Looking back over the past weeks and to the weeks ahead – to rate the noteworthy, the cringeworthy, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly amazing.
In reviews 28 July ’23
The health benefits of coffee
Don’t tell anybody but one of my last thoughts at night is how I can’t wait to get up in the morning for the first coffee of the day. I’ve been around long enough to have witnessed the evolution of great coffee in New Zealand – and I’m not talking about the chain varieties – I’m talking about the mainly fantastic coffees served up in cafes or in homes, the length and breadth of the country. I’ve sampled coffee in other countries as well and I can say, hand on heart, that we do it best, right here in Godzone.
A recent article in the NZ Herald, reprinted from a story in The Telegraph, says “espresso could prevent a toxic protein called tau from clumping together in cells in a petri dish. This is particularly interesting because the steady accumulation of tau in the brain is a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease”. (Source: “Coffee kick: The health benefits of your morning espresso,” by David Cox, Daily Telegraph UK, 27 July 2023).
4 stars – coffee and health benefits? Yes please!
Election year promises
I’m of the opinion that governments shouldn’t be able to release new policies in an election year that are garnered toward winning votes. We elect people to govern, not to win elections to keep them in power. I feel the same way about opposition parties throwing out vote gathering nets that appeal to our prejudices. Release a manifesto to the public, let them choose. That’s what our vote is about, deciding on which party and representative we wish to represent us.
In the same way – can we dispense with the never ending polls? What does it matter? Let us make up our own minds, don’t bombard us with polls that change as regularly as the weather in Auckland in a day. Politics is not entertainment and is never really entertaining. In an election year it becomes a never ending slog of pandering, back-stabbing, and fighting to hold or gain power. It’s boring.
2 stars – wake me up when the election is over.
Golden retriever convention in Scotland
Dogs are great. For some reason I’m hooked on some farmer guy in Scotland who posts the best videos of his border collie sheepdogs running about at impressive speeds and corralling sheep to go where they don’t want to go. So what could be better than a story about 488 dogs hanging out, having a great time, being dogs?
Seems that an impressive number (488) of golden retrievers all assembled at a place called Guisachan in the Scottish Highlands to have a group photo to celebrate the anniversary of the breed’s founding. The photographer would have to have skills above and beyond that of the average school class photo snapper to get that amount of dogs together and in frame. Rest assured, they did!
“Since the first group photo was taken in 2001, golden lovers have come together about every five years to pay homage to Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, later Lord Tweedmouth, who lived in what was then Guisachan House. Sir Dudley is credited with developing the golden retriever in 1868, when he bred a wavy-coated retriever with a tweed water spaniel. He wanted a rugged hunting companion with a beautiful head, a loving disposition and soft, melting eyes that lived to fetch game. An obsession with tennis balls and rolling in filth apparently also came with the package.” (Source: “Why did 488 golden retrievers gather in Scotland?” by Judith Newman, New York Times, 26 July).
5 stars – for the pure joy of it all.