Showing posts from February, 2014

Creative scaffold placement

We're having the outside of our house painted at the moment. I was impressed by this location Martin and Fraser (the painter) managed to get the scaffold into: actually interlocking the beams of the back porch.

Valentine's Day from This American Life

One of my favourite podcasts, This American Life, joined with the Google Doodle team to make a cool doodle for Valentine's Day.  It only showed up on US browsers, so if you missed it you can see it here.  If you click on each of the candy hearts it'll play a little 45-60 second true-life story.  In addition to the six that play from the hearts, if you scan down the screen you'll find a link to one more, and there are a few more that I haven't listened to yet here.

We are the 1%

The slogan of Occupy Wall St. was "we are the 99%" - the ordinary people, not the super-rich.

A few weeks back, Martin and I got an unexpected insight into the lives of those super-rich 1%'ers.  They're us!  According to, Martin's income is in the top 0.42% globally.  He's the 25 millionth richest person in the world!

The numbers are calculated on a 'purchasing power parity' basis - i.e. they try to account for what you can buy with that income based on what prices are where you live.  If we lived in Thailand, but Martin received the same income as he gets here, he'd be in the top 0.08% of income earners globally as the cost of living in Thailand is a lot lower than in New Zealand.

So, what's it like to be so rich?  To be honest, it feels quite modest to me.  Roughly a third of our income goes to taxes and donations, a third essentially to savings (that's 'Mortgage + Kiwisaver' on the graph) and we live on the re…

New Pictures

For the first time in many months, today I managed to change the pictures I look at above my bed :-)  I even cleaned the fly-dirt off the perspex.  I don't think I've done that before, and there was quite a lot there, but warm water with a slosh of vinegar in it cleaned it off nicely!

Now I have new scenes to muse on, plus I can begin to acquaint myself with the geography of Europe :-)