Sunday, September 14, 2008
NZ All Blacks rugby union team win pulsating match against Australian Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia...
The New Zealand All Blacks rugby union test side stared defeat in the face but refused to blink at what was described as a seething Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, last night.But they unleashed a withering and dramatic second half effort, after being down 7-17, to storm back to a scintilating 28-24 win over the Australian Wallabies.
The All Blacks have taken their fourth consecutive Tri-Nations title with that pulsating victory over the Wallabies in front of a sell-out 52,328 at Suncorp Stadium. Both teams had beaten each other at home earlier, and had also won and lost against the South African Springboks, who had been knocked out of the competition. The All Blacks also retained the Bledisloe Cup against Australia. The fourth game to played before the end of season tour of Britain and Ireland at the neutral venue of Hong Kong will be irrelevant as the competition is now a dead rubber.
Both teams crashed out of the Rugby World Cup quarter -finals last year, but are clearly the top two sides overall in world rugby. If there was a world championship in rugby, this would have been it last night. Both teams played some awesome rugby, but the All Blacks lived up to their reputation as the best team and brand in world rugby.
Ironically the coach of the Australian Wallabies is New Zealander, Robbie Deans,who coached the Canterbury Crusaders to four of their seven Super Rugby titles. Many of the Crusaders players are in the current All Blacks side. Robbie Deans failed to get the coaching position with the All Blacks when the encumbent, Graham Henry was c controversally retained.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
New Zealand's Marineland loses last dolphin...
The last captive dolphin at Napier's Marineland has died. Napier is in the Hawkes Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island.
Kelly, who was aged 38- year- old had been battling illness over the last week, but Marineland manager, Gary Macdonald says he did not expect her to pass away so quickly. He says staff are devastated, but relieved she did not suffer.
"Obviously everyone is extremely sad. This is an animal that myself and my staff have worked with for many, many years. She'll leave a huge gap. It's just like losing a member of the family."
Marineland is now closed until the Napier City Council and the public decide on its future. The issue is open for public consultation. Keeping dolphins in captivity is no longer a politically correct practice.
Shona, Marineland's other dolphin, died in April 2006, sparking debate on whether wild dolphins should be kept in captivity. A petition held at the time and signed by thousands of people called on the Government to allow the importation of dolphins.
Kelly and Shona arrived at Marineland in 1974 and delighted thousands of children and adults for three decades or more. The dolphins will be missed and a great loss to Napier City. Marineland was a great tourist attraction, and the only captive dolphin enclosure in New Zealand.
A bit of history here
Monday, September 8, 2008
An old New Zealand gentleman aged 83 years was holding up the customs queue at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. He couldn't find his passport, and was agitating the customs officer.
"Have you been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked impatiently.
As he continued to rummage in his bag, he admitted to having come to France previously.
"Then you should have had your passport ready!" the customs officer retorted, rather rudely.
The old Kiwi said he didn't need it last time he came to France.
"Impossible!" the customs officer exclaimed. "Everybody must show their passports when they come to France."
As the old man finally found his passport and handed it over to the rude customs officer, he gave the Frenchman a long hard look and quietly said,"Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach with the American Army on D-Day in 1944 to liberate your country, I couldn't find anybody to give my passport to. He took his passport and walked through.
Read more stories here
Kiwi champion driver Scott Dixon won his second Indy Car racing series title this morning.
He was second in the last race by a record barest of margins of about one thousandth of a second. He needed to finish only in the top eight to win the series.
Dixon won the Indy 500 race earlier in the season. He won a US$1 million for his efforts.
He will need it having got married this year. LOL
Who said Kiwis can't fly...around racetracks so fast?
Friday, September 5, 2008
My lucky old black cat. My ghost, spirit, angel or coincidence? The paranormal? Who really knows…
Many years ago during my youth I lived for a short time in Hamilton, in the North Island of New Zealand.
I lived in a boarding house and one summer’s evening I decided to walk down to the local shopping centre (in the days preceding shopping malls in my country) to look around and buy a snack for supper.
I walked down the street engrossed in thought,probably thinking of home in the South Island, and suddenly there was a flash of movement in the corner of my eye - an adult black cat jumped off the stone wall I was passing,rubbed itself against my leg and purred softly!
I reached down, spoke to the cat and stroked its back softly. It purred again, and as quickly as it appeared, leapt up onto the stone wall and disappeared! I looked for it again, but there was no sight of it.
I continued down the street to the shops; outside one there was a numbered raffle wheel. I bought a ticket in a prize for a box of miscellaneous goods, worth quite a few dollars. I took my usual number five, my lucky number in raffles. The raffler spun the wheel… and up came number five… the winner!
I collected my winning prize and did some window shopping, bought a soft drink ( a soda in American )and began walking home. As I passed the stone wall I saw the black cat standing silently looking at me; he suddenly jumped and disappeared again!
But a feeling came over me,something I have never been able to explain. I know, also, that if the cat had not delayed me for that moment or two, I would never have bought that winning raffle ticket? My little ghost, spirit, angel or…just a coincidence? Who knows? History suggests black cats are unlucky, but not for me!
Read about Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The father of "Little Pumpkin" the little New Zealand girl abandoned on a Melbourne, Australia, train station last year, who became a world celebrity when the depth of her father's monsterous acts were revealed, is now having his day in court and the opportunity to justify his actions. The following is a news report of the commencement and first day of his deposition hearing to establish whether he has a case to answer, which in my opinion he surely does:
The prosecution claims Nai Yin Xue strangled his wife Anan Liu to death with a necktie.
The depositions hearing for murder accused Nai Yin Xue is underway at the Auckland District Court.
Xue is charged with murdering Ms Liu between September 11 and 13 last year. Crown Solicitor Brian Dickie says Ms Liu was strangled to death with a yellow necktie, which was owned by Xue. The prosecutor believes she was killed either late in the evening of September 11, or early in the morning of September 12.
Mr Dickie told the court of a violent relationship. He said on one occasion Xue tried to use an axe to force his way into a house Ms Liu was staying at in Wellington.
The 54-year-old was arrested in America in February, ending a five month manhunt. Xue was deported to New Zealand in early March to face the charge.
Police believe Xue left the country just after killing his wife. The couple's four-year-old daughter Qian Xun Xue is being cared for by her maternal grandparents in China, after being abandoned at a Melbourne railway station.
Earlier there were lengthy discussions in court over who would translate for Xue. It has been decided legal instructions will be translated by Owen Martell, a legal partner of his lawyer Chris Comeskey. The rest of the proceedings will be translated by a court appointed translator.
It came after Xue told the interpreter he was not happy with Mr Martell translating all of the proceedings, as his Mandarin was not good enough.
Proceedings had previously been held up by around 40 minutes while media set up to cover the two day hearing.
The hearing continues:
Read the full story here