Blague – humbug, pretentious nonsense; practical joke, playful deception.
Halloween may have made sense in the United States a few decades ago.
Then an autumn celebration which called on children to use their ingenuity to make costumes then call on neighbours whom they knew well for treats was probably fun for all concerned.
But it’s not something which translates successfully to spring in 21st century New Zealand.
It’s just another excuse for children to ask their parents to spend money on tack and wander the neighbourhood exhorting sweets from people they don’t know well, if at all.
It’s the wrong season and the wrong era.
1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The flight attendant looks at him and says, “I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”
2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says “Dam!
3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it immediately sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says “Are you sure?” The first replies “Yes, I’m positive.”
5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal?
His goal: transcend dental medication.
6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.
After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. “But why?” they asked, as they moved off.
“Because,” he said,” I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”
7. A woman has identical twins and is forced to give them up for adoption.
One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named “Ahmal.”
The other goes to a family in Spain ; they name him “Juan.” Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, “They’re identical twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.”
8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him.
So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to “persuade” them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop.
Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
9. Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
10. Someone sent ten different puns to friends with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
The sun shone in North Otago yesterday and so did the rugby team – winning the Meads Cup by beating W(h)anganui 39 -18.
This grip and grin with Julia Gillard and John Key looks like a photo in want of a caption.
Photo borrowed from here.
On October 31:
475 Romulus Augustulus was proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.
1517 Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
1587 Leiden University Library opened.
1795 John Keats, British poet, was born (d. 1821).
1860 Juliette Low, American founder of the Girl Scouts (d. 1927)
1861 American Civil War: Citing failing health, Union General Winfield Scott resigned as Commander of the United States Army.
1863 The Land Wars resumed as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron began their Invasion of the Waikato.
1864 Nevada was admitted as the 36th U.S. state.
1876 A monster cyclone ravaged India, resulting in over 200,000 deaths.
1887 Chiang Kai-shek, Nationalist Chinese leader, former Republic of China president, was born(d. 1975).
1908 Muriel Duckworth, Canadian activist, was born (d. 2009).
1913 Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across the United States.
1913 – The Indianapolis Street Car Strike and subsequent riot began.
1917 World War I: Battle of Beersheba – “last successful cavalry charge in history”.
1918 Banat Republic was founded.
1920 Dick Francis, British jockey-turned-novelist, was born (d. 2010).
1923 The first of 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees at Marble Bar, Australia.
1924 World Savings Day was announced in Milan by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks).
1926 Magician Harry Houdini died of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.
1931 Dan Rather, American television journalist, was born.
1938 Great Depression: In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveiled a fifteen-point programme aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.
1940 The Battle of Britain ended.
1941 After 14 years of work, drilling was completed on Mount Rushmore.
1941 The destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors.
1941 A fire in a clothing factory in Huddersfield, England killed 49
1943 World War II: An F4U Corsair accomplished the first successful radar-guided interception.
1949 Bob Siebenberg, American drummer (Supertramp), was born.
1954 Algerian War of Independence: The Algerian National Liberation Front began a revolt against French rule.
1956 Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France began bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
1963 An explosion at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) in Indianapolis killed 74 people during an ice skating show.
1968 Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he had ordered a complete cessation of “all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam” effective November 1.
1973 Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape. Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escaped from Mountjoy Prison aboard a hijacked helicopter.
1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two security guards.
1985 Keri Hulme’s novel The Bone People won the Booker Prize.
1986 The 5th congress of the Communist Party of Sweden was inaugurated. During the course of the congress the party name is changed to the Solidarity Party and the party ceases to be a communist party.
1994 An American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in Roselawn, Indiana, after circling in icy weather, killing 68 passengers and crew.
1998 Iraq disarmament crisis began: Iraq announced it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board.
1999 – Yachtsman Jesse Martin returned to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.
2000 Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 Flight 006 collided with construction equipment upon takeoff in Taipei, Taiwan killing 79 passengers and four crew members.
2000 – A chartered Antonov An-26 exploded after takeoff in Northern Angola killing 50.
2002 A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas indicts former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia
Greadan – (Gaelic) spending a considerable time and giving all one’s might to anything.
The Steampunk exhibition at Oamaru’s Forrester Gallery has opened.
I haven’t been inside since having a sneak peek while the exhibitinw s being set up last week, but it’s impossible to miss this outside:
A street party to celebrate the exhibition is being held this evening.
Spending cuts don’t take money out of the economy – Liberty Scott makes economics simple.
Story in two sentences – Will Type for Food has sport with spooner.
How fast to shake to get dry – Science Answers – Aimee Whitcroft at Sciblogs on optimal oscillation needed by a hairy beastie shaking itself dry.
