Home' Greymouth Star : February 27th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, February 27, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
380 - Edict of essalonica: Emperor
eodosius I, with co-emperors Gratian
and Valentinian II, declare their wish that
all Roman citizens convert to trinitarian
1560 - e Treaty of Berwick, which would
expel the French from Scotland, is
signed by England and the Lords of
the Congregation of Scotland.
1594 - Henry IV is crowned King
1700 - e island of New Britain
1782 - e House of Commons
votes against further war in America.
1812 - Poet Lord Byron gives his rst address
as a member of the House of Lords.
1881 - Battle of Majuba Hill, e last major
battle of the First Boer War.
1900 - e British Labour Party is founded.
1902 - Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant is
executed in Pretoria.
1933 - Germany's parliament building in
Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on re.
1951 - e Twenty-second Amendment
to the United States Constitution, limiting
Presidents to two terms, is rati ed.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Constantine I, Roman emperor (272);
Rembrandt Carel Fabritius, Dutch painter
(1622); Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow, poet (1807); John
Steinbeck, American author
(1902); Irwin Shaw, US, novelist
(1913); Ariel Sharon, former Prime
Minister of Israel (1928); Elizabeth
Taylor, London, English-American
actress (1932); Eddie Gray, rock
guitarist (Tommy James & Shondells-Crystal
Blue) (1948); Naas Botha, South African rugby
union footballer (`1958); Johnny Van Zant,
American singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (1959).
"With every mistake, we must surely be
learning." --- George Harrison.
"But God demonstrates His own love for us
in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died
for us." --- (23.Rom 5:8).
of the current rates
have been paid by
ratepayers, the council's rates clerk Mr A
Evans said this morning. Council struck rates
amounting to £92,467 for the 1963-64 scal
period, and so far £59,500 has been received.
Some 40% of the Grey County Council's
outstanding current rates have been paid so far.
In all, £8220 of the £21,506 struck has been
received. In the Runanga borough ratepayers
have already remitted some 66% of their
Four prizes went to West Coast patrons when
Golden Kiwi lottery No 141 was drawn today,
after the rst prize went to a Napier ticket just
one number below the West Coast group of
tickets. Top prize to the Coast was of £100,
with the other three tickets comprising £25,
£20 and £10 respectively, for a total of £155.
e sealing of the majority of the "razorback"
section of the Coast Road, between Punakaiki
and Barrytown, is virtually completed and the
earthwork on the section between the Twelve
and Seventeen Mile is also nearly nished, the
resident engineer of the Ministry of Works,
Greymouth, Mr H A Grigg said this morning.
He was commenting on progress to date on
the two jobs which collectively will cost an
An apprentice jockey, Michael Patrick
McCann, who broke a bone in his foot when
a horse he was riding threw him on to the
roadway, is at present convalescing at the home
of his parents, Mr and Mrs R R McCann,
Greymouth. He was discharged from the
Dunedin Public Hospital earlier this week.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
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03 755 8422
Healy s view
ames Driver, now 31, was
well known in his late teens
as 'Benway Monochrome', a
top-level bard who killed many
dragons in the on-line game
He warned a recent gambling
conference in Auckland that
game designers were now using the same
psychological tricks as the gambling
industry to hook on-line players into
"Increased availability of video gaming
devices, combined with increased
advertising and social acceptance of
gaming, has led to growing rates of video
gaming addiction," he said.
" e economic model of games,
particularly mobile games, has moved
towards coercive monetisation and micro
" ese two facts combined will lead
to an increase in video game addicts
exhibiting symptoms and behaviours
similar to problem gamblers."
His presentation drew an emotional
One man said he had overcome an
addiction to pokie machines and now
realised that he had subconsciously
replaced them with on-line games. His
cousin had become 'the strongest character
in Australasia' in an on-line game, but
lost his job and almost lost his family as a
Mr Driver said international research
found that about 10% of all young people
aged 13 to 25 were "problem gamers"
who spent so much time playing games
that it a ected their study, work and
He is part of a generation that has
played computer games "as long as I can
"My parents felt quite early on that I was
spending too much time on it," he said.
While he was still at home in
Christchurch they restricted him to an
hour or two a day. But when he moved
out to at with a friend, although he
enrolled at university, Everquest soon took
"Everquest has been referred to as
Evercrack (cocaine) because it is so
addictive," he said.
"Within a month or two I was playing
pretty much all day, six to eight hours
a day. I was still going to lectures
occasionally, but it increased and increased
and in my second year at university I
stopped going to lectures. So it built up
until midway through that year I was
playing every waking moment."
Everquest is a fantasy game involving
dwarfs, elves, monsters and dragons.
Players' characters survive when the
players log o , so the next time they log on
they start at the level they left at last time,
building up gradually from level 1 to level
60. ey form "guilds" of up to 40 players
to defeat the biggest dragons.
"We played so much that we were well
known and well regarded for our ability,"
Mr Driver said.
Now back in Christchurch as a
psychotherapist, he can see that the game
gave him a sense of competence and
popularity that he struggled with in the
"I had terrible social skills," he said. "I
experienced severe bullying at school so I
was pretty depressed."
He said therapy for his depression helped
him to gradually reduce his gaming, and
he now o ers therapy to help others.
--- New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
James Driver played a video game 16 hours a day for two years. Now he is trying to help other addicts kick the habit.
We are a society that brags through
It is prevalent in that pair of bronzed legs
stretched out towards the Mediterranean
Sea. In the huddle of fruity cocktails
geo-tagged at Shoreditch House in
London. And on that iPhone weather app
screenshot that details, Sydney, Mostly
Sunny, 35 degrees.
Sound familiar? It's probably half of your
social media feed right now. And it's a
New Zealanders tend to view friends out
in the big wide world with envy, even if
we've done an OE and travelled extensively
ourselves. "Take me back!" we think,
browsing our social media pages, watching
our international friends continue the time
of their lives.
It is easy to think our New Zealand
environment un-stimulating and without
exhilaration. We grew up seeing the world's
biggest metropolises on television, and now
our friends actually populate those cities.
Almost all of them give us daily reminders
of what we are missing out on.
ough we are not really missing out at
all. ose bronzed legs are lonely on that
beach. ose cocktails cost half a week's
take-home pay. at sunny Sydney day is
spent inside, up against a fan, because the
slightest movement causes oor-mop-
We live in the world of the Facebook
Facade, where neat lters and fun photos
do lie. Social media has given much to the
21st century, but it is taken from it too. e
lines between authentic and manufactured
are so blurred we are now augmenting our
own perceptions of reality.
e classic case of this self-delusion is
Saturday night party photos. We smile,
we look hot, we share the snaps on-line.
Sunday rolls around and we remember not
the fun we had, but the fun we looked like
we had --- captured with a Valencia lter
and validated by Facebook likes.
e same goes for our friends taking
photos of their vegan burrito in Brooklyn,
and those who tweet about spotting
Rihanna in LA. It is not that the experience
was not enjoyable --- it is just that half the
fun is making that experience look better
than it really was.
e phenomena of carefully curated
images helps us create perceived privilege.
e consequence --- or perhaps intention
--- of this spuriousness is a cycle of envy.
Our friends are drinking Negronis at Nobu
and it lls us with both admiration and
spite, and the natural response is to snap a
sunset at Muriwai and lter it to perfection.
"See! New Zealand is amazing too!"
Check out Rich Kids of Instagram and
you will see how enabled this cyclic culture
is. Shoot and share yourself outside a
large house in the Hamptons, in a pair of
Louboutins, or in the passenger seat of a
brand new Ferrari, and you will instantly
associate yourself with a lavish lifestyle.
Only you need to know you're
just walking along a street in a nice
neighbourhood, the shoes are still in the
store, and the car is on display at the
Pushing tongue into cheek with the
tagline "If you can not make it, fake it",
two New York artists have even created a
social experiment to encourage perceived
privilege behaviour. ey have called it
"Digital photography and social media
have ampli ed our ability to share our lives
with the rest of the world," say co-founders
Andy Dao and Stacy Smith, whose website
o ers downloads of Instagram-ready
images of beaches, Eurotrips, and "cliques
All of these images you can pass o
as your own, upon application of the
appropriate lter, of course. "We are a
society that brags through megapixels," Dao
and Smith add. "It is in this insight that
we saw an opportunity and Instasham was
Keeping up with the Joneses by
continually evidencing faux-elitism is
terribly tasking, and Instasham-style self-
deprecation is perhaps the only thing that
will save us from our cycle of skiting.
But we, mere users, can't be blamed. Social
media perpetuates this pressure onto us.
It wants constant updates on our lives. It
wants to see what we see. It just so happens
that nobody's life is interesting 24/7.
When you feel a spark of envy come your
next social media scroll, whether it is over
an Ei el Tower ascent or a full moon party,
do remember that the experience can not
be that amazing if there is enough time to
photograph, lter and geo-tag while still in
And when you smell an Insta-rat, get
cheeky by calling out your mates when
you know something's fake. Nothing kills
the potency of perceived privilege like the
--- New Zealand Herald
Instagram --- what a 'sham'
What have we just seen? A revolution?
It certainly looked like one. ere were
crowds, vast crowds, singing patriotic
songs in Kiev 's Independence Square, their
collective breath rising up like smoke in the
freezing winter air. ere were riot police,
too, naturally. Hundreds of them --- looking
for all the world like Roman legionaries
lost in time and space. ere were even
barricades --- just like in Les Miserables.
And did we hear the Ukrainian people
sing? You bet we did!
At least, that is what we thought we heard
--- and saw.
We have such short memories now. Last
year is already so last year. Expecting us to
remember what happened 14 years ago, in
Serbia, would be completely unreasonable.
You might as well ask us to remember what
happened a thousand years ago in Serbia.
It is useful, this collective historical
amnesia. Not to us, but to the sort of people
who stage-manage revolutions. If you are
that sort of person, a fully-functioning
historical memory is an extremely
A fully-functioning historical memory
would instantly recall what happened
in Serbia in 2000: the vast crowds; the
riot police; the barricades; the fall of the
dictator; the owering of democracy. It
would also remember what happened in
Georgia three years later: the vast crowds;
the riot police; the barricades; the fall of
the dictator; the owering of democracy.
