Get Smart


Happy birthday Barbara Feldon, 87 today.

Bye Bye Blackbird


Happy birthday Liza Minelli, 64 today.

Which part of not optional don’t they understand?


Criticism of national standards continues but like them or not, most schools are getting on with the work required to implement them.

Southbridge School isn’t.

Kathryn Ryan interviewed the principal and a parent to find out why.

The answer, from the principal, seems to be he wants the system trialled first and the school is too busy implementing the curriculum to handle national standards as well.

That’s a good example to set pupils – you only have to do what you have to do when you have the time and inclination to do it.

It could set an interesting precedent too.

A trucking firm could decide it wants a trial of the road rule change which will give right of way to vehicles turning left at intersections and instruct its drivers to take right of way when they’re turning right.

An employer could decide s/he’s too busy implementing the four-week holiday requirement to deal with changes in tax rates.

Anyone could decide to adopt only those new policies which have been trialled, came from a government of which they approved and to which they weren’t philosophically opposed or too busy to deal with.

But of course they wouldn’t because the law’s the law and some policies are optional, some are not.

If a board and principal don’t understand that, do they understand enough to run their school?

Wallywood wins the Tosscars


Jim Hopkins reckons Wallywood has won the Tosscars.

It’s a view shared by the many people who’ve used the Wellywood sign generator on Cross and Bones to create an alternative sign for the hills of Wellington.

The gallery contains some gems (and some from the gutter).

There may be some who want a Wellywood sign but I haven’t found anyone in a round up of blogs:

Deborah says Don’t do it.

Kiwiblog says No no no.

Keeping Stock had some Thursday fun.

Dim Post muses on Inevitability  and like Quote Unquote shows us Hitler on Wellywood.

Something Should Go Here isn’t impressed by the Wellywood sign.

Lou Taylor has something a bit more realistic at No Minister.

I’m just left asking: Why Wood You?

If they didn’t complain then . . .


. . . why are they complaining now?

The Public Service Association about restructuring that is because as Trans Tasman points out:

There’s a bit of a reorganisation of Govt agencies under way. Before the election National promised not to undertake any “radical” shake up of the state sector and has been attacked by Labour and the Public Service Association for breaching its promise.

But all the government has suggested is a bit of minor tweaking – combining Archives NZ, Statistics NZ, Land Information NZ, and the National Library into one Ministry.

That doesn’t strike me as radical in isolation and is even less so when compared with what Labour did:

Labour merged the Department of Courts back into the Ministry of Justice. It created the Ministry of Economic Development out of the Ministry of Commerce and a couple of small agencies such as tourism. It built the new mega Ministry of Social Development out of the old Ministry of Social Policy, Work and Income NZ, and some bits of other social services.

Special Education was merged into the Ministry of Education. The whole Department of Building and Housing was built out of the old Ministry of Housing and some parts of the Ministry of Economic Development and Housing. NZ Land Transport Safety Authority was moved into a new beefed up Ministry of Transport. You get the idea.

None of these were fought by the supposedly politically neutral Public Service Association with anything like the fire which National’s fairly modest proposals has attracted.

Supposedly neutral are the operative words which answer the question I started with.

They didn’t complain then because the changes were done by a Labour-led government and they’re complaining now because the proposals for much more minor changes are coming from a National-led one.

March 12 in history


On March 12:

538  Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths ended his siege of Rome leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius.

1622  Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, was canonized a saint by the Catholic Church.

1689 The Williamite war in Ireland began.


1821  Sir John Abbott, third Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1831 Clement Studebaker, American automobile pioneer, was born.

 The Studebaker brothers

1832 The Filippo Taglioni ballet La Sylphide received its première performance at the Paris Opéra.


1832 Charles Boycott, British land agent and source of the term to boycott, was born.


1864 Arthur’s Pass was “discovered”.

 Arthur's Pass 'discovered'

 1868 Henry O’Farrell attempted to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

1880 Henry Drysdale Dakin, British-American biochemist, known for the Dakin-West reaction, was born.

1881 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first President of Turkey was born.

1881 Andrew Watson made his Scotland debut as the world’s first black international football player and captain.

1894  Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time.


1908 Rita Angus, New Zealand painter, was born.


1912 The Girl Guides (later renamed the Girl Scouts of the USA) were founded in the United States.

1913  Canberra Day: The future capital of Australia was officially named Canberra.

1918 Moscow became the capital of Russia again after Saint-Petersburg held this status for 215 years.

1928 The St. Francis Dam in California failed, killing over 600 people.


1930 Mahatma Gandhi led a 200-mile march, known as the Dandi March, to the sea in defiance of British opposition, to protest the British monopoly on salt.


1932 Barbara Feldon, American actress and model, was born.

Get Smart.gif

1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation for the first time as President of the United States in the first of his “fireside chats“.


1934 Konstantin Päts and General Johan Laidoner staged a coup in Estonia, and banned all political parties.

 Johan Laidoner01.jpg

1938 Anschluss: German troops occupied Austria.


1940 Finland signed the Moscow Peace Treaty with the Soviet Union, ceding almost all of Finnish Karelia.


1946 Liza Minnelli, American singer and actress, was born.

1947 The Truman Doctrine was proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.

1948  James Taylor, American musician, was born.

1957 Marlon Jackson, American singer and musician (The Jackson 5), was born.


1966 Suharto became President of Indonesia.

1968  Mauritius achieved independence.

1971 The March 12 Memorandum, was sent to the Demirel government of Turkey and the government resigned.

1992Mauritius becomes a republic while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

1993 Several bombs exploded in Mumbai killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

1993 North Korea said it planned to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refused to allow inspectors access to its nuclear sites.

1993 – The Blizzard of 1993 – Snow began to fall across the eastern portion of the US with tornadoes, thunder snow storms, high winds and record low temperatures.


1994 The Church of England ordained its first female priests.

2003 Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, was assassinated in Belgrade.

2004 A President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, was impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation’s history.

2005 Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, stepped down from his post after his resignation was approved by the Chinese central government.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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