Gotta love the Irish


Vamos Argentina pero . . .


If Argentina was playing any other team than the All Blacks I’d be backing Los Pumas.

Since they are playing New Zealand I’m saying vamos Argentina pero no demasiado bien  – play well Argentina, but not too well.

I’m conflicted with the other quarter-final game.

I want the winner to be whichever team the All Blacks are most likely to defeat should we get through to the next round and I’d like that to be Australia. But my farmer who knows far more about rugby than I do and who was in Brisbane to for the last Tri-Nations game when the Wallabies beat the All Blacks, reckons South Africa might be an easier semi-final opponent.

We were at a 21st birthday party last night but what from what I saw of the two games,  Wales deserved its 22-10 victory over Ireland and the French earned their semi-fianl spot by beating England 19 -12.


Go . . . ?


I was a day ahead of myself with yesterday’s post about the first two Rugby World Cup quarter-final games between Ireland and Wales and England and France.

Twenty four hours hasn’t helped me decide who to back so I’ll bow to Inventory 2 who knows much more than I do about rugby.

He’s picking wins by  the Irish and French.

He’s also picking Wanganui to beat East Coast in the Meads Cup.

More than Irish eyes smiling


The upset win by Ireland over Australia last night will have more than Irish eyes smiling.

Rugby World Tournament organisers will be delighted that the competition, which was warming up anyway, has been well and truly set alight.

Blue and white ruled in Invercargill where Argentina won 43 – 8 against Romania and the Springboks beat Fiji 49 – 3.

The Welsh players will no doubt be thinking of the death of four men after a flood in a coal mine near Swansea on Friday when they meet Samoa this afternoon.

I’m backing Samoa in that game, Canada against France and for what might be the only time in the tournament I’ll be siding with England when the team meets Georgia in Dunedin.


Brave Blossoms yesterday, backing blue today


Headline of the day: Brave Blossoms no match for All Blacks.

Is this the first time in the history of the English language that that adjective and noun have been used together?

There was no surprise in the All Blacks win last night, but Japan deserves credit for improvement and it’s a good sign for rugby that the game  didn’t end up with a cricket score.

Today I’m backing blue again taking the Pumas in their game against Romania.

It’s a bit harder to choose between the Wallaibes and Ireland but I’ll go for our southern neighbours as I usually do unless they’re playing us.

I’m sticking with neighbours in the other game too, backing Fiji against the Springboks.


December 29 in history


On December 29:

1170  Thomas Becket: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

13th-century manuscript illumination, an early depiction of Becket’s assassination.

1721  Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France, was born.

Madame de Pompadour, portrait by François Boucher.

1800 Charles Goodyear, American inventor, was born.


1809 William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1835  The Treaty of New Echota is signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.

1876 The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster occurs, leaving 64 injured and 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.

Ashtabula Bridge disaster.jpg
Wood engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, 20 January 1877

1880 Tuhiata, or Tuhi, was hanged in Wellington for the murder of the artist Mary Dobie at Te Namu Bay, Opunake. Tuhi wrote to the Governor days before his execution asking that ‘my bad companions, your children, beer, rum and other spirits die with me’.

1890 United States soldiers kill more than 200 Oglala Lakota men, women, and children with 4 Hotchkiss guns in the Wounded Knee Massacre.

1911  Sun Yat-sen became the provisional President of the Republic of China.

1911  Mongolia gained independence from the Qing dynasty.

1930  Sir Muhammad Iqbal‘s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the Two-Nation Theory and outlines a vision for the creation of Pakistan.

1936 Birth of  Mary Tyler Moore, American actress.

1937  The Irish Free State was replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.

1939 First flight of the Consolidated B-24.

1940  In The Second Great Fire of London, the Luftwaffe firebombed the city, killing almost 200 civilians.
Herbert Mason’s iconic photograph taken 29 December 1940, published front page of Daily Mail 31 December 1940
1941 Birth of Ray Thomas, British musician (The Moody Blues).
1946 Marianne Faithfull, British singer, was born.
1949 KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut became the first Ultra high frequency (UHF) television station to operate a daily schedule.
1953 Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, was born.

1972 An Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 (a Lockheed Tristar) crashes on approach to Miami International Airport, Florida, killing 101.

1975 A bomb exploded at La Guardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 74.

1889 1989 Václav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia – the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.


1996  Guatemala and leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union sign a peace accord ending a 36-year civil war.

  • 1997Hong Kong begins to kill all the nation’s 1.25 million chickens to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
  • 1998 Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologised for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million.

    2003 The last known speaker of Akkala Sami – died, rendering the language that was spoken in the Sami villages of A´kkel and Ču´kksuâl, in the inland parts of the Kola Peninsula in Russia extinct.

    Sourced from NZ HIstory Online & Wikipedia.

    August 1 in history


    On August 1:

    1291 the Swiss Confederation was formed.


    1880 1800 the Act of Union was passed uniting the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.

    1987 Maori became an official language in New Zealand.

    Top o’ the morning


    It’s St Patrick’s Day.

    He’s the patron saint of Ireland which is a good excuse to tell this true story:

    My farmer was waiting for a receptionist at a hotel in Ireland when the bloke ahead of him asked if she could put his computer in the hotel safe.

    The receptionist replied that the computer was too big, but she could put it beside the safe.

    P.S. The Inquiring Mind celebrates St Paddy’s day with music.

    UPDATE: He’s also got an Irish toast  and a cartoon.

    Irish producers seek taxpayer support


    Irish producers are calling for taxpayers to subsidise a sterling equalisation support scheme  to compensate them for the fall in the value of the pound which has reduced their returns from exports to Britain.

    This comes just days after the European Union agreed to resume subsidies  on butter, cheese and milk powder which Alf Grumble thinks requries a less diplomatic approach  than the initial response from New Zealand.

    Subsidies blunt market signals and will prolong the slump in prices because they’ll send artificial signals to maintain or boost production in the face of falling demand and they’ll also threaten free trade negotiations.

    Both of these will harm our exporters and the wider economy.

    Irish pork back on shelves


    Irish pork  is returning to retail shelves after European Union health experts decided that dioxin tainting which had been found wouldn’t pose any threat to health. Food health is based on perception

    But a new battle began over who should pay for losses from the pork recall, which were estimated to range from €100 million ($130 million US) to €500 million ($650 million US). Irish farmers accused the government of moving too slowly on the issue.
    The findings from the European Food Safety Authority should make it easier for Ireland to persuade its international customers to resume importing pork soon.
    Within hours of the experts’ announcement, pork products began to reappear on a few Dublin supermarket shelves with new government labelling. “Irish Pork & Bacon APPROVED,” the labels read.

    Perecption has a lot to do with people’s ideas on food safety so even though the pork has been deemed to be safe, consumers might need some persuading before they buy it again.

    Dioxin in Irish beef


    Cattle in three of 11 Irish beef herds tested have been found to have higher than recommended levels of dioxin but the meat won’t be recalled because the levels don’t constitute a health risk.

    Some 34 herds are still being examined and any cattle shown to be above the legal limit will be taken out of the food chain and the EU commission informed, the Irish government said.

    The government recalled all Irish pork products Dec. 7 after tests confirmed 10 percent of Ireland’s estimated 1.47 million pigs may have been exposed to feed containing dioxins, associated with cancer. The recall leaves Irish pork producers facing a 100 million-euro ($128.5 million) bill.

    Sky News  reports the meat was contanimated after unlicensed oil used in a burner tainted bread crumbs which were sold to farms.

    Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), has stood up for farms and pointed the finger at other links in the chain.

    “Absolutely no traceability has fallen down at farm level,” Mr Walshe said. “Any problem with traceability has been before with feed going to farm or the process afterwards.

    “It’s very disappointing if other procedures weren’t put in place in other parts of the food chain.”

    Consumers are becoming more wary over what goes in to their food and while there is absolutely no room for complacency this gives meat and milk from New Zealand’s pasture-grazed stock an advantage over those raised on feed lots.

    Irish pork contaminated


    Ireland has issued an international warning after Irish pork was found to be contaminated by high levels of dioxins.

    The government’s departments of health and agriculture jointly called for the recall or destruction of all Irish pork produced since September first after discovering potentially dangerous dioxins in pigs and pig feed at 80 to 200 times the safety limit.

    Dioxins, which are naturally occurring and can enter an animal’s system through its food or environment, accumulate in the pig’s fat and if ingested by humans in sufficient volume and time period, have been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

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