Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born 160 years ago today.
Happy birthday Christy Moore, 65 today.
. . . why when electricians put a two-way switch at a bed head it’s always on the right (when looking from head to foot) which just happens to be the side usually* used by men?
*usually is based on observation when taking cups of tea/coffee to couples staying overnight and conversations about which side of the bed which half of a couple prefers.
Day seven of New Zealand Music Month – I’ve Been Everywhere by John Grenell (who was better known as John Hore when this song came out).
The rector looked over his spectacles at the pupil in front of him and sighed.
“You again, Goff. What have you been up to now?”
“Desperation and stupidity, Sir,” the boy replied.
“And in what class?”
The rector rolled his eyes. “Economics again, I’m really beginning to wonder if that subject is beyond you. What did you do?”
“Failed the test, Sir, the one on tax.”
“Ah yes, tax,” the rector sighed again. “Always been a tricky subject for you, hasn’t it? Well, spit it out boy, what was it this time?”
“I suggested dropping GST on food, Sir.”
“Dropping GST on food? Haven’t you learned anything, lad? Why on earth would you suggest that?
“I thought it might be popular, Sir.”
“Popular? Popular? Give me strength boy, economics isn’t a popularity contest. What do you think it would achieve?”
“Well, it might help with the polls, Sir.”
“Ah yes, the polls. You’ve been having trouble with them, haven’t you? What else would taking GST off food achieve?”
“Increase complexity and compliance costs, Sir.”
“And would that be a good thing, lad?”
“Quite right, at least you’ve learned something. I suppose I have to give you credit for that so we’ll just make it 100 lines: Good tax is an oxymoron but simple tax is better.”
“Good tax is an oxymoron but simple tax is better. Yes sir.”
Tony Blair turned 57 yesterday.
If the polls are a reliable indicator of the election result he won’t be getting a strong Labour majority under his successor Gordon Brown, for his birthday.
He might not get a majority Conservative government either.
In spite of the belief that one of the strengths of First Past the Post is that it usually produces a single party majority, polls have been suggesting an indecisive result.
A few months ago David Cameron and the Conservatives were well ahead but that lead had been slipping away, even before the television debate in which Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg shone.
I don’t think First Past the Post has much chance at all in next year’s referendum on our voting system. If the British election result isn’t conclusive it is even less likely to get much support.
On May 7:
1272 The Second Council of Lyons opened to regulate the election of the Pope.
1348 Charles University in Prague (Universitas Carolina/Univerzita Karlova) was established as the first university in Central Europe.
1664 Louis XIV inaugurated the Palace of Versailles.
1697 Stockholm’s royal castle was destroyed by fire.
1711 David Hume, Scottish philosopher and historian, was born (d. 1776).
1718 The city of New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.
1748 Olympe de Gouges, playwright and feminist revolutionary, was born (d. 1793).
1812 Robert Browning, English poet, was born (d. 1889).
1840 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer, was born (d. 1893).
1840 The Great Natchez Tornado struck Natchez, Mississippi killing 317 people.
1846 The Ngati Tuwharetoa village of Te Rapa on the south-western shore of Lake Taupo was obliterated in a landslide.
1847 The American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1847 Archibald Primrose, United Kingdom Prime Minister, was born (d. 1929).
1881 A meeting in Dunedin presided over by the mayor unanimously called for a ban on further Chinese migrants.
1892 Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia, was born (d. 1980).
1895 Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention, the Popov lightning detector — a primitive radio receiver.
1901 – Gary Cooper, American actor, was born (d. 1961).
1909 Edwin H. Land, American inventor ,was born (d. 1991).
1919 Eva Peron, Argentine first lady, was born (d. 1952).
1927 Angelos Sikelianos organised the first Delphic Festival in Delphi to celebrate the ancient Greek Delphic ideal.
1928 Dixie Dean scored a hat trick for Everton F.C. against Arsenal F.C. to set a new goal scoring record of 60 goals in a season.
1940 Angela Carter, English novelist and journalist (d. 1992), was born.
1942 During the Battle of the Coral Sea, United States Navy aircraft sank the Japanese Imperial Navy light aircraft carrier Shōhō. The battle marked the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.
1943 Peter Carey, Australian author, was born.
1944 Richard O’Sullivan, British actor, was born.
1945 Christy Moore, Irish folk artist, was born.
1946 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) was founded with around 20 employees.
1946 Thelma Houston, American singer, was born.
1952 The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, was first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer.
1953 Ian McKay, British soldier (VC recipient) was born (d. 1982), .
1954 Indochina War: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat (the battle began on March 13).
1956 Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, was born.
1964 Pacific Air Lines Flight 773, a Fairchild F-27 airliner, crashed near San Ramon, California, killing all 44 aboard; the FBI later reported that a cockpit recorder tape indicated that the pilot and co-pilot had been shot by a suicidal passenger.
1974 West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigned.
1992 Michigan ratified a 203-year-old proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making the 27th Amendment, which bars the U.S. Congress from giving itself a mid-term pay raise, law.
1992 Three employees at a McDonald’s Restaurant in Sydney, Nova Scotia, were murdered and a fourth permanently disabled after a botched robbery.
1992 – Latvia conducted its first post-Soviet monetary reform and began issuing Latvian rublis, a temporary currency in use until the introduction of Latvian lats. The move reduced the pressure on Latvian economy caused by shortage of cash and hyperinflation of rouble, and led way to ultimately successful economic reforms.
1995 Finland won the World Championship in men’s ice hockey after beating Sweden in the final
1999 Pope John Paul II travelled to Romania becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054.
1999 Kosovo War: In Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, three Chinese citizens were killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
2002 A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunged into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.
2007 The tomb of Herod the Great was discovered.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia