And then there was one


First there was the NZ Blogosphere ranking which is now being done quarterly.

Then there was the Halfdone Rankings but Something Should Go Here has gone.

Now there’s just one monthly ranking: Open Parachute’s NZ Blogs Sitemeter ranking.

The Logical Song


Happy birthday Mark Hart, 57 today.

One Note Samba


Happy birthday Tom Springfield, 76 today.

Past halfway


You intelligent and discerning readers will have realised that when June turned to July we has six of this year’s 12 months behind us.

But it was only when preparing this morning’s history post that I noticed we’ve just passed the halfway mark in 2010 – today is the 18rd day of the year, there are just 182 days left.

Tempus fugits ever faster.

Stand-by fares for all from Dunedin


Air New Zealand has been trialling student stand-by fares from Dunedin.

It’s been so successful the airline is doing a trial of stand-by fares for any passengers.

There’s some fine print: the $59 tickets are only available for people with carry on luggage, they must buy a return ticket and turn up at the airport an hour before the flight.

But if you weren’t concerned about when you got where you were going and didn’t mind hanging round the airport waiting for a flight if the first one was full, it’s a very good offer.

Half-price student stand-by fares used to be available on any flight, with or without luggage, when I was a student and it seems like a no-brainer to me.

If there’s a seat spare, the airline is better off selling a cheap ticket than leaving it empty.

Germans want our farmland too


The NBR reports that a German investment company is waiting on OIC approval to buy farmland in Southland.

The story is in the subscriber content so I’m not going to copy the details but I’ll be interested in how reaction to this story compares with that to the possibility of Chinese investment in New Zealand farms.

If we allow our companies to buy land and businesses in other countries it’s hypocritical not to reciprocate. It’s even more so if we welcome some but not others.

We’re not a wealthy country and overseas investment can be mutually beneficial.

Overseas owners are subject to the same laws as the rest of us and they can’t take the land away.

They will be able to take some of their profits home, but they’ll be spending a lot here making those profits and pay tax on them and we’ll get the benefit of that.

Comparing apples with apples


Australians are going to be eating Chinese apples while New Zealand apples are still not allowed into the country.

A draft report from the World Trade Organisation agreed with New Zealand’s claim that Australia’s ban on our apple imports was a non-tariff barrier but the final report hasn’t been produced yet.

Australian growers are concerned about the biosecurity risk from Chinese apples, which was the argument they’ve used to keep our fruit out.

There’s no mention of consumers. But if I was comparing apples with apples I’d rather eat pip fruit from New Zealand which has strict standards on food production which are strictly policed, than China which doesn’t.

Homework for party leaders


Trans-Tasman has set some homework for party leaders to attend to while parliament is in recess.

It includes:

Meteria Turei and Russel Norman. Cultivate a bit of gravitas, for heavens sake. (and no, you can’t smoke it).  You’re behaving like a pair of over-promoted undergraduates.

Peter Dunne. Okay, you can ditch just a bit of the gravitas.  Please.


Jim Anderton. What with the credit card bill and the running for mayor while you’re still an MP, you might want to hire a drainage expert.  The moral high ground you always assume you are  standing on is looking pretty marshy.

You’ll have to subscribe if you want to read the rest.

July 2 in history


On July 2:

626 In fear of assassination, Li Shimin ambushed and kills his rival brothers Li Yuanji and Li Jiancheng in the Incident at Xuanwu Gate.


706 Emperor Zhongzong of Tang had the remains of Emperor Gaozong of Tang, his wife and recently-deceased ruling empress Wu Zetian, her son Li Xian, her grandson Li Chongrun, and granddaughter Li Xianhui interred in a new tomb complex, the Qianling Mausoleum, located on Mount Liang.


963  The imperial army proclaimed Nicephorus Phocas to be Emperor of the Romans.

Nikiphoros Phokas.jpg

1298  The Battle of Göllheim between Albert I of Habsburg and Adolf of Nassau-Weilburg.

Tod Adolf von Nassau.jpg

1489  Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born  (d. 1556).

1494  The Treaty of Tordesillas was ratified by Spain.

Front page of the Treaty

1555  Turgut Reis sacked Paola.

Turgut Reis Admiral.JPG

1561 Menas, Emperor of Ethiopia, defeated a revolt in Emfraz.

1582  Battle of Yamazaki: Toyotomi Hideyoshi defeated Akechi Mitsuhide.

1613 The first English expedition from Massachusetts against Acadia led by Samuel Argall.

Location of Acadia

1644 English Civil War: the Battle of Marston Moor.

Battle of Marston Moor, 1644.png

1679  Europeans first visited Minnesota and saw headwaters of Mississippi in an expedition led by Daniel Greysolon de Du Luth.

1698  Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.


1776  The Continental Congress adopted a resolution severing ties with Great Britain.


1777 Vermont became the first American territory to abolish slavery.

1823  Bahia Independence Day: the end of Portuguese rule in Brazil, with the final defeat of the Portuguese crown loyalists in the province of Bahia.

1839 – 53 rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinque took over the slave ship Amistad.

1871  Victor Emmanuel II  entered Rome after its conquest from the Papal States.


1877  Hermann Hesse, German-born writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).


1881 Charles J. Guiteau shot and fatally wounded U.S. President James Garfield.


1897 Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi obtained patent for radio in London.


1900 The first zeppelin flight took place.


1903   Alec Douglas-Home, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born. (d. 1995).

1903  King Olav V of Norway, was born (d. 1991).

1917 Murry Wilson, American musician and producer (The Beach Boys), was born (d. 1973).

1917  The East St. Louis Riots ended.

 Political cartoon about the East St. Louis massacres of 1917. The caption reads, “Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy?”

1929 Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines, was born.


1930 Carlos Menem, former President of Argentina, was born.

1934 Tom Springfield, British singer and songwriter (The Springfields), was born.

1934  The Night of the Long Knives ended with the death of Ernst Röhm.


1937  Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan awee last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.


1938  The electrified rail line between central Wellington and the northern suburb of Johnsonville was officially opened by Minister of Railways Dan Sullivan and Wellington Mayor Thomas Hislop.

Electric trains come to Wellington

1939 Paul Williams, American singer (The Temptations), was born (d. 1973).

1940  Indian independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose was arrested and detained in Calcutta.


1950  The Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto burned down.


1953 Mark Hart, American musician (Crowded House and Supertramp), was born.

1954 Pete Briquette, Irish musician (The Boomtown Rats), was born.

1956 Jerry Hall, American actress and model, was born.

1962  The first Wal-Mart store opened for business in Rogers, Arkansas.

New Walmart Logo.svg

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.


1966  French military explodeed a nuclear test bomb codenamed Aldébaran in Mururoa, their first nuclear test in the Pacific.

1976  North and South Vietnam, divided since 1954, reunited to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

1985 Andrei Gromyko was appointed the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.


1987  Nilde Iotti was named as the first female President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

1993 – 37 participants in an Alevi cultural and literary festival were killed when a mob of demonstrators set fire to their hotel in Sivas during a protest.

2000 Vicente Fox Quesada was elected the first President of México from an opposition party, the Partido Acción Nacional, after more than 70 years of continuous rule by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional.


2001  The AbioCor self contained artificial heart was first implanted.

2002 Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

2003  Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, insulted German MP Martin Schulz by calling him a “kapo” during a session of the European Parliament.

2004  ASEAN Regional Forum accepted Pakistan as its 24th member.¨


2005Live 8 took place in London’s Hyde Park and other locations around the world.


2008  Ingrid Betancourt, and 14 other hostages held by FARC guerrillas, are rescued by the Colombian armed forces.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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