Home' Greymouth Star : January 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, January 26, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1788 - A British fleet, carrying the first
settlers from England including a group of
convicts, arrives in Sydney.
1808 - Officers of the NSW Corps arrest
Governor William Bligh (former
captain of The Bounty) in the Rum
1823 - Edward Jenner, who
is credited with introducing
vaccination against smallpox, dies.
1841 - The British flag is raised on
Hong Kong island.
1865 - Britain announces no more convicts
will be shipped to Australia.
1875 - The electric dental drill is patented by
its inventor, George F Green of Kalamazoo.
1891 - Nikolaus August Otto, German
engineer and developer of the four-stroke
internal combustion engine, dies.
1905 - The world’s largest diamond, the
Cullinan, is discovered near Pretoria.
1926 - Scottish inventor John Logie Baird
displays his first television images.
1939 - In the Spanish Civil War, Franco and
his forces capture Barcelona.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Douglas Macarthur, US general (1880-
1964); Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian head of
state (1918-1989); Akio Morita,
Japanese co-founder of Sony
(1921-1999); Paul Newman, US
actor (1925-2008); Scott Glenn, US
actor (1941-); Lucinda Williams,
US singer (1953-); Kim Hughes,
Australian cricketer (1954-); Eddie
Van Halen, D utch-born guitarist
(1955-); Ellen DeGeneres, US actress (1958-);
Andrew Ridgeley, British musician (1963-);
Jazzie B, British singer of Soul II Soul fame
“ What we really are matters more than what
other people think of us.” — Jawaharlal Nehru,
Indian statesman (1889-1964).
“One does not live by bread alone.”
— (Luke 4:4)
Christchurch during the holidays, their mode
of transport has been more orthodox than that
of two Greymouth teenagers.
Sixteen-year-old Bruce Love arrived back
yesterday after making the 420-mile trip
in 36 hours’ travelling time — on a bicycle.
He pedalled his way via the Lewis Pass and
returned the same way.
Another 16-year-old youth, Kenneth Leslie
Holmes, of Camerons, left yesterday morning
for Canterbury — on horseback. He expects to
reach Styx in North Canterbury in four days
after journeying through the Otira Gorge.
During the last Christmas holidays, Leslie rode
to Westport up the Coast Road and returned
through the Buller Gorge and Inangahua.
While Greymouth churches have already
in recent ser vices remembered Sir Winston
Churchill, there are at present no plans for a
special memorial ser vice for the late statesman.
Greymouth Mayor Mr F W Baillie said this
morning that there were as yet no plans for
any special memorial ser vice. Flags flew at half
mast in the town today and Sir Winston’s final
passing after his first brush with death a week
ago was the subject of much conversation.
The Rev Canon K G Aubrey said this
morning that Sir Winston would certainly be
remembered at next Sunday ’s ser vices.
Kendrick-Rutledge. — Mr and Mrs G
Rutledge, 47 Ward Street, Cobden, have
pleasure in announcing the engagement of
their second daughter Frances, to Ronald,
eldest son of Mr and Mrs G Kendrick, 18
Ward Street, Runanga.
uFood for thought
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ne prospective juror
was brutally frank when
asked whether he could
consider a sentence of
life in prison for the
man accused of bombing
the Boston Marathon.
“I would sentence him to death,” he
said, then added: “I can’t imagine any
evidence that would change how I feel
about what happened.”
Another prospective juror said he could
not even consider the death penalty,
telling the court, “I just can’t kill another
The two men are on opposite sides of
the capital punishment debate, but both
are unlikely to make it onto the jury for
the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: to be
seated for a death penalty case a juror
must be willing ‘but not eager’ to hand
down a sentence of either life or death.
The process of finding ‘death qualified ’
jurors has slowed down jury selection
in Federal case against Tsarnaev, who is
charged with setting off two bombs that
killed three people and injured more than
260 during the 2013 marathon.
It is expected to do the same in the
state trial in Colorado of James Holmes,
the man accused of killing 12 people
and wounding 70 others in a suburban
Denver movie theatre in 2012.
