Word of the day


Greadan – (Gaelic) spending a considerable time and giving all one’s might to anything.

Steampunk’s arrived


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.

Did you see the one about . . .


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.

It was 20 years ago this way – Not PC on red tape tangles. Also there is Icarus – Gabriel Picart – Not PC on fine art and fine words with a reminder about inspirational posters at Inspirationz.

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:

No pressure


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).

Too many helpers don’t help


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.

October 30 in history


On October 30:

1137  Battle of Rignano between Ranulf of Apulia and Roger II of Sicily.


1226  Tran Thu Do, head of the Tran clan of Vietnam, forced Ly Hue Tong, the last emperor of the Ly dynasty, to commit suicide.

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.

Alleged portrait of Cesare Borgia by Altobello Melone. Bergamo, Accademia Carrara

1735 John Adams, second President of the United States, was born (d. 1826).

A painted portrait of a man with greying hair, looking left.

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.

Dybbol Skanse.jpg

1865 The Native Land Court was created.

Native Land Court created
1885 Ezra Pound, American poet, was born (d. 1972).

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.

Massive prohibition petition presented to Parliament

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.

1925   John Logie Baird created Britain’s first television transmitter.


1929 The Stuttgart Cable Car was constructed.


1938  Orson Welles broadcast his radio play of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience.


1941  World War II: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approved U.S. $1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Allied nations.

1941  Otis Williams, American singer, was born.

1941 – 1,500 Jews from Pidhaytsi (in western Ukraine) were sent by Nazis to Belzec extermination camp.

1944  Anne Frank and sister Margot  were deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

1945  Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signed a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers to break the baseball colour barrier.

Waist-up portrait of black batter in his mid-thirties, in Brooklyn Dodgers uniform number 42, at end of swing with bat over left shoulder, looking at where a hit ball would be

1945  Henry Winkler, American actor, was born.

1947 Timothy B. Schmit, American musician (Eagles), 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.

Diego Maradona.jpg

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.

Tsar photo11.jpg

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

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