Largo from Handel’s Xerxes

15/04/2010

Handel’s Xerxes was first performed 772 272 years ago today.

There are other beautiful pieces from the opera, but this is my favourite.


Bewitched

15/04/2010

Elizabeth Montgomery was born 77 years ago today.

Sometimes these old programmes are regarded as anti-women, but from my memory it was Samanthat’s husband Darren who was always portrayed as a bit of a bumbler and Sam who had not just magic, but brains.


Just wondering . . .

15/04/2010

 . . . if “dinner is ready” means:

a) Why don’t you go and feed the dogs?

b) Finish reading the paper.

c) Phone someone.

d) Any or all of the above.

e) dinner is ready.

 


Who do you believe?

15/04/2010

He was a prison chaplain.

The prisoners he worked with swore at him, spat at him and even urinated on him. But he kept on working with them and their families.

He is retired now but still works with prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.

He was a tradesman before he went in to the church and he believes in offering practical help rather than preaching at people in desperate need.

He’s a good man with years of experience of prisons and prisoners. He says in his experience private prisons have a better record of running prisons well, treating prisoners humanely, rehabilitating the inmates and reducing recidivism than state run ones.

I believe him rather than opposition MPs and unions who are so opposed to the announcement by Bill English and Judith Collins that the new prison to be built at Wiri will be a PPP – public, private partnership.


Quote of the day

15/04/2010

“I don’t really know what he’s talking about, I’m not sure if he does.”

Bill English on a deluded has-been/would-be who, as Keeping Stock reminded us, still owes the taxpayer $158,000.


Govt to Govt to get NZ apples in to Australia

15/04/2010

Orchardists have been cautious about celebrating the news that the World Trade Organisation ruled in New Zealand’s favour in the dispute over access to Australia for our apples.

The caution is because Australia could appeal the ruling.

However Trans Tasman reports that a government to government initiative might ensure the ruling is upheld.

The Trans Tasman Political Letter says NZ is looking for a way to
settle the apple export row at Government level, after NZ’s WTO
victory. It notes NZ may have won its case in the WTO court
against Australia’s barriers on the sale of NZ apples in the
Australian market, but no-one on this side of the Tasman believes
the battle has been finally won.  

As Trans-Tasman reported earlier this week, The WTO panel has
comprehensively rejected the Aust argument, and its use of
quarantine regulation as a de facto trade barrier. Clearly the
issue should now be settled at the political level, and both
Govts may have thought it a good idea to keep the WTO report
under wraps until after the Federal election.  

Trans Tasman says each Govt received the interim report at the
end of last month, and Canberra could be wary of unleashing the
fury of Aust. Apple growers in the run-up to the election.
However with a Labor Govt in power, the influence of the apple
growers mainly in seats held by Liberal or National MPs may be
less dominant. Theoretically,the Rudd Govt should be swayed more
by the interests of consumers. The NZ Govt has been looking at
how to negotiate a settlement, based on the WTO’s panel interim
ruling.  

TransTasman says Trade Minister Tim Groser is expected to explore
what shape a fair and final resolution could take when he talks
with his counterpart Simon Crean on the sidelines of the Cairns
Group meeting in Punta del Este early next week.  

However Trans Tasman adds NZ knows from past experience, even
when the science has been overwhelmingly conclusive, the Aust
bureaucracy has always found a way to frustrate an outcome in
NZ’s favour. With the full weight of the WTO swinging behind NZ,
Aust will risk making itself a laughing stock preaching free
trade out of one corner of its mouth while it practises
protectionism out of the other.

The observation that the Rudd government may be swayed by the interests of consumers reinforces that the ban on New Zealand apples doesn’t just handicap our apple producers, it adds to the costs and limits choice for Australian consumers.

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean had earlier welcomed the WTO decision.

“This is a great day for Central Otago growers who have pinned their hopes on gaining access to markets across the Tasman.

“It has been a complicated and sometimes frustrating journey to get to this point, but now that we’re here I know that apple growers will be relieved and delighted.

“I see this decision as a vindication for Central Otago growers who have argued long and hard that the Australian ban should be lifted.

“It will be a major shot in the arm for Central apple growers, giving the industry new hope, and new markets for the future.

“Access to Australia could be worth millions to apple growers in this country and has the potential to turn the industry around.”

The Australian market could take up to 5 percent of the national crop and be worth $20 million a year.

Not everyone is so positive, (Hat Tip Andrei at NZ Conservative) Ozy Mandias wants to send Aussies our rotten apples:

Deep down my real concern is that it won’t take them long to claim our apples as there own. As New Zealanders we are constantly being ripped off by our neighbours as year after year they take our best and claim it for themselves. From racehorses to food to bands  to celebrities they have raped and pillaged the best of our little country and the next thing on their list will be our apples. . .  

My other concern is that soon we will have nothing left in New Zealand at all. . . They say that Auckland is the capital city of Samoa. Within a few years Sydney will be the capital city of New Zealand and Wellington the capital of nothing more than a strong breeze. I hadn’t been too worried about this trend, clinging to the words of former PM Muldoon that “when a New Zealander leaves for Australia they improve the IQ of both nations”. However, I never envisaged that they would move from importing people to importing our most valuable asset, apples. I wonder if Muldoon’s quote still holds true with apples??



April 15 in history

15/04/2010

On April 15:

1452 Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance polymath, was born.

1469 Guru Nanak Dev, the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, was born.

 

1632 Battle of Rain; Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years’ War.

Schlacht bei Rain am Lech 1632.jpg
 

1641 Robert Sibbald, Scottish physician, was born.

1642 Suleiman II, Ottoman Sultan, was born.

1684 Catherine I of Russia, was born.

1710 William Cullen, Scottish physician, was born.

 

1715 Pocotaligo Massacre triggered the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina.

1738 Premiere in London of Serse (Xerxes) an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel.

1755 Samuel Johnson‘s A Dictionary of the English Language published in London.

 
JohnsonDictionary.png

1783 – Preliminary articles of peace ending Revolutionary War ratified.

Rev collage.png

1802 William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy saw a “long belt” of daffodils, inspiring him to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

 

1841 Joseph E. Seagram, Canadian distillery founder, was born.

1843 Henry James, American author (, was born.

1865 Abraham Lincoln died after being shot the previous day by actor John Wilkes Booth.

1868 The first two Maori MPs ,  Frederick Nene Russell (Northern Maori) and Tareha Te Moananui (Eastern Maori), were elected to parliament.

First two Maori MPs elected to Parliament

1885 The first sod was turned on the North Island main trunk line.

First sod dug for North Island main trunk

1883 Stanley Bruce, eighth Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

 

1892 The General Electric Company was formed.

General Electric logo.svg

1894 Nikita Khrushchev, Premier of the Soviet Union, was born.

A portrait shot of an older, bald man with bifocal glasses. He is wearing a blazer over a collared shirt and tie. In his hands, he is holding a set of papers.

1894 Bessie Smith, American blues singer, was born.

1895 Clark McConachy, New Zealand billiards player, was born.

1906 The Armenian organization AGBU was established.

1912 Kim Il-sung, President of North Korea, was born.

1912 RMS Titanic, sinks in the North Atlantic, after hitting an iceberg two and a half hours earlier, the previous day, killing more than 1,500 people.

1916 Alfred S. Bloomingdale, American businessman, was born.

1921 Black Friday, mine owners announced a decrease in wages leading to the threat of a strike all across England

1923 Insulin became generally available for use by people with diabetes.

1924 Sir Neville Marriner, English conductor, was born.

1924 Rand McNally published its first road atlas.

Rand McNally logo.png

1930 Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland, was born.

1933 Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress, was born.

1940 The Allies begin their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik which was occupied by Nazi Germany.

 

1940 Jeffrey Archer, British author, was born.

1940 Robert Lacroix, French Canadian professor of economics, was born.

1941 In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attacked Belfast, killing 1,000 people.

 

1942 George Cross was awarded to “to the island fortress of Malta – its people and defenders” by King George VI.

 

1943 An Allied bomber attack missed the Minerva automobile factory and hits the Belgian town of Mortsel instead, killing 936 civilians.

1945 The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated.

1947 Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball’s color line.

Waist-up portrait of black batter in his mid-thirties, in Brooklyn Dodgers uniform number 42, at end of swing with bat over left shoulder, looking at where a hit ball would be

1952  The maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress

1955 Dodi Al-Fayed, Egyptian businessman, was born.

 

1957 White Rock, British Columbia officially separated from Surrey,  and was incorporated as a new city.

1959 Emma Thompson, English actress, was born.

1960 Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, heir to the Belgian throne, was born.

1979 An earthquake (of M 7.1) on Montenegro coast.

1989 A human crush occured at Hillsborough Stadium,  in the FA Cup Semi Final, resulting in the deaths of 96 Liverpool F.C. fans.

 

1989 Upon Hu Yaobang‘s death, the Tiananmen Square protests began.

1992 The National Assembly of Vietnam adopted the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

1994 Representatives of 124 countries and the European Communities signed the Marrakesh Agreements revising the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and initiating the World Trade Organization (effective January 1, 1995).

2002 – An Air China Boeing 767 200, flight CA129 crashed into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia


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