Shari Lewis, Lamb Chop and Charely Horse


Shari Lewis would have been 77 today.

A Town Like Alice


Nevil Shute would have been 111 today.

The first of his books I read was Requiem For A Wren. It made such an impact I sought out his other novels and read several other before I came across his best known novel, A Town Like Alice.

This is from an ABC mini-series.

NCEA inconsitencies


Her teacher praised her art work and said she was a very talented artist with a unique style. Then she warned that NCEA assessors might not mark her work highly.

The teacher was right. The pupil who had been top of the class all year just scraped through the external assessment.

His teacher said he’d never seen a better graphics project but he failed the external assessment.

NCEA is criticised for the potential for massaging internal assessment results to make schools look good but this wasn’t the case in either of these examples.

Even allowing for a large degree of subjectivity in assessing creative endeavours this sort of discrepancy in the view of teachers and external assessors  is ridiculous.

There is something wrong with a system which has such inconsistent results between internal and external assessments.

How far can seagulls fly?


The conversations started with a question about why there were seagulls in Wanaka which is so far inland.

That  led to the observation that so  far inland is relative because no where in New Zealand is very far from the sea when compared with most other countries.

That led to the recollection of a conversation with someone who lived in the top corner of Victoria who mentioned they got seagulls there too.

That led to the next question, to which none of us had an answer: how far can seagulls fly?

January 17 in history


On January 17:

1377 Pope Gregory XI moved the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.

St Catherine before the Pope at Avignon

1524 Beginning of Giovanni da Verrazzano‘s voyage to find a passage to China.

1608 Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia surprised an Oromo army at Ebenat; his army reportedly kills 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 men.

1648 England’s Long Parliament passed the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.

1773 Captain James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.

1820  Anne Brontë, British author, was born.

1852 The United Kingdom recognised the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.

1853 The New Zealand Constitution Act (UK) of 1852, which established a system of representative government for New Zealand, was declared operative by Governor Sir George Grey.

1863  David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, was born.

1865 Charles Fergusson, Governor-General of New Zealand, was born.

1877  May Gibbs, Australian children’s author, was born.

 A “Banksia Man” abducting Little Ragged Blossom, from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

1899 Al Capone, American gangster, was born.



1899 Nevil Shute, English author, was born.

1904 Anton Chekhov‘s The Cherry Orchard received its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.

1905  Peggy Gilbert, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader, was born.

1912 Sir Robert Falcon Scott (Scott of the Antarctic) reached the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.

Five men(three standing, two sitting on the icy ground) in heavy polar clothing. All look exhausted and unhappy. The standing men are carrying flagstaffs and a Union flag flies from a mast in the background.Scott's party at the South Pole. Left to right: Wilson; Bowers; Evans; Scott; Oates Scott’s group took this photograph of themselves using string to operate the shutter on 17 January 1912, the day after they discovered Amundsen had reached the pole first.

1917 The United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.




1928 Vidal Sassoon, English cosmetologist, was born.

Sassoon (left) with Figaro Claus Niedermaier

1929 Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, first appeared in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.


1933  Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French-born Pakistani diplomat (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), was born.

1933  Shari Lewis, American ventriloquist, was born.

 Shari’s daughter,Mallory Lewis with Lamb Chop

1941 Dame Gillian Weir, New Zealand organist, was born.

1942 Muhammad Ali, American boxer, was born.

Muhammad Ali NYWTS.jpg

1942 Ita Buttrose, Australian journalist and businesswoman, was born.

1945  Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw.

1945 – The Nazis began the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces closed in.

1946 The UN Security Council held its first session.

1949 Mick Taylor, British musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1949 The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first aired.

1950 The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves stolel more than $2 million from an armored car Company’s offices in Boston, Massachusetts.

1956 Paul Young, English musician, was born.

1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warned against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex“.

1962 Jim Carrey, Canadian actor and comedian, was born.

1964  Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, was born.

1966 A B-52 bomber collided with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares incident.

 The B28RI nuclear bomb, recovered from 2,850 feet (869 m) of water, on the deck of the USS Petrel.

1973 Ferdinand Marcos became “President for Life” of the Philippines.

1982 “Cold Sunday” in the United States  -temperatures fell to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities.

 National Weather Service surface weather map from January 17, 1982.

1983 The tallest department store in the world, Hudson’s, flagship store in downtown Detroit closed due to high cost of operating.

1989 Stockton massacre: Patrick Purdy opened fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life.

1991  Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm began early in the morning.

1991 – Harald V became King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V.

1995 The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit near Kobe, Japan, causing extensive property damage and killing 6,434 people.

2002 Mount Nyiragongo erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.

2007 The Doomsday Clock was set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia.

%d bloggers like this: