Let Busted Blonde bathe in champers

July 31, 2010

Busted Blonde wants to win her weight in champagne.

As part of its 40th birthday celebrations NBR is offering the chance to win your weight in ‘Veuve Clicquot’ and she’s entered.

Brunette and Cactus Kate are supporting her and you can too by voting for her.

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting BB (or Brunette and CK) but her reputation has preceded her and if even half what I’ve heard is true she would use the champers for a party to remember.


15/15 and 7/10

July 31, 2010

15/15 in the TV3 weekly news quiz - the answers to music and TV programme questions were guesses but I knew the rest.

7/10 in the NZ Herald current affairs quiz with some guesses right and some wrong.


You don’t have to be mad to work in parliament . . .

July 31, 2010

If anyone had a case for saying their job made them mad it would be MPs.

They work long hours in an unnatural environment surrounded by Alpha personality types knowing every misstep is likely to end up in the media. Most have to live away from their families and when they go home they have to deal with electorate duties. Even Wellington based MPs spend a lot of time travelling round the rest of the country – and further afield.

To make matters worse they’re surrounded by people who are may be as much rivals as allies and not all your enemies are on the other side.

It’s a high pressured and unnatural life and it would be understandable if that had an detrimental impact on their mental health.

If it did, it wouldn’t be helpful if colleagues started publicly questioning your state of mind.

I agree with Inventory 2 who said:

 The personal attacks on Carter and the innuendo around his mental health reflect very poorly on Labour in our humble opinion.

This isn’t the first time Labour, which prides iteslf on its sensitivity, has been less than sensitive over mental illness. Regardless of  my state of mind, that strategy  would definitely make me mad – at least in the sense of being furious.

UPDATE: Apropos of attacks  getting personal, Kiwiblog has a post on the post deleted from Red Alert.


Few farmers on the rich list

July 31, 2010

There’s good news in the National Business Review’s 2010 Rich List.

It’s behind the pay-wall or in the print edition so I’ll restrict the copy and paste to the opening paragraphs:

It may surprise some people that, despite perceptions to the contrary, wealth is no easy come, easy go phenomenon. Of course, there are exceptions, such as those who have heavily borrowed to create property empires.

You will find a few have dropped off this year’s Rich List but others have joined. The country is not littered with abandoned mansions, repossessed yachts and collapsed businesses.

Private philanthropy – helped by permissive tax advantages – has largely continued.

If you think being equally poor is better than being unequally rich you won’t be cheered by that. But if you realise that you don’t help the poor by hurting the rich this is encouraging.

It means most of our wealth generators have got through the recession relatively unscathed which is good for them and gives a glimmer of hope for the wider economy.

Another positive sign is the growth of wealth earned from intellectual property and ideas. Those are both assets which generally aren’t disadvantaged by our geographic isolation.

The hard work most of the rich listers undertook to earn, and retain, their wealth isn’t detailed but there is information on their philanthropic activities which reflects well on their generosity.

The list doesn’t purport to be exhaustive but even so I’m always surprised by how few farmers appear on it.

That could be because farming wealth may be in the hands of  individuals, families,  trusts  or private companies and therefore harder to calculate.

It could also mean, that in spite of fears that corporate farming is taking over the country, the family farm is still alive and well – if not making enough to earn its owners a place on the rich list.


If Goff can’t who can?

July 31, 2010

It’s not impossible for Labour to win the next election with Phil Goff as leader.

What those of us in the blue ranged of the spectrum would regard as a disaster and those in the red range might call a miracle, could happen. But it is unlikely.

That begs the questions: If Labour can’t win with Goff as leader, could it win with anyone else in that very hot seat?

The Australian Labor Party is ahead in the polls after a change of leader, but it wasn’t battling the 20 point gap with Labour does here.

That gap could narrow but it is unlikely to close altogether – with or without a different leader.

Even Labour insiders are admitting that. Trevor Mallard said on Focus on Politics last night (starting at 6:16):

No-one in caucus that I know thinks that anyone could do a better job than Phil has done. I think many of us know it’s going to be hard to win the next election. But it’s possible and Phil is the person who can do that and no-one else can.

When a senior MP says that Labour’s unlikely to win and if Goff can’t lead Labour to an election victory no-one else it’s hardly likely to inspire voter confidence in the party regardless of whoever is leading it next year.


July 31 in history

July 31, 2010

On July 31:

30 BC  Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieved a minor victory over Octavian’s forces, but most of his army subsequently deserted, leading to his suicide.

M Antonius.jpg

781 The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji.

904 Thessalonica fell to the Arabs, who destroyed the city.

1009  Pope Sergius IV became the 142nd pope, succeeding Pope John XVIII.

Sergius IV.jpg

1200 Attempted usurpation of John Komnenos the Fat.

1423  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Cravant – the French army was defeated at Cravant.

1451  Jacques Cœur was arrested by order of Charles VII of France.

 

1492 Jews were expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree took effect.

 

1498 On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

 

1658 Aurangzeb was proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.

 
Aurangzeb as the young emperor

1667   Treaty of Breda ended the second Anglo-Dutch War.

 

1703  Daniel Defoe was placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but was pelted with flowers.

 

1741  Charles Albert of Bavaria invaded Upper Austria and Bohemia.

 

1777 Pedro Ignacio de Castro Barros, Argentine statesman and priest, was born (d. 1849).

1777 The U.S. Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette “be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.”

Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette.jpg

1790  First U.S. patent was issued to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

 

1800 Friedrich Wöhler, German chemist and founder of organic chemistry, was born.

 

1803 John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer, was born (d. 1889).

 

1856  Christchurch, New Zealand, was chartered as a city.

1860 Mary Vaux Walcott,  American artist and naturalist, was born (d. 1940).

1865 The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opened at Grandchester, Australia.

1895  The Basque Nationalist Party (Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco) was founded by Basque nationalist leader Sabino Arana.

Basque Nationalist Party.png

1909  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Austrian writer and polyglot, was born (d. 1999).

1912  Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2006).

MiltonFriedman.jpg

1913 The Balkan States signed an armistice at Bucharest.

 

1919 German national assembly adopted the Weimar constitution.

1921 Peter Benenson, British founder of Amnesty International, was born (d. 2005).

Amnesty International logo.svg

1930  The radio mystery programme The Shadow  aired for the first time.

 
Shadow Death From Nowhere.jpg

1932  The NSDAP won more than 38% of the vote in German elections.

NSDAP Reichsadler.svg

1936  The International Olympic Committee announced that the 1940 Summer Olympics would be held in Tokyo. However, the games were given back to the IOC after the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, and are eventually cancelled altogether because of World War II.

 

1938 Bulgaria signed a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanti (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia).

1938 Archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis.

1940 A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collided with a multi-car freight train heading in the opposite direction, killing 43 people.

1941  Holocaust: under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, ordered SS General Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”

 

1943 Lobo, American singer and songwriter, was born.

 1944  Geraldine Chaplin, American actress.

1944 – Jonathan Dimbleby, British journalist and television presenter.

1945  Pierre Laval, the fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrendered to Allied soldiers in Austria.

 

1945  John K. Giles attempted to escape from Alcatraz prison.

1948  New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) was dedicated.

1951  Japan Airlines was established.

1954 First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.

 

1959  The Basque separatist organisation ETA was founded.

 
ETAren anagrama Altsasun (square).jpg

1964 Jim Corr, Irish singer and musician (The Corrs), was born.

 

1964  Ranger 7 sent back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.

Ranger 6

1970 Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

1972 – Operation Motorman: British troops moved into the no-go areas of Belfast and Derry. End of Free Derry.

Derry mural 6.jpg

1972 – Three car bombs detonated in Claudy, Northern Ireland, killing nine.

1973 A Delta Air Lines jetliner crashed while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89.

1976 John Walker won gold in the 1500 metres at the Montreal Olympics.

John Walker wins gold in Montreal

1976 NASA released the  Face on Mars photo.

 

1978 Will Champion, English musician (Coldplay), was born.

 

1980 Mils Muliaina, New Zealand rugby union player, was born.

1980 Mikko Hirvonen, Finnish rally driver, was born.

Mikko Hirvonen - 2006 Rally Argentina.jpg

1981 – General Omar Torrijos of Panama died in a plane crash.

 

1981 A total solar eclipse occured.

 

1987  A rare, class F4 tornado ripped through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.

1988  32 people died and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapsed in Butterworth, Malaysia.

1991  The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacked Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.

1992  A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashed into a mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.

1999  Lunar Prospector – NASA intentionally crashed the spacecraft into the Moon, ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon’s surface.

Lunar Prospector
 

2002  Hebrew University of Jerusalem was attacked when a bomb exploded in a cafeteria, killing 9.

2006  Fidel Castro handed over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro.

 

2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever, ended.

British Army roadblock 1988.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


They’re not drinking our milk there

July 30, 2010

We like to think our milk is welcome anywhere.

Sadly it’s not:

Protests in India organised by Hindu nationalist political party Shiv Sena against imports of New Zealand dairy products have turned ugly with party workers draining thousands of litres of milk at Pune, 100km south of Mumbai.

The attack on a local milk tanker – and on five other tankers earlier in the week – followed threats to burn a ship carrying imports of milk from New Zealand.

Protesting the National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) decision to import 30,000 tonnes of milk powder and 15,000 tonne of ghee from New Zealand, the party members – known as “Shiv Sainiks” yesterday stopped a local milk tanker and drained the milk, NDTV reported. . .

Farmers have asked government officials to scrap the imports and have threatened to set on fire a ship due to arrive in Mumbai on August 18 with the New Zealand dairy products.

A Shiv Sena official in Satara, Viraj Kharade, toldNDTV: “We will spill more milk, we will stone milk tankers and further intensify our agitation as we want the government to focus their attention on this issue.”

We have begun looking to Asia for new markets for our products.

There are large populations with an increasing number of people earning more who are wanting to buy protein.

But this story shows that there may be large hurdles between our protein and the people who want to buy it.


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