Wise-cracking vs wit


Dorothy Parker, mistress of the witty and often acerbic comment, was born 107 years ago today.

It was she who said: There’s a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise -cracking is simply calisthenics with words.

There are more quotes here.



Word of the day


Jaunce – to prounce or cause a horse to prounce.

The Astounding Circus of Dr Tourette


Five days late but worth the wait – this week’s Tuesday’s Poem is The Astounding Circus of Dr Tourette  by Heather Davis.

Among the links to other Tuesday poets in the side bar is Tortellini by Clare Beynon. It isn’t poetry but did make me giggle.

Quote of the week


No crisis should ever be allowed to slip by without calls for greater public expenditure of doubtful worth, and the Gulf oil spill crisis is no exception to this golden rule of bureaucratic opportunism. . .


 They want to build coping skills, as I built model cranes with engineering sets when I was a little boy. Another thing they want to build is community resilience. One might have supposed that resilience isn’t the kind of thing that is built. I think it is time a sense of humor, or at least of the ridiculous, was built. . .

Theodore Dalrypmle writing on how the gulf oil crisis spill meets news-speak dictionary in Pajamas Media.

Loser but no winner


Australia may have its first hung parliament in decades after election night results gave neither Labor nor the Liberals a majority.

Julia Gillard refused to concede last night and it’s possible she may be able to cobble together a coalition once preferences are counted. But coming second on election night was a loss for Labor and its very new leader.

However, being ahead by a nose but without a clear majority can’t be counted as a win for Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party either.

One of the criticisms of MMP is that it doesn’t necessarily give a conclusive election night result. But Britain’s election under First Past the Post earlier this year and Australia’s preferential system have both given indecisive results.

August 22 in history


On August 22:

565  St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness.

Loch Ness monster views.svg

1138 Battle of the Standard between Scotland and England.


1485  The Battle of Bosworth Field, the death of Richard III and the end of the House of Plantagenet.

Battle scene with many figures. A knight atop a charger and wielding a lance unhorses another knight. Two unhorsed knights battle. Infantry advances from the right, led by a man with raised sword. Bodies litter the ground.

1559 Bartolomé Carranza, Spanish archbishop, was arrested for heresy.


1642 Charles I called the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil War began.


1654 Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam – the first known Jewish immigrant to America.

1770  James Cook‘s expedition landed on the east coast of Australia.

1780 James Cook‘s ship HMS Resolution returned to England after Cook was killed in Hawaii.


1791  Beginning of the Haitian Slave Revolution in Saint-Domingue.

San Domingo.jpg

1798 French troops landed in Kilcummin harbour, County Mayo to aid Wolfe Tone’s United Irishmen’s Irish Rebellion.

Vinegar hill.jpg

1827 José de La Mar becomes President of Peru.

1831  Nat Turner’s slave rebellion commenced leading to the deaths of more than 50 whites and several hundred African Americans who are killed in retaliation for the uprising.


1849 The first air raid in history. Austria launched pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice.

1851 The first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.

America's Cup yacht America.jpg

1862 Claude Debussy, French composer, was born (d. 1918).


1864  Twelve nations signed the First Geneva Convention. The Red Cross was formed.

Croixrouge logos.jpg

1875 The Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Japan and Russia was ratified, providing for the exchange of Sakhalin for the Kuril Islands.

1893 Dorothy Parker, American writer, was born (d. 1967).


1901 Cadillac Motor Company was founded.


1902  Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.

1909 Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter, was born (d. 2000).

1915 James Hillier, Co-inventor of the electron microscope, was born (d. 2007).

1922  Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army was shot dead during an Anti-Treaty ambush at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, during the Irish Civil War.

Portrait of Micheál Ó Coileáin.jpg

1925 Honor Blackman, English actress, was born.

1926  Gold was discovered in Johannesburg.

1932 The BBC first experimented with television broadcasting.

1934  Bill Woodfull of Australia became the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes.

Woodfull stance.jpg

 1934Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. general, was born.

Norman Schwarzkopf

1934 – Sir Donald McIntyre, English bass-baritone, was born.

1935 E. Annie Proulx, American author, was born. 

cover to a recent paperback edition

1939  Valerie Harper, American actress, was born.

1941 World War II: German troops reached Leningrad, leading to the siege of Leningrad.

Blokada Leningrad diorama.jpg

1942  World War II: Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy.

1944 World War II: Romania wascaptured by the Soviet Union.

1949  Queen Charlotte earthquake: Canada’s largest earthquake since 1700.

1950  Althea Gibson became the first black competitor in international tennis.

Althea Gibson in 1956.

1952 The penal colony on Devil’s Island was permanently closed.

1961  Roland Orzabal, British musician (Tears for Fears), was born.

1962 An attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle failed.

196  The NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered cargo ship, completed its maiden voyage.


1963  Joe Walker in an X-15 test plane reached an altitude of 106 km (66 mi).


1968 Pope Paul VI arrived in Bogotá –  the first visit of a pope to Latin America.


1969 The first Young Farmer of the Year contest was won by Gary Frazer.

First 'Young Farmer of the Year' chosen

1972 Rhodesia was expelled by the IOC for its racist policies.

1973 Howie Dorough, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1978 The Frente Sandinista de Liberacion – FSLN – occupied national palace in Nicaragua.


1989 The first ring of Neptune was discovered.


1996  Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, representing major shift in US welfare policy

2003  Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

2004   The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo.

2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million e-mails in one day.


Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia

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