Word of the day


Peripatetic – a person who travels fro place to place; pedestrian, itinerant; a follower of Aristotle or adherent of Aristotelianism; travelling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods; walking about or from place to place; travelling on foot; of or relating to the philosophy or teaching methods of Aristotle, who conducted  discussions while walking about in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions are here.

No-one managed to stump everyone but Andrei can have a consolation batch of electronic Bo Peeps as a reward for sowing the seed for so much discussion.




12/19 in Stuff’s photo quiz – proof that guesses can sometimes be lucky.

Fire hose finances


Answer of they day from yesterday’s question time:

Jami-Lee Ross: Has he received any reports on alternative approaches to getting back into surplus?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: No, but I have seen a lot of proposals to simply spend more money, whether it is the increased cost of borrowing more, higher tertiary student support, ineffective research and development tax credits, ever-increasing early childhood education subsidies, or even, in fact, army brass bands. The approach advocated for, resembles a fire hose of borrowed money being sprayed round—and not just borrowed money, but money borrowed internationally. Somehow all of these policies of spending more money and making no savings would apparently still leave the Labour Party back in surplus by— . . .

A “fire hose of borrowed money”.

I do love a good image and oh how I wish I had the skill to turn that phrase in to a picture.


Gypsy Day


Today is  Gypsy Day which signals a change of job and home for hundreds of dairy farm staff and thousands of cows.

While June 1 is the date that new-season contracts come into effect,  the moving isn’t confined to a single day. It is more Gypsy week or even month as all those managers, share milkers, other dairy staff, their families, household goods, vehicles, machinery and animals move farms.

The peripatetic nature of dairy farm work affects not just the workers and their families but the communities from and to which they move.

Rural communities where sheep, beef or cropping were in the majority used to have relatively stable populations with many families staying on the same farm, or at least in the same district, for generations.

That might not be quite as common now as it used to be but it is still more the norm than in areas where dairying predominates.

Dairying is different from other types of farming as staff regularly move from farm to farm as they advance up the managerial or share milking ladders.

The transient nature of the increased population does make it harder for people to know their neighbours and we have to work harder to retain a sense of community.

However, if  dairy farm workers are more mobile, they are also more numerous.

Dairying boosts the population of farming areas because it is more labour intensive. That is generally positive, bringing more people to support local businesses and organisations and more children for what are often small schools.

That many of them aren’t there for the long-term is due to the nature of the industry which turns many of its workers into Gypsies each June.

June 1 in history


193 Roman Emperor Didius Julianus was assassinated.

987 Hugh Capet was elected King of France.

1204  King Philip Augustus of France conquered Rouen.

1215  Beijing ruler Emperor Xuanzong of Jin, was captured by the Mongols under Genghis Khan, ending the Battle of Beijing.

1252 Alfonso X was elected King of Castile and León.

1495  Friar John Cor recorded the first known batch of scotch whisky.

1533  Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England.

1660 Mary Dyer was hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1679 The Scottish Covenanters defeated John Graham of Claverhouse at the Battle of Drumclog.

1779  Benedict Arnold, a general in the Continental Army was court-martialed for malfeasance.

1792  Kentucky was admitted as the 15th state of the United States.

1794 The battle of the Glorious First of June was fought, the first naval engagement between Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars.

1796 Tennessee was admitted as the 16th state of the United States.

1812  War of 1812: U.S. President James Madison asked the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom.

1813  James Lawrence, the mortally-wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, gave his final order: “Don’t give up the ship!”

1815  Napoleon swore fidelity to the Constitution of France.

1831  James Clark Ross discovered the North Magnetic Pole.

1843 Henry Faulds, Scottish fingerprinting pioneer, was born  (d. 1930).

1855  American adventurer William Walker conquered Nicaragua.

1857 Charles Baudelaire‘s Fleurs du mal was published.

1862  American Civil War, Peninsula Campaign: Battle of Seven Pines (or the Battle of Fair Oaks) ended inconclusively, with both sides claiming victory.

