Alan, Alan, Alan


Hat Tip: Paul Tremewan

Mid-week Music


Sir Howard Morrison  – because it was his birthday yesterday – in concert with new versions of some old songs.

Just what are we licking?


An ice cream judge proved that ice cream is better licked from a cone than eaten from a spoon but a school girl’s science project found we could be getting more than ice cream in the cone.

The ODT reports that Kim Shultz tested ice cream from 17 dairies for her entry in the Aurora Otago Science and Technology Fair and discovered that five of them were contaminated by E-coli bacteria. One of those was also contaminated by the staphylococcus aureus micro-organism.

Andrew Tagg, an Otago graduate, and also a judge at the fair, said the practice in some shops of allowing ice cream scoops to sit in warm, “dirty” water for much of the day could result in micro-organisms growing in the water and on the scoop.

This will be filed in the things-Iwish-I-didn’t-know-but-can’t-forget draw. But I’ll hide it under the memories of all the ice creams I’ve licked without ever (touch wood) having suffered ill effects.

Jim Mora interviewed Kim yesterday.



Buenos día, bon jour, boun giorno and bula.

Since it’s international languages week when we’re being encouraged to widen our linguistic horizons by branching out from our mother tongue, we might spare a thought for people who come here without being able to understand English.

A couple of women ahead of me in the queue at the airport bank were trying to pay departure tax.

The woman serving them asked for their passports. they looked blank.

She repeated what she’d just said, a little more slowly and a little more loudly.

They looked at each other then back at the woman serving them.

She asked for their passports again even more slowly.

It was obvious the women didn’t have a clue what she was saying.

I showed them my passport and the light went on in their eyes.

We can’t expect people working  at airports to speak every language they might encounter from their customers. But how difficult would it be to have a sign showing in pictures what was required when paying the tax?

Too young to drive?


When you live in the country you know your children will almost certainly leave home for further education or work when they finish school.

Ensuring they get a driver’s licence and get practice driving when we have a fair bit of control over them is one of the ways we prepare our teens for life in the big, wide world.

Most farm kids learn to ride motorbikes and drive cars, utes and even tractors in paddocks before they are old enough to get the licence which allows them to start learning to drive on the road.

Most are keen to get their licence as soon as they can and parents are generally supportive of that because it gives the adolescents some independence and frees the parents from playing taxi driver.

If the suggestion that the age at which people can get a licence be raised to 17 is acted on then rural people will be disadvantaged. We don’t have public transport and do have bigger distances to take our offspring to school, sports, cultural and social activities.

However, rural roads are dangerous and the evidence that adolescents don’t have the intellectual capacity required for safe driving is compelling.

However, inconvenience is better than tragedy. Taxiing  teenagers for longer is preferable to dealing with incapacity or death as the result of a vehicle accident.

Entitilitus epidemic alert


The Ministry of Economic Health has issued a status four warning about the spread of entitilitus.

Ministry spokesperson Dr Truly Serious said the outbreak was widespread and approaching epidemic proportions.

“It started in deprived areas, spread to places where people have just enough and there has been an insidious spread from there to more affluent locations.

“It appears that natural immunity provided by self reliance has been undermined by successive attacks on earnings through over-taxation. This has weakened income streams and inflated perceptions of unfairness.”

Dr Serious said medical centres have been overwhelmed by patients and treatment of the most serious has been delayed because of the difficulty in differentiating between those who have the benign condition of eligibility and those with full blown entitilitis.

“Research suggests that entitilitis may in fact be a mutant strain of eligibility which is weakened by misguided ideology. That allows self interest to develop and erodes the will for self sufficiency,” she said.

“Diagnosis isn’t simple because there are a variety of different factors we have to consider with each patient. We don’t want to subject people who have eligibility to unnecessary treatment but it is important we administer a sharp dose of reality to anyone with entitilitis before the epidemic worsens.”

Dr Serious said a great deal of effort has gone into developing a vaccine but researchers have been hampered by the difficulty of developing something strong enough to withstand cross infection from voter pressure and political expediency.

Symptoms of entitilitis vary but patients who test positive for the condition usually have high expectations, difficulty distinguishing between wants and needs and low levels of personal responsibility.

“Anyone who recognises these symptoms in themselves should start by consulting their conscience, and examining their social responsibility,” Dr Serious said.

“I make no apology for making a plea to people’s better nature and asking those who can look after themselves to make every effort to do so. Otherwise, if the epidemic worsens we will run short of resources. We must be mindful that every cent spend dealing with entitilitis will compromise our ability to look after patients with genuine eligibility.”

August 19 in history


On August 19:

1745 the second Jacobite rising began when Charles Edward Stuart returned from France and began marching on London.

1853 Edwin Gibbon Wakefield was elected to parliament.

1883 Coco Chanel was born.

1902 Ogden Nash was born.


1919 Afghanistan gained full independence from Britain.

1930 Irish writer Frank McCourt was born.

1944: Pilot Officer Pilot Officer James Stellin avoided crashing into Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a village of 370 people in the Seine-Maritime region at the cost of his own life. The villagers gave him a hero’s funeral and have honoured his memory ever since.

1946 Former US President Bill Clinton was born.

Sourced from Wikipeida and NZ History Online.

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