Back in Black


I recognised the name AC/DC but wasn’t familiar with the music.

A quick search of YouTube gave me plenty of choice. I listened to the start of a couple, liked neither and decided that Angus Young’s  birthday could pass without a musical post from me.

But then Andrei left this comment  and since his generous sharing of musical knowledge adds so much to the birthday music I had another listen.

Still couldn’t find anything I liked but liking the music hasn’t stopped me posting music from other groups so here it is:

Happy birthday Angus Young – 55 today:

Haydn – Trumpet Concerto in E Flat


Joseph Heydn Haydn was born 278 years ago today.

Lonely Bull


Happy birthday Herb Alpert – 75 today.



This is what happens when you do answer questions without engaging the brain first: a barely adequate score in this week’s Dominion Post politics quiz – just 6/10.

Open road


The trip from home to Wanaka takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Last night I left home at 8.15 and 15 vehicles passed me heading east.

Not a single one passed or was passed by me going west.

Don’t tell anyone trying to get out of Auckland or Wellington this weekend, it’ll only make them jealous.

ECan couldn’t, commissioners will


The decision by Ministers for the Environment and Local Government, Nick Smith and Rodney Hide, to replace Environment Canterbury with commissioners would not have been made lightly.

But this is what the independent review panel chaired by Wyatt Creech recommended. It is also what the mayors of the area ECan covered and other groups including Irrigation New Zealand, requested.

ECan has been plagued by internal politics and delays.

Its rivers are among the most important to the country’s environment and economy yet ECan has failed to come up with a water plan.

Dame Margaret Bazley is chair designate of the commissioners. Kiwiblog notes:

The choice of Dame Margaret is a shrewd one. She is 110% non-partisan, and has a excellent track record of sorting out dysfunctional systems.

In a second post answering criticism that this over rides democracy he also points out:

. . .   it happened under the last Government, and to a territorial local authority which has far bigger impact on people’s lives than a regional council. Also done under urgency, and also done at the request of local Councils – but in this case the ten or so territorial authorities.

What is the big difference?

National in Opposition supported Labour, because they put doing the right thing ahead of petty politics. If a Council has not managed a water allocation plan after 18 years, then it is a pretty sure sign than things are wrong and need fixing. Just waving a stick and saying “try to do better” has not worked.

The ministers’ media release includes a comprehensive Q&A which includes extracts from submissions and lists other bodies which have been replaced by commissioners – Rodney District Council, Auckland  and Hawkes Bay District Health Boards and 30 Boards of Trustees.

Even with these precedents, replacing a regional council is a radical move.

However, ECan has had 18 years to come up with a water plan and failed dismally. The problem of water allocation and quality in Canterbury requires urgent action.

ECan couldn’t do it and the commissioners will.

They have a demanding job ahead of them and one which must be done as quickly for the sake of the region’s water, wider environment and economy and to enable the return to elected councillors as soon as possible.

March 31 in history


On March 31:

 1146 Bernard of Clairvaux preached his sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade.

1492 Queen Isabella of Castille issued the Alhambra decree, ordering her 150,000 Jewish subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.


1596 René Descartes, French mathematician, was born.

1621 Andrew Marvell, English poet (, was born.

1717 A sermon on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ” by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provokes the Bangorian Controversy.


1732 Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born.


1774 American Revolutionary War: The Great Britain ordered the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed pursuant to the Boston Port Act.

1822  The massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following a rebellion attempt, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.

1854 Commodore Matthew Perry signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.


1866 The Spanish Navy bombed the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile.

1885  The United Kingdom established a protectorate over Bechuanaland.

1889 The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated.

Tour Eiffel Wikimedia Commons.jpg

1903 Richard Pearse made a powered flight in an early aircraft.


1906 The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later National Collegiate Athletic Association) is established to set rules for amateur sports in the United States.

1909 Serbia accepted Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1909 Construction began on the RMS Titanic.

RMS Titanic 3.jpg

1912 Construction was completed on the RMS Titanic.

1917 The United States took possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands.

1921 The Royal Australian Air Force was formed.

Ensign of the Royal Australian Air Force.svg

1926 John Fowles, English author, was born.


1930 The Motion Pictures Production Code was instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film for the next thirty eight years.


1931  An earthquake destroyed Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000.

1933 The Civilian Conservation Corps was established with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment.


1935 Herb Alpert, American trumpeter and band leader, was born.


1936 Marge Piercy, American writer, was born.

Woman on the Edge of Time (book cover).jpg

1940 The funeral of Labour Prime Minister Michael Josepgh Savage took place.

  Funeral of Labour PM Savage

1942  World War II: Japanese forces invaded Christmas Island, then a British possession.

1942 Holocaust in Ivano-Frankivsk (then called Stanislawow), western Ukraine. German Gestapo organised the first deportation of 5,000 Jews from Stanislawow ghetto to Belzec death camp.

1946 – The first election was held in Greece after World War II.

1947  César Gaviria Trujillo, former President of Colombia, was born.

1948 Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1951 Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.


1955 Angus Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955  Robert Vance, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1959 The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the border into India and was granted political asylum.

Characteristic hands-raised anjali greeting

1964 The Dictatorship in Brazil, under the aegis of general Castello Branco, began.

1965 Iberia Airlines Convair 440 crashed into the sea on approach to Tangier, killing 47 of 51 occupants.

1966 The Soviet Union launched Luna 10 which became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.

Luna 10

1970 Explorer 1 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere (after 12 years in orbit).


1970 Nine terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijack Japan Airlines Flight 351 at Tokyo International Airport, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb.

1972 Alejandro Amenábar, Spanish film director, was born.

1979 The last British soldier left Malta which declared its Freedom Day (Jum il-Helsien).

1986 – A Mexicana Boeing 727 en route to Puerto Vallarta erupted in flames and crashes in the mountains northwest of Mexico City, killing 166.

1986 – Six metropolitan county councils were abolished in England.

1990 200,000 protestors took to the streets of London to protest against the newly introduced Poll Tax.

1991 The Islamic Constitutional Movement, or Hadas, was established in Kuwait.


1991 Georgian independence referendum, 1991: nearly 99 percent of the voters supported the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

1992 The USS Missouri (BB-63), the last active United States Navy Battleship, was decommissioned.

USS Missouri in her 1980s configuration

199 The journal Nature reported the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.


1995 In Corpus Christi, Texas, Latin superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her own fan club.

1998 Netscape released the code base of its browser under an open-source license agreement; with code name Mozilla and which was spun off into the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla Foundation logo.svg

2004 In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, were killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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