Ficulnean – of fig-tree wood; completely worthless.
A neighbour was disposing of books and invited me to take any that interested me before they went.
One of those I picked was The Night Life of the Gods by Thorne Smith.
It made me laugh out loud the first time I read it and I find it just as amusing when I re-read it.
Today I’m grateful for this and other books which make me laugh.
Polls have consistently shown a significant majority of people will vote for the current flag rather than the alternative.
Polling companies haven’t been calling the people I’ve been asking.
We were with 10 New Zealanders in Tasmania three weeks ago, all but one were voting for the new flag.
A week later we were on a farm tour in the North Island with 41 people. Only two of those were voting for the status quo, one didn’t like the alternative but was planning to vote for it in preference to the old one and the others were definitely voting for change.
At a dinner last week, four of six were voting for change.
Does that mean the polls will be proved wrong?
Sadly, I don’t think so.
Between people who don’t want change, people who do but don’t like the alternative enough to vote for it and people voting against change for political reasons I think the polls will prove to be right.
But whatever the outcome of the referendum, we’ve got a new flag and we’ll continue to fly it.
Sailors, with their built in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world. – Nicholas Monsarrat who was born on this day in 1910.
1599 Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1641).
1622 Jamestown massacre: Algonquian Indians killed 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population.
1630 Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables.
1765 British parliament passed the Stamp Act, which introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.
1784 The Emerald Buddha was moved to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.
1818 John Ainsworth Horrocks, English-born explorer of South Australia, was born (d. 1846).
1829 The three protecting powers (Britain, France and Russia) established the borders of Greece.
1849 The Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara.
1871 William Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.
1873 A law was approved by the Spanish National Assembly in Puerto Rico to abolish slavery.
1887 Chico Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1961).
1894 The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started.
1895 First display (a private screening) of motion pictures by Auguste and Louis Lumière.
1906 First Anglo-French rugby union match at Parc des Princes in Paris
1908 Louis L’Amour, American author, was born (d. 1988).
1910 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist, was born (d. 1979).
1923 Marcel Marceau, French Mime, was born (d. 2007).
1930 Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist, was born.
1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a bill legalizing the sale of beer and wine.
1936 Roger Whittaker, British singer, was born.
1939 Germany took Memel from Lithuania.
1941 Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam began to generate electricity.
1942 Britain’s Royal Navy confronted Italy’s Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte.
1942 Keith Relf, English musician (The Yardbirds), was born (d. 1976).
1943 The entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces.
1945 The Arab League was founded when a charter was adopted in Cairo.
1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer, was born.
1954 The London bullion market reopened.
1955 Valdis Zatlers, 7th President of Latvia, was born.
1994 Anna Paquin won an Oscar for her part in The Piano. Director Jane Campion won the award for best screen play.
1995 Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned after setting a record for 438 days in space.
1997 Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest champion of the women’s world figure skating competition.
1997 – The Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to earth.
2004 Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.
2006 ETA, armed Basque separatist group, declared permanent ceasefire.
2006 – BC Ferries’ M/V Queen of the North ran aground on Gil Island British Columbia and sinks; 101 on board, 2 presumed deaths.
2009 Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska began erupting after a prolonged period of unrest.
2013 – At least 37 people were killed and 200 injured after a fire destroyed a camp containing Burmese refugees near Ban Mae, Thailand.
2014 – At least 35 people died in Balochistan, Pakistan, in a collisionbetween a petrol tanker and two buses.
2014 – Forty-three people were killed in a mudflow near Oso, Washington.
2014 – Turtle Canyon was opened in Newport, Kentucky.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipeida