Things Get A Little Easier


Happy birthday Bobby Susser, 68 today.

Hard to believe this was banned from radio.

Confusingly simple, crazily confusing or simply crazy?


Wisdom from my niece on Facebook:

Males are simple! We just think they’re confusing because we can’t believe how simple they are.

And in response:

. . . and females aren’t confusing, they are just crazy. we think they are confusing cause they are so crazy.
So: are men confusingly simple, or simply confusing and women confusingly crazy or crazily confusing, or are we all simply crazy?

Women for show & tell not think


An unusually high number of searches have landed up on this blog looking for Janet Wilson’sblog Adjust Your Set and her post Eye Candy which was the subject of a story in yesterday’s NZ Herald.

She contends that TV hires young females for their looks rather than their journalistic ability.

Men with good faces for radio regularly appear on TV. But  it’s rare to see women who are not both young and attractive and who often show little evidence of being chosen for their ablity to think.

Road to Athens paved with good intentions


The road to Athens is paved with good intentions, Finance Minister Bill English, told the National Party annual conference.

Evidence of how our economy could be be like Greece’s was portrayed in a graph which showed the net increase in jobs from 2002.

There was no net increase in jobs in agriculture and manufacturing in that period, they all came from the expansion of government spending, property boom and consumption fuelled by borrowing.

The previous administration’s tax and spend policies did absolutely nothing for real growth.

That is why this government is reining in public sector spending and addressing issues which hamper productivity.

He told us there would be no big-bang initiatives. The aim was for steady and broadly supported policies which over four or five years will make a real difference.

I’m very keen to give him the time to achieve that.

No room for complacency


When poll after poll puts National comfortably ahead of Labour it could be tempting to relax. But John Key warned delegates at the party’s annual conference there is no room for complacency.

He told us that every single morning we have to get up and remember who put the party in government; every single day we have to work hard to earn and retain the support of New Zealanders.

It’s very good advice.

Nothing pricks the balloon of support like arrogance and complacency. Gravity can affect polls and those which go up can quickly come down again.

We need only look across the Tasman and see the trip from poll topper to dog tucker which Kevin Rudd took in a few short months.

July 18 in history


On July 18:

390 BC Roman-Gaulish Wars: Battle of the Allia – a Roman army was defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome.


64 Great fire of Rome: a fire began to burn in the merchant area of Rome.


1290  King Edward I of England issued the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.

1334  The bishop of Florence blessed the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.


1389  Kingdoms of France and England agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem,  inaugurating a 13 year peace; the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years War.

1656  Polish-Lithuanian forces clashed with Sweden and its Brandenburg allies in the start of  the Battle of Warsaw.

Swedish King Charles X Gustav in skirmish with Polish Tatars near Warsaw 1656

1670 Giovanni Bononcini, Italian composer, was born (d. 1747).


1811 William Makepeace Thackeray, English author, was born (d. 1863).


1848   W. G. Grace, English cricketer, was born  (d. 1915).


1855 New Zealand’s first postage stamps were issued. The adhesive, non-perforated stamps for the prepayment of postage were the famous ‘Chalon Head’ design that portrayed a full-face likeness of Queen Victoria in her coronation robes.

NZ's first postage stamps go on sale

1857  Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrived to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Tall’s war against the French.

Louis Léon César Faidherbe portrait.jpg

1862  First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Swiss Alps.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island – the first formal African American military unit, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, failed in their assault on Confederate-held Battery Wagner.


1867 Margaret Brown, American activist, philanthropist, and RMS Titanic passenger, was born (d. 1932).

1870  The First Vatican Council decreed the dogma of papal infallibility.

 The Holy Spirit descending on Pope Gregory I, by Carlo Saraceni, circa 1610, Rome.

1887 Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian soldier, politician and convicted traitor, was born  (d. 1945).

1908 Mildred Lisette Norman, American peace activist, earned the moniker Peace Pilgrim, was born  (d. 1981).

1909  Andrei Gromyko, Soviet diplomat and President, was born (d. 1989).


1909 – Mohammed Daoud Khan, President of Afghanistan, was born (d. 1978).

1914  The U.S. Congress formed the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving definite status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.

1918 Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born.


1923 Jerome H. Lemelson, American inventor, was born (d. 1997).

1925  Adolf Hitler published his personal manifesto Mein Kampf.

Mein Kampf.png

1936 In Spanish Morocco, military rebels attempted a coup d’état against the legitimacy of the Spanish government, this led to the Spanish Civil War.

1937 Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author, was born (d. 2005).


1942 Bobby Susser, American songwriter and record producer, was born.

1942  World War II: the Germans test flew the Messerschmitt Me-262 using only its jet engines for the first time.

1944  World War II: Hideki Tojo resigned as Prime Minister of Japan due to numerous setbacks in the war effort.


1950 Glenn Hughes, American singer (Village People), was born (d. 2001).

1957 Sir Nick Faldo, English golfer, was born.

Nick Faldo.jpg

1963 Martín Torrijos Espino, former President of Panama, was born.

1965  Russian satellite Zond 3 launched.


1966  Gemini 10 launched.


1968  The Intel Corporation was founded in Santa Clara, California.

Intel Inside Corporation logo

1969  After a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Ted Kennedy drove an Oldsmobile off a bridge and his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died.

1971 Sarah McLeod, New Zealand actress, was born.

1976 Nadia Comăneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

1982  268 campesinos were slain in the Plan de Sánchez massacre in Ríos Montt’s Guatemala.


1984  McDonald’s massacre James Oliver Huberty opened fire, killing 21 people and injuring 19 others before being shot dead by police.


1984  Beverly Lynn Burns became first female Boeing 747 airline captain.

1986 A tornado was broadcast live on KARE television when the station’s helicopter pilot made a chance encounter.

1992  The ten victims of the La Cantuta massacre disappeared from their university in Lima.

1994 The bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (Argentinian Jewish Communal Center) in Buenos Aires killed 85 people (mostly Jewish) and injures 300.

1995  The Soufriere Hills volcano erupted. Over the course of several years, it devastates the island, destroying the capital and forcing most of the population to flee.

1996  Storms provoked severe flooding on the Saguenay River.

1996  Battle of Mullaitivu. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam captured the Sri Lanka Army’s base, killing over 1200 Army soldiers.

2005  Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, first public joint statement by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then U.S. President George W. Bush.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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