Heck! It would remember what happened
in Ukraine itself, just 10 years ago: the
vast crowds; the riot police; the barricades;
the fall of the dictator; the owering of
If you're noticing a pattern here --- well
done! And, if you were wondering what to
call it, try 'coup d'etat by crowd'.
Blows against the State were once
delivered with a mailed st. In the Cold
War period the iconography of 'regime
change' was very di erent from what we
have just witnessed in Ukraine.
A fully-functioning historical memory
would recall vividly the day General
Pinochet unleashed the Chilean
military against the democratic Socialist
government of Salvador Allende. On 11
September 1973 the world looked on
helplessly as Skyhawk jets bombed the
Presidential Palace, tanks rumbled through
the streets of Santiago and the national
football stadium lled up with bruised and
broken political detainees.
It was not pretty, but Uncle Sam recalled
the Soviet tanks that had rumbled through
the streets of Prague just ve years earlier
and laid claim to a rough-and-ready
moral equivalence. "When it's up against a
regime like that," argued Uncle Sam, "only
dictatorship can save democracy."
But, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and
the collapse of the Soviet Union, the old
excuses no longer washed. At what Francis
Fukuyama dubbed "the end of history" all
the great geo-political conundrums were
resolvable only by free-market capitalism
and liberal democracy. If Uncle Sam
wanted regimes to change in Christian
lands he would have had have to come up
with a solution that left a lot less mess than
strike aircraft, tanks and mass executions.
(In the Islamic world, e ecting regime
change is still a blood sport).
Enter the "colour revolutions" of 2000-
2005: regime changes utilising methods
that fell somewhere between a soft and a
hard application of American power.
But, like the proverbial iceberg,
"revolutions" of the sort we have just
witnessed in Ukraine hide much, much
more than they ever let us see.
Long before the rst student protester's
boot hits the streets of the targeted capital,
Uncle Sam has been busy for months. He
has seeded the media with sympathetic
journalists; bought and paid for reliable
polling agencies; stu ed sympathetic
NGO's bank accounts with cash; and
"advised" the armed forces high command
(most of them trained in the United States)
to keep the Government's troops in their
Only then do the protest leaders,
fresh from their 'civil resistance' training
programmes, fully equipped with state-of-
the-art IT and communications equipment
and chaperoned by the best and the
brightest the CIA can spare, step out to
accomplish the fall of the dictator and the
owering of democracy.
Chris Trotter is an independent
left-wing political commentator.
Coup d'etat by crowd
Small volcanic eruptions help
explain a hiatus in global warming
this century by dimming sunlight
and o setting a rise in emissions of
heat-trapping gases to record highs,
a study showed on Sunday.
Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes
since 2000, including Nabro in
Eritrea, Kasatochi in Alaska and
Merapi in Indonesia, ejected
sulphur whose sun-blocking e ect
had been largely ignored until now
by climate scientists, it said.
e pace of rising world surface
temperatures has slowed since
an exceptionally warm 1998,
heartening those who doubt that
an urgent, trillion-dollar shift to
renewable energies from fossil
fuels is needed to counter global
Explaining the hiatus could
bolster support for a United
Nations climate deal, due to be
agreed by almost 200 governments
at a summit in Paris in late 2015
to avert ever more oods, droughts,
heatwaves and rising sea levels.
" is is a complex detective
story," said Benjamin Santer of
the Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory in California, lead
author of the study in the journal
Nature Geoscience that gives the
most detailed account yet of the
cooling impact of volcanoes.
"Volcanoes are part of the answer
but there is no factor that is solely
responsible for the hiatus," he told
Reuters of the study by a team
of United States and Canadian
Volcanoes are a wild card for
climate change --- they cannot be
predicted and big eruptions, most
recently of Mount Pinatubo in the
Philippines in 1991, can dim global
sunshine for years.
Santer said other factors such as a
decline in the sun's output, linked to
a natural cycle of sunspots, or rising
Chinese emissions of sun-blocking
pollution could also help explain
the recent slowdown in warming.
e study suggested that
volcanoes accounted for up to 15%
of the di erence between predicted
and observed warming this century.
All things being equal, temperatures
should rise because greenhouse gas
emissions have hit repeated highs.
"Volcanoes give us only a
temporary respite from the
relentless warming pressure of
continued increases in carbon
dioxide," Piers Forster, professor of
Climate Change at the University
of Leeds, said.
A study by the UN
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change last year suggested
that natural variations in the
climate, such as an extra uptake
of heat by the oceans, could help
explain the warming slowdown at
the planet's surface.
e IPCC projected a resumption
of warming in coming years and
said that "substantial and sustained"
cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
were needed to counter climate
It also raised the probability that
human activities were the main
cause of warming since 1950 to at
least 95% from 90 in 2007. Despite
the hiatus, temperatures have
continued to rise --- 13 of the 14
warmest years on record have been
this century, according to the World
contribute to cooled climate
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