Move along please


Going through the x-ray at airports reminds me of trying to get sheep through a gate.

If the ones at the front would move further away the rest of the flock could follow. But too often the leaders mill around, not willing to lead.

At airports, it’s not usually that anyone’s unwilling to move – most people want to get where they’re going as quickly as possible. The problem is they get caught in a traffic jam caused by people stopping to pack computers or other belongings.

If  the people who needed to pack would pick everything up and move to the far end of the converyor belt, it would enable those following behind to get their bits and pieces too. Instead of which many stop to pack right by the x-ray and get in the way of everyone coming behind them.

It’s probably only a few moments delay and maybe I should learn to breathe deeply, but it’s very tempting to say, “move along please.”

Stumblin’ In


Happy birthday Suzy Quatro – 60 today.

Tuesday’s poem


A couple of days late, but here it is: this Tuesday’s poem is: Midnight Sonata by Rebekah Tysoe.

She is a second year student studying for a Bachelor of Communications at Massey University and says:

“This is a poem I wrote about being afraid of the dark. It’s in musical terms, moving through the parts of a Sonata like a classical piece. The first Con Brio means with spirit, the next Adagio means at a walking pace, and the last Rubato means broadly. “

Was TV better in the past?


As TVNZ celebrates 50 years of television here I wondered if programmes used to be any better than they are now?

Local programming – eg The South Tonight and The Mainland Touch – gave us something that’s missing today.

Current affairs programmes screened at better times, and in memory – if not in fact – were focussed more on information than entertainment than they are now.

Fred Dagg and Gliding On were the benchmarks for local comedy for me and I can’t even name any current ones.

As for drama, it’s so long since I sat and watched any I can’t comment on that either.

100 greatest inventions


The wheel, aeroplane, light bulb, internet, PCs, telephone,  penicillin, iPhone, flush loo and combustion engine are the top 10 inventions of all time according to the results of a survey of 4,000 British people which was conducted by Tesco.

As one whose spelling can be a bit wobbly I understand the inclusion of the spell checker at 86 on the list. But what does it say about Brits that they included hair-straighteners (34), make up (66), push-up bra (77)  mascara (80) and hair dye (84)?

Kitchen appliances feature –  the Fridge (14), Freezer (17), Microwave (26) and Kettle (40). The vaccuum cleaner is there (23) and so is the tumble dryer (51). But I didn’t notice the automatic washing machine and apropos of cleanliness, what about the shower?

A scientist may be able to explain the difference between inventions and discoveries and if that’s relevant to the omission of both fire and electricity.

The full list is:

 1. Wheel 2. Aeroplane 3. Light bulb 4. Internet 5. PCs 6. Telephone 7. Penicillin 8. iPhone 9. Flushing toilet 10. Combustion engine

11. Contraceptive pill 12. Washing machine 13. Central heating 14. Fridge 15. Pain killers 16. Steam engine 17. Freezer 18. Camera 19. Cars 20. Spectacles

21. Mobile phones 22. Toilet paper 23. Hoover 24. Trains 25. Google 26. Microwave 27. Email 28. The pen 29. Hot water 30. Shoe

31. Compass 32. Ibuprofen 33. Toothbrush 34. Hair straighteners 35. Laptops 36. Knife and fork 37. Scissors 38. Paper 39. Space travel 40. Kettle

41. Calculator 42. Bed 43. Remote control 44. Roof 45. Air conditioning 46. SAT NAV 47. Wi-Fi 48. Cats-eyes 49. Matches 50. Power steering

51. Tumble dryer 52. Bicycle 53. Sky+ 54. Tea bags 55. Umbrella 56. iPod 57. Taps 58. Crash helmet 59. Wristwatch 60. eBay

61. DVD player 62. Nappies 63. Ladder 64. Sun tan lotion 65. Lawnmower 66. Make-up 67. Chairs 68. Sunglasses 69. The game of football 70. Sliced bread

71. Sofa 72. Razor blades 73. Screwdriver 74. Motorways 75. Head/ear phones 76. Towels 77. Push-up bra 78. Binoculars 79. WD40 80. Mascara

81. Hair dryer 82. Facebook 83. Escalator 84. Hair dye 85. Wellington boots 86. Spell check 87. Calendars 88. Cheese grater 89. Buses 90. Post-it notes

91. Gloves 92. Satellite discs 93. Pedestrian crossing 94. Baby’s dummy 95. Curtains 96. Bottle opener 97. Food blender 98. Dustpan and brush 99. Desks 100. Clothes peg

Hat Tip: Grant Jacobs at Sciblogs.

Risks and opportunities in ETS


The ETS will hold both risks and opportunities, Rabobank head of Food and Agribusiness Research Advisory, Justin Sherrard, told farmers in Oamaru.

“New Zealand farmers had proven ability to improve productivity year on year to remain competitive in international markets and the ETS will be another driver for this.”

He said the government has introduced the ETS to:

* meet international obligations,

*play its part in addressing a major global challenge;

*transition the economy to low carbon growth

* preserve our clean, green image.

Sherrard said an  ETS is the most cost effective way of achieving emissions reductions and international retailers are already cutting carbon..

Walmart has introduced a sustainability index target to cut 20m tonnes of carbon by 2015 – that’s about half of what New Zealand produces.

“It will send a signal up the supply chain and ask all supplier to reduce emissions and reward those which do,” Sherrard said.

Tesco has a carbon footprint label on products which show the total life cycle carbon emissions so it can give consumers information on which to base their choices.

The Japanese government has introduced a carbon labelling scheme.

Marks and Spencers is converting 50% of its branded products to Plan A products by 2015 and 100% by 2020 by working with suppliers.

