Word of the day

December 23, 2011

Enough – as much or as many as required;  adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire; expression of impatient desire for an end to undesirable behaviour or speech.


More than enough

December 23, 2011

On the Farming Show yesterday Bob McDavitt went through a list of weather nasties which had hit New Zealand in the past 12 months.

He started with Tropical Cyclone Norma in January which resulted in insurance payouts of $20 million in insurance payouts.

Most of us not affected by that would have forgotten about it after it was overshadowed in February by the Christchurch earthquake.

That and the physical, financial and emotional aftershocks which followed have dominated the year and just as everyone was beginning to relax there’s been another sizable shock:

Information about this earthquake:

Reference Number 3631359 [View event in Google Maps][View Felt Reports in Google Maps]
Universal Time December 23 2011 at 0:58
NZ Daylight Time Friday, December 23 2011 at 1:58 pm
Latitude, Longitude 43.49°S, 172.90°E
Focal Depth 8 km
Richter magnitude 5.8
Region Canterbury
Location
  • 20 km north-east of Lyttelton
  • 20 km north-east of Diamond Harbour
  • 20 km east of Christchurch

We’re more than 200 kilometres south of there and we felt the shake and a reasonable aftershock.

RadioNZ National says there has been only one report of anyone injured, and we can be grateful for that but there is more liquification.

If we’re thinking there’s been more than enough from Mother Nature, particularly when it comes to shaking, this year, how much worse it must be for the people in Christchurch.


11/15

December 23, 2011

11/15 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz year in business.


Sticky Beak the Kiwi

December 23, 2011

Sticky Beak the Kiwi stumped all but one of the respondents to yesterday’s quiz.

It was one of the few local offerings on the children’s request programme on the radio when I was a child.

NZ History Online has the story behind the song.


Friday’s answers

December 23, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. What’s the title of the poem which begins: A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey; and who wrote it?

2. Who wrote: And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

3. It’s Noël in French,  Natale in Italian, Navidad in Spanish and Kirihimete  in Maori, what is it in English?

4. How did Sticky Beak the Kiwi cause a commotion?

5. What is Viscum album?

Points for answers:

James got three with a bonus for Dr Seuss’s full name.

Andrei got three with a bonus for language knowledge.

Will got three and a smile for the sticky stuff.

PDM got two, a bonus for knowing the tune and a grin for the vaccum cleaner.

Grant got four with the help of his wife.

Teletext gets an electronic Christmas cake for five right and bonus for such comprehensive answers.

Adam gets one, and a sigh for the spirit of Scrooge.

 

 

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


I don’t hate Christmas . . .

December 23, 2011

. . . but after spending part of yesterday amid the crowds shopping in Dunedin yesterday I thought of this :

Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special!  How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?  ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

You don’t have to be a Christian to celebrate hope, joy, peace and love but too often they are forgotten in the madness that leads up to Christmas Day.

As I prepare for what started as a barbeque tonight for our local staff and grew I’m trying very hard to remember:

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.  ~Eric Sevareid


Sensible to investigate PPPs for hospitals

December 23, 2011

Health Minister Tony Ryall has asked the Canterbury District Health Board to investigate Public Private Partnerships for the $600 million rebuild of hospitals in Christchurch.

“This could include design, build and management of buildings, and some non clinical support services – while the DHB maintains full responsibility for delivering public health services,” says Mr Ryall.

“The process will explore whether or not a PPP may suit the Canterbury redevelopment. In the current economic situation, the Government expects DHBs to look outside the square when it comes to achieving value for money in capital projects.

“There is already a wide range of private involvement in the public health service – and similar public private infrastructure partnerships have worked well overseas.”

A decision on any public private partnership would be considered as part of the business case.

Considering PPPs is sensible, reasonable and moderate when so much money is involved and there is such an imperative to reduce debt.

But the PSA doesn’t see it that way:

“The Health Minister talks about future proofing Canterbury’s health infrastructure, but a PPP to build a new hospital, manage it and run non-clinical support services will be a black hole in which to pump tax payers’money,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA is basing its criticism on British examples. It should look closer to home.

Oamaru Hospital is owned and run by a Waitaki District Health Services, a Local Authority Trading Enterprise. It provides publicly funded health services for the people of the district and also offers some private services.

It’s been operating that way for more than 10 years.

The PSA might prefer to have scarce money tied up in bricks and mortar rather than paying wages and providing services. The government is more concerned to ensure that every public dollar is spent wisely and where it would do most good and using PPPs to build hospitals could be one way of doing that.


How has it come to this?

December 23, 2011

It isn’t very long ago that we didn’t need to lock our doors.

Now a five year old can not sleep safely in a caravan with her parents a few metres away.

How has it come to this?


December 23 in history

December 23, 2011

1732 Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor, was born (d. 1792).

1822  Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer, was born  (d. 1875).

1867  Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon, was born (d. 1919).

1893 The opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck was first performed.

1913 The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.

1914  World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrived in Cairo, Egypt.

1925  Rayner Unwin, British book publisher, was born.

1933 Akihito, Emperor of Japan, was born.

1937  First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.

1938  Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.

1947 The transistor was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.

1951  Anthony Phillips, British musician (Genesis), was born.

1953 Queen Elizabeth II arrived in New Zealand, the first reigning monarch to visit.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for summer tour

1954  The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

1958  Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world’s highest self-supporting iron tower.

1964 Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1970 The North Tower of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan was topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.

1972 The Nicaraguan capital of Managua was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 10,000.

1972 The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster were rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.

1986  Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.

1990  In a referendum, 88% of Slovenia‘s population vote for independence from Yugoslavia.

2002 A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.

2004  Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean was hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

2005  Chad declared war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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