Word of the day


Heterophemy – accidental speaking or writing of words different from those meant; unconcious use of words other than those intended.

No car parts please, it’s rugby


The list of items people attending a Rugby World Cup game are not permitted to take into the ground includes glass, chilly bins, radios, gang patches and/or regalia and weapons including knives.

The reason for prohibiting those is obvious.

But the list also includes car parts.

Why would anyone want to take car parts to a rugby game and what would they do with them once they were there?



Oh dear, this isn’t good: only 3/10 in the NZ Herald’s changing world quiz.

Political prediction in predictive text?


Yesterday I sent a friend a text to alert them to this post on Gothca in which Bill English gets the better of David Cunliffe.

Predictive texting gives my phone a mind of its own so that it “corrects” words it doesn’t recognise. When I typed Cunliffe my phone replaced it with dislodge.

Could that be a Freudian slip or is the predictive text also making a political prediction about Cunliffe’s ambition to dislodge his leader?

Dam safety amendment welcome


How often have you heard these words from a Minister?:

“We have amended plans for the Scheme, because it was overly costly and complex,” Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says.

He was commenting on amendments to  the Dam Safety Scheme which have been included in the Building Amendment Bill (No 4).

“The Dam Safety Scheme, as it was set out in the Building Act 2004, would have affected an estimated 1,150 dams, but an independent review found the scheme was too broad, imposing rules and compliance costs out of proportion to the risk,” Mr Williamson says.

The proposed changes mean classified dams will have to be regularly monitored, and any associated risks to people and property from their failure, minimised.

“The amended Scheme will be more effective, because it will clearly target only those dams that pose a high risk. It will be more efficient because it will provide for adequate safety measures without unnecessary compliance costs,” Mr Williamson says.

Many of the dams which would have been affected were relatively small ones on farms.

The amendment is a welcome change to regulations which imposed unnecessary rules and high costs on dams which pose little risk to people or property.

Sixth small consecutive slip in dairy prices


 GlobalDairyTrade’s trade weighted index slipped 1.4% in this morning’s online auction.

It’s the sixth successive fall in prices, taking the index to a 10 month low. But we weren’t worried by that price last year and it’s still above the long term average.

Whole milk powder was down 1.6% to US$3,314/MT; the price of skim milk powder was up .3% to US$3,444/MT; anhydrous milk fat was up 2% to US$4,353/MT; butter milk powder dropped 12% to US$2,988/MT; rennet casein was up .9% to US$9,547/MT; milk portein concentrate was up 4.9% to US$6,263/MT and the price of cheese dropped 4.7% to US$4,066/MT.

List discriminates against unionists


The National Party list discriminates against unionists according to occupational diversity specialist Professor Really Petty.

“The party list covers almost every other occupation group except unionists and that’s blatant  occupational discrimination,” Prof Petty says.

“The current caucus and probable new entrants include people who’ve worked in business, education, health, farming, finance, manufacturing, the media and theatre, in the public and private sector and for NGOs.

“They are or have been diplomats, doctors academic,  dental and medical; economists, engineers civil and horticultural; farmers, nurses, actors, police, lawyers, teachers, a minister and a valuer. Their backgrounds include arc welding, animal science, arts administration, banking, exporting, health management, hospitality, human resources, foreign relief, information technology, local bodies, real estate, retail, security, shearing and tourism.

” They’ve even got a former beneficiary and a man who was a house-husband. They cover so many occupational backgrounds it makes it easier to see what’s not there than what is and the glaring omission in the National Party list is unionists.”

Prof Petty says that as an oppressed minority unionists are used to being ignored but it’s a very poor reflection on a major political party when it makes not even a token gesture towards including anyone from this endangered class.

“It’s all very well to go on about gender and ethnicity, you can see they’ve got a variety of them. But it’s discrimination you can’t see that hurts the most and what you don’t see in the National list is one single person who identifies as a unionist.”

September 7 in history


1191 Third Crusade: Battle of Arsuf – Richard I of England defeated Saladin at Arsuf.

1524 Thomas Erastus, Swiss theologian, was born (d. 1583).

1533 Queen Elizabeth I,  was born(d. 1603).

1652 Around 15,000 Han farmers and militia rebelled against Dutch rule on Taiwan.

1776  World’s first submarine attack: the American submersible craft Turtle attempted to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admirl Richard Howe’s flagship HMS Eagle in New York Harbour. 

1812 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Borodino – Napoleon defeated the Russian army of Alexander I near the village of Borodino. 

1818  Carl III of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Norway.

1819 Thomas A. Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States, was born (d. 1885). 

1821 The Republic of Gran Colombia was established, with Simón Bolívar as the founding President and Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president. 

1822 Dom Pedro I declared Brazil independent from Portugal. 

1860 Grandma Moses, American painter, ws born (d. 1961).

1860 Steamship Lady Elgin sank on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 400 lives.

1862 Sir Edgar Speyer, American-born British financier and philanthropist, ws born (d. 1932).

1868 Prussian soldier of fortune Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky was killed during the assault on Titokowaru’s pa in south Taranaki.

Von Tempsky killed at Te Ngutu-o-te-manu 

1887 Edith Sitwell, British poet and critic, was born (d. 1964).

1893  The Genoa Cricket & Athletic Club, to become the first Italian football club, was established by British expats.

1895  The first game of what would become known as rugby league  was played, in England, starting the 1895-96 Northern Rugby Football Union season.

1901 The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ended with the signing of the Boxer Protocol.

1906 Alberto Santos-Dumont flew his 14-bis aircraft at Bagatelle, France for the first time successfully.

1907 Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania set sail on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England to New York City.

1909 – New Zealand’s heaviest gold nugget was found by Messrs Scott and Sharpe at Ross on the West Coast.

1909 Eugene Lefebvre (1878–1909), while test piloting a new French-built Wright biplane, crashed at Juvisy France. He died, becoming the first ‘pilot’ in the world to lose his life in a powered heavier-than-air craft. 

1911 French poet Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested and put in jail on suspicion of stealing the Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum. 

1913 Anthony Quayle, British actor and director, was born (d. 1989).

1916 Federal employees won the right to Workers’ compensation by(Federal Employers Liability Act (39 Stat. 742; 5 U.S.C. 751)

1920 Two newly purchased Savoia flying boats crashed in the Swiss Alps en-route to Finland where killing both crews.

1921 – The  NZ Maori  team played the Springboks for the first time.

1921 The first Miss America Pageant, a two-day event, was held. 

1922 Independence of Aydin, from Greek occupation.

1925 Laura Ashley, British designer, was born (d. 1985).

1927 Eric Hill, British children’s Author, was born. 

1927  The first fully electronic television system was achieved by Philo Taylor Farnsworth.

1929  Steamer Kuru capsised and sNk on Lake Näsijärvi, Finland with 136 lives lost. 

1936 The last surviving member of the thylacine species, Benjamin, died alone in her cage at the Hobart Zoo.

1936 Buddy Holly, American singer (The Crickets), was born (d. 1959).

1940   The Blitz – Nazi Germany began to rain bombs on London, the first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing.

1940 Treaty of Craiova: Romania lost Southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria. 

1942  8,700 Jews of Kolomyia (western Ukraine) sent by German Gestapo to death camp in Belzec.

1942  First flight of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator.

1943  A fire at the Gulf Hotel in Houston, Texas, killed 55 people.

1945  Japanese forces on Wake Island, which they had held since December of 1941, surrendered to U.S. Marines.

1949 Gloria Gaynor, American singer, was born.

1951 Chrissie Hynde, American guitarist and singer (The Pretenders), was born.

1953 Nikita Khrushchev was elected first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1957 Jermaine Stewart, American pop singer (Shalamar and Culture Club), was born (d. 1997).

1970 – Bill Shoemaker set record for most lifetime wins as a jockey (passing Johnny Longden).

1977 The Torrijos-Carter Treaties between Panama and the United States on the status of the Panama Canal were signed. 

1978  While walking across Waterloo Bridge in London Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police agent Francesco Giullino by means of a ricin pellet fired from in a specially-designed umbrella. 

1978 British Prime Minister James Callaghan announced that he would not call a general election for October, considered to be a major political blunder.

1979 The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, ESPN, made its debut.

1979 – The Chrysler Corporation asked the United States government for USD $1.5 billion to avoid bankruptcy.

1986  Desmond Tutu became the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa.

1986  Gen. Augusto Pinochet, president of Chile, escaped attempted assassination.

1988 Abdul Ahad Mohmand, the first Afghan in space, returned aboard the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz TM-5 after 9 days on the Mir space station.

1999 A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Athens, rupturing a previously unknown fault, killing 143, injuring more than 500, and leaving 50,000 people homeless.

2004 Hurricane Ivan, a Category 5 hurricane hit Grenada, killing 39 and damaging 90% of its buildings.

2005  First presidential election was held in Egypt.

2008  The US Government took control of the two largest mortgage financing companies in the US, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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