Another Brick in the Wall


Happy Birthday Snowy White – 62 today.

Toreador Song


Bizet’s Carmen  premiered on this day in 1875.

Friends’ first visit to the opera in London was to see a performance of Carmen. They were greatly relieved when it got to the Tordeador song which they recognised.



9/10 in the Dominion Post’s politics quiz in 45 seconds.

That’s one better than Kiwiblog but in nearly twice the time.

If I credit luck with the former can I blame a slow rural internet connection for the latter?

Do I make him do diversion?


Top marks to the police officer at Christchurch airport who was dealing with the case of my stolen laptop – he’s got it back.

The saga began early last month when I was careless. I put my laptop and case down while paying for parking, picked up the case when I’d finished and walked off without picking up the laptop too. When I realised what I’d done a few minutes later I returned to the pay machine to find the lap top had gone.

I reported it to a police officer who went through video footage in which he saw a bloke pick up the laptop and walk off with it. The information on how much he’d paid for parking enabled the officer to work out when he’d entered the car park so he trawled through the video from the entrance and got the car’s registration number.

He traced the driver from that to an ex-girlfriend’s address and then to two former employers but the trail went cold from there. However, he persevered, found the bloke, got him to return to the airport where he admitted he’d taken the laptop and still had it.

His story was he hadn’t had time to go to the police.

Do we believe him? No.

The officer said it’s up to me and his supervisor if he takes it any further.

The culprit doesn’t have a previous record so if he’s charged he’d be offered diversion. That means he’d have to make a donation to a charity and probably write me an apology.

I wouldn’t want to waste police and court time on this and since it’s a first offence I wouldn’t want him to have a record.

I haven’t seen the laptop yet but it needs a password so it’s doubtful that if he turned it on he got any further than the start-up page. Even if he had, it was only a couple of months old and I didn’t have any state secrets on it.  The policeman said it’s working and the adaptor and camera lead are still with it. 


* He stole it. I was careless but an honest person would have called me back as soon as he saw me walk off without the computer and he’s had a month to hand it to the police since then.

* I was on my way to Australia when it happened and it was inconvenient not having a laptop with me while I was away and for the couple of weeks after I got until I got a replacement.

* I had to phone Telecom to put a hold on the broadband connection because the Tstick was with the computer and we had to change a whole lot of passwords on the office & home computers.

* I had to make an insurance claim and buy another computer; and now I have to sort out with the insurance company what happens with the old computer now it’s been returned.

The theft wasn’t a hanging offence but it was an offence and a nuisance so: do I say thanks to the police officer for his good work and let it go or do I make the culprit do diversion?

Fonterra’s factories damaged in quake


Fonterra has established no-one at any of its sites in Chile was injured by the earthquake but hasn’t managed to contact all of the company’s staff who were at home when it struck.

In a newsletter to suppliers, company chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden said that there’s been varying levels of damage to its plants.

The one nearest to Concepción is quite severely damaged but the others should be back in action in a few days.

The company is working with farmers to help manage milk supplies until normal processing resumes.

globalDairy Trade price up slightly


The average price for whole milk in Fonterra’s monthly globablDairy Trade auction increased .8% to $3,281 per tonne.

The anhydrous milk fat (AMF) price was down 5.4% to US$3,959 a tonne.

Skim milk powder (SMP), which was included for the first time, sold for $US2,927.

Fonterra chair Sir Henry Van der Heyden said adding SMP is in line with the company’s plans to offer a wider range of products on-line and provide a transparent reference price.


Any one noticed . . .


. . . cries of anguish from the thousands, hundreds, tens anyone who’s been unjustifiably dismissed within 90 days of being employed?

That was what the unions and leftwing politicians foretold when the law was changed to allow small businesses to dismiss someone within 90 days without risking a personal grievance charge.

It hasn’t happened because the time, energy and expense of recruiting, hiring, initiating and training staff – even for jobs which require little skill – mean that once someone’s employed employers do their best to hang on to them unless they’re really not suited to the position.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson is calling for submissions on the personal grievance system which currently operates and there are suggestions this might include an extension of the 90-day trial period to businesses which employ 20 or more people.

That would be a welcome move, as would any changes which allow a slightly more relaxed approach to process when workers are dismissed.

Workers need to be protected from bad employers but good employers shouldn’t have to go through extra expense because the odd i isn’t dotted when dismissing bad employees.

The discussion document, terms of reference and response form are here.

