Did you see the one about . . .

April 17, 2010

Tuesday’s poem – a new (to me) blog which features a new poem once a week and links to other blogs who post a poem on Tuesdays (Hat Tip Beatties Book Blog – and also over there is erotic vegan poetry – not the average gift for a politician and 10 rules for writing fiction..

Licensed to kill – Macdoctor thinks the driving age is still too low.

Anzac Day an alternative to wreaths – The Veteran at No Minister asks if we should follow the Australian example of one official wreath and others leaving books to be donated to schools.

That went well/badly – Dim Post’s plot to prove TV news is useless went awry.

PPTA declares war on ministers – John Ansell shows on what teacher unions really want.

Ian Sharp on James K Baxter – Quote Unquote with another 10th annivesary reprint from Quote Unquote.

When freedom isn’t free – the difference between classical and modern liberals at Skeptical Doctor.


Lonely Shepherd

April 17, 2010

Happy birthday James Last – 81 today.


Saturday’s smiles

April 17, 2010

Mrs. Donovan was walking down O’Connell Street in Dublin when she met up with Father Flaherty.

The Father said, ‘Top o’ the mornin’ to ye! Aren’t ye Mrs. Donovan and didn’t I marry ye and yer hoosband two years ago?’

She replied, ‘Aye, that ye did, Father.’

The Father asked, ‘And be there any wee little ones yet?’

She replied, ‘No, not yet, Father.’

The Father said, ‘Well now, I’m going to Rome next week and I’ll light a candle for ye

and yer hoosband.’

She replied, ‘Oh, thank ye, Father.’

They then parted ways.

Some years later they met again. The Father asked, ‘Well now, Mrs. Donovan, how are ye these days?’

She replied, ‘Oh, very well, Father!’

The Father asked, ‘And tell me , have ye any wee ones yet?’

She replied, ‘Oh yes, Father! Two sets of twins and six singles, ten in all!’

 The Father said, ‘That’s wonderful! How is yer loving hoosband doing?’

She replied, ‘E’s gone to Rome to blow out yer blasted candle.’


Volcano vs planes

April 17, 2010

The grounding of flights because of the danger from the ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull has taken travellers back to the olden days when travel by plane was the stuff of science fiction.

Will it also have an impact on the weather or climate?

The eruption of Pinatubo in 1991was blamed for at least one cold summer here.

An email from a friend in Britain asks, if planes can’t fly above 20,000 feet, why can’t at least some fly safely below that height?

Laughy Kate has another question: how do you pronounce Eyjafjallajokull?


The d word

April 17, 2010

The Oamaru Mail has headlined the d word: Drought declaration looms for Otago region.

We had a short, sharp downpour on Thursday which has taken the pressure off us but we’ve got irrigation, scale and diversity.

It was a very localised rain and even those who got as much as we did will still be facing some tought decisions if they’re dryland farming.

North Otago has been dogged by droughts since farming started here – and no doubt before.

This dry is unusual because it’s taken so long for public acknowledgement.

When there wasn’t much irrigation, all farmers stopped spending when the weather got dry and it didn’t take long for the town to fell the impact.

I think now there’s now enough irrigation to keep the money flowing into Oamaru so the town hasn’t been affected the way it was in the past.

We look across green pasture to dry paddocks in the distant and are grateful we’ve got irrigation. It must be hard for those on the dryland looking back the other way as they run short of feed and have to face up to quitting stock.

There was a dusting of snow on the Kakanui mountains yesterday morning. It was gone by lunchtime but it’s a sign that temperatures are dropping so even if the region gets more rain soon, it will be too late for pre-winter growth.

One good thing about the decrease in the sheep population is that there is plenty of space at the freezing works so farmers needing to reduce stock will have somewhere to send them.

Lambs are selling for about $75 dollars and ewes for around $55. Two year old beef cattle are fetching about $950.

It may not be a fortune but it has been much worse.

When the ag-sag of the 80s coincided with a drought some farmers got bills when they sent stock to the works because transport and killing charges exceeded the value of the animals.

PS Contact details for the Rural Support Trust which helps rural families facing an adverse event – climatic, financial or personal – are on this website.


