Home' Greymouth Star : August 28th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, August 28, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1833 - British Parliament bans slavery
throughout British Empire.
1879 - British troops capture Cetywayo in
1963 - 200,000 people participate in a civil
rights rally in Washington, DC,
where Dr Martin Luther King Jr
delivered his “I Have a Dream”
speech in front of the Lincoln
1981 - John W. Hinckley Jr pleads
innocent to charges of attempting to
kill US President Ronald Reagan. He
is later acquitted by reason of insanity.
1990 - Iraq declares Kuwait to be its 19th
2009 - A coroner rules Michael Jackson’s
death was a homicide caused primarily by the
powerful anaesthetic propofol and another
sedative, increasing the likelihood of criminal
charges against the pop star’s doctor.
2014 - Ukraine accuses Russia of entering its
territory with tanks, artillery and troops and
western powers said Moscow had lied about its
role and dangerously escalated the conflict.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet
and philosopher (1749-1832); Leo
Tolstoy, Russian writer (1828-1910);
Charles Boyer, French-born actor
(1899-1978); Robertson Davies,
Canadian novelist (1913-1995);
Janet Frame, New Zealand author
(1924-2004); Shania Twain, US
country singer (1965—); LeAnn
Rimes, US country singer (1982—);
Jack Black, actor (1969—).
“The opposite of love is not hate, it is
indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness,
it is indifference. The opposite of faith is not
heresy, it is indifference. And the opposite of
life is not death, it s indifference. ”
— E lie Wiesel, Romanian-born author.
“ May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be
with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.”
— (Galatians 6:18).
Sirens are for
souding and not for
decoration. If the siren
happens to be a new
one what better way is there to hear its thrilling
tones than start a fire? This anyway was the
belief of an eight-year-old Haast lad who was
fascinated by the new siren mounted on the
wall of the office of the Ministry of Works
assistant engineer at Haast.
He did not really want to start a fire but he
did want to hear the new siren. A carefully
applied match to some nearby tinder-dry scrub
did the rest. It was a merry blaze which did no
damage but alerted local firefighters after the
tempting siren had been set wailing.
Installed on Wednesday and ‘christened’
yesterday by the eight-year-old, the siren was
said to have fulfilled its purpose splendidly
even if the christening was followed by
a certain amount of stoically received
When the National Youth Orchestra
assembled last night for the first time,
Douglas Heinz, of Cobden, began a new
and exciting experience with the 103-strong
orchestra. Fifteen-year-old Douglas was with
the orchestra when it had its first rehearsal
under the baton of Wellington conductor
Ashley Heenan. The orchestra will give two
Wellington concerts during these school
Mr Keith R Newson, veteran judge of the
recent Greymouth competitions, spoke highly
this morning of Douglas’s violin playing. It was
a wonderful achievement that one so young
should have been chosen for the violin section,
said Mr Newson, a section for which there was
uFood for thought
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decade after one of the
most deadly storms in
United States history,
forgotten victims lie in 83
caskets entombed in black
granite mausoleums behind the gothic
gates of a New Orleans cemetery. Their
visitors are mostly tourists.
Each metal coffin is marked with serial
numbers inside and out, should anyone
ever seek to bring one of them home.
The names of 30 remain a mystery, but
authorities have recorded details about
their DNA and where each was found.
The unclaimed bodies were laid to rest
in 2008, three years after the storm killed
1833 along the US Gulf Coast.
Tomorrow, 10 years to the day
after Katrina’s devastating landfall in
Louisiana, city dignitaries will gather at
the burial site, known as the Hurricane
Katrina Memorial. Viewed from above, it
resembles the shape of a hurricane.
“Nobody has ever come searching for
their loved one in the memorial, as far
as I know,” said Dr Frank Minyard, the
long-time coroner of Orleans Parish, who
helped to build the monument before
retiring last year.
The stories of those buried inside
remain unknown despite the exhaustive
efforts of coroners who conducted
autopsies on some 900 bodies recovered
from around greater New Orleans.
The local coroner’s office was washed
away in the flooding that submerged 80%
of the city after Katrina’s storm surge
overwhelmed the local flood protections.
Bodies were taken by the hundreds to
a warehouse without air-conditioning in
Saint Gabriel, Louisiana, outside Baton
Rouge. As they worked under heat lamps,
dehydrating medical examiners searched
for ways to identify them.
By then, many were badly decomposed,
and animals had removed fingers that
might have provided crucial prints,
recalled Dr Louis Cataldie, the former
coroner of East Baton Rouge Parish, who
was appointed to oversee the statewide
remains recovery effort.
Still, a rewards card from Winn-Dixie
supermarkets on one man’s key chain led
them to his relatives, who recognised the
rings he was wearing.
An elderly woman, found wearing
slippers with holes cut around her little
toes, was brought back to family members
who remembered how she snipped her
shoes to accommodate arthritis.
Yet some people could never be
identified by examiners who pored over
unusual tattoos, bone fractures and teeth
that were compared to dental x-rays
recovered from mouldy basement storage.
“The mission wasn’t completed,”
Cataldie said. “If there was one person
that wasn’t identified, it would still bother
After several months, Cataldie’s team
returned to the city the unclaimed bodies
from New Orleans, where they were
stored in another warehouse. Minyard,
the coroner, wanted the bodies buried in a
place where they could be easily retrieved,
if anyone ever wanted one of them.
He worked with community leaders
and local funeral home owners, who
were troubled by talk of a mass burial or
cremation, to raise more than $1 million
in public and private funding for the
“It was just a little heartless at that
point,” said Sandra Rhodes-D uncan, one
of the leaders of the non-profit group
that built the memorial and member of a
family that has run a local funeral home
for more than a century.
“ You always have something to
represent somebody’s life,” she added.
In August 2008, funeral homes donated
more than 30 hearses to carry the
unclaimed victims to their final resting
place, in what was formerly the Charity
At the cemetery, a red rose was placed
on each casket, carried by volunteer pall
bearers. Each victim was interred in
individual graves within the mausoleums.
Each year since, a graveside ceremony
has been held to mark the anniversary of
At last year’s ceremony, Dr Jeffrey
Rouse, current coroner of Orleans Parish,
spoke of the victims at a ser vice marked
by a clarinet ’s sombre notes.
“They sit in silent watch,” he said.
“They sit in silent judgment.”
Katrina’s unclaimed dead
A view of the New Orleans Katrina Memorial.
Etiquette, by definition,
is a form of consensus: not
a static code of conduct,
necessarily, but a set of
norms we all agree on at a
given moment. We change,
the moment changes — the
agreement evolves, too.
And it is evolving really
dramatically right now,
according to new findings
The paper, which
sur veyed more than 3200
American adults, found
that the vast majority own
cellphones and are rarely
parted from them. (That is
not exactly news.) But it
also documented striking
new patterns in how and
where we use our phones,
particularly in places where,
even two or three years ago,
whipping out a cellphone
would be considered rude.
Nearly 80% of all
sur veyed, for instance, think
it is okay to blunder down
the footpath with your eyes
trained on your phone. And
a majority of young people
say they post pictures, send
tweets and surf the web in
front of other people.
If etiquette’s a majority
consensus on acceptable
behaviour, and this is
what the majority thinks
and does, then the rules
on using your phone in
public have permanently
changed (for better or
worse). What is more,
they are likely to continue
changing in the future: Pew
found, predictably, that
young people are “generally
more permissive than their elders about
With that in mind, we combed through
Pew ’s report looking for behaviours
and habits that more than half of all
American adults either say that they find
acceptable, or that they do themselves.
This is the new normal, so to speak —
our emerging consensus on when and
where to use phones in public.
Do: Use your phone in any ambient
public space of your choosing, even if you
risk running into someone. Just about
everyone, of every age, agreed it was all
right to browse your phone while walking
down the street, waiting in line, or riding
Do not: Use your phone during
meetings, movies, church ser vices, or
other places where you are expected to
be attentive to someone else. Etiquette
sticklers rejoice: This is one area where
public sentiment does not appear to have
changed at all. Nine in 10 people says it
is unacceptable to use a phone in these
Do: Send messages in front of family
or friends, provided they are quick and/
or important. Even though most adults
think whipping a phone out at a social
gathering tends to hurt the dynamic —
and even though science firmly supports
that — most people do use their phones
in front of other people. They just use
them under specific circumstances: More
people will read a text than will send one,
for instance, presumably because reading
a text is faster and less disruptive. Half
of all people will get on their phones
if it is important, though: 52% have
pulled out their phone in a recent social
situation to “catch up on tasks they need
Do not: Use your phone at meals,
whether with family or at a restaurant.
Most adults think it’s rude to use your
phone during meals, particularly family
dinners. That could change, though, given
that half of all 18 to 29-year-olds think it
is cool to text at restaurants. Ugh.
Do: Get your phone out to take photos
and videos, regardless of where you are.
Everybody accepts that phones are the
new cameras. Almost 605 of respondents
say they recently took a cellphone photo
or video during a social outing; young
people go even further, posting that stuff
to social media while they are still with
Do: Take calls in front of other people.
Fifty-two percent of phone-owners say
Do not: Use your phone as a shield to
avoid people or conversations. Very, very
few people admit to using their phone as
a form of avoidance, which is probably a
sign of how anathema the practice still is:
Only 10% of adults say they have gone on
their phones to avoid a conversation, and
16% because they ’re bored of the group
they are with. Fascinatingly, however, the
phone-as-shield tactic is more common
among young women — perhaps because
they ’re the demographic that receives the
most unwanted attention.
Do: Get on your phone in front of
family or friends to look up important,
relevant information. You know the type
that qualifies: directions, quick “are you
here?” texts, Google searches needed to
settle bets. Most phone-owners have
done these things in social settings
recently, and most reasonable people
would agree they do not kill the vibe too
Do not: Aimlessly browse the web or
check your phone for notifications in
front of someone else. Relatively few
people check apps or push notifications
without any specific reason, or browse
their phone in front of other people
“ just for something to do.” (Alas, a lot of
young people do browse for the heck of
it, so — that could be changing, too.)
Much of this should be common sense,
of course. (In theory, at least, most
etiquette should be.) The bottom line is
that our understanding of mobile phones
is changing: Where we once saw them
as tools in solitary endeavours — highly
personal, self-directed, isolating screens
-- we no w understand that they can also
be used pro-socially. The rule here, as
in all social endeavours, is to use them
None of this will comfort the old-
schoolers in the crowd, of course. What
about the days when people looked at
each other while they talked?, they ask.
What happened to basic manners?
To this, I can only point out that
“manners” have always changed in
response to new technologies, more or
less since “manners” became a conscious,
codified thing. Consider the lowly fork,
widely viewed as scandalous when it
was introduced to Europe in the 11th
century. Before the fork, it was considered
the height of rudeness not to eat from a
communal plate with your bare hands;
over time, the fork’s invention would
rewrite that script, giving us place
settings, dinner parties, Victorian table
Etiquette changes — it is a fact of life,
and it is not inherently good or bad. In all
likelihood, our cyborg descendants will
look back on us and laugh.
— New Zealand Herald
When is it okay to be on your smartphone?
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