October 31 in history

October 31, 2009

On October 31:

1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1795  John Keats, British poet, was born.

1960  Juliette Low American founder of the Girl Scouts was born.

1863  British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron began their Invasion of the Waikato.

1887 Chiang Kai-shek, Nationalist Chinese leader, former Republic of China president, was born.

 1908 – Muriel Duckworth, Canadian activist, was born.

1913 Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States.


1917 The Battle of Beersheba took place, the “last successful cavalry charge in history”.

Charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade
A photograph of a re-enactment of the Charge on Beersheba taken in early February 1918.

1920  Dick Francis, Welsh born jockey & author, was born.

1923 The first of 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees (37.6 C) at Marble Bar, Australia.

1931 Dan Rather, American television journalist, was born.


1984  Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards.

1985 Keri Hulme’s book The Bone People  won the Booker Prize.

1999  Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigatingthe world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


October 30, 2009

Bogor the little woodsman and the pot-smoking hedgehog added wisdom and humour to the pages of the Listener for years.

Bogor was a philosopher and a conservationist way back when green was just a colour and not a political persuasion.

Every now and then the cartoons by Burton Silver were collected into books like this one.


dairy 10008

Post 30 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge

book month logo green

Over at In A Strange Land Deborah posts on Maddigan’s Quest by Margaret Mahy.

Sport talk

October 30, 2009

* Since rugby became professional Southland has lost many of its stars to other provinces. The grapevine tells me that  the Ranfurly Shield win may result in at least one or two of them coming home.

* Garrick Tremain’s cartoon in today’s ODT shows a reporter and camera man at the reception desk of the NZ Cricket Council.

The reporter says: We’d like to do interviews with the captain, the coach, the selector, psychologist, nutritionist, trainer and the coach driver pelase.

The receptionist is on the phone and says: Daniel . . . couple of gentlemen to see you.

* There’s a rugby match in Tokyo tomorrow.

* What’s up with netball?

If you have anything to say on these or other sporting matters this is your chance to do so.

Does this take the biscuit?

October 30, 2009

Last year a tourist took offence at Eskimo lollies here, now people on the other side of the Tasman are complaining about creole creams.

There’s a huge gulf  between ignorance and racism on one-side and hypo-sensitivity which takes offence where none is intended on the other.

Where do these biscuits fit? Is it just a name or is it a racial slur?

And if creole creams aren’t acceptable are coconut roughs and if they’re not is coconut by itself?


 How far along the highway to linguistic sterility do we go and where do we stop?

Shows I have slept through

October 30, 2009

1. Jesus Christ Super Star at the Regent Theatre in Dunedin.

One of the characters sang, Close your eyes, close your eyes . . .  and I did. We had young children at the time and sleep deprivation triumphed over the excitement of a night out.

2. ENZO (Or was it ENSO?) – Otago Museum. The NZ Symphony Orchestra and NZ Ballet playing & dancing to the music of Split Enz. 

The bits I was awake for were amazing but again the need for sleep was greater than the desire to watch the entertainment.

3. Evita at the Regent Theatre in Dunedin.

Another wonderful performance but I still couldn’t resist the temptation to have some very long blinks.

4. Cats at the Regent Theatre in Dunedin.

As for 3.

5.  Mama Mia at the TSB Arena in Wellington last night.

It’s been one of those fortnights this week and when the lights dimmed gravity pulled my eyelids down. That shouldn’t be regarded as a reflection on the show. I was wide awake for the second half and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Quote of the day

October 30, 2009

It is manifestly obvious that a bad organisation can still produce good work, at least temporarily. Otherwise nothing good would ever come of government –  Macdoctor.

Taking clinics to the patients

October 30, 2009

Southern papers have had several stories about the closure of school dental clinics.

Teachers complained that children would be out of class for longer if they had to travel to get to a central clinic.

Parents complained about the difficulty of getting children to the clinics during work hours.

Both problems could be solved by mobile dental clinics which are being built for district health boards.

Taking the clinic to the children rather than having to take children to the clinic sounds like a good idea.

It’s a similar idea to the mobile surgical bus.

It’s been operating – in both senses of the word – throughout New Zealand for several years. It enables people in towns whose hospitals no longer have operating theatres to get surgery close to home.

The ‘bus’ is a 20-metre long, 39 tonne mobile operating theatre built in Rotorua. It cost $5.2 million and was privately funded. The ‘bus’ carries $1 million worth of video communications equipment.

It treated its 10,000 patient while on a scheduled stop in Oamaru on May 27 this year.

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