Happy birthday Rowan Atkinson.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond


Syd Barrett would have been 64 today.

Milk price corrects in auction


The average  price for whole milk powder (WMP) went down 7% to US$3,309 per tonne in Fonterra’s first globalDairy Trade auction for the year.

That wasn’t unexpected after sharp increases in the past few months. It’s still above the long term average and the decrease will be regarded as a correction rather than anything to worry about.

Fonterra chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden said in a newsletter to shareholders that the movements are in line with the market coming more into balance.

While the price for  WMP was  down  the average price for Anhydrous Milk Fat (AMF) was up 4% to US$4,539 per tonne.

It’s not up to the government


Grant Thorton’s research shows New Zealand businesses had a net 66% positive outlook for this year, compared with a negative 15% outlook at the same time last year.


A lack of direction from the Government is a key threat to a seven-year peak in business optimism, Grant Thornton partner Peter Sherwin says.

Lacking direction? Long before the last election National was clear about where it wanted New Zealand to go and how it would help us get there.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that should read what Bill English wrote:

Economic growth matters because it creates jobs, lifts incomes and improves the living standards of families. Only through lifting our economic growth can we close the gap with our trading partners and create new jobs to replace those lost during the recession.

Making changes that help permanently lift our economic performance will be the overriding focus of the 2010 Budget.

He points out that:

The tradeable side of the economy – exports and those industries that face international competition – has been in recession for five years, with output now some 10 per cent below 2005 levels.

 By contrast, the public sector has grown rapidly, but with poor productivity. That has lowered the economy’s overall productivity. Unless we can turn this around and create the right environment for businesses to compete on the world stage, we will not achieve the sustained increase in incomes the Government aspires to.

The government has identified six key areas as potential drivers of growth:

 These are investment in productive infrastructure, removing red tape and improving regulation, supporting business innovation and trade, improving education and lifting skills, lifting productivity and improving services in the public sector, and strengthening the tax system. The 2010 Budget will feature initiatives across these areas.

All these will help improve the business environment and it’s those businesses which get on with their business without waiting round for the government which will be benefit most from it.

January 6 in history


On January 6:

1412  Joan of Arc, Roman Catholic Saint and national heroine of France (legendary date – some scholars think it was January 7), was born.

 1494  The first Mass in the New World was celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola.

1540 King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves.

Portrait by Hans Holbein the younger, 1539.

1714 Percivall Pott, English physician, was born. He was one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen.


1721 The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings.

 Hogarthian image of the “South Sea Bubble”, by Edward Matthew Ward,

1781 In the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade Jersey.

1838 Samuel Morse first successfully tested the electrical telegraph.

1878 Carl Sandburg, American poet and historian, was born.


1883 Khalil Gibran, Lebanese writer, was born.

1893 The Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress.

1907 Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare center for working class children in Rome.

1923 Norman Kirk, New Zealander politician, was born.

1929 – Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India’s poorest people.

1930The first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed (from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York City).

1931 Thomas Edison submitted his last patent application.

1934 Harry M. Miller, New Zealand-born Australian entrepreneur, was born.

1936 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act is unconstitutional in the case United States v. Butler et al.

1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.

1942 Pan American Airlines became the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

Pan Am Logo.svg

1946  Syd Barrett, English guitarist, singer and songwriter Pink Floyd, was born.

1953 Godfrey Bowen set a world record by shearing  456 full-wool ewes in nine hours.

Godfrey Bowen sets world sheep-shearing record

1953 Malcolm Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955 Rowan Atkinson, English comedian and actor, was born.

Atkinson Rowan.jpg

1959 Kapil Dev, Indian cricketer, was born.

Kapil Dev sixes.jpg

1960   Nigella Lawson, English chef and writer, was born.

1964 Mark O’Toole, English bass guitarist (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), was born.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood (L-R: Paul Rutherford, Peter Gill, Holly Johnson, Mark O’Toole, Brian Nash)

1965 Bjorn Lomborg, Danish mathematician, environmentalist and author, was born.

1974  In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commenced nearly four months early in the United States.

1978 The Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) ws returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.

1995 A chemical fire in an apartment complex in Manila, Philippines, led to the discovery of plans for Project Bojinka, a mass-terrorist attack.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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