Word of the day


Plangent –  reverberating with a loud or deep sound; expressing or suggesting sadness; plaintive.

Helping from the start


They run a safe house for babies.

They could get a call at any hour of the day or night to pick up a new-born baby from a maternity unit.

Sometimes they need police protection to do so.

Sometimes the baby is going through withdrawal symptoms from the drugs his or her mother took while pregnant.

They give each baby the love and care every newborn ought to have until s/he is well enough to go to adoptive parents.

That there is a need for such a service in this country is cause for despair. That there are people selfless enough to help in this way is an inspiration.




They’ve had time


Radio NZ reports the Ministry of Education has appointed a specialist advisor to Pembroke School in Oamaru to make sure national standards are implemented.

All schools have been given plenty of time to do what’s required.

If they can’t/won’t implement the standards themselves then the Ministry is correct to appoint people who will.

Technology can’t think for you


Technology can’t think for you.

This piece of wisdom was given to us by a nurse who was telling us that an apnœa monitor was a useful tool but it wasn’t a substitute for our eyes, ears and judgement.

This advice applies equally to GPS navigation.

Our first experience with GPS was in Spain. We soon learned to plan our route first with an old fashioned paper map and to know the names of places en route to and after our destination because road signs sometimes appeared to contradict the instructions from Josephine which is what we named the French woman on the dashboard.

We also learned that the GPS wasn’t always up to date, sometimes didn’t know about new roads and never knew about detours because of road works though we never got told to do a U-turn on a motorway.

Feed to protein ratio


Quote of the day:

It is true that if you grow a cow on a feed lot then you get that 8:1 ratio.

However, if you grow a cow on pasture then you get a ratio more like 0:1.

And there’s an awful lot of pasture out there that cannot be ploughed up to grow grain but is just great at growing grass for cows to eat. Tim Worstall.

This is why we don’t all have to go vegetarian or vegan to save the world.

We can carry on producing food as we mostly do in New Zealand – taking the stock to the feed not the feed to the stock.

Great party . . .


. . .  late night.

Normal service will resume sometime.

January 15 in history


On January 15:

588 BC – Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign.

69 – Otho seized power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, but rules for only three months before committing suicide.

1493 – Christopher Columbus set sail for Spain from Hispaniola, ending his first voyage to the New World.

1559 Elizabeth I was crowned queen of England in Westminster Abbey.

1622  Molière, (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) French playwright, was born (d. 1673).

1759 The British Museum opened.

1842 Blessed Mary McKillop, Australian  saint, was born (d. 1909)

1870  A political cartoon for the first time symbolised the United States Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).
1889 The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, was originally incorporated in Atlanta
1892 James Naismith published the rules of basketball.

1893  Ivor Novello, Welsh composer and actor, was born (d. 1951).

1902  King Saud of Saudi Arabia, was born (d. 1969).

1906 Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, was born  (d. 1975).

1909 Jean Bugatti, German-born automobile designer, was born  (d. 1939).

1913  Lloyd Bridges, American actor, was born (d. 1998).

1914 Hugh Trevor-Roper, English historian, was born (d. 2003).

1919  Maurice Herzog, French mountaineer, first to ascend an 8000m peak, Annapurna in 1950, was born .

1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston burst and a wave of molasses poured through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.

1929 Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1968).

1936 The first building to be completely covered in glass was completed in Toledo, Ohio ( built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company).

1943 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, was dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.

1966  The government of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in Nigeria was overthrown in a military coup d’état.

1969 The Soviet Union launched Soyuz 5.

1970 After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafra surrendered.

1970 United States Vice-President Spiro Agnew’s three-day visit to New Zealand sparked some of the most violent anti-Vietnam War demonstrations seen in this country.

Anti-Vietnam War protestors greet US Vice President
1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi was proclaimed premier of Libya.

1973 Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.

1977  The Kälvesta air disaster killed 22 people, the worst air crash in Sweden‘s history.

1986 The Living Seas opened at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.

1991  The United Nations’ deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expired, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.

1992  The international community recognised the independence of Slovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

1993  Salvatore Riina, the Mafia boss known as ‘The Beast’, was arrested in Sicily after three decades as a fugitive.

2001 Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, went online.

2005 – ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovered elements including calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.

2009 US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. All passengers and crew members survived.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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