Friday’s answers

17/02/2012

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. ”

2. It’s contester in French, contestare in Italian, desafiar  in Spanish and whakatara  in Maori, what is it in English?

3. What is a capybara, (also known as a carpincho)?

4. In which ocean is Madagascar?

5. What do the British and Argentineans call the South Atlantic Islands whose ownership they dispute?

Points for answers:

Bulaman and Andrei got four.

Gravedodger got four and a smile for # 5.

Adam got five and thus an electronic bag of peaches.

David got five, a bonus for extra information and an electronic bag of peaches.

PDM got three.

Teletext also got a clean sweep and wins an electronic bag of peaches.

 

 

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Mulga Bill

17/02/2012

In honour of what would have been Banjo Patterson’s 148th birthday:

Mulga Bill’s Bicycle

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;

He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;

He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;

He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;

And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,

The grinning shop assistant said, “Excuse me, can you ride?”

 

“See here, young man,” said Mulga Bill, “from Walgett to the sea,

From Conroy’s Gap to Castlereagh, there’s none can ride like me.

I’m good all round at everything as everybody knows,

Although I’m not the one to talk – I hate a man that blows.

But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;

Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.

There’s nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,

There’s nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,

But what I’ll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:

I’ll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight.”

 

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,

That perched above Dead Man’s Creek, beside the mountain road.

He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,

But ‘ere he’d gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.

It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,

It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man’s Creek.

 

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:

The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,

The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,

As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.

It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,

It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;

And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek

It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dean Man’s Creek.

 

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:

He said, “I’ve had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;

I’ve rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,

But this was the most awful ride that I’ve encountered yet.

I’ll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it’s shaken all my nerve

To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.

It’s safe at rest in Dead Man’s Creek, we’ll leave it lying still;

A horse’s back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill.”

 


Chick-lit like chocolate without calories

17/02/2012

The doctor who was looking after my son noticed the book I was reading and said, it was good to see a mother who read something other than Mills and Boon.

I took it as a compliment but could see why women in hospital with a sick child might choose to read such books – they’re light, you can keep track of what’s happening if your reading is interrupted and you’re guaranteed a happy ending.

They’re also entertaining and reading them is a bit like eating chocolate, without the calories. The same applies to chick-lit which is often seen as being only a step of so above Mills and Boon.

But why the snobbery? Can’t a good book be a good book regardless of its genre if it’s well written and what’s wrong with reading about relationships and for entertainment?

In the only problem with chick-lit is the name, Jenny Geras asks:

 Why do I so often hear intelligent, educated women admitting that they read commercial women’s fiction, but only as a “guilty pleasure”? Are there millions of clever men out there feeling guilty about reading John Grisham? Why are Jane Eyre, Kate Reddy and Becky Bloomwood even being discussed together in the same paragraph? They have nothing at all in common apart from being female characters created by female authors.

She also has the answer:

. . . let everyone read what they enjoy reading and stop sneering about others’ literary choices.

To which I say, hear, hear, pass the chick lit but don’t worry about the chocolates.

Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog


Quote of the day

17/02/2012

If Tony Blair, a former Prime Minister, makes untold millions trading deals with shady despots in the Third World, is it really any surprise that many people – the electoral peasantry of our political masters – feel that to be honest in these circumstances is to be naive, a fool, a mug.

They are wrong, actually: it is important to be honest for the sake of one’s self-respect, but not everyone values their self-respect. . .

. . . Dishonesty is contagious. And the example our business, political and intellectual leaders give us is, to an unprecedented degree in recent memory, bad, corrupt and corrupting. . . Theodore Dalrymple in Cheats, spivs and small-time crooks: Britain is getting less honest, and it starts at the top


Farm profit expected to be best in decade

17/02/2012

Beef + Lamb NZ expects this season’s farm profits to be the best in a decade.

In his chair’s update to farmers , Mike Petersen says:

 In summary, even with the settling in prices now being paid at the farm gate we are still predicting a farm profit before tax that is up 17% on last year. This will be the highest profit since 2001/02 in inflation adjusted terms, which is remarkable given the 2001/02 year was underwritten by a low US dollar where the Kiwi was worth 43 cents relative to the US!! This year’s farm profit reflects the strong international prices that have so far outpaced the strong exchange rate, however that trend looks likely to reverse as the currency races above 83c relative to the $US.

The past two seasons have been the best many sheep and beef farmers have encountered, in spite of the high value of our dollar.

It’s a welcome turn around from too many seasons when farmers were mining their capital gain and it is having an impact in slowing down conversions to dairying.

Beef + Lamb’s mid-season report is here.


February 17 in history

17/02/2012

1500 The Battle of Hemmingstedt.

1600 The philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned alive at Campo de’ Fiori in Rome for heresy.

1801 An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr was resolved when Jefferson was elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.

1809 Miami University was chartered by the State of Ohio.

1814 The Battle of Mormans.

1819 The United States House of Representatives passed the Missouri Compromise.

1848 Louisa Lawson, Australian suffragist and writer, was born  (d. 1920).

1854 The United Kingdom recognised the independence of the Orange Free State.

1864  Banjo Paterson, Australian poet, was born  (d. 1941).

1864 The H. L. Hunley became the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the USS Housatonic.

1867 The first ship passed through the Suez Canal.

1873 The editor of the Daily Southern Cross, David Luckie, published a hoax report of a Russian invasion of Auckland by the cruiser Kaskowiski (cask of whisky).

'The Russians are coming!'

1877  Isabelle Eberhardt, Swiss explorer and writer, was born  (d. 1904).

1904 Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini received its premiere at La Scala in Milan.

1913 The Armory Show opened in New York City, displaying works of artists who are to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century.

1917 Guillermo González Camarena, Mexican inventor (colour television), was born.

1924  Johnny Weissmuller set a new world record in the 100-yard freestyle swimming competition with a time of 52-2/5 seconds.

1924 Margaret Truman, American novelist, was born (d. 2008).

1925 Harold Ross and Jane Grant founded The New Yorker magazine.

1925 Ron Goodwin, English composer and conductor, was born  (d. 2003).

1929 Patricia Routledge, English actress, was born.

1930 Ruth Rendell, English writer, was born.

1933 Newsweek magazine was published for the first time.

1933 – The Blaine Act ended Prohibition in the United States.

1934 Barry Humphries, Australian actor and comedian, was born.

1940  Gene Pitney, American singer, was born (d. 2006).

1945 Brenda Fricker, Irish actress, was born.

1947 The Voice of America began to transmit radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union.

1958 Pope Pius XII declared Saint Clare of Assisi (1193~1253) the patron saint of television.

1959 Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite was launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.

1962 A storm killed more than 300 people in Hamburg.

1963 Michael Jordan, American basketball player, was born.

1964 Gabonese president Leon M’ba was toppled by a coup and his archrival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, was installed in his place.

1965  The Ranger 8 probe launched on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions.

1972 Sales of the Volkswagen Beetle model exceeded those of Ford Model-T.

1978 A Provisional IRA incendiary bomb was detonated at the La Mon restaurant, near Belfast, killing 12 and seriously injuring 30.

1979 The Sino-Vietnamese War started.

1995 – The Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador ends on a cease-fire brokered by the UN.

1996 World champion Garry Kasparov beat the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match.

1996 – NASA’s Discovery Programme started as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifted off on the first mission ever to orbit and land upon an asteroid, 433 Eros.

2003 The London Congestion Charge scheme began.

2006 A massive mudslide occurred in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll was 1,126.

2008 Kosovo declared independence.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: