I’ll Be Watching You


Happy birthday Stewart Copeland, 58 today.

Dancing Cheek To Cheek


Ginger Rogers would have been 99 today.

I write like . . .

I write like
James Joyce
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!
Hmmm. Ulysses is on my never-read-and-unlikely-to list so I’m not sure that’s what I wanted to find out.
I tried another piece of prose and found out:
I write like
Stephenie Meyer

I recognise the name but haven’t read any of her books.

I tried again and found:
I write like


I gave up.
P.S. If you’re more technically able than I am you’ll be able to do something with the code and get a badge for your blog instead of copying and pasting as I did.
Hat Tip: The Fundy Post.

Trying to do the green thing but . . .


 Are buses always the greener option?

With plenty of time, and a Presbyterian reluctance to fork out $60 plus on a taxi, I decided to take the bus from Auckland airport to the city yesterday.

There was just one other passenger on it.

Buses running full will reduce traffic congestion and use less fuel than lots of smaller vehicles, but  smaller buses or cars must be better than running big buses with few passengers.

But it’s difficult to be flexible with buses. They have to have to have timetables and stick to them regardless of whether or not people are using them.

I suppose two of us in a bus that would be doing the journey anyway was better than us taking a taxi each and the bus running empty and it did save me about $50.

Woman as meat


Montreal has banned a billboard showing actress Pamela Anderson in a bikini with her body marked as meat cuts.

The ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says: “All animals have the same parts. Have a heart. Go vegetarian.”

The overt message is clever. But the subliminal message of woman as meat isn”t.

Would it be any better if it was a bloke?

Clayton’s concern


Labour were concerned by jobless figures in one breath yet in the next they don’t want the 90-day trial period extended to all work places.

Any concern about jobless figures is Clayton’s concern if they’re not prepared to support measures which encourage employers to take on new staff and make the workplace better for those already employed.

The 90 day trial period makes it easier for people with questions over their work history to get jobs because it reduces the risk that employers will have to keep someone who doesn’t have the skills or personality for the position.

It also makes work places better for other employees because they don’t have to carry non-performing co-workers or put up with ones who are difficult to work with.

The 90-day trial period has been operating for small businesses long enough to show up any flaws. Opposition parties and unions which made a fuss about its introduction and said they’d publicise any problems with it, have been strangely silent.

That must mean there has been little trouble with it.

The risk that employers will exploit the 90-day clause is small. The recrutiment, initiation and training process is sufficiently time and energy consuming that employers won’t let go of reasonable workers lightly.

The gains for employers, employees and the wider economy from having a happy workforce are more taking that risk. It’s worked well for smaller businesses, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be extended to all businesses.

July 16 in history


On July 16:

622 The beginning of the Islamic calendar.

1054 Three Roman legates fracture relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal Bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as starting the East-West Schism.


1194 Saint Clare of Assisi, Italian follower of Francis of Assisi, was born (d. 1253).


1212  Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa: Forces of Kings Alfonso VIII of Castile, Sancho VII of Navarre, Pedro II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal defeated those of the Berber Muslim leader Almohad, thus marking a significant turning point in the Reconquista and medieval history of Spain.

Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.jpg

1377  Coronation of Richard II of England.

1661 The first banknotes in Europe were issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.

1683 Manchu Qing Dynasty naval forces under traitorous commander Shi Lang defeated the Kingdom of Tungning  in the Battle of Penghu near the Pescadores Islands.

1769  Father Junipero Serra founded California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

Mission San Diego de Alcalá

1779 American Revolutionary War: Light infantry of the Continental Army seized a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.

Battle of Stony Point.jpg

1782  First performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio.

1809  The city of La Paz  declared its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and formed the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.


1862 American Civil War: David Farragut was promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.

Admiral David Farragut (1801–1870) - collodion, LC-BH82-4054 restored.jpg

1872 Roald Amundsen, Norwegian polar explorer, was born (d. 1928).


1880 Emily Stowe became the first female physician licensed to practice medicine in Canada.


1911 Ginger Rogers, American actress and dancer, was born (d. 1995).

1915  Henry James became a British citizen, to dramatise his commitment to England during the first World War.

1918  Czar Nicholas II, his family, the family doctor, their servants and their pet dog were shot by the Bolsheviks, who had held them captive for 2 months in the basement of a house in Ekaterinberg, Russia.


1928 Anita Brookner, English novelist, was born.

Cover to the First Edition

1931 Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia signsedthe first constitution of Ethiopia.

1935 The world’s first parking meter was installed in the Oklahoma capital, Oklahoma City.

1941 Joe DiMaggio hit safely for the 56th consecutive game.

1942 Holocaust: Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv): the government of Vichy France orderswsthe mass arrest of 13,152 Jews who were held at the Winter Velodrome in Paris before deportation to Auschwitz.


1945 World War II: The leaders of the three Allied nations, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Harry S Truman and leader of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin, met in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.

1945  Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age began when the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon.

Trinity shot color.jpg

1948 Following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, capitulated to Israeli troops during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War’s Operation Dekel.

1948 – The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, markedthe first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.

1951 King Léopold III of Belgium abdicated in favor of his son, Baudouin I of Belgium.

1951  J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye was published by Little, Brown and Company.

Rye catcher.jpg

1952 Stewart Copeland, American drummer (The Police, was born.

1957  United States Marine major John Glenn flew a F8U Crusader supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record.


1960  USS George Washington (SSBN-598) a modified Skipjack class submarine successfully test fired the first Ballistic missile while submerged.

USS George Washington (SSBN-598)

1965 New Zealand’s 161 Battery, stationed at Bien Hoa air base near Saigon, opened fire on a Viet Cong position in support of the American 173rd Airborne Brigade.

NZ artillery opens fire in Vietnam

1965 The Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opened.


1969 Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first manned space mission to land on the Moon was launched from the Kennedy Space Center.


1973 Watergate Scandal: Former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield informed the United States Senate that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.

1979 Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and was replaced by Saddam Hussein.

1981 Mahathir bin Mohamad became Malaysia’s 4th Prime Minister; his 22 years in office, ending with retirement on 31 October 2003, made him Asia’s longest-serving political leader.

1983 Sikorsky S-61 disaster: A helicopter crashed off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.

1990  Luzon Earthquake struck in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines with an intensity of 7.7.

Cabanatuan City (Philippines)

1994 Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.

Hubble Space Telescope

1999  John F. Kennedy, Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, died in a plane mishap, with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette.

2004  Millennium Park, considered Chicago’s first and most ambitious early 21st century architectural project, was opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

2007  2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake: an earthquake 6.8 in magnitude and aftershock of 6.6  off Japan’s Niigata coast, killed 8 people, with at least 800 injured, and damaged a nuclear power plant.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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