Home' Greymouth Star : May 15th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, May 15, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1536 - Anne Boleyn and her brother, Lord
Rochford, are tried and found guilty in
England of adultery and incest.
1718 - James Puckle patents the
world’s first machine gun.
1800 - King George III sur vives
a second assassination attempt by
1808 - Convicts seize the ship
Harrington anchored in Sydney
Harbour, and escape.
1928 - Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon
talking picture starring Mickey Mouse, is
shown at the Colony Theatre in New York.
1928 - Royal Flying Doctor Ser vice,
originally called the Australian Inland Mission
Aerial Ser vice, is inaugurated in Q ueensland.
1930 - World’s first air hostess, Ellen Church,
welcomes her first 11 passengers aboard a
Boeing 80A at Oakland Airport in California.
1940 - Nylon stockings go on sale for the first
time in the United States.
1948 - The state of Israel, one day old, is
attacked by Egyptian planes and invaded by
troops from Lebanon and Transjordan.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Pierre Curie, French scientist (1859-1906);
Frank Lyman Baum, US author of Wonderful
Wizard of Oz (1859-1919); James Mason,
English-born actor (1909-1984); Constance
Cummings, British actress (1910-
2005); Madeleine Albright, former
US Secretary of State (1937-); Trini
Lopez, US singer (1937-); Lenny
Welch, US singer (1938-); Lainie
Kazan, US actress-singer (1940-
); KT Oslin, US country singer
(1942-); Jerry Quarry, US boxer
(1945-1999); Brian Eno, UK singer-songwriter
(1948-); Lee Horsley, US actor (1955-); Lisa
Curry Kenny, Australian swimmer (1962-);
Zara Phillips, British royal (1981-); Andy
Murray, Scottish tennis player (1987-).
“ He who speaks the truth must have one foot
in the stirrup.” — Armenian proverb.
“So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its
mouth.” — ( Job 5:16).
uFood for thought
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n Australian writer
has chronicled how an
unusual name can impact
a child’s future.
There’s not much chance
Australia will ever see a
prime minister whose name is Mercedes,
Diezel or Spontaniouse.
Research suggests giving your baby a
non-traditional or bogan name can seal
its fate from the get-go, limiting future
employment and social prospects, news.
But odd monikers are on the rise,
thanks to modern society ’s obsession with
“Parents are trying to be original, almost
branding their kids in an era where
names are viewed on the same level as
Twitter handles or a website URL,”
writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.
She’s authored The Little Book of
Bogan Baby Names, chronicling some
200 eyebrow-raising choices Australian
parents have made when it comes to
christening their new arrivals.
They range from the misspelt to the
backwards, and aspirational to those
containing random apostrophes.
Far from being harmless fun, Ms
Rogers-Anderson believes a bogan name
can impact a child’s future. And she is
Multiple studies from around the world
have found links between non-traditional
names and employment, social and
The first such research was conducted
in 1948 when Harvard University looked
at the life outcomes of 3300 recent
graduates, and found those with unusual
names were more likely to have failed
their studies or gone on to have negative
Since then, countless studies have
delivered similar findings from names
impacting choice of career, school grades,
earning potential and other quality of life
In the Australian context, Ms Rogers-
Anderson said the connotations placed
on bogan culture can sometimes be
“We allhave a bit of bogan in us,” she
said. “But you can take it too far when it
comes to names. A name really matters at
the end of the day.”
Names that sound like they have come
from a family with a low socio-economic
status can lead others to draw negative or
unflattering conclusions, experts say.
North-western University researcher
David Figlio said people take
subconscious cues about others based on
their name due to evolution.
“ We’re hardwired to try to figure out
in a heartbeat whether or not we want
to trust somebody, whether we want to
run from somebody,” Mr Figlio told Live
Research conducted by Shippensburg
University found a correlation between
popular first names and lower rates of
juvenile criminal behaviour.
And it has little to do with race.
Children with unusual, uncommon or
unpopular names were more likely to
engage in criminal behaviour, the study
It might be that the kids in question
are acting out because they dislike
their names or because they are treated
differently by peers as a result of their
A study published in the Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology in 2012
said names carry a lot of information that
the brain quickly assesses.
“A name activates a rich set of semantic
information — from connotations of the
bearer’s age to intellectual competence,
race, ethnicity, social class — which
impacts impression formation and
San Diego University researcher Jean
Twenge said names are strongly tied to
personal identity and levels of self-content.
“People who particularly dislike their
name — and also if other people think it ’s
an odd and unlikeable name — that can
cause some problems,” Dr Twenge said.
“They tend not to be as well-adjusted.”
Ms Rogers-Anderson said employers
had told her they tend to overlook
applications from people with bogan-
“They say they can’t help but judge
someone based on their name. They will
overlook a CV with a bogan name on it.
It sounds terrible but it seems that ’s the
way of the world.”
Like coming up with an Instagram
username that is not already taken, it
seems some parents are determined to
have a one-of-a-kind name for their kids.
Ms Rogers-Anderson said the trend of
taking a traditional name and changing
the spelling is growing.
“ It ’s really hard for the kids when parents
take Rebecca and whack in a Y and an H
or something, damning them to a lifetime
of having to spell it,” she said.
Also popular is spelling a common name
or word backwards to give it an exotic
Some examples are Trebor, or Robert
in reverse, and Legna, which is Angela
backwards, she said.
In a New York University study,
researchers found people with names that
were easier to pronounce and spell often
had better jobs.
“ When we can process information more
easily, when it is easier to comprehend, we
come to like it more,” psychologist Adam
Alter explained to Wired magazine.
As time goes on, it seems many parents
live to regret a unique spelling. A United
Kingdom sur vey of 3000 parents found
20% were distressed over the odd or
unusual spelling they had chosen.
A baby’s name says as much about the
parents as it does the child, parenting
educator Michael Grose said.
The founder of Parenting Ideas is trained
on the topic of “generational poverty”,
which looks at trends associated with
successive familial eras of low socio-
“Those people tend to see their kids as
possessions and the notion of naming your
child in a really different way is linked to
that,” Mr Grose said.
“They also typically struggle letting go
of their kids. So in a sense, a child’s name
says a lot about the parents’ value as well.”
It is not just parents from poorer
backgrounds who are culprits. In many
cases the name reflects mum or dad’s own
values and backgrounds.
Dr Twenge said naming was in many
cases “a proxy for the parents’ philosophy
on life in general”.
“The parent who says ‘I want my kid to
be unique and stand out ’ will probably
have a parenting style that emphasises
uniqueness and standing out. So it ends up
building on itself.”
Marquette University research indicated
that common names were seen as the least
unique but the best liked, and people with
them the most likely to be hired in job
“The name an individual carries has a
significant impact on how he or she is
viewed and conceivably whether or not the
individual is hired for a job,” it found.
“O ur findings also suggest that when
selecting, parents may want to reconsider
choosing (a name that is) distinctive.”
Parents should spend a lot more time
pondering the long-term implications for
their children, Mr Grose said.
“ I call it the boardroom test — imagine
your kid walking into an important
meeting and introducing themselves, then
picture the reaction of others,” he said.
If you think Chardonnay or Hennessy
might raise an eyebrow or two, perhaps
Just like with fashion, trends come and
go when it comes to names, Mr Grose
said. You do not want to give your child
the moniker equivalent of leg warmers or
the safari suit.
“ Pick a name that will last the test of
time and that will not go out of fashion.
Think long term.
“ You get one chance to make a good
first impression and a name has a lot to do
with that,” he said.
On the spectrum of bogan names, Ms
Rogers-Anderson said there are many
categories from the classic — think
Chontelle and Dwayne — to the misspelt,
like Ashtyn and Caughtnay.
Another popular trend is the mashup
name. Jarren, a combination of Jarrod and
Darren, is one example for a boy, while
Clarabella and Janessa are possibilities for
Just plain made-up names are a thing
too, from Brindley to Talise, while ‘urban
legend’ names are those we have all heard
about but sincerely hope are not true, like
ABCDE — pronounced Ab-si-dee —
and La-a, where the hyphen is pronounced
By far the most bogan examples are vice
names, where everything from Jack Daniel
to Chardonnay or Shiraz are on the table.
And the aspirational name is another fun
category, from Mercedes to Armanny.
— ne ws.com.au
The Wheeler Family — Shawn (Dougie Baldwin), Kayne (Rhys Mitchell), Wayne (Glenn Robbins), Julie (Robyn Malcolm), Brianna (Madeleine Jevic) and Amber (Michala
Banas) from the television show Upper Middle Bogans.
Lifetime name regrets
New Zealand has set itself an
environmental goal so ambitious it has
been compared to putting a man on the
moon — ridding the entire nation of
every last rat, possum and stoat.
The idea is to give a second chance to
the distinctive birds that once ruled this
South Pacific nation.
When New Zealand split away from the
supercontinent Gondwanaland 85 million
years ago, predatory mammals had not
That allowed birds to thrive. Some gave
up flight altogether to strut about the
Then humans arrived, bringing
predators with them.
Rats stowed away on ships. Settlers
introduced possums for the fur trade and
weasel-like stoats to control rabbits.
The pests destroyed forest habitats and
feasted on the birds and their eggs.
More than 40 species of birds died
out and many others remain threatened,
including the iconic kiwi.
Now people want to turn back the
clock. Yet the plan sounds impossible.
How do you kill millions of vermin across
a country that is the size of the United
How do you ensure a few furtive rats
will not undo all the hard work by
sur viving and breeding?
Scientists are talking about the mission
in military terms: choking off pests on
peninsulas and then advancing the front
lines from there; developing new traps
and genetic weapons; winning the hearts
and minds of children and farmers alike.
Momentum began growing five years
ago when leading scientist, Sir Paul
Callaghan, delivered an impassioned
When it comes to heritage, he said,
England has its Stonehenge, China its
Great Wall, France its Lascaux cave
paintings. What makes New Zealand
unique, he asked? Its birds.
Callaghan was suffering from advanced
cancer and could barely stand.
But for over an hour he outlined his
predator-free vision, saying how growing
up he was inspired by efforts to reach the
moon and how saving the birds could
become New Zealand ’s own Apollo
He died a month later, but the vision
Nine months ago, it became official
Then-prime minister John Key
announced a goal to wipe out the
nuisance animals by 2050, calling it the
“most ambitious conser vation project
attempted anywhere in the world.”
The goal has been embraced by many,
although even its strongest supporters say
it will require scientific breakthroughs.
Some critics argue the plan should also
have targeted feral cats or worry mice
numbers might explode if rats disappear.
Others say the effort is underfunded
and overly ambitious.
“It’s a fantasy science fiction,” says
Wayne Linklater, a wildlife biologist at
the Victoria University of Wellington.
“And it really is seriously distracting
us from some really big changes
and improvements we can make in
biodiversity and the environment now.”
The number of pests in New Zealand
is many times larger than the human
population of nearly five million.
Possum numbers in 2009 were
estimated at 30 million. Scientists can not
hazard a guess at how many rats there are
because their numbers fluctuate wildly.
So far, the Government has committed
only a few tens of millions of dollars
toward the project, which is estimated to
Officials say more money will come
from local authorities and philanthropists.
Many are not waiting for that. Along
a popular forest trail a 10-minute drive
from the bustle of central Wellington,
Jonathan Moulds takes breaks from his
run to clamber up banks and check rat
He is among 50 volunteer trappers who
incorporate pest control into their regular
workouts at the Polhill Reser ve.
Many became inspired three years ago
after rare native birds that disappeared
from the region a century ago began
breeding there again.
Paul Ward, who leads the volunteer
group, lists ways that birds have seeped
into the culture, from the country’s
music awards that are named after the
boisterous tui to the nickname for a New
“It’s about looking after our identity as
much as it is looking after the birds,” he
James Russell, a scientist at the
University of Auckland, has great hopes
for the eradication plan.
And he knows exactly how hard it
can be to catch a single rat. D uring his
doctoral research 15 years ago, Russell
released monitored rats on small islands
to see if they would take over.
The first rat he released, named Razza,
evaded recapture for 18 weeks.
It even swam to another island. The
story inspired a local author to write a
children’s book in which Razza defiantly
repeats the line, “Can’t catch me.”
But Russell, heartened by the progress
since then, says New Zealand leads the
world in clearing vermin.
Rangers have wiped out pests from
more than 100 small islands, which are
providing a breeding ground for rare
Yet making the much larger main islands
pest-free remains an enormous leap.
Russell is helping lead an effort to find
scientific breakthroughs, such as changing
pest genes to make them die out, using
biosensors to target individual pests over
vast areas, and using powerful new lures
that rely on the scent of sex rather than
The Goodnature company in
Wellington is coming up with its own
It has developed traps that use
pressurised carbon dioxide to reset
themselves. Left alone, one trap can kill 24
rats over six months.
Robbie van Dam, a company founder,
says that cuts down on the expense of
employing trappers, which is particularly
useful in remote areas.
Van Dam says the company is now
investigating the use of drones to help
Other pest control methods have proved
contentious, including use of the poison
1080, sodium fluoroacetate.
Hunters say the toxin sometimes kills
their dogs, and animal advocacy groups say
it is inhumane.
Conser vation Minister Maggie Barry
says a benefit of wiping out pests would be
ending the use of such toxins.
She says taxpayers stand to save tens of
millions of dollars a year that ’s spent on
pest control. — AP
NZ’s ambitious plan to kill every pest
Hokitika men turned
a Mini Minor into a
bulldozer on Saturday
night. After a spectacular crashing plunge they
stepped almost unharmed from their car in
the Kaniere River.
At about 5.30 on Saturday evening the three
young men were heading towards Kaniere.
Near the Kaniere River bridge their car left
the road. First it plunged down a six-foot
embankment and then crashed through a
seven-wire fence. It snapped off two silver
pine posts and hit a 12-inch strainer post.
Then it continued its plunge and went a
further 15 feet before coming to rest on its
wheels in four feet of water — the Kaniere
River. Driver of the car which is almost a
write-off was Allan Russell Boniface, of
Hampden Street. His passengers, both of
whom were in the front seat, were Graeme
John McMullan, also of Hampden Street,
and Kevin Groufsky of Tudor Street. They
scrambled from the car unaided and suffered
only slight injuries.
Hokitika police said the young men were
“more than lucky” and were particularly
fortunate that the car landed on its wheels.
On its roof it could well have drowned its
As of yesterday Greymouth had its 14th
consecutive weekend of wet weather. Of the
20 weekends so far this year, only the Saturday
and Sunday February 5-6 were without rain.
Total rainfall for the year is 43.69 inches, the
highest total for Greymouth in nine years.
Greymouth had no sunshine on the
weekend. However, eight hours on Thursday
and a further eight hours on Friday lifted
the year’s sunshine figure to 572 hours 18
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