Saturday smiles


Apropos of tonight’s game:

A rugby referee died and went to heaven.

Stopped by St Peter at the gates he was told that only brave people who had performed heroic deeds and had the courage of their convictions could enter.

If he could describe a situation in his life where he had shown these characteristics, he would be allowed in.

“Well,” said the ref, “I was controlling a Bledisloe Cup game between the All Blacks and  Wallabies in Christchurch.

“New Zealand was four points ahead with a minute to go. James O’Connor made a break, passed to Drew Mitchell. Mitchell was driven on by his forwards, before he passed out to Kurtley Beale who passed back to Rocky Elsom who went over in the corner.

“But it was a cold evening, the ball was slippery and Elsom fumbled as he went down. It was a 50/50 call on whether he’d grounded it. As Australia was clearly the better side all game, I ruled that he had got it down and awarded the try.”

“Ok, that was fairly brave of you, but I will have to check it in the book,” said Peter, before disappearing to look it up.

When he came back he said: “Sorry, there’s no record of this. Can you help me to trace it? When did all this happen?”

The ref looked at his watch and replied: “Forty-five seconds ago.”

Word of the day


Uxorious – excessively devoted or submissive to one’s wife.

Is that possible? 🙂

Go Otaaaaago


The Waitaki River has been not just a geographic boundary, it has also marked an historical, social, cultural and – at times – political division between Otago and Canterbury .

However, those of us on the right side of the Waitaki accept that those on the other side are South Islanders and we’ll back them against any but our own.

The relationship between Otago and Southland is much closer. We rarely regard each other as rivals and many of us would be hard pressed to say exactly where the boundary between the two provinces is.

The battles of one are the battles of both – as witnessed by the combined action by both provinces backed by the ODT and Southland Times to keep neurological services in Dunedin.

If either Southland or Otago was playing Canterbury, or any other team, for the Ranfurly Shield tonight we’d have no doubt about which team we wanted to win.

But as Otago prepares to challenge Southland for the shield the rivalry is friendlier. 

I say go Otaaago and Brunette is backing the boys from further south.

But while blue and gold supporters want their team to win and maroon and gold fans are right behind theirs, deep down there’s a feeling that as long as the shield stays on the right side of the Waitaki, it doesn’t really matter which team holds it.



9/15 in the TV3 weekly quiz.

Any answers to questions about entertainment were guesses and all but two were wrong.

Would moving NZ books help to move them?


Quote Unquote queried a Listener story which said only 6.1% of New Zealand books we bought were fiction.

He then did some research and discovered that figure was correct.

No doubt there are many reasons why we don’t buy much local fiction but I wonder if placement in shops is one of them?

General fiction is usually at the front of  book shops. The odd New Zealand book appears there among the foreign authors but most  New Zealand fiction is usually further back in a special section of its own.

I wonder if it would make any difference to sales  if books by  New Zealand authors were mixed up with general fiction?

If being by a local author is a selling point that could be acknowledged with a sticker the way prize winners are.

Honesty doesn’t make the headlines


When we’re bombarded with news which shows the baser bits of human behaviour it’s easy to forget that these sort of things are news because they’re not the norm.

Acts of generosity, kindness and honesty don’t hit the headlines because in spite of fears concerns about modern morality they aren’t news, they do still happen every day.

That said, if I lost my wallet, I wouldn’t be over confident of getting it back with its contents intact, if at all.

But Invercargill MP Eric Roy lost his wallet at the rugby last week and thanks to the honesty of some Southlanders, it was handed in to the police with everything untouched.

If you know who the anonymous good Samaritans are, please phone his office (number in the link above) because he’d like to thank them.

Hat Tip: Roar Prawn

August 7 in history


On August 7:

322 BC  Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedon.

936  Coronation of King Otto I of Germany.

1420  Construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore began in Florence.


1427   The Visconti of Milan’s fleet was destroyed by the Venetians on the Po River.

1461   The Ming Dynasty military general Cao Qin staged a coup against the Tianshun Emperor.


1606   The first documented performance of Macbeth, at the Great Hall at Hampton Court.


1679  The brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was towed to the south-eastern end of the Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes.

Woodcut of the Griffon


1714  The Battle of Gangut: the first important victory of the Russian Navy.


1782  George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honour soldiers wounded in battle. (later renamed  Purple Heart).


1794  U.S. President George Washington invoked the Militia Law of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.


1819  Simón Bolívar triumphed over Spain in the Battle of Boyacá.


1876 Mata Hari, Dutch spy, was born (d. 1917).


1879 The opening of the Poor Man’s Palace in Manchester.

1890  Anna Månsdotter became the last woman in Sweden to be executed, for the 1889 Yngsjö murder.


1908 The first train to travel the length of the North Island main trunk line, the ‘Parliament Special’ left Wellington.

First train runs length of main trunk line

1926 Stan Freberg, American voice comedian, was born.

1927  The Peace Bridge opened between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

1930  The last lynching in the Northern United States, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were killed.

1933 The Simele massacre: The Iraqi Government slaughtersed over 3,000 Assyrians in the village of Sumail.


1936 Joy Cowley, New Zealand author, was born.

1942  B.J. Thomas, American singer, was born.

1942  The Battle of Guadalcanal began – United States Marines initiated the first American offensive of the war with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi.


1944  IBM dedicated the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).


1947 Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashed into the reef at Raroia  in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have travelled from South America.


1948  Greg Chappell, Australian cricketer and coach, was born.


1955 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, sold its first transistor radios in Japan.


1958 Bruce Dickinson, English singer (Iron Maiden), was born.

1959 – Explorer 6 launched from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral.


1960 Jacquie O’Sullivan, British singer (Bananarama), was born.

1960  Côte d’Ivoire became independent.


1964 John Birmingham, Australian author, was born.

1964  U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.

1965 The first party between Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hells Angels introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels.

1966 Race riots in Lansing, Michigan.

1974  Philippe Petit performed a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Centere 1,368 feet (417 m) in the air.

1978  U.S. President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.

Love Canal is located in New York

1979  Several tornadoes struck the city of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada and the surrounding communities.

1981 The Washington Star ceased all operations after 128 years of publication.

1985 Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai were chosen to be Japan’s first astronauts.

Doi.jpgMamoru Mohri portrait.jpg

Chiaki Mukai.jpg

1988 Rioting in New York City’s Tompkins Square Park.

1998  The United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi killed approximately 212 people.


1999  Second Chechen War began.


2008  Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetia to counter the alleged Russian invasion, starting the South Ossetia War.

2008 South Ossetia war en.svg

Sourced from NZ History Online & W ikipedia

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