James Brown would have been 87 today.
Happy birthday Pete Seeger, 91 today.
Kiwiblog’s has followed his rating of Labour MPs with one of government Ministers.
One of the stats shows that the ministers to whom Labour has directed written questions:
For written questions, the Opposition decides who to ask them to, but it does indicate how targeted a Minister may be. Top was Paula Bennett who had 4,650 (over 100 a week), followed by Anne Tolley on 3098 and Judith Collins on 1615.
They’re all women.
Is that deliberate or is it just coincidence that the ministers whose policies Labour has decided to question most happen to be women?
Bing Crosby would have been 107 today.
1. What does Otakou/Otago mean?
2. Who wrote The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate?
3. What does the Plimsol line indicate?
4. People who suffer from atelophobia are afraid of what?
5. What does q.e.d. (quod erat demonstrandum) mean?
Day three of New Zealand Music Month:
A Hogsnort Rupert medley which starts with Auntie Alice Bought Us This.
The Press (not online) reports that Craig Norgate has given up on Rural Portfolio Investments, the parent company of Rural Portfolio Capital:
Norgate has essentially thrown in the towel on Rural Portfolio Investments . . . saying he cannot raise enough funds for the next dividend on the $60m of preference shares.
It is unlikely the preference shareholders will get the face value of that $60m investment back in the short term and the market has already priced in a much lower return.
The security for the RPC preference shares is 46.76m PGG Wrightson shares (which closed at 53c yesterday) and 10m NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZFSU) shares (41c) was well as $742,314 held in a dividend escrow account. . .
RPI and its financing subsidiary Rural Portfolio Capital are the investment vehicles for Norgate and the Otago-based McConnon family, and will very likely be wound down. . .
Norgate contributed to the McConnon family fortune when, as general manager of Kiwi Dairy, he bought Mainland Products from them. He’s now taken a large chunk of that away through his encouragement for them to invest in PGW.
He thought he could capture the rural servicing market by amalgamating Williams and Kettle, Pyne Gould Guiness and Wrightson. But farmers never bought into his plans and the combined market share of those companies fell from more than 70% to less than 50%. PGW’s share price went from around $2. 80 two years ago to just 53 cents on Friday.
The decline of PGW provided opportunities for competitors Combined Rural Traders and new companies of stock agents set up by former PGW agents, including Hazlett Rural and Rural Livestock.
The only positives for PGW at the moment are the arrivals of Sir John Anderson as chairman of the company and former PGG general manager George Gould as a director.
One of Norgate’s biggest mistake was failing to gain finance for the purchase of 50% of Silver Fern Farms. While the financial meltdown has been blamed for this many farmers cannot believe how he ignored the fundamental basics of business which require securing funding before doing a deal.
His foray into dairying in Uruguay was big on promises but has yet to deliver. Share prices peaked at $2 and were at 41 cents on Friday.
From the outside, the investment in Uruguay looked simple. However, Norgate failed to take full account the challenges of farming in South America with language, cultural and political difficulties and a very different climate from New Zealand.
You only have to look at the difficulties New Zealand companies have when investing in Australia, where at least the language, culture, banking and legal systems are similar, to realise that what works so well here might not transfer easily to Uruguay.
On May 3:
1469 Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author was born (d. 1527).
1491 Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.
1715 Edmund Halley’s total solar eclipse.
1768 Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist, was born (d. 1838).
1791 The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitutionin Europe) was proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1802 Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.
1808 Finnish War: Sweden lost the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.
1808 Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels were fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill.
1820 Missionary John Butler turned the first furrow at Kerikeri, becoming the first to use a European plough in New Zealand.
1830 The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway was opened – the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.
1837 The University of Athens was founded.
1844 Richard D’Oyly Carte, English theatrical impresario was born (d. 1901).
1849 The May Uprising in Dresden began – the last of the German revolutions of 1848.
1860 Charles XV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Sweden.
1877 Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world had its first game.
1887 Margaret Cruickshank became the first woman to be registered as a doctor in New Zealand.
1898 Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, was born(d. 1978).
1901 The Great Fire of 1901 began in Jacksonville, Florida.
1903 Bing Crosby, American singer and actor, was born (d. 1977).
1913 Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film was released.
1919 Pete Seeger, American singer, was born.
1920 A Bolshevik coup failsedin the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
1921 Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer was born (d. 1989).
1921 Joe Ames, American singer, was born (d. 2007).
1928 Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.
1933 Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman to head the United States Mint.
1933 James Brown, American singer and dancer, was born (d. 2006).
1934 Frankie Valli, American singer (The Four Seasons), was born.
1946 International Military Tribunal for the Far East began in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
1947 New post-war Japanese constitution went into effect.
1948 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.
1951 – The Kentucky Derby was televised for the first time.
1951 Christopher Cross, American musician, was born.
1960 The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, openedin Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.
1960 – The Anne Frank House opensedin Amsterdam.
1963 The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responded with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters.
1973 The Sears Tower in Chicago was topped out as the world’s tallest building.
1978 The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (later known as “spam“) was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
1986 Twenty-one people were killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb exploded in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colomb airport in Sri Lanka.
1991 The Declaration of Windhoek was signed.
1999 Oklahoma City was slammed by an F5 tornado killing forty-two people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. One of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, this was the strongest tornado ever recorded with wind speeds of up to 318 mph.
2000 The sport of geocaching began, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.
2002 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashed into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.
2003 New Hampshire’s famous Old Man of the Mountain collapsed.
2006 Armavia Flight 967 crashed into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.
Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia