Danny Kaye would have been 99 today.

He was one of my first loves – in an entirely innocent and I didn’t want to miss his show on TV kind of way.

Word of the day


Hangry – feeling of frustration and/or irritability resulting from lack of food.

Hat Tip: Dim Post.

Did you see the one about . . .


Eat up those carrots – Michael Edwards at Molecular Matters (via Sci Blogs) – on the beauty benefits of caretenoids.

Wednesday whimsy Larvatus Prodeo has found the Cake Wreck Blog.

Judges rule on on landmark case of Sod’s Law vs Parkinson’s Law – News Biscuit reports from the court.

Politics is a poor process for resolving issues – Eye to the Long Run show how the market can be bettter than politics.

The crash from an Austrian perspective – Anti Dismal has six good points.

Tall toilet tales – Around the World  across the spectrum from low hygiene loos to high tech ones.

Gosh – look at the price of fresh veg


Vegetables were the key contributer to the fall in food prices last month:

Food prices fell 0.8 percent in the December 2010 month, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows a 0.6 percent decrease in November 2010. Seasonal falls in vegetable prices were the key contributor to lower food prices in November and December 2010.

Vegetable prices fell 7.9 percent in December with lower prices for tomato, lettuce, capsicum, cabbage, and broccoli. This decrease follows a 9.9 percent fall in November. “Prices for green vegetables were affected by unseasonal weather in September and October, and prices in November and December 2010 were still well above usual levels,” Statistics New Zealand prices manager Chris Pike said.

Wonder if Labour still thinks its a good idea to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables when once more we see that weather and seasons have a far greater impact on price?


Recipe to make Adam Smith weep


Take a  house once lived in by one of Scotland’s great thinkers, Adam Smith.

Set aside to deteriorate.

Throw in a rescue plan and the money to carry it out.

Beat with assorted regulations and bureaucracies.

Leave to stew.

The whole story is in The Scotsman, but it couldn’t happen here, could it?

Hat Tip: Anti-Dismal

Logical consequences work – where else could they be employed?


A positive parenting course advised us to use natural consequences where possible.

That means do nothing and let the child face the consequences of his/her wrong doing.

If however, the natural consequences were either too pleasurable, too dangerous, too expensive or had a negative impact on someone else or their property, the parent should intervene and impose a logical consequence.

An example given was the natural consequence for the bike left in the driveway when the child had been told to put it away is that it gets run over. That’s expensive so the logical consequence is for the parent to put it away where the child couldn’t get it for a specified length of time.

I saw a policeman use logical consequences to great effect when he noticed a boy riding a bike without wearing a helmet. The cop called the boy over, asked if there was a good reason he wasn’t wearing and helmet when it was illegal to bike without one. The boy said no. The cop let the air out of  his tyres.

Judith Collins has applied logical consequences to boy racers with the law enabling authorities to crush their cars.

She was criticised for introducing the legislation but it’s worked:

Government measures to stop boy-racers from cruising neighbourhoods and doing burnouts brought an 18 per cent drop in street-racing offences last year compared with the year before. . .

. . . Police report not only a fall in the number of boy-racer offences, but boy-racers have been congregating on the streets far less than they did a year ago.

The number of calls to police about boy-racers peaked at 1023 for February last year, but has since nearly halved to 519 in October.

Logical consequences are leading to behaviour changes with boy racrers just as they do with most children.

Where else could  they be employed to good effect to counter anti-social behaviour?

January 18 in history


On January 18:

532 – Nika riots in Constantinople failed.

1126 – Emperor Huizong abdicated the Chinese throne in favour of his son Emperor Qinzong.

1486 – King Henry VII of England married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV.

1520 – King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeated the Swedes at Lake Åsunden.

1535  Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the capital of Peru.

1591 King Naresuan of Siam killed Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in single combat,  this date is now observed marked as Royal Thai Armed Forces day.

1670  Henry Morgan captured Panama.


1778 James Cook was the first known European to discover the Hawaiian Islands, which he named the “Sandwich Islands“.

1779 Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer, was born  (d. 1869).

