Word of the day


Factitious – artificial, contrived, unnatural; spurious; lacking authenticity or genuineness.

Thursday’s quiz


1. What are the two knitting patterns named after an Irish and a Scottish island?

2. Who said: “Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”?

3. Who is the mayor of Dunedin?

4. It’s cochon in French; cerdo in Spanish and poaka in Maori what is it in English?

5. What is the capital of Ecuador?


Them and us


Why do people who collect statistics and design survey forms consider race to be more important than any other factors which  define ethnicity?

This morning I completed a survey for Air New Zealand and was pleased that at last it’s possible to be a New Zealand of either Maori or European descent in answer to the question how would you describe your ethnic origin?

  New Zealander/ Kiwi/ New Zealander of European descent
  Maori/ New Zealander of Maori descent
  Pacific Islander
  Middle Eastern
  Eastern European
  Other Asian
  Or another ethnicity (please type in)

 But why can’t New Zealanders of Maori descent be Kwis and what about all the other people who happen to be descended from other races?

Why does having a Scottish father and maternal grandparents allow me to claim New Zealand ethnicity when having antecedents from the Pacific Islands, Asia and North or South America wouldn’t?

And if it’s ethnicity rather than race they’re interested in why European which covers a multitude of ethnicities?

New Zealander isn’t just nationality it’s an ethnicity which takes in all the things which unite us regardless of our race.

This is the 21st century and it’s time statisticians and survey designers caught up with the reality – race is only one aspect of ethnicity. Making it the prime determinant is excluding and inexact.



8/9 in the NZ Herald’s changing world quiz (helped by the photos).

Milk price up at auction


The trade weighted index went up 4.5% in Fonterra’s GlobalDairy Trade  auction this morning. 

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes

WMP (Whole Milk Powder) was down 3% to $3,780/MT; SMP (Skim Milk Powder) increased 12.9% to $4,372/MT; AMF (Anhydrous Milk Fat) was up 6.2% to $5,669/MT; RenCas (Rennet Casein) at $10,252/MT and MPC70 (Milk Protein Concentrate) at $6,430/MT.

Radio New Zealand reports that record prices for exports might  prompt consumer resistance.

However, floods in the United States have ruined a lot of feed crops which will impact on milk production there.

Russia will lift its ban on grain exports on July 1 which will ease concerns over shortages caused by drought:

France, Europe’s top grower, is suffering from the driest spring in 50 years, forecaster France Meteo said. Showers were expected this weekend after rain helped crops in Germany, Telvent DTN said.

What happens in Europe and the USA does have an impact on prices for our produce, but growing demand from China is helping to keep prices up.

Insurance log jam


An insurance company has 1,000 claims all ticked off but has paid out only eight.

That’s what someone in the construction industry in Christchurch told us.

It must be bad enough coping with the February earthquake and its aftermath without having living in limbo because your claim is caught up in an insurance log jam.

June 2 in history


455  The Vandals entered Rome, and plundered the city for two weeks.

1098  First Crusade: The first Siege of Antioch ended as Crusader forces took the city.


1615  First Récollet missionaries arrived at Quebec City.

1692  Bridget Bishop was the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials.


1740 Marquis de Sade, French author, was born (d. 1814).


1763  Pontiac’s Rebellion: Chippewas captured Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the garrison’s attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.

Pontiac conspiracy.jpg

1774 William Lawson, explorer of New South Wales, was born (d. 1850).

1774  The Quartering Act was enacted, allowing a governor in colonial America to house British soldiers in uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings if suitable quarters are not provided.

1780 The Derby horse race was held for the first time.


1793  Jean-Paul Marat recited the names of 29 people to the French National Convention, almost all of whom were guillotined.

1835  P. T. Barnum and his circus started their first tour of the United States.

1840 Thomas Hardy, English writer, was born  (d. 1928).


1848  The Slavic congress in Prague began.

1855 The Portland Rum Riot took place.

1857 Edward Elgar, English composer, was born  (d. 1934).

1876  Hristo Botev, a national revolutionary of Bulgaria, was killed in Stara Planina.

1886  U.S. President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.


1896  Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his newest invention: the radio.

1907 Dorothy West, American writer, was born  (d. 1998).

1909 Alfred Deakin became Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.


1913 Barbara Pym, English novelist, was born  (d. 1980).

Recent paperback cover

1917 The Wairuna, a steamer en route from Auckland to San Francisco, was captured by the German raider Wolf and then sunk near the Kermadec Islands.

NZ steamer captured by the Wolf

1918  Kathryn Tucker Windham, American writer and storyteller, was born.

13 Alabama Ghosts Jeffrey.jpg 

1924 U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

1935 Carol Shields, American-born novelist, was born (d. 2003).


1940  King Constantine II of Greece, was born.


1941 Charlie Watts, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1941 William Guest, American singer (Gladys Knight & the Pips), was born.

1941  World War II: German paratoopers murdered Greek civilians in the village of Kondomari.

1946  In a referendum, Italians voted to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic.

1953 Keith Allen, Welsh comedian, actor, singer and writer, was born.

1953  The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the first major international event to be televised.


1955  The USSR and Yugoslavia signed the Belgrade declaration and thus normalize relations between both countries, discontinued since 1948.

1960 Tony Hadley, English singer (Spandau Ballet), was born.

1965 – Mark Waugh Australian cricketer, was born. 

1965 – Steve Waugh, Australian cricketer, was born. 


1966 Surveyor 1 landed in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft land on another world.


1967 Luis Monge was executed in Colorado’s gas chamber, in the last pre-Furman execution in the United States.

1967  Protests in West Berlin against the arrival of the Shah of Iran turn into riots, during which Benno Ohnesorg is killed by a police officer. His death results in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.


1979  Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country.


1984 Operation Bluestar, a military offensive, was launched by the Indian government at Harmandir Sahib, also known as Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for the Sikhs, in Amritsar.

Golden temple Akal Takhat.jpg

1988 Sergio Agüero, Argentinian footballer, was born.

Kun aguero.jpg

1990 The Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawned 66 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 12.

1992  In a national referendum Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty by a thin margin.

1995  United States Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady‘s F-16 wass shot down over Bosnia while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone.


1997   Timothy McVeigh was convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

1999 The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brought television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time.

2003 The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.


2004  Ken Jennings began his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: