Word of the day


Canard –  a false  or unfounded report or story; especially : a fabricated report; a groundless rumor or belief;a  short winglike control surface projecting from the fuselage of an aircraft.

Fast food frighteners


A rule of thumb for the nutritional value/healthiness of food is how good it will taste cold tomorrow.

Most fast food fails that test.

Another test is how long food will last without decomposing.

A story of a six-month old Happy Meal elicited responses from people who’d kept take-aways for up to 15 years without any visible sign of decomposition.

 . . . his mother-in-law has kept the food, and the Happy Meal box it came in, for 15 years. He writes:

The paper is actually deteriorating faster than the food. It’s been sitting in a dark closet all this time, no bugs, no mold, no nothings. Every now and then she pulls it out and we look in wonder at how nothing has changed, still looks like a happy meal.

There are questions about the validity of these claims.

Mcdonalds refutes them and the story links to an experiment which compares the longevity of fast food and a home-made burger.

But why let the facts get in the way of some really good fast food frighteners?

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. What is paregmenon?

2.  Who said: “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is let it rain“?

3. What is a whio?

4. It’s pluie in French, pioggia in Italian, lluvia in Spanish and ua in Maori, what is it in English?

5. Who was New Zealand’s first Jewish premier?

Points for answers:

Andrei got four.

Zen got four with a bonus for word plays.

PDM got a grin – and thanks for your concern but I’m in good humour and my farmer is safe.

Grant got three and an on-the-right-track for #1 with a bonus for listening to his mother.

GD got three with a bonus for the bread and extra information.

Teletext wins an electronic bag of peaches for five right.

Read the rest of this entry »

Moody’s AAA rating underpinned by economic strength


Good news :

New Zealand’s Aaa sovereign credit rating with Moody’s Investors Service is underpinned by the nation’s economic strength and low vulnerability to event risk, the rating agency said today.

Moody’s said the government’s fiscal and debt positions were very strong, and any threats from the nation’s high level of private debt was mitigated by the fact that the majority of those liabilities are held by the nation’s Australian-owned banks.

Still, New Zealand’s total external liabilities equalling 159 percent of gross domestic product is the nation’s biggest vulnerability, and prompted downgrades by rival rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings at the end of September.

“A strong fiscal framework, which has supported the successful track record of fiscal prudence under governments of both major political parties, provides some assurance that the budget balance will return to surplus by the middle of the decade,” Moody’s said. “The negative net international investment position has been large for many years without substantially affecting the government’s finances.”

The government has worked to keep its net debt below 30 percent of GDP, even as it borrowed a record $20 billion last financial year, and Moody’s said set to peak below the average ratio of other triple-A rated nations.

The left often complains that almost all our banks are owned by Australians but Moody’s sees that ownership as mitigating the high level of private debt.

Doesn’t look like an accident


The best designed effluent systems aren’t immune from human errors and break-downs which can lead to accidental discharges in the wrong place.

That doesn’t make it right but it could be a mitigating factor if damage is done.

However, if the facts of this case as reported are true, it doesn’t look like an accident:

Lloyd disconnected an open pipe from a blocked irrigator and placed it under trees nearby, allowing the effluent to discharge for four days before the pipe was found by Environment Canterbury (ECan) staff.

Unfortunately this enables opponents of dairying to tar all farmers with the same dirty brush.

Which century is this?


The surname Beer could well give you a penchant for brewing but it doesn’t guarantee you entry into a home-brew competition:

Rachel Beer, 36, this week tried entering her home brew in a competition at Saturday’s upcoming Lake Hayes A&P Show only to find out it’s a “blokes only” contest.

“Who cares if I have or haven’t got balls?” Beer fumes. “At the end of the day a home brew is a home brew.”

Beer, whose tipple is called ‘Beer’s Beer’, was told by the chief steward she could enter but wouldn’t be judged.

Someone needs to tell the show committee it’s the 21st century.

Hat Tip:Credo Quia Absurdum Est

January 13 in history


On January 13:

532 – Nika riots in Constantinople.

888 – Odo, Count of Paris became King of the Franks.

1328 – Edward III of England married Philippa of Hainault, daughter of the Count of Hainault.

1435 – Sicut Dudum was promulgated by Pope Eugene IV about the enslaving of black natives in Canary Islands by Spanish Natives.

1547 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was sentenced to death.

1605 The play Eastward Hoe by Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John Marston was performed, landing two of the authors in prison.

1607  The Bank of Genoa failed after announcement of national bankruptcy in Spain.

1610  Galileo Galilei discovered Ganymede, 4th moon of Jupiter.

1785 John Walter published the first issue of the Daily Universal Register (later renamed The Times).

1822 The design of the Greek flag was adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.

1830 The Great fire of New Orleans, Louisiana began.

1842  Dr. William Brydon, a surgeon in the British Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, was the sole survivor of an army of 16,500 when he reached the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad.

1847  The Treaty of Cahuenga ended the Mexican-American War in California.

1885 Alfred Fuller, Canadian businessman, The “Fuller Brush Man”, was born (d. 1973).

1890 Thomas William Murphy or ‘Torpedo Billy’, became the first New Zealander to win a world title in professional boxing.

'Torpedo' Billy Murphy wins the world featherweight boxing title

1893 The Independent Labour Party of the UK had its first meeting.

1893 – U.S. Marines landed in Honolulu from the U.S.S. Boston to prevent the queen from abrogating the Bayonet Constitution.

1898  Emile Zola’s J’accuse exposed the Dreyfus affair.

1911  Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland, was born.

1915 An earthquake in Avezzano, Italy killed 29,800.

1926 Michael Bond, British writer, was born.

1939 The Black Friday bush fires burnt 20,000 square kilometres of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.

1942 Carol Cleveland, English actress and only significant female performer in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, was born.

1942  Henry Ford patented a plastic  automobile, which was 30% lighter than a regular car.

1942  First use of aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter.

1953 Marshal Josip Broz Tito was chosen as President of Yugoslavia.

1958  Moroccan Liberation Army ambushed Spanish patrol in the Battle of Edchera.

1964  HinduMuslim rioting broke out in Calcutta – now Kolkata – resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

1964 Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, was appointed archbishop of Krakow, Poland.

1966  Robert C. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member by being appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

1968  Johnny Cash performed live at Folsom Prison.

1970  Shonda Rhimes, American screenwriter/creator Grey’s Anatomy, was born.

1985 A passenger train plunged into a ravine at Ethiopia, killing 428 in the worst rail disaster in Africa.

1990 L. Douglas Wilder became the first elected African American governor when he took office in Richmond, Virginia.

1992 – Japan apologised for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery (Comfort women) during World War II.

1993 Space Shuttle programme: Endeavour headed for space for the third time as STS-54 launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

2001  An earthquake in El Salvador, killed more than 800.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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