They picked on the wrong people – Credo Quia Absurdum Est on corporate rowing gone wrong.
And (Hat Tip Credo Quia Absurdum Est) – the BBC sums up human achievement in 60 seconds:
Southland started the rugby season with the Ranfurly Shield but now it’s moved north – though thankfully not off the Mainland.
Otago hit rock bottom.
Today North Otago has the opportunity to bring a little rugby pride back to the right side of the Waitaki River when the Old Golds play W(h)anganui in the final game for the Meads Cup.
No pressure, boys, but all fingers and toes are crossed (and they’ll need to be if Keeping Stock’s assessment is correct).
When my baby son and I were discharged from hospital we were visited by the Plunket nurse.
He had a brain disorder which left him with multi disabilities. Because of that the nurse kept making what she called “love visits” long after her official quota of home visits was used up. In hindsight I realise she wasn’t just keeping an eye on Dan but supporting his then- four-year-old sister, my farmer and me as well.
We also got visits from an occupational therapist who was very good at sourcing and adapting equipment like a high chair and, car seat and buggy.
Then other people started coming until at one stage there were six of them from different agencies all addressing different aspects of Dan’s problems.
At that stage I was usually feeding at least two staff and the visitors almost always came at the time I’d be trying to prepare lunch.
The Plunket Nurse realised too many helpers were doing more harm than good and stopped coming regularly, though she made it very clear I could call her at any time and she continued to pop in now and then if she was in the area.
But the others kept coming regularly, adding to the stress I was under because I didn’t have the courage to tell them their expectations of Dan and me were unrealistic. He didn’t have the ability and I didn’t have the time or energy to follow their suggestions.
It was the OT who realised that the visits from multiple helpers weren’t helping. She arranged a round-table meeting with all the visitors and helped me explain that, capable and concerned as they were, they weren’t helping Dan and were making life more difficult for me.
The reasons for the visits were Dan’s health and intellectual problems, not family dysfunction but too many helpers not actually helping is at least as much a problem when dealing with that.
Addressing the unhelpfulness of mutiple helpers is one of the motivations behind Whanau Ora according to Health Minister Tony Ryall:
Speaking at the announcement of successful Whanau Ora providers in Porirua today, Mr Ryall said the Government wanted to turn around the ‘five cars up the driveway’ syndrome where families were confronting multiple agencies each working on one or two issues with separate family members.
“We want social services to stop operating in silos when dealing with individuals and their issues, in isolation from what might be happening elsewhere in their lives or their family.”
“Whanau Ora is about the integration of health and social services around families and whanau. It’s a major step change in how we support families to support themselves,” Mr Ryall says.
Helping people help themselves is a much better idea than multiple helpers who don’t actually help.
On October 30:
1137 Battle of Rignano between Ranulf of Apulia and Roger II of Sicily.
1270 The Eighth Crusade and siege of Tunis ended by an agreement between Charles I of Sicily and the sultan of Tunis.
1340 Battle of Rio Salado.
1470 Henry VI returned to the English throne after Earl of Warwick defeated the Yorkists in battle.
1485 King Henry VII was crowned.
1501 Ballet of Chestnuts – a banquet held by Cesare Borgia in the Papal Palace with fifty prostitutes or courtesans in attendance for the entertainment of the guests.
1735 John Adams, second President of the United States, was born (d. 1826).
1751 Richard Sheridan, Irish playwright, was born(d. 1816).
1831 Escaped slave Nat Turner was captured and arrested for leading the bloodiest slave rebellion in United States history.
1863 Danish Prince Wilhelm arrived in Athens to assume his throne as George I, King of the Hellenes.
1864 Second war of Schleswig ended. Denmark renounced all claim to Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, which come under Prussian and Austrian administration.
1865 The Native Land Court was created.
1894 Domenico Melegatti obtained a patent for a procedure to be applied in producing pandoro industrially.
1896 Kostas Karyotakis, Greek poet, was born (d. 1928).
1905 Czar Nicholas II of Russia granted Russia’s first constitution, creating a legislative assembly.
1918 A petition with more than 240,000 signatures was presented to Parliament, demanding an end to the manufacture and sale of alcohol in New Zealand.
1918 The Ottoman Empire signed an armistice with the Allies, ending the First World War in the Middle East.
1920 The Communist Party of Australia was founded in Sydney.
1922 Benito Mussolini was made Prime Minister of Italy.
1929 The Stuttgart Cable Car was constructed.
1941 World War II: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approved U.S. $1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Allied nations.
1941 – 1,500 Jews from Pidhaytsi (in western Ukraine) were sent by Nazis to Belzec extermination camp.
1945 Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signed a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball colour barrier.
1945 Henry Winkler, American actor, was born.
1947 The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was the foundation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is founded.
1950 Pope Pius XII witnessed “The Miracle of the Sun” while at the Vatican.
1953 Cold War: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approved the top secret document National Security Council Paper No. 162/2, which stated that the United States’ arsenal of nuclear weapons must be maintained and expanded to counter the communist threat.
1960 Diego Maradona, Argentine footballer, was born.
1960 Michael Woodruff performed the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
1961 The Soviet Union detonated the hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya; at 58 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise.
1961 – Because of “violations of Lenin’s precepts”, it was decreed that Joseph Stalin‘s body be removed from its place of honour inside Lenin’s tomb and buried near the Kremlin wall with a plain granite marker instead.
1970 In Vietnam, the worst monsoon to hit the area in six years causes large flooded, kills 293, leaves 200,000 homeless and virtually halts the Vietnam War.
1972 A collision between two commuter trains in Chicago, Illinois killed 45 and injured 332.
1973 The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey was completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time.
1974 The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman took place in Kinshasa, Zaire.
1975 Prince Juan Carlos became Spain’s acting head of state, taking over for the country’s ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco.
1980 El Salvador and Honduras signed a peace treaty to put the border dispute fought over in 1969’s Football War before the International Court of Justice.
1983 The first democratic elections in Argentina after seven years of military rule.
1985 Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off for mission STS-61-A, its final successful mission.
1987 In Japan, NEC released the first 16-bit home entertainment system, the TurboGrafx-16, known as PC Engine.
1991 The Madrid Conference for Middle East peace talks opened.
1993 Greysteel massacre: The Ulster Freedom Fighters, a loyalist terrorist group, open fire on a crowded bar in Greysteel. Eight civilians were killed and thirteen wounded.
1995 Quebec sovereignists narrowly lost a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada (vote is 50.6% to 49.4%).
2000 The last Multics machine was shut down.
2002 British Digital terrestrial television (DTT) Service Freeview begins transmitting in parts of the United Kingdom.
2005 The rebuilt Dresden Frauenkirche (destroyed in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II) was reconsecrated after a thirteen-year rebuilding project.
Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia
Abligurition – prodigal expense on food and drink.
. . . if the loo roll without a cardboard core will make it any more likely that people will replace the roll when it runs out of paper?
North Otago Irrigation Company’s scheme has created 76 new jobs and boosted farm incomes by $44 million dollars.
This was the finding of a Waitaki Development Board study.
The results showed the scheme was “the single most significant economic development” project in the Waitaki district in recent years, board chairman Peter Robinson said yesterday.
The study of the farms in the scheme revealed some phenomenal increases, exceeding the expected performance and making larger gains than originally forecast at the time resource consents for water from the lower Waitaki River were granted.
For example, revenue from the irrigated properties has increased from $21 million without irrigation to $65 million with irrigation.
“This is the single most significant economic development scheme the Waitaki District has seen in recent years – these results would not have been achievable without this investment,” Mr Robinson said.
I don’t think the study took into account the development which took place in expectation of the irrigation scheme which would have created a similar number of jobs.
The social benefits are also significant. For the first time since the ag-sag of the 80s farmers’ adult children have returned home in reasonable numbers, reducing the average age of the rural population which had been increasing for more than 30 years.
There were eight houses in our road before irrigation, now there are 13, with another planned for next year. The school had to put on a bigger bus to cope with the increase in pupils.
The irrigation scheme will also have been one of the factors in an increase in the number of births at Oamaru Hospital – 86 eight years ago and a record 103 last year.
Last summer’s drought was one of the worst for years – we had only about half our average annual rainfall in the year to March.
In the past this would have had a devastating impact not just on farmers but on the people who supply and service them and this would have flowed on to significant reduction in spending in Oamaru. The lack of rain last summer was very difficult for farmers on dryland but there are now enough irrigated properties to insulate the wider community from the worst of impacts of drought.
The environmental impact has also been positive. A condition of the NOIC consent was that all shareholders have to have environmental farm plans which are independently audited each year to ensure that water and soil quality are safeguarded.
The downlands which received water from the NOIC scheme have good soils but were prone to wind erosion in droughts. Irrigation means that is no longer a concern.
Some farmers have pulled out trees to cater for centre pivot irrigators. But others have used the reliable water supply to increase plantings and many have also channelled water into gardens.
One of the biggest benefits from the increased irrigation is difficult to measure but obvious to anyone who knows the district. That’s the change of mindset. Without irrigation North Otago farmers always had to farm for droughts – going backwards when it was dry and playing catch-up when it rained.
Even the most optimistic people found it difficult to retain a sunny outlook under those circumstances. Thanks to irrigation, instead of focussing on how to stop going backwards they are able to put their energy and enthusiasm into activities which make a positive difference on farms and in the wider community.
. . . that a farmer in possession of gelignite is in want of somewhere better to put it than the steps of the Balclutha police station.
On October 29:
539 BC – Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon and detained Nabonidus.
437 Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor, married Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of his cousin Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople unifying the two branches of the House of Theodosius.
1268 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors, was executed with his companion Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily, a political rival and ally to the hostile Roman Catholic church.
1390 First trial for witchcraft in Paris leading to the death of three people.
1422 Charles VII of France became king.
1467 Battle of Brustem: Charles the Bold defeated Liege.
1618 Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I.
1658 Action of 29 October (Naval battle).
1675 Leibniz made the first use of the long s (∫) as a symbol of the integral in calculus.
1740 James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson was born (d. 1795).
1787 Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni received its first performance in Prague.
1863 Eighteen countries meeting in Geneva agreed to form the International Red Cross.
1863 American Civil War: Battle of Wauhatchie – forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant warded off a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet.
1886 The first ticker-tape parade took place in New York City when office workers spontaneously threw ticker tape into the streets as the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.
1891 Fanny Brice, American singer (d. 1951), was born.
1894 SS Wairarapa was wrecked off Great Barrier Island.
1918 The German High Seas Fleet was incapacitated when sailors mutinied on the night of the 29th-30th, an action which triggered the German revolution.
1921 The Link River Dam, a part of the Klamath Reclamation Project, was completed.
1922 Victor Emmanuel III, appointed Benito Mussolini Prime Minister.
1923 Turkey became a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
1929 The New York Stock Exchange crashed in the Crash of ’29 or “Black Tuesday”, ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.
1941 Holocaust: In the Kaunas Ghetto over 10,000 Jews were shot by German occupiers at the Ninth Fort, a massacre known as the “Great Action”.
1942 Holocaust: Leading British clergymen and political figures held a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews.
1944 Denny Laine, English musician (Moody Blues, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Wings), was born.
1944 The city of Breda in the Netherlands was liberated by 1st Polish Armoured Division.
1945 Getulio Vargas, president of Brazil, resigned.
1946 Peter Green, English guitarist (Fleetwood Mac)
1947 Richard Dreyfuss, American actor, was born.
1948 Safsaf massacre.
1955 The Soviet battleship Novorossiisk struck a World War II mine in the harbor at Sevastopol.
1956 Suez Crisis began: Israeli forces invaded the Sinai Peninsula and pushed Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.
1956 Tangier Protocol signed: The international city Tangier was reintegrated into Morocco.
1956 Kafr Qasim massacre: Israeli Border Police (Magav) shoot and kill 48 Arab civilians for unknowingly disobeying curfue orders imposed by Israeli army in Kafr Qasim, an Arab village.
1957 Israel’s prime minister David Ben Gurion and five of his ministers were injured when a hand grenade was tossed into Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
1961 Syria left the United Arab Republic.
1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the Republic of Tanzania.
1964 – A collection of irreplaceable gems, including the 565 carat (113 g) Star of India, was stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
1966 National Organization For Women was founded.
1967 Montreal’s World Fair, Expo 67, closed.
1969 The first-ever computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.
1969 US Supreme Court ruled that school districts must end segregation “now and hereafter”.
1980 Demonstration flight of a secretly modified C-130 for an Iran hostage crisis rescue attempt ended in crash landing leading to cancellation of Operation Credible Sport.
1983 More than 500,000 people demonstrated against cruise missiles in The Hague.
1985 Major General Samuel K. Doe was announced the winner of the first multi-party election in Liberia.
1986 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened the last stretch of the M25 motorway.
1991 The American Galileo spacecraft made its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.
1995 The Hoax film Forgotten Silver screened.
1998 Apartheid: In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented its report, which condemned both sides for committing atrocities.
1998 – Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space.
1998 – ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States was inaugurated with the launch of STS-95 space shuttle mission.
1998 A Turkish Airline flight with a crew of 6 and 33 passengers was hijacked by a Kurdish militant who ordered the pilot to fly to Switzerland. The plane instead landed in Ankara after the pilot tricked the hijacker into thinking that he was landing in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to refuel.
1998 – Hurricane Mitch, the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history, made landfall in Honduras.
1998 The Gothenburg nightclub fire in Sweden claimed 63 lives and injures 200.
1999 A large cyclone devastated Orissa, India.
2002 Ho Chi Minh City ITC Inferno, a fire destroyed a luxurious department store where 1500 people shopping. Over 60 people died.
2004 The Arabic news network Al Jazeera broadcast an excerpt from a video of Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist leader first admitted direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and references the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
2004 In Rome, European heads of state signed the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution.
2005 Delhi bombings kill more than 60.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikiepda
Happy birthday Hank Marvin – 69 today.