Roget P M.jpg

1788 The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australa arrived at Botany Bay.

The Charlotte at Portsmouth before departure in May 1787

1813 Joseph Glidden, American farmer who patented barbed wire, was born (d. 1906).

1849  Sir Edmund Barton, 1st Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1920).

1854 Thomas Watson, American telephone pioneer, was born (d. 1934).

1871 – Wilhelm I of Germany was proclaimed the first German Emperor in the ‘Hall of Mirrors’ of the Palace of Versailles.

1882 A. A. Milne, English author, was born (d. 1956).

Monochrome head-and-shoulders portrait photo of A. A. Milne in coat and tie, with pipe dangling from lips

1884 Dr. William Price attempted to cremate the body of his infant son, Jesus Christ Price, setting a legal precedent for cremation in the United Kingdom.

1886 Modern field hockey was born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.

1889 Thomas Sopwith, British aviation pioneer, was born  (d. 1989).
1892  Oliver Hardy, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1957).
1896 The X-ray machine was exhibited for the first time.

1903  President Theodore Roosevelt sent a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States.

1904 Cary Grant, English actor, was born (d. 1986).

1911 Eugene B. Ely landed on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania stationed in San Francisco harbor, the first time an aircraft landed on a ship.


1913  Danny Kaye, American actor, was born (d. 1987).

1916  A 611 gram chondrite type meteorite struck a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri.

1919  The Paris Peace Conference opened in Versailles.

“The Big Four” during the Paris Peace Conference (from left to right, David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson)

1919  Ignacy Jan Paderewski became Prime Minister of the newly independent Poland.

1919 Bentley Motors Limited was founded.

Bentley logo.svg

1933 Ray Dolby, American inventor (Dolby noise reduction system), was born .

Dolby (left)  inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

1943  Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.

A group of SS men on the street of Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising

1944 Paul Keating, twenty-fourth Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1944 The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosted a jazz concert for the first time. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.

1944 – Soviet forces liberate Leningrad, effectively ending a three year Nazi siege, known as the Siege of Leningrad.

Blokada Leningrad diorama.jpg
Diorama of the Siege of Leningrad, in the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, in Moscow

1945 Liberation of the Budapest ghetto by the Red Army.

1954  Tom Bailey, English musician (Thompson Twins), was born.

1955  Battle of Yijiangshan.

1958 – Willie O’Ree, the first African Canadian National Hockey League player, made his NHL debut.

1969  United Airlines Flight 266 crashed into Santa Monica Bay resulting in the loss of all 32 passengers and six crew members.

1974 A Disengagement of Forces agreement was signed between the Israei and Egyptian governments, ending conflict on the Egyptian front of the Yom Kippur War.

1977  Scientists identified a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.

1977 – Australia’s worst rail disaster at Granville, Sydney killed 83.

1978  The European Court of Human Rights found the United Kingdom government guilty of mistreating prisoners in Northern Ireland, but not guilty of torture.

1980 Upper Hutt’s Jon Stevens made it back-to-back No.1 singles when ‘Montego Bay’ bumped ‘Jezebel’ from the top of the New Zealand charts.

'Montego Bay' hits number one
1994 The Cando event, a possible bolide impact in Cando, Spain. Witnesses claimed to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute.
1997  Boerge Ousland of Norway becomes the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: Matt Drudge broke the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair story on his website The Drudge Report.

2000 The Tagish Lake meteorite hit the Earth.

Tagish Lake meteorite.jpg

A 159 gram fragment of the Tagish Lake meteorite

2002 Sierra Leone Civil War declared over.

2003 A bushfire killed 4 people and destroyed more than 500 homes in Canberra.

2005 The Airbus A380,, the world’s largest commercial jet, was unveiled at a ceremony in Toulouse.

2007 The strongest storm in the United Kingdom in 17 years killed 14 people, Germany’s worst storm since 1999 with 13 deaths. Hurricane Kyrill, caused at least 44 deaths across 20 countries in Western Europe. Other losses included the Container Ship MSC Napoli destroyed by the storm off the coast of Devon.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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