Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Gathering documentary

Record on the turntableMy poor old blog - I've been neglecting you so badly recently! I do have a good reason, however - I've been working like a mad thing doing a final big push to get The Gathering archives website and blog ready to go online.

The shrine in the beech forestI've got the blog up and running - it went live a week ago - and it's been a lot of fun getting it working. It runs on Wordpress (the on-my-own-server version), and it's been quite educational teaching myself how to adapt existing templates and redesign them to look how I want them. I'm still working on adding more widgets - but I'm happy for that to be an ongoing process, in the same way as I work on WebWeaver's World.

Trance zone masks by RaThe most popular post on the blog so far is, of course, the one about The Gathering documentary 97/98 - which I spent most of the long weekend putting up on Google video. It's had a couple of hundred views so far, which is great - hopefully there will be many more to come. Every time I go to check it out on Google I end up leaving it running in the background - as a kind of soundtrack to whatever I'm doing. I love it! I pretty much know it by heart now...

Here's what I wrote to accompany the video on Google:

Midnight headzThe Gathering was New Zealand's biggest and best outdoor dance party, which was held every New Year for six years between 1996 and 2001. This is the first Gathering documentary and was made about the 97/98 event, which was held at the magical Canaan Downs site on top of Takaka Hill near Nelson.

The Star Gate at dawnThe documentary includes behind-the-scenes views of the setup and running of the party; the wild and crazy days and nights of the party itself; interviews with the crew, and you - the party animals; and interviews with "grown-ups" like the Mayor of Tasman District and the local police.

Woohoo!We hope you enjoy it and that it brings back some awesome rave memories. Check out the new Gathering archives website at http://www.thegathering.co.nz for more Gathering-related goodness! And be nice humans :)

HugsOn the blog I've written a bit about the story of how we came to make The Gathering documentary - and I've also linked to the large-screen version of the video on Google video.

If you were at The Gathering and want to re-live some happy memories - go check it out!

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Run Al, run - you co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, you!

I'll probably blog a little bit about Shift's VERY wonderful annual hui over the next day or so, but I just had to do a blog about this first....


Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.

Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.

Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.

By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world's future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man's control.

Oslo, 12 October 2007

Woohoo! Well done Al Gore! Congratulations to the IPCC! When I studied climate change at University a mere *cough*25yearsago*cough*, I didn't think it would take this long for the world at large to start waking up to the damage we're causing to the planet (and ultimately to life on earth), but better late than never, I guess.

Now come on Al - stop keeping us all in suspense and announce you're running for President already! I know it's a shitty job and no-one in their right mind would really want to do it - not to mention the dirty tricks and vitriol you have to face on the way there - but you won it once and you can win it again...

Please accept that the most effective way you can continue to affect change in international attitudes and behaviour as regards climate change is by being the leader of the most powerful (and most polluting/consuming/greedy/wasteful) nation on earth.

Planet earth needs you, Al! Please run for President!

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live in 2006. Awesome.

Arctic sea ice loss.
Graph showing actual Arctic sea ice loss compared to IPCC models - it's MUCH worse than even the most pessimistic predictions...

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Monday, October 08, 2007

All Blacks vs France

One word:


Actually, maybe I'll have a few more words now I'm here. Like "dodgy fucking ref".

Hey - I wouldn't have minded if the French had won it fair and square - I'm all about fair play and giving praise where praise is due. I think the French played pretty well, I think we played pretty averagely at times - and made a few too many errors at crucial moments... they may well have beaten us anyway, but...

For fuck's sake, was someone paying the ref off? A yellow card for Luke McAlister for something that may well have been accidental and merited at most a penalty, then 20 minutes later not a yellow card in sight for a French player doing exactly the same thing? And oh my God the forward pass that led to the second French try! How could the ref or the linesman NOT SEE THAT?

Hey guys - I hope you "match officials" enjoy the eeeevil vibes coming at you from 4 million people down here in little old EnZed. We never like to lose - but we're reasonably gracious in defeat when it's fair and square. This one wasn't - which is why it hurts so much.

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