Word of the day


Zassledit‘  (Russian) –  to leave dirty footprints.

RWC – Russia vs USA


Russia debuts in the Rugby World Cup this evening – playing the USA.

It’s only a couple of decades ago that these two nations were Cold War enemies, but politics has nothing to do with me picking the USA.

We had a wonderful week in New York in July followed by a weekend visiting friends in Portland (Maine) and five lazy days in Honolulu on the way home.

All my picks – Scotland, Canada and Samoa won yesterday.

The second win for Scotland puts it at the top of Pool B but it’s next couple of games against Argentina and England will be tougher.



7/10 in the Herald’s changing world quiz.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said: “Rugby football is a game I can’t claim absolutely to understand in all its niceties, if you know what I mean. I can follow the broad, general principles, of course. I mean to say, I know that the main scheme is to work the ball down the field somehow and deposit it over the line at the other end and that, in order to squalch this programme, each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow man which, if done elsewhere, would result in 14 days without the option, coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench.” ?

2. Who holds the Women’s Rugby World Cup and how many times have they won it?

3. The anthem of which country begins:   Oíd, mortales, el grito sagrado: Libertad! Libertad! Libertad!

4. It’s jouer in Frnech, giocare in Italian, jugar in Spanish and purei in Maori, what is it in English?

5.  Who hosts the Farming Show and on which radio station did he begin it?

Bradford’s candidacy boost for Bennett


Former Green MP Sue Bradford has confirmed  her candidacy in Waitakere.

This will help sitting MP and cabinet minister Paula Bennett by splitting the left vote.

The candidacy will get Bradford and her party some publicity and if Mana got sufficient party votes for a second MP, assuming its leader Hone Harawira keeps his seat, she might get in to parliament.

The iPredict contract gives Bennett a 74% chance of holding the seat.

The contract on Bradford being  second on Mana’s list, after Harawira, hasn’t attracted much interest.

Dairy workers have it easy?


Tesco has a website to promote the nutritional benefits of milk.

It includes a page introducing farmer Jo who it turns out isn’t a fulltime farmer:

Unlike Harry, who was herding cows before he could walk, I never thought I would end up back here. I studied History in Birmingham and lived there and then in London. But the chance came to develop different areas of the farm which are not strictly cow/crop related and I jumped at it. I now run the mountain boarding centre (like snow boarding with pneumatic wheels – loads of fun!) but I still work around the farm.

One of her duties is milking when a herdsman is off and she says:

Their job is a real lifestyle choice. They start at 4am to prepare for 5am milking, then go home and sleep before milking is done again at 5pm.

I’d be surprised if that’s how it is for most dairy farm workers in Britain, it’s certainly not here.

They get up early to do the morning milking. Whoever is rostered to get the herd in will start about 4.30am, the others at 5:00. After milking and washing the shed they go home for breakfast then back to work feeding out, shifting breaks, attending to animal health, doing repairs and maintenance . . .  They go home for lunch and sometimes have time for a short nap and then it’s back for afternoon milking which usually starts with getting the cows in at about 2.30. When milking’s finished they clean the shed before going home for dinner.

Extra staff are usually employed to feed calves but there are other duties around calving then it’s not long before mating which also requires more work. They might also be required to irrigate. Managers and share milkers  have administration to do too.

Dairy workers here are well paid, but the good ones earn every cent. It’s usually only on their days off that they’d have the luxury of sleeping between milkings unless they are employed only for milking and not full time.

Hat Tip: Business Blog

Apropos of websites promoting milk, DairyNZ has appointed Rosie as Cowbassador, the face of New Zealand’s 4.4 million dairy cows  face of New Zealand’s 4.4 million dairy cows. Followers have the chance to win an iPad.

Observers responsible but not judges?


The Crimes Amendment Bill (No 2) which aims to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect passed its second reading on Tuesday.

It creates a new offence of failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult from the risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault, with a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

Justice Minister Simon Power said:

“New Zealand has a shameful history of child abuse and this bill will make an example of adults who put their interests before those of the vulnerable children around them,” Mr Power said.

“This bill sends a very clear message that it’s no longer okay for people to turn a blind eye.”

Mr Power said a parent or person over 18 may be found liable if they have frequent contact with the victim, and:

  • They are a member of the same household as the victim.
  • Though they do not live in the same household, they are so closely connected with it that they are regarded as a member of it.
  • They are a staff member of a hospital or institution where the victim resides.

On top of that, the bill doubles the maximum penalty for cruelty to a child from five years to 10 years’ imprisonment and extends the offence to include vulnerable adults – those in care because of their age, detention, sickness, or mental impairment.

We do have a shameful record of abuse and neglect and that makes the case of the comedian whose name is suppressed who was discharged without conviction after pleading  guilty even more puzzling.

If I understand this correctly, had this bill been enacted, the mother of the child involved who laid the complaint would have committed an offense had she stayed silent.

If an adult who doesn’t act when they know a chid is being abused or neglected is wrong, how can a judge say the consequences of a conviction for someone who admits offending would outweigh the gravity of the offence?

Jackson doesn’t want Labour back in Maori seats


Willie Jackson won’t stand in Tāmaki Makaurau because he thinks it would result in a Labour win.

“One of the main reasons why I’m not standing is that I’m very clear that my vote will come from Dr. Pita Sharples. If I stand, Dr. Pita Sharples stands and Shane Jones stands, then I am pretty sure that Shane Jones will be delivered to Parliament,” he said at the start of his RadioLIVE programme.

“I don’t want Labour back in the Māori seats.”

He is less than complimentary about Jones, one of Labour’s leadership contenders. At 2:47 he says:

I think Pita Sharples on a bad day is better than Shane Jones on a good day.

A strong candidate for Mana in any of the seats will take votes from the Maori Party and that split could well return them to Labour.

September 15 in history


668  Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy.

921  At Tetin Saint Ludmila was murdered at the command of her daughter-in-law. 

994 Major Fatimid victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of the Orontes.

1254 Marco Polo, Italian explorer, was born (d. 1324). 

1616 The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe was opened in Frascati, Italy.

1649 Titus Oates, English minister and plotter, was born (d. 1705). 

1762 Seven Years War: Battle of Signal Hill

1820 Constitutionalist revolution in Lisbon.

1821  Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica jointly declared independence from Spain.

1830  The Liverpool to Manchester railway line opened. 

1831  The locomotive John Bull operated for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

1835 HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reached the Galápagos Islands.


1851  Saint Joseph’s University was founded in Philadelphia.


1857 William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States, was born (d. 1930). 

1879 Joseph Lyons, 10th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1939).

1881 Ettore Bugatti, Italian automobile engineer and designer, was born (d. 1947). 

1883 The Bombay Natural History Society was founded in Bombay (Mumbai).


 1889  Robert Benchley, American author, was born (d. 1945).

1890  Agatha Christie, English writer, was born (d. 1976).

1894 First Sino-Japanese War: Japan defeated China in the Battle of Pyongyang.

1916  World War I: Tanks were used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somm 

1928  Tich Freeman became the only bowler to take 300 wickets in an English cricket season.

1931 In Scotland, the two-day Invergordon Mutiny against Royal Navy pay cuts began.

1935 The Nuremberg Laws deprived German Jews of citizenship. 

1935  Nazi Germany adopted a new national flag with the swastika

1937 Fernando de la Rúa, 51st President of Argentina, was born.

1940 World War II: The climax of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force shot down large numbers of Luftwaffe aircraft. 

1942  World War II: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Wasp was torpedoed at Guadalcanal 

1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met in Quebec as part of the Octagon Conference to discuss strategy.

1945 Hans-Gert Pöttering, German politician, President of the European Parliament, was born.

1945  A hurricane in southern Florida and the Bahamas destroyed 366 planes and 25 blimps at NAS Richmond.

1947  RCA released the 12AX7 vacuum tube.


1947  Typhoon Kathleen hit the Kanto Region in Japan killing 1,077.

1948  The F-86 Sabre set the world aircraft speed record at 671 miles per hour (1,080 km/h).

1952 United Nations gave Eritrea to Ethiopia.

1958 A Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train ran through an open drawbridge at the Newark Bay, killing 58.

1959  Nikita Khrushchev became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States. 

1961  Hurricane Carla struck Texas with winds of 175 miles per hour. 

1962  The Soviet ship Poltava headed toward Cuba, one of the events that sets into motion the Cuban Missile Crisis.

1963  The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing: Four children killed at an African-American church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1966 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote a letter to Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation.

1968  The Soviet Zond 5 spaceship was launched, becoming the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.


1969 Iron and steel from local ironsand (titanomagnetite) was produced for the first time at New Zealand Steel’s mill at Glenbrook, south of Auckland.

First steel produced from local ironsand

1971 Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1972  A Scandinavian Airlines System domestic flight from Gothenburg to Stockholm was hijacked and flown to Malmö-BulltoftaAirport.

1974  Air Vietnam flight 727 was hijacked, then crashed while attempting to land with 75 on board.

1976 The Rangatira arrived in Wellington from Lyttelton for the last time, bringing to an end more than 80 years of regular passenger ferry services between the two ports.

Lyttelton–Wellington ferry service ends

1981 The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

1981 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.

1983  Israeli premier Menachem Begin resigned.

1984 Prince Harry of Wales, was born.


1987  United States Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze signed a treaty to establish centers to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

1993  Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II disbanded Parliament.


2008 Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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