The process is designed to weed out
jurors who have strong feelings for or
against the death penalty. A 1985 ruling
from the United States Supreme Court
said a juror can lawfully be excused if his
views on the death penalty are so strong
that they would prevent or substantially
impair his ability to follow the law.
But death penalty opponents have long
said the process is fundamentally unfair.
They argue that death-qualified juries
do not represent a true cross-section of
the community and are less likely to be
sympathetic to the defence.
“You end up with a jury with less
women, less blacks, less Democrats ... you
end up with a jury that is skewed in ways
that make it probably more conser vative,
more accepting of prosecution arguments,
of state authority,” said Richard Dieter,
executive director of the Death Penalty
Information Centre, a non-profit
organisation that opposes executions.
The Capital Jury Project, a consortium
of university researchers, interviewed
about 1200 jurors in 353 capital trials in
14 states beginning in the early 1990s.
The group’s research has shown that
death penalty juries are more likely to
convict and that jurors often make up
their minds about what punishment to
hand down long before they are supposed
to, said William Bowers, director of the
After reaching a verdict, a trial enters
the penalty phase, when prosecutors
present evidence of aggravating factors,
such as the brutality of the crime, to
argue in favour of the death penalty,
while defence attorneys present
mitigating factors, such as abuse as a
child, to argue against it. Juries are then
supposed to weigh those factors when
deciding whether a defendant should get
life or death.
“The principal finding is that half
of the jurors said they knew what the
punishment should be before the penalty
stage of the trial and another one-
quarter of them said they were pretty
sure,” Bowers said. “ The thing they don’t
recognise or seem to have overlooked is
that they are not supposed to decide what
the punishment is until they hear the
evidence in the second phase.”
Death penalty opponents have argued
that to get around this kind of pre-
judgment, separate juries should be
chosen to hear evidence in the guilt phase
and the punishment phase. But that idea
has not gained traction.
Another finding of the research was
that death penalty opponents are also
more willing to consider an insanity
defence, something that will come into
play in the case of Holmes. His lawyers
do not dispute that he opened fire during
a midnight showing of the Batman film
The Dark Knight Rises but argue he
was in the grips of a psychotic episode.
He has pleaded not guilty by reason of
Holmes’ lawyers, citing data from the
Capital Jury Project, argued that his
jury should not be death-qualified, but
Judge Carlos A Samour Jr rejected their
challenge, saying he is bound by rulings
by the US Supreme Court and the
Colorado Supreme Court holding that
death-qualification is constitutional.
In the Holmes case, an unprecedented
9000 jury summonses were mailed. As
of Friday, 210 prospective jurors had
been excused over four days. Individual
questioning is set to begin next month.
In the marathon bombing case, 1373
people filled out juror questionnaires.
Individual questioning of prospective
jurors has been slowed as the judge has
probed people at length about their
feelings on the death penalty. The judge
had originally said he hoped to question
40 jurors each day, but during the first
five days only averaged about 15.
Capital punishment supporters say the
current system of screening out strong
pro and anti-death penalty jurors is the
only fair way to choose juries in capital
“The process simply says that jurors
must be willing to abide by the law,” said
John McAdams, a Marquette University
professor who supports the death penalty.
“The law says that certain kinds of
aggravated murders should get the death
penalty,” he said. “ Jurors have to be
willing to listen to the evidence and have
to be willing to impose the death penalty
if, in their judgment, the crime was
sufficiently heinous to call for the death
penalty.” — AP
Juries and death penalty
A courtroom sketch shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, during the jury selection process in his trial at the federal courthouse
“Ambivalent ” is the word Haast garage
operator Eamonnd Johnston says best
sums up his thoughts on the prospect of
a new road linking South Westland with
Mr Johnston and wife Heleen have been
operating their family-owned garage for
33 years and could be among those who
would do well financially from motorists
using a new, more direct route between
Milford Sound and the West Coast.
Haast-Hollyford Highway Ltd, the
company behind plans for the $250 million
toll road, announced on Saturday it is likely
to apply for resource consent in April.
Like others in the Haast-Jackson Bay
area at the weekend, Mr Johnston had
concerns about how the road might change
a part of New Zealand he regards as
“I wax and wane,” Mr Johnston said.
