Word of the day


Witzelsucht –  excessive facetiousness;

                    –   feeble or inappropriate humour especially in reference to an abnormal condition;  

                    –   a set of rare neurological symptoms characterised by the patient’s uncontrollable tendency to make puns, tell inappropriate jokes and pointless or irrelevant stories at inconvenient moments. The patient nevertheless finds these utterances intensely amusing.

Live sex on Breakfast


Sometimes television goes low for ratings, sometimes it happens by accident.

What would Paul Henry have said about that?

Hat Tip: NBR

Snap, crackle, pop


TV likes a bit of snap, crackle and pop from its breakfast hosts but I’m not sure this is what the headline writer was meaning:

Host’s cereal offending must prompt TVNZ rethink

Someone said something stupid


What’s happened in New Zealand this week?

There’s an inquest into the death of a teenager after binge-drinking.

There’s an inquest into the death of babies who were abused.

There’s the arrest of a candidate in the local body elections who’s seeking to have name suppression.

There’s the local body elections themselves.

There’s been announcements about changes to the law on name suppression.

All of which have been reported in varying detail.

But the story which has hogged the headlines is the one about someone saying something stupid on a TV programme not many people watch.


There is a high degree of schadenfreude from other media who are gleefully exploiting TVNZ’s embarrassment.

The story has been seized on by the left who’ve exploited it for political reasons.

The media is shallow because sensation sells.


If we call it home it is


After the contretemps started by Paul Henry this week we should all be quite clear that our Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand, is a New Zealander.

He was born here, after all, but is being born here the only thing which makes us New Zealanders?

I don’t think so.

Children who are adopted have all the rights of children born into their family and that seems to be a good rule for citizens too.

We’re all descended from immigrants or immigrants ourselves.

It doesn’t matter if our forebears paddled here in waka, came here under sail, by steam or air, of if we were born somewhere else and chose to settle here.

If this is our land by birth or by choice, we’re New Zealanders.

As Philip Temple put it in his memoir, Chance Is A Fine Thing:

. . . the ceremony was telling me in a tangible way that I belonged. Perhaps it had been absurd to doubt it, after almost 50 years. But I had needed to come to terms with the inheritances and loyalties of my own whakapapa and what I felt had been challenges to my right to be here by those who claimed greater precedence. Now it had become clear that, while I was proud to be rooted in the values and traditions of British and Western European culture, I was defined by New Zealand . . .

Defined by New Zealand, that’s what makes us Kiwis.

Regardless of  where we came from or how long ago, if we call New Zealand home it is; and if we do that we’re New Zealanders.

October 8 in history


On October 8:

314 Roman Emperor Licinius was defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and lost his European territories.

Head Constantine Musei Capitolini MC1072.jpg

451  The first session of the Council of Chalcedon began.

1075  Dmitar Zvonimir was crowned King of Croatia.


1200  Isabella of Angoulême was crowned Queen consort of England.


1480  Great standing on the Ugra river, a standoff between the forces of Akhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia which resulted in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and the eventual disintegration of the Horde.

Great standing on the Ugra river 2.jpg

1573  End of the Spanish siege of Alkmaar, the first Dutch victory in Eighty Years War.

1600  San Marino adopted its written constitution.

Flag of San Marino Coat of arms of San Marino

1806  Napoleonic Wars: Forces of the British Empire laid siege to the port of Boulogne by using Congreve rockets.


1813  The Treaty of Ried was signed between Bayern and Austria.

1821  The government of general José de San Martín established the Peruvian Navy.

1829  Stephenson’s The Rocket won The Rainhill Trials.

1847 Rose Scott, Australia social reformer, was born (d. 1925).


1856  The Second Opium War began with the Arrow Incident on the Pearl River.

1860  Telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco opened.

1862  American Civil War: Battle of Perryville – Union forces under General Don Carlos Buell halted the Confederate invasion of Kentucky by defeating troops led by General Braxton Bragg.

Battle of Perryville.png

1871  Four major fires broke out on the shores of Lake Michigan including the Great Chicago Fire, and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire.


1879 War of the Pacific: the Chilean Navy defeated the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau was killed.

Naval Battle of Angamos 1879.jpg

1895 Zog I, King of Albania, was born (d. 1961).


1895 Juan Perón, Argentinean President, was born.

1895 Eulmi incident– Queen Min of Joseon, the last empress of Korea, was assassinated and her corpse burnt by the Japanese in Gyeongbok Palace.


1912 First Balkan War began when Montenegro declared war against Turkey.

1918  World War I: In the Argonne Forest in France, United States Corporal Alvin C. York led an attack that killed 25 German soldiers and captures 132.


1920 Frank Herbert, American writer, was born (d. 1986).


1925 Cubana de Aviación founded.

1928  Joseph Szigeti gave the first performance of Alfredo Casella‘s Violin Concerto.

1932  The Indian Air Force was established.

Ensign of the Indian Air Force

1939 Paul Hogan, Australian actor, was born.

1939  World War II: Germany annexed Western Poland.

1941  Stan Graham shot dead three policemen and fatally wounded two other men before escaping into the bush.

Stan Graham runs amok on West Coast

1941 US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was born.

1943 US actor Chevy Chase was born.

Chevy Chase at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.JPG

1943 US children’s horror writer R.L (Robert Lawrence) Stine was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Crucifix Hill – Capt. Bobbie Brown received a Medal of Honor for his heroics.


1948 Johnny Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born (d. 2004).

1949 Sigourney Weaver, American actress, was born.


1952  The Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash killed 112 people.

1962  Spiegel scandal: Der Spiegel published the article “Bedingt abwehrbereit” (“Conditionally prepared for defense”) about a NATO manoeuver called “Fallex 62”, which uncovered the sorry state of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s army) facing the communist threat from the east at the time.

1965 C-Jay Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born.

1967  Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men were captured in Bolivia.


1968  Vietnam War: Operation Sealords – United States and South Vietnamese forces launched a new operation in the Mekong Delta.


1969 The opening rally of the Days of Rage, organised by the Weather Underground in Chicago, Illinois.


1970  Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejected US President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion”.

1973  Yom Kippur War: Gabi Amir’s armored brigade attacked Egyptian occupied positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal  in hope of driving them away. The attack failed, and over 150 Israeli tanks were destroyed.

Bridge Crossing.jpg

1974 Franklin National Bank collapsed due to fraud and mismanagement.

Astilleros de Gdansk.jpg

1978 Australia’s Ken Warby set the  world water speed record of 317.60mph at Blowering Dam, Australia.


1982  Poland banned Solidarity and all trade unions.

1990  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Police killed 17 Palestinians and wounded over 00.

1998  Oslo’s Gardermoen airport opened.

OSL Logo.svg

2001 A twin engine Cessna and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) jetliner collided in heavy fog during takeoff from Milan, Italy killing 118.


2001  U.S. President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

US Department of Homeland Security Seal.svg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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