That’s What Friends Are For


Happy birthday Stevie Wonder – 60 today.

A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One


Arthur Sullivan was born 168 years ago today.

Good publicity for bad idea


One of the most difficult tasks for an opposition party leader is getting noticed so if media exposure is a measure, Phil Goff did well with his suggestion that Labour would exempt fresh fruit and vegetables from GST.

He’s been on the radio, TV and in the papers talking about it.

But it’s good publicity about a really bad idea.

Exempting fresh fruit and vegetables from GST would increase the complexity of our tax system and compliance costs and make only a tiny difference in the retail price of food.

I bought a bag of 17 carrots this morning. They cost $2.99 which is about 17 cents each. If GST goes up to 15% it would add about a cent to price of the bag and 1/17 of that to each carrot.

If there was no GST on vegetables each carrot would cost about three cents less.

That is too little a saving to justify the extra expense of complicating our GST system, especially as it would increase pressure for more exemptions which would mean more complexity and higher compliance costs.

If fresh vegetables are exempt why not frozen ones, which may retain more nutrients than ones which are eaten several days, possibly weeks from harvest?

Why imported grapes and avocado but not locally produced milk which is just as important as fruit in a balanced diet?

If people aren’t buying and eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables, GST isn’t the problem, it’s low incomes, poor education and poor choices.

Miss You Baby


Day 13 of New Zealand Music Month – going way back to the 60s: The Chicks singing Miss You Baby.

Grazing The Long Acre


The rain which fell a couple of weeks ago was enough to enable us to stop irrigating.

It wasn’t, however, enough for much growth on dry land and one of our neighbours has been grazing the long acre to save what pasture he’s got.

It’s not a lot of fun watching over your stock on the road verges. When I stopped to chat to him a couple of days ago he was understandably worried and desperate for a follow up rain.

Today he might be getting it. My farmer found 4 mls in the rain gauge this morning and it’s still drizzling.

Tuesday’s poem on Thursday


A couple of days late (again) with Tuesday’s poem:  Hadaly by Chris Price.

One of the other poems on blogs linked in the sidebar which appealed was Janet Frame’s Before I Get Into Sleep With You at Schroedinger’s at – so much expressed in just 15 words.

May 13 in history


On May 13:

1373  Julian of Norwich had visions which were later transcribed in her Revelations.


1497 Pope Alexander VI excommunicatesd Girolamo Savonarola.


1515 Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk were officially married at Greenwich.


1568 Battle of Langside: the forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, were defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother.

1619 Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was executed in The Hague after being convicted of treason.


1648  Construction of the Red Fort at Delhi was completed.

Red Fort facade.jpg

1730  Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1782).


1779 War of Bavarian Succession: Russian and French mediators at the Congress of Teschen negotiated an end to the war.

1780  Cumberland Compact signed by leaders of the settlers in early Tennessee.

1787 Captain Arthur Phillip left Portsmouth with eleven ships full of convicts (First Fleet) to establish a penal colony in Australia.


1804 Forces sent by Yusuf Karamanli of Tripoli to retake Derne from the Americans attacked the city.

1830 Ecuador gained its independence from Gran Colombia.

1842 Arthur Sullivan, English composer, was born(d. 1900).

1846Mexican-American War: The United States declared war on Mexico.

1848  First performance of Finland’s national anthem.

Vårt land - front page.jpg

186  American Civil War: Queen Victoria issueds a “proclamation of neutrality” which recognised the breakaway states as having belligerent rights.

1861 – The Great Comet of 1861 was discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales.

Great Comet 1861.jpg

1864American Civil War: Battle of Resaca began with Union General Sherman fighting toward Atlanta, Georgia.

A photograph of Union cavalry moving through a gap to attack Confederate infantry, with Union foot soldiers and cannons firing at the Confedereates on either side of the ridge

1865 American Civil War: Battle of Palmito Ranch – in far south Texas, more than a month after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, the last land battle of the Civil War ended with a Confederate victory.

1880 Thomas Edison performed the first test of his electric railway.

1883 Georgios Papanikolaou, Greek doctor, inventor of the Pap smear, was born (d. 1962).

1888 With the passage of the Lei Áurea (“Golden Law”), Brazil abolished slavery.

Lei Áurea.jpg 

1907  Dame Daphne du Maurier, English author, was born (d. 1989).


1909 The first Giro d’Italia took place in Milan. Italian cyclist Luigi Ganna was the winner.

Giro d'Italia logo.png

1912 The Royal Flying Corps (now the Royal Air Force) was established in the United Kingdom.

Royal Flying Corps roundel. The roundel was adopted by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. The roundel has been adopted by Commonwealth air forces, replacing the red circle with a national symbol

1913 Igor Sikorsky became the first man to pilot a four-engine aircraft.

1917 Three children reported the first apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal.


1922 Beatrice Arthur, American actress, was born (d. 2009).

1937 Trevor Baylis, English inventor (wind up radio) was born.


1939 The first commercial FM radio station in the United States was launched in Bloomfield, Connecticut – it later became WDRC-FM.

1940 Bruce Chatwin, British writer, was born (d. 1989).


1940 World War II: Germany’s conquest of France started as the German army crossed the Meuse River. Winston Churchill made his “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech to the House of Commons.

1940  Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands fled the Nazi invasion in the Netherlands to Great Britain. Princess Juliana took her children to Canada.

1941 World War II: Yugoslav royal colonel Dragoljub Mihailović started fighting with German occupation troops, beginning the Serbian resistance.

144 Draza Mihajlovic.jpg

1943 World War II: German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrendered to Allied forces.

1947 Francis Hodgkins, the first New Zealand artist to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts, died.

Death of Frances Hodgkins

1948 Arab-Israeli War: the Kfar Etzion massacre was committed by Arab irregulars.


1950 Danny Kirwan, British musician (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1950 Stevie Wonder, American singer and musician, was born.

1950 The first round of the Formula One World Championship was held at Silverstone.

F1 logo.svg

1952 The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, held its first sitting.

Coat of arms or logo.

1954 Johnny Logan, Irish singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 Anti-National Service Riots, by Chinese Middle School students in Singapore.

1958  During a visit to Caracas, Vice President Richard Nixon‘s car was attacked by anti-American demonstrators.

1958 The trade mark Velcro was registered.


1958 – May 1958 crisis: a group of French military officers lead a coup in Algiers, demanding that a government of national unity be formed with Charles de Gaulle at its head in order to defend French control of Algeria.

1960  Hundreds of UC Berkeley students congregated for the first day of protest against a visit by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Thirty-one students were arrested, and the Free Speech Movement was born.


1967 Dr. Zakir Hussain became the third President of India – the first Muslim President of Indian Union.


1969  Race riots in Kuala Lumpur.

1972  Faulty electrical wiring ignited a fire underneath the Playtown Cabaret in Osaka, Japan. Blocked exits and non-functional elevators cause 118 fatalities, with many victims leaping to their deaths.

1980  An F3 tornado hit Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

1981  Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

1985 Police stormed MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia to end a stand-off, killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 250 city residents.

1986 Alexander Rybak, Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest winner, was born.

1989 Large groups of students occupied Tiananmen Square and begin a hunger strike.


1992 Li Hongzhi gave the first public lecture on Falun Gong in Changchun, China.


1994 Johnny Carson made his last television appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.


1996 Severe thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh killed 600 people.

1998  Race riots break out in Jakarta,  shops owned by Indonesians of Chinese descent were looted and women raped.


1998 – India carried out two nuclear tests at Pokhran.

2000 In Enschede, the Netherlands, a fireworks factory exploded, killing 22 people, wounding 950, and resulting in approximately €450 million in damage.


2005 The Andijan Massacre in Uzbekistan.

2006 A major rebellion occurs in several prisons in Brazil.

2007 – Construction of the Calafat-Vidin Bridge between Romania and Bulgaria started.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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