Quote of the day


“I’d rather be voted out for doing the right thing than stay in power doing the wrong thing.”

Prime Minister John Key at the National Party’s Mainland conference.


Answers to tricky questions


Yesterday’s questions were:

1) How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific  Atlantic are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI’s first name?

8) What colour is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the colour of the black box in a commercial airplane?

The answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Political compass


Scrubone is still updating the political compass for bloggers.

I just did this test and got this result:

You are a right social moderate.
Right: 4.38, Libertarian: 0.94

And when I did  this test  today I got this result:

Economic Left/Right: 4.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.74


Last year when I did the tests I got these results:

dairy 10001


I’m not sure if the slight difference in the results is a reflection on the reliability of the tests or a small movement in my views.

Come Sunday


Day 23 of New Zealand Music Month – The Verlaines with Come Sunday:

EU to sell off dairy stockpile


Just as we’re beginning to relax about the outlook for dairy prices Phil Clarke reports that the European Union is inviting tenders for the skim milk powder and butter it stcok-piled when prices fell.

Currently there are some 76,000t of butter and 257,000t of powder in EU stores. First tenders have to be submitted by traders by 1 June, with a decision by the management committee on 3 June (two weeks today).

The EU insists it will fix the price and volume to be released “taking into account the market situation”.

Stockpiles eventually get sold and unless it’s done very carefully it will depress the price.  In whch case the emasre  measure designed to soften the blow of falling prices will delay the return to higher ones.

May 23 in history


On May 23:

1430 Siege of Compiègne: Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.

Jeanne Arc.jpg

1498 Girolamo Savonarola was burned at the stake in Florence on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.


1533 The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.


1568 The Netherlands declared their independence from Spain.

1568  Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeated Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.

Battle of Heiligerlee 1568

1618 The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.


1701  After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged.

William Kidd.jpg

1706 Battle of Ramillies: John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.

King's Horse at Ramillies 1706.jpg

1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.


1810 Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist, was born  (d. 1850).

1813  Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and was proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).

1820 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor, was born  (d. 1887).

1829 Accordion patent granted to Cyrill Demian.

A convertor free-bass piano-accordion and a Russian bayan.jpg

1844  Declaration of the Báb: a merchant of Shiraz announced that he was a Prophet and founded a religious movement. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith, and Bahá’ís celebrate the day as a holy day.

1846 Mexican-American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.

A convertor free-bass piano-accordion and a Russian bayan.jpg

1855 Isabella Ford, English socialist, feminist, trade unionist and writer, was born (d. 1924).

1863 Organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.


1863  The Siege of Port Hudson.

Siege of Port Hudson.png

1863  American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney became the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.


1873  The Canadian Parliament established the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1875 Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors, was born  (d. 1966).

1907  The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.


1911 The New York Public Library was dedicated.


1915  World War I: Italy joined the Allies after they declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1923  Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.

1928 Nigel Davenport, English actor, was born.

1929 The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “The Karnival Kid“, was released.

1933 Joan Collins, English actress, was born.

1934  American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.


1934 The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo”, a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.

1939  The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank  during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.

USS Sailfish;0819202.jpg

1945 World War II:  Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, committed suicide while in Allied custody.

1945  World War II: The Flensburg government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz was dissolved when its members are captured and arrested by British forces at Flensburg in Northern Germany.

1949 Alan Garcia, President of Peru, was born.

1949  The Federal Republic of Germany was established and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany was proclaimed.

1951 Tibetans signed the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with China.

Seventeen-Point Plan Chinese 1.jpg

1956 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer, was born.

1958  Explorer 1 ceased transmission.


1966   Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the first Maori Queen,  was crowned. 

Coronation of first Maori Queen

1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.

1995  Oklahoma City bombing: The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building were imploded.

Several fire-damaged cars located in front of a partially destroyed multi-story building.

1995  The first version of the Java programming language was released.

Java logo.svg

1998 The Good Friday Agreement  was accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes.

2002  The “55 parties ca;use”of the  Kyoto protocol was reached after its ratification by Iceland.

2004 Part of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s Terminal 2E collapsed, killing four people and injuring three others.

Aeroports de Paris logo.svg

2005 The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure.

Kingda Ka.jpg

2006  Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupted.


2008  The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.


Sourced from NZ Histroy Online & Wikipedia.

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