Word of the day

March 11, 2012

Somnolent – drowsy, sleepy; suggestive of or causing drowsiness.


Introverts of the world unite

March 11, 2012

Quote of the day:

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain making the case for the quiet and contemplative in a world which prizes extroverts.

To which I say, extroverts introverts of the world unite – quietly, in very small numbers, by ourselves.


Meating and greeting

March 11, 2012

Prime Minister John Key was at the 75th Upper Clutha A&P Show on Friday, meeting and greeting.

Or should that be meating?

He was one of the judges of the Glammies, Beef+Lamb NZ’s Golden Lamb Awards.

That resulted in him getting somewhat more than the daily requirement of iron:

“It’s hard to eat for your country but someone’s got to do it,” Mr Key said, as he primed his knife and fork to help BMX world champion Sarah Walker and chefs Graham Hawkes and Ben Batterbury judge the Glammies awards.

After the judging he and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean joined some locals at our place for lunch.

He greeted me by saying he’d just eaten more than his own weight of lamb. Fortunately we were serving beef and chorizo* as well as lamb, cooked on our parilla.

When we first went to Argentina we fell in love with their parillas, the wood-fired barbeques on which they cooked delicious meat, pizzas and vegetables.

It’s taken 15 years, but we’ve finally got one ** – just in time for Friday’s lunch:

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean & John Key

The meat was accompanied by green salad and tomatoes with basil. The second course was fresh strawberries and raspberries, meringues and Skinny Chocolate Brownie ***

* chorizo from Zamora

** Strictly speaking it’s a braai, the South African version of a South American parilla. We bought it from Kiwibraai, the company which imports them. Regardless of what you call it and where it comes from, the food cooked on it (so far) is delicious”.

*** Skinny Chocolate Raspberry Brownie

1 cup mashed raspberries

1/3 cup cocoa

3/4 cup self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

chopped white or dark chocolate (optional).

Line a 20cm tin with baking paper.

Put raspberries in a bowl, add sifted cocoa, flour and baking soda then sugar (and chopped chocolate if using it).

Stir until just mixed – don’t over-stir or it will go tough. If it looks too dry add a wee bit more mashed raspberries.

Cook at 175 degrees for about 25 minutes – or until skewer comes out almost clean.

Remove from oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn onto cooling rack.

When completely cool put on serving dish, decorate with fresh berries and/or grated chocolate or dust with icing sugar.

Could use other mashed or stewed fruit but raspberries are particularly good because you can taste them through the chocolate.

Adapted from Healthy Food Guide’s Chocolate Brownie. It uses apple puree instead of raspberries and adds walnuts.


March 11 in history

March 11, 2012

1387 Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood led Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.

1649 The Frondeurs and the French government signed the Peace of Rueil.

1702 The Daily Courant, the UK’s first national daily newspaper was published for the first time.

1708 Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.

1824 The United States War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

1845 Hone Heke cut down the British flag pole for the fourth time. He and Kawiti were leading figures in the attack which resulted in the the fall of Kororareka.

The fall of Kororareka

1848 Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin became the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.

1851 The first performance of Rigoletto, written by Verdi.

1864 The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England killed more than 250 people.

1867  The first performance of Don Carlo written by Verdi.

1872 Construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, started; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.

1888 The Great Blizzard of 1888 began along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.

1903 Ronald Syme, New Zealand classicist and historian, was born (d. 1989).

1915 J. C. R. Licklider, American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born. (d. 1995)

1916  Ezra Jack Keats, children’s  author, was born (d. 1983).

1917   Baghdad fell to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.

1927 Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre in New York.

1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born entrepreneur, was born.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

1945 The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

1952 Douglas Adams, English writer, was born.

1958 Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, interim President of Iraq, was born.

1977 The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.

1978 Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 were killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.

1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet Union’s leader.

1990 Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1990 Patricio Aylwin was sworn-in as the first democratically elected Chilean president since 1970.

1993 Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

1999 – Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

2004  Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid  killed 191 people.

2006 Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile.

2009 Winnenden school shooting – 17 people were killed at a school in Germany.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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