Technical question


Some blogs have RSS feeds in the sidebar which change place so the most recent is at the top.

If anyone knows how to do this and can provide instructions in  ETC (English-for-the-Technically Challenged) the happiness fairy will shower you with happy dust.

Challenge Wanaka


Wanaka’s population used to build up to New Year’s Eve, then taper off through January.

Challenge Wanaka, which started on Sunday with a children’s event and finishes on Saturday with a triathlon,  has changed that.

Instead of tapering off, visitor numbers have been building up as 1000 elite athletes from 23 countries and their supporters arrive in town.

Challenge Wanaka is billed as the world’s most scenic long distance triathlon. However, if the concentration evident on the faces of the people I’ve seen training are anything to go by the participants will be focussed on their performance rather than the scenery.

People can contest as individuals or in teams to do the 226 kilometre full iron distance or the 113 kilometre half. Some are professional athletes, others participate for the personal challenge, all are to be admired for giving it a go.

The organisers and the 500 volunteers required to help on Saturday also deserve praise. It’s a very big event for a small town and ensuring it runs smoothly takes a lot of work from a lot of people.

Thais that bind


Regular readers will be aware that frequent visitor Paul Tremewan toured Thailand on a Honda Phantom bike last year.

His report of the tour, Thais that Bind, is here.

Trout farming should get tick


Federated Farmers’ President Don Nicolson is calling for the prohibition on commercial trout farming to be lifted.

In a submission to the government’s review of aquaculture he said aquaculture,  minerals and the agricultural sector, provide three pillars for the transformation of the New Zealand economy.

“It’s time for New Zealand to back the sectors that represent the sunrise,” . . .

“By making water storage an infrastructural priority, New Zealand will future proof itself against climate variation.  This infrastructure can further create new opportunities by way of in land and freshwater aquaculture.

“It’s not that New Zealand’s running out of rain but the rain is literally running out of New Zealand. . .

“This is also about evolving farm practices and the species we farm commercially.  It’s about sensibly harvesting the fruits of the environment that benefit every New Zealander.

Nicolson points out that Fish and Game is one of the largest trout farmers in New Zealand through its trout hatcheries. But the ODT reports the organisation is opposed to lifting the prohibition.

Any benefits from allowing commercial trout farming would be “heavily outweighed” by the risks to New Zealand’s wild trout fishery, Otago Fish and Game chief executive, Niall Watson, says. . .

. . . Risks came from the commercialisation of what was a non-commercial fish species and would encourage trout poaching in vulnerable spawning streams of the Central North Island lakes.

“Commercial-scale poaching would be a very serious risk in that area as well as elsewhere in the country.

Monitoring and enforcement costs would be considerable and successful protection of wild fish stocks would be difficult.”

A proliferation of fish farm operations could mean a much greater risk of disease transfer, he said.

I don’t understand why this would be a problem with trout farming when it hasn’t been with salmon farming.

That’s created businesses, provided jobs, added to the variety of locally produced food in supermarkets and restaurants and earned export income.

Friends who fish tell me that, rather than threatening recreational fishing, salmon farming has enhanced it. Why would trout farming be different?

Providing any risks were managed, and that might mean restricting the location and number of trout farms, we’d have lots to gain from lifting the prohibition.

January 15 in history


On January 15:

1559  Elizabeth I was crowned queen of England in Westminster Abbey, London.

1622  Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) French playwright, was born.

1759 The British Museum opened.

1842 Blessed Mary McKillop, Australian  saint, was born.

1870  A political cartoon for the first time symbolised the United States Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).
1889 The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, was originally incorporated in Atlanta.
1892 James Naismith published the rules of basketball.

1893  Ivor Novello, Welsh composer and actor, was born.

1902  King Saud of Saudi Arabia, was born.

1906 Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, was born.

 Statue of Onassis at Nydri.

1909 Jean Bugatti, German-born automobile designer, was born.

1913  Lloyd Bridges, American actor, was born.

1914  Hugh Trevor-Roper, English historian, was born.

1919  Maurice Herzog, French mountaineer, first to ascend an 8000m peak, Annapurna in 1950, was born.

1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston burst and a wave of molasses poured through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.

 Aftermath of the disaster

1929 Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

1936 The first building to be completely covered in glass was completed in Toledo, Ohio ( built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company).

1943 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, was dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.

The Pentagon US Department of Defense building.jpg

1966  The government of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in Nigeria was overthrown in a military coup d’état.

1969 The Soviet Union launched Soyuz 5.


1970 After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafra surrendered.

1970 United States Vice-President Spiro Agnew’s three-day visit to New Zealand sparked some of the most violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations seen in this country.

Anti-Vietnam War protestors greet US Vice President
1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.

1973 Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.

1977  The Kälvesta air disaster kills 22 people, the worst air crash in Sweden‘s history.

1986 The Living Seas opens at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.

Epcot - The Seas with Nemo & Friends.png

1991  The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.

1992  The international community recognizes the independence of Slovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1993  Salvatore Riina, the Mafia boss known as ‘The Beast’, is arrested in Sicily after three decades as a fugitive.

2001 Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, went online.

2005 – ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovered elements including calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.

 2009 US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. All passengers and crew members survived.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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