In a rare television interview, Te Ao Māori Television with Moana meets one of New Zealand’s funniest and most creative people, Jemaine Clement. They talk about their early memories of growing up in Wairarapa, the differences between Kiwis and overseas audiences and more in the exclusive video above.
Of all the viewers in the world, Jemaine Clement considers Kiwi to be the toughest.
“They don’t expect anything good. People in the early days would say, ‘oh I really wanted to laugh, but nobody else started, so I decided not to’.”
A lot has happened in Clement’s life since those early days – Grammy awards; several Emmy nominations; acting credits to major Hollywood productions, including Men In Black III and the upcoming sequel to Avatar.
He also recently wrapped up the second season of the American mockumentary series, What We Do in the Shadows, which was named one of the best shows of 2020 by the New York Times.
But Clement remains down to earth and less ego-like as ever, despite being named one of the 100 sexiest men by Australian Who magazine in 2008, and sometimes being mistaken for Benicio Del Toro.
Clement admits that he and his Flight of the Conchords bandmate, Bret McKenzie, were completely shocked when they became a hit with overseas audiences.
“When New Zealanders hear a New Zealand accent, they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to hear this.’ But they don’t care [overseas]. So we were surprised… And when we played, our show got bigger and bigger. That was a big surprise. “
Clement spent his childhood growing up in Wairarapa, raised by Māori and kuia mothers.
She has fond memories of going on marae trips and meeting her Māori relatives at family reunions. But sadly, te reo wasn’t a big part of his upbringing.
“My grandmother doesn’t speak Māori. She’s from the generation who would be punished in school if she … that’s her first language, but, uh, you know, they’ll get hit if they talk,” he said, through tears.
Her kuia greatly influenced her in other ways, such as through her sense of humor.
“She’s a funny woman … sometimes on purpose, like she’s going to make a good joke, and sometimes downright unintentionally … I mean the basic idea of humor is to surprise, and she’s always surprising what to expect. he thought. “
Clement is still close to his mother – one year, he brought her to the Emmy as her guest, which he found very pleasant.
“He watches all these shows. I don’t watch them, I don’t know who the people are at the Emmy. But he knows all the shows.”
Over the past year, Covid has forced Clement to take stock and adopt a slower lifestyle, which is something he is grateful for.
“I think last year I realized I was pushing myself too much and doing too many things … So when everyone has to stop traveling, I appreciate it and take a step back and think, I don’t have to go too hard all the time,” he said. .
You can hear more about Clement’s thoughts on making fun of racism, when he meets the Prince in person, his writing process and more by watching the full interview with Moana Maniapoto in “Te Ao with Moana” at the top of this story.
Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer. Photo / 123RF
Whether it’s see-through curtains or cool sheets, the Kiwi has long had its own tricks for cooling a hot home without air conditioning – now a researcher wants to hear more about it.
Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer.
A recent NZ Stats survey of the 6,700 homes found 36 percent sat at 25C or more during the summer – and sometimes even above 30C – compared to a comfortable room range of 20C to 25C.
A third is also colder than 18C during winter – or below World Health Organization standards – something related to people renting less isolated homes and struggling to pay for their daily needs.
This winter’s “energy poverty” and its broad public health impacts have been a major focus of Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan’s research at the University of Otago.
“Much of that means we’re focusing on whether people can get warm enough in winter – but actually it means it’s pretty cool in summer too.”
He pointed out that six of New Zealand’s 10 warmest years have occurred in the past decade, and the country is experiencing more frequent and severe hot days, which come with their own implications for health and energy use.
“Over the last 20 years we also have fast absorption heat pumps, and more than half of New Zealand households with heat pumps have reported using them for cooling in the summer,” he said.
“So now households have a mechanism for active cooling – and a greater need to reduce home temperatures in the summer.”
In a recently launched study, supported by the Marsden Fund, he seeks to answer how not only the Kiwis regulate the flow of summer heat through their homes, but also how this changes over time.
“I’m specifically looking for the kind of knowledge that’s sometimes called knowledge – or what people know from experience,” he said, adding that it includes how Kiwis use sizes ranging from curtains to heat pumps.
“This year, I’m going to start with a postal survey of areas with more extreme summer weather to get initial answers to questions like how comfortable people are to find their home in the summer, if they try to adjust the temperature, does it change over time, and whether they think they know enough about the matter. “
He is eager to hear from several generations of the same family, and what advice has been passed down.
“I also want to make sure that we include Māori whānau, Māori have lived in Aotearoa the longest and will have wisdom to offer.”
Finally, this three-year project will collect temperature and relative humidity records using a data logger on a sample of homes, and how people use energy throughout the day of the week.
“As far as I know, these approaches have never been combined like this before to look at these questions – and they certainly haven’t been used like this in New Zealand,” he said.
“One thing that would be quite challenging in my opinion would be to usefully weave all the data back together to make one big story or image, integrating it all at the end in such a way that the number is greater than the parts.
“The sections as an individual study would all be useful, but I hope to do something extra by combining them.
“If we have a very good picture of what people know and do, as well as what they need to manage summer at home, then we may be able to adapt various suggestions and policies where they are needed.
“The aim is that it will help increase our resilience to climate change and improve public health and well-being.”
Three tips for keeping the house cool
• Easy fix: Avoid the sun by covering the curtains and blinds. Open doors and windows in different rooms to circulate air through your home. Adjust the safety lock to keep the windows open when you go out.
• Make a shadow: Plant deciduous trees to shade your home in the summer. They will let the sun in when they lose their leaves in winter. Install external window blinds – such as blinds, awnings or grilles. The roof or roof hanging over the north facing window blocks out the summer sunshine.
• Use a fan: The fans on the table, floor and ceiling use significantly less energy than air conditioning. If you have a heat pump, try setting the fan alone with the window open.
Scientists have just put together New Zealand’s 150 years of climatic history, revealing a cool spell fueled by volcanic eruptions – and an increasing footprint of climate change. Photo / Leon Menzies
Scientists have just put together New Zealand’s 150 years of climatic history, revealing a cool spell fueled by volcanic eruptions – and an increasing footprint of climate change.
A team of researchers has compared land temperatures recorded across the country between 1871 and 2019 with data on surrounding sea levels, finding that our wider region has warmed by about 0.66C during that time.
Most of the heat has come in over the last few years, due to global warming.
“Although there were some very warm years in the early 1970s, all of the warmest years have occurred since 1998,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Jim Salinger.
The new study offers a deeper picture than our official record for tracking national temperature trends – the “seven stations” series – consisting of ground-based measurements that have been carried out continuously since 1908.
Salinger, the original architect of the seven-station series, says New Zealand has one of the best and oldest temperature records in the world, starting from the groundwork of Sir James Hector and colleagues in the 1860s.
“What we’re doing here is pushing the record back, as well as updating it to 2019,” he said.
“We want to cover the larger area of New Zealand, not just the land, because we are dealing with the four million square kilometers that are home to fisheries and other parts of our economy.”
Using a series of data sets, Salinger and colleagues took a thorough look at what drove our coldest and warmest periods.
They found two large natural drivers that dominate the trend are the inter-decade Pacific oscillation (IPO) and the south-El Nino oscillation (ENSO).
Both show major cyclical changes in the Pacific oceanic system, which in turn affect our own climate.
When an IPO is in a negative phase, for example, New Zealand tends to get more northeast and northeast, as well as warmer temperatures.
ENSO – seen in between El Nino, neutral, and La Nina states – also carries a mixed effect.
While La Niña years show above-average temperatures with more of the northeast, El Nino years usually prove cooler than average, due to more southwestern winds.
