Word of the day


Esurient – hungry, greedy, starving.

Did you see the one about . . .


(Brain) farting in church – Credo Quia Absurdum Est on politics at the school’s end-of-year mass. While you’re there he’s also got 10 top money savings tips for the new Stadium SOuthland.

Hypotheses please – Dim Post graphs mentions of NZ in Goggle’s new toy the ngram viewer.

Before you think about booking a cheap flight – laughs (and some bad language) at Brian Edwards Media.

Han(g)over for Lawyers – Cactus Kate writes an alternative media release.

A real live book – A Cat of Impossible Colour has the first copy of her book.

The not so humble potato


Bluff has oysters, Central Otago has stone fruit and North Otago has new potatoes.

Almost every area has a culinary speciality and one of ours is the not so humble late spring/early summer spud.

Laugh if you want to, but it you haven’t tasted North Otago new potatoes you’ve missed a treat.

For most of the year I could take or leave potatoes and if I wasn’t cooking for others I’d leave them off the menu more often that not.

But in late spring and early summer the locally grown Jersey Bennies ripen and they are delicious.

Rub the dirt off under running water,  put in a pot, cover with water, add mint, bring to the boil, turn the heat off and leave them on the element until they are tender.

Serve warm or cold.


Stating the obvious


Shock horror, one of the WikiLeaks revelations is:

Former National Party leader Don Brash was “not unhappy” about losing the 2005 election because it meant he didn’t have to work with NZ First.

“Winston Peters really is a nutter,” he is quoted as saying by a United States Embassy staff member in a November 2005 diplomatic cable. The comments come in an intelligence briefing to Washington after Peters’ first big trip as foreign minister.

If there was a silver lining to National not winning the 2005 election it was not having to work with Peters.

Brash said yesterday: “I don’t recall saying that but it doesn’t really surprise me. I certainly don’t have a very high regard for Mr Peters.”

That could be the understatement of the year.

Quality yes, local no


Research into British dining preferences provides a challenge to New Zealand marketers:

Taste, texture and cut were the most important reasons for choosing beef or lamb from the menu. For beef, size, trim and preparation were rated next most important, and for lamb it was type of dish, country of origin, trim and price.

Many respondents wanted to know where meat came from, as they felt local sourcing supported UK farming, showed environmental responsibility and meant meat was fresher.

Respondents were prepared to accept more inconsistencies in the shape and size of locally sourced meat, than from mainstream branded restaurants.

There’s nothing we can do about our location and the distance our meat has to travel from the paddock to the British restaurant table. Although our extensive, free range farming systems produce beef and lamb with a smaller environmental footprint than British meat, even when the travel is taken into account.

That’s not an easy message to get across to consumers though. It might be better to put our efforts into ensuring that all New Zealand lamb on British menus is better than the competition’s.

It’s very difficult to counter a preference for local produce which is mostly based on emotion, but we shouldn’t have a problem when competing on quality.

December 19 in history


On December 19:

1154  Henry II was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1606  The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery left England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.

1683  Philip V of Spain, was born (d. 1746).

1820 Mary Livermore, American journalist and women’s rights advocate, was born (d. 1905).

1906 Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, was born (d. 1982).

The evacuation of Suvla Bay

1915 Édith Piaf, French singer and actress, was born  (d. 1963).

1920  King Constantine I was restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander I of Greece and a plebiscite.

1923  Gordon Jackson, Scottish actor, was born  (d. 1990).

1924  The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was sold in London.

AX 201 at the Rolls-Royce centenary celebrations, Manchester, 2004

 1925 Robert B. Sherman, American songwriter, was born.

1932  BBC World Service began broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.

BBC World Service logo

1934  Pratibha Patil, President of India, was born.

1941 The Royal Navy cruiser HMS Neptune struck enemy mines and sank off Libya – more than 750 men lost their lives including 150 New Zealanders.

HMS <em>Neptune</em> lost in Mediterranean minefield

1941 Adolf Hitler became Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.

1941 – Maurice White, American singer and songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1944 Zal Yanovsky, Canadian guitarist (The Lovin’ Spoonful), was born.

1946  Start of the First Indochina War.

1972  The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth.

Apollo 17-insignia.png

1983  The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, was stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation.


1984 The Sino-British Joint Declaration, stating that the People’s Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1, 1997 was signed in Beijing by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.

2001  A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg )was recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province, Mongolia.

2001 – Argentine economic crisis: December 2001 riots – Riots erupted in Buenos Aires.

2009 – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Hualian, Taiwan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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