366 days of gratitude


Today I had to drive through the Pig Route to Ranfurly and back.

The sun was shining, the sky was cloudless and the scenery stunning.

I was reminded yet again how much natural beauty surrounds us and I’m grateful for that.

Word of the day


Xenobombulate – to malinger; pretend illness, especially to shirk one’s duties.

Almost New Age


StoryPeople by Brian Andreas's photo.

Is willing to accept that she creates her own reality, except for some of the parts where she can’t help buyt wonder what she was thinking.

Posted with permission.

You can sign up for a daily delivery of a dose of whimsy like this at Story People.

We don’t hem women in here


Hemlines are causing a contretemps at  Henderson High School.

. . . Sade Tuttle was rounded up with a group of girls after a uniform inspection at a school assembly, and she says she had no problem with making her school uniform skirt longer until she was told why.

“Basically we were told that the skirts needed to be lowered to below our knees or we would be given detention after school,” she says.

When I was at high school our gym frocks (was there ever a less practical and more unattractive uniform?) were supposed to touch the floor when we knelt.

They often didn’t and we also had to wear a braided girdle our house colour. This we did, slung low on our hips and on some that wasn’t much higher than some of the hems.

Fast forward a few decades and schools were unhappy about the fashion that led to kilts almost at ankle-level.

However, in this story, it’s not the hem length but the explanation for the rule that is causing the controversy:

The reason? Sade says deputy principal Cherith Telford told the group it was to “keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas and create a good work environment for male staff”.

For Sade and her fellow year 11 student, Jazmyn Green, it was those two comments that upset them.

“The rules themselves aren’t the problem; the problem is when these codes target girls specifically because their bodies are sexual and distracting,” says Sade.

Henderson High School is a decile three school in west Auckland. It has gone through a remarkable transformation under the helm of current principal Mike Purcell. . .

Several of the parents that spoke to Newshub believe Mr Purcell is doing a great job, but they’re unhappy with the way the issue of the uniform’s skirt is being handled.

“Henderson High School has rules relating to the wearing of school uniforms,” Mr Purcell says in a statement released to Newshub.

“These rules are not new and all families are made aware of them when they enrol. They include a stipulation that the hemline of female students’ skirts must be on the knee, no higher.

“The uniform is practical for school wear and these rules are regularly enforced to ensure that all students can focus on their learning and feel comfortable in the school environment. . . 

I back a school to have any reasonable rules about a dress code for pupils and the hemline requirement isn’t unreasonable in itself.

But the explanation supposedly given by the DP belongs to other times and places not in 21st century New Zealand. It’s that sort of reasoning that puts women in burkas and neither our culture nor our laws hem women in like that.

If male pupils and teachers are distracted by shorter hems it is they who have and are the problem.


Sunday soapbox


Sunday’s Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
Live More Awesome's photo.

All you need is less.

April 10 in history


879  Louis III became King of the Western Franks.

1407 The lama Deshin Shekpa visited the Ming Dynasty capital at Nanjing where he was awarded with the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma.

1500 Ludovico Sforza was captured by the Swiss troops at Novara and handed over to the French.

1606 The Charter of the Virginia Company of London was established by royal charter by James I with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.

1710 The first law regulating copyright was issued in Great Britain.

1741 War of the Austrian Succession: Prussia defeated Austria in theBattle of Mollwitz.

1794 Matthew C. Perry, American commodore, was born  (d. 1858).

1815 The Mount Tambora volcano begins its peak eruption period that lasted until July 15.

1816 The United States Government approved the creation of the Second Bank of the United States.

1821 Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople was hanged by the Turks from the main gate of the Patriarchate and his body was thrown into the Bosphorus.

1826 The 10,500 inhabitants of the Greek town Messolonghi start leaving the town after a year’s siege by Turkish forces. Very few of them survive.

1829 William Booth, English founder of the Salvation Army, was born (d. 1912).

1847 Joseph Pulitzer, American journalist and publisher, was born  (d. 1911).

1858  The original Big Ben, a 14.5 tonne bell for the Palace of Westminster was cast in Stockton-on-Tees by Warner’s of Cripplegate. It cracked during testing and was recast into the 13.76 tonne bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry and is still in use to date.

1864 Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg was elected emperor of Mexico.

1865 American Civil War: A day after his surrender to Union forces, Confederate General Robert E. Lee addressed his troops for the last time.

1866 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(ASPCA) wass founded in New York City by Henry Bergh.

1868 At Arogee in Abyssinia, British and Indian forces defeated an army of Emperor Theodore. While 700 Ethiopians were killed and many more injured, only two of the British/Indian troops died.

1874 The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska.

1887 On Easter Sunday, Pope Leo XIII authorised the establishment of The Catholic University of America.

1912 The RMS Titanic left port in Southampton for her first and only voyage.

1916 The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was created in New York City.

1919 – Soldiers votes defeated prohibition in New Zealand.

Soldiers' votes defeat prohibition

1919  Mexican Revolution leader Emiliano Zapata was ambushed and shot dead by government forces in Morelos.

1925  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published in New York City, by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

1932 Omar Sharif, Egyptian actor, was born.

1933  New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps was created.

1941 Paul Theroux, American author, was born.

1941 World War II: The Axis Powers in Europe established the Independent State of Croatia from occupied Yugoslavia with Ante Pavelić‘s Ustaše fascist insurgents in power.

1944  Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler escaped from the Birkenau death camp.

1947 Bunny Wailer, Jamaican musician, was born.

1953 Warner Brothers premiered the first 3-D film, entitled House of Wax.

1959 Akihito, future Emperor of Japan, married Michiko.

1963 – 129 people died when the submarine USS Thresher sank at sea.

1968 The ferry Wahine sank with the loss of 52 lives (plus a 53rd victim who died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck), this was New Zealand’s worst modern maritime disaster..

Sinking of the <em>Wahine</em>

1971 Ping Pong Diplomacy: In an attempt to thaw relations with the United States, the People’s Republic of China hosted the U.S. table tennis team for a weeklong visit.

1972  Oberdan Sallustro was executed by communist guerrillas 20 days after he was kidnapped in Buenos Aires.

1973 – The NZ government postponed a Spingbok tour.

1973 A British Vanguard turboprop crashed during a snowstorm at Basel, Switzerland killing 104.

1975  – Matthew Phillips, New Zealand-Italian rugby player, was born.

1979 Red River Valley Tornado Outbreak: A tornado landed in Wichita Falls, Texas killing 42 people.

1987 Hayley Westenra, New Zealand soprano, was born.

1991 Italian ferry Moby Prince collided with an oil tanker in dense fog off Livorno, Italy killing 140.

1991 – A rare tropical storm developed in the Southern Hemisphere near Angola; the first to be documented by satellites.

1998 The Belfast Agreement was signed.

2007 Abortion was legalised in Portugal.

2010 – Polish Air Force Tu-154M crashed near Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board including President Lech Kaczyński.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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