Paddy McGinty’s Goat

February 3, 2010

Happy birthday Val Doonican, 83 today.

This was another favourite on the Listener’s Request session when I was a child.

Bother isn’t strong enough for this

February 3, 2010

Putting my hand up for idot of the day:

I put my case and laptop down to free my hands to pay for parking at Christchurch airport.

I paid and retrieved the ticket. When I got to the car minutes later realised I had my case but not the laptop.

There were several others in a queue behind me while I was paying but the computer hasn’t been handed in to either the police or airport lost property.

There were no state secrets on any of the emails that I’d downloaded and I’ve changed the passwords and put a block on the mobile broadband connection (thanks here to telecom who handled that with speed and sympathy).

But I’m not feeling very happy and bother really isn’t strong enough for times like this.

Getting personal

February 3, 2010

In politics if you aren’t making headway in attacking policy it’s a common ploy to start attacking the person trying to deliver it.

That seems to be the strategy being used now by those opposed to the introduction of National Standards in education.

It’s difficult to argue against consistent, effective assessment and up-front reporting. So they’ve been trying to undermine Education Minister Anne Tolley.

This stepped up last week when John Key relieved her of the Tertiary Education portfolio and some were quick to say that was because she wasn’t up to the job.

That isn’t the case. Rather it was a reflection on the importance the Prime Minister is placing on implementing what was a National Party policy, clearly spelt out before the election.

It isn’t acceptable that one in five, that’s nearly 150,000, school leavers finish formal education without the skills they need to get a reasonable jo and function effectively in society.

The government is committed to turning that around and the introduction of National Standards in education is an important part of that.

It’s no use getting personal about the minister. She’s doing a hard job, well and she has the caucus and wider party with her.

A wee drop in milk auction price

February 3, 2010

Average paid for Whole Milk Powder in last night’s globalDairy Trade auction was 1.6% lower than last month.

That’s the second fall in a row but is no cause for alarm.

The sharp rise in price towards the end of last year wasn’t seen as sustainable so this wee drop is just an expected correction.

February 3 in history

February 3, 2010

On February 3:

1112 Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence marry, uniting the fortunes of those two states.

1377  More than 2,000 people of Cesena were slaughtered by Papal Troops (Cesena Bloodbath).

1451 Sultan Mehmed II inherited the throne of the Ottoman Empire.

Fatih II. Mehmet.jpg

1488 Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal landed in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.


1637 Tulip mania collapsed in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) by government order.

      An allegory of tulip mania by Hendrik Gerritsz Pot, circa 1640. Flora, the goddess of flowers, is blown by the wind and rides with a tippler, money changers, and a two faced woman. They are followed by dissolute Haarlem weavers, on their way to destruction in the sea.

1690 The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in America.

1777 John Cheyne, British physician, surgeon and author, was born.

1807 A British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty captured the city of Montevideo.

1809 Felix Mendelssohn, German composer, was born.


1821 Elizabeth Blackwell, first female American physician, was born.

 Portrait of Elizabeth Blackwell by Joseph Stanley Kozlowski

1830 The sovereignty of Greece was confirmed in a London Protocol.

1867 Emperor Meiji became the 122nd emperor of Japan.

1870 The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting voting rights to citizens regardless of race.

1874 Gertrude Stein, American writer, was born.

1894 Norman Rockwell, American illustrator, was born.

1899 Doris Speed, English actress, was born.

1907 James Michener, American author, was born.

 1913 The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.

1916  Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada burned down.

1918 The Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco started service as the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet (3,633 meters) long.

1927  Val Doonican, Irish singer and entertainer, was born.

1931 The Hawkes Bay earthquake  measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck – New Zealand’s worst natural disaster killed 258 people.

Hawke's Bay earthquake strikes

1932 Peggy Ann Garner, American actress, was born.

1943 Dennis Edwards, American singer (The Temptations), was born.

 Live at the Copa (1968), the first Temptations album to feature new lead singer Dennis Edwards. Pictured left to right: Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Otis Williams, and Eddie Kendricks

1944 Trisha Noble, Australian singer and actress, was born.

1947 Dave Davies, English musician (The Kinks), was born.

1947 The lowest temperature in North America  was recorded in Snag, Yukon.

1950 Morgan Fairchild, American actress, was born.

1958 Founding of the Benelux Economic Union.

1959 Lol Tolhurst, English musician (The Cure), was born.

1959 A plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson and the incident becomes known as The Day the Music Died.

1960 British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan spoke of the “a wind of change” of increasing national consciousness blowing through colonial Africa, signalling that his Government was likely to support decolonisation.

1966 The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft made the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon.

 Luna 9 soft landing capsule

1967 Ronald Ryan, the last person to be executed in Australia was hanged in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne.


1969 Yasser Arafat was appointed Palestine Liberation Organisation leader at the Palestinian National Congress.


1971 New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survives to later testify against police corruption. Many believe the incident proves that NYPD officers tried to kill him.

1976 Isla Fisher, Australian actress, was born.

1984 Dr. John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announced history’s first embryo transfer, from one women to another resulting in a live birth.

    8-cell embryo for transfer 3 days after fertilization

1984 Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B Mission was launched to International Space Station.


1988  Iran-Contra Affair: The United States House of Representatives rejected President Ronald Reagan’s request for $36.25 million to aid Nicaraguan Contras.

1989 P.W. Botha resigned party leadership and the presidency of South Africa.

1989 A military coup overthrew Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay since 1954.

1991The Italian Communist Party dissolved and splits into the Democratic Party of the Left and the Communist Refoundation Party.

1996 The Lijiang earthquake in China struck, killing 200 people.

1998 – Cavalese cable-car disaster: a United States Military pilot caused the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cuts the cable of a cable-car near Trento, Italy.

2007 A Baghdad market bombing killed at least 135 people and injured a further 339.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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