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Matt Brown
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Premium seats at Eden Park for tonight's fun thanks to +Andrew Brown​.

Getting my NZ culture back on!
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Halloumi++

I knew it was Greek/Mediterranean in origin, but I didn't realise there was such a strong link to Cyprus..

On my travel list now.
Both sides of the Cyprus conflict agree to boost the island’s cheese industry http://econ.st/206uqhj
Cheese in our time
Cheese in our time
economist.com
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Good news - part 1

As we head toward the new year, I'd like to talk about some good news!

Most news is bad news. Why? Because the news media are like the immune system: their job is to warn us of threats. But an over-sensitive immune system can actually cause diseases, like allergies and auto-immune disorders. And the same thing can happen to the body politic when the news media exaggerates threats!

You've already heard more than enough bad news. But you may not have heard this good news:

• From 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the world's population that is undernourished has almost halved, dropping from 19% to 11%.

• Global child mortality from all causes has more than halved since 1990. So, 6.7 million fewer children under the age of five are dying each year now than in 1990.

• Violent crime has declined both in the US and globally: there has been a 35% decline in overall violent crime in the US from 1995 to 2014, and a 6% decline in global homicide rates over from 2000 to 2012.

• There hasn't been a single case of polio detected in Africa in almost a year and a half! Polio is now known to exist only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A disease that used to be a major killer, with 350,000 cases in 1988, is now almost extinct.

• Since 2000, worldwide cases of measles have dropped by more than two-thirds, saving more than 17 million lives—largely thanks to vaccination.

• Ebola seems to have been defeated: between November 1st and December 16th, there were only 4 confirmed cases of the disease. Trials of an Ebola vaccine this spring indicated that it was 100% effective.

• Worldwide , the number of children not going to primary school has fallen from 100 million in 2000 to a projected 57 million in 2015.

• This September, for the first time ever, less than 10% of the global population lived in extreme poverty, defined as less than $1.90 per day. This is down from 37% in 1990.

Of course not everything is going well - that's not what I'm trying to say. Humanity faces a lot of tough problems. But I think many of us will be better at solving these problems if we can learn to be more optimistic. That's true of me, at least.

(There seem to be people who are too optimistic - but strangely, I don't know them personally.)

These facts were taken from the Atlantic article linked here; some are paraphrased from +Alexander Kruel, who pointed out this article. You can see their sources in that article.

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21 minutes from wheels down to being on the road.

Heathrow T5 is a delight on a good day.
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http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/2015_flag_referendum1/

Well crap. Red Peak lost to both the Lockwood designs. 

I'll be voting for the current flag in the next referendum now, in the hopes that Red Peak gets a second chance when we become a republic.
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Weird, I never considered that Auckland was more expensive than London, even though I know both cities prices are insane.

I think the point the article doesn't really grasp is that your money gets a lot more in Auckland, regardless of what class of house you buy vs London.
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The distinction between emblem and flag which this article explains is really important and goes a long way to explaining why you should vote for Red Peak to be NZ's new flag rather than any of the other alternatives. 
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