Quote of the week – 7/7 at WTO

April 17, 2010

It’s best to forgive them, for they know not what they do – the assortment of anarchists, communists, warmists, “truthers”, drug dealers, arms peddlers, “peace activists” and other freaks who travel about the world beating their bongo-drums, performing second-rate capoerira, smashing up McDonalds, burning police cars and terrorising the locals while protesting against globalisation and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

So stuck in a zero-sum mentality are they that they can’t grasp basic concepts of gains from trade.

Nor can they grasp that the WTO is the most democratic multilateral institution in history – far more than the corrupt and dysfunctional UN, so beloved by the left. Everything must be agreed by every member – from China and the US to Lesotho and the Solomon Islands – before anything is agreed.

It’s beyond the radicals’ understanding too, that for the last few thousand years, up until living memory, trade disputes between tribes and states were settled with war.

Now for the first time in history, they’re settled in what amount to international courts in Geneva, with both sides agreeing to be bound.

Today the product with the least adequate coverage under WTO rules is petroleum.

The rioters should ask themselves if that might be one of the reasons that product continues to be a major cause of international instability…

That’s a very long quote but it comes from Matthew Hooton in the print edition of the NBR which isn’t available online.

The remaining two thirds of the column is worth reading too.

In it he reminds us that MFAT has a perfect record at the WTO – seven wins from seven cases. He also gives other examples of small countries which have taken on big powers and won.

The column leads me to one question, however: why, when our trade negotiators have been so successful did the people who negoitated New Zealand”s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol serve us so poorly?


April 17 in history

April 17, 2010

On April 17:

 1397  Geoffrey Chaucer told the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II.

 

1492 Spain and Christopher Columbus signed the Capitulations of Santa Fe for his voyage to Asia to acquire spices.

 

1521 Martin Luther spoke to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano reached New York harbour.

 

1555 After 18 months of siege, Siena surrendered to the Florentine-Imperial army. The Republic of Siena was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

1620 Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame, was born.

1797  Sir Ralph Abercromby attacked San Juan, Puerto Rico in what became one of the largest invasions of the Spanish territories in America.

Sir Ralph Abercromby by John Hoppner.jpg

1820 Alexander Joy Cartwright, Inventor of the Modern Game of Baseball, was born.

 

1837  J. P. Morgan, American financier, was born.

1861 American Civil War: Virginia seceded from the United States.

1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Plymouth began.

Capture of Plymouth, North Carolina.jpg

1865 Mary Surratt was arrested as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

1880 New Zealand’s first inter-city brass band contest was hled.

First inter-city brass band contest

1885 Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), Danish author, was born.

 

1895 The Treaty of Shimonoseki between China and Japan was signed. This marked the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, the defeated Qing Empire was forced to renounce its claims on Korea and to concede the southern portion of the Fengtien province, Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan.

 

1905 The Supreme Court of the United States decided Lochner v. New York which held that the “right to free contract” was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

1907 The Ellis Island immigration centre processed 11,747 people, more than on any other day.

1918 William Holden, American actor, was born.

1924Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios was formed by the merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company.

MGM logo.png

1929 James Last, German band leader, was born.

 

1941 World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany.

1942 French prisoner of war General Henri Giraud escaped from his castle prison in Festung Königstein.

Henri Giraud 1943Jan19.gif

194 Brazilian forces liberate the town of Montese, Italy, from German forces.

1949 At midnight 26 Irish counties officially left the British Commonwealth. A 21-gun salute on O’Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushered in the Republic of Ireland.

1957  Nick Hornby, English author, was born.

1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

 

1964 The Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Mustang at the New York World’s Fair.

 

1964  Jerrie Mock became the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air.

 

1969 Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.

1969 Czechoslovakian Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubček was deposed.

1970 Apollo 13 returned to Earth safely.

Apollo 13-insignia.png

1971 The People’s Republic of Bangladesh formed, under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

1971  Sierra Leone became a republic.

1973 German counter-terrorist unit GSG 9 founded.

1974 Victoria Beckham, English singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1975  The Cambodian Civil War ended. The Khmer Rouge captureed the capital Phnom Penh and Cambodian government forces surrendered.

Cambodia sm04.png

1982 Patriation of the Canadian constitution in Ottawa.

1984  Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher was killed by gunfire from the Libyan People’s Bureau in London during a small demonstration outside the embassy. Ten others were wounded.

 YvonneFletcher.jpg

1986 The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ended.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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