Daily Bite June 2009

By Nicola Harvey

This month in the Daily Bite: Obama on cowboys, Boris grandstands, Copenhagen fails, Che Guevara's granddaughter poses for PETA, and much more.

30.06.09: There’s hope for Copenhagen

There’s big news on the climate change front this week.  For those who have managed to ignore the plethora of news, films and commentary associated with this issue and are unfamiliar with the gravity of the climate change
problem, you may like to know a mass marketing campaign is coming your
way soon.  The United Nations has recruited some of the hottest talent
in the advertising industry to develop “Hopenhagen”, a campaign intended to raise awareness of the importance of the UN meeting in Denmark in December.

In other green news, Australia is following the lead of the UK and considering a labeling scheme
for super market produce, which will require packaging to display the level of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of each item. So if you are prone to the odd guilt attack we sug
you stock up now on your favourite imported items before the details of how many trees that wedge of Reggiano cheese has destroyed in finding its way to your table are revealed.

29.06.09: Garett

Peter Garrett donned a suit and took to the parliamentary debating
chamber as a vocal exponent for the environment, he was typically found
strutting around a stage in front of legions of screaming fans as the
front man for Aussie rock band Midnight Oil.
While we may have thought those times we long gone the French
government is not so certain. Last week Garrett was made an Officer in
the Order of Arts and Letters for his contribution
to the arts. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, clearly proud of his
Environment Minister, said:  “ He is a passionate performer and
songwriter whose work with Midnight Oil has defined a special era of
Australian contemporary music.”

the award Garrett stated: “I am mightily honoured to be recognised in
this way, sharing this as I do with all those who took the sweaty,
noisy journey that saw our music spread across world.”

28.06.09: Thrilling the masses: The King of Pop lives on

Tributes to the King of Pop dominated the weekend papers and the web
is similarly packed with weird and wonderful snippets in honour of MJ. 
Probably one of the best (read strangest) is the recreation of a four
minute synchronised performance to MJ’s fantastic hit Thriller by more than 1500 inmates at a maximum security in the Philippines.  Quoted in The Australian,
inmate Michael Carunngay, a former drug trafficker, said: “We are sad
[as are we inmate Carunngay] that Michael Jackson passed away because
he was our inspiration and the reason why we have found fame”.

27.06.09: Aliens, drugs and Australian icons

from Reuters: The mystery of crop circles in poppy fields in
Australia’s southern island state of Tasmania has been solved – stoned
wallabies are eating the poppy heads and hopping around in circles.

have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as
a kite and going around in circles,” the state’s top lawmaker Lara
Giddings told local media.

Need we prompt the joke further?

26.06.09: $36 Million! Watch and learn Kiwis,

Madonna knows best

would you do with $36 million?  Fly to Antarctica, pay off debt,
invest, buy that lake-side holiday home you’ve always wanted, eat caviar
for breakfast, drink champagne?  Oh the mind boggles!  This week a
family from Masterton, New Zealand won the same amount
in the weekly Lotto draw.  But before they start making grand plans
someone should warn them about the pitfalls of having too much money… it
can turn you slightly nutty. Take for example the Queen of pop,
Madonna.  No longer content with saving African orphans Madge has
decided to export Britain to New York’s Upper East Side. According to
the UK Mirror
“Her Madgesty is so upset at leaving Ashcombe, her Wiltshire estate,
she has ordered her architects to recreate its country feel room by room
in New York.”  No doubt she’ll be feeding her chickens and parading in
gumboots in no time.  Like we said… nutty.

25.06.09: Boris this is serious, no need to grandstand

no short of coverage on the situation in Iran this week. The web is
rife with amateur reportage of every protest, violent act and
demonstration.  The international media, the majority of which were
expelled last week, have even highlighted
an image from the uprising they claim will linger in history. It’s
serious business for everyone but, it seems, the perennial joker,
London’s Lord Major Boris Johnson.  Ever the cad he waded into the
debate with a wry retort to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Tehran University speech
in which the Supreme leader (or the “hairy cleric” as Boris puts it),
claimed that “the foreign agencies … had a role in fomenting the
pro-democracy protests” and that the “most evil of them all is the
British government!” Boris’ jovial reaction was to cry: “Fancy that, eh.
[… ] he thinks that we are the most ruthless and manipulative of all
foreign powers. That’s right: little old us! Doesn’t it make you almost
burst with pride?” Pride is not quite the appropriate feeling, but trust Boris to put a shine on things.

24.06.09: The grand unveiling of French women

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy likes beautiful women.
Of that there is little doubt. One would assume in a country renowned
for stylish, feminine beauties he would have ample subjects on which to
caste his gaze.  However, the status quo appears to not fully satisfy
the President who has called for the ‘unveiling’ of all burka and niqab
wearing women, elaborating: “In our country, we can’t accept women
prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all
identity. That’s not our idea of freedom.” Debate over notions of freedom
are now rife as the country – which boasts western Europe’s largest
Muslim population – and its much exalted intelligentsia deal with this 
latest conundrum.

23.06.09: It’s 30 minutes, get it.  Not 22.

subsidiary Jetstar took to the New Zealand skies this week with a new
domestic service between Wellington and Christchurch. But it appears
some Kiwis are having a little trouble with the budget airline’s fine
print.  A group of disgruntled passengers who the airline claims arrived
22 minutes
before departure were denied access to their flight on the pretense
that check-in at the gate was required 30 mins prior.  Curse the fine
print!  Air New Zealand is jumping with glee.  According to the NZ Herald
the national carrier is “offering $50 one-way tickets to help out
frustrated Jetstar customers.”  The price war is on, and things are
looking good (and affordable) for NZ travellers!

22.06.09: Revolution

For those enamored with the revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Steven Sodenberg two-part 2008 biopic Che should sate any last cravings for biographical detail. But for those still
wanting more a donation to animal rights group PETA (People for the
Ethical treatment of Animals) might be worth considering.  The
organization has long recruited well know public figures to strike
provocative, usually naked, poses in aid of vegetarianism, the protection of flies
and other animal rights issues. But the appearance of Che’s
granddaughter Lydia Guevara has set the campaign a light, adding a
glamorous, South American revolutionary spirit to the cause.

19.06.09: Brad don’t fret there’s always next year

If you thought the hype around Obama could
not get any bigger, well think again.  Apparently it’s not enough he’s
the President of the United States, a published writer, a devoted
father, a charismatic speaker, and a deft touch on the basketball
court, now he’s been voted the most stylish man.  Come on!  What about Brad?  What about almost every man to capture the eye of style guru the Sartorialist? How are mere mortals expected to get out of bed in the morning with the knowledge a man such as Obama exists?

18.06.09: That’s a pretty city you’ve got there

The Economist Intelligence Unit has weighed in again with its annual “liveability” city list
and this year Canadian and Australian cities account for six of the top
ten spots.  Vancouver takes prime position, which is understandable
‘cause it’s pretty and has mountains, and good health care and public
transport and stuff like that.  But, goodness it’s cold in the
wintertime.  In fact, of the top ten cities not one is located near the
equator, which makes one wonder whether the key to a “liveable city is
a location that ensures citizens spend most of the time bemoaning the
cold and thus ignoring everything else.

17.06.09: Honey I killed the super-bug

Kiwi’s have been spreading it on their breakfast toast for generations, but now it seems Manuka honey, according to The Australian,
is the cure for all super-bugs. Manuka or jelly bush honey as it is
known in Australia has been available on supermarket shelves for years
typically sitting right next to the other honey varieties. But brace
yourself, if you lamented the increase in price a couple of years ago
the latest study by the University of Sydney announcing its natural
healing properties to the world is going to turn this sweet treat into gold.

16.06.09: Twitter don’t crash

Iran is facing its biggest political unrest
since Ayatollah Khomeini instigated the overthrow of the Shah in 1979
following the news that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has again been elected
President despite vast, vocal support among liberal Iranians for his challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi.  And, leading the way in this protest movement is … twitter and facebook
you think Mark Zuckerberg sipping on his starbucks in his comfortable
Harvard room back in 2004 envisaged his quant “social networking”
website could spark a
revolution? It’s a brave new world we live in.

15.06.09: “The beets will grow better next to the lake”

Not since WWII has the Queen ventured into the vast Buckingham Place
grounds to source fare for her dinning table. But this week, according
to the BBC,
Her Majesty has unveiled the Royal veggie patch conveniently located next to the tennis courts and
the “lake”,
replete with French
beans and beetroot. It seems the Queen is following the lead of the US First
Lady who broke ground on the White House lawn
earlier this year to promote healthy eating habits.  Reuters also
reported that the Queen and Michelle O have “exchanged letters and
spoken by telephone since that first meeting [during the G20],” so
perhaps the odd gardening tip was exchanged between matters of state
and cardigan preference.


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