Word of the day


Aberuncator – long handled tool for pruning tall branches; a pruning device mounted on a pole, to reach high branches; a weeding machine.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.”

2. It’s  débauché in French,  libertino in Spanish, and dissoluto in Italian (I couldn’t find it in Maori), what is it in English?

3. When was daylight saving  introduced permanently to New Zealand?

4. On which station was the merino wether Shrek found and who owns it?

5. What does the culinary term au gratin  mean?

Awarding points for answers was a bit problematic because it wasn’t clear I meant the 1974 introduction of daylight saving as opposed to the earlier change to standard time. I also took a liberal apporach to the translation and culinary questions.

Andrei got 3 and a bonus for correcting my spelling.

Bearhunter got 3 1/2.

Gravedodger got five with a bonus for amplification for which he earned an electronic box of chocolates.

Adam got two and a smile for the simile.

Cadwallader got 3.

Fred got 3 with a bonus for wit.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »



8/10 in the NZ Herald news quiz.

Now they want cheaper meat too


Complaints over the price of dairy produce are now being matched by moans over the price of meat.

The problem isn’t high prices, it’s low incomes.

The solution is economic growth and you don’t get that by hobbling export industries.

NZ to import Aussie milk


New Zealanders concerned about the price of dairy produce in local supermarkets will soon be able to buy Australian milk.

Barry Ocker, chief executive and marketing manager of RooMoo4U, said supermarket wars on his side of the Tasman have given consumers there cheaper milk and he wanted New Zealanders to share the lower prices.

“Me wife and her girlfriends have been buying extra milk every time they do the weekly shop. As soon as we’ve got a container load we’re going to ship it over for youse kiwis.

“”We’re buying it for a couple of bucks. We’ll add on a bit for storage, transport and marketing and still be able to sell it for less than ya can buy the local stuff and have a bit left over for us.

“You’ll get cheaper milk, we’ll make some money and everything will be bonza.”

Mr Ocker expected the first shipment of RooMoo to be on sale “as soon as we sort out the paper work, Mate”.

He said he had no concerns about freshness and use-by dates.

“Youse kiwis are a couple of hours ahead of us anyway, add another hour for daylight saving and we’ll just about be landing it before it leaves Australia.”

April 1 in history


On April 1:

527 Byzantine Emperor Justin I named his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.

Tremissis-Justin I-sb0058.jpg

1293 Robert Winchelsey left England for Rome, to be consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.


1318 Berwick-upon-Tweed was captured by the Scottish from the English.

Curtain Wall Berwick.jpg

1340 Niels Ebbesen killed Gerhard III of Holstein in his bedroom, ending the 1332-1340 interregnum in Denmark.


1572  In the Eighty Years’ War, the Watergeuzen captured Brielle from the Spaniards, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.


1789 The United States House of Representatives held its first quorum and elected Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.

1815 Otto von Bismarck, 1st Chancellor of Germany, was born (d. 1898).

1826  Samuel Morey patented the internal combustion engine.

1854 Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens‘ magazine, Household Words.

Hardtimes serial cover.jpg

1857 Herman Melville published The Confidence-Man.


1865 American Civil War: Battle of Five Forks – In Siege of Petersburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee began his final offensive.

Petersburg seige.jpg

1867 Singapore became a British crown colony.

1873 The British steamer RMS Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia, killing 547.

RMS Atlantic.jpg

1875 Edgar Wallace, English writer, was born (d. 1932).


1887 Mumbai Fire Brigade was established.

Mumbai Fire Brigade Logo Enhanced.jpg

1891 The Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago.

1908 The Territorial Force (renamed Territorial Army in 1920) was formed as a volunteer reserve component of the British Army.

1912 The Greek athlete Konstantinos Tsiklitiras broke the world record in the standing long jump jumping 3.47 meters.

1918 The Royal Air Force was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

Royal Air Force Badge

1924 Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch“.

Bundesarchiv Bild 119-1486, Hitler-Putsch, München, Marienplatz.jpg

1924 – The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed.

Ensign of the Royal Canadian Air Force.svg

1932  Debbie Reynolds, American actress, was born.

1933 The recently elected Nazis under Julius Streicher organised a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany.

1937 Aden became a British crown colony.

1938 – Ali MacGraw, American actress, was born.

1939 Generalísimo Francisco Franco announced the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.


1941  The Blockade Runner Badge for the German navy was instituted.


1944  Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.

1945 World War II: Operation Iceberg – United States troops land on Okinawa in the last campaign of the war.

Two Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines advance on Wana Ridge on May 18, 1945

1946 Aleutian Island earthquake: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a tsunami that struck the Hawaiian Islands killing 159.

1946 – Formation of the Malayan Union.

1948  Cold War: Berlin Airlift – Military forces, under direction of the Soviet-controlled government in East Germany, set-up a land blockade of West Berlin.


1948 Faroe Islands received  autonomy from Denmark.

1949  Chinese Civil War: The Communist Party of China held unsuccessful peace talks with the Kuomintang in Beijing, after three years of fighting.

1949 The Canadian government repealed Japanese Canadian internment after seven years.


1949 – The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland.

1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorised the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.


1955 The EOKA rebellion against The British Empire starts in Cyprus, with the goal of obtaining the desired unification (“enosis”) with Greece.


1957 BBC Spaghetti tree hoax broadcast on current affairs programme Panorama.


1961 Susan Boyle, Scottish singer, was born.

1965 TEAL became Air New Zealand.

TEAL becomes Air New Zealand

1969 The Hawker Siddeley Harrier entered service with the RAF.

1970   President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertisements on television and radio.

1973 Stephen Fleming, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Stephen Fleming slip.jpg

1973  Project Tiger, a tiger conservation project, was launched in the Corbett National Park, India.


1976 Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

The Apple Logo

1976 Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect is first reported by the astronomer Patrick Moore.


1979  Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.

1980  New York City’s Transit Worker Union 100 began a strike lasting 11 days.

1987 State Owned Enterprises came into existance.

State-Owned Enterprises are born

 1989 Margaret Thatcher’s new local government tax, the Community Charge (commonly known as the ‘poll tax’), was introduced in Scotland.

Booklet titled "The Community Charge (the so-called Poll Tax) How it will work for you". 

1992 Start of the Bosnian war.

1997 Comet Hale-Bopp is seen passing over perihelion.

Comet Hale-Bopp, shortly after passing perihelion in April 1997.

1999 Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.

2001 An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collided with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The crew made an emergency landing in Hainan, China and was detained.

EP-3 Hainan Island 2001.jpg

2001 – Former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević surrendered to police special forces to be tried on charges of war crimes.

2001 – Same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands, the first country to allow it.

2002 The Netherlands legalised euthanasia, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

2004 Google introduced  Gmail – a launch met with skepticism on account of the date.

Gmail's logo

2006 The Serious Organised Crime Agency, dubbed the ‘British FBI’, was created in the United Kingdom.

SOCA Logo.jpg

2009 – Croatia and Albania joined NATO

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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