Mid Week Music


The music teacher at Oamaru Intermediate was a World War II veteran who took commemorations of Anzac and Armistice Days very seriously.

One of the songs he taught us for Armistice Day was John Bunyan’s He Who Would Valiant Be:

And the qestions are?


Paul Tremewan has prepared for a two-week absence by providing the answers for the next two Mondays’ quizes.

His answers for next Monday are:

1 Kanchenjunga in Sikkim, at 8,586m (been there!)
2 Ruth Richardson, in her ‘Mother of all Budgets’ speech, (either that or a recent piece from Sue Bradford, before the famous dummy spit.)
3 There are two: either the one at the top of Coromandel, or the one in South Westland. (The Coromandel one is named after my wife’s great-grandfather, who was a sailing ship master at age 19. True!)
4 Leptospirosis (which did great harm to Steve Gurney, and also actually did for, my late brother.)
5 San Marino, and postage stamps.

So what are the questions?

(I’ll post his answers for the following Monday, tomorrow).

Did you see the one about . . .


Witi’s work of fiction – Cactus Kate on word theft.

Note to Trevor Mallard – The Hand Mirror correctly spots homophobic and misogynistic behaviour combined.

Is that clear?  Opposable Thumb heard the answer to our problems in mixed metaphors.

How is your spelling – PM of NZ found an on-line spelling gym.

Amusing Signs – at StripySock Studio

Are We There Yet? – Jardis, guest blogging at Kiwblog, wonders is feminism is stuck on destination rather than opportunity.

Lest we forget


When I was at school everything stopped for a minute at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month while we observed a minute’s silence in commemoration of the end of World War I.

It’s called Remembrance Day in Britain. Our remembrance day is Anzac Day but it is still important to acknowledge Armistice Day, to remember the sacrifices so many people made for us and to be grateful for peace.

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, by Eric Bogle is about Anzac Day commemorations, rather than those for Armistice Day, but the story it relates is set during World War I.

So not sorry


Dear Hone

You’ve provided fuel for every bigot.

You’ve set a new low for the standard of behaviour for MPs.

You’ve shown you haven’t made the transition from protestor to MP.

You used to be against the system, you’re now part of it. You should be using it to help the people who put you there and the people who pay for you to do that not abusing it and the office you hold.

You are so not sorry and because of that a minor sideshow has become a major debacle.

Yours with no respect,


Interest free loans too expensive


Otago University Vice Chancellor Sir David Skegg wants the government to consider charging a little bit of interest on student loans.

Otago University was in the same situation as others in New Zealand. It was doing everything it could to increase income and balance the books to avoid staff redundancies, Prof Skegg told a university council meeting yesterday.

“These are testing times for universities. What I am saying is perhaps a little bit of interest [should be added] to student loans… so the Government can fund universities more and we can keep our tuition fees down.

If the question is, what is the best use of public funds for tertiary education?,  interest free student loans aren’t the answer.

They’re too expensive for the taxpayer and they fund a greater quantity of students rather than a better quality education.

They also make education more expensive. Money spent on interest free loans is money not available for funding universities which, as Otago did yesterday,  have to increase fees and levies. That means students then have to borrow more.

That’s not good for them as individuals and it’s not good for us as a country.

There is no such thing as free education.

I was one of the generation who paid almost nothing for my university studies but tax rates were up to 66% to fund that largesse.

Students forget most of them are at university or polytech for only three or four years and spend the rest of their lives paying tax.

They, and the rest of us, would be better off if they received less while they’re students and paid less tax when they graduate.

They’d also get a better education because at least some of the money which now goes to interest-free loans could be spent on improving the teaching.

Bonding graduates rather than indiscriminately funding students would be much better use of  scarce public funds.

That way money would go to people who graduate and stay here to work, not just anyone who starts studying at a tertiary institution who may or may not complete their studies and may or may not work in New Zealand when they graduate.

It might also do something to correct the imbalance we now have with many more graduates in media and communications than in agricultural science. More of the latter would be much mroe likely to add to economic growth which in turn would make more money available for education.

November 11


On November 11:

1634  Following pressure from Anglican bishop John Atherton, the Irish House of Commons passes “An Act for the Punishment for the Vice of Buggery“.

1675: Gottfried Leibniz demonstrated integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).

1880 Australian Bushranger Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol.



1918 World War I ended when Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiègne in France. The war officially stopped at 11:00 (The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).

 Armistice Day celebrations in Auckland were postponed in an attempt to prevent the spread of influenza but the rest of the coutnry celebrated.

1918 Poland regained its independence.

1922  Kurt Vonnegut, American novelist, was born.

1924 Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaimed the first Greek Republic.

1926  U.S. Route 66 was established.

U.S. Route 66 shield

1928  Carlos Fuentes, Mexican writer, was born.

1930 Patent number US1781541 was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.


1942 The troop ship Awatea was sunk and all on board but the ship’s cat escaped alive.

1945 Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, was born.

1962 – Demi Moore, American actress, was born.

1965  In Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe), the white-minority government of Ian Smith unilaterally declard independence.

Flag Coat of arms

1968  A second republic was declared in the Maldives.

1974 Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor, was born.

1975  Australian constitutional crisis of 1975: Australian Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the government of Gough Whitlam and commissions Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister.


Gough Whitlam speaking on the steps of Parliament House, Canberra, following his dismissal.
1978  Lou Vincent, New Zealand cricketer, was born.
1992 The Church of England in Britain voted to allow the ordination of women priests.
2006  The New Zealand war memorial monument was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in London,  commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand Army and the British Army.
Sourced from BBC On This Day, NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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