The 2011 earthquake in Christchurch was a 6.3. Cheviot is 122km north and their earthquake in 1901 was estimated to be a 6.9. The difference in casualties shows you the population difference and types of buildings back then. The baby was killed when a sod hut collapsed.
Poor New Zealand has suffered through some awful events lately and it seems that every week there is another shake keeping them on their toes. Apart from the terrible loss of life, which is the most distressing part, it is sad to see the historical buildings that have been destroyed. Australia and New Zealand have a very interesting colonial history (and before, of course, but no actual buildings from then) but that history is only over a few hundred years. Europe, for example, has buildings that have stood for many hundreds of years and are still being used. The oldest buildings in Melbourne were built in the far more recent early mid 1800′s. The fact that there are so few of them in our part of the world makes them all the more precious.
It was sad to see the cathedral in Christchurch ruined and the more recent tremors seem to have put a stop to thoughts of rebuilding. Looking back in the old papers I think that the poor cathedral was never going to have a peaceful life. This article from 1901 notes the damage it sustained and also mentions previous damage.
Poor Archibald Anderson. Not the sort of end you want to have to explain at the Pearly Gates. Shark attack, explosion, poisoning, these all have a certain something, but death caused by false tooth plate? Not cool.
Another uncool death was caused by a florin lying on the ground. Two men dived for it and collided, causing the death of one of them later in the day. In 1911 wages were considerably different to those today so I looked up the value of a florin to see if these guys were scrabbling for something worth the effort.
Back in 1901 one pound (about $2) was the equivalent of about $100 in 2001. In 1901 the average weekly wage for an adult male was over two pounds, about $4.35, which equates to about $217.50 in 2001 The average rent for a three bedroom house in 1901 was less than one pound, $1.30.
Apparently a florin was worth around 24 pence (or two shillings or a tenth of a pound) and you can pick one up on eBay now for $20 to $30. I am sure that if Ryan and Mc Grath had no money it was well worth picking up, but not really worth your life. Poor Ryan, Mc Grath must have had a very hard head indeed.
- The Mercury 23rd Aug 1920 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11488109
While horses have quite wide nostrils I am sure that it is not their normal practice to admit a snake. It must have been a quite small, and quite surprised, reptile.
I’m sure we have all suffered the discomfort of a fly up the nose at some stage, can you imagine the shock of the poor pony finding something considerably larger travelling up its shnozz?
The first thing that popped into my head when I saw this article (apart from the unpleasantness of disposing of an unwanted cat in such a terrible way) was the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment.
In this case it isn’t whether or not the cat is dead, but the state of the body. Digested or undigested, they never knew until they opened the sack.
Nice use of ‘Death Sack’ in the headline too. Wonder what it was made of? Must have been pretty resilient to have withstood those sharky gastric juices.
I found this article and wondered what on earth was going on with this woman. One time could be an accident but to have been found with her head jammed in the same way sometime earlier makes me wonder about her state of mind. Once I read this one it wasn’t hard to find the other article along the same lines. Not sure that a fence is a method may people would take to end their life, and really, I don’t think it would be too reliable a method either. Mostly when newspapers stated that a fence was involved in the death of a person, a gun was also attending the scene. I know that you need to be careful when you pass through a fence with a gun but judging by the volume of articles regarding unexpectedly discharged guns, fences and dead farmers I wonder if anybody else knew?
In a semi-related story, a woman was found one night recently impaled on the spikes of a fence surrounding St Francis’ church in Melbourne. There were many comments in the media on the terribleness of the spikes and how such things shouldn’t be allowed. The bravery of the woman and how she handled the pain was also noted. What the??!!!
The fence wasn’t at ground level, she didn’t trip and fall on the spikes while on her way to help out at the local soup kitchen. The fence was there to keep people out and, I thought, did quite a good job. She was clearly trespassing, I mean if she had a key she wouldn’t have had to jump a high fence to get in. The thing that annoyed me the most was that they cut a section of the fence away to get her down and trundle her off to hospital. This church was first opened in October 1845, the fence is possibly of the same vintage so damaging it should be a crime itself! When I looked up information about this church I found that it has a claim to fame that most people will not know, it was the place where Ned Kelly’s parents were married.
Aaahhh…It was a different time back then, wasn’t it. The train driver fell out and the train was delayed at the next station while they found a new one. No doubt once the new driver was firmly ensconced behind the wheel the journey continued as if nothing had happened. These days the entire line would be shut down while everyone that had been anywhere near the train in the last week was thoroughly investigated. This driver was one pretty lucky bloke to have fallen and made it out of the other end of the train without being squished. I think that the fact he was taken to the police station and charged give us a fairly good idea of what was going on shortly before he lost his footing. I don’t think that there are laws against accidentally falling out of a train, but I do think that there might be a problem with being in charge of heavy machinery while incapacitated.