1868 Treaty of Bosque Redondo was signed allowing the Navajos to return to their lands in Arizona and New Mexico.

1869  Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine.

1878 – John Masefield, English novelist and poet was born (d. 1967).

1879 Napoleon Eugene, the last dynastic Bonaparte, was killed in the Anglo-Zulu War.

1886 – The railroads of the Southern United States converted 11,000 miles of track from a five foot rail gauge to standard gauge.

1890  The United States Census Bureau began using Herman Hollerith‘s tabulating machine to count census returns.

1907 Frank Whittle, English inventor of the jet engine was born (d. 1996).

1910  Robert Falcon Scott‘s South Pole expedition left England.

1918  World War I: Battle for Belleau Wood – Allied Forces under John J. Pershing and James Harbord engaged Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince.

1920  Adolfo de la Huerta became president of Mexico.

1921 Nelson Riddle, American bandleader and arranger, was born  (d. 1985).

1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

1922  The Royal Ulster Constabulary was founded.

1926 Andy Griffith, American actor  was born.

1926 – Marilyn Monroe, American actress, was born  (d. 1962).

1928  Bob Monkhouse, English comedian, was born (d. 2003).

1929  The 1st Conference of the Communist Parties of Latin America was held in Buenos Aires.

1930 Edward Woodward, English actor, was born  (d. 2009).

1934 Pat Boone, American singer, was born.

1935  The first driving tests were introduced in the United Kingdom.

1937 Morgan Freeman, American actor, was born.

1937 Colleen McCullough, Australian novelist, was born.

1939 Maiden flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (D-OPZE) fighter aeroplane.

1940  The Leninist Communist Youth League of the Karelo-Finnish SSR holds its first congress.

1940  The Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation went out of business, giving the City of New York full control of the subway system in the city.

1941  World War II: Battle of Crete ended as Crete capitulated to Germany.

1941 – The Farhud, a pogrom of Iraqi Jews in Baghdad.

1942 World War II: the Warsaw paper Liberty Brigade published the first news of the concentration camps.

1943 British Overseas Airways Corporation Flight 777 wasshot down over the Bay of Biscay by German Junkers Ju 88s, killing actor Leslie Howard and leading to speculation the downing was an attempt to kill British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

1946 Ion Antonescu, “Conducator” (leader) of Romania during World War 2, was executed.

1947 – Ronnie Wood, English guitarist (Rolling Stones), was born.

1950 Wayne Nelson, American musician (Little River Band), was born.

1956  First international flight (to Montreal YUL) from the Atlanta Municipal Airport

1958 Charles de Gaulle came out of retirement to lead France by decree for six months.

1960 New Zealand’s first official television transmission began at 7.30pm.

NZ's first official TV broadcast

1960 Simon Gallup, English bassist (The Cure), was born.

1963  Kenya gained internal self-rule (Madaraka Day).

1974  Flixborough disaster: an explosion at a chemical plant killed 28 people.

1974 –The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims was published in the journal Emergency Medicine.

1978 The first international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty were filed.

1979 – The first black-led government of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 90 years took power.

1980  Cable News Network (CNN) begins broadcasting.

1988  The 4th Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece started.

1990  George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev signed a treaty to end chemical weapon production.

1993  Dobrinja mortar attack: 13 were killed and 133 wounded when Serb mortar shells are fired at a soccer game in Dobrinja, west of Sarajevo.

1999  American Airlines Flight 1420 slid and crashed while landing at Little Rock National Airport, killing 11 people.

2000  The Patent Law Treaty was signed.

2001  Nepalese royal massacre : Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal shot and killed several members of his family including his father and mother, King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya.

2001 – Dolphinarium massacre: a Hamas suicide bomber killed 21 at a disco in Tel Aviv.

2003  Filling began of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam.

2005 The Dutch referendum on the European Constitution resulted in its rejection.

2009 Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil. All 228 passengers and crew were killed.

2009 – General Motors filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth largest United States bankruptcy in history.

Sourced from NZ  History Online & Wikipedia

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