Death of a blogger


A comment on one of my posts led me to Kismet Farm where I enjoyed Wino’s tales of her horses and other animals, her battles with bureaucracy, and observations on life.

A few months ago she wrote that she had terminal cancer so when she hadn’t posted since early May I was concerned. Today her husband posted that she died last week.

If I am sad after knowing her only recently and electronically, how much worse it will be for her family and friends.

Railway Carriage


Marty Feldman would have been 77 today.

Life In A Day


If you’ve wanted to make your mark in international cinema, Life In A Day , could be the opportunity you’re looking for.

It’s a an experiment to document life through the lenses of people all aorund the world.

On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a snapshot of your life on camera. You can film the ordinary — a sunrise, the commute to work, a neighborhood soccer match, or the extraordinary — a baby’s first steps, your reaction to the passing of a loved one, or even a marriage.

Kevin Macdonald, the Oscar-winning director of films such as The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void and One Day in September, will then edit the most compelling footage into a feature documentary film, to be executive-produced by Ridley Scott, the director behind films like Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Thelma & Louise, Blade Runner and Robin Hood. LG Electronics is supporting “Life in a Day” as a key part of its long-standing “Life’s Good” campaign and to support the creation of quality online content that can be shared and enjoyed by all.

The film will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and if your footage makes it into the final cut, you’ll be credited as a co-director and may be one of 20 contributors selected to attend the premiere.

There’s more information on youTube.

In The Desert


In the Desert by Stephen Crane is this week’s Tuesday Poem.

Mary McCallum who started the blog discussed it with Jim Mora at the start of  The Panel on Tuesday.

It features a different poem each Tuesday and links in the sidebar take you to other poems and poetic musings.

España 1 Alemania 0


The more I see of football the less I understand.

Having just watched the last few minutes of the World Cup  semi-final between Spain and Germany I’ve come up with another questions: why do the Spanish wear blue shorts when their colours are red and yellow?

Teachers vs government


. . . Especially in regards to taking a stand against a Govt. when it believes they have got it wrong. While it’s not in the interests of the children in the short term, perhaps if they fight hard enough to ensure that future Govt’s think twice about ramming something down their throats when they know the teachers will disagree. And, if the teachers happen to be correct, then perhaps it will save children. In the long run. . .

That was part of  a comment on last week’s post on National Standards.

It shows one of the major problems with National Standards. The people who are supposed to be implementing them don’t realise they are public servants. They don’t make the policy and they do have to work with it.

As Mark Prebble told Kathryn Ryan:  “Public servants have to implement the policies of the government of the day.. .  . . . No public servant should be zealous about the particular cause they’re interested in. They should be zealous about democracy and respecting the law. . .”

National’s policy of introducing National Standards was part of the last election campaign. They won the election, they introduced the policy and like it or not, teachers do not have a choice over whether or not they abide by it.

Too many of our children leave school unable to read, write and do basic maths. National Standards aren’t a miracle cure for that.

They won’t magically teach English to the children who arrive at school unable to speak it; they won’t make up for the learning some children have missed out on before they get to school; they won’t compensate for the poor home life and lack of encouragement some children get; they won’t feed the children who arrive at school too hungry to learn; they won’t fix behavioural problems; they won’t address any of the other factors which interfere with optimal learning.

 All standards are is a tool which will help identify children who aren’t learning as well as they could be.  No-one is claiming they’re a perfect tool. But they’re the one the government has introduced. Schools have to work with them and  teachers, who are public servants,  have no choice about accepting them.

They should stop fighting the policy and the Minister,  put their energy into doing their best to make the standards work well and work constructively to make improvements where they’re needed.

If they did, they might see that the standards provide them with the case they need for more and improved help for children who are struggling. That is far more important than the standards themselves.

July 8 in history


On July 8:

1099 First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers marched in a religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders looked on.

1283  War of the Sicilian Vespers: Battle of Malta

1497  Vasco da Gama set sail on first direct European voyage to India.

1579 Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, was discovered underground in the city of Kazan.


1663  Charles II of England granted John Clarke a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.


1680 The first confirmed tornado in America killed a servant at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1709  Great Northern War: Battle of Poltava: Peter I of Russia defeated Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava, effectively ending Sweden’s role as a major power in Europe.

The Battle of Poltava by Denis Martens the Younger, painted 1726

1716  Great Northern War: Battle of Dynekilen.

1758  French forces held Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York.

The fort's configuration is described in detail below.

1760 French and Indian War: Battle of Restigouche – British defeated French forces in last naval battle in New France.

Le machault.jpg

1775  The Olive Branch Petition signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies.


1776  The Declaration of Independence was read aloud in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Liberty Bell was rung.

1822 Chippewas turned over huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom.


1838 Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German inventor, was born (d. 1917).


1839 John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist, was born (d. 1937).

1853  Commodore Perry sailedinto Tokyo Bay.


1859  King Charles XV/Carl IV acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway.


1864 Ikedaya Jiken: the Shinsengumi sabotaged the Choshu-han shishi’s planned attack on Kyoto, Japan at Ikedaya.


1874  The Mounties began their March West.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police.svg

1876  White supremacists killed five Black Republicans in Hamburg, SC.

1882 Percy Grainger, Australian composer, was born (d. 1961).

1889  The first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published.

Wall Street Journal 28April2008.jpg

1892  St. John’s, Newfoundland was devastated in the Great Fire of 1892.


1893 The New Zealand Racing Conference was formed to control the thoroughbred horseracing industry.

NZ Racing Conference established

1898 The shooting death of crime boss Soapy Smith released Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.

1908 Nelson A. Rockefeller, 41st Vice President of the United States, was born (d. 1979).


1920 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Danish industrialist (Lego Group), was born (d. 1995).

The logo for Lego, and the Lego group.

1926 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-born psychiatrist, was born (d. 2004).

1932  The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression, bottoming out at 41.22.

1933 Marty Feldman, English comedian and actor, was born (d. 1982).

1948 The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a programme called Women in the Air Force (WAF).


1960 Mal Meninga, Australian rugby league footballer, was born.

Mal Meninga (10 July 2008, Canberra).jpg

1960  Francis Gary Powers was charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.


1961 Andrew Fletcher, English musician (Depeche Mode), was born.

1962 Ne Win besieged and dynamited the Ragoon University Student Union building to crash the Student Movement.

1965  Train robber Ronald Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison, London.

1966 King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi was deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi.

Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi 

1928 Shane Howarth, New Zealand/Wales rugby player, was born.

1969 IBM CICS was made generally available for the 360 mainframe computer.

1970  Richard Nixon delivered a special congressional message enunciating Native American Self-Determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination Act.

1977  The ashes of Ahn Eak-tai, a Korean conductor and the composer of the national anthem Aegukga, were transferred from the island of Majorca to the Korean National Cemetery.

1982 Assassination attempt against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail.


1982 – Senegalese Trotskyist political party LCT was legally recognised.

1992 Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe created the office of High Commissioner on National Minorities.

1996 A man armed with a machete wounded three children and four adults at a primary school in Wolverhampton. Teacher Lisa Potts received the George medal for protecting her pupils, despite being severely injured.

1997 NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the alliance in 1999.


1999  Allen Lee Davis was executed by electric chair by the state of Florida, that state’s last use of the electric chair for capital punishment.

2003  Sudan Airways Flight 39, with 116 people on board, crashed in Sudan; the only survivor was a two-year-old boy who subsequently died as a result of his injuries.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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