Word of the day


Sanguisugent –blood sucking, blood thirsty.

Hot blogger


Sunday (the Sunday Star Times’ magazine which isn’t  online) doesn’t have a very high opinion of bloggers.

Its Hot List  includes a Hot Blogger and says:

It’s hard work finding a New Zealand blogger who isn’t boring or scary or just so relentlessly right wing we’d rather go baby seel seal shootin’ with Sarah Palin than read another post.

Where would you start in countering all that?

But one slow afternoon we happened upon Ally Mullord. She’s in a brass bad. She’s also in advertising. Her best (and original) blog, at terriblyexciting.blogspot.com, is snappy, and smart and covers things relevant to our interests, such as silly games to play in the car and how mess-up it is that strawberries aren’t technically berries. Last year she was  nominated for a Bloggie, which is a very big deal – an Oscar for bloggers. Mullord’s second-best blog lives on the 3News site and is much more suitable for reading at work. . .

Catherine Woulfe, who award the hot spot to the blog, which might be better known as Today is My Birthday,   also gave honourable mentions to Ben Gracewood at ben.geek.nz, Hussein Moses at theconrner.co.nz and Stephen Stratford for Quote Unquote.

What sort of freedom do we want?


It is a mistake, in my view, to assume that all people want to be free, in the sense of the American pioneers.

I think they much prefer to be comfortable; as the establishment of welfare states almost everywhere as the political summun bonum has shown, the greatest of all freedoms, the one that more people want more than any other, is the freedom from responsibility and consequences. Theodore Dalrymple.

There are many problems associated with this sort of freedom though.

It leaves people beholden to the state.

It comes at too great an economic cost.

It is also insecure because goverments which give can also take away.

Freedom campers freedom dumpers


What’s one of the last things you do before going to bed and one of the first things you do when you get up?

Where do you do it when you’re travelling in a car or van which doesn’t have an on-board loo and sleeping on a suburban street?

This one was parked about a kilometre from public loos so it’s possible its occupants used them. That can’t be said for the people who set up camp miles from anywhere.

 Hawea people blocked off several wayside stopping places last year and are justifiably angry at the filth they’ve found since they’ve been re-opened.

Freedom campers have been blamed by the Hawea Community Association (HCA) for an “appalling and disgusting” repeat of the sight and smell of excrement, toilet paper, and rubbish at the reserves.

A huge local effort was made to clean up areas at Craigburn, Deep Creek, and by the Lake Hawea lookout in October when boulder blockades stopping access to the site were removed.

HCA president Rachel Brown has called for a culture change in New Zealand tourism in the wake of a sickening return to form by freedom campers.

“It’s the No 1 way of visiting New Zealand – just hire a van and drive around the country and [defecate] anywhere you want,” she said.

As freedom camping  becomes increasingly popular with tourists the problem of freedom dumping will grow.

Councils will soon have the legal right to fine anyone found guilty of what used to be – and maybe still is – on the statute book as casting offensive matter. But first they have to catch them in the act and given the many isolated spots along our lakes, rivers and roads that won’t be easy.

January 16 in history


On January 16:

27 BC  The title Augustus was bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.

 1120 The Council of Nablus was held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

 Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Jeruslaem

1362 A storm tide in the North Sea destroyed the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.

1412 The Medici family was appointed official banker of the Papacy.

Armorial of Medici

1492 The first grammar of the Spanish language, was presented to Queen Isabella I.

1547  Ivan IV of Russia (Ivan the Terrible) became Tsar of Russia.


1556  Philip II became King of Spain.

1581 The English Parliament outlawed Roman Catholicism.

1605 The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes was published in Madrid.

Monumento a Cervantes (Madrid) 10.jpg
Bronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, at the Plaza de España in Madrid

1707  The Scottish Parliament ratified the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.

1853 – Andre Michelin, French industrialist, was born (d. 1931).


1853  Gen Sir Ian Hamilton, British military commander, was born  (d. 1947).


1874  Robert W. Service, Canadian poet, was born (d. 1958).


1883 The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, was passed.

1896  Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.

1900 The United States Senate accepted the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounced its claims to the Samoan islands.

1901 Frank Zamboni, American inventor, was born (d. 1988).

1902 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner, was born (d. 1945).


1903 William Grover-Williams, English-French racing driver and WWII resistance fighter, was born  (d. 1945).

 William Grover-Williams at the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix

1906  Diana Wynyard, British actress, was born (d. 1964).

1908 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer, was born (d. 1984).

1909 Ernest Shackleton‘s expedition found the magnetic South Pole.

 Nimrod Expedition South Pole Party (left to right): Wild, Shackleton, Marshall and Adams

1919  The United States ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorising Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.

1941 The War Cabinet approved the formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force to release more men for service overseas. Within 18 months a Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and Women’s Royal Naval Service had been created.

Women's Auxiliary Air Force founded

 1942  Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.

1944 Jim Stafford, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1948 Dalvanius Prime, New Zealand entertainer, was born (d. 2002).

1952 – King Fuad II of Egypt, was born.

1959 Sade, Nigerian-born singer, was born.

1970  Buckminster Fuller received the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.

1979 The Shah of Iran fled Iran with his family and relocated in Egypt.

1986 First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force.

1991  The United States went to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).

1992 El Salvador officials and rebel leaders signed the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending a 12-year civil war that claimed at least 75,000.

2001 – The First surviving wikipedia edit was made: UuU

2001  Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.

2001  US President Bill Clinton awarded former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.

2002 The UN Security Council unanimously established an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.

2003  The Space Shuttle Columbia t00k off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.

STS-107 Flight Insignia.svg

2006 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as Liberia’s new presiden becoming Africa’s first female elected head of state.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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