in May, Dr Cooper
announced that new DNA research had
found the Kiwi’s c losest cousin was in
fact the giant, 3m tall elephant bird from
NZ, Australia take Japan to court over
whaling — and win
Australia, with the support of New
Zealand, took Japan to the International
Court of Justice (ICJ), claiming their
whaling program was not scientific and
therefore illegal. In March, the ICJ ruled
that the programme was not scientific,
ironically because Japan were not killing
enough whales. These rulings were
submitted alongside a resolution to the
International Whaling Commission,
which Japan summarily ignored,
announcing a new scientific whaling plan
NZ astronomers critical in ‘rude’
exoplanet discover y
Backyard New Zealand astronomers
played a key role in discovering an
unusual planet that orbits only one star
in a two-star ‘binary’ system, impolitely
ignoring the other star. The discovery,
published in July, used data collected from
an immense network of professional and
amateur astronomers and shifted our
understanding of where planets might be
found in the universe.
A surprise fault under Wellington
A previously unknown fault discovered
under the Wellington Harbour became
international news in October. The sneaky
Aotea fault, named for its proximity to
Aotea Q uay, was found by Niwa marine
geologists mapping the region. While the
fault is thought to be capable of generating
magnitude 7 earthquakes, scientists were
not too worried about the risk posed by
the fault and the Prime Minister rejected
calls to move the capital to Auckland.
Academics not so sweet on sugary
Public health became a matter of public
debate in February when experts called
for a tax on sugar sweetened beverages,
highlighting the role of fizzy drink in
New Zealand’s growing obesity problem.
Writing in the New Zealand Medical
Journal, the researchers calculated that
such a tax would save 67 lives a year and
generate revenue of up to $40 million.
Unsurprisingly, some in the grocery sector,
such as Katherine Rich, disagreed.
Madagascar’s extinct elephant bird was this year said to be the kiwi’s closest overseas relative.
NZ’s year of science
It was a dramatic year for science, one that witnessed a severe outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and an historic mission to land a space probe on a
comet. On the home front, science-related discoveries and developments grabbed headlines with animal testing for ‘legal highs’, 1080 use to tackle
increased pest numbers and court action over genetically modified organisms among the most-covered stories. The SCIENCE MEDIA CENTRE
reflects on some of the biggest science news stories from over the past 12 months.
The inventor of the World Wide Web
says that Russian President Vladimir
Putin was incorrect when he alleged the
internet was a project created by United
States spies in the Central Intelligence
Putin, a former KGB spy who does
not use e-mail, has said he will not
restrict Internet access for Russians, but
in April he stoked concerns that the
Kremlin might seek to crackdown by
saying the internet was born out of a
“CIA project ”.
“The internet is not a CIA creation,”
Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born
computer scientist who invented the
web in 1989 — the year that the Berlin
Wall collapsed — said when asked about
Putin’s CIA comment.
Berners-Lee said the internet was
invented with the help of United States
funding, but was spread by academics.
“It was the academic community who
wired up their universities so it was put
together by smart, well-meaning people
who thought it was a good idea,” he said.
Berners-Lee has previously scolded
the United States and Britain for
undermining the internet ’s foundations
with their sur veillance programmes. He
has also called on China to tear down
the “great firewall” that limits its people’s
access to the internet.
Asked about his World Wide Web
Foundation’s rankings of the way
86 countries approach the internet,
Berners-Lee said the internet should
be recognised as a human right and
protected from commercial and political
Ethiopia and Myanmar were bottom
of the list while Denmark and Finland
topped the rankings, which score access,
freedom and openness, relevant content
and social, economic and political
Britain came fourth, the United States
was sixth, Russia was ranked 35 and
In reference to the use of the internet
to spread militant Islamist propaganda,
such as films showing the beheading
of western journalists in Syria,
Berners-Lee said the internet ’s use
reflected the condition of mankind.
“Like all powerful tools, it can be used
for good and evil, it can be used by good
people and bad people,” he said.
Internet not a CIA creation — inventor
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