“I’d hate to see it cause the loss of a nice
wee corner of paradise but I see the trends
for my own sort of business.”
While Q ueenstown was increasingly
becoming a tourist hub, fewer tourists
appeared to be venturing further afield.
“I think that road would make us part of
another loop. “And the fact somebody else
is paying for it, and it’s going to be a toll
road, makes it a little bit better for me as
well. “ The simple fact is the taxpayer is not
going to be lumbered.”
Jackson Bay bach owner John Searle, of
Cromwell, says he has mixed views on the
“It’s sort of our playground down there
for hunting and fishing and we don’t really
want to see it get opened up.
“It’s probably going to be good for locals
. . . butthisiswherewecometogetaway
from it all.
“It just scares me what it’s going to do to
From a tourist-industry perspective he
could see a road creating a loop including
Queenstown, Te Anau, Milford Sound,
Haast and Wanaka as “probably quite a
“But, do we have to have a road through
every bit of New Zealand?”
Two English tourists on their second
visit to Jackson Bay, Lynda and Roger
Goddard-Coote, were firmly against the
“ We love it here and we would hate to
see it spoilt with more people than it can
handle,” Mr Goddard-Coote said.
The first 20km of the 180km route,
alongside the Jackson River, already has a
narrow gravel road along it.
The only person encountered there on
Saturday was Perth man John Hibbs, who
has spent the past three years walking
10,000km along trails all around the world.
He suggested a walking-biking trail rather
than a road.
“I think it would be hugely popular.
“There are so few true wilderness areas.”
— Otago Daily Times
Hollyford road ‘ambivalence’
Microsoft ’s Holo L ens goggles have hit
a sweet spot between Google Glass and
virtual reality headgear, immersing users
in a mesmerising world of augmented
The glasses, which the United
States technology titan sprang on an
unsuspecting press this week, elicited
descriptions such as “magical” and
“unbelievable,” the first time in a while
such praise was heaped on a Microsoft
The augmented reality goggles are a
step in a different direction from virtual
reality headgear such as Oculus Rift and
Sony ’s Project Morpheus system, as well
as Google Glass.
At private demos of Holo Lens
in a carefully guarded lower level of
Microsoft’s campus in Redmond,
Washington, cameras, recording devices
and even smartphones were not permitted.
Microsoft executives said the
holographic capabilities built into
Windows 10 operating software — to
be released late this year — would open
doors for developers to augment tasks
from complex surgery to motorcycle
In a demonstration, a prototype Holo
Lens turned a room into the surface of
Holo L ens wearers found themselves
standing near a 3D representation
of the Rover, free to roam Mars,
at times accompanied by a NASA
scientist projected into the scene and
communicating through Skype.
“This is the future of space exploration,”
said the scientist, represented by a glowing
golden spacesuit reminiscent of vintage
science fiction films.
NASA team members can use Holo
Lens to move about as if they are on Mars
and figure out where they want the Rover
to go and what they want it to do.
Through a series of scenarios, Holo
Lens overlaid virtual scenes on real space,
allowing wearers to safely and efficiently
navigate rooms while engaging with 3D
imagery using voice, gaze or gesture.
The headpiece tracks eye movements,
then lets wearers use a simple finger flick
to interact with whatever they focus on.
Replacing a light switch became a
collaborative effort, as one individual
with a tablet computer guided the job,
overlaying arrows or notes that floated in
The room was then converted into an
extension of the building-block themed
game Minecraft, with castles on floors and
table tops. With voice commands and taps
of the finger, a wearer built or destroyed,
and sometimes vanquished zombies.
Holo L ens also promises scintillating
integration with video games, and
Microsoft has a broad and devoted fan
base for Xbox consoles.
“Holo L ens offers a new platform and
experience for computing on the scale of
the original PC and the launch of Apple
iPhone,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillett
said in a blog post.
And Facebook co-founder Mark
Zuckerberg has depicted virtual reality as
a computing platform poised to succeed
the mobile internet era centered on
smartphones and tablets.
He backed his belief by buying Oculus
VR last year in a $2.68 billion deal.
Holo Lens goggles captivate with holograms
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