March 3 in history


On March 3:

1284 The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated the Principality of Wales into England.

1575 Indian Mughal Emperor Akbar defeated Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.


1776 The first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps began the Battle of Nassau.

Battle of Nassau.jpg

1585 The Olympic Theatre, designed by Andrea Palladio, is inaugurated in Vicenza.


1803 Colégio Militar is founded in Portugal by Colonel Teixeira Rebello.


1805 Jonas Furrer, first President of the Swiss Confederation, was born.

1820 The U.S. Congress passed the Missouri Compromise.

1831 George Pullman, American inventor and industrialist, was born.

1845 – For the first time the U.S. Congress passed legislation overriding a presidential veto.

1847  Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-Canadian inventor, was born.

1849 – The U.S. Congress passed the Gold Coinage Act allowing the minting of gold coins.

1857 Second Opium War: France and the United Kingdom declared war on China.

Upper North Taku Fort.jpg

1865 – Opening of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the founding member of the HSBC Group.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

1873 The U.S. Congress enacted the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books through the mail.


1875 Georges Bizet‘s opera Carmen received its première at the Opéra Comique of Paris.


1875 – The first ever organized indoor game of ice hockey was played in Montreal.


1878 Bulgaria regained its independence from Ottoman Empire according to the Treaty of San Stefano.

1879 The United States Geological Survey was created.

USGS logo green.svg

1882 Charles Ponzi, Italian fraud convict, was born.

1885 The American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated in New York.


1893 Beatrice Wood, American artist and ceramicist, was born.


1904  Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany became the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison‘s cylinder.

1905 Tsar Nicholas II of Russia agreed to create an elected assembly, the Duma.


1910 Rockefeller Foundation: J.D. Rockefeller Jr. announced his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can devote full time to being a philanthropist.

Rockefeller Foundation logo.png

1911 Jean Harlow, American actress, was born.

1915  NACA, the predecessor of NASA, was founded.

NACA seal.jpg

1918 Germany, Austria and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russia’s involvement in World War I, and leading to the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

 Leon Trotsky being greeted by German officers in Brest-Litovsk

1920 Ronald Searle, British illustrator, was born.


1923 TIME magazine is published for the first time.


1924 The 1400-year-old Islamic caliphate was abolished when Caliph Abdul Mejid II of the Ottoman Empire was deposed.

1924 – The Free State of Fiume was annexed by Kingdom of Italy.

1930 Ion Iliescu, President of Romania, was born.

1931 The United States officially adopted The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.

 The 15-star, 15-stripe “Star Spangled Banner Flag” which inspired the poem.

1938 Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 In Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi began to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India.


1940 Five people were killed in an arson attack on the offices of the communist newspaper Norrskensflamman in Luleå, Sweden.

1942 Mike Pender, English singer and guitarist (The Searchers), was born.

1942 Ten Japanese warplanes raided the town of Broome, Western Australia killing more than 100 people.

1943  173 people were killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station in London.

1948 Snowy White, British guitarist (Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd), was born.

1953 A Canadian Pacific Airlines De Havilland Comet crashed in Karachi, killing 11.

1958 Miranda Richardson, British actress, was born.

1958 Nuri as-Said became the prime minister of Iraq for the 14th time.

Faisal II with Nuri as-Said.

1960 Barry Crump’s novel A Good Keen Man  was published.

Barry Crump's novel <em>A good keen man</em> published

1961 Hassan II became King of Morocco.


1964 Duncan Phillips, Australian drummer (Newsboys), was born.

1969  NASA launched Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.


1971 Beginning of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and India’s official entry to the Bangladesh Liberation War in support of Mukti Bahini.

1971 surrender.jpg

1972 Mohawk Airlines Flight 405 crashed as a result of a control malfunction and insufficient training in emergency procedures.

1974  Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crashes at Ermenonville near Paris,  killing all 346 aboard.

1976 Five workers were killed by the police in a demonstration in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

1985 Arthur Scargill declared that the National Union of Mineworkers national executive voted to end the longest-running industrial dispute in Great Britain without any peace deal over pit closures.

NUM logo.png

1991 An amateur video captured the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.


1991 – In two concurring referendums: 74 % of the population of Latvia and 83% of the population of  Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.

1991 United Airlines Flight 585 crashed on approach into Colorado Springs, killing 25.

1992 – The nation of Bosnia was established.

1997  The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower in downtown Auckland opened after two-and-a-half years of construction.

Sky Tower Collage Auckland.jpg

2002  Citizens of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of their country becoming a member of the United Nations.

2004  Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agree to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that formed InBev, the world’s largest brewer.

2005 James Roszko murdered four Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables during a drug bust at his property in Rochfort Bridge, Alberta, then commits suicide.

2005 Steve Fossett became the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.

2009  The Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by terrorists while on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore for a Test match against Pakistan.

2009 – The building of the Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln (Historical Archives) in Cologne, Germany, collapsed.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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