Home' Greymouth Star : August 20th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, August 20, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1630 - L emonade is invented in Paris.
1857 - In one of Australia’s worst maritime
disasters, 121 people drown when the Dunbar
sinks off Sydney Heads.
1940 - L eon Trotsky, Russian
revolutionary, is fatally wounded by a
Spanish communist with an ice axe
in Mexico City, dying the next day;
As the Battle of Britain rages, British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
pays tribute to the Royal Air Force,
saying, “Never in the field of human conflict was
so much owed by so many to so few.”
1978 - Palestinian guerrillas attack an El Al
airline bus in London, killing two people.
1980 - Italian Reinhold Messner makes the
first successful solo ascent of Mount Everest.
1988 - Eight British soldiers are killed by an
Irish Republican Army landmine.
2001 - Sir Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who
coined the term Big Bang but never accepted
that theory for the origin of the universe, dies in
Bournemouth, England, aged 86.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Isaac Hayes, US actor-singer (1942-2008);
Rajiv Gandhi, former Indian prime minister
(1944-1991); Connie Chung, US broadcast
journalist (1946-); Robert Plant,
British rock singer of Led Zeppelin
(1948-); John Emburey, English
cricketer (1952-); Joan Allen, US
actress (1956-); Jonathan Ke Quan,
US actor (1971-); David Walliams,
British comedian (1971-); Jamie
Cullum, British musician (1979-);
Ben Barnes, UK actor (1981-); Demi Lovato,
US actress and singer (1992-).
“If a thing is absolutely true, how can it not
also be a lie? An absolute must contain its
opposite.” — Charlotte Painter, American
writer and educator (1926-).
“Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals
it is impossible, but not for God; for God all
things are possible.” — (Mark 10:27).
has been forced to
dismiss 10 men from
its Gladstone plywood
plant because of the log shortage there. A
personal guarantee was given each man by
factory manager, Mr A McGregor, that they
would be re-employed if the log supply built
The men. all part-time workers received
notice of their dismissal last night. Their
dismissal climaxed a situation at the plant
which has steadily worsened over recent weeks.
At the moment ply being turned out by the
£750,000 concern is well below what it has
Further, the shortage of West Coast rimu
has forced the complex to import pinus from
the Golden Downs State Forest in Nelson.
Fletchers is employer of 120 people today, but
the workforce will have dropped to 110 by
Greymouth housewives are finding other
uses for washing boards and the like; they are
using them as ‘musical’ instruments. Eleven
housewife groups have so far entered in a
housewives’ hootenanny which will be staged
in the Regent Theatre on Wednesday week by
Each member of a group which comprises
four or five housewives, will play a novelty
instrument, anything they can shake, bang,
rattle, blow or click. Each group is required to
present two tunes.
The whole show will be for the Civic Centre
project with proceeds in support of the
Business Q ueen. Audience participation will
be another feature of the show. ‘Housewives’
Hootenanny’ has been put on in other
centres in the South Island where it has been
uFood for thought
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Submissions to the Independent Review
of Intelligence and Security closed last
Friday. No doubt the “Independent
Reviewers”, Sir Michael Cullen and Dame
Patsy Reddy, are already up to their elbows
in the earnest recommendations of their
fellow citizens. By March of next year we
will learn what they have made of them.
In all probability, neither Sir
Michael, nor Dame Patsy, will end up
recommending much more than a little
tweaking here and there to New Zealand’s
national security apparatus. The terms of
reference of their inquiry were extremely
narrowly set — always an indication that
nothing too dramatic is expected by the
politicians who set the process in motion.
A few judicious redefinitions of the scope
and powers of the Security Intelligence
Ser vice (SIS) and the Government
Communications Security Bureau
(GCSB) is the most we should anticipate.
(Especially after the Prime Minister has
strongly and publicly hinted that this is
what his government is expecting).
Indeed, any government attempting to
make more than minor changes to either
institution is asking for trouble. In 1977
National Prime Minister Robert Muldoon
ignited a firestorm of nationwide protests
when he announced his intention to
legislate a substantial increase in the
powers of the SIS. The New Zealand
Security Intelligence Ser vice Amendment
Bill, which dramatically expanded the
ser vice’s capacity to intercept private
communications, and forbade the public
identification of its agents, was passed
by Parliament, but only at the cost of a
significant portion of the citizenry’s trust
That New Zealand’s so-called
“ intelligence community” is anxious to
retain and build public trust and goodwill
has been evident over the past fortnight
in the substantive public relations
campaign it has waged in advance of the
independent review. SIS director Rebecca
Kitteridge knows how difficult her job will
become if her fellow citizens are unwilling
to concede the legitimacy of the SIS’s role.
But, if losing the trust and goodwill of
New Zealand’s citizens is a bad thing,
losing the trust and confidence of New
Zealand’s allies would be much, much
worse. This would, however, be the most
likely outcome if the recommendations
of those who made submissions to the
Independent Review from the left were
ever to be taken up and implemented by a
future left-leaning government.
The submission from the Anti-Bases
Campaign, for example (whose spokesman
is the redoubtable left-wing activist
Murray Horton) has recommended to
Sir Michael and Dame Patsy that: “New
Zealand immediately exits the Five Eyes
The reviewers will, of course, ignore this
demand — if only because it falls outside
the scope of their inquiry. But, what if a
future Labour-Green government was
persuaded to withdraw from the UK-USA
Agreement, to which New Zealand has
been party for more than 60 years?
It is precisely in circumstances such
as these that the true function of our
national security apparatus would be
It was the United States Secretary of
State, Henry Kissinger, who infamously
remarked of the democratically-elected
socialist government of Chile: “I don’t
see why we need to stand by and watch
a country go communist due to the
irresponsibility of its own people. The
issues are much too important for the
Chilean voters to be left to decide for
themselves.” On September 11, 1973
that government was overthrown by the
Chilean armed forces.
On November 10, 1975, outraged
that his government was under CIA
sur veillance, Australian Labour Prime
Minister Gough Whitlam let it be known
that he would be closing down the joint
CIA/National Security Agency ’s satellite
tracking station at Pine Gap near Alice
Springs in the Northern Territory. The
following day, Whitlam’s government was
dismissed by Sir John Kerr, the Australian
Governor-General. (The Pine Gap station
was critical to the effectiveness of the
“ Five Eyes” regime).
In the eyes of both the Chilean armed
forces, and Australia’s national security
apparatus, the permanent national
interests of their respective states had been
placed at serious risk by political figures
who either did not understand, or were
hostile to, those interests. In arriving at
these conclusions, both institutions relied
upon the intelligence and advice of their
nation’s principal military and economic
ally, the US.
Although neither Sir Michael, nor Dame
Patsy, will admit it, “national security” is
all about identifying which permanent
national interests are best kept beyond
the reach of democracy’s impermanent
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
When the nation’s permanent interests override its impermanent politicians
ason Day was just six years old
when his father gave him a gift
that would change his life forever.
Alvin Day was rummaging
through piles of garbage at a
rubbish tip in Australia when
he spotted an old golf club that
someone had thrown away.
A meatworker struggling to make ends
meet, Alvin took the club home and gave
it to his son as a present.
Blessed with natural talent, Jason swung
the club on every chance he had so his
dad took him to the local public course to
let him play for real.
By the time he was eight, Jason was
playing and winning junior tournaments
and dreaming of being a professional.
And Alvin was beaming with pride,
telling everyone his son would one day be
That day finally came on Monday when
Day won the PGA championship, one
of golf ’s four major titles, at Whistling
Straits in Wisconsin.
Alvin never got the chance to see his
son become a champion or even grow
into a man. He died from stomach cancer
when Jason was 11.
The trauma of losing his father hit
Jason hard. He began drinking alcohol
at the age of 12 and getting into fights at
school. Golf became his salvation.
His mother Dening, who was born in
the Philippines, knew that drastic action
She was so poor that she would cut the
grass with a knife because she could not
afford to fix the lawnmower, and would
boil water on the stove so her kids could
have a warm shower when the heater did
She took out a second mortgage on
the family home and borrowed money
from relatives to send Jason to a boarding
school in south-east Queensland that
produced Adam Scott, Australia’s first
and only Masters champion, and Cathy
Freeman, the Olympic gold medallist.
Dening was not at the course when Day
won the title on Monday. She was back
in Queensland, at work, following the
tournament on the internet.
“I was so excited and I’m just so proud
of him ... it has been a long time coming
for him,” she told Australia’s ABC radio.
“He has worked so hard at every
tournament, he’s always tried his best and
to win this one and the last major for the
year is tremendous.”
Day was already in tears before he sank
the final tap-in putt to seal his first major
title as the enormity of what he had
achieved over whelmed him.
He threw his arms around his caddie
and coach Colin Swatton, who he first
met at the boarding school. Day credits
Swatton with turning his life around, not
just as his coach but as a father figure.
“He’s been there for me since I was 12
and a half years old. It’s been a long-time
relationship between me and Colin,” Day
said at his news conference.
“He’s taken me from a kid that was
getting in fights at home and getting
drunk at 12 and not heading in the right
direction to a major champion winner.
And there’s not many coaches that can
say that in many sports. So, he means the
world to me. I love him to death.”
Already one of the world’s best players,
Day had been close to winning majors
before, recording nine top-10 finishes
before, but has had to endure more
heartbreak off the course.
In 2013, he lost eight members of
his extended family, including his
grandmother, when Typhoon Haiyan
ripped through the Philippines, killing
more than 6300 people.
So in the moments following his
greatest triumph, it was no surprise that
his thoughts turned to his family as his
infant son Dash ran on to the 18th green
to hug him then his wife Ellie, pregnant
with the couple’s second child, joined
“I’ve changed so much from where I was
now,” he said.
“It’s just an amazing, amazing feeling,
an amazing story to really be able to tell
people that, give them insight on what
I felt and the emotions that I’ve gone
through growing up as a kid in Australia
and losing my dad very young.
“But to be honest, I have no idea where
I would be, what I would be doing,
probably wouldn’t be doing much of
anything. And I wouldn’t be challenging
myself and trying to better myself if I
didn’t have the people that I have in my
PICTURE: Getty Images
Jason Day of Australia celebrates with his caddie Colin Swatton on the 18th green after winning the 2015 PGA Championship.
Childhood dream comes true
A near-complete human brain
comparable with that of a five-week-old
foetus has been grown in a laboratory
The brain “organoid” was created from
reprogrammed skin cells and is about the
size of a pencil eraser.
United States scientists hope the lumpy
mass of functioning nerve cells and fibres
will prove to be a valuable research tool
for non-animal testing of new drugs, and
for investigating brain disorders such as
As well as neurons and their signal-
carrying projections — axons and
dendrites — the “brain” also contains
support and immune cells.
It has 99% of the genes present in the
foetal brain, a rudimentary spinal cord,
and even the beginnings of an “eye”.
“It not only looks like the developing
brain, its diverse cell types express nearly
all genes like a brain,” said lead researcher
Professor Rene Anand, from the Ohio
“ We’ve struggled for a long time trying
to solve complex brain disease problems
that cause tremendous pain and suffering.
“The power of this brain model bodes
very well for human health because it
gives us better and more relevant options
to test and develop therapeutics other
To build the replica brain, the team
transformed adult skin cells into induced
pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by altering
The artificially created stem cells were
then coaxed into developing the different
cell types and signalling circuitry of the
Full details of the brain growing
process are being kept confidential by the
scientists, but involved causing the stem
cells to differentiate into the full range of
The organoid was allowed to grow to
the equivalent of 12 weeks in the womb,
almost matching the maturity of a five-
week-old foetal brain.
might complete it, filling in that 1% of
missing genes,” said Prof Anand, who
spoke about the work at the 2015 military
health system research symposium in
Already the scientists have gone on
to create brain organoid models of
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and
autism, in a dish.
With the addition of a blood circulation,
which is currently lacking, they also hope
to use the model to study stroke therapies.
Military applications include research
on Gulf War syndrome, traumatic brain
injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lab brain to help
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