Word of the day


Largition – to give bountifully, the bestowing of largess or a gift.



The Dominion Post still hasn’t taken pity on political tragics by providing a political quiz this week – but it does have a business news quiz in which I got 9/10. (But only 9/15 in the daily trivia quiz).

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.”?

2. Which three arts are represented in Timeless Land and who are the three artists?

3. It’s inodoro or servicios in Spanish and whare paku in Maori, what is it in English? 

4. What does a galactometer measure?  It’s also called a lactometer.

5. What is CaCo3 and for which agricultural product is it a main ingredient?

Points for answers:

David got two right and a bonus for scientific reasoning for # 4 even though it didn’t get the right answer.

Andrei got four and the winner’s electronic boquet.

Bearhunter got 3 3/6.

Gravedodger got three and a bonus for extra information and literary knowledge.

Adam got two.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Ouch again


Petrol in Omarama is always more expensive than bigger centres on the coast. 

 But yesterday’s $2.25 a litre for regular was a shock for the pocket when it had been $2.09 in Oamaru a few days earlier.

One ministry – who’ll be minister?


State Services Minister Tony Ryall has confirmed the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with the Ministry of Fisheries to give one voice for primary industries.

“Ministers have agreed that the merger of these two organisations will deliver better results for New Zealanders by reducing back-office bureaucracy and lowering the cost of delivering government services.

“The merger is planned for 1 February 2012 to allow adequate time to engage with stakeholders, consult with staff and make the necessary planning and legislative changes.

“This merger is part of the Government’s ongoing programme to improve public services during times of increasing financial restraint and rising public expectation of service delivery.

“It will reduce duplicated and overlapping functions between the two organisations – and it will create an agency with better abilities to give support to primary industries.

It is expected that the annual savings from the merger will be at least $10 million, with further savings expected over time through merging corporate administration processes and rationalising accommodation. One-off costs of transition will be met from within existing baselines without impacting on service delivery.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says the move will give an efficient and co-ordinated voice for primary industries.

“Most importantly, it will provide integrated policy advice to better support the Government’s agenda for long-term economic growth from our primary producers. New Zealand’s future prosperity relies on the strength and productivity of our primary industries.

“The new agency will be better equipped to work with primary sector stakeholders, including iwi, local Government and international trading partners on regulatory, food and biosecurity issues.

“The merger will also reduce duplication and operational costs, and I expect a proportion of these savings will be shared with the sectors the agency works with to reduce the costs of doing business,” says Mr Carter.

Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley says the merger will lower costs and   create an agency with greater capacity and capability.

One voice, improved capacity, lower costs – what’s not to like?

The only question is, who will be the Minister?

March 11 in history


On March 11:

1387 Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood led Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.


1649 The Frondeurs and the French government signed the Peace of Rueil.

1702 The Daily Courant, the UK’s first national daily newspaper was published for the first time.

The Daily Courant.png

1708 Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.

1824 The United States War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Bureau of indian affairs seal n11288.gif

1845 Hone Heke cut down the British flag pole for the fourth time. He and Kawiti were leading figures in the attack which resulted in the the fall of Kororareka.

The fall of Kororareka

 1848 Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin became the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.


1851 The first performance of Rigoletto, written by Verdi.


1864 The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England killed more than 250 people.


1867  The first performance of Don Carlo written by Verdi.


1872 Construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, started; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.

1888 The Great Blizzard of 1888 begins along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.


1903 Ronald Syme, New Zealand classicist and historian, was born (d. 1989).


1915 J. C. R. Licklider, American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born. (d. 1995)

1916  Ezra Jack Keats, children’s  author, was born (d. 1983).


1917   Baghdad fell to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.


1927 Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre in New York.

Roxy Theater postcard.jpg

1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born entrepreneur, was born.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

 The Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks, Alaska commemorates the shipment of U.S. aircraft to the Soviet Union along the Northwest Staging Route.

1945 The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

USS Randolph (CV-15) under repair.jpg

1952 Douglas Adams, English writer, was born.


1958 Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, interim President of Iraq, was born.

1977 The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.

1978 Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 were killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.


1985 Mikhail Gorbachev beccame the Soviet Union’s leader.

1990 Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1990 Patricio Aylwin was sworn-in as the first democratically elected Chilean president since 1970.

1993 Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

1999 – Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Infosys logo.svg

2004  Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid   killed 191 people.

2006 Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile.

2009 Winnenden school shooting – 17 people are killed at a school in Germany.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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