Quite Interesting


Deborah  at In A Strange Land  posts on QI – (for Quite Interesting) the British TV quiz show presided over by Stephen Fry.

You can test yourself with the sort of questions they ask with a quite interesting quiz.

The first time I came across it, a few weeks ago, I scored only 9/20.

Today I got 19/20 – I’d remembered a few answers I’d got wrong the previous time but the rest were lucky guesses.

TVNZ 7 tempted me


TVNZ 7 invites you to experience the recording of a special studio show analysing the performance of the National-led government’s first year in power .

National’s First Year featuring an in-depth interview with Bill English plus analysis and debate, kicks off TVNZ 7’s Spotlight on the Eocnomy month.

TVNZ 7 dedicates November to exploring the question of what sort of New Zealand will emerge from the recession, to demystifying economics and to debating issues surrounding New Zealand’s economy. What needs to change to ensure a prosperous future? A range of programming across the channel in November provides insight and information on all things economic.

Before the show, you’re invited to join us for a breakfast briefing about TVNZ’s digital channels.

Please join us at 8am on Tuesday November 3 for a hearty breakfast and a general update on TVNZ’s digital channels TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7. At 8.45 we’ll usher guests into the studio for our one hour show National’s First Year.

That’s what the invitation said and for a moment or two I was tempted.

Then reason prevailed. The cheapest option would be flying from Christchurch which is 3 1/2 hours drive away and there’d also be taxi fares and accommodation in Auckland. Even if I factored in the opportunity it might provide to catch up with our daughter who’s studying up there it was extravagant in terms of both money and time.

Besides I’ve got a meeting tomorrow, a dentist’s appointment on Tuesday and an assignment due in on Wednesday.

But it’s peaked my interest so I’ll try to watch the programme and now I’ve told you about it too which was probably all the invitation intended anyway.

P.S. Don’t tell David Cunliffe who’s so upset about the ads for the programme  which feature the Finance Minister, the invitation has a photo of Bill and Guyon Espiner too.

Adventure before dementure


Yes, I know that’s not how you spell dementia, but that was the slogan on  Paul’s nomination for the best t- shirt in this morning’s Auckland Marathon and I thought it deserved wider publicity.

It’s a great philosophy.

The phone rang just as I finished reading it so I passed it on to the caller. He said he thought he should get a couple of those t-shirts in case one wore out.

I’m in awe of anyone who does marathons whether it’s done with the aim of winning or, for the challenge like Otago sisters  Annette Sinclair  and Carol Patterson ( aged 57 and 49 respectively) who will be running the New York Marathon.

We like to get out of our comfort zone,” Sinclair told the Otago Daily Times. . .

The sisters decided 12 years ago to do something special each year.

After being inspired by watching our daughter and niece run a half marathon in Christichurch a couple of years ago I talked some friends into entering the Dunedin Marathon.

None of us was into running but we were all happy to walk it. Three of us took it seriously and finished at around three hours.

The others took a more leisurely approach and stopped for coffee and shopping en route.

But we all enjoyed it which was the point.

P.S. If you did this morning’s marathon you’re welcome to tell us how you went.

P.P.S.: Clarification – that was a half marathon we walked in Dunedin.

Did you see the one about . . .


Not PJ Dollars and sense at Not PC on why we can’t devalue our way to posterity.

Orokonui Ecosanctury to open – Rebecca McLeod at Sciblogs takes a tour of the sanctury in Bluesking Bay which opened yeserday.

Magic Bullet – Macdoctor has worked out why John Key won’t touch pensions.

Apropos of which The Veteran at No Minister posts on Winston First.

R v Hide – Kiwiblog puts the cases for the prosecution and defence.

Theodore Dalrymple makes a modest proposal: let us subsidise football matches – at the Social Affairs Unit.

Golden wedding


They married on October 31, 1959.

We were among the family and friends who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary yesterday.

While their sons were proposing a toast to them I was reminded of the Spanish card which read:  Enamorarse es fácil, pero seguir enamorado es algo muy especial. To fall in love is easy, to continue to be in love is something very special.

Theirs has not been an easy life, they’ve had financial and personal trails, including the death of a child. But they have continued to be in love and it was both a pleasure and a privilege to celebrate that with them.

November 1 in history


On November 1:

1512 The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, was exhibited to the public for the first time


Creation of Adam by Michelangelo
1520 The Strait of Magellan, was first navigated by Ferdinand Magellan during his global circumnavigation voyage.
1604 William Shakespeare‘s tragedy Othello was staged for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.
1611  William Shakespeare‘s romantic comedy The Tempest was staged for the first time, at Whitehall Palace.
1800  US President John Adams became the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).
1814  Congress of Vienna opened to re-draw the European political map after the defeat of France, in the Napoleonic Wars.
Period oil painting of the delegates to the Congress of Vienna.

The Congress of Vienna by Jean-Baptiste Isabey,

1848 The first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School (which later merged with the Boston University School of Medicine), opened.

1876  New Zealand‘s provincial government system was dissolved.

1887 – L. S. Lowry, British painter of industrial scenes, was born.

1896 A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time.

1898 The New Zealand parliament passed the Old-Age Pensions Act.

1911 The first dropping of a bomb from an airplane in combat, during the Italo-Turkish War.

1918  Western Ukraine gained its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1938 Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed “the match of the century” in horse racing.

Seabiscuit statue.png
Seabiscuit statue, Santa Anita Park

1939 The first rabbit born after artificial insemination was exhibited to the world.

1981  Antigua and Barbuda gain independence from the United Kingdom.

1993  The Maastricht Treaty takes effect, formally establishing the European Union.

 The signing of the Treaty

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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