All Blacks 20- Wallabies 6.

I hope Julia Gillard enjoys the apple she agreed to eat in a bet with John Key.

Aren’t we supposed to be enjoying this?


Whether or not it’s only a game is open to debate, but it is sport and we’re supposed to be enjoying it.

Among the definitions of  sport are : athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature; diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime; jest; fun; mirth; pleasantry; mockery; ridicule; derision.

So here’s an electronic toast to the All Blacks with fingers and toes crossed in cautious optimism – which isn’t to be confused with either complacency or arrogance – that they and we will enjoy a lot more of the athleticism, skill, physical prowess, diversion, recreation and fun and not have to endure any mockery, ridicule or derision.

Word of the day


Pressure– the exertion of force upon a surface by an object, fluid, etc., in contact with it, the action of a force against an opposing force;  the force or thrust exerted over a surface divided by its area;  the force of selection that results from one or more agents and tends to reduce a population of organisms; the pressure exerted in every direction by the weight of the atmosphere; a sensation aroused by moderate compression of a body part or surface; the state of being pressed or compressed; to force (someone) toward a particular end; influence; a moral force that compels; to constrain or compel, as by the application of moral force; an urgent claim or demand; the burden of physical or mental distress; the constraint of circumstance; the weight of social or economic imposition; the stress or urgency of matters demanding attention.

Labour enveloped in more SMOG


It’s not easy being a candidate in a party which values your service as an MP so poorly it put you in an unwinnable place on the list three years ago.

It’s even harder when you’ve got nothing to be positive about your own campaign and party which leaves you trying to drag down your opponent.

You have to get what publicity you can, even if it’s negative, and the cheapest way to do that is with a blog.

But if you don’t want to score a SMOG (Social Media Own Goal) you have to be prepared to accept a range of comments, especially those which correct any errors you might have made.

Labour’s Invercargill candidate, Lesley Soper, doesn’t do that. She moderates the comments so only those supportive of hers stay on show.

But one of the commenters was canny enough to take a screen shot of some comments which didn’t pass moderation and sent it to Credo Quia Absurdum Est who has published them for the world to see.

Though all this is very small beer compared with the leak of the party’s IT policy a day ahead of its release.

Making the news


How much is a thousand?

It all depends and when we’re told 1,000 birds have died as a result of the oil spill from the MV Rena, it sounds like a very big number.

But a farmer I met at a party last night, put it into perspective:

“A thousand dead birds, what’s the fuss? There’d be at least that many ducks killed in Central Otago on opening morning, he said.”

Kiwiblog has some more numbers to add to that perspective.

Any oil spilled in the ocean is bad as are any wildlife deaths as a result of it, especially as the deaths wouldn’t be fast or painless. But the way they’re reported makes it sound far worse than it is.

Apropos of reporting, the media which has criticised Maritime New Zealand for its response and communications, are getting in the way of the salvage operation:

There are currently four vessels with media on board breaching the maritime exclusion zone. They are close to the Rena and they are disrupting salvage operations.

Air operations cannot be undertaken while these vessels are in the area and have ceased while this is resolved. This is because we cannot risk lifting or dropping off heavy equipment while these vessels are nearby.

We are at a critical stage of the salvage operation and these vessels need to leave the area immediately.

They have broken two of the basic rules I was taught at journalism school: ensure your story gives perspective and you’re supposed to be reporting the news, not making it.

Not tonight Robbie


Otago rugby teams have won a lot of first halves.

To the disappointment of fans they’ve not been as good at winning second halves.

When Robbie Deans was coaching Canterbury, it was very good at wining second halves, often in the final moments of a match.

Australia has always been good at doing that too, and did it again in last week’s semi final.

But not tonight, please Robbie.

For the sake of the nation’s blood pressure, tonight’s the night your team should play well but not too well and the All Blacks should win both halves.

Left parties unite to go backwards to future


The Labour, Green and Mana parties have announced they are uniting to take New Zealand backwards to the future.

The union follows a series of policy announcements in which the parties tried to trump each other in their effort to make political capital out of the grounding of the Rena.

Labour started by announcing it would not allow any off-shore exploration for oil. The Green Party countered by declaring the immediate cessastion of drilling off the coast of Taranaki would be a bottom line in coalition negotiations.

Mana trumped that by announcing the immediate phasing out of fossil fuels, nationalization of coastal shipping and the replacement of all ships by waka.

Tit for tat policy announcements ensued until the parties agreed that the best strategy would be to combine forces to take New Zealand backwards.

The LabGreenMana manifesto written in vegetable dye on recycled states the party’s aim in government will be to return New Zealand to its natural state.

Key policies include:

* The replacement of all imports with locally produced goods.

* Replacement of fossil fuels by renweable energy sources.

* Nationalisation of all land and conversion of all farms to organic production.

* Adoption of  homeopathic remedies and reflexology in place of conventional medicine.

The party’s logo will feature a dinosaur.

* Phasing out of cash in conjunction with a system of bartering.

A spokesperson for the new party said discussions were under way to determine how to reach consensus on co-leadership options.

Compulsory training in self-sufficiency will be introduced to schools

Against capitalism, for what?


It started with Occupy Wall Street and it’s spread across the globe using communications media which are the product of the system against which they’re protesting.

Several blogs have shown the photo which illustrates further hypocrisy, using and wearing goods produced by the capitalists against whom they rail.

They’re against capitalism, but what are they for and which of the products of capitalism are they prepared to sacrifice for their cause.

Capitalism isn’t perfect but, like democracy, it’s far better than the alternatives.

What’s the Welsh word for . . .


. . . bugger?

France 9 Wales 8.


October 16 in history


456  Magister militum Ricimer defeated Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire.

1384  Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland, although she was a woman.

1758 Noah Webster, American lexicographer, was born (d. 1843).

1781 George Washington captured Yorktown, Virginia after the Siege of Yorktown.

1793  Marie Antoinette, was guillotined.

1793  The Battle of Wattignies ended in a French victory.

1813  The Sixth Coalition attacked Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Leipzig.

1834  Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster burned to the ground.

1841  Queen’s University was founded in Kingston, Ontario.

1843 Sir William Rowan Hamilton came up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.

1846  William TG Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.

1854 Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, was born (d. 1900).

1859  John Brown led a raid on Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

1869  The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, was “discovered”.

1869  Girton College, Cambridge was founded, becoming England’s first residential college for women.

1875  Brigham Young University was founded in Provo, Utah.

1882  The Nickel Plate Railroad opened.

1890 Michael Collins, Irish patriot, was born (d. 1922).

1905 The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.

1906 The Captain of Köpenick fooled the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer.

1916 Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood by opening the first U.S. birth control clinic.

1922 Max Bygraves, English singer/songwriter, was born.

1923 The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt and Roy Disney.

1925 Angela Lansbury, English-born actress, was born.

1928 Mary Daly, American feminist philosopher and theologian, was born (d. 2010).

1934  Chinese Communists began the Long March.

1936 Jean Batten crossed the Tasman on the last leg of her flight from Britain, landing in Auckland 10 1/2 hours after leaving Sydney.

Jean Batten conquers UK-NZ route

1940 Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was named the first African American general in the United States Army.

1940 The Warsaw Ghetto was established.

1943 Fred Turner, Canadian bass player (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), was born.

1945  The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in Quebec City.

1946  Nuremberg Trials: Execution of the convicted Nazi leaders of the Main Trial.

1949 Nikolaos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announced a “temporary cease-fire”, effectively ending the Greek Civil War.

1951  The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated.

1964  Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin were inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively.

1968  United States athletes Tommie Smith and John Carloswere kicked off the USA’s team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.

1968   Rodney Riots in Kingston Jamaica,  inspired by the barring of Walter Rodney from the country.

1970 In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invoked the War Measures Act.

1973  Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1975 The Balibo Five, a group of Australian television journalists then Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), were killed by Indonesian troops.

1975 Rahima Banu, a 2-year old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, was the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.

1975  The Australian Coalition opposition parties using their senate majority, voted to defer the decision to grant supply of funds for the Whitlam Government’s annual budget, sparking the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.

1978 Pope John Paul II was elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave.

1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1984 Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1986  Reinhold Messner became the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders.

1986  Ron Arad, Israeli Weapons System Officer, is captured by Lebanese Shi’ite militia Amal.

1987  Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane force winds hit much of the South of England killing 23 people.

1991  Luby’s massacre: George Hennard ran amok in Killeen, Texas, killing 23 and wounding 20 in Luby’s Cafeteria.

1993 Anti-Nazi riot  in Welling in Kent, after police stopped protesters approaching the British National Party headquarters.

1995  The Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

1995 – The Skye Bridge over Lock Alsh was opened.

1996  Eighty-four people were killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeezed into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.

1998  Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges.

2002  Bibliotheca Alexandrina: a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, was officially inaugurated.

2006  A magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Hawaii.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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