A little bird told me . . .

May 29, 2010

A pigeon has been detained on suspicion of being a spy

It gives a whole new meaning to the expression a little bird told me.


How to make a baby in seven easy steps

May 29, 2010

Who’d have thought it would be so simple?


Would you pay $4,500 for a TV?

May 29, 2010

Four and a half thousand dollars for a television seems very expensive, but Statistics NZ looked back at prices to mark the 50th anniversary of television and found that’s the inflation adjusted figure from the 60s:

In February 1966, the average price of the 23-inch black and white television ‘consolette’ tracked in the CPI was about £131 pounds. Allowing for general inflation, that’s about $4,500 in today’s terms. . .

. . . Colour television broadcasts began in 1973, not long before the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. In 1975, colour television sets were added to the CPI basket. In February 1975, black and white television sets cost about $350, and the 26-inch colour television set tracked in the CPI averaged about $840. In today’s terms, that’s equivalent to about $7,500, so buying a colour television set in 1975 would have been quite a stretch for many households. . .

. . .  In recent years, New Zealanders have been buying about 300,000 new television sets each year. In 2009, about three in four of these were LCD television sets.

Back in 2004, LCD television sets cost about $3,500 on average. In 2009, the average price was about $1,400 and they tended to have bigger screens and be of better quality, with higher picture resolutions and contrast ratios.

I can remember going to town on Friday night as a child and stopping to gaze at a television set playing in a shop window.

My family didn’t get a TV until I was at high school in the 1970s. My parents kept that original black and white set until my brother gave them a colour one more than a decade later.


Down The Hall On Saturday Night

May 29, 2010

Day 28 of New Zealand Music Month – since it’s Saturday, and inspired by Inquiring Mind who often goes Down The Hall on Saturday Night.

This version’s by Peter Cape:


To go or not to go . . .

May 29, 2010

. . .  and if I went, how? was the question which occupied me on Wednesday.

I’d booked a flight from Christchurch for Thursday and the roads north were closed by flooding but State Highway 1 to the south had reopened.

Did I take the gamble and wait, or rebook to fly from Dunedin and get there while I could?

The weather forecast warned of more rain and a strong probability of snow.

I consulted Rural Transport. One of their stock trucks took more than an hour to get from the outskirts of Oamaru to Morven, which would normally take about half that time, and had had water half way up its wheels.

That convinced me to head south while I could. There were a few fords between home and the main road, but they weren’t very deep and SH 1 was clear.

I’d hoped for good views of the flooding as we flew over North Otago but it was covered in cloud.

Reports from home tell me it’s still raining and there was an inch of snow in the high country. But there’s been no stock losses and  fences, buildings, and tracks have survived unscathed.

Temperatures have plummeted though so I’ll make the most of my weekend in Waitangi where I’m attending the National Party’s Northern convention where I think at least two of my layers of merino will be redundant.


Export led recovery

May 29, 2010

New Zealand was in recession long before the rest of the world.

It didn’t look so bad because the old government was spending lots of our money, but the trading sector was going backwards.

National has been talking about the need for an export led recovery and Statistics NZ shows it’s started

The annual trade balance for the year ended April 2010 was a surplus of $161 million. “This is the first annual trade surplus recorded since July 2002,” added Louise Holmes-Oliver. The trade balance for the April 2010 month was a surplus of $656 million or 16.5 percent of the value of exports. This compares with an average April trade deficit of 0.6 percent of exports for the previous 10 years, with a mix of surpluses and deficits recorded during this period.

And what are the big contributors to that surplus? Dairy products, wood and meat.

Aren’t we pleased we didn’t take any notice of the politicians of  the 1980s when they said farming was a sun set industry?

Oh, and biased as I am, I’m not giving all the credit for this to the government. It doesn’t control the demand or price of our goods on export markets. Nor was it responsible for the recession which dampened demand for imported goods at home.


May 29 in history

May 29, 2010

On May 29:

363 Roman Emperor Julian defeated the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but was unable to take the city.

Taq-e Bostan - fallen Roman.jpg

1167 Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III was defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel.

1176 Battle of Legnano: The Lombard League defeated Emperor Frederick I.

1630 Charles II of England was born (d. 1685).

Baby in white christening robe 

1414  Council of Constance.

1453  Byzantine-Ottoman Wars: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih sacked and captured Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.

 

1660 English Restoration: Charles II (on his birthday) was restored to the throne of Great Britain.

Seated man of thin build with chest-length curly black hair

1677  Treaty of Middle Plantation established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives.

1727  Peter II became Tsar of Russia.

1733 The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves was upheld.

1780 American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Waxhaws Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton massacred Colonel Abraham Buford’s continentals.

 
Waxhaw massacre sketch.jpg

1790  Rhode Island became the last of the original United States‘ colonies to ratify the Constitution and was admitted as the 13th U.S. state.

1848  Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th U.S. state.

1864  Emperor Maximilian of Mexico arrived in Mexico for the first time.

 

1867  The Austro-Hungarian agreement – Ausgleich (“the Compromise“) – was born through Act 12, which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

 

1868  The assassination of Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia.

 
Mihailo Obrenović III.jpg

1874  G. K. Chesterton, English novelist, was born (d. 1936).

 

1886 Chemist John Pemberton placed his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, it appeared in the Atlanta Journal.

1900N’Djamena was founded as Fort-Lamy by French commander Émile Gentil.

1903 Bob Hope, British-born comedian and actor, was born (d. 2003).

1903  May coup d’etat: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, were assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization.

 

1906 T.H. White, British author, was born (d. 1964).

Once future king cover.jpg

1913 Igor Stravinsky‘s ballet score The Rite of Spring received its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot.

 Nicholas Roerich‘s 1913 set design for Part I: Adoration of the Earth.

1914  Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives.

Empress of Ireland.jpg

1917 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was born (d. 1963).

 

1919Einstein’s theory of general relativity was tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington’s observation of a total solar eclipse in Principe and by Andrew Crommelin in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil.

 

1919 The Republic of Prekmurje founded.

 

1924  AEK Athens FC was established on the anniversary of the siege of Constantinople by the Turks.

 

Prekmurje

1932  World War I Veterans began to assemble in Washington, DC in the Bonus Army to request cash bonuses promised to them to be paid in 1945.

 

Prekmurje

1935  The Hoover Dam was completed.

Hoover Dam

1939  Albanian fascist leader Tefik Mborja is appointed as member of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.

1940  The first flight of the F4U Corsair.

 

1941 Doug Scott, British mountaineer, was born.

1942  Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”.

 

1945 Gary Brooker, musician (Procol Harum), was born.

1945  First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.

1948  Creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation

1950  The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia .

St. Roch wintering in the Beaufort Sea.

1953 Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay’s (adopted) 39th birthday.

 

1954  First of the annual Bilderberg conferences.

 

1959 Rupert Everett, English actor, was born.

1961 Melissa Etheridge, American musician, was born.

1963 Tracey E. Bregman, American actress, was born.

TraceyEBregman.jpg

1967 Noel Gallagher, English musician (former Oasis), was born.

1969  General strike in Córdoba, Argentina, leading to the Cordobazo civil unrest.

1973  Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

  

1975 Melanie Brown, English musician and actress (Spice Girls), was born.

1978 Adam Rickitt, British actor, was born.

Rickett platt.jpg

1982 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral.

Pope John Paul II on 12 August 1993 in Denver (Colorado)

1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: At the European Cup final in Brussels 39 football fans died and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses after Liverpool F.C. fans breached a fence separating them from Juventus F.C. fans.

1985  Amputee Steve Fonyo completed cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months.

1988  U.S. President Ronald Reagan began his first visit to the Soviet Union.

 

1990 The Russian parliament elected Boris Yeltsin president of the Russian SFSR.

1999  Olusegun Obasanjo took office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule.

 

1999 Space Shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station.

A planform view of the ISS backdropped by the limb of the Earth. In view are the station's four large, gold-coloured solar array wings, two on either side of the station, mounted to a central truss structure. Further along the truss are six large, white radiators, three next to each pair of arrays. In between the solar arrays and radiators is a cluster of pressurised modules arranged in an elongated T shape, also attached to the truss. A set of blue solar arrays are mounted to the module at the aft end of the cluster.

1999 – Charlotte Perrelli win the Eurovision Song Contest 1999  for Sweden with the song Take Me to Your Heaven.

2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in at tournaments.

2004  The World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipeida.


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