Cool Water


Burl Ives would have been 101 today.

I would if I could


I signed up to be a blood donor when I was 17 – motivated at least as much by the chance of time off school as by the idea of helping others.

I carried on giving blood fairly regularly, except when I was pregnant or feeding babies, and in later years was prompted by the knowledge that I’d been helped by someone else’s blood the day our daughter way born.

Then I was told I couldn’t be a donor any more.

I’d been in Britain in the 1980s and the New Zealand Blood Service didn’t want my blood in case I’d contracted mad cow disease.

I’d still be giving if I could but since I can’t I’m making a plea on World Blood Donor day for those who can to do so.

Monday’s Quiz


1. Why was Ernesto Guevara given the nickname Che?

2. What do you add to soil to improve its pH?

3. Who said “Relativity applies to physics not ethics.”?

4. Who wrote Scruffy and what sort of animal was he (Scruffy not the author).

5. What is actinidia chinensis?

Of mice and woman


I heard a scrabbling noise behind my desk.

I sat very still and waited.

A mouse popped its head round the side of the desk, looked at me and popped back.

My farmer was in the office, I phoned him and told him about the mouse. He laughed.

I retrieved a mousetrap from the laundry, baited it with peanut butter, set it down beside the desk and found something important to do in the office.

When I returned to the house 15 mintues later I checked the trap and found it had done what it’s designed to do.

The wee sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beastie was an ex-mouse.

Common ground on high country


That a change in government has brought a change in attitude towards the high country was reinforced by Minister of Conservation, Kate Wilkinson, in her address to Federated Farmers High Country section:

. . . we, the stewards of the high country – you as the farmers and me as the Minister responsible for public conservation land in the high country – have more in common than I think we often realise.

I think it’s fair to say that too often in New Zealand we are only prepared to emphasise and remember the differences rather than reflect all of what we achieve together. . .

I must emphasise that we share the common interest for preserving the high country for future generations – whether for farming, landscape and biodiversity protection or recreation.

Public conservation land constitutes about one third of the South Island high country. We are all stewards here.  DOC, through Landcorp, has an association with Molesworth Station – 180,787 hectares home to New Zealand’s biggest herd of beef cattle, numbering up to 10,000 beasts.   DOC has also granted over 800 grazing licences on public conservation land.

We share the common purpose of managing alternative economic opportunities from our core business – particularly tourism opportunities.     

We share the threats.  Fire, pests and weeds do not respect boundaries.  This means as neighbours with these common interests we must work together. We may be neighbours for a very long time – and we, like you, want to be good neighbours.

The relationship between the previous government and high country farmers, especially those with pastoral leases was at best uncomfortable and often antagonistic.

Farmers felt their stewardship was undervalued and their property rights were threatened.

The current government’s acknowledgement of farmers’ stewardship and their role in safegaurding the land; and respect for their property rights have provided the foundation for a much healthier relationship between all politicians, DOC and farmers.

June 14 in history


On June 14:

1276  While taking exile in Fuzhou in southern China, away from the advancing Mongol invaders, the remnants of the Song Dynasty court held the coronation ceremony for the young prince Zhao Shi, making him Emperor Duanzong of Song.

1287  Kublai Khan defeated the force of Nayan and other traditionalist Borjigin princes in East Mongolia and Manchuria.


1381 Richard II met leaders of Peasants’ Revolt on Blackheath. The Tower of London was stormed by rebels who entered without resistance.


1645 English Civil War: Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.


1648  Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony.

1775  American Revolutionary War: the Continental Army was established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Army.


1777  The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.


1789  Mutiny on the Bounty: Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reached Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.


1789 – Whiskey distilled from maize was first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It was named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

1800 The French Army of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in Northern Italy and re-conquered Italy.

Lejeune - Bataille de Marengo.jpg

1807  Emperor Napoleon I’s French Grande Armee defeated the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland ending the War of the Fourth Coalition.

Friedland mazurovsky.jpg

1811 Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author, was born (d. 1896).


1821  Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrendered his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom.

1822  Charles Babbage proposed a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables”.


1839  Henley Royal Regatta: the village of Henley staged its first Regatta.


1846  Bear Flag Revolt began – Anglo settlers in Sonoma, California, staredt a rebellion against Mexico and proclaimed the California Republic.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Second Winchester – a Union garrison was defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia.

Second Winchester Map.jpg

1863 Second Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson during the American Civil War.

Siege of Port Hudson.png

1864 Alois Alzheimer, German physician, was born (d. 1915).


1872  Trade unions were legalised in Canada.

1900  Hawaii became a United States territory.

Flag of Hawaii State seal of Hawaii

1900  The Reichstag approved a second law that allowed the expansion of the German navy.

1907 Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator, was born (d. 1978).


1907  Norway adopted female suffrage.

1909 Burl Ives, American musician, was born (d. 1995).

1919  John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown left St. John’s, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight.


1928 Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Marxist Revolutionary, was born (d. 1967).


1929 Cy Coleman, American composer, was born (d. 2004).

1937 – U. S. House of Representatives passed the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.

Marijuana icon.jpg

1936 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, singer (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2005).

1938 Action Comics issue one was released, introducing Superman.

Action Comics 1.jpg

1940 World War II: Paris fell under German occupation, and Allied forces retreat.

1940 The Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Lithuania resulting in Lithuanian loss of independence

1940  A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów become the first inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

1941 June deportation, the first major wave of Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, began.


1942 Anne Frank began to keep a diary.

A bronze statue of a smiling Anne Frank, wearing a short dress and standing with her arms behind her back, sits upon a stone plinth with a plaque reading "Anne Frank 1929–1945".  The statue is in a small square, and behind it is a brick building with two large window, and a bicycle.  The statue stands between the two windows. 

1946  Donald Trump, American businessman and entrepreneur, was born.

 1949 – Alan White, British drummer (Yes), was born.

1950  Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, was born. 

1951  UNIVAC I was dedicated by U.S. Census Bureau.


1952  The keel was laid for the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.


1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law that places the words “under God” into the United States’ Pledge of Allegiance.


1959  A group of Dominican exiles with leftist tendencies that departed from Cuba landed in the Dominican Republic with the intent of deposing Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina.  All but four were killed and/or executed by Trujillo’s army.

Head and shoulders of a man with a small moustache wearing a military uniform with many medals on his chest. He is looking into the camera, smiling slightly.

1961 Boy George, British singer (Culture Club), was born,

1962 – The European Space Research Organisation was established in Paris.


1962  The New Mexico Supreme Court in the case of Montoya v. Bolack, 70 N.M. 196, prohibits state and local governments from denying Indians the right to vote because they live on a reservation.

1966  The Vatican announced the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited books), which was originally instituted in 1557.


1967   Mariner 5 was launched toward Venus.


1976  The trial began at Oxford Crown Court of Donald Neilson, the killer known as the Black Panther.


1982  The Falklands War ended: Argentine forces in the capital Stanley unconditionally surrenderred to British forces.


1984 Robert Muldoon called a snap election.

Muldoon calls snap election

1985  TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by Hezbollah shortly after take-off from Athens.

1990 Miners from Jiu Valley were called to Bucharest by President Ion Iliescu to quell demonstrations in University Square by anti-government protesters.

2001  China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan form the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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