If you eat meat from one animal . . .


. . . why not another?

I know where lamb and beef come from and have no qualms about eating them providing the animal from which the meat came was killed humanely.

I wouldn’t choose to eat dog, horse or rat and I’ve never eaten meat from an animal I’ve known by name. Our pet lambs died of old age unless they accidently got mustered with the general flock and sent to the freezing works.

That is an emotional reaction not a logical one and that’s the best that can be said of the SPCA’s concern over the dog which was barbecued.

The manner in which an animal is killed might be the SPCA’s business, whether people choose to cook and eat it once it’s dead is not.

As Roarprawn says SPCA are not cultural arbiters.

Bonds better than interest free loans


Minister of Health Tony Ryall said on Q&A this morning that 950 health graduates have accepted the voluntary bonding scheme.

They get their student loans written off if they stay and work in hard to staff areas.

They have a financial incentive for staying, which is some compensation for the lower salaries they’ll get here compared with those they’d get if they went overseas; and the country gets much needed health professionals.

The voluntary bonding has been offered to only health professionals and vets.

I’d like to see it increased to other groups with a view to replacing interest-free student loans with bonds.

That way scarce public funds would go to people who graduate and stay here to work, not just anyone who starts studying at a tertiary institution who may or may not complete their studies and may or may not work in New Zealand when they graduate.

Chocolate Rough


Chocolate Rough

125 g butter                            125 g sugar

1 cup flour                               ½ cup coconut

1 tsp baking powder                1 Tblsp cocoa

Cream butter & sugar, add dry ingredients & mix.

Sppon into baking dish, and smooth surface.

Cook at  170 degrees for 15 -20 minutes.

When cool ice with chocolate icing (with coconut added or sprinkled over).

I usually double the mixture when I make it.

Sometimes I add hazelnuts or walnuts.

choc 002

How free are they?


We were wandering round Duomo Plaza in shorts and short-sleeved shirts appropriate to the mid summer temperatures when we noticed three women encased head to foot in black robes with only their eyes peeping out.

“How awful to have to dress like that,” one said.

“It’s their choice,” another replied.

But is it? Do the women who wear these all-enveloping clothes freely choose to do so?

Even if they do, what does it say about the attitude of their men, if a glimpse of flesh is regarded as obscene or an incitement to lust?

And what happens to women who choose to dress in less concealing clothes?

When the law follows the religious dogma, they risk punishment. Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein, a Sudanese journalist faces 40 lashes because she wore trousers to a restaurant.

She could claim UN immunity but she wants to be tried in the hope of proving there is nothing in the Koran which makes it wrong to dress as she did.

She’s not alone. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information is backing her.

ANHRI calls on “all human rights NGOs interested in freedom of expression and women’s rights to back up Lubna and make efforts to stop this charade trial that violates all international treaties defending freedom of expression and women’s rights asserting that the Sudanese government persecutes antagonists in every possible way and would not refrain from using the worst laws and practices.”

The women of Vejer de la Frontera in southern Spain used to have to wear the cobijada.


It wasn’t a desire to give women more freedom which led to it being banned, it was security issues. During the Civil War in the late 1930s, men used the cobijada to disguise themselves and conceal weapons so it was outlawed.

First words you learn in a foreign language



song chart memes

No hablo español and hola, ¿cómo está? were among the first phrases I learned in Spanish.

I still can’t say let’s get drunk (though do know that resacar is hangover.  It also means undertow and some suffering the former might feel they’ve been caught in the latter).

But I’ve managed to get to an intermediate level with only a couple of naughty words in my Spanish vocabulary. One of those is pajero, pronounced pah hey roe. Mitsubishi didn’t do their homework well when they came up with this name for one of their vehicles, though some think it’s a fitting description of the people who drive them.

Graph from GraphJam.

Inspired by this post at Cactus Kate on International Languages Week.

August 16 in history


On August 16:

1888: T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, was born.


1902 Georgette Heyer, English novelist, was born.


1913 Menachem Begin, Israel’s 6th Prime Minister and a Nobel Laureate was born.

1944: CORSO was formed.

1947 Carol Moseley Braun, the first African American elected to the US Senate, was born.



1958 US singer Madonna was born.

The bust image of a middle-aged blond woman with deep-blue eyes. Her hair is parted from the middle and falls in waves upto her neck. She appears to be wearing a brwon and black printed dress with the front open. A black chain is wound around her neck. She is looking slightly towards the right of the image and smiling.

1960 Cyprus gained independence.

1977 Elvis Presley died.

Elvis in 1970


Sourced from Wikipedia and NZ History Online.

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