Just a little euphorious


Ogden Nash was born 108 years ago today.

A friends grandfather taught me to recite: I eat my peas with honey/I’ve done it all my live/ It makes the peas taste funny/ but it sticks them to my knife.

I thought that it was one of Nash’s witty pieces but if Google is to be believed, it’s attributed to him in error.

There is a website devoted to poems he really did write, I particularly enjoyed No Doctors Today Thanks

They tell me that euphoria is the feeling of feeling wonderful, well, today I feel euphorian, . . .

. . .  Kind people, don’t think me purse-proud, don’t set me down as vainglorious,/I’m just a little euphorious.

Word of the day


Prospagnosia – the inability to recognise familiar faces.

Have you noticed . . .


Have you noticed that when signs tell you something’s for your convenience, it almost always isn’t?



Oh dear – can I blame 9/15 in the Dominion Post political triva quiz on having been away?

Act no place for women?


The Green’s policy of co-leaders, one male and one female, and ranking its list to alternate men and women has always seemed unnecessaily contrived to me.

In the 21st centruy choosing people for their skills, abilities and what they can contribute to their party, parliament and the country should come up with a mix of men, women, ethnicities and whatever else was needed to ensure the list was representative and diverse as well as capable.

That theory has been tested by Act which has only one woman in parliament. When the party has such a small caucus, that could be explained as chance, but having no women at all would look like not just bad luck but bad management.

Now that Heather Roy has lost the party’s deputy leadership it’s unlikely that, if she decided to stand again, she’d get a winnable place on Act’s list next time. That leaves Act with the possibility of having no women in its caucus at all.

On present polling the party is unlikely to have more MPs after the next election and it may well have fewer.

If one of those MPs isn’t a woman the party should be looking at its structure, operation and policies. A party which either doesn’t have capable women willing to stand, or has them willing but not represented in the higher positions on its list has a problem.

Alternating men and women on the list looks like artificial equality, having no women in winnable places  at all would look like actual inequality.

UPDATE: Toad has pointed out I was wrong about the Greens – they can be flexible with the gender balance in list rankings.

August 19 in history


On August 19:

1504 Battle of Knockdoe.

1561 An 18-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to Scotland after spending 13 years in France.


1612  The “Samlesbury witches“, three women from  Samlesbury, were put on trial, accused for practising witchcraft, one of the most famous witch trials in English history.

Two women flying on a broomstick above a large body of water against a dark sky, led by a large black bird. The older woman in front is dressed in a pointed hat and long black cloak, while the younger woman behind is dressed in white. 

1631  John Dryden, English poet, was born  (d. 1700).

1666  Second Anglo-Dutch War: Rear Admiral Robert Holmes led a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships, an act later known as “Holmes’s Bonfire“.

1689 Samuel Richardson, English writer, was born  (d. 1761).
1692 Salem witch trials:  one woman and four men, including a clergyman, were executed after being convicted of witchcraft.

1745  Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard in Glenfinnan – the start of the Second Jacobite Rebellion, known as “the 45”.


1768 Saint Isaac’s Cathedral was founded in Saint Petersburg.


1772  Gustavus III of Sweden staged a Coup d’état, in which he assumed power and enacted a new constitution that divided power between the Riksdag and the King.


1782 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Blue Licks – the last major engagement of the war, almost ten months after the surrender of the British commander Lord Cornwallis.

Blue Licks marker.jpg

1812 War of 1812: American frigate USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, earning her nickname “Old Ironsides”.

Constitution sailing in Massachusetts Bay with six sails set and a crowd of civilian boats in the background with passengers aboard observing

1813  Gervasio Antonio de Posadas joined Argentina’s second triumvirate.


1839  Presentation of Jacque Daguerre’s new photographic process to the French Academy of Sciences.


1853 Edward Gibbon Wakefield was elected to the New Zealand Parliament.

Wakefield elected to Parliament

1861 First ascent of Weisshorn, fifth highest summit in the Alps.

1883 Coco Chanel, French clothing designer, was born  (d. 1971).

1895 American frontier murderer and outlaw, John Wesley Hardin, was killed by an off-duty policeman in a saloon in El Paso.


1902 Ogden Nash, American poet, was born  (d. 1971).


1919 Afghanistan gained full independence from the United Kingdom.

1927  Metropolitan Sergius proclaimed the declaration of loyalty of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Soviet state.


1928 Bernard Levin, English journalist, author, and broadcaster, was born  (d. 2004).


1930 Frank McCourt, Irish-American author, was born  (d. 2009).


1934  The first All-American Soap Box Derby was held in Dayton, Ohio.

1934  The creation of the position Führer was approved by the German electorate with 89.9% of the popular vote.

1939 Ginger Baker, English musician (Cream), was born.

1940 Johnny Nash, American singer-songwriter, was born.

1940 First flight of the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber.


1942  Operation Jubilee – the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division led an amphibious assault by allied forces on Dieppe, France and failed.


1944  As his damaged Hawker Typhoon fighter-bomber rapidly lost height, Pilot Officer James Stellin struggled to avoid crashing into Saint-Maclou-la-Brière, a village of 370 people in the Seine-Maritime region. He succeeded, but at the cost of his own life.

Kiwi pilot's sacrifice saves French village

1944  Liberation of Paris – Paris rose against German occupation with the help of Allied troops.

Crowds of French patriots line the Champs Elysees-edit2.jpg

1945   Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh took power in Hanoi.


1946 Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, was born.

1951 John Deacon, English musician (Queen), was born.

1953  Cold War: the CIA helped to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and reinstated the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.


1955 In the Northeast United States, severe flooding caused by Hurricane Diane, claimed 200 lives.

1960  Cold War: in Moscow, downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage.


1960  Sputnik 5 – the Soviet Union launched the satellite with the dogs Belka and Strelka, 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants.


1980  Saudia Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar burned after making an emergency landing at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh killing 301 people.

1981  Gulf of Sidra Incident: United States fighters intercepted and shot down two Libyan Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets over the Gulf of Sidra.


1987  Hungerford Massacre: Michael Ryan killed sixteen people with an assault rifle and then committed suicide.

1989  Polish president Wojciech Jaruzelski nominated Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to be the first non-communist Prime Minister in 42 years.


1989  Raid on offshore pirate station, Radio Caroline in North Sea by British and Dutch governments.

1989 Several hundred East Germans crossed the frontier between Hungary and Austria during the Pan-European Picnic, part of the events which began the process of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.


1990  Leonard Bernstein conducted his final concert, ending with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.


1991  Collapse of the Soviet Union, August Coup: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was placed under house arrest..


1991  Hurricane Bob hit the Northeast, United States.


1999  Tens of thousands of Serbians rallied to demand the resignation of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milošević.

2002 A Russian Mi-26 helicopter carrying troops was hit by a Chechen missile killing 118 soldiers.

2003 A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq killed the agency’s top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 other employees.


2003  A Hamas planned suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem killed 23 Israelis, 7 of them children in the Jerusalem bus 2 massacre.

2005 The first-ever joint military exercise between Russia and China, called Peace Mission 2005 began.

2005 A series of strong storms lashed Southern Ontario spawning several tornadoes as well as creating extreme flash flooding in Toronto and its surrounding communities. .

2009  A series of bombings in Baghdad, killed 101 and injured 565 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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