Another natural influencer is something called the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) – a ring of climate variability that surrounds the South Pole, but stretches deep into our own latitudes.
Several warm years have been put in the SAM that is locked in a mostly positive phase, which comes with further southerly westerly winds over the southern oceans but lighter winds and brighter skies over New Zealand.
Salinger said this kind of trend has been increasing recently.
Surprisingly, the massive eruptions have left their fleeting tracks, spewing massive amounts of dust and sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere.
Records show how local temperatures dropped slightly after six major blows, including Krakatoa in 1883, Tarawera in 1886 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.
“We found out how this could mean temperatures fell about 0.3C to 0.5C lower than some of the previous season – and there seems to be a lot more southwest.”
Even more striking, Salinger said, are the real trends emerging with climate change.
This paper finds our coolest years to have occurred before 1933.
Between 1870 and 1895, temperatures ran about 0.4C below the 1981-2010 average, then, in the early 1900s, fell further to 0.8C below that baseline.
Temperatures also felt cooler in the early 1930s, and then 0.4C below the 1940s average, and were generally near normal during the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s.
While they fell again to about 0.5C below normal in the early 1990s – partly due to the Pinatubo eruption – they rapidly increased to 0.1C above normal, before averaging 0.4C above normal throughout the 2010s.
When this trend comes together with natural drivers who have historically made for more comfortable conditions, New Zealand experienced very warm years.
One example is our warmest year on record – 2016 – which coincided with set-up pressures that pushed more north and northwest across the country.
But study co-author and leading climate scientist Professor James Renwick, of the University of Victoria, points out that other human-driven effects have also changed our climate.
“The fact that we have a trend toward a positive southern annular mode – which is linked to the ozone hole, to a large extent – also adds to the warming over the past 50 years,” he said.
“That effect will probably weaken as the ozone hole starts filling up, helping to halt the trend in SAM.
“New Zealand will continue to warm in the future, but the rate of warming that we will see over the rest of this century may actually be a little slower than we have seen over the last 50 years.”
Globally, emissions are expected to continue to increase – meaning increased, acidifying oceans and more weather events such as major storms, droughts and heat waves.
At current levels, global average temperatures are likely to cross the 1.5C threshold above pre-industrial levels in the next 10 to 20 years.
And a 3C increase by the end of this century is projected, even if all current emission reduction commitments and goals are met by the international community.
Massive cuts in net emissions will be needed to hold warming to 1.5C – about 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030, and net zero by around 2050.
The research team – which also includes Dr Howard Diamond, of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – dedicates the paper to the late Niwa climate scientist, Dr Brett Mullan, whose decades of work have been pivotal.
First is the Tams Team. Then it’s Marmite. Could the coronavirus vaccine be the next?
Records of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson using the Tim Tams package to begin formal negotiations for a new free trade agreement with Australia is a proverbial ship that launches a thousand memes.
But there is a possibility – outside – that the next picture from England could become a mop-haired Eton graduate brandishing a very important medicine bottle, saying: “Here it is, friend, and it will come to you.”
This week, a global search for one of the most important medical prizes has ever entered a new phase.
He also invested $ 19 million to help develop vaccines, and claims to have spent $ 256 million in “vaccine-related activities”.
But no formal commercial arrangements such as the UK have been announced in Australia.
And according to vaccine expert and Federal Government advisor Tony Cunningham, the UK strategy is something the Government needs to consider.
“We are in an interesting position right now,” he told ABC. “And I think we need to look at what Britain is doing.
“But the problem is, and many experts say this, we just don’t know what will win – we don’t know which type of vaccine is the best.”
And he will know.
A contagious disease doctor, clinical virologist and scientist, Professor Cunningham was very involved in launching the vaccine for the latest global pandemic, 2009 swine flu.
He is now the director of virus research at the Westmead Medical Research Institute and lead author of the Australian Academy of Sciences vaccine advice to the Government, where 21 scientists and researchers based in Australia describe which vaccines they think are “most promising”.
But this is a busy field.
There are now more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates worldwide, with 22 in clinical trials.
Professor Cunningham described it as an “inverted triangle”.
“And, in the end, when the triangle gets smaller, you have to return one,” he said.
“But, maybe, the first vaccine might not be the best.”
At the moment, although it does not sit in the hand, it seems that the Government is taking that “wait-and-see” approach, and supporting more global initiatives.
Through a spokeswoman, Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia was the “main contributor” to the Gavi Vaccine Alliance COVAX initiative.
COVAX is an alliance that includes the Bill Gates-funded Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization, to fund a “global response” to accelerate the development, production and delivery of a fair COVID-19 vaccine.
But apart from this approach, there seems to be an alliance that is forming – and Australia is maneuvering.
The global community is ‘watching’
The government this week confirmed that they were discussing “international licensing arrangements for the COVID-19 vaccine” with the Johnson Government, which would allow Australia to “access and supply” vaccines developed in the UK.
Speaking at a press conference after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the UK discussion, describing Oxford’s results as “very interesting”.
The Prime Minister also confirmed that he had discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron. Sanofi France – a specialized vaccine company – has two candidates in development.
However, some experts question whether countries like China or Russia – both accused of carrying out cyber attacks on US and British vaccine research weapons – would be tantamount to any vaccine breakthroughs.
Morrison said the global community was watching.
“Right from the first G20 meeting that we held a few months ago, there was a strong enough commitment to ensure that [when] “someone found it, we have to make it available,” Morrison said.
“And any country that will hoard vaccine discoveries, I think, will not be welcomed with a welcome weapon by the whole world.”
What about manufacturing?
Further questions have been raised this week about Australia’s ability to produce vaccines quickly for mass distribution.
Some vaccine technologies, such as the mRNA technology developed by Monash University, cannot yet be produced in Australia.
That’s because the Australian medical supply and vaccine company CSL – the only company in Australia with the ability to make mass vaccines – only creates certain types of influenza vaccines.
But they have raised their hands to move to a new field of vaccine making.
The Prime Minister said he was confident “in the vast majority” of cases that CSL would be able to reproduce vaccines locally.
CSL told ABC that the UQ vaccine – which it had committed to make – was its priority,
However, CSL vice president of product development Anthony Stowers said the company was committed to “improving [its] manufacturing skills and abilities “to support the development of each vaccine candidate
“This includes the capacity to carry out” downstream “aspects of vaccine production, such as processing licensed vaccine ingredients into bottles at [facilities] in Melbourne, “said Dr Stowers.
“We are exploring ways to support the manufacture of other vaccines that are being developed and will continue to open discussions.”
But despite all the global maneuvers and uncertainties, Professor Cunningham said he believed Australia was in a good position.
“We don’t know which strategy works best – there are so many unknowns,” he said.
“But I would say I’m very pleased with how well the government is listening to scientists.
“And looking around the world, I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Springfield, mA (WGGB/WSHM) — the heat and humidity will continue today with another Scorcher expected! This is the warmest morning of the summer so far with temperatures ranging from 70-ies, and we will be back in the ‘ 90s times in the day with heat indices between 97-103 degrees.
Warm Tips remain in effect for the Central and Eastern parts of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin County until 8 PM. In addition to the Air Quality to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone remain in force for all in the County of Hampden and Central and East Hampshire County until 11 PM tonight.
We may see a few showers this morning, then a weak front will bring in this day an isolated shower or thunderstorm, but most will stay dry during the day. Best chance to see the storm will be Springfield and points East as the front will be a bit more active in Eastern Massachusetts that day.
The front will bring a little relief tomorrow. It will be a little less humid, but still warm tomorrow with highs in the upper 80’s to nearly 90. There is a chance for showers and thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the mid to upper 80’s. Drier air should move in the end of the week to go to next weekend.
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