Murder Ahoy


Margaret Rutherford was born on this day in 1892.

Lack of nuture trumps nature?


Babies as young as six months can tell good from evil, and show a preference for good.

Does this mean that the lack of nurture later trumps nature?

If so so how long does it take for babies to lose a preference for good and how can that change  be reversed?

Cheek to Cheek


Irving Berlin was born on this day in 1888.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. Matau and maui are opposites – what doe they mean?

2. How does this finish: So roll on again Waitaki on your journey to the sea . . . ?

3. Who said: “A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”?

4. Name the highest mountains in three of the six continents.

5. An easy one for NZ Music Month – name your favourite New Zealand song.

Points for answers:

Cadwallader got three right (if I accept that North America is a continenet which I hadn’t in the question but will for the answers).

Bearhunter got three and a bonus for lateral thinking.

David got three and a bonus for knowing the book from which the quote came.

Ray got three plus a half for almost finishing the couplet.

Paul got two, and since I’m being generous today he can have another for his answer to 1 although he got them in the wrong order; and a bonus for creative thinking and spelling and no points off for the gratiuitous mention of Oamaru and blatant favour currying with his favourite song.

Gina gets the electronic bouquet with four right and a point for initiative with the song line.

PDM got two and a bonus for humour.

The answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »



Day 12 of New Zealand Music Month: Brooke Fraser sings Arithmetic.

In praise of democracy


Britain still hasn’t got a new government.

Number 10 Downing Street may have a squatter; negotiations about who will rule may be confused and protracted and the markets may not be happy about that.

But the people are going about their business unconcerned.

No riots, no mayhem, no bloodshed.

In true democracies people accept the will of the people, even when that will is unclear.

Service Before Self


Ken Scott joined Rotary 50 years ago this week, last night the club paid tribute to him not just for the length of his service but the depth of it.

He was raised in Dunedin and had the good sense to move to North Otago to set up in business. When he did so his father told him that since he was coming to a small community it was important to put more into it than he took out.

Ken took those words to heart and has been an active participant in many community organisations and activities, one of which is Rotary.

He served as club president twice and has chaired the club’s charitable trust for more than 20 years.

He has taken part in numerous fundraising efforts, most notably the one to buy a scanner for Oamaru Hospital in the 1970s. His work on that project was recognised with the award of Rotary’s highest honour – a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Ken’s the prime mover behind the club’s annual auction at which his donation and then purchase of a bottle of good whiskey has become a standing joke. In recognition of that he was presented with a bottle of whiskey, signed by John Key and Bill English, with the instructions that it was for his personal enjoyment and not to be donated back to Rotary for the auction.

Representatives of organisations on which he serves, past members and friends joined the club last night  to celebrate his 50 years of service and the presentation of a ruby badge.

It was a heart warming and moving celebration. The past District Governor who made the presentation pointed out the number of people whose lives had improved as a result of Ken’s work and reminded us of the good which  comes when people practice Rotary’s motto: service before self.

May 11 in history


On May 11:

330 Byzantium was renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but was more popularly referred to as Constantinople.

1310 In France, fifty-four members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake as heretics.


1647 Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City.


1745 War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy –French forces defeated an AngloDutch-Hanoverian army.


1792 Captain Robert Gray became the first documented European to sail into the Columbia River.

1799 John Lowell, American philanthropist, was born (d. 1836).


1812 Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons.


1813 William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth led an expedition westwards from Sydney. Their route opened up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.


1820 Launch of HMS Beagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.

Longitudinal section of HMS Beagle as of 1842

1852 Charles W. Fairbanks, 26th United States Vice President was born (d. 1918).

1857 Indian Mutiny: Indian rebels seized Delhi from the British.

1862 American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled in the James River.

CSS Virginia

1867 Luxembourg gained its independence.

1875  Harriet Quimby, American aviator, was born (d. 1912).


1888 Irving Berlin, American composer, was born (d. 1989).

1891 The Ōtsu Incident : Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Imperial Russia (Nicholas II) was critically injured by the sword attack by a Japanese policeman Tsuda Sanzō.

1892  Margaret Rutherford, English actress, was born (d. 1972).

1894 Pullman Strike: Four thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers went on a wildcat strike in Illinois.


1904 Salvador Dalí, Spanish painter was born (d. 1989).

1907 A derailment outside Lompoc, California killed 32 Shriners when their chartered train derails at a switch near Surf Depot.

1910 An act of the U.S. Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.


1918 The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was officially established.

1924 Mercedes-Benz was formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging their two companies.

Mercedes-Benz logo.svg

1927 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded.

1942  William Faulkner’s collections of short stories, Go Down, Moses, was published.


1943  World War II: American troops invaded Attu Island..

1944 World War II: The Allies started a major offensive against the Axis Powers on the Gustav Line.


1945 Captain Charles Upham was presented with the VC and Bar.

Upham presented with VC and Bar

1945  World War II: The aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, was hit by two kamikazes, killing 346 of her crew.


1946 UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) was created.

Sang Saka Bangsa

1949  Siam officially changed its name to Thailand for the second time.

1953  The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado hit downtown Waco, Texas, killing 114.

1960 In Buenos Aires four Israeli Mossad agents captured fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, living under the assumed name Ricardo Klement.


1960 – The first contraceptive pill was made available on the market.

1967Andreas Papandreou, Greek economist and socialist politician, was imprisoned in Athens by the Greek military junta.

1970 The Lubbock Tornado a F5 tornado hits Lubbock, Texas, killing 26 and causing $250 million in damage.

1984 A transit of Earth from Mars took place.


1985  Fifty-six spectators died when a flash fire struck the Valley Parade football ground during a match in Bradford, England.


1987  Klaus Barbie went on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.


1987 The first heart-lung transplant took place, performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz, of Stanford University School of Medicine.


1995 More than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

1996  A fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592 caused the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board.

1997 IBM Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeated Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.

Start of chess board.
a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn d7 black knight e7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
g5 white knight
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 white bishop g1 white knight h1 white rook
End of chess board.

1998 India conducted three underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including a thermonuclear device.

2000 Effective date of Canada’s first modern-day treaty – The Nisga’a Final Agreement.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: