Word of the day


Antediluvian –  of or belonging to the period before the flood; very old, old-fashioned, or out of date; antiquated; primitive.

Medicinal ice cream licks bugs


Two Dunedin companies are working together to make probiotic ice cream that  licks the bugs that cause bad breath and sore throats:

They’re breeding bugs at Blis Technologies, but it’s all in a good cause. The bacteria they’re working with – streptococcus salivarious – can kill unwanted bacteria in the mouth and throat.

“I we can put it back on the human tongue in good numbers, it actually can provide protection for us at all stages of our life,” says microbiologist Prof John Tagg.

Lozenges with the good K12 bacteria have been on the market for years. Now Blis is working with Mark Scorgie’s Dunedin-based Gourmet Ice Cream Company to blend their natural probiotic into a cool tasty treat.

“Our expertise is the probiotics and the science and Mark’s expertise is the ice cream,” says Jeremy Burton, “so it means that we don’t have to become ice cream makers.”

A friend swears by Blis’s lozenges to prevent sore throats when travelling and airlines are seen as a potential market for the ice cream.

Medicinal ice cream sounds too good to be true but it could be a sweet way to lick the bad bugs.



8/10 in the NZ Herald’s Question Time.

Victory for the south


Facebook post of the week:

It has become glaringly obvious over the past few months that the Southern Hemisphere is no longer getting the sunlight it used to. I blame the Northern Hemisphere, which has lately enjoyed more than its fair share. On behalf of the whole Southern Hemisphere, I hereby insist you return the sun. The North has 24 hours to meet our demands before more drastic measures are taken. Don’t make us come up there!

Followed the next day, which just happened to be the day after the winter solstice, by:

Victory! Apparently the Northern Hemisphere has acceded to our demands and we are assured increasing daylight every day for the foreseeable future. I must admit they caved faster than I expected. We don’t even have nuclear weapons! What should we ask for now? I think… the Louvre. Or maybe we shouldn’t push our luck.

Goodwill elastic but not infinite


Canterbury people have had more than enough.

The rest of the country accepts that and that the government, and therefore taxpayers, will play a big part in the recovery.

As John Armstrong wrote:

The compensation package has other wider political connotations. It had to be fair to those who have no option but to get shot of their wrecked properties and rebuild elsewhere. And it had to be fair to taxpayers outside Christchurch who will end up paying the lion’s share of the bill.

Labour’s post-announcement silence suggests that party realises that carping about the package not being adequate would not go down well in the rest of the country.

The  package didn’t please everyone and some have complained they won’t be getting enough.

David Hayward  and others who find insurance companies won’t give them the full replacement value for which they paid premiums are justifiably aggrieved. 

But others – and it is a very small number – complaining that the value of the homes they’ll have to abandon isn’t high enough and who want more than the government is offering are on much shakier ground.

How much they think is enough for them would almost certainly be too much for the rest of the country.

 Goodwill towards Christchurch and its citizens is elastic but it’s not infinite.

Gamble paid off financially


Hone Harawira’s gamble of forcing a by-election has paid off financially.

Credo Quia Absurdum Est has the numbers:

  • A 10% pay rise to $148,500 as a “party leader”.  Shame there’s no-one to lead.
  • $100,000 for party leadership funding
  • $22,000 for research operations
  • $105,192 for his electorate support team

But politically?

He got 5,611 votes  which is almost half the total votes cast but a majority of just 867 over Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

But just 11,606 people of the  33,060 enrolled voted. That’s hardly a strong mandate, even given by-elections always have a lower turnout.

As for the people in Te Tai Tokerau?

For a couple of years from 2008 they were represented by a member of a government coalition partner. Now they’ve got the leader of a brand new party who’s shown he’s not very good at consensus or co-operation.

June 26 in history


363  Roman Emperor Julian was killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire. General Jovian was proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield.



1284  The legendary Pied Piper led 130 children out of Hamelin.


1409 Western Schism: the Roman Catholic church was led into a double schism as Petros Philargos was crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XII in Avignon.


1483  Richard III was crowned king of England.


1541  Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in Lima by the son of his former companion and later antagonist, Diego Almagro the younger.

1718  Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia, Peter the Great’s son, mysteriously died after being sentenced to death by his father for plotting against him.


1723  After a siege and bombardment by cannon, Baku surrendered to the Russians.

1817 Branwell Bronte, British painter and poet, was born (d. 1848).


1848 End of the June Days Uprising in Paris.


1857  The first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park.

A bronze cross pattée bearing the crown of Saint Edward surmounted by a lion with the inscription FOR VALOUR. A crimson ribbon is attached

1866 George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, English financier of Egyptian excavations, was born (d. 1923).

1870  Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1892 Pearl S. Buck, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1973).


1898 Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer, was born (d. 1978).


1908 Salvador Allende, Former President of Chile (1970-1973), was born (d. 1973)


1909  Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager, was born (d. 1997)

1909  The Science Museum in London became an independent entity.


1913 Maurice Wilkes, British computer scientist, was born.

1914 Laurie Lee, British writer, was born (d. 1997).

1917  The first U.S. troops arrived in France to fight alongside the allies in World War I.

1918  The Australian steamer Wimmera was sunk by a mine laid the year before by the German raider Wolf north of Cape Maria van Diemen.

1918  World War I, Western Front: Battle for Belleau Wood – Allied Forces under John J. Pershing and James Harbord defeated Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince.

Scott Belleau Wood.jpg

1921 Violette Szabo, French WWII secret agent, was born (d. 1945).

Violette Szabo

1924 American occupying forces left the Dominican Republic.

1927 – The Cyclone roller coaster opened on Coney Island.


1934  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, which establishes credit unions.

1936  Initial flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter.

1940 Billy Davis, Jr., American singer (The 5th Dimension), was born.

The 5th Dimension. From left: Townson, LaRue, Davis, McCoo, and McLemore.

1940 World War II: under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Romania requiring it to cede Bessarabia and the northern part of Bukovina.


1942  The first flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

1943 Georgie Fame, British singer, was born.

1945  The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco.

1948 – William Shockley filed the original patent for the grown junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.


1948 Shirley Jackson‘s short story The Lottery was published in The New Yorker magazine.

1952 The Pan-Malayan Labour Party was founded, as a union of statewise labour parties.

Labour Party of Malaya logo.png

1959  The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened, opening North America’s Great Lakes to ocean-going ships.


1960 The former British Protectorate of British Somaliland gained its independence as Somaliland .

1960 – Madagascar gained its independence from France.

1963  John F. Kennedy spoke the famous words “Ich bin ein Berliner” on a visit to West Berlin.


1973  At Plesetsk Cosmodrome 9 people were killed in an explosion of a Cosmos 3-M rocket.

1974  The Universal Product Code was scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.


1975  Indira Gandhi established emergency rule in India.


1975 – Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement were killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

1976  The CN Tower, the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land, was opened to general public.

Toronto's CN Tower.

1977 The Yorkshire Ripper killed 16 year old shop assistant Jayne MacDonald in Leeds, changing public perception of the killer as she is the first victim who was not a prostitute.

1978Air Canada Flight 189 to Toronto overran the runway and crashed into the Etobicoke Creek ravine. Two of 107 passengers on board died.

1991  Ten-Day War: the Yugoslav people’s army began the Ten-Day War in Slovenia.

Jna t-55 slovenia.jpg

1993 The United States launched a missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for a thwarted assassination attempt against former President George H.W. Bush in April in Kuwait.

1994  Microsoft no longer supported MS-DOS and the development of FreeDOS began.


1995  Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani deposed his father Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, as the Emir of Qatar, in a bloodless coup.

Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.jpg

1996  Irish Journalist Veronica Guerin was shot in her car while in traffic in the outskirts of Dublin.

Veronica Guerin 1.jpg

1997nThe U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2003  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws were unconstitutional.

2008 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protected an individual right, and that the District of Columbia handgun ban was unconstitutional.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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