Joy To The World


Happy birthday Cory Wells – 68 today.

Frank Muir on milk


Frank Muir would have been 90 today.

I remember him in the radio panel games My Music and My Word but all I could find on YouTube was this advertisement for milk:

Bother still wasn’t strong enough


It was about 9.30pm when I landed in Townsville and I’d been up since 3am local time.

The theft of my laptop at Christchurch earlier in the day hadn’t helped my mood and I was very keen to get to where I was staying, have a shower and go to sleep.

I’d booked a rental car on-line but even so the paperwork took a while and it was about 10pm by the time I got to the car park.

The remote didn’t work and it was too dark to see well enough to figure out if there was a trick to it so I used the key. It unlocked the door but when I opened it the alarm started. I shut the door and the alarm stopped but I still couldn’t get the remote to work.

I used the key and again the alarm went off but it stopped when I put the key in the ignition.

I checked the hand brake was on and the gear stick in neutral and turned the key. The dashboard lit up but the engine didn’t start. I checked the hand brake and gear stick and tried again. It still didn’t start.

I returned to the terminal for help but the rental car kiosk had closed. I went back to the car and rang the 24 hour rescue number. The woman who answered said it would take 45 minutes for someone to come & I’d have to wait at the main entrance to the terminal. I asked if I could speak to the mechanic, in case it was something simple I was or wasn’t doing, but she said no.

I told her in that case it would be better to get a taxi and worry about the car in the morning.

I got my case out of the boot, locked the car and walked to the taxi rank. But my flight had been the last one for the night and all the taxis had gone.

I returned to the car, rang the rescue number again and was told again I’d have to wait at the main entrance and that would take about 45 minutes. Had I not been a big girl I might have cried at this point. Instead I took a deep breath and explained I’d been up for more than 19 hours, I was very tired and I wasn’t very comfortable about standing round in the dark by myself for that long, couldn’t the mechanic come to the car?

She said no, it was better to wait at the door. I said, I didn’t think it was and asked again if I could talk to the mechanic. She said no, but given it was dark and the airport was closed she’d tell him to come to the car.

While waiting for him I read the instruction manual and came across a page entitled car immobilised. That seemed to be the correct diagnosis for my predicament but the only prescription was to call a mechanic.

He eventually turned up and listened to my explanation of the problem. He said the car might be immobilised, but there was one simple thing to try first. He slid into the driver’s seat, put his foot on the clutch, turned the key and the car started.

I was tempted to say something more than a little stronger than bother. Instead I asked, how could I have been so stupid?

He just laughed, said I wasn’t the first one who’d had this problem and explained that with modern cars it’s not enough to have them in neutral, they’re designed not to start unless there’s a foot on the clutch in case they’re in gear.

Putting my hand up for idiot of the day again – but could I plead tiredness as an excuse?

Soil carbon could be a washout


It was a desire for a better business not fears of global warming which prompted Australia farmer Cam McKellar to start producing humified compost which captures carbon and stores it in the soil.

“It’s about increasing the fertility of the soil, improving yields and producing better-quality food,” says Mr McKellar, who runs a 1200ha corn and mixed-crop farm at Spring Ridge, 100km southwest of Tamworth in northeast NSW.

However, farmers in Australia and New Zealand are asking if soil carbon could be used to offset Kyoto liabilities.

The cost and difficulty of measuring soil carbon counts against it and there is another catch to claiming credits for soil carbon .

If there was a flood and the soil got washed away farmers would face a huge carbon liability on top of the costs associated with the flood.

February 5 in history


On February 5:

62 AD – Earthquake in Pompeii

1576 Henry of Navarre converted to Roman Catholicism in order to ensure his right to the throne of France.

1597 A group of Japanese Christians were killed by the new government for being seen as a threat to Japanese society.

1649 The claimant King Charles II of England and Scotland was declared King of Scotland.

1725 James Otis, American lawyer and patriot, was born.

1778  South Carolina was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

1782 Spanish defeat British forces and capture Minorca.

1783 In Calabria, Italy, a sequence of strong earthquakes started.

1788 Robert Peel, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1818 Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ascended to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1840 John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor, was born.

1840 Hiram Stevens Maxim, American inventor (Maxim gun), was born.

1859Wallachia and Moldavia were united under Alexander John Cuza as the United Principalities.

Alexander Ioan Cuza.jpg

1878 André Citroën, French automobile pioneer, was born.


1885 – King Léopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal possession.

1867 New Zealand’s third public railway, the 27-kilometre line between Invercargill and the port at Bluff, built by the Southland Provincial Council, opened.

Opening of railway from Invercargill to Bluff

1900 The United States and the United Kingdom sign a treaty for the Panama Canal.

1908 – Daisy and Violet Hilton, British conjoined twins, were born.

1917 The current constitution of Mexico was adopted, establishing a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

1917 – The Congress of the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson‘s veto. Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia.

 The Asiatic Barred Zone as defined by the Immigration Act of 1917.

1918 Stephen W. Thompson shot down a German airplane, the first aerial victory by the U.S. military.

Stephen W. Thompson.jpg

1919 Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launched United Artists.

1920  Frank Muir, British comedian, was born.

1924 The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the “BBC pips”.

 Graph of the six pips

1942 Cory Wells, American singer (Three Dog Night), was born.

1946 The Chondoist Chongu Party was founded in North Korea.

1958 Gamel Abdel Nasser was nominated to be the first president of the United Arab Republic.

Head and shoulders of a man in his forties smiling. He has dark hair that is pulled back, a long forehead, thick eyebrows and a mustache.  He is wearing a gray jacket and a white shirt with a tie.

1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

1962 President Charles De Gaulle called for Algeria to be granted independence.

1964 Duff McKagan, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1972 Bob Douglas became the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

1972 Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, was born.

1994  More than 60 people were killed and some 200 wounded when a mortar shell hit a downtown marketplace in Sarajevo.

1997 – The “Big Three”  banks in Switzerland announced the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors and their families.

2004 Twenty-three Chinese people drown when a group of 35 cockle-pickers were trapped by rising tides in Morecambe Bay, England. .

2004 – Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front captured the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion.

2008 – A major tornado outbreak across the Southern United States left 57 dead.

2009 The United States Navy guided missile cruiser Port Royal ran aground off Oahu, Hawaii, damaging the ship and a coral reef.

USS Port Royal

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: