Word of the day


Calliopean – resembling a calliope in sound; piercingly loud.



8/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.

Blue won on the day


The conflict between my tartan genes and affection for Argentina continued throughout yesterday’s game which went to the wire.

Blue won on the day and Los Pumas with light blue ahead of Scotland in dark blue by just one point, 13-12, at the final whistle.

Rotorua got behind Ireland which beat Russia 62 -12 and Samoa won 27 – 7 against Fiji.

Today I’ll back the Celts again when Wales faces Namibia in New Plymouth.

NZ First and Act win with Family First


Family First NZ has launched a Value your Vote website which it says:

. . . highlights the voting record of current MP’s on controversial family issues from the past nine years. The site also contains responses to a 30-question survey which has been sent to candidates in all electorates on a wide range of family issues.

Passing quickly over the stray apostrophe, if you share Family First’s views and support party leaders on how they voted on these issues you’ll be voting New Zealand First, which got 83%  or Act with 60%.

United Future came next with 56%, and the Maori Party got 50%.

Having co-leaders for the Greens provides a conundrum – Russel Norman scored 50% but Metiria Turei only managed 28%.

National scored 44% and Labour 28%.

There is a flaw in Family First’s calculations however. Some of the votes they count were to allow a bill on an issue to go to select committee for consideration. This doesn’t necessarily mean the leaders were in favour of the bill’s provisions.



Nek minnit left smites right


Cosntable Clare Curran a long serving member of the Thought Police is being lauded by the left for saving blog readers from the wit of a right wing writer.

“Thank goodness, she’s banned him, I was really worried he’d make me see sense,” self-confessed Labour voter Rusty McRed, said.

“Yep, she’s saved us from remembering history,” Scarlet Puce, a signed up member of Socialists for Thought Control, agreed.

“I had a quick look at his blog and it’s clear to see the man’s a sport-loving Christian; a proponent or free enterprise who’s in favour of reward for effort. He bases his views on facts, he resorts to rational debate, uses reason in his posts and he likes John Key. Just think of the damage that could be done to the ideals we hold sacred if those sort of ideas gained traction,” Rosie O’Greedy, chair of Tax M More said.

Constable Curran said that any thought of an award for her efforts was premature.

“My work isn’t finished,” she said.

“I’ve rooted out one right winger but there’s more where he came from with equally dangerous free thoughts and long memories.

“They use words as weapons and they’re aimed at the heart of socialism. We can’t rest until we silence the lot of them.

“Mark my words, they’re a real risk to the red agenda. They’re determined to undermine Labour’s linguistic manipulation with logic; they will stop at nothing to counter our efforts to control thinking by controlling language.

“We must show no mercy towards them and their radical views on free thinking with open minds.

“If we start letting people think for themselves, we’ll never get back into power.”

Septic tanks greater risk than cows


A proposal to introduce intensive dairying to Hawea Flat is concerning some residents. However one of the reassurances the Otago Regional Council gave may not be very reassuring:

Your septic tanks are a bigger risk,” the Otago Regional Council’s John
Threlfall told Hawea Flat residents yesterday at a public meeting to discuss the
effects of intensive dairy farming on their water quality.

Held in the Hawea Community Hall, the meeting was addressed by council
chairman Stephen Woodhead and the council’s environmental information and
science director Dr Threlfall. . .

Dr Threlfall said the council wanted to allow good farming to progress, and
at the same time maintain and protect water quality.

“We cannot offer any guarantees,” he said. “But your septic tanks are a
bigger risk, and local monitoring will indicate water quality changes long
before deterioration becomes dangerous.”

Dairying gets the blame for water quality issues but domestic and industrial waste can be at least as much a problem.

However, that septic tanks are a greater risk doesn’t mean there is any serious risk.

Dr Threlfall said: “It’s our responsibility to enforce ORC’s water plan. Our
permitted rules are quite stringent and aim to maintain present water quality

Mr Woodhead added that the 400 dairy farms in Otago are inspected annually,
and that it would take “one helluva an event” for dairy effluent to pollute
local rivers.

Bad publicity about dairying is some places doesn’t mean it’s causing problems everywhere.

The ORC told a meeting in Oamaru last week that all but one of the waterways in the district had no quality issues. The one issue was in a small part of the Waiareka Creek which was much healthier than it had been before the North Otago Irrigation scheme was launched.

The creek had been little more than a series of stagnant ponds for most of the year, now it flows continuously which has improved the water quality and the habitat for fish and insects.

Can’t risk living to bring back dead


Tom was only 20 weeks old when he died.

We were in hospital at the time and among the formalities which had to be completed was signing a form giving permission for a post mortem.

I had no objection to that. I was at least as anxious as the medical staff to find a cause of the brain disorder which killed him and I waited with increasing desperation for the results.

It was a very long wait. We passed the 20 week mark after his death so he’d been dead longer than he’d been alive and still the post mortem report didn’t come.

The longer we waited the more I focussed on the results but when the letter finally came it was an anti-climax and a disappointment. The investigations undertaken after his death told us no more than the results of the numerous tests Tom had endured during his life.

In hindsight I realise that it wasn’t just the absence of any answers to our questions of what had caused Tom’s illness, which upset me. It was that focussing on the post mortem results had led me down a by way off the grieving highway. The letter brought me to a dead end and forced me to accept there wasn’t going to be a happy-ever-after there. The son we had loved was dead and with him died the hopes and dreams we’d had for his future which we hadn’t even been aware of until we lost him and them.

The report on which I’d put so much importance was nothing more than a reminder I had to return to the main road, come to terms with Tom’s death and get on with living.

All that a long time ago now, more than 20 years, but reports on the desperation of the families of the men who died in the Pike River mine remind me of how I felt.

Anguish and anger are natural and normal reactions to the tragic deaths of their men and wanting to get them back is understandable. But even if, after two explosions and subsequent fire, there is something to bring back, it won’t by itself make anything better. The families are stuck down a side road, waiting as I was. Whatever they might have when the waiting is over it won’t be what they want which is the living men they remember and for whom they grieve.

Nobody could have told me I was waiting in vain and I don’t expect the Pike River families to give up on the hope a recovery operation could, and belief it should, be undertaken.

However, those responsible for the mine can’t be swayed be the strong and understandable emotions of those who grieve. No matter what the bereaved families think and feel, the living can’t be put at risk to bring back the dead.

September 26 in history


46 BC  Julius Caesar dedicated a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the battle of Pharsalus.

715  Ragenfrid defeated Theudoald at the Battle of Compiègne.

1212  Golden Bull of Sicily was certified as an hereditary royal title in Bohemia for the Přemyslid dynasty.

1580  Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world.

1687  The Parthenon in Athens was partially destroyed by an explosion caused by the bombing from Venetian forces led by Morosini.

168  7 The city council of Amsterdam voted to support William of Orange‘s invasion of England.

1783  The first battle of Shays’ Rebellion began.

1810  A new Act of Succession was adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates and Jean Baptiste Bernadotte becomes heir to the Swedish throne.

1820  Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson proved tomatoes weren’t poisonous by eating several on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New Jersey.

1865 The Natives Rights Act declared Maori British citizens.

1872  The first Shriners Temple (called Mecca) was established in New York City.

1888  US poet & playwright T.S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot was born (d. 1965).

1898 Composer George Gershwin was born (d. 1937).

1907 Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward proclaimed New Zealand a dominion. Parliament Bildings were lit up in celebration.

Joseph Ward proclaims dominion status

1907  Newfoundland  became a dominion within the British Empire.

1907 English art historian & Soviet spy Anthony Blunt was born (d. 1983).

1918  World War I: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the bloodiest single battle in American history, began.

1932 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was born.

1934  Steamship RMS Queen Mary was launched.

1936 South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born.

1943 – Ian Chappell, Australian cricketer and broadcaster, was born.

1945 English singer Bryan Ferry was born.

1947 US country singer Lynn Anderson was born.

1948 English-born Australian singer Olivia Newton John was born.

1949 US novelist Jane Smiley was born.

1949 English crime writer Minette Walters was born.

1950  United Nations troops recaptured Seoul from the North Koreans.

1954  Japanese rail ferry Toya Maru sank during a typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait, killing 1,172.

1960 The first televised debate took place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.

1962  The Yemen Arab Republic was proclaimed.

1964 English singer Nicki French was born.

1970  The Laguna Fire started in San Diego County, burning 175,425 acres (710 km²).

1973  Concorde made its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time.

1981 US tennis player Serena Williams was born.

1983  Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov averted a likely worldwide nuclear war by correctly identifying a report of an incoming nuclear missile as a computer error and not an American first strike.

1997  A Garuda Indonesia Airbus A-300 crashed near Medan, Indonesia, airport, killing 234.

1997  An earthquake struck  Umbria and the Marche, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse.

2000  Anti-globalization protests in Prague (some 20,000 protesters) turned violent during the IMF and World Bank summits.

2000  The MS Express Samina sank off Paros in the Agean sea killing 80 passengers.

2002  The overcrowded Senegalese ferry MV Joola capsised off the coast of Gambia killing more than 1,000.

2008  Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy became the  first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.

2009 Typhoon Ketsana (2009) hit the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, causing 700 fatalities.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia

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