Things done vs things to do


 I’m supposed to be writing an essay.

The deadline is Wednesday.

Today is the only full day I have clear for writing it.

So what have I done?

Lots of work avoidance:

Things to do



Sad but true


Good Men is a good project – Updated


Several publishers thought a story about wizards wouldn’t sell. J.K. Rowling proved them wrong.

A couple of men in the USA are hoping to prove the publishers who didn’t like their idea of an anthology of stories by men on manhood they were wrong too.

Tom Matlack and his partner collected a wide range of men who were willing to write their stories then:

We hired the best agent in the business, wrote a detailed book proposal, and went shopping for a publisher. Fifty (that’s 5-0, including a who’s who list of the literary world) turned us down. They told us guys don’t read, would never read any kind of anthology, and most certainly wouldn’t read an anthology about men. Apparently we are all mindless fools.

In spite of the rejections they set up a website, The Good Man Project , and plan to launch a book and a film in November. 

I hope they succeed.

The men of my acquaintance do read and the women I know don’t confine their reading to books by and about women.

Besides, I admire people who aren’t put off by rejection and have the courage and drive to turn a good idea into a success.

If there’s an audience for wizards why not one for good men?

Hat Tip: Beatties Book Blog.

UPDATE: Apropos of books which were rejected, Oswald Bastable pointed me to a list of 30 famous authors whose works were rejected (repeatedly, and sometimes rudely) by publishers.

Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends


Joe Cocker at Woodstock With A Little Help From My Friends.

Media messengers or masters of the message?


Karl du Fresne’s Feeding the Hungry Dog is a thoughtful look at the role of the media in shaping public policy.

Cutting and pasting selected quotes won’t do it justice, I recommend you read it in full.

On a related topic, if you’re worried that the media tends to lean to port rather than starboard, David Cohen’s Press Gallery’s finest receive curious honour will confirm your fears.

A celebration of service


A service to celebrate service in a variety of fields, including the arts, medicine, sport and politics was held in Wellington’s Old St Pauls yesterday as 21 Dames and 44 knights reveived their honours from the Governor General.

TVNZ’s coverage is here.

TV3’s extended coverage of the investiture is here.

Drought cost helps case for irrigation


The drought from late 2007 to autumn this year cost the New Zealand economy $2.8 billion a MAF report has found.

Agriculture Minister David Carter said the impact shows how important agriculture is to the country.

Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson said this high cost supports the economic case for water storage.

“The negative impact of drought cost billions but the current response is the Community Irrigation Fund’s $5.7 million (excluding GST) in grants over eight years,” says Don Nicolson, President of Federated Farmers.

“It seems ridiculous that when water storage can generate around $8.00 in payback for every dollar invested, it’s not being pushed harder to create jobs and wealth. 

“The prospect of permanent jobs is greater with water storage than say it is with the national cycle way. It headlined Federated Farmers recommendations at the Prime Minister’s Jobs Summit and remains so today.

Our problem isn’t that we don’t have enough water, it’s just we don’t always have it in the right place at the right time.

Storage enables water to be directed to where it’s needed when it’s needed. It also provides opportunities for recreation – fishing, boating, swimming – and environmental enhancement.

Creedence Clearwater revival – Bad Moon rising


Creedence Clearwater Revival live at Woodstock with Bad Moon Rising.

I was too young to take much notice  of Woodstock, but I remember dancing to this at high school and Bible Class dances a few years later.

August 15 in history


On August 15:

1040 The Scottish King Duncan was killed by his cousin MacBeth.

Duncan I
(Donnchad mac Crínáin)

1015 1057  Macbeth was killed.


1769 Napoleon Bonaparte was born.

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, by Jacques-Louis David, 1812

1771 Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott was born.

Raeburn’s portrait of Sir Walter Scott

1912 US chef Julia Child was born.

1914 The Panama Canal opened.

1945 World War II ended with the surrender of Japan, marked as VJ Day.

1947 India gained independence from Britain.

Horizontal tricolour flag (deep saffron, white, and green). In the center of the white is a navy blue wheel with 24 spokes. Three lions facing left, right,and toward viewer, atop a frieze containing a galloping horse, a 24-spoke wheel, and an elephant. Underneath is a motto "सत्यमेव जयते".

1948 The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was established.

  Coat of arms

1950 Princess Anne was born.


1969 The Woodstock music and art festival opened.

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