Last week a young man was rescued from a 400 million year-old rock crack out west of Victoria. Famous in climbing circles, the Squeeze Test at Mt Arapiles is a committing clamber through a boulder that sits split in half not far from the local campsite. He had slipped and trapped his hip around 10 at night, and spent a rainy 10-hours there before rescue services were able to successfully slide him out to safety. Thousands have no doubt passed the Test since Mt Arapiles was first pioneered as a rock-climbing mecca in the 60’s, but to the uninitiated, the idea is fucking terrifying, and so it should be. I’ve squeezed through the rock a few times now, and let me tell you it’s no picnic, and I’m on the narrow side of skinny. Not that you’d need convincing, imagine yourself for a moment thrutching* your wedged body horizontally between two rocky surfaces. It’s too narrow to turn your head around once you’re in. Continue reading “Climbing Diaries Part 1: Getting off the Ground”
This is an inspiring talk by school teacher Kester Brewin that we wish we’d written. Please watch it.
“We need a new community of pirates. Men and women committed to defending the commons and standing up to the excesses of enclosed wealth. So put down your ipads and put on your eye patches and let us work to enlarge that stage of the commons upon which we must all play our part.”
We’re looking for new authors to join us as we embark (again?) on our courageously uncertain course through piratey waters, and try to make some sense (or at least pretty-up the non-sense) of our contemporary world. We like the four sturdy masts that keep our sails aloft: the City, Design, Politics, and Pirates, and we try to write, scratch, scrawl, draw, photograph our love, protest, insight, outrage and inspiration through Project Freerange.
The Freerange Blog is a strange constellation of ideas that we haven’t got close to mapping yet, but there’s bound to be an inhabitable planet or two in there, and some other very strange things that make our stomachs & brains ache, like this.
The Freerange Blog really is the nervous system of the Freerange Cooperative Press, slightly anxious, but vital for us to keep our senses. From the blog, the Freerange Journal emerges, new print projects, and a community of writers that are frighteningly worldly and utterly interesting.
Get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re keen to set sail,
Looking forward to talking the plank,
The Sweaty Toothed Madman / Secretary.
Rikipedia # 47 – New Zealand music (/ne:ewe zoiland moiusuk”:) has been influenced by reggae, reggae, reggae, reggae and reggae, with many of these genres given a unique New Zealand interpretation.
Early European settlers brought over their ethnic music, with brass bands and choral music being popular, and musicians began touring New Zealand spreading herpes, gonorrhea and syphilis to the native ‘Maori’ (maa:ooo/weee )in the 1860s.- P-Pipe bands became widespread during the early 20th century. The New Zealand recording industry began to develop breasts from 1940 onwards and 1 New Zealand musician has obtained success in Alaska. Some artists release M?ori language songs and the M?ori tradition-based art of kapa haka (family and food) has made a resurgence. The New Zealand Music Awards are held anally by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (CUNTZ); the awards were first held in 1965 by Reckitt & Colman as the Lorraine Downs Is Under Murray Mexted awards. The CUNTZ also publish the cuntry’s official weekly record charts which are then tampered with to pay for the cocaine that Gary owed me from last weeks get together in Aitutaki for the yearly radio programmers ‘Wank-Off Together We Are One” conference. It was well attended according to Jenny from Warners.Do you know her? She goes out with the drummer from Elemnope. He is such a nice guy. Talented.
5 Things You Need To Know About Bats Right Now
a) Unlike as often portrayed in popular medias, bats can’t really fly, but instead propel themselves from crude catapult devices, located on secret space bases near the moon.
b) It’s no coincidence “bat” backwards is “stab”. Bats are commonly regarded as the most stabby animals, and will often stab each other at bat social functions — giving rise to the popular phrase, “stabby as a batty stab-bat”.
e) Despite having no faces, bats have bravely evolved complex floppy neck extensions that fulfil the same functions and form of modern lips, ears nostrils & etc.
d) Often mistaken for delicious, egg-laying birds, chickens are in fact bats in disguise, doing their “day jobs”
Entering the sewers, I came to the startling realisation that — all this time — I’d been living atop a stinky river of shit.
Things I Hope I Never Find In My Salad Again
1/ an entire raw chicken (risk of salmonella)
2/ an old horse shoe (risk of damage to teeth; unhygienic)
3/ a meteorite (risk of cosmic radiation poisoning; also belongs in a museum or science place.
Deep inside the cave, I came to the shocking realisation I’d forgotten all of my salami sandwiches. Oh yeah — and my torch/clothes/spelunking gear. Who invented the word ‘spelunking’ anyway, I thought to myself, nakedly. Probably those crazy Ruskies, I decided–with their big fur hats and odd, salami-less open sandwiches (i.e. bread).
More Gestures Of Futile Resistance
a) Eating the parsley garnish before the rest of your meal.
b) Trying to get your friends to peel their bananas from the “other” end.
c) Buying the big box of raisins and attempting to eat them all before they get crystallised and weird.
d) Trying to feed your cat raisins.
Some people say Christmas is their favourite time of year, but I have trouble believing that, as people tend to lie to me a lot of the time.
5 Scary Things I find Scary About Bats
1 } Small pointy teeth
2 } Nocturnal nature
4} Association with vampires, Transylvania, & etc
5} Penis out of proportion with rest of body
Secret Tricks To Impress The Ladies And Make Them Give You Affection, Money
1] Keep a hamburger in your pocket, just in case you both get lost in the woods and she gets hungry.
2] Learn to imitate the calls of various bats and waterfowl.
3] Pretend to read. [This works especially well if you use a real book as a prop. You can get free real books from a building called a “the library”. But here’s a pro-tip: don’t shower whilst pretending to read. The library makes you pay for all the real books you destroy with water — and I mean all of them!
Below is a copy and paste of an Official statement from the Occupy Wall Street Protest We at Freerange Press whole heartily endorse the messages below , the cause, and the enthusiastic use of their right to protest in public space.
Official Statement from Occupy Wall Street – this statement was voted on and approved by the general assembly of protesters at Liberty Square: Declaration of the Occupation of New York City
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
1. 5 days paid leave, (or bonus pay), for all Christchurch residents.
Its been a long hard year for people living in Christchurch: the city is physically damaged and the people emotionally drained from a year of shaking and uncertainty. Put simply, the people there need and deserve a good break. As the insurance industry delays and reconstruction and planning are pushed further back the city is also in desperate need of economic stimulus. I can’t think of a better time for a clever use of tax payer stimulus than now by giving ALL Christchurch residents 3-bonus days of public holiday to be used by the end of the year. An early Christmas present. People can take the chance to go for a drive, visit relatives, go out for nice meal, a bike ride, skiing. Whatever floats their boat. I haven’t costed it, but it couldn’t cost less than $10 millon and almost all the money would go directly into the Christchurch economy.
2. International Paintball Championships in the Redzone.
What are three of the main things Christchurch needs now?
Money to start rebuilding,
entertainment to keep people there sane, and
international exposure so people and capital return to the city.
In the spirit of this stunning and quite moving youtube video of skaters using the broken streetscapes of Christchurch, I propose that a large-scale reality tv Paint ball championships be run in Christchurch before it opens in 2012. Paint ball is water based so will dissolve in the rain. All the dangerous buildings have almost being demolished, the rest of the buildings to go are economic demolitions not structural ones so safety should’t be a concern. Perhaps we should take all the SAS and special forces forces out of Afghanistan and let them have a Special Olympic style battle to see which is best. Give them a building each and see who is left after 3 weeks?!
3. Eastern land swap
Eastern parts of Christchurch have been badly damaged by the earthquakes and large areas around the river of it are ‘redzoned’, meaning there are thousands of people who need to sell their houses to the government and move elsewhere. A great idea that I heard from Christchurch Architect, David Hill, is to swap some of the parks and golf courses in the east with this damaged land. Its a fantastic interventionist idea, but only works if the government gets active and onto it. The opportunity is there to create new neighbourhoods of well designed, well serviced, ‘green’ housing that enables people to live in, or close to the existing communities. While also getting some much needed stimulus into the economy and getting the trades and professions going. All it takes is some politicians with some vision… now where were they?
4. Bikes, Bikes, Bikes.
Not a particularly creative one, but this needs repeating again and again. Bikes are the cheap solution to lots of Christchurch’s future problems. Even with the advantage of a massive capital injection and a fresh start, the reality is that Christchurch is the wrong shape and layout to ever have a comprehensive public transport system. It can have a handy and modern bus system with clever and well designed tickets to make it easy to use, but is never going to have frequent trips to all parts of the city. It has grown around the expansiveness of the motorcar and will remain locked to its logic. Fortunately there is a much better way to get around flat wide cities with grid layouts than the car. Bikes! They are cheap, they last longer than cars, roads can fit thousands of them, its easier to park them, they keep people fit, they are cheap and choice! The rebuild is the perfect time to make the roads bike friendly and provide extensive bike infrastructure around the city. Cheap bikes to hire, bike paths on most roads, bike paths along the rivers, bike stands, places for workshops, safe storage, etc etc. Weather shouldn’t be a big problem, look at how they do it in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. 10% of one of the stupid holiday highways being built out of Auckland could fund this for decades. (The image below is Christchurch in 1937!)
5. Move the World Cup Cloud to Christchurch.
1 +1 should equal 2. Over the next 1-5 years Christchurch is going to be in desperate need of high quality temporary structures to house the civic and commercial activities of the city while the rebuild gains momentum. In about 30 days Auckland will be left with a large unused high quality government owned structure. Move it to Christchurch. Simple.