The Goon Show


In honour of Harry Secombe’s birthday, The Goon Show:

Peter Sellers – A Hard Day’s Night


It’s Peter Sellers’ birthday.

Here he performs A Hard Day’s Night:

Do we need two referenda?


Last month’s referendum cost around $9 million dollars.

Running one at the same time as a general election would cost less than one held in isolation but whatever the cost, logic suggets two would be twice as expensive as one.

Given that, do we need two referenda on whether or not we want to retain MMP?

I don’t see any point in asking us if we want a change unless we know what the alternatives are, and if we know the alternatives why not let us vote for or against them in a single referendum?

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. Which countries formed the South East Asia Treaty Organisation?

 2. Who said I suffer fools gladly because I am one of them?

 3. Who wrote Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less?

4. What is borborygmi?

5. Which is Europe’s only Budhist replublic? (Honesty requires I give the credit for this to Andrei from NZ Conservative who left this question for me. I had to look up the answer).


UPDATE: Maybe Gravedodger was right and the degree of diffiuclty in yesterday’s quiz was higher because no-one got all the answers correct.

However, Samo gets an electronic bunch of daffodils  with a score of 3 8/9 (the missing 1/9 was Bangladesh) plus another 1/2  for a good attempt at Kalmykia.

Scoring after that gets complicated because dealing in ninths for question 1 and halves for attempts at others added to the quandry of whether I take off anything for wrong answers defies me.

Let’s just give an electronic sprig of daphne to Ray, Gravedodger, Lilacsigil and Paul Tremewan who made honorable, and sometimes creative, attempts.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Second hand smug endangers credulity


This is a contender for sentence of the day. But it’s two sentences because while it’s the second which is worthy of note, it needs the first for context.

Smoking is not good for one’s personal health, that’s for sure, but journalistic credulity isn’t much chop, either. Martin Johnston really seems to have fallen victim — cough, cough! — to breathing in too much second-hand smug.

From David Cohen at the NBR.

Is it over already?


Treasury is suggesting that the recession is over.

If it is we’ve wasted it.

The government has used the recession to start cutting back its expenditure and examine potential changes to its income.

But it’s only a start.

New Zealand was in recession before the rest of the world in spite of record payments for dairy products which play a very significant role in our economy.

I don’t think the fundamental problems which led to that early start to the recession have been fully addressed yet.

Unless they are our economic growth will never reach its full potential. 

Until that happens we won’t be able to afford the first world lifestyle – including health, education and other social services – to which we aspire.

Attitude is the problem at any age


Southern European attitudes to drinking have always been held up as sensible ones we should emulate.

“The French/Spanish/Italian people drink more than we do but you don’t see them binge drinking,” we say.

But now you do.

In Spain and Italy locals told us that young people have learnt from other cultures. They no longer sip sensibly on wine over long, leisurely meals. They’re throwing back spirits and RTDs and drinking to get drunk.

As their drinking has deteriorated so has their behaviour. Drunken violence, property damage and voiding of stomach contents from one or more orifices in public places have all increased.

Just like here.

We can change the age at which people can purchase alcohol, we can change the number of outlets selling alcohol and the hours they are permitted to do it. But unless and until we change the attitude to drinking we won’t solve the problems of alcohol abuse.

Whether it’s police drinking in their own bars or students partying in the streets, it’s not the age nor the hours that is the real problem, it’s the attitude and changing that takes time.

It’s no longer legal to smoke in enclosed public places in many countries and it’s no longer regarded as a mature or glamorous thing to do.

The attitude to smoking has changed but more than 30 years after the anti-smoking message began, people are still taking it up. It’s going to take even longer to change the attitude to alcohol and the behaviour which goes with drinking to excess.

Cycling just for the fun of it


A couple of Hawkes Bay women aren’t letting the recession put them off, nor are they waiting for the cycle trail. 

Jenny Ryan and Christine Gavegan are launching their own business offering self-guided cycling tours with itineraries which include a day mountain biking on cross country trails and three or five-day tours of farmland, vineyards and villages.

For biking enthusiast Jenny Ryan it’s a refreshing and invigorating way to holiday, perfect for experienced cyclists or first-timers keen to explore the unique diversity of Hawke’s Bay by bike.

“When I was on a cycle tour in Provence a few years back I realised Hawke’s Bay is the ‘Provence of New Zealand’ with its climate, gorgeous countryside and gourmet produce,” says Jenny.

“What could be better than being outside in a beautiful place on a bike with fabulous food and wine to savour along the way!”

Just over a month ago we enjoyed a walking tour in Italy which offered similar attractions –  wonderful scenery, delicious food and delightful wine.

The Central Otago Rail Trail is successful because it too has the winning combination of exercise in stunning landscapes with good food and wine to replenish the energy expended.

If it works in Europe and Central, it ought to work in Hawkes Bay.

Takaro Trails will be launched at Labour Weekend. Takaro means play and the business catch line is just for the fun of it.

September 8 in history


On September 8:

1504 Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence.

1840 Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvořák was born.


1886 English poet Siegfried Sassoon was born.

1921 Welsh comedian Harry Secombe was born.

1925 English actor Peter Sellers was born.

1930 3M began marketing Scotch tape.

1932 USA singer Patsy Cline was born.

1943 Italy’s unconditional armistice with the Allies was announced.

1954 The South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) was formed.

Flag of Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

1954 New Zealand signed the Manila Pact.

1966 Star Trek premiered on NBC.

The 2006 Star Trek 40th Anniversary franchise logo, featuring Captain Kirk (William Shatner) (left) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy)

1991 The republic of Macedonia became independent.


Sourced from BBC On This Day, NZ History Online, Wikipedia.

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