Saturday, November 22, 2014

Changes To Our Change

Put on your sunnies: New Zealand's new banknotes bring more splash when you flash your cash.
They're so bright they even have their own website to promote 'em.
I can imagine many people may initially consider them as excessively vivid forgeries!
Our main themes remain the same, but the colours are brighter with more security features. Plus there's some PC tokenism, with the maori name for New Zealand and the Reserve Bank appearing for the first time.
It's our first banknote upgrade since 1999 (when we switched from paper notes to polymer ones printed by Australia). The newies will be made in Canada for five years. So...good day, eh!
New notes for old...
With about 148 million banknotes in circulation (= NZ$4.7 billion), the oldies will be phased out as they're returned to the Reserve Bank. Target date for release of the new $5 and $10 is Oct.2015, with the $20, $50 and $100 notes released in April 2016. Both the new and current notes will circulate together, and of course both will be legal tender.
On our current notes are Edmund Hillary, explorer ($5/orange); Kate Sheppard, suffragette ($10/blue); The Queen ($20/green); Apirana Ngata, maori politician ($50, purple); Ernest Rutherford, physicist ($100, red)...with various birds, plants and other pretty pics to link into the themes.
But the new images appear to have been "tweeked". Hillary looks even more manly and rugged - is that possible?! - Ngata and Rutherford look 'smoother' (though I still couldn't identify them if my life depended on it!), Sheppard looks softer and more feminine (probably anathema to her values!), but the Queen...sorry, darls, the artists have done you no favours!
Interesting that these designs have been assessed by a range of folk (obviously security experts, equipment manufacturers etc) but also - get this - design, history and cultural experts, "to ensure they reflect NZ's culture and history"! Perhaps there's a subtle agenda by those experts: ease in some maori words, make a fool of the monarchy, nudge us towards PM John Key's 'Banana Republic' dream...?
Well, at least we haven't gone as far as THIS suggestion (below)...
Oh, my Lorde!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frog In A Blender

How does the old joke go?
Q: What's green and wizzes round and round very fast?
A: A frog in a blender!
Peruvians recommend freshly-blended FROGS as a cure for stress and
special of the day
low sex drives!
Villagers in the Andes have a traditional cure-all that they use to treat everything from a slow sex drive and high stress levels, to asthma and bronchitis: blended frog juice. Many locals living in Peru and Bolivia believe it's the ultimate fix for almost any illness.
The most popular recipe calls for the use of whole frogs, which are beaten to death and skinned before being put into the blender. Many local food vendors then add a number of other healthy ingredients, such as carrots, Peruvian maca root and honey, before blending the mixture until it is smooth. The finished product is usually light green in colour and is served to customers right there on the spot.
"Jump, Forrest, JUMP!"
The Medical College of Lima reports there is no scientific evidence that frog juice is a cure for anything, despite its continuing popularity within Andean culture.
And unfortunately, the juice requires the use of one specific type of frog... thetelmatobius culeus, from remote Lake Titicaca, a species that's listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stand Tall, Christchurch!

Giraffes are roaming through Christchurch and beyond.
This one's in Kaiapoi
"Christchurch Stand Tall" is a mass-appeal public art project organised by UK organisation, Wild in Art.
More than fifty 2.5m fibreglass giraffes have been painted and decorated by local artists and planted in parks, streets and open spaces. Christchurch schools have decorated another 50 baby giraffes, and the detail that has been put into the decorating is quite
Such detail!
impressive!
Wild in Art has produced several other public displays around the world. Liverpool (UK) had penguins, Sydney had rhinos and Bristol hosted Gromits - from Wallace and Gromit.
The multi-coloured giraffes will be on display over summer and then auctioned off, with proceeds going to charities.