Word of the day


Jellygraph – Wikipedia says it’s also know as a hectograph or gelatin duplicator –  a printing process which involves transfer of an original, prepared with special inks, to a pan of gelatin or a gelatin pad pulled tight on a metal frame.

Monday’s quiz


1. What are cucurbits?

2.What is raddle?

3. What does a rachiometer measure?

4. What is a raglan sleeve?

5. Who said:”A majority is always better than the best repartee.”?

Shocking stories


A few weeks ago Jamie Mackay was running a competition on The Farming Show for the most shocking electric fence story.

The winner’s tale involved a barbed wire fence with an electric outrigger and even though I’m not a bloke it made me wince.

My electric fence story isn’t much of a shocker in comparison to that.

We were mustering goats – the where and why is a long story.

In the shorter version we weren’t having much success because the electric fences weren’t stock proof.

After too much of this I wondered aloud if the fence was working properly.

The farm manager said, “Why don’t you touch it and see?”

I approached the fence cautiously, jabbed a wire with one finger and pulled it back without feeling anything. I tried it again with the same result. I got braver, put my palm on the wire, then closed my fist round it, still nothing.

“Try it again with one hand on the ground,” the manager said.

Muggins did – and got painful proof the electric fence was working properly.

The manager had noticed what I’d forgotten – I was wearing tramping boots with thick, rubber soles. They’d insulated me when I first touched the fence but as soon as my hand touched the ground the fence was earthed and I was well and truly zapped.

Local body election race gets dirty


One of the good things about local body elections in smaller districts is that they are usually devoid of personal attacks.

Not so this time.

Someone’s been throwing dirt at Waitaki mayoral aspirant, and sitting deputy mayor, Gary Kircher.

The culprit/s are making the accusations anonmymously which makes it worse.

Four people are seeking the mayoralty but I think it will be a two-horse race between Gary and the sitting mayor, Alec Familton.

I’ve been spectacularly unsuccessful at picking local body results in recent years so am not going to predict the outcome.

The ODT lists all nominees from Waitaki to Invercargill here. 

None of the contests is likely to be as entertaining as the one in Albany where Cameron Slater, AKA Whaleoil, is running.

August 23 in history


On August 23:

79  Mount Vesuvius began stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

1305  William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason.


1328  Battle of Cassel: French troops stopped an uprising of Flemish farmers.

The Battle of Cassel on 23rd August 1328.png

1514  Battle of Chaldiran ended with a decisive victory for the Sultan Selim I, Ottoman Empire, over the Shah Ismail I, Safavids founder.


1555  Calvinists were granted rights in the Netherlands.

1572   St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre – Mob violence against Huguenots in Paris.


1595  Michael the Brave confronted the Ottoman army in the Battle of Calugareni.

Theodor Aman - Izgonirea turcilor la Calugareni.jpg

1708  Meidingnu Pamheiba was crowned King of Manipur.

1775 King George III declared that the American colonies existed in a state of open and avowed rebellion.

1793 French Revolution: a levée en masse was decreed by the National Convention.

1799  Napoleon left Egypt for France en route to seize power.

1813  Battle of Grossbeeren, the Prussians under Von Bülow repulsed the French army.

Knotel-Battle of Grossbeeren.jpg

1839  The United Kingdom captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for war with Qing China.

1858  The Round Oak rail accident in Brierley Hill, England.

1866  Austro-Prussian War ended with the Treaty of Prague.

1873  Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London opened.

1875 William Eccles, English radio pioneer, was born (d. 1966).

1896 First Cry of the Philippine Revolution was made in Pugad Lawin (Quezon City), in the province of Manila.

1900 Malvina Reynolds, American folk singer/songwriter, was born (d. 1978).


1904 The automobile tyre chain was patented.

1912 Gene Kelly, American dancer and actor, was born (d. 1996).

1914 World War I: Japan declared war on Germany and bombed Qingdao, China.

1914 – World War I: the Battle of Mons; the British Army began withdrawal.


1921  British airship R-38 experienced structural failure over Hull in England and crashed in the Humber estuary.  Only 4 of her 49 British and American training crew survived.


1923  Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.

Smith and Richter cropped.jpg

1929  Hebron Massacre during the 1929 Palestine riots: Arab attack on the Jewish community in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, continuing until the next day, resulted in the death of 65-68 Jews and the remaining Jews being forced to leave the city.


1934 Barbara Eden, American actress and singer, was born.

1938 English cricketer Sir Len Hutton set a world record for the highest individual Test innings of 364, during a Test match against Australia.

Len Hutton.jpg


1939 New Zealand writer Robin Hyde died in London.

Writer Robin Hyde dies in London

1939  World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland were divided between the two nations.


1942  Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-W0506-316, Russland, Kampf um Stalingrad, Siegesflagge.jpg

1942  The last cavalry charge in history took place at Izbushensky.

1943 Nelson DeMille, American novelist, was born.

Word of honor cover.jpg

1943   Kharkov was liberated.

1944   Marseille was liberated.

1944   King Michael of Romania dismissed the pro-Nazi government of General Antonescu, who was arrested. Romania switched sides from the Axis to the Allies.

1944  Freckleton Air Disaster – A United States Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashed into a school in Freckleton, England killing 61 people.

1946 Keith Moon, English musician (The Who), was born (d. 1978).

1946  Ordinance No. 46 of the British Military Government constitutes the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein.

1947 Assisted immigration to New Zealand for British people resumed after WWII.

Assisted immigration resumes after war

1947 – Willy Russell, British playwright, was born.

Educating Rita.jpg

1948  World Council of Churches was formed.

1949 Rick Springfield, Australian singer and actor, was born.

1951 Queen Noor of Jordan, was born.

1954 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.


1958  Chinese Civil War: The Second Taiwan Strait crisis began with the People’s Liberation Army’s bombardment of Quemoy.

1966  Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.

1975 Successful Communist coup in Laos.

1977  The Gossamer Condor won the Kremer prize for human powered flight.

1979  Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected to the United States.

1982 Bachir Gemayel was elected Lebanese President amidst the raging civil war.


1985  Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defected to East Germany.

1989  Hungary: the last communist government opened the Iron curtain and caused the exodus of thousands of Eastern Germans to West Germany via Hungary.

1989  Singing Revolution: two million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stoodon the Vilnius-Tallinn road, holding hands (Baltic Way).


1989 – 1,645 Australian domestic airline pilots resign after the airlines threaten to fire them and sue them over a dispute.

1990  Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi state television with a number of Western “guests” ( hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War.

1990  Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.


1990  West and East Germany announced that they would unite on October 3.

1994  Eugene Bullard, The only black pilot in World War I, was posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Eugene Jacques Bullard, first African American combat pilot in uniform, First World War.jpg

1996 Osama bin Laden issued message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’

Bin Laden Poster2.jpeg

2000  Gulf Air Flight 072 crashed into the Persian Gulf near Manama, Bahrain, killing 143.

2006Natascha Kampusch, who was abducted at the age of 10, managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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