Did you see the one about . . .


A new study has revealed that if you don’t eat you’ll eventually die at Laughy Kate.

Fonterra Blues at Quote Unquote.

Drug companies vs doctors at the Visible Hand in Economics.

Only Turn Left at Watching Brief.

On the dismal science at Anti-Dismal.

I think I get it now from The NZ Home Office  (a new blog which has joined my list of regular reads).

The teacher robot at Lolly Scramble.

The reinstatement of titular land titles at Pundit.

Bo Peeps


My mother called them Bo Peeps, her granchildren named them Granma’s Jam Biscuits.

Whatever they’re called they’re easy to bake, almost foolproof and make lots.

I’ve included the imperial measurements because that was what Mum used, the metrics are my not very precise conversions, but they work.


25og (8oz) butter                     160g (6oz) sugar

1 egg                                       360g (14oz) flour

4 tsp baking powder               1 tsp golden syrup or 1 tsp vanilla 


Cream butter & sugar, add egg & syrup or vanilla if using and beat well.


Add flour & baking powder & beat until mixed.

Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls, place on baking tray leaving enough room for them to spread a wee bit.


Make thumb print in centre and fill dent with jam.




Cook moderate oven (180ish?) for about 15 minutes until lightly golden.



It’s best to use real raspberry jam  because the bought stuff usually has a setting agent which makes it run more when cooked.

P.P.S. – Deborah has been using an old recipe of her mother’s too –  you’ll find how to make feather bread rolls at In A Strange Land.

Running out of the blue


Hundreds of runners, walkers, mountain bikers and their supporters are converging on Wanaka today for the Motutapu Icebreaker.

It’s an off-road marathon or 50 kilomtere mountain bike ride through stunning scenery.

Among this year’s entrants will be Cardrona farmer Anne Scurr who is doing the run to celebrate her sons’ recovery from depression and to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation .

You can make a donation here.

For another story on running for a cause, Gooner’s post at No Minsiter on the Taupo Iron Man run is inspirational.

Stoozing student makes $2000 from interest free loan


The ODT reports on how an enterprising student made $2000 by taking out student loans from different banks and investing it.

The student, who prefers to remain anonymous, employed a system known as “stoozing”, which works in a similar way to the international “carry trade” – where money is borrowed at a low rate in one country and invested at a high rate in another.

The student realised banks trying to attract students as customers had created a similar, legal, opportunity for free money within New Zealand.

“Stoozing” is a slang term to describe an activity where money is borrowed at 0% interest and invested elsewhere. Eventually, the borrowed money is repaid but the interest it has earned remains with the “stoozer”.

. . . At the beginning of last year, the student visited four banks and set up bank accounts with 0% overdrafts. He then withdrew all the money – amounting to $6000 – and invested it for one year in a safe term deposit at a rate of 9.25%.

He’s a business student and he’s already shown he can spot and act on an opportunity others mightn’t see which shows he has an entrepreneurial streak which can’t be taught at university.

However, interest rates were much higher last year and Westpac media relations manager Craig Dowling points out there are risks in stoozing:

“The opportunity for arbitrage – the old term for stoozing – is lower in a low-rate market such as we moved into over the past six months so there should be decreasing propensity to stooz.”

Short-term deposit rates with Government guaranteed institutions such as banks were about 3.5%-4% per annum, and there was a definite risk involved in chasing higher returns.

“That needs to be considered, because if a gamble turns bad, the stoozer could find themselves in debt, way beyond their means.

“In the case of a student who stoozes and loses, it could be to the tune of the bank overdraft and if they haven’t established a good relationship with one or other bank, they might find zero interest in return.

One of the criticisms of interest-free student loans was that they’d be used by people who didn’t need them because a scheme which offers something for nothing will always attract people who don’t need the money but see an opportunity to use it to make more. 

I know students who’d earned enough in holiday jobs to take them through the academic year who took student loans and invested the money. One bought shares and did very well, but the risk/return ratio for that would be much higher now than it was a few years ago.

UPDATE: To clarify – the loans the student took were bank loans which as Kiwiblog  points out are loss-leaders to attract new customers, not interest-free student loans from the government scheme.

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