Monday’s quiz


1. What’s the difference between a raisin and a sultana?

2. What is moss stitch?

3. What does, “He aha te mea nui ot te ao?” He tangata! He Tangata! He tangata!” mean?

4. Who wrote, Cold Comfort Farm?

5. Who said: “I have an idea that the phrase ‘weaker sex’ was coined by some woman to disarm the man she was preparing to overwhelm.”?

There’s diets that work . . .


 . . . then there’s this one:

*  If it is good for you it’s not fattening, so as long as you are eating it for the calcium content there’s no need to worry about the kilojoules in cheese and ice cream.
* Kilojoules only count when you’re enjoying eating them.
* Following from that: anything you don’t like isn’t fattening so if you develop an aversion to chocolate or champagne it’s fine to have as much as you like, even if you have to indulge in quite a lot of them before developing the aversion.
* Kilojoules shared are kilojoules halved. Any amount of food divided between six meals will have only half the energy value of the same amount of food consumed in three.
* Anything eaten to protect someone else from temptation is kilojoulefree becuase you are performing a service.
Dedicated with tongue in cheek (a good diet tool because it’s hard to eat when you’re doing that)  to Busted Blonde who’s just finished the first week of her journey to  Fab & Fifty.

Things you don’t want to hear from a pilot


“Because of the weather, there is no smooth flight path into Brisbane . . .”

That’s what the pilot told the passengers flying from Townsville yesterday.

We followed his instructions to fasten seatbelts and waited with varying levels of trepidation but all we got were a couple of minor shakes.

Whenever pilots have warned of turbulence when I’ve been flying into New Zealand airports it’s meant a stomach-swooping buffeting.

Maybe Australians have  a stricter definition of a rocky ride, or perhaps it’s just we were lucky that yesterday the forecast didn’t live up to expectations.

Things I learned


*Walking 3 kilomteres up Castle Hill in Townsville when it’s 28 degrees with 90% humidity is harder than walking about 1/3 that distance up Mount Iron in Wanaka when it’s 20 degrees with 0 humidity.

* Australia has insects which bite, even when you’re moving.

* The bites itch.

* Drinking lots of water and sweating lots without compensating for what you’re losing can lead to cramp.

* Walking down hill with cramp in one thigh isn’t a lot of fun.

* Getting cramp in the other thigh makes it worse.

* There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you’ve done it.

* Doing it the second day without the cramp feels even better.

* Doing it the third day is better still, in spite of the blisters.

February 8 in history


On February 8:

1575  Universiteit Leiden was founded, and given the motto “Praesidium Libertatis”.

1587  Mary, Queen of Scots was executed at suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.

1612  Samuel Butler, English poet, was born.

1622 King James I disbanded the English Parliament.

1692 – A doctor in Salem Village suggeseds that two girls in the family of the village minister may be suffering from bewitchment, leading to the Salem witch trials.

1693  The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia was granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.

1726 The Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia.

1807 Battle of Eylau – Napoleon defeated Russians under General Benigssen.

 Cavalry charge painted by Simon Fort.

1817  Juan Gregorio de las Heras crossed the Andes with an army to join San Martín and liberate Chile from Spain.

1828  Jules Verne, French author, was born.

1837 Richard Johnson became the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate.

1849 New Roman Republic established.

1855  The Devil’s Footprints mysteriously appeared in southern Devon.

1856  Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei abolished slavery in Wallachia.

1865 Delaware voters reject the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and vote to continue the practice of slavery.

1867 The Ausgleich results in the establishment of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.


1879 Sandford Fleming first proposed adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.

1882 Thomas Selfridge, first person to die in an airplane crash, was born.

Thomas selfridge smoking pipe.jpg

1887 The Dawes Act authorised the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.

1900 British troops were defeated by Boers at Ladysmith.

1904 Battle of Port Arthur: A surprise torpedo attack by the Japanese at Port Arthur, China started the Russo-Japanese War.

Battle of Port Arthur crop2.jpg

1910 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated by William D. Boyce.

1915  D.W. Griffith’s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premiered in Los Angeles.

1922 President Warren G. Harding introduced the first radio in the White House.

1924 The first state execution using gas in the United Stats took place in Nevada.

1931 James Dean, American actor, was born.

1931 All three people on board  a Dominion Airline DeSoutter were killed in a crash near Wairoa. This was the first fatal air service accident in New Zealand.

 First fatalities on a scheduled air service in NZ
1932  John Williams, American composer and conductor, was born.
1941  Nick Nolte, American actor, was born.
1948  Ron Tyson, American singer (The Temptations), was born.
 The Temptations in 1984. Pictured L-R: Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, (from top) Richard Street, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Ron Tyson

1952 Elizabeth II was proclaimed Queen of the UK.

Young lady wearing overalls and a cap kneels on the ground to change the front-left wheel of a military truck Elizabeth changes a wheel during WWII.

1955 John Grisham, American writer, was born.

1955  The Government of Sindh abolished the Jagirdari system in the province. One million acres (4000 km²) of land thus acquired was to be distributed among the landless peasants.

1960 Queen Elizabeth II issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants would take the name “Mountbatten-Windsor“.

Badge of the House of Windsor.svg

1962 Charonne massacre: 9 trade unionists were killed by French police at the instigation of Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Paris Prefecture of Police.


1963 Mohammad Azharuddin, Indian cricketer, was born.

1963 Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba were made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration.

1968  The Orangeburg massacre, a mass killing in Orangeburg, South Carolina of black students from South Carolina State University who were protesting racial segregation at the town’s only bowling alley.

1969 Allende meteorite fell near Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico.


1971 The NASDAQ stock market index debuted.

The image above is proposed for deletion. See files for deletion to help reach a consensus on what to do.

1974 The crew of the first American space station Skylab returned to Earth after 84 days in space.

1974 – Military coup in Upper Volta.

1978  Proceedings of the United States Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time.

1979 Denis Sassou-Nguesso became the President of the Republic of the Congo.

1983  The Melbourne dust storm hit.The result of the worst drought on record and a day of severe weather conditions, the 320m deep dust cloud enveloped the city, turning day to night.

1989 An Independent Air Boeing 707 crashed into Santa Maria mountain in Azores Islands killing 144.

1996 The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act.

1996 – The massive Internet collaboration “24 Hours in Cyberspace” took place.

1998 First female ice hockey game in Olympic history: Finland beat Sweden 6-0.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: