That’s Amore


Happy birthday Connie Francis – 72 today.

Did you see the one about . .


I am a receptionist –  The Bullet on life on the other side of the hotel check-in counter.

Bad parenting not lack of money is harming poor kids – Liberty Scott shows poverty is no excuse for children’s failure.

Avoiding the quarter life crisis: parents guide your children well – Peter Kerr on the importance of choosing school subjects carefully.

You swearing at me? Quote Unquote talks dirty.

The Ninth Floor –  Stoatspring on adjusting to ordinary life after work in the PM’s office.

3.6% of Kiwis have paid a bribe in the last year – Stephen Franks takes a serious look at Transparency International’s GLobal Corruption Barometer Survey.

Corrupt? Hell yeah!  – Imperator fish takes a lighter look at the same survey.

The Year in review According to Google – Motella looks back with the help of Google & YouTube.

Wahine Toa – Roarprawn celebrates four Maori women in Cabinet.

Word of the day


Jovialist –  a convivial person; one who leads a jovial or merry life.

Axioms updated for computer age


 Home is where you hang your @

 The E-mail of the species is faster than the mail.

 A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.

 Great groups from little icons grow.

 Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.

 Don’t put all your hypes in one home page.

  The modem is the message.

 Too many clicks spoil the browse.

 The geek shall inherit the earth.

 A chat has nine lives.

 Don’t byte off more than you can view.

 Windows will never cease.

Virtual reality is its own reward.

Modulation in all things.

A user and her leisure time are soon parted.

There’s no place like

Oh, what a tangled website we weave when first we practice.

Speed thrills.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net and he won’t bother you for weeks.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things


Ordinary people doing extraordinary things used to make the headlines.

Now, in many media, it’s extraordinary people – in terms of their fame – doing ordinary things.

The former provided inspiration, the latter is at best entertainment, at worst voyeurism.

But yesterday the New Zealand Herald named Emma Woods as its New Zealander of the Year, giving well earned recognition to the woman who had the grace to forgive the young man who killed her son.

In doing so they’ve highlighted someone like us doing something we might aspire to, reacting with compassion, intelligence and strength rather than anger and bitterness in the face of tragedy.

Quote of the week

‘There are occasions,’ he said, ‘when the imperative of serving the national interest transcends other concerns, including party political and personal concerns.’
Well, that’s nice to know: there are occasions when the needs of the country may be permitted to interfere (though not, of course, for very long) with a politician’s career plans. But think how galling it must be for him, poor fellow, when this happens! There will soon be a name for the psychiatric condition such occasions cause in politicians: Politician’s Self-Sacrificial Stress Disorder.

The opening remark was made by the  Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, the comment which follows comes from Theodore Dalrymple in When Irish Eyes are Crying.

If you follow the link you’ll find his guide to diagnosis.

December 12 in history


On December 12:

627 Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrau II‘s Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.

Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine stamped on a gold Roman coin
Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine on a Roman coin

1769 French explorer Jean François Marie de Surville first sighted New Zealand near Hokianga.

De Surville first sights NZ near Hokianga

1779 Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint was born (d. 1865).


1805  Henry Wells, Founder of American Express, was born (d. 1878).

1812 The French invasion of Russia ended.

centuryNapoleon’s retreat from Moscow, painted by Adolph Northen.

1821 Gustave Flaubert, French writer, was born  (d. 1880).

1862 USS Cairo sank on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.

 USS Cairo

1863  Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter, was born (d. 1944).

Self Portrait with Skeleton Arm,

1893 Edward G. Robinson, American actor, was born  (d. 1973).


1870  Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black U.S. congressman.


1900 Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer, was born (d. 1988).

1901 Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland.

1911 Delhi replaced Calcutta as the capital of India.

1915  Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor, was born (d. 1998).

 1927  Robert Noyce, American inventor of the microship, was born (d. 1990) .

1929 John Osborne, English dramatist, was born (d. 1994).

 1935  Lebensborn Project, a Nazi reproduction programme, was founded by Heinrich Himmler.


A Lebensborn birth house

1936  Xi’an Incident: The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek was kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and senior members of the KMT after their arrest.

1938  Connie Francis, American singer, was born .

1940 – Dionne Warwick, American singer, was born.

1941  Adolf Hitler announced the extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

1948 Batang Kali Massacre – 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacred 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.

1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor, was born.

1950  Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, led the congregation in her first services.

1956 Irish Republican Army‘s “Border Campaign” began.

1961 The first Golden Kiwi draw took place.

First Golden Kiwi lottery draw

1963 Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

1965 Will Carling, English rugby union footballer, was born.

1979  Rhodesia changed its name to Zimbabwe.

1982 Women’s peace protest at Greenham Common – 30,000 women held hands and formed a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) perimeter fence.

1985 Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland killing 256, including 248 members of the United States Army‘s 101st Airborne Division.

1988 The Clapham Junction rail crash killed thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains.

Clapham Junction Railway Accident - Hidden Report cover - HMSO.jpg

1991  Russian Federation gained independence from the USSR.

2006 Peugeot produced its last car at the Ryton Plant signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, formerly a major centre of the British motor industry.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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