Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2015 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Bureaucrats put their banning undies on (again)

24 January 2013

Why do bureaucrats seem to think that the best way to cope with so many problems is to implement a ban on the product or service involved?

Got a problem with something? Just ban it and (so we're told) the problem will go away.

Well they banned murder, robbery, speeding, drugs and a raft of other "harmful" things -- yet that doesn't seem to have solved those problems at all.

We're told, after several high-profile incidents involving them, that it's only a matter of time before high-powered laser-pointers are banned in NZ, having already been made contraband in many other countries.

But ahead of such a ban, our bureaucrats have already acted to ban something far less dangerous, in the hands of sensible people

It seems that we're banning the sale of rare-earth magnets now.

They are now considered to be "unsafe goods" and as of today, they're illegal to sell.

Apparently the reason for this ban is the fact that if they're swallowed by young children, they can cause severe injury by tearing holes in the intestines -- as they pass through and snap together with others further up/down the line.

So, they're dangerous because if/when kids eat them, they cause injury and possibly even death.

Well the mind boggles as to the number of other every-day items that also fit this criteria for banning. What next?

I feel sorry for anyone who might have ordered one of those rare-earth magnet sets that can be shaped into cubes, spheres and all other manner of shapes -- chances are that yours will be confiscated by NZ Customs when it hits our shores, even though it was 100% legal when you ordered it. Sorry, you've done your dough!

And how are we to build our over-unity magnetic motors if the raw materials have been made illegal? Gosh, you know, I bet it was the oil industry who are responsible for this move. Those selling plans for these magic free-energy motors are always saying that the technology is being suppressed by "big oil" (ROTFL).

The reality is that these magnets are enormously useful in many applications -- such as holding the canopies on RC model aircraft, for temporarily magnetising the shaft of a screwdriver so that it will hold the tiny screw you're taking out of something -- and for experimenting with electromagnetism or demonstrating how motors/generators work.

Surely it would have been possible to deal with the risk these items pose to a very tiny percentage of the population in some less draconian and brute-force way?

Perhaps restrict their sale to people who are old enough not to want to eat them?

Maybe *educate* the public as to the risks so they can ensure that their babies and toddlers never get their hands on them?

Ah... but that would all require *work* on the part of the bureaucrats -- much simpler just to roll out the universal (and ineffective) panacea for all such ailments: ban, ban, ban.

What do you think? A ban on rare earth magnets in the 21st century? Really?

What is the world coming to?

Is it any wonder we have generations growing up with no ability to manage risk -- when they've been molly-coddled by the state and forced to live in "Nerf-land" for most of their lives?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Apart from the kind support of the sponsor, Aardvark Daily is largely a labour of love that involves many hours of hard work each month. If you appreciate the content you find here (or even if you don't) then please visit the sponsor and also feel free to gift me a donation using the button above.

Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

Hacker or hypster?
Imagine if you could hack into the onboard systems of the International Space Station -- or take-over the controls of an international jet-liner, using little more than a laptop and some smart thinking...

The weakest link?
As a nation, we are taking great pride in the fact that the nation is now being retrofitted with the latest in high speed "fibre to the home" internet technology...

Of course it's hard - it's rocket science!
I would not want to be a Russian rocket scientist right now...

Now this will be interesting
I am probably one of the very few Net users still around today who can recall the golden age before spam and before every webpage carried advertising...

Bee ware?
I've written columns before asking what ever happened to the sight that used to be a regular summer-time spectacle when I was a child...

Save the planet - ditch the Net?
We're all being told that our endless demand for energy is killing the planet...

Forecasters predict lots of weather this year
The newswires are running hot with alerts that this year we can expect to see a "super El NiƱo" - should we be worried?...

Damn, I'll be dead by then!
I was lucky enough to be born into the age of space exploration...

Callaghan Innovation - IToldYaSo
Regular readers will recall that in the past I have been quite critical of the way that Callaghan Innovation throws taxpayers money around...

New NZ Drone rules flawed in so many ways
The Civil Aviation Authority has been set a wickedly difficult task...

CI's drone challenge - Let's give it a go?
I'm thinking I might put Callaghan Innovation (CI) to the test...