Word of the day


Badaud – an idle, markedly stupid individual who believes just about anything and is a half-witted gossip; a person given to idle observation of everything, with wonder or astonishment; a credulous or gossipy idler.



8/10 in NZ History Online’s weekly quiz.

(It helps if you read the today in history strips first).

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on woman.

2. It’s l’argent in French, soldi in Italian, dinero in Spanish and moni in aori, what is it in English.

3. Who brought us this in Hogsnort Rupert’s song?

4. What is/are Ovis Aries ?

5. What is a philtrum?

Points for answering :

STMTTC – wins an electronic banana cake for five right (ignoring the feral before sheep).

David gets three with a bonus for extra information and another for having to correct me again on capitalising speicies’ names (I remembered that I keep getting it wrong but couldn’t remember which is right).

Paul gets three plus a bonus for wit – who knows? Ewe did.

PDM got two with a  bonus  1/2 a point and a grin for deduction  about the sheep.

GD gets three with a bonus for inventiveness for #5.

Adam got two and a bonus for noticing and correcting my typo.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Voting on voting


The Electoral Commission has begun its campaign to educate people about the options in this year’s referendum on the electoral system.

We’ve had MMP for 15 years and a disturbing number* of people still don’t understand how it works.

How much are people going to absorb about the other options in six months when many still don’t know there’s going to be a referendum?

* Disturbing number = an unknown amount based on anecdote and memory of media stories on surveys.

It may or may not include the 1.6% of people in the NZ Herald survey who want Hone Harawira to be the next Prime Minister.

Aucklanders more intelligent than rest of NZers?


How do you explain this:

New Zealand First’s figures show consistent support between Auckland (2.6 per cent) and the rest of the country (2.7 per cent) and between genders.

But there is a big variance in support for leader Winston Peters as preferred prime minister between Auckland voters (3 per cent) and the rest of New Zealand (6.7 per cent).

Does it mean Aucklanders are more intelligent than the rest of us, or at least there are fewer deluded people there?

What is the implication of this?

New Zealand First is also disproportionately supported by those aged 65 and over.

Its overall party-vote support in the poll was 2.7 per cent but it was supported by 7.6 per cent of the elderly.

The elderly, in general, are closer to dying than younger people so this could mean the party’s support is dying.

But if the number of older people is growing as a proportion of the population and their voting preference changes as they age, the party support could grow.

That’s a very scary thought.

Living standard about more than money but not high without money


Treasury has decided there’s more to higher standards of living than material wealth:

Treasury’s understanding of the term living standards goes beyond the narrow material definition – often proxied by GDP – to incorporate a broad range of material and non-material factors such as trust, education, health and environmental quality. In taking a broad approach to understanding living standards, Treasury is in line with other economic institutions internationally. For example, the Australian Treasury acknowledges that “analyses of economic development or progress that only take income into account neglect other important determinants of wellbeing”  . . .

I can’t argue with that. Anyone who thinks the standard of living is all about material wealth knows more about price than value.

The OECD certainly thinks so in its better life initiative:

The Index allows citizens to compare well-being across 34 countries, based on 11 dimensions the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life: housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance..

New Zealand performs well on the index which rated factors including  income, employment, education, health, civic participation and satisfaction.

New Zealand performs exceptionally well in overall well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.. .

. . . When asked, 77% of people in New Zealand said they were satisfied with their life, above the OECD average of 59%.

Our average incomes are lower than those for the OECD but we’re above average for most other factors. However, the report acknowledges that while money can’t buy happiness it contributes to higher living standards.

That reminds me of a quote attributed to Margaret Thatcher:

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions – he had money too.”

A high standard of living must take into account more than material possessions, but it still requires material goods and services and the money to buy them unless you remove yourself from society and become wholly self-sufficient.

You don’t need a lot of money to have a good life but you’ll have a better life if you, and your country, have more than enough.

May 27 in history


893  Simeon I of Bulgaria crowned emperor of the first Bulgarian empire.

Simeon the Great anonymous seal.jpg

927 Battle of the Bosnian Highlands: Croatian army, led by King Tomislav, defeated the Bulgarian Army.


927  Simeon the Great, Tsar of Bulgaria, died.

Simeon the Great anonymous seal.jpg

1120  Richard III of Capua was anointed as prince two weeks before his untimely death.

1153 Malcolm IV became King of Scotland.

Malcolm iv.jpg

1328  Philip VI was crowned King of France.

1626 William II, Prince of Orange was born(d. 1650).

1703 Tsar Peter the Great founded the city of Saint Petersburg.

1798 The Battle of Oulart Hill took place in Wexford.


1812  Bolivian War of Independence: the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba fought against the Spanish army.

1813  War of 1812: In Canada, American forces captured Fort George.

1837 Wild Bill Hickok, American gunfighter, was born  (d. 1876).

1849  The Great Hall of Euston station in London was opened.


1860  Giuseppe Garibaldi began his attack on Palermo, Sicily, as part of the Italian Unification.

Giuseppe Garibaldi portrait2.jpg

1863  American Civil War: First Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson.

Siege of Port Hudson.png

1878 Isadora Duncan, American dancer ws born (d. 1927).

1883 Alexander III was crowned Tsar of Russia.

1895  Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for sodomy.

1896 The F4-strength St. Louis-East St. Louis Tornado killed at least 255 people and causing $2.9 billion in damage.

1905 Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima began.

Admiral Tōgō on the bridge of Mikasa

1907  Bubonic plague broke out in San Francisco, California.

1908  Maulana Hakeem Noor-ud-Din was elected the first Khalifa of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.


1911  Hubert H. Humphrey, 38th Vice President of the United States,  was born (d. 1978).

1912  John Cheever, American author, was born (d. 1982).


1915 Herman Wouk, American writer, was born.

1919  The NC-4 aircraft arrived in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight.


1922  Sir Christopher Lee, English actor, was born.

1923 Henry Kissinger, 56th United States Secretary of State, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1927  Ford ceased manufacture of the Ford Model T and began to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.

Successor to the Model T; Ford Model A used for giving tourist rides at Greenfield Village

1930  The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public.

Chrysler Building by David Shankbone Retouched.jpg

1933  New Deal: The U.S. Federal Securities Act is signed into law requiring the registration of securities with the Federal Trade Commission.

1933 – The Walt Disney Company released the cartoon The Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?


1933 – The Century of Progress World’s Fair opened in Chicago.


1935  New Deal: The Supreme Court of the United States declared the National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, (295 U.S. 495).

1937  The Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.


1940  World War II: In the Le Paradis massacre, 99 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit were shot after surrendering to German troops. 

1941 World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed an “unlimited national emergency”.

1941 – World War II: The German battleship Bismarck was sunk in the North Atlantic killing almost 2,100 men.


1942  World War II: In Operation Anthropoid, Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated in Prague.


1943 Cilla Black, English singer and presenter, was born.

1954 Pauline Hanson, Australian politician, was born.

1957 Toronto’s CHUM-AM, (1050 kHz) became  Canada’s first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n’ Roll music format.

1958 Neil Finn, New Zealand singer and songwriter (Split Enz, Crowded House), was born.

1958  The F-4 Phantom II made its first flight.


1960  In Turkey, a military coup removed President Celal Bayar and the rest of the democratic government from office.


1962 The Centralia, Pennsylvania mine fire started.

1965 Vietnam War: American warships began the first bombardment of National Liberation Front targets within South Vietnam.

1967  Australians voted in favour of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.

1967  The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy was launched  Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline.

1968  The meeting of the Union Nationale des Étudiants de France (National Union of the Students of France) took place. 30,000 to 50,000 people gathered in the Stade Sebastien Charlety.


1971 The Dahlerau train disaster, the worst railway accident in West Germany, killed46 people and injured 25.

1975 Jamie Oliver, English chef and television personality, was born.

Jamie Oliver retouched.jpg

1975  The Dibble’s Bridge coach crash near Grassington, North Yorkshire killed  32 – the highest ever death toll in a road accident in the United Kingdom.

1980 The Gwangju Massacre: Airborne and army troops of South Korea retook the city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207.


1987 Artist Colin McCahon died.

Death of Colin McCahon

1995 Actor Christopher Reeve was paralysed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition.


1996 First Chechnya War: Russian President Boris Yeltsin met Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiated a cease-fire.


1997  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Paula Jones could pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he was in office.

1999  The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicted Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.


2005 Australian Schapelle Corby was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Kerobokan Prison for drug smuggling by a court in Indonesia.

2006 The May 2006 Java earthquake devastated  Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing more than  6,600 people.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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