Word of the day


Factious – turbulent; given to faction; seditious; relating to, produced by or characterised by internal dissension.

Monday’s quiz


1. What is  Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane commonly known as and what is it used for?

2. What are the first six letters in the Nato (phonetic ) alphabet used for radio, telephone and military communications.

3. Who said “Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.”?

4. Who is the patron saint of florists?

5.What is the birthstone for September?

Snow’s no good for lambs


Spring had been merciful to lambs until now.

But Southland and Otago farmers are expecting big losses in the wake of the weekend’s snowfalls.

Federated Farms board member David Rose said:

“Winter in winter is OK but winter in spring is a bit of a disaster.”

They were in the middle of lambing and had quite a few losses because of the weather, Mr Rose said.

“You feel a bit helpless, really … it’s hard to do anything.”

There were only so many sheep they could put inside, which was difficult at the rate they had been lambing, Mr Rose said. “You do what you can … It’s inevitable you’re going to have losses.”

Feds Otago president Mike Lord said those worst affected could lose 200-300 lambs.

Newborn lambs had virtually no chance against the elements on Saturday because of the wind chill, he said.

Luckily, many late-lambing farmers were due to start today and the losses would have been much worse had the blast hit in a few days’ time, he said.

News reports like this often lead to questions of why farmers lamb at this time of year. It’s all to do with feed supply – having enough grass at the right time to flush ewes before tupping in autumn and to feed them and their lambs in spring and early summer.

Besides, storms strike at any time of the year.

Snow isn’t good for the potential fruit harvest either.

Alexandra’s Blossom Festival is scheduled for next weekend and orchardists have been fighting frosts.

A newsletter to shareholders from Fonterra chair Henry van der Hayden said up to eight inches of snow at Edendale prevented tankers getting out to farms. Several farmers had to dump milk into effluent ponds.

There shouldn’t be any environmental damage as a result of that providing it’s sprayed on to paddocks in the right way at the right time and the co-operative will pay out on estimates of milk lost.

Parliament TV hacked


In The House has been hacked.

The NBR Reports:

The House of Representatives’ official on-demand video website, Parliament TV on Demand (inthehouse.co.nz), has been defaced by Turkish hacker Iskorpitx.

The cyber-vandal has a long history of compromising a website’s server, then replacing its contents with his own “graffiti” – sometime political, but usually just showing off his own talents.

In Parliament TV’s case, the site has been madeover with an animated flag, and the cheery, Borat-ish message: “best regards to all world”.

If hackers can get into this site, how secure is the rest of parliament’s IT system?

It wouldn’t be possible for someone to get into a party leader’s emails would it?

Two cities two codes?


Two weeks ago a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Canterbury and no-one was killed.

One of the reasons given for that was building codes which made homes, hotels and other buildings safer.

Two days ago the roof of Stadium Southland collapsed under the weight of the snow and again no-one was killed.

Is this a tale of two building codes?

If not, how can regulations which make buildings strong enough to withstand an earthquake in Canterbury not make a roof strong enough to withstand a snowfall in Southland?

September 20 in history


On September 20:

451  The Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius‘s victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world.

De Neuville - The Huns at the Battle of Chalons.jpg

524 Kan B’alam I, ruler of Maya state of Palenque, was born (d. 583).

The Palace, Ruins of Palenque

1187  Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem.


1378  Cardinal Robert of Geneva, known as the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.

1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.


1633  Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.



1697 The Treaty of Rijswijk was signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic ending the Nine Years’ War (1688–97).


1737  The finish of the Walking Purchase which forced the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.


1835  Farroupilha’s Revolution began in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


1842  James Dewar, Scottish chemist, was born (d. 1923).


1848  The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created.

1854 Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeated Russians in the Crimea.


1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ended with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.

Indian Rebellion of 1857.jpg

1860  The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) visited the United States.


1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga ended.


1870  Bersaglieri corps entered Rome through the Porta Pia and completed the unification of Italy.


1871  Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, the first bishop of Melanesia, was martyred on the island of Nukapu.

1881  Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassination of James Garfield.

1891  The first gasoline-powered car debuted in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1906  Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania was launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne.

RMS Mauretania.jpg

1914 Kenneth More, English actor, was born (d. 1982).


1920  Foundation of the Spanish Legion.


1930 Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was formed by Archbishop Mar Ivanios.

1934 Sophia Loren, Italian actress, was born.


1942 Holocaust in Letychiv, Ukraine. In the course of two days German SS murdered at least 3,000 Jews.

1946  The first Cannes Film Festival was held.

1954  The Mazengarb inquiry into ‘juvenile delinquency’  was released. It blamed the perceived promiscuity of the nation’s youth on the absence from home of working mothers, the easy availability of contraceptives, and on young women who enticed men into having sex.

Mazengarb report released

1957   Alannah Currie, New Zealander musician (Thompson Twins), was born.


1957  Michael Hurst, New Zealand actor, was born.

Two men, the one on the left has long brown hair and is taller than the one on the right. The man on the right has long blond hair and is wearing a tunic top and leather trousers and a gauntlet on his right arm. The man on the right is wearing a waistcoat, leather trousers and a medallion around his neck. 

1962 James Meredith, an African-American, was temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi.

1967  The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 was launched at John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland.

QE2 leaving southampton water.jpg

1970  Syrian tanks entered Jordan in response to continued fighting between Jordan and the fedayeen.

1971 – Todd Blackadder, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1973  Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in The Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.

Billie Jean King by David Shankbone.jpg

1979  Lee Iacocca was elected president of the Chrysler Corporation.

1979  A coup d’état in the Central African Empire overthrew Emperor Bokasa I.

1984  A suicide bomber in a car attacked the U.S. embassy in Beirut killing 22 people.

1990 South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia.

2000  The British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building was attacked by a Russian-built Mark 22 anti-tank missile.


2001 In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror”.

2002  The Kolka-Karmadon rock/ice slide started.

2003 Maldives civil unrest: the death of prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem sparked a day of rioting in Malé.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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