September 27, 2008

New Blog URL

Dear Readers and Friends,

I have decided to update my blog's url.
Under Publisher I have changed my name from to==>

Please do update your shortcuts and favourites!

The way it works is you pay $15 a year (NZ dollars=US$10) for the .com.

The old url continues to feed viewers to the new one.

So right now my blog is in transition

"Your blog's new address is Since it takes time for this new address to be available all over the Internet, you can still get to it at

Your new address should work for everyone after at most 3 days. At that time we will redirect your readers from your old address to the new one."

I decided to change it because more people were viewing my blog and I didn't want them to think I had any problems. Like Hey Whats Up Helena. Do you have any issues? (Excuse the library pun)...
Please do visit my web page :).

It is so easy to make this change with blogger these days. Hope this helps.

Best regards,


September 22, 2008

New Zealand Online Collections and Repositories

Searching for the right image for your publication or website. From PHANZINE - Newsletter of the Professional Historians' Association of New Zealand/Aotearoa Vol. 14 No. 2, p.15, August 2008.

Matapihi -

Matapihi now searches for images from the collections of fifteen institutions, including the Alexander Turnbull Library, Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland City Libraries, Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, Christchurch City Libraries, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, The New Zealand Film Archive Nga Kaitiaki o Nga Taonga Whitiahua, Otago Museum, Puke Ariki, The University of Auckland Library, University of Canturbury Library and University of Otago Library. Some institutions, like Archives New Zealand have added only specific collections to Matapihi, while other institutions such as the Turnbull have added their entire collections.

Timeframes -

Integrated into Matapihi is Timeframes, the Alexander Turnbull Library's online catalogue, which contains over 25,000 digitised images from the Library's collections - Turnbull Library Pictures, the Photographic archive, the Ephemera collection, the Prints and Drawings collection, the Map library and cartoon archive. When you are in Wellington you can flick through the Turnbull Library Pictures drawers on the ground floor - you never know what you'll find.

Tapuhi - http;//

If you still can't find what you are looking for amongst the Turnbull's digital collections, then Tapuhi is the next place to look. Tapuhi allows you to delve into the non-digitised collections, giving you the physical location of prints - usually to be found in Turnbull Library Pictures or the Photographic archive. Sometimes the catalogue record will just give you an indication of what treasures might be hidden - albums for example are often not fully catalogued due to the number of photos contained within.

Papers Past -

Papers Past now allows a full text search on 107,812 newspaper issues, dating from 1839-1920. You can view as a text document and also in the original newsprint format. The newspapers are printable and downloadable.

Auckland War Memorial Museum -

Auckland War Memorial Museum's collections databases are divided into three categories: human history, natural history and library services. If you are looking for historical photographs, head to the Library Services database. The new Library database website allows you to search for photographs under the advanced search function. If you are on the search for objects, have a look at the human and natural history catalogues. These have been further split into categories such as decorative arts, Korean collection, entomology and land invertebrates.

Te Papa Collections Online -

In the last couple of months Te Papa's art, photography, history and Pacific cultures catalogues have been made available through Collections Online (128,000 records). There are also around 16,000 Taonga Maori records available online. Be warned though - only about a fifth of these records contain images, so you are more than likely to come up dry when searching for objects in a general way (e.g. when searching for "shoes"). Searching under specific collections will yield more results than a general search - for example, the Photography collection holds a large cache of images, both historical and modern. Around 30,000 images are available online, and images are being added constantly as copyright and iwi clearances are obtained and more objects are photographed.

Another place to look for images is under specific exhibitions - Exhibitions
Exhibitions dating back to 2003 are searchable - many have their own mini site with images, or a showcase showing images from the exhibition. This is useful if you are sure you've seen that image/object somewhere before...

Puke Ariki -

Puke Ariki's online database allows you to search the artefact, pictorial and archive collections, drawing out a wealth of objects and images. Searching in the different collections is easy in the advanced search mode, and you can also search for only records with images. The online exhibitions also show case a variety of objects.

Auckland City Libraries Heritage Images Online -

Heritage Images Online showcases over 20,000 images from the Library's photographic collections. Also worth a look are the online exhibitions entitled Real Gold, which explore various themes and images from the collection.

Christchurch City Library -

A large collection of images is available online. You can search for images through their general library catalogue, by limiting your search to photographs. The Christchurch City Library has been very useful for finding early agricultural images, and contains a number of scans from newspapers, including the Weekly Press. The catalogue now brings up the actual image as well as the catalogue record for those images which have been digitised.

Pataka Ipurangi: Manawatu Memory Online

Launched earlier this year, Palmerston North City Library's new online image database is great. It includes a large variety of digitised images relating to the social, agricultural and business life of Palmerston North and surrounding areas. It is beautifully catalogued, with thorough key wording and details about the images where available.

Upper Hutt City Library

Launched under the title of Community Archives is the Upper Hutt City Library's online collection. The collection is made up of a wide range of original heritage material, including photographs, newspapers, archives, manuscripts, maps, oral history tapes, and other material relating to the history of Upper Hutt and its people. Almost 2,000 of the 2,500 photographs in the collection have been digitised and an advanced search allows you to search though either the digitised or undigitised collection. The photographs range form shops fronts to rugby teams.

The Fletcher Trust -

The Fletcher Trust manages the Fletcher Trust Collection of New Zealand artwork, and the Fletcher Challenge Archives of material from the former Fletcher Challenge Group. Both the art collection and archives are available online in digital form. The artwork collection includes works of a range of artists from John Kinder to Darcy Nicholas, as well as a vast number of ceramics. The archives include ephermera, documents and images relating to many facets of New Zealand's economic history. Companies such as Winstones, Wright Stevenson, Dalgety, Tasman Forestry and Fletchers itself are represented in the archive. Not all of the images are available digitally, but it is still a useful source, and covers a wider variety of themes than you might expect, including agriculture, employment, building, architecture, consumerism, rural life, shipping and technology.

University of Canterbury Digital Library -

Around 1000 images are available to view online as part of the University of Canterbury's Digital Library. They range from the Canterbury Frozen Meat Company collection to the Canterbury Mountaineering Club collection. This is just a small proportion of their 20,000 images, but it's a great start. The art collections are not yet available online, but you can also browse the documentary archives and architectural drawings collection.

Many more institutions out there have online material - this is just the start. Here are a few more:

* Wairarapa Archive -
Online catalogue available

* Hocken -
Online guides only available

* Tauranga City Libraries -
photographs/photo-gallery.aspx Around 6 000 images are available in their photo

* Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki -
Online catalogue available

* Dunedin Public Art Gallery -
Online Catalogue available

* Te Puna o Waiwhetu Christchurch Art Gallery -
Online catalogue available

September 07, 2008

Back Pain at the Office

Back Pain at the Office

It's getting to be so bad that by Monday afternoon, you're already tired of being at the office. You're not even thinking as far ahead as Friday. Just getting to today is going to be challenge enough.

In reality, it's not the people you work with who are getting you down -- they're tolerable, mostly, although there is that one dude in accounting. Where do they find these people?

It's not even your boss, who, if he knew even half as much as you do, WOULD be a shoo-in for Executive of the Year.

No, the biggest pain in your neck is actually located a bit lower. And it's really what's making working where you do seem a lot worse than it actually is.

Face it. It's your aching back that's sucking the joy out of your 9-to-5 existence and making you feel 10 years older to boot.

Sure, you've learned to tolerate the bad coffee, pointless meetings, and lame jokes in the course of your day. But you just can't tough it out when it comes to back pain, which can range from dull, nagging aches to those unexpected twinges that feel like you've been hit with a taser gun.

If it's any consolation, you're not alone. Million of people have low back pain at any given time. The bad news about back pain is that it not only lives with you all day at the office, but it also comes home with you at night. It may even dog your weekends.

How do you develop pain?

If you are experiencing back pain at the office, you may think that it is coming from all the sitting, standing, and lifting that you have to do. And, indirectly, it does. But it is actually more about how the body has to adapt to all the sitting, standing, and lifting than the activity itself. Let's take sitting as an example.

Because of the amount of time you spend sitting, your body must gradually adapt itself to that position. This happens in a number of ways. The first thing it must adapt to is how the weight goes through your hips and pelvis. Then, there is the way you sit -- upright, slouching, or something in between. Most importantly, it's what happens to the muscles while you're sitting. For example, your hip flexors will get tight from being in a shortened position, and your butt will get weak and flabby from being in a relaxed state.

That simple combination of tight hip flexors and weak glutes is called a "muscle imbalance." The result of these muscle imbalances will be postural dysfunctions of your pelvis and spine. These imbalances send both your spine and pelvis into abnormal positions, the combination of which can be devastating to a person with a healthy back and catastrophic for a person suffering from any form of back pain.

What can you do about it?

What you must also understand is that your imbalances are the result of what you do in your everyday life -- your workouts, sitting, the activities of your job, and your own personal habits. I'm not going to tell you to stop going to work. But what if you changed the way you present yourself at your desk?

* Instead of sitting at your desk, try kneeling. I kneel at least 30 percent of the time I spend at my desk. I have a small foam pad that puts me just high enough to type and see the monitor.
* I sit on a therapy ball -- and guess what? I don't sit still. I move my hips in every direction, which means I'm working on my core balance all day long.

Action steps to take

Because you have to work and because the quality of your life depends on your career, you need to be able to make the most of your situation. Let me give you just a few tips to help you through the day:

When I sit, I sit with my legs in all different positions -- sometimes bent, sometimes behind me, other times stretched out in front or even to the side of me, keep the legs moving.

Every 10 minutes or so, I will work my body in some way -- and, yes, that includes walking away from my desk. But more than that, I make it a habit to stand up when the phone rings. I also stand when I have to read something or when I'm rearranging the stack of stuff on my desk for greater productivity.

If your job requires you to stand all day long, be sure you have quality footwear and a neutral shoe insert. Our body mechanics start when our feet hit the ground. It is best if your feet are in the most neutral position possible.

One negative body pattern that many people fall into is to continually shift their weight from one foot to the other. The problem with this is that most people find eventually that one leg will be more comfortable than the other, and then that leg will get most of the weight most of the time. This will wreak havoc on the pelvis and spine. Better to put equal on each foot as much as you can, and learn to correct when you catch yourself shifting your weight or leaning on one leg too much.

A third obstacle on the job can be situations where you have to lift anything over 10 pounds repeatedly. Again, it's not the activity itself that puts you in jeopardy; it's your body's inability to tolerate the stress of the weight. In other words, you should be able to lift anything you want to and not have any difficulty doing it. The problem occurs when your body is suffering from the muscle imbalances and postural dysfunctions that we talked about earlier -- and you don't even know it.

So, when you lift that object and you get injured, think of it as the straw that broke the camel's back. Your body was already in a compromised state, and it just needed that last bit of stress to send you in to a painful condition.

It's an unavoidable fact of life at the office, and it can also play a role by causing your muscles to tense up, which makes you more prone to injury. Stress also lowers your tolerance for pain. In some cases, minimizing stress on the job can be a daunting task, but deep-breathing exercises, walking around the block, or even talking about your frustrations with a trusted friend can help.

In closing, I want to leave you with this message: Even though the workplace can be a hazard to your health, if you do find yourself having back pain, remember that your thoughts and your beliefs about your situation will have a direct impact on your ability to recover and how fast you recover. That's why it's critical to learn all you can about your condition and take action as soon as you can.
I came, I saw, I commented!

Veni, vidi, vici.

I came, I saw, I conquered.

Caesar, 47 B.C

Shop Perfume Emporium and save up to 70% off on over 7,000 designer fragrances.

Please click to view this guest book widget, (added August 2007)

Please don't hestitate to contact me using the anti spam safe means of contact below.

Ask a question here.