Lost links


Has anyone else using WordPress lost the ability to link?

When I select the words I want to highlight and click on the link symbol I get a mesage saying error on page.

I first noticed this when using my laptop so borrowed my farmer’s laptop and then tried the PC at home. All get the same result which suggests it’s not the computer but something to do with either WordPress in general or my blog in particular.

Word of the day


Petrichor – the smell of rain on dry ground.

In search of the top bookshelf


Una casa sin libros es una casa sin corazón – a house without books is a house without heart.

If yours is a house with heart it will almost have at least one bookshelf and that could be the one Booksellers is seeking.


Whether it’s colour-coded, alphabetised or sorted by publication date, the hunt is on for New Zealand’s most inspired, well-stocked and lovingly-crafted bookcase.

Booklovers from Kaitaia to Bluff are invited to take a second look at the bookshelves in their lives, take a snapshot of themselves next to their inspired bookshelf, and email it to us by 12 December 2010.

All entries will be posted on the and judged by an expert panel of New Zealand booksellers. The winner will receive a $500 Booksellers Token before Christmas– so they can add to their beautiful bookshelf!

“When it comes to entries, there are no restrictions. Entries could include a treasured bookshelf in a family home, a precariously-balanced book sculpture, or a series of four-by-two planks and a few old bricks in a student flat, laden with text books, crime novels and dog-eared Lonely Planet travel guides.” says Lincoln Gould, Chief Executive of Booksellers NZ.

“This competition is a bit of fun, but also an opportunity to really appreciate the beauty that a whole lot of books carefully placed, cunningly coerced or simply shoved into a bookshelf can be.“ says Gould. . .

“Whether it’s the way in which the books have been arranged, the shape of the bookcase itself, or simply the selection of books contained, bookcases are always inspiring, and tell a fascinating story all of their own. They’re so much more than just a rambling collection of books gifted, bought, borrowed or loaned.“ says Gould.

You can follow the campaign on Twitter  and see the photos as they come in on Flickr.

Hat Tip: Beatties Book Blog. http://beattiesbookblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/booksellers-seeks-new-zealands-most.html

A time to hold back #2


Keeping Stock notes the large number of media representatives descending on the West Coast: http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2010/11/pike-river-wait-continues.html

Sandra at Letters From Wetville  gives a local’s view:

I would like the media to piss off.

They do not need to swarm around our town, vultures in search of a product to sell on their ‘news’ programmes.

I too, am desperate for news of the Pike River miners. I too, checked the internet and the radio about a zillion times today, hungry for word that the rescue team can begin their job. Like everyone else in Wetville, I appreciate the messages of support from all over New Zealand, all over the world.

But none of this requires news crews to be in our faces, prodding our pain, trying to get names of miners despite a request from the miners’ families that they retain privacy in this time of hell. . .

The full post is at: http://lettersfromwetville.blogspot.com/2010/11/in-solidarity-with-my-town.html

When there’s nothing to say the media needs to stop trying to make news from people’s anguish.

Was apathy the winner?


The election results for Mana show 22,387 people voted: http://www.electionresults.org.nz/electorate-21.html

BUCHANAN, Kelly ALL   37
CRAWFORD, Julian Lloyd ALCP   107
DU PLESSIS, Colin ACT   132
FAAFOI, Kris LAB   10,397
LOGIE, Jan GP   1,493
McCARTEN, Matt IND   816
PARATA, Hekia NAT   9,317

To put that number of votes cast in to perspective, compare that with results for the electorate in the 2008 election: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/Electorates/EPData/f/2/a/DBHOH_Lib_EP_Mana_Data_3-Mana-Electoral-Profile.htm#_64

LABAN, Winnie (LAB) 18,070 53.06
PARATA, Hekia (NAT) 11,915 34.99
GILCHRIST, Michael (GP) 2,288 6.72
COLLINS, Mike (ACT) 628 1.84
GUNSTON, Robin (UFNZ) 472 1.39
MACLACHLAN, Renton (KIWI) 337 0.99
MANU, Tim Salele’a (NZPP) 282 0.83
GOODE, Richard (LIB) 64 0.19
Total Valid Votes 34,056 100.00
Total Votes Cast 34,333 100.81

Compare that with the 2008 results for Waitaki:


Candidate Valid Votes Share (%)
DEAN, Jacqui (NAT) 23,649 60.13
PARKER, David (LAB) 12,610 32.06
BRIGGS, Oliver (GP) 1,916 4.87
FRASER, John (ACT) 516 1.31
MAIN, Claire (JAP) 333 0.85
VAN WIEREN, Hessel (NZDSC) 140 0.36
MacRITCHIE, Norman (ALL) 93 0.24
GUY, Simon (DDP) 70 0.18
Total Valid Votes 39,327 100.00
Total Votes Cast 39,688 100.92

Jacqui Dean got nearly as many votes in 2008 as the total votes cast in the Mana by-election.

Does this mean the real winner in Mana was apathy?

(P.S. sorry about the cumbersome links – when I try to link the usual way I get a message saying error on page).

Waiting and hoping and praying


Waiting and hoping and praying is all anyone can do until air tests show it is safe to begin rescuing the 29 miners trapped in the Pike River mine.

What will it be like for the rescuers once they get the go-ahead to enter the mine?

Oswald Bastable describes a much simpler cave rescue and that must have been hard enough:  http://oswaldbastable.blogspot.com/2010/11/that-there-is-always-worse-job.html

November 21 in history


On November 21:

164 BC – Judas Maccabaeus restored the Temple in Jerusalem, an event commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.


235 – Pope Anterus succeeded  Pontian as the nineteenth pope.

Pope Anterus.jpg 

1272 –  Prince Edward became King of England.

A man in half figure with short, curly hair and a hint of beard is facing left. He wears a coronet and holds a sceptre in his right hand. He has a blue robe over a red tunic, and his hands are covered by white, embroidered gloves. His left hand seems to be pointing left, to something outside the picture.

1620 – Plymouth Colony settlers signed the Mayflower Compact.

1694 Voltaire, French philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1783 –  Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes, made the first untethered hot air balloon flight.

1787 Samuel Cunard, Canadian-born shipping magnate, was born.

1789 – North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 12th U.S. state.

Flag of North Carolina State seal of North Carolina

1791 – Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte was promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic.

Full length portrait of Napoleon in his forties, in high-ranking white and dark blue military dress uniform. He stands amid rich 18th century furniture laden with papers, and gazes at the viewer. His hair is Brutus style, cropped close but with a short fringe in front, and his right hand is tucked in his waistcoat.

1863 Maori surrendered at Rangiriri.

 Maori surrender at Rangiriri

1877 – Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

1894 – Port Arthur massacre: Port Arthur, Manchuria fell to the Japanese, a decisive victory of the First Sino-Japanese War.

1905 – Albert Einstein‘s paper, Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?, was published in the journal “Annalen der Physik”. This paper revealed the relationship between energy and mass which led to the mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc².

1910 – Sailors onboard Brazil’s most powerful military units, including the brand-new warships Minas Geraes, São Paulo, and Bahia, violently rebelled in what is now known as the Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Whip).



1916 – World War I: A mine exploded and sank HMHS Britannic in the Aegean Sea, killing 30 people.

1918 – Flag of Estonia, previously used by pro-independence activists, is formally adopted as national flag of the Republic of Estonia.

1920 – Irish War of Independence: In Dublin, 31 people were killed in what became known as “Bloody Sunday“.

1922 – Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia took the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator.

1927 – Columbine Mine Massacre: Striking coal miners were allegedly attacked with machine guns by a detachment of state police dressed in civilian clothes.

1936 Victor Chang, Australian physician, was born.

1941 Juliet Mills, British actress, was born.

1942 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) was celebrated (however, it was not usable by general vehicles until 1943).

I-A1.svgI-A2.svg Alaska 2 shield.svgBc97.png

1945  Goldie Hawn, American actress, was born.

1948  George Zimmer, American entrepreneur, was born.

1953 – The British Natural History Museum announced that the “Piltdown Manskull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.

1962 – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army declares a unilateral cease-fire in the Sino-Indian War.

1964 – The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic.


1964 – Second Vatican Council: The third session of the Roman Catholic Church’s ecumenical council closed.

1969 – U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agreed on the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972.

1969 – The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI.

1970 – Vietnam War: Operation Ivory Coast – A joint Air Force and Army team raided the Son Tay prison camp in an attempt to free American prisoners of war thought to be held there.

1971 – Indian troops, partly aided by Mukti Bahini (Bengali guerrillas), defeat the Pakistan army in the Battle of Garibpur.

1974 – The Birmingham Pub Bombings killed 21 people.

1977 – Minister of Internal Affairs Allan Highet announced that ‘the national anthems of New Zealand would be the traditional anthem “God Save the Queen” and the poem “God Defend New Zealand“, written by Thomas Bracken, as set to music by John Joseph Woods, both being of equal status as national anthems appropriate to the occasion.


1979 – The United States Embassy in Islamabad, was attacked by a mob and set on fire, killing four.

1980 – A fire broke out at the MGM Grand Hotel in Paradise, Nevada (now Bally’s Las Vegas). 87 people were killed and more than 650  injured in the worst disaster in Nevada history.

1980 – Lake Peigneur drained into an underlying salt deposit. A misplaced Texaco oil probe had been drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine, causing water to flow down into the mine, eroding the edges of the hole. The resulting whirlpool sucked the drilling platform, several barges, houses and trees thousands of feet down to the bottom of the dissolving salt deposit.


1985 – United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations.

1986 – Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary start to shred documents implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.


1990 – The Charter of Paris for a New Europe refocused the efforts of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europeon post-Cold War issues.

1995 – The Dayton Peace Agreement was initialed ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Seated from left to right: Slobodan Milošević, Alija Izetbegović, Franjo Tuđman signing the final peace agreement in Paris on December 14, 1995.

1996 – A propane explosion at the Humberto Vidal shoe store and office building in San Juan, Puerto Rico killed 33.

2002 – NATO invited Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.

2004 – The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election led to massive protests and controversy over the its integrity.

2004 – The island of Dominica was hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history.

2004 – The Paris Club agreed to write off 80% (up to $100 billion) of Iraq’s external debt.

2006 – Anti-Syrian Lebanese Minister and MP Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in suburban Beirut.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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