Word of the day


Nepotation – riotous behaviour, profligacy.

Monday’s quiz


1. Who wrote: “To be a humorist, one must see the world out of focus.”?

2. What are the bingo calls for 5, 45 and 76?

3. Who is the Secretary General of the UN?

4. What is the common name for digitalis?

5. It’s lengua in Spanish, langue in French and whatero in Maori, what is it in English?

Mayoral fund for people not property


Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said that the mayoral fund won’t be used to help people whose properties weren’t insured.

Speaking to Guyon Espiner on Q&A yesterday he said:

No, I think that we can’t replace insurance.  We have to be really clear about that, and the money that we’ve got in that fund, we’ve said that’s for people, not for property.  We’re using that money to help citizens, help families that are in difficult times, and that’s going to be needed for a long time ahead, Guyon, we’re going to need that for another 18 months or so as we work through these problems.  I don’t think we can solve all of the problems for everybody if you don’t have insurance.  Really, that’s the decision you’ve made.  There will be some cases of hardship, and we are the kind of community that will try to help, and work with people to solve those problems.

He’s right.

It may sound tough but it’s also fair. People who weren’t insured took a gamble and lost.

If they received compensation from the mayoral fund or central government it would send a message to people that they don’t need to worry about insurance.

Content vs cash


What’s the point of us owning two television stations when it’s difficult to tell the difference between them and the many others we could be watching?

As Jim Hopkins wrote:

Governments shouldn’t be in the ratings game – not on television anyway. If they want to run a television station, it should be an opinion leader, not a ratings leader.

Its brief should be to make sense, not money. It should provide what others do not. Its dividend should be social, not commercial.

Except it isn’t. Our public broadcasting arrangements are totally schizophrenic. The government’s radio station is non-commercial, worthy, high-minded and much loved by the chardonnay socialists in university common rooms.

But its television stations are hell-bent on being the biggest grizzlies in the bear pit, happy to serve up prole fodder at every opportunity. Every morning, Paul Henry outrages some and amuses others. Every night, Shortland Street explores themes that erode innocence and steal childhood.

And so it will stay till we resolve the conflict between content and cash. “How dare he say that?” Simple. He dares because it rates.

That’s how it is and will be until the government sells (or leases) TV2 and uses the proceeds to operate TV1 as a non-commercial station.

In the competition between content and cash the money will win on a commercial station.

Whether or not the state should own a TV station at all is a moot point.

But if we can’t tell the difference between the state owned stations and the others, the case for public ownership isn’t convincing.

October 11 in history


On October 11:

1138 A massive earthquake struck Aleppo, Syria.

1531 Huldrych Zwingli was killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland.


1614  Adriaen Block and 12 Amsterdam merchants petitioned the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony.


1634  The Burchardi flood — “the second Grote Mandrenke” killed around 15,000 men in North Friesland, Denmark and Germany.


1649  Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.

1727  George II and Caroline of Ansbach were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain.

1776  American Revolution: Battle of Valcour Island – 15 American gunboats were defeated but give Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.

BattleOfValcourIsland watercolor.jpg

1809  Explorer Meriwether Lewis died under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder’s Stand.


1811  Inventor John Stevens‘ boat, the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service between New York, New York, and Hoboken, New Jersey).

John Stevens of Hoboken.jpg 

1833  A big demonstration at the gates of the legislature of Buenos Aires forced the ousting of governor Juan Ramón Balcarce and his replacement with Juan José Viamonte.


1844 Henry Heinz, American food manufacturer, was born (d. 1916).


1852 – The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university was inaugurated.

1861 The first Cobb & Co coach service ran from Dunedin to the Otago goldfields.

First Cobb and Co coach service runs to Otago goldfields

1865  Paul Bogle led hundreds of black men and women in a march in Jamaica, starting the Morant Bay rebellion.

1884 Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States and humanitarian, was born (d. 1962)

1890  In Washington, DC, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded.


1899 Second Boer War began.

Afrikaner Commandos2.JPG

1906  San Francisco public school board sparked United States diplomatic crisis with Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.

1910  Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers.

 Betty Noyes, singer who dubbed Debbie Reynolds’ singing voice in Singin’ in the Rain, was born (d 1987).

1926 Neville Wran, Premier of New South Wales. was born.

1929 JC Penney opened store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.

J.C. Penney logo.png

1937 Sir Bobby Charlton, English footballer, was born.


1941  Beginning of the National Liberation War of Macedonia.

Partizani Bitola.JPG

1942  World War II: Battle of Cape Esperance – On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercepted and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.


1944 Tuvinian People’s Republic was annexed by the U.S.S.R.

1950 Television: CBS’s mechanical colour system was the first to be licensed for broadcast by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.


1954 First Indochina War: The Viet Minh took control of North Vietnam.

1957 Dawn French, Welsh comedian,actress and screenwriter, was born.

Dawn French 4.jpg

1958  NASA launched the lunar probe Pioneer 1.


1962  Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convened the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.


1968  Apollo program: NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.

1969 Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, was born.


1972 A race riot on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)

1975 The NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuted with George Carlin as the host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian and Billy Preston as guests.

Saturday Night Live Title Card.png

1976  George Washington‘s appointment, posthumously, to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 was approved by President Gerald R. Ford.

1982  The Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack which sank on July 19 1545, was salvaged from the sea bed of the Solent.

A diagonal section of a wooden ship seen from the stern inside a moodily lit building while it is being sprayed with water from a sprinkler system

1984 Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a space walk.

Sullivan Views the Earth - GPN-2000-001082.jpg

1986 Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe.


1987  Start of Operation Pawan by Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka that killed few thousand ethnic Tamil civilians, several hundred Tamil Tigers and few hundred Indian Army soldiers.

1996 Pala accident: a wood lorry and school bus collided in Jõgeva county, Estonia, killing eight children.

2001 The Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

Polaroid logo

2002  A bomb attack in a shopping mall in Vantaa, Finland killed seven.


2007  The record high of the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 14,198.10 points.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: