Tag Archives: New Zealand

quotation: There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare. Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC)


There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC) Discuss

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today’s holiday/celebration: Maifest


Maifest

The original Maifest in Hermann, Missouri, was a children’s festival founded in 1874. The festival was revived in 1952 as a German ethnic festival for people of all ages. Held the third weekend in May, the festival offers German folklore, songs, music, and food in celebration of the arrival of spring. Black beer, cheese, sausage, crackers, and bratwurst are served, and there are band concerts and musical shows. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Waitangi Day (2015)


Waitangi Day (2015)

A national public holiday in New Zealand, February 6 commemorates the signing of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, in which the Maori natives agreed to coexist peacefully with the European settlers. It was not observed as a public holiday outside the North Island until it became New Zealand Day in 1973. It was observed as such until 1976, when it again became known as Waitangi Day. Waitangi is located on the Bay of Islands at the northern end of the North Island, and the day on which the treaty was signed is observed there by the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Maoris each year. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Battle of the River Plate (1939)


Battle of the River Plate (1939)

In the early months of World War II, the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee had been seeking out and sinking British merchant ships, a practice known as commerce raiding. The British navy tracked down the German ship and engaged it near the River Plate, in what was the first major naval engagement of the war. Outgunned, the Germans sailed for Montevideo in the hopes of making repairs. Shortly thereafter, the captain, believing his forces to be outnumbered, made what decision? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Tasmania Sighted by Dutch (1642)


Tasmania Sighted by Dutch (1642)

While in the service of the Dutch East India Company, Abel Tasman became the first European to sight the island of Tasmania, naming it Van Diemen’s Land after the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. In 1803, Britain took possession of the island and established a penal colony there. The indigenous population, which had been on the island some 35,000 years, was soon decimated. In 1856, the island was granted self-government and renamed Tasmania. Today, Tasmania is a state of what country? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Tuvalu Independence Day


Tuvalu Independence Day

Independence Day is the only national celebration in Tuvalu, which consists of nine islands in the South Pacific with a total surface area of 10 square miles. The day is marked in the capital city of Funafuti with an official government flag-raising ceremony followed by a parade of policemen and schoolchildren; similar events are held in smaller communities throughout the country. Also held in addition to several days of feasting and dance is the Independence Day Sports Festival, in which citizens enjoy a number of sporting competitions. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: George Vancouver (1757)


George Vancouver (1757)

Vancouver was an English navigator and explorer who sailed on Captain James Cook’s second and third voyages. In 1791, he set out for the northwest coast of America, traveling east. He rounded the Cape of Good Hope, explored the coasts of Australia and New Zealand, and visited Tahiti and the Hawaiian Islands. He then reached the American coast and surveyed it for three years. In the course of his journeys, he circumnavigated the island that now bears his name. What was it originally called? More… Discuss

THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE VÖLKNER INCIDENT (1865)


The Völkner Incident (1865)

After New Zealand was named a British crown colony in 1840, Christian missionaries began to disseminate their teachings among the native Maori people. In the early 1860s, a religious-military Maori cult emerged, mingling Christian beliefs with native spiritual elements and urging followers to violently oppose the European presence. In March 1865, members of this Pai Marire movement killed missionary Carl Sylvius Völkner in a gruesome manner, hanging him before supposedly doing what to his body? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: NINE PASSENGERS SUCKED OUT OF PLANE WHEN IT RIPS OPEN MID-FLIGHT (1989)


Nine Passengers Sucked Out of Plane When It Rips Open Mid-Flight (1989)

Sixteen minutes after taking off for New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, United Airlines flight 811 experienced a cargo door failure and explosive decompression that resulted in the ejection of a number of seats, nine of them occupied, from the aircraft. The pilots initially thought a bomb had been detonated on board and would later learn that design flaws and faulty wiring were to blame for the catastrophe that took place on their flight. How might United have averted this disaster? More… Discuss

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: SHAANXI EARTHQUAKE: DEADLIEST IN RECORDED HISTORY (1556)


 

 

January 23: Shaanxi Earthquake, devastation ki...

January 23: Shaanxi Earthquake, devastation kills 830,000 in China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Shaanxi Earthquake: Deadliest in Recorded History (1556)

 

The 1556 Shaanxi Earthquake in China is the deadliest earthquake on record, having killed approximately 830,000 people and destroyed an area 520 miles (837 km) wide. According to Chinese annals, mountains moved and rivers changed course due to the massive quake, which affected places more than 200 miles (322 km) from the epicenter. Aftershocks continued for months. In addition to the quake’s force—its magnitude is estimated at 8.0—the high death toll is attributed to what other factors? More… Discuss

 

 

 

 

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This Day in the Yesteryear: THE TANGIWAI RAIL DISASTER (1953)


The Tangiwai Rail Disaster (1953)

On December 24, 1953, an overnight express train from Wellington to Auckland, New Zealand, was crossing a rail bridge over the Whangaehu River near Tangiwai when the bridge collapsed, sending the engine and first five carriages into the river. The sixth car teetered on the edge, giving a passersby and a guard time to save passengers before it plummeted into the river. Fortunately, the last five carriages remained on the tracks. What had weakened the bridge just minutes before the train arrived? More…

 

News: WINE AND DINE, MINUS THE WINE


Wine and Dine, Minus the Wine

The world is in the midst of a wine shortage, and it does not look like it will be letting up any time soon. Global wine production has been on the decline since it peaked in 2004. Last year, the demand for wine exceeded the supply by 300 million cases. Part of the problem is that European wine production has plummeted 25 percent since 2004. Winemaking in other parts of the world, like the US, Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand, has been stepped up, but it is not yet able to keep up with global demand. More… Discuss

 

Word: POPPYCOCK


poppycock 

Definition: (noun) Senseless talk.
Synonyms: hooeystuff and nonsense
Usage: There’s been talk of an outbreak, and two or three suspicious signs I’m willing to admit, but personally I think it’s all poppycock.Discuss.

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (2007)


UN General Assembly Adopts Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)

Over two decades in the making, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was finally adopted in 2007 despite opposition from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. The non-binding declaration prohibits discrimination against the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlines their rights, among them the rights to culture, identity, language, employment, and education. What were some of the key issues that delayed the drafting and adoption of the declaration? More…Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: Nancy Wake (1912)


Nancy Wake (1912)

Wake, who passed away weeks ago at the age of 98, was one of WWII‘s most decorated servicewomen. A New Zealand native, she left home at 16 and eventually settled in Paris. When the Germans occupied France, Wake joined the resistance. Pursued by the Gestapo, she fled to Britain, where she joined the Special Operations Executive. In 1944, she parachuted back into France to help establish communications between the British military and French Resistance. What nickname did the Gestapo have for her? More… Discuss