Does new sponsor for media awards mean new one for blog awards?


New Zealand’s media awards have a new sponsor and a new name:

The newly named Canon Media Awards include newspapers, magazines, websites blogs and photography with special categories awarding reporters, cartoonists and more. 2010 drew more than 6000 individual entries.

This year the winning entries in the blog category of the Qantas Media Awards attracted derision  from certain parties and resulted in the Air New Zealand Best Blog Awards which were won by Cactus Kate.

No doubt if the Canon awards don’t meet the high standards of the blogosphere an appropriately named alternative will be found.

Word of the day


Balatron – a joker, clown, babbler, buffoon.

Who dun the whodunnit?


A conversation with a friend turned to someone we both know who, my friend said, had written a couple of books using the pseudonym Alix Bosco – Cut & Run and Slaughter Falls.

On the strength of the friend’s recommendation and knowledge of the writer’s other work I bought the books but they’re still on my books-to-read shelf.

However, I’m even more keen to read them now because Cut & Run has won the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand Crime Fiction.

Meanwhile speculation is rife on who dun the who dunnit.

Graham Beattie posts on the award ceremony and has previously asked who the hell is Alix Bosco?

Joan Druett also muses on Bosco’s identity in a mystery within a mystery within a mystery.

These books are completely different from the author’s other work which is probably the reasons s/he wants to remain anonymous. I don’t know her/him well but I suspect s/he is amused at some of the wild guesses at her/his identity.

Update: Joan Druett has another guess.

Doing the job for the right reason


One of the questions put to Prime Minister John Key on Stuff’s live chat yesterday was: What drove you into becoming a politician?

He replied:  

“I wanted to make difference to the fortunes of NZ, and NZers.

It was the fascination of politics I had at a very young age, watching PMs of the day engage with the issues that confronted NZ.”

That’s refreshing. 

He’s doing the job for the right reason – to help New Zealand and New Zealanders rather than implementing a personal political agenda.

(If the live chat on the link above doesn’t work you can read the text of it here).

An educated woman


Grandmother Elizabeth Knox, 85, said her grandchild was a strong woman. “I’ve always said to my girls – get an education, and no-one can take it away from you. A partner can leave, but education is with you for life.”  – From teen-mum to law student in the Dominion Post.

A Whale of a fight


What is it about writing that makes people think they can use yours without paying for it?

I once made the mistake of responding to a request to write a story for a magazine without negotiating terms first.

It was published word for word but when I inquired about payment I was told the editor didn’t pay because it was publicity for the interview subject.

This magazine had a tag on its cover about celebrating women in business so I asked the editor why she’d boast about that but refuse to pay a woman in writing.

I also pointed out that magazines which sold for a similar or lesser price paid between 40 cents and 80 cents a word for similar stories.

She eventually agreed to pay half what I’d requested and I learned a lesson about negotiating terms before supplying copy.

Whaleoil has come up against Richard Henry, of whom I’ve never heard, who is taking liberties with Whale’s writing with a similar reluctance to pay for it.

The NZ Bloggers’ Union, membership of which is compulsory, is showing solidarity with Whale:

Cactus Kate has a media release from the Union,  Kiwiblog  has a similar gripe and Quote Unquote also joined the fray.

December 1 in history


On December 1:

800 – Charlemagne judged the accusations against Pope Leo III.


1420 – Henry V of England entered Paris.

1640 – End of the Iberian Union: Portugal acclaimed as King, João IV of Portugal, thus ending a 60 year period of personal union of the crowns of Portugal and Spain and the end of the rule of the House of Habsburg (also called the Philippine Dynasty).

1761 Marie Tussaud, French creator of wax sculptures (Madame Tussauds), was born (d. 1850).


1768 – The slave ship Fredensborg sank off Tromøy in Norway.

1821 – The first constitution of Costa Rica was issued.

1822 – Pedro I was crowned Emperor of Brazil.

Half-length painted portrait of a brown-haired man with mustache and goatee, wearing a uniform with gold epaulettes and the Order of the Golden Fleece on a red ribbon around his neck and a black and red sash of office across his chest

1824 – U.S. presidential election, 1824: Since no candidate had received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives was given the task of deciding the winner in accordance with the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

1826 – French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forced his way through the Turkish cordon and ascended the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.


1834 – Slavery was abolished in the Cape Colony in accordance with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

1864 – In his State of the Union Address President Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed the necessity of ending slavery as ordered ten weeks earlier in the Emancipation Proclamation.

1913 – The Buenos Aires Subway started operating, the first underground railway system in the southern hemisphere and in Latin America.


1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduced the first moving assembly line.

Ford Motor Company Logo.svg

1913 – Crete, was annexed by Greece.

Location of Crete Periphery in Greece.

1918 – Transylvania united with Romania.

1918 – Iceland became a sovereign state, yet remained a part of the Danish kingdom.

1918 – The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was proclaimed.

Flag Coat of arms

1919 – Lady Astor became the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1925 – World War I aftermath: The final Locarno Treaty was signed in London, establishing post-war territorial settlements.


1932  – Matt Monro, English singer, was born.

1934 – Politburo member Sergei Kirov was shot dead by Leonid Nikolayev at the Communist Party headquarters in Leningrad.

1935 Woody Allen, American film director, actor, and comedian, was born.

1939 Lee Trevino, American golfer, was born.

1940  Richard Pryor, American actor, comedian, was born.

Richard Pryor (1986) (cropped).jpg

1941 – Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City and Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, signed Administrative Order 9, creating the Civil Air Patrol.

1945 Bette Midler, American actress and singer, was born.

1946  Gilbert O’Sullivan, Irish singer, was born.

1952 – The New York Daily News reported the news of Christine Jorgenson, the first notable case of sexual reassignment surgery.

1955 – American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city’s racial segregation laws.


1958 – The Central African Republic became independent from France.

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago killed 92 children and three nuns.


1959 – Cold War: Opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent.

Antarctica, territorial claims.svg

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best were arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

1961 – The independent Republic of West Papua was proclaimed in modern-day Western New Guinea.

1965 – The Border Security Force was formed in India as a special force to guard the borders.


1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States was held since World War II.

1971 – Cambodian Civil War: Khmer Rouge rebels intensified assaults on Cambodian government positions, forcing their retreat from Kompong Thmar and nearby Ba Ray.

1971 – The Indian Army recaptured part of Kashmir occupied forcibly by Pakistan.

1973 – Papua New Guinea gained self government from Australia.

1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashed northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.

1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashed northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashed in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.

1981 – The AIDS virus was officially recognized.

1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.


1988 – Benazir Bhutto was appointed Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1989 – 1989 Philippine coup attempt: The right-wing military rebel Reform the Armed Forces Movement attempted to oust Philippine President Corazon Aquino in a failed bloody coup d’état.

1989 – Cold War: East Germany’s parliament abolished the constitutional provision granting the communist party the leading role in the state.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 metres beneath the seabed.

Course Channeltunnel en.svg

1991 – Cold War: Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum for independence from the Soviet Union.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brought Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

2001  Aiko, Princess Toshi of Japan, was born.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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