Is Labour planning to call a snap election as soon as their poll ratings improve and NZ wins the Rugby World Cup? Is THAT the real reason Goff and co went caustic last week over Investigate's Air New Zealand story - because it interfered with a carefully planned demolition of John Key. While it is significant that poll trends had just started to favour Labour again, the idea of an early election could normally be brushed off as idle speculation but for Adolf Fiinkensein picking up on a slip of the tongue by Clark in her interview yesterday with Newstalk ZB's Paul Holmes, where she talked about Australia interfering 'in the run up to an election' in New Zealand.
Clark should be grateful her Labor counterpart across the ditch, Kevin Rudd, chose to get naughty in a New York strip club four years ago. While the Aussie media and political rivals dish up more info on events at the club - now reported to actually be a brothel rather than a 'club - they're not paying as much attention to Clark's outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease over the Air New Zealand troop flights.
The Guardian and other Brit media are reporting a possible "imminent" arrest in the disappearance of three year old Madeleine McCann. "The hunt for missing Madeleine McCann has entered a "decisive phase", with an arrest in Britain possible in the coming days, it has been reported," says the newspaper.
Speaking of newspapers, as Farrar over at Kiwiblog has pointed out it's been a grim year for tree-based media, with a race in some cases between readers and editors to see who'll quit first. While I think there will always be a market for printed magazines and books (for the sheer tactile pleasure and convenience as much as anything else) I'm not convinced that printed newspapers can survive, especially if they fail to offer unique perspectives. A major international study has confirmed similar plummeting readership overseas, accompanied by sliding broadcast news ratings. With the internet offering a smorgasbord of news services, filtered by on-the-ball bloggers, news consumption is moving in fresh directions. As I said, if the printed media cannot offer more than just a stale mainstream perspective, they will fade to grey.
"Online hooligans" - in the form of anonymous bloggers, are meanwhile being blamed for suicides and other nasty side effects as authorities contemplate whether blogs need greater codes of responsibility.
Scientists are predicting they'll create artificial life within a few years, and that it will be a big deal. Reading the story, however, I was struck that they are not so much "creating" life as copying the format of existing life. It'll be a cell (done already) built from DNA (done already). I'd be far more impressed if they created new biological life from an entirely novel template. But THAT won't happen.
The BBC has decreed that art is not allowed to imitate life, by backing away from running a plot-line in the TV series "Casualty" where staff had to deal with the aftermath of an Islamic terror attack. The Beeb decided it would be offensive to Muslims. But never fear, apparently it is OK to be offensive to Vegans in Britain, so the Beeb will run the plotline with carnage caused by animal rights extremists. It should be mentioned for the record that PETA has not carried out any tube bombings or suicide attacks on airports and nightclubs in Britain.