Dr Who


Dr Who was first broadcast, on this day in 1963.

United We Stand


Happy birthday Sandra Stevens.

Monday’s quiz


1. What is a gnomon?

2. Which New Zealand author lost his left leg in 1940?

3. Who wrote Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge?

4.  Which author rode the Queen Mother’s race horses?

5. Who said, If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research”?

Bargains at sculpture auction


The two-week long stone carving symposium in Oamaru concluded with a silent auction yesterday.

Everyone we spoke to commented on the quality of the sculptures, most of which went for bargain prices.

Joy Harvey’s Wind Song, an Aeolian Harp in Oamaru Stone went for $4000, the highest price paid.

The top bid for Ruth Killoran’s Aegis (Protection) was just  $2100. ( I’m not sure if that reached its reserve).

Allen Harnett won the popular vote with Koru which sold for $1750.

Harnett’s Silver Fern went for $2000.

Many other works, including Trinity, which is in the background of the photo above, sold for only a few hundred dollars.

The stone was supplied by  Parkside Quarry which sponsors the symposium and several artists said how impressed they were with its quality.

Gary Kircher has some more photos at Waitaki Blog.

Do their parents care?


Today’s ODT reports:

A recent increase in groups of people as young as 13 intent on trouble in central Dunedin has members of the public and the police concerned. . .

What are children doing out and unsupervised late at night?

Where do they get the alcohol which fuels most of the trouble?

Do their parents know where their children are?

Do they care?

Meat’s the new tobacco


Lord Stern, who last month suggested we should all become vegetarian for the good of the environment, has an ally in Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princton University.

Writing in the New York Daily News under the headline, Make meat eaters pay: Ehicist proposes radical tax, says they’re killing themselves and the planet, he says:

. . . the reasons for a tax on beef and other meats are stronger than those for discouraging consumption of cigarettes, transfats or sugary drinks. 

First, eating red meat is likely to kill you. Large studies have shown that the daily consumption of red meat increases the risk that you will die prematurely of heart disease or bowel cancer. This is now beyond serious scientific dispute. When the beef industry tries to deny the evidence, it is just repeating what the tobacco industry did 30 years ago.

There is a lot of evidence which suggests too much read meat is bad for the health. But eating moderate servings of lean meat a few times a week is not generally regarded as dangerous and insufficient protein, iron and B vitamins, of which red meat is a good source, can be.

Singer uses examples of animal cruelty to further his argument then gets to the environment:

Third, industrial meat production wastes food – we feed the animals vast quantities of grains and soybeans, and they burn up most of the nutritional value of these crops just living and breathing and developing bones and other unpalatable body parts. We get back only a fraction of the food value we put into them.

This is a valid criticism but he is talking about the United States. In New Zealand almost all sheep, cattle and deer are pasture reared and much of the land on which they graze is not suitable for cropping.

The clincher is that taxing meat would be a highly effective way of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding catastrophic climate change. . .

. . .  So let’s start with a 50% tax on the retail value of all meat, and see what difference that makes to present consumption habits. If it is not enough to bring about the change we need, then, like cigarette taxes, it will need to go higher.

Singer appears to miss a vital difference between cigarettes and meat. People who stop smoking don’t have to replace the tobacco with anything else. People who stop eating meat have to replace it with other food.

A 50% tax on meat would not only increase the price of meat it would increase the demand for alternative food sources which would become more expensive, at least in the short term until the supply increased.

If a lot more grains and cereals were needed to replace meat, there is no guarantee that production methods would be without negative environmental impacts.

Singer’s suggestion would add to world hunger and associated health problems with no guarantee of helping the environment.

November 23 in history


On November 23:

1644  Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship, and written by John Milton was published.

1859 Billy The Kid, American outlaw, was born.

1869  the clipper Cutty Sark was launched – one of the last clippers ever to be built, and the only one still surviving.

1887  Boris Karloff, British actor, was born.

1888 Harpo Marx, American comedian, was born.

1889 The first jukebox went into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

1936  The first edition of Life was published.

1947 A civic funeral was held for the 41 victims of Ballantynes fire.

1949  Sandra Stevens, British singer, member of pop group Brotherhood of Man, was born.

1955 The Cocos Islands were transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia.

1963 The BBC broadcast the first ever episode of Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell.


The eleven faces of the Doctor
1976 Apneist Jacques Mayol is the first man to reach a depth of 100 m undersea without breathing equipment.
1990 The first all woman expedition to the south pole (3 Americans, 1 Japanese and 12 Russians), set off from Antarctica on the 1st leg of a 70 day, 1287 kilometre ski trek.
1992  Miley Cyrus, American actress and singer/songwriter, was born.
1993  Rachel Whiteread won both the £20,000 Turner Prize award for best British modern artist and the £40,000 K Foundation art award for the worst artist of the year.
Whiteread’s House.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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