Word of the day


Tumid – swollen, distended, protuberant, bulging; pompous, bombastic; overblown.



7/10 in the NBR’s weekly Biz Quiz.

Saturday’s smiles


Sean was the pastor of a Church of England parish on the Northern Ireland/ Southern Ireland border and Patrick was the priest in the Roman Catholic Church across the road. 

One day they were seen together, erecting a sign into the ground, which says: 


As a car sped past them, the driver leaned out his window and yelled, “Leave people alone, you Oirish religious nutters! We don’t need your lectures.” 

The car sped round the next corner then came the sound of screeching tyres and a big splash.  

Shaking his head, Patrick said “Dat’s da terd one dis mornin’.”  

“Yaa,” Pastor Sean agreed, “Do ya tink maybe da sign should just say, ‘Bridge Out?'”   




6/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

First law of escalators


Jim Hopkins has come up with a name for a fundamental law of human nature:

. . . You’ve only got to go to a mall or an airport or anywhere with a staircase and an escalator side by side and you’ll see the proof, right in front of you, plain as the schnoz on your face.

For that reason, we’ll call this underlying principle The First Law of Escalators, which is that whenever two or more solutions exist, 90 per cent of us will choose the easiest. . .

But the first isn’t the only one:

But there’s a Second Law of Escalators too, which simply says the first law will always apply – until everything turns to custard, then we’re stuck with the stairs. . ..

Easy come, hard go. Them’s the rules, folks, The First and Second Law of Escalators. . .

For the record, if there’s stairs and an escalator I almost always choose the stairs unless I’m carrying something heavy.

If you meet enough stairs such incidental exercise can make a difference to physical fitness.

But Jim had fiscal and political fitness in mind rather than physical.

One’s choice not necessarily another’s


My understanding of feminism is that it promotes enabling  women to make choices about their lives.

One  of those choices is to take on the role of primary caregiver for children.

It does the cause, and women, no good when those who manage to combine a career with raising children criticise others who prefer not to:

Mrs Blair, a QC and mother of four, criticised women who “put all their effort into their children” instead of working. Mothers who go out to work are setting a better example for their children, she said

Addressing a gathering of “powerful” women at one of London’s most expensive hotels, Mrs Blair said she was worried that today’s young women are turning their backs on the feminism of their mothers’ generation.

Some women now regard motherhood as an acceptable alternative to a career, Mrs Blair said. Instead, women should strive for both.

One woman’s choice about her and family life  isn’t necessarily another’s.

The criticism is especially galling when it comes from one whose family income gives her and her husband choices about child care and house keeping which many others might not be able to afford.

Her point about the importance of women being self-sufficient is valid, especially in context of her explanation:

Mrs Blair said her view was informed by her own experience of her father abandoning her mother when she was a child. But she insisted that all women should make sure they can provide for themselves: “Even good men could have an accident or die and you’re left holding the baby.

But the promotion of self-sufficiency should be possible without criticising women who choose not to pursue a career while their children are young.

One criticism of feminism is that in making it possible, and acceptable, for women to take on roles  and work which were traditionally the preserve of men  it has devalued traditional female work and roles.

Mrs Blair’s comments add fuel to that fire.

June 23 in history


47 BC Pharaoh Ptolemy XV Caesarion of Egypt was born  (d. 30 BC).

79 Titus Caesar Vespasianus succeeded his father Vespasianus as tenth Roman Emperor.

1180 First Battle of Uji, starting the Genpei War in Japan.

1305 The FlemishFrench peace treaty was signed at Athis-sur-Orge.

1314  First War of Scottish Independence The Battle of Bannockburn, south of Stirling, began.

1532  Henry VIII and François I signed a secret treaty against Emperor Charles V.

1565  Turgut Reis (Dragut), commander of the Ottoman navy, died during the Siege of Malta.

1611  The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson‘s fourth voyage set Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they were never heard from again.

1661  Marriage contract between Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza.

1683  William Penn signed friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians in Pennsylvania.

1713  The French residents of Acadia were given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia.

1757 Battle of Plassey – 3,000 British troops under Robert Clive defeated a 50,000 strong Indian army under Siraj Ud Daulah at Plassey.

1758  Seven Years’ War: Battle of Krefeld – British forces defeated French troops at Krefeld in Germany.

1760 – Seven Years’ War: Battle of Landeshut – Austria defeated Prussia.

1780 American Revolution: Battle of Springfield.

1794  Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.

1810  John Jacob Astor formed the Pacific Fur Company.

1812  War of 1812: Great Britain revoked the restrictions on American commerce, thus eliminating one of the chief reasons for going to war.

1812 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon I of France invadesd Russia.

1860  The United States Congress established the Government Printing Office.

1865  American Civil War: At Fort Towson in the Oklahoma Territory, Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered the last significant rebel army.

1868  Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for Type-Writer.

1887 The Rocky Mountains Park Act became law in Canada, creating the nation’s first national park, Banff National Park.

1894 King Edward VIII was born (d. 1972).

1894  The International Olympic Committee was founded at the Sorbonne, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

1914  Mexican Revolution: Francisco Villa took Zacatecas from Victoriano Huerta.

1917  In a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retired 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.

1919  Estonian Liberation War: The decisive defeat of German Freikorps (Baltische Landeswehr) forces in the Battle of Cesis (Võnnu lahing). This day is celebrated as Victory Day in Estonia.

1926 The College Board administered the first SAT exam.

1931 Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine plane.

1937  Niki Sullivan, American guitarist (The Crickets), was born  (d. 2004) .

1938 The Civil Aeronautics Act was signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the United States.

1940 Adam Faith, English singer and actor was born, (d 2003).

1940 Stuart Sutcliffe, English musician (The Beatles) , was born (d. 1962).

1940 – World War II: German leader Adolf Hitler surveys newly defeated Paris in now occupied France.

1941 Roger McDonald, Australian author, was born.

1941 The Lithuanian Activist Front declared independence from the Soviet Union and formed the Provisional Government of Lithuania.

1942 World War II: The first selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz took place on a train load of Jews from Paris.

1942  World War II: Germany’s latest fighter, a Focke-Wulf FW190 was captured intact when it mistakenly landsedat RAF Pembrey in Wales.

1943  World War II: British destroyers HMS Eclipse and HMS Laforey sank the Italian submarine Ascianghi in the Mediterranean after she torpedoed the cruiser HMS Newfoundland.

1945 World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ended when organised resistance of Imperial Japanese Army forces collapsed.

1946  The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake struck Vancouver Island.

1947  The United States Senate followed the United States House of Representatives in overriding U.S. President Harry Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act.

1956  Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt.

1958  The Dutch Reformed Church accepted women ministers.

1959  Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs was released after only nine years in prison and allowed to emigrate to Dresden.

1959  A fire in a resort hotel in Stalheim, Norway killed 34 people.

1961 Cold War: The Antarctic Treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned military activity on the continent, came into force after the opening date for signature set for the December 1, 1959.

1965 Paul Arthurs, British guitarist (Oasis), was born.

Oasis, 1997. L-R: Alan White, Paul McGuigan, Noel Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, and Liam Gallagher.

1967  Cold War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey for the three-day Glassboro Summit Conference.

1968  74 were killed and 150 injured in a football stampede towards a closed exit in a Buenos Aires stadium.

1969 Warren E. Burger was sworn in as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court by retiring chief justice Earl Warren.

1972  Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman were taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.

1972 45 countries left the Sterling Area, allowing their currencies to fluctuate independently of the British Pound.

1973   The International Court of Justice condemned French nuclear tests in the Pacific.

World court condemns French nuclear tests

1973 A fire at a house in Hull, England, which killed a six year old boy was passed off as an accident; it later emerged as the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by arsonist Peter Dinsdale.

1985  A terrorist bomb aboard Air India flight 182 brought the Boeing 747 down off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 aboard.

1988 James E. Hansen testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that it is 99% probable that global warming had begun.

1989 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a law passed by the U.S. Congress banning all sexually oriented phone message services was unconstitutional.

1991 Moldova declared independence.

1998 – Paul Reitsma resigned his seat in the British Columbia legislature; the first elected politician in the British Commonwealth to be removed from office by legally-binding petition.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: