Saturday smiles


The first testicular guard was used in cricket in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.

It took men 100 years to realise the brain was important too.

This observation came from this week’s Ag Letter.

It’s a source of valuable information on matters agricultural. I’m a little less confident about the reliability of its jokes. 

It’s not sport


There’s a boxing match at Mystery Creek tonight.

The mystery to me is that coverage of the event is in the sports section of the media.

A contest in which the aim is to knock out one’s opponent might be entertaining to some people and it might take fitness and agility but it’s not sport.

Do You Know What I Think?


 Pauline Cartwright grew up in North Otago. The mother of one of her friends was romance writer Essie Summers who encouraged Pauline’s writing but it was many years later before she became a published author.

When I interviewed her for North & South in 1991 she’d written more than 100 books. She’s written more since then but she’s still not very well known outside education circles because most of her books are school readers, the ones used to teach children.

It’s a shame her books haven’t reached a wider audience because they are delightful.

Do You Know What I Think? was her first book, published in 1986. It starts by saying: Do you know what I think? I think rabbits should have to clean their ears. It continues linking animals to daily ablutions and finishes with a line which brings a grin to the faces of readers of all ages.

 dairy 10013

Post 3 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month.

Over at In A Strange Land Deborah has accepted the challenge to post a book a day too and today has  Why Cats Rule the World and Dogs are Still Slaves by Dawn McMillan.

Art & My Life also has a post for NZ Book Month: In the Zone  Zone of the Marvellous by Martin Edmund.

book month

Daylight saving poll take 2


We’ve had a week of daylight saving.

In the last seven days I’ve been to Dunedin, Wellington and Wanaka and at home in North Otago.

The highest temperature in that time and those places has been17 degrees, the lowest 1 degree.

We’re in Wanaka where we woke to large white flakes falling from the sky. Mount Iron is covered in white stuff too.

In the normal course of events I’d have thought it was snow, but it can’t be that because n0-one would have been stupid enough to extend daylight saving so the clocks go forward when it’s still cold enough for snow.

In the past week I’ve had lots of conversations on the extended daylight saving period. One woman liked it because she feels she has to get up with the sun and if it gets up an hour later so does she. One man liked it because his children get up with the sun and this week they’ve been getting up an hour later.

Everyone else said it starts too soon and finishes too late. Delaying the start by three or four weeks would mean it’s lighter at both ends of the day, not so cold in the mornings and warm enough to enjoy the lighter evenings.


What do you think?

P.S. This is the poll I deleted by mistake last week. I thought I’d followed Scrubone’s instructions, but it still didn’t appear in the sidebar so I’ll leave it here and do my best not to delete it.

Playing politics


Political junkies who don’t need another excuse for work avoidance should read no further.

A politcal simulation game is being launched today at

You can choose to be a list or electroate MP then play politics:

It’s up to you and your fellow colleagues to decide the fate of the country. And the decisions you make will have an affect on the citizens of this model world.

Maybe there’s an opportunity for real politicians here. They could test their policies in this simulated world and see the results before inflicting them on us.

Hat Tip: BK Drinkwater

Good driving manners


I gradually approached three vehicles in front of me. They were travelling at speeds varying from 80 to 90 kph, I was going a wee bit faster.

They were also travelling far enough apart that it was possible to pass one at a time.

If more drivers of slower vehicles showed such courtesy driving would be more pelasant, and safer.

Effects of naming cows on milk production study wins Ig Noble


A study which found that named cows produce more milk than their nameless sisters won the Veterinary Medicine prize in this year’s Ig Noble Awards.

The research was carried out by Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University.

Ig Nobles are awarded for achievements which first make people laugh then make people think.

The Public Health Prize went to Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago for inventing a bra that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of gas masks, one for the bra wearer and one to be given to  bystander.

Other award winners were:

PEACE PRIZE:   Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl from the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banksbanks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño  from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than 60 years.

PHYSICS PRIZE: Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA, for analytically determining why pregnant women don’t tip over.

LITERATURE PRIZE: Ireland’s police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in Polish means “Driving License”.

MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers — from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.

October 3 in history


On October 3:

1888 The NZ Natives became the first national team to play in the UK. It was also the first team to wear the Silver Fern.

1908 The Pravda newspaper was founded by Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna.

1916 James Herriot, English vet & author, was born.

Herriot’s former surgery in Thirsk is now a tourist attraction.
1925 US author Gore Vidal was born.
1928 US author and futurist Alvin Toffler, was born.

1932 Iraq gained independence from the UK.

1941 US musician Chubby Checker was born.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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