The market is moving and suppliers who don’t move it will be at a disadvantage.

The ETS will impose costs but that’s what it aims to do in an attempt to encourage reductions and Sherrard said carbon could be a driver of innovation.

“Globally the food and agriculture sector needs to cut carbon from food production and New Zealand could be a leader in the agriculture sector,” he said.

“There is an opportunity for New Zealand to gain early access to techniques and technology. This will provide market access advantages and branding advantages.”

Farmers had opportunities to reduce exposure to carbon prices by using alternative fuels and when replacing machinery ensuring it was more fuel efficient.

Alternative energy such as solar or biogas could be used. There are also opportunities for efficiency gains in plant and equipment..

Sherrard said that to prepare for the ETS the food and agriculture sector needs to:

* ensure it understands how the ETS works and the associated risks and opportunities.

* engage effectively in the policy process before agriculture comes into the ETS.

* understand the mechanics of carbon pricing.

* ensure there is sufficient investment in innovation.

Individual farms won’t be participants in the ETS but processors will be.

“Markets hate uncertainty. You may not like what’s going to happen but at least we know what’s going to happen and we’re able to assess the risks and opportunities and act on them, ” he said.

June 3 in history


On June 3:

350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor.

Centenionalis-Nepotianus-rome RIC 200.2.jpg

1140  French scholar Peter Abelard was found guilty of heresy.


1326 Treaty of Novgorod delineated borders between Russia and Norway in Finnmark.


1539  Hernado de Soto claimed Florida for Spain.


1608  Samuel de Champlain completed his third voyage to New France at Tadoussac, Quebec.

1620 Construction of the oldest stone church in French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, began in Quebec City.

1621  The Dutch West India Company received a charter for New Netherlands.

1658  Pope Alexander VII appointed François de Laval vicar apostolic in New France.

1659 David Gregory, Scottish astronomer and mathematician, was born  (d. 1708).

1665  James Stuart, Duke of York (later to become King James II of England) defeated the Dutch Fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

1770  Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

1726 James Hutton, Scottish geologist, was born  (d. 1797).

1800 U.S. President John Adams took up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern because the White House was not yet completed).

A painted portrait of a man with greying hair, looking left.

1808 Jefferson Davis, American politician and President of the Confederate States of America was born (d. 1889).

1839 Lin Tse-hsü destroyed 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.

1861  Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces routed Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia in first land battle of the War.

Lander ride at Battle of Philippi Races.png

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Cold Harbor – Union forces attacked Confederate troops in Hanover County, Virginia.

Battle of Cold Harbor.png

1865 George V  was born  (d. 1936).

Boy wearing a sailor suit 

1866  The Fenians were driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the United States.

1885 In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil Cree leader Big Bear escaped the North West Mounted Police.


1888 The poem “Casey at the Bat“, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, was published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1889  The coast to coast Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.
System map

1889  The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States was completed, running 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.

1916 The Reserve Officer Training Corp, ROTC , was established by the U.S. Congress.


1916 – The National Defense Act was signed into law, increasing the size of the United States National Guard by 450,000 men.

1921 Forbes Carlile, Australian Olympic swimmer and coach, was born.


1924 Jimmy Rogers, American blues guitarist, was born  (d. 1997).

1935 One thousand unemployed Canadian workers boarded freight cars in Vancouver,  beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario.

1936 Colin Meads, farmer and former All Black, was born.

Colin 'Pinetree' Meads born

1937  The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson.


1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk ended with a German victory and Allied forces in full retreat.


1947 Mickey Finn, British guitarist and percussionist (T.Rex), was born  (d. 2003).


1950 Suzi Quatro, American musician and actress, was born.

1956 British Railways renamed ‘Third Class’ passenger facilities as ‘Second Class’ (Second Class facilities had been abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class).

1962 Susannah Constantine, British fashion guru, was born.

Head and shoulders of two brown-haired women sitting next to each other, wearing large scarfs. 

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 charter, Chateau de Sully crashed after an aborted takeoff from Paris, killing 130.

1963  The Buddhist crisis: Soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam attacked protesting Buddhists in Huế,  with liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades, causing 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.


1963  A Northwest Airlines DC-7 crashed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, killing 101.

1965  Launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Crew-member Ed White performed the first American spacewalk.


1968 Valerie Solanas, author of SCUM Manifesto, attempted to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times.


1969  Melbourne-Evans collision: Off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne cut the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half.

The stern section of USS Frank E. Evans on the morning after the collision. USS Everett F. Larson (right) is moving in to salvage the remains of the abandoned destroyer.

1973  A Soviet supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 crashed near Goussainville  killing 14, the first crash of a supersonic passenger aircraft.


1979  A blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico caused at least 600,000 tons (176,400,000 gallons) of oil to be spilled into the waters.

IXTOC I oil well blowout.jpg

1982  The Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, was shot on a London street. He survived but was permanently paralysed.

1989  The government of China sent troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.

1989  SkyDome was officially opened in Toronto.


1991 Mount Unzen erupted in Kyūshū, Japan, killing 43 people, all of them either researchers or journalists.

1992 Aboriginal Land Rights were granted in Australia in Mabo v Queensland (1988), a case brought about by Eddie Mabo.

1998  Eschede train disaster: an ICE high speed train derailed in Lower Saxony causing 101 deaths.

Ice eschede 1.jpg

2006 The union of Serbia and Montenegro endedwith Montenegro’s formal declaration of independence.


2007  USS Carter Hall engaged  pirates after they boarded the Danish ship Danica White off the coast of Somalia.

USS Carter Hall approaches USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) for an underway replenishment in the Indian Ocean (Oct. 7, 2007).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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