Sooty

January 28, 2010

Harry Corbett (puppeteer not Steptoe actor) would have been 92 today.

I don’t remember seeing Sooty and Sweep on TV but have vague memories of reading a book in which they starred.


M*A*S*H

January 28, 2010

Happy birthday Alan Alda, 74 today.

Was there any teenage girl in the 1970s who wasn’t a little bit in love with Hawkeye?


Stranger On The Shore

January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Acker Bilk – 81 today.


Telecan’t causes country chaos

January 28, 2010

The failure of Telecom’s XT network has caused chaos for farmers, stock agents and transport firms.

The buying and selling of stock requires co-ordination between farmers, agents and transporters who phone each other to arrange pick up and delivery times.

Most of these people spend most of their day well away from landlines so when their mobile phones don’t work they can’t be contacted.

When the phone system failed yesterday, stock was coming and going without the normal and necessary communication between buyers, sellers and truckies.


Another Green goes early

January 28, 2010

RadioNZ reports that Jeanette Fitzsimons will resign from parliament next month.

Once you’ve stepped down as leader it must be difficult to focus on being a backbench MP so I can understand the personal reasons for her doing so.

It also allows a successor to operate without being being overshadowed by the previous leader.

However, leaving parliament this easily is a luxury open only to list MPs who can resign without triggering a by-election.

Update: Just to clarify, I’m not criticising Fitzsimons for this decision.


Their land, our water

January 28, 2010

The paddocks on the side of the road between Tarras and the bridge over the Clutha near Luggate used to be dry and barren for most of the year.

Some of them still are, but others are green and productive, thanks to irrigation.

Which looks better is a matter of opinion but I prefer the green and admire the increased productivity farmers are getting from it.

Some of the irrigated farmland which would have struggled to support a few sheep is now able to feed bulls. These bulls no doubt have the same sort of outputs as dairy cows, but there is a major difference between the Upper Clutha farms and the dairy operations proposed for the Mackenzie Basin and that’s scale.

The bulls grazing paddocks beside the Tarras-Luggate road number in the low 10s. The Mackenzie dairy proposals are for nearly 18,000 cows.

In announcing that he’s calling in the consents for these big operations, Environment Minister Nick Smith said that stock will produce effluent similar to the amount produced by a city of 250,000 people.

That’s an awful lot of waste and helps explains why Environment Canterbury received around 5,000 submissions on the applications for resource consent.

Some were about animal welfare which do not come under the Resource Management Act and I’d be very surprised if any of the concerns were valid. Keeping cattle indoors may not be the way we’re used to farming here but it doesn’t by itself constitute any welfare issues.

Some were about what irrigation and dairying would do to the views. That is entirely subjective, what some regard as beautiful productive paddocks, others will see as blots on the landscape.

Although, it’s not just about how the landscape looks but what’s happening to it. Those travelling through at 100 kilometres an hour don’t appreciate the environmental damage that unrelenting heat and wind can do.

In the January 2-8 Listener, Simon Williamson of Glenbrook Station, was asked about the cost to the landscape of irrigation. He replied:

“I don’t see how it detracts. A green foreground and brown hills. Before it would have been a brown foreground and a dust storm.” *

Many of the other submissions were on the potential threat to water quality and these  submitters are on stronger ground.

Housing the cows as is proposed in the applications allows the farms to have much more control on the dispersal of effluent than if the stock was grazing pasture. But systems are only as good as the people who operate them and can never be fool-proof.

Besides, whether inside or out, these cattle will produce a lot of effluent. The Minster’s appointees will have to be satisfied that there is no danger to water quality from it and that may be very difficult to guarantee.

It is the applicants’ land but their right to do what they will with it doesn’t extend to polluting our water.

* The Williamson quote isn’t online, but the rest of the feature from which it came, Mainland dust-up, is on line and well worth a read.

Update: Federated Farmers media release on the calling in is here.


January 28 in history

January 28, 2010

On January 28: 

1225 Saint Thomas Aquinas, was born. 

 

1457  King Henry VII, was born. 

 

1521 The Diet of Worms began. 

1547 Henry VIII died. His nine year old son, Edward VI became King, and the first Protestant ruler of England

1573Articles of the Warsaw Confederation were signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland.

 Original act of the Warsaw Confederation

1582  John Barclay, Scottish writer, was born. 

1624 Sir Thomas Warner founded the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts

1706 John Baskerville, English printer, was born. 

  

1724 The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in the Senate decree. 

1754 Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coined the word serendipity

1813 Pride and Prejudice was first published in the United Kingdom.

PrideAndPrejudiceTitlePage.jpg

1820 – Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich discovered the Antarctic continent approaching the Antarctic coast. 

1827  French explorer Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville sailed the Astrolabe through French Pass and into Admiralty Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. 

D'Urville sails through French Pass 

1833 Charles George ‘Chinese’ Gordon, British soldier and administrator, was born. 

Gordon Pasha as Governor of Sudan 

1841 Henry Morton Stanley, Welsh-born explorer and journalist, was born. 


 

1855 The first locomotive ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the Panama Railway. 

1855 William Seward Burroughs I, American inventor, was born. 

 Patent no. 388,116 on a “calculating machine”. 

1863 Ernst William Christmas, Australian painter, was born. 

 ‘Kilauea Caldera’, oil on canvas painting by Ernest William Christmas, 1863-1918 

 1864 Charles W. Nash, American automobile entrepreneur, co-founder Buick Company,  was born. 

 1910 Buick Model 17 

1864 – Herbert Akroyd Stuart, English inventor of the hot bulb heavy oil engine, was born. 

  

1871 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris ended in French defeat and an armistice. 

1873 Colette, French writer, was born. 

 

1878 Yale Daily News became the first daily college newspaper in the United States. 

1887  Arthur Rubinstein, Polish pianist and conductor, was born.

1887  In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world’s largest snowflakes were reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.

1890  Robert Stroud,  American convict, the Birdman of Alcatraz, was born.

1896  Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent became the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined 1 shilling plus costs for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thus exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h). 

1901 Wellington blacksmith, William Hardham, won the Victoria Cross – the only New Zealander to do so in the South African War. 

Hardham wins VC in South Africa 

1902The Carnegie Institution was founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie

1909 United States troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish-American War. 

1912  Jackson Pollock, American, was born.

1915 An act of the U.S. Congress created the United States Coast Guard.

USCG S W.svg

1916 Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jew appointed to the United States Supreme Court. 

 

1917 Municipally owned streetcars began operating in the streets of San Francisco, California. 

1918  Harry Corbett, English puppeteer (Sooty), was born.

 

1921 A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe to honor the unknown dead of World War I.

Unknownsoldier paris.jpg

1922 Knickerbocker Storm, Washington D.C.’s biggest snowfall, causes the city’s greatest loss of life when the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater collapses. 

1929 Acker Bilk, English jazz clarinetist, was born.

1933 – The name Pakistan was coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence.1934 The first ski tow in the United States begins operation in Vermont.

1935 David Lodge, English author, was born.

1935 Iceland became the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.

1936 Alan Alda, American actor, writer, and director, was born.

1938 The World Land Speed Record on a public road was broken by driver Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7 kilometres per hour (268.9 mph).

Caracciola sits on what appears to be the back of a vehicle. A young woman sits in front of him.

1943 Dick Taylor, English musician (The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things), was born.

1944 Susan Howard, American actress, was born.

1955 Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, was born.

1958The Lego company patented their design of Lego bricks.

The logo for Lego, and the Lego group.

1964 A U.S. Air Force jet training plane that strayed into East Germany  was shot down by Soviet fighters near Erfurt ; all 3 crew men are killed. 

1965  The current design of the Flag of Canada was chosen by an act of Parliament

See adjacent text.

1977 The first day of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977, which severely affected and crippled much of Upstate New York, but Buffalo, NY, Syracuse, NY, Watertown, NY, and surrounding areas are most affected, each area accumulating close to 10 feet of snow on this one day.

1980 USCGC Blackthorn (WLB-391) collided with the tanker Capricorn while leaving Tampa Florida and capsizes killing 23 Coast Guard crewmembers.

USCGC-Blackthorn-WLB-391.jpg

 

1980  – Nick Carter, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1981 Ronald Reagan lifted remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls in the United States helping to end the 1979 energy crisis and begin the 1980s oil glut.1981 Elijah Wood, American actor, was born.

1982 US Army general James L. Dozier was rescued by Italian anti-terrorism forces from captivity by the Red Brigades

 

1985 Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.

1986 Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart after liftoff killing all seven astronauts on board. 

 

2002 TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-100 crashed in the Andes mountains in southern Colombia killing 92. 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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