Monday, June 24, 2013

New Year Sabbatical: Thursdays Down Under!

I don't know about your job, but at my job it's the end of the fiscal year, and so like many a budding workaholic I find myself slaving over a hot stack of files at the most surprising times and places.  Between that and the important business of trying to log 100 running miles this month, I have not even had time to generate any of the droll and informative daily content to which you, gentle reader, have become accustomed.  Fortunately, I have a regular gold mine of gently used vintage content which I can deploy in the form of lame reruns!

Four Years Ago in The Infinite Art Tournament!

Today's entry comes from June 24, 2009, back when this was the L&TM5K and the main diversion on offer was not the art, but the quizzes.  Those were fun, too.

The Thursday Quiz!

The Thursday Quiz is a twelve item is-it-or-isn't-it test of your knowledge, reasoning, stamina, and moxie!

Real and Bogus in the History of Australia and New Zealand!
What really happened down there in the mysterious South? And what only happened in michael5000's mysterious imagination?
1. Because New Zealand has more rainfall and is much more fertile than Australia, it was colonized by Europeans fully two centuries before colonization of Australia began.

2. The whole thing about Australia being a prison colony is basically a myth. There was a small prison settlement in early Australia, but at no time did the prisoners make up even one percent of the colonial population.

3. The 1839 Treaty of Waitangi was supposed to clarify the respective rights of native Maori peoples and European colonists. Since the English and Maori language versions of the treaty don't quite match, though, arguments over the implications of the treaty continue unabated today.

4. In the late 1800s, the states of Australia were self-governing entities under the British Empire. Only in 1901 did the whole continent unite as the Commonwealth of Australia.

5. On New Zealand's Roberts Island, rabbit farmers arranged a highly successful fox eradication campaign in the 1920s. To their chagrin, however, this caused the island's rat population to explode, creating a major public health hazard. This led to the large-scale abandonment of, as it is now often called, "Ratters Island."

6. In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first person to swim from Australia to New Zealand, a feat that took her almost 36 hours. The current record is just under 28 hours. Because of prevailing currents, no one has ever successfully made the swim in the opposite direction.

7. Because of it mainly produced necessities like food and wool and did not have complex financial markets, Australia was one of the few countries to prosper during the Great Depression. While unemployment spiked elsewhere, Australia desperately recruited immigrants to ease its constant labor shortages.

8. New Zealand was sympathetic to the ambitions of Japan, a fellow island nation, and tried to remain neutral during World War II. Only when the United States and Australia threatened military occupation did New Zealand finally join the Allies, in 1943.

9. During the 1950s, Australia and New Zealand took steps towards unification as a single country. Although the plan broke down over arguments about where to place the capital, the two countries shared both a single Prime Minister (Howard Abelman) and a single supreme court from 1954 to 1956.

10. Australia pursued a "White Australia Policy," almost completely barring immigration by non-Europeans, until 1973.

11. New Zealand banned nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered ships from its territorial waters in 1984. The United States cancelled its military alliance with New Zealand as a result of this decision, but the ban has remained in place to the current day.

12. Both Australia and New Zealand are constitutionally separate from the United Kingdom -- but the British monarch is still technically the sovereign of both countries.

Submit your answers in the comments.


Michael5000 said...

Let's see if I remember anything:

1. Nonsense.
2. It sounds great, but it's quite untrue.
3. I think that this is so.
4. Yes.
5. I remember making this one up.
6. This one was just a cruel attempt to get people to reveal their misunderstanding of how far away Australia and New Zealand are from each other -- or perhaps a kind opportunity to feel smug in their knowledge.
7. I'm pretty sure Australia was actually hit superhard by the protectionism of the big D.
8. Poppycock.
9. Poppycock. "(Howard Abelman)" was a nice touch, though, what?
10. Is true.
11. Is true.
12. Is... still true, I think.

I think that's 12/12, but I could have botched a couple.

Laura said...

A RERUN? This is blasphemous.

1. Not true
2. Probably true, although I prefer the story about the prison colony.
3. Hmm. True?
4. True
5. False...? Why would you want to get rid of foxes - they're harmless.
6. No way. That is a REALLY LONG DISTANCE.
7. True?
8. No idea. True?
9. False?
10. Really? I hope that's not true.
11. True
12. True

I am sure these are all wrong. Except the swimming one. That is ridonculous.

Laura said...

Just to clarify: In #2, by true, I meant that it is true that the myth is false, not that it's a true story. Confusing, eh?

Michael5000 said...

But... but... it's a SABBATICAL!!!