Santa Lucia


Mario Lanza would have been 89 today.

If You Leave Me Now


Terry Kath would have been 64 today.

It’s about property rights


Waikato farmer Steve Meier isn’t the best advertisement for landowners in the debate with Transpower over pylons on their land.

Auckland lost power for several hours and if reports are correct, his actions may have been at least in part to blame.

But moving from the details of that farm and that farmer, to the general principle, do farmers have a point in the on-going debate with Transpower?

The Herald editorial doesn’t think so:

It is the luck of the draw that the pylons are on their land and that more will come in the planned $830m network upgrade. Like the homeowners who will be uprooted by the Waterview Connection roading project, the farmers are paying the price of living in the middle of the route to the future; unlike the homeowners, they are not entitled to compensation, which is hardly unfair, since their actual loss is minimal.

But it’s not the actual loss that’s in question. It’s property rights.

If any landowner has to put up with other people, or the state, doing or putting things on their property, it compromises their property rights, regardless of whether it’s a quarter acre section in town or several thousand acres in the country.

For everything there is a season . . .


. . . and the season for hot cross buns is not summer.

If you’re in the northern hemisphere it’s spring and if you’re in the south it’s autumn.

This has escaped the supermarkets which started selling hot cross buns last week. Maybe they were selling Easter eggs too, I didn’t bother looking.

Supermarkets have got over Christmas and New Year and are looking for something else to tempt us with. But by rushing into Easter in January they are missing the chance to tempt us with treats for Valentines, St David’s and St Patrick’s days. All of these come well before Good Friday which isn’t until April 2, this year.

Lent also comes before Good Friday. Obviously supermarkets don’t want to go there because that’s about having less, not buying more. 

Hot cross buns and Easter eggs have a lot more to do with pagen celebrationss than religious ones but whatever the reason, now’s not the time to be eating them.And rather than encouraging me, their untimely pushing of Easter food so far out of season puts me off.

Last year I vowed no hot cross bun would cross my lips until Good Friday. None did and I’m making the same one-woman protest  against unseasonal selling this year.

January 31 in history


On January 31:

1606  Guy Fawkes was executed for his plotting against Parliament.

1673 Louis de Montfort, French catholic priest and saint, was born.

1747 The first venereal diseases clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.

1797 Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born. 

1814 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas becomes Supreme Director of Argentina.

1849 Corn Laws were abolished in the United Kingdom (following legislation in 1846).

1862 Alvan Graham Clark discovered the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an eighteen inch telescope at Northwestern University.


1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee became general-in-chief.

Robert E Lee Signature.svg

1865  Henri Desgrange, Founder of the Tour-de-France, was born.

1872 Zane Grey, American Western writer, was born.

1876 The United States ordered all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1881  Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina was born.


1884 Theodor Heuss, 1st President of Germany (Bundespräsident), was born.

1918 A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night led to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships.

1919 The Battle of George Square took place in Glasgow.

 Mark I tanks and soldiers at the Glasgow Cattle Market in the Gallowgate

 1919  Jackie Robinson, American baseball player, and the first black player in Major League Baseball, was born.

Waist-up portrait of black batter in his mid-thirties, in Brooklyn Dodgers uniform number 42, at end of swing with bat over left shoulder, looking at where a hit ball would be

1921 New Zealand’s first regular air mail service began with a flight by the Canterbury Aviation Company from Christchurch to Ashburton and Timaru.

NZ’s first regular airmail service begins

1921 Carol Channing, American actress and singer, was born.

1921 Mario Lanza, American singer was born.

1923 Norman Mailer, American writer and journalist, was born.

 1929 The Soviet Union exiled Leon Trotsky.

1930 3M begins marketing Scotch Tape.


1938 – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, was born.

1943 German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus surrendered to the Soviets at Stalingrad, followed 2 days later by the remainder of his Sixth Army, ending one of World War II’s fiercest battles.

1945 US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion, the first such execution of a US soldier since the Civil War.

1946 Terry Kath, American musician (Chicago), was born.

1946 Yugoslavia‘s new constitution, modelling the Soviet Union, established six constituent republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

1950 President Harry S. Truman announced a programme to develop the hydrogen bomb.


1951 Harry Wayne Casey, American singer and musician (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.

1953 A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands.


1956 John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, English singer (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd.), was born.

1958  Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.


1958  James Van Allen discovered the Van Allen radiation belt.

1961 Mercury-Redstone 2Ham the Chimp travelled into outer space.


1966 The Soviet Union launched the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna programme.

Luna 9

1968 – Nauru became independence from Australia.

Flag Coat of arms

1971 Apollo 14 Mission – Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lifted off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.

The first Saturn V, AS-501, before the launch of Apollo 4

1971 – The Winter Soldier Investigation, organised by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicise war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, began in Detroit.

1990 The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow.

McDonald's Golden Arches.svg

1995 President Bill Clinton authorised a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.

1996 An explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400.

2000 Alaska Airlines flight 261 MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 persons aboard.

2001 In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie in 1988.

2003 The Waterfall rail accident occured near Waterfall, New South Wales.


2009 At least 113 people are killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, Kenya.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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