Smith & Jones on The Beatles

December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Mel Smith – 57 today.


Process & outcomes

December 3, 2009

One of the more common comments, as the working group held its conference on Tuesday, was the process has been a very good one.  Which is – how shall we put this?… A very Wellington thing to say.  The rest of the country tends to be more interested in outcomes than in process.

A cynic – which your columnist has been called, from time to time, mostly by people with a hopelessly rosy and deluded view of life – might suggest people admire the process when they don’t want to look too closely at its outcomes.

Trans Tasman on the Tax Working Group’s report.

(You can subscribe to Trans Tasman here).


Impossible Dream

December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Andy Williams – 82 today.

The Impossible Dream comes from Man of La Mancha,  the musical based on Don Quixote.


Will Greenpeace pay?

December 3, 2009

John Key will be attending the leaders’ meeting at the end of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.

In a media release (not yet online) he says:

“The circumstances have changed in recent weeks.  While it’s unlikely a binding agreement will be reached at Copenhagen, political momentum is growing which is why in recent weeks a lot more leaders have indicated they will be attending.

 “By my absence I wouldn’t want to give the impression that New Zealand isn’t committed to playing its part in the fight against climate change.

Greenpeace raised $5000 to send the Prime Minister to the conference. Will they give it to him now he’s going?


If thinking about food makes you fat . . .

December 3, 2009

Japanese researchers have found that thinking about something sweet can cause you to store fat.

If thinking about food makes you fat, could thinking about exercise make you fit?


Spot the contradiction

December 3, 2009

The Families Commission wants us to fund the expansion of Paid Parental Leave for new fathers to four weeks to enable them to spend more time with their babies.

Isn’t there more than a slight contradiction between that and subsidies for child care, paid for by us, to enable parents to leave their children while they work?

P.S. Lindsay Mitchell has a better idea.


December 3 in history

December 3, 2009

On December 3:

1838  Octavia Hill, British housing and open-space activist, was born.

1842 Charles Alfred Pillsbury, American industrialist, was born.

1854 – Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia were killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.

Theeurekaflag.jpg
The ‘Eureka Flag, flown during the rebellion

1857  Joseph Conrad, Polish-born British writer, was born.

1863 the land confiscation law was passed, allowing for the confiscation (raupatu) of Maori land as punishment of those North Island tribes who were deemed to have been in rebellion against the British Crown in the early 1860s.

1904 The Jovian moon Himalia was discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at California’s Lick Observatory.

Iss 010123e.jpg

1917 The Quebec Bridge opened to traffic.

1927 Andy Williams, American singer, was born.

1948 Ozzy Osbourne, English singer, was born.

1949 Mickey Thomas, American singer (Jefferson Starship),was born.

1960 Bluff Harbour opened.

1951  Nicky Stevens, British singer (Brotherhood of Man), was born.

1952  Mel Smith, English comedian, was born.

1967 At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, a transplant team headed by Christiaan Barnard carried out the first heart transplant on a human (53-year-old Louis Washkansky).

1973 Pioneer 10 sent back the first close-up images of Jupiter.

Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gif

1976  Byron Kelleher, New Zealand rugby union footballer, was born.

B Keller.jpg

1976 Mark Boucher, South African cricketer, was born.

Mark Boucher 4.jpg

1984  Bhopal Disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, killed more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.

1997  representatives from 121 countries signed The Ottawa treaty prohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines.

 

     State Parties to the Ottawa Treaty
2005  XCOR Aerospace made the first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California.
2005  Prince Sverre Magnus of Norway, was born.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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