Word of the day


Obambulate – to wander about.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What are cucurbits?

2.What is raddle?

3. What does a rachiometer measure?

4. What denotes a raglan sleeve?

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

Bearhunter wins the electronic boquet with four right and a bonus for the Scottish accent.

David got two.

Dragonfly got one – I hadn’t known about that use for raddle.

PDM got one right, a half for the knitting and a bonus for wit.

Adam got three right and while his answer for 2 doesn’t match mine I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that too.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t legislate for a culture change


Simon Power’s announcement of  proposed changes to liquor laws has attracted a mixed and predictable response.

Some say they haven’t gone far enough while others resent the curbs on freedom.

Kiwiblog has a good summary of the proposals and reaction to them.

It will be an offence for anyone other than a parent or guardian to provide alcohol to an under-18-year-old without a parent’s or guardian’s consent.

 This should help address some of the problems of youth drinking but John Key got to the nub of the problem when he said:

“The law will certainly help give parents some form of protection in terms of what they do [but] it also demands of them that they apply responsibility as a responsible host.”

. . .  Key said it was ultimately up to parents to demonstrate that they did not want a binge-drinking culture.

“In the end we cannot legislate away New Zealand’s drinking culture,” he said.

Legislation won’t change the culture, only people can do that and it’s not only young people who have an immature attitude to alcohol.

Youth drinking is a problem but alcohol abuse doesn’t always stop when people grow up.

I quoted Theodore Dalrymple on this a few days ago. It bears repeating:

. . .  even if the right legislation were enough by itself to reduce public drunkenness to a level at which it was no longer a social problem it would be a very sad day when we looked only to the Government to make us behave decently, either by means of taxing or prohibiting our loss of self-control.

In the second half of the 19th century drunkenness declined dramatically, not because the government repressed it but because there was a public revulsion against it.

Habitual drunkenness came popularly to be seen as despicable: a man who drank to excess all the time was a bad worker, bad father, bad husband and bad citizen. In our own times we have experienced precisely the  opposite: namely a revulsion against sobriety. In my work as a doctor I used to speak to young people who as often as possible drank to the point of not remembering what they had done or what had  happened to them the night before.

I asked them why they did it, to which they replied that they had to express  themselves, that it would be bad for their health not to. It never occurred to them that the need not to make a public nuisance of themselves trumped any need they might personally have to express themselves, even if we allowed that dead-drunkenness is a form of self-expression.

A nation without sufficient self-respect to control itself  will in the end lose its freedom. Self-control will be replaced by government control. We are already far enough down that road.

Legislation won’t change the culture that finds drunkenness normal, acceptable and even amusing.

Until and unless drunkenness and the problems which result from it are regarded as abnormal,  unacceptable and abhorrent we’ll have more government control.

 That  is a poor substitute for self-control and will largely be addressing symptoms rather than causes.

Computer stolen, trust lost


One of our staff left her home in the middle of the afternoon to feed calves.

When she returned a couple of hours later her computer was gone.

The house is up a long drive, well off the road which makes it very unlikely a casual passer-by might have wandered into the property on the off-chance no-one was home.

It’s much more likely it was someone who lives nearby who knows the habits of the occupants.

Insurance will pay for the replacement computer, it won’t replace the photos, email addresses and other information on it. Nor will it replace the trust in neighbours which has been lost.

Rivertstone Kitchen officially the best


The judges of the Cuisine Restaurant of the Year awards have given official confirmation to what North Otago people, and anyone from further afield who’ve been lucky enough to dine there already knew – Riverstone Kitchen is the best.

It was the competition’s supreme winner and also topped the casual dining section.

This is well deserved recognition for Bevan and Monique Smith who produce deliciously simple meals using locally produced ingredients, including fruit and vegetables from their own garden, where at all possible.

Riverstone Kitchen is on Bevan’s family’s farm about 12 kilometres north of Oamaru on State Highway 1. His mother Dot has an amazing gift shop beside it which adds to the fun for day-time diners.

We’ve eaten at Riverstone several times. Every meal from a casual lunch with small children to a wedding breakfast has been superb and the friendly, efficient service matches the food.

Bevan, Monique and their staff provide a wonderful experience for diners. They have also shown locals and people from further afield that it is possible to operate a top quality, successful business in the country.

A TV3 news story on the restaurant is here and a Campbell live interview with Bevan and Monique is here.

The ODT story on the win is here.

August 24 in history


On August 24:

79   Mount Vesuvius erupted. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were buried in volcanic ash.


1198 King Alexander II of Scotland, was born (d. 1249).

1200  King John of England married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.


1215  Pope Innocent III declared Magna Carta invalid.


1349 Six thousand Jews were killed in Mainz  after being blamed for the bubonic plague.

1391  Jews  massacred in Palma de Mallorca.

1456  The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1511 Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal conquered Malacca, the capital of the Sultanate of Malacca.


1561 Willem of Orange married duchess Anna of Saxony.


1591 Robert Herrick, English poet, was born  (d. 1674).


1662 Act of Uniformity required England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.


1759 William Wilberforce, English abolitionist, was born (d. 1833).


1814  British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burned down the White House and several other buildings.

1815 The modern Constitution of the Netherlands was signed.


1821 The Treaty of Córdoba is signed Mexico, concluding the Mexican War of Independence.


1857  The Panic of 1857 began.


1870  The Wolseley Expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion.

1875 Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim English Channel.


1878  The Governor, the Marquess of Normanby, formally opened Wellington’s steam tram service, which was reportedly the first to operate in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wellington steam-tram service opened

1891  Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera.

1898Count Muravyov, Foreign Minister of Russia presented a rescript that convoked the First Hague Peace Conference.

1899  Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer, was born (d. 1986).


1924 Jimmy Gardner , British actor, was born (d. 2010).

1927 David Ireland, Australian author, was born.

1929 Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leader, was born (d. 2004).

1929  Betty Dodson, American feminist and sex educator, was born.

1931 – Resignation of the United Kingdom’s Second Labour Government. Formation of the UK National Government.


1932 Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).


1936 A. S. Byatt, English novelist, was born.


1936  The Australian Antarctic Territory was created.

Map of Antarctica indicating Australian claim

1937  In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrendered to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.

1938  – David Freiberg, American bassist (Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Starship), was born.

1942 : The Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō was sunk and US carrier Enterprise heavily damaged.


1945  Ken Hensley, English musician (Uriah Heep), was born.

1949  The treaty creating NATO went into effect.


1950  Edith Sampson became the first black U.S. delegate to the UN.


1954  The Communist Control Act went into effect. The American Communist Party was outlawed.

CP logo.png

1954 Getúlio Dornelles Vargas, president of Brazil, committed suicide and was succeeded by João Café Filho.


1960  A temperature of −88°C (−127°F) was measured in Vostok, Antarctica — a world-record low.

1963  The 200-metre freestyle was swum in less than 2 minutes for the first time by Don Schollander (1:58).

1967  Aa group of hippies led by Abbie Hoffman temporarily disrupted trading at the NYSE by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing a cease in trading as the brokers scramble to grab them up.


1968  France exploded its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world’s fifth nuclear power.

1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


1991  Ukraine declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida as a Category 5 Hurricane.


1995 Computer software developer Microsoft released their Windows 95 operating system.

Am windows95 desktop.png

1998 – First RFID human implantation tested in the United Kingdom.

2000  Argon fluorohydride, the first Argon compound ever known, was discovered at the University of Helsinki by Finnish scientists.

2001Air Transat Flight 236 runs out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean and made an emergency landing in the Azores.

2004  89 passengers died when two airliners exploded after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport. The explosions were caused by suicide bombers.

2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term “planet” so that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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