Racist character or racist programme?

January 26, 2013

The BBC has censored Fawlty Towers for racism.

But is it the episode which is racist or the character?

The offending lines are at about 5:40.

They could be racist if they encouraged us to laugh with the Major but most of us would laugh at him.

At about 7 minutes the Major also says he hates Germans; throughout the clip there are lots of insults addressed at women and there’s the running gag of  Manual from Barcelona but the censors must have kept their senses of humour when listening to them.


Word of the day

January 26, 2013

Polyhistor – a polymath; a person of great and varied learning.


10/11

January 26, 2013

10/11 in the Herald’s political quiz.


Lambnesia

January 26, 2013

It’s Australia Day and Meat and Livestock Australia is continuing the campaign to encourage Aussies to eat more lamb.

Sadly Lambassador Sam Kekovich has been hit on the head.

He’s now suffering from Lambnesia:

If you’re concerned that you might be suffering from Lambnesia, you can take this test.

It determines whether or not you’re unAustralian – might it be a test we Kiwis prefer to fail?

 

 


Bureaucracy makes wheels of progress turn slowly

January 26, 2013

Quote of the day:

He says bureaucracy makes the wheels of progress turn slowly, and he’s excited to be part of something that won’t be hindered by Government officials. Lance O’Sullivan

He was explaining that he’d joined a joined the private inquiry into how to stop child abuse and domestic violence set up by Owen Glenn “because it has nothing to do with the Government”.

I hope those who keep calling for the government to do something take note. Sometimes, perhaps even often, something is best done by independent individuals and groups who are neither part of nor beholden to government.


Saturday soap box

January 26, 2013

This soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.

You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

:) kindest, Boris


We want clean water too

January 26, 2013

Some farmers, unfortunately, haven’t got themselves in to the 21st century and still think they can do what they want on their land regardless of the impact on neighbouring waterways.

But most of us want the water we drink, swim in, wash with and live beside to be clean.

The debate for most of us isn’t over the desirability of and necessity for healthy lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. It’s how to clean up those which need it and ensure those which are clean stay that way.

Jon Morgan writes how he changed his tune on cleaning up waterways:

I began the year as the dairy farmers’ friend, saying they were doing all they could to clean up waterways.

I reeled off a list of on-farm actions they were taking to keep waterways clean. I quoted figures from the most recent report of the Clean Streams Accord, among them that cattle were fenced off from waterways on 84 per cent of farms.

Then I found this figure was wrong. Naively, perhaps, I did not realise that the accord relies on farmers’ honesty to report their own progress toward the agreement’s targets. . .

On the North Otago downlands, water quality isn’t left up to farmers’ honesty. All shareholders in the North Otago Irrigation Company are required to have an environmental farm plan which is independently audited each year. If the plan isn’t up to scratch and in practice the farm will lose its irrigation water.

In areas blessed with more regular rainfall the threat of losing water can’t be used to encourage high standards but I’d have thought the powers regional councils have to act against anyone who doesn’t comply would be sufficient deterrent.

However, Morgan, like many others, thinks that’s not enough.

. . . I changed my tune. I said: “It seems obvious to me that we have too many cows in the most sensitive parts of the country – sandy, shingly, free-draining areas laced with streams, close to groundwater and big recreational rivers.

“And I think there’s no doubt that these cows are the main source of the excessive nutrients that are polluting rivers and lakes in these regions.

“The simple solution is to regulate a reduction in cow numbers.” . .

Simple solutions aren’t always the best.

Those with no concern for the environmental consequences of their farming could do a lot of damage with small herds, others might be able to run larger herds with good practices which don’t endanger water quality.

The problem is, there is debate about how realistic some of the standards expected for lakes, rivers, creeks and streams are; the the tools for measuring the quality of them and how much any degradation is due to farming and how much is due to other factors including birds and nitrogen leaching from gorse.

Morgan ends his column by pointing out water quality isn’t only a rural problem, some urban areas are in serious need of upgrades to their sewage plants.

That isn’t an excuse for getting away with poor practices in rural areas but it does show if we want clean water it’s an urban challenge too.


January 26 in history

January 26, 2013

340  King Edward III of England was declared King of France.

1500  Vicente Yáñez Pinzón became the first European to set foot on Brazil.

1531  Lisbon was hit by an earthquake–thousands died.

1564 The Council of Trent issued its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

1565 Battle of Talikota, between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Islamic sultanates of the Deccan, led to the subjugation, and eventual destruction of the last Hindu kingdom in India, and the consolidation of Islamic rule over much of the Indian subcontinent.

1589  Job was elected as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

1699  Treaty of Carlowitz was signed.

1700 A magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America.

1714 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, French sculptor, was born (d. 1785).

1722 Alexander Carlyle, Scottish church leader, was born  (d. 1805).

1736 Stanislaus I of Poland abdicated his throne.

1788 The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sailed into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent.

1808 Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia.

1813 Juan Pablo Duarte, Dominican Republic’s founding father, was born  (d. 1876).

1838 Tennessee enacted the first prohibition law in the United States.

1841 The United Kingdom formally occupied Hong Kong.

1844 Governor Fitzroy arrived to investigate the Wairau incident.

Governor FitzRoy arrives to investigate Wairau incident

1855 Point No Point Treaty was signed in Washington Territory.

1857 Trinley Gyatso, Tibetan, The 12th Dalai Lama, was born (d. 1875).

1880 Douglas MacArthur, American general, was born (d. 1964).

1885 Troops loyal to The Mahdi conquered Khartoum.

1892 Bessie Coleman, American pioneer aviator, was born  (d. 1926).

1904  Seán MacBride, Irish statesman, Nobel Prize Laureate, was born  (d. 1988).

1905 The Cullinan Diamond was found at the Premier Mine near Pretoria.

1905 Maria von Trapp, Austrian-born singer, was born  (d. 1987).

1907 The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III was officially introduced into British Military Service, and remains the oldest military rifle still in official use.

1908  Stéphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist, was born  (d. 1997).

1911 Glenn H. Curtiss flew the first successful American seaplane.

1911 – Richard Strauss‘s opera Der Rosenkavalier debuted at the Dresden State Opera.

1913 Jimmy Van Heusen, American songwriter, was born  (d. 1990).

1918 Nicolae Ceauşescu, Romanian dictator, was born (d. 1989).

1920 Former Ford Motor Company executive Henry Leland launchedthe Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer.

1922 Michael Bentine, British comedian and founding member of The Goons, was born  (d. 1996).

1924 St.Petersburg was renamed Leningrad.

1925  Paul Newman, American actor, philanthropist, race car driver and race team owner, was born  (d. 2008).

1930 The Indian National Congress declared 26 January as Independence Day or as the day for Poorna Swaraj (Complete Independence) which occurred 20 years later.

1934 The Apollo Theater reopened in Harlem.

1934 – German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact was signed.

1939 Spanish Civil War: Troops loyal to nationalist General Francisco Franco and aided by Italy took Barcelona.

1942 World War II: The first United States forces arrived in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.

1945  Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist, was born  (d. 1987).

1950 The Constitution of India came into force, forming a republic. Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as its first President.

1952  Black Saturday in Egypt: rioters burnt Cairo’s central business district, targeting British and upper-class Egyptian businesses.

1955  Eddie Van Halen, Dutch musician (Van Halen), was born.

1957 Bubble wrap was invented by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes.

1958 Japanese  ferry Nankai Maru capsised off southern Awaji Island, 167 killed.

1958 Ellen DeGeneres, American actress and comedian, was born.

1961 Janet G. Travell  became the first woman to be appointed physician to the president (Kennedy).

1962  Ranger 3 was launched to study the moon.

1965  Hindi became the official language of India.

1978  The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US, struck the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h).

1980 – Israel and Egypt established diplomatic relations.

1984 Floods devastated Southland.

Floods devastate Southland

1988  Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s The Phantom of the Opera had its first performance on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre.

1991  Mohamed Siad Barre was removed from power in Somalia, ending centralized government, and was succeeded by Ali Mahdi.

1992  Boris Yeltsin announced that Russia would stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: On American television, U.S. President Bill Clinton denied having had “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

2001 An earthquake in Gujarat, India, killed more than 20,000.

2004 President Hamid Karzai signed the new constitution of Afghanistan.

2004 – A decomposing  whale exploded in Tainan, Taiwan.

2005 – Glendale train crash: Two trains derailled killing 11 and injuring 200 in Glendale, California.

2009 – Rioting broke out in Antananarivo, Madagascar, sparking a political crisis that resulted in the replacement of President Marc Ravalomanana with Andry Rajoelina.

Sourced from NZ History Oline & Wikipedia


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