Pointers on self defence


Don Knotts would have been 86 today.

Morning Has Broken


Happy birthday Cat Stevens. 62 today.

This was a hit song in the 1970s. It  improved singing at my school assemblies where hymns weren’t generally regarded with much enthusiasm.

Did you see the one about . . .


I’m not finished with Duncan Garner yet – Brian Edwards gives credit where it’s due.

Dinner with the Stars – Not PC asks  where and in which period in history you’d pick as being the best in history in which you might get a large number of your heroes around a dinner party table.  He also has a post on the malapropisms of refudiation.

Vagrant spotted in Parnell – Inquiring Mind gets satirical.

Under Aotearoan skies – goNZo Freakpower takes us star watching.

Star the nineteenth – In A Strange Land continues her stellar effort for Dry July.

Question (and answer) of the day – Keeping Stock found a gem from question time.

The Shape Of Words


This Tuesday’s Poem is The Shape Of Words (desert love poem) by Odawni AJ Palmer.

It’s beautiful, and those who weren’t charmed by last week’s prose poem may be relieved to know this one is a poem poem (there has to be a better phrase than that).

One of the links in the sidebar led me to Stoatspring where Harvey McQueen had chosen A.R.D. Fairburn’s Song At Summer’s End.

The opening lines Down in the park the children play/rag-happy through the summer’s day . . .  took me back to third form English where we learned the poem by heart and were introduced to the power of metaphor.

Better to campaign with clothes on


The Australian election campaign has only just opened but it will be difficult to top this quote:

“It would be better to attend campaign events fully clothed.”

It came from Prime Minister Julia Gillard in response to a stunt by Conrad French, who works at ALP Victorian election campaign HQ, and who interrupted opposition leader Tony Abbot while dressed only in speedos.

It’s a reminder of  Don Brash’s  “I don’t want any candidates talking about their testicles, to be quite frank.” after a comment from then-Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson.

Things like this may be amusing for onlookers and the media but are very frustrating for parties and their leaders who are trying to keep campaigns focussed and positive.

Aimed at the few not the many


The people squealing in outrage at the proposed improvements to employment law labour under the misapprehension that all employers are bad and all employees are good.

They’re not. The changes are aimed at the few poor employees not the many good ones. That’s better than the existing regime which makes employing people harder for the many good employers because there are a few bad ones.

Employers aren’t going to request medical certificates, which they have to pay for, from every employee who takes a day or two off for illness once or twice. It will just be the few who abuse the system by regularly pulling sickies who are asked to prove they’re unwell.

When the law changed to allow workers to take up to three days off without needing proof of illness a meat company noticed a significant deterioration in employee health, particularly on Mondays and Fridays.

That came at considerable cost to the company and that ultimately impacts on its ability to pay its staff.



15/15  in this week’s Dominion Post political triva quiz.

Though Kiwiblog is right to say the answer given as correct to one question is subjective. For the answer given to be correct, the question should have been what was the most controversial issue from  the National Party conference not at it.

The planned changes to Labour laws may have upset the left outside the conference but were greeted with enthusiasm by delegates inside.

July 21 in history


On July 21:

356 BC Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.


285 Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler.


365 A tsunami caused by an earthquake estimated to be 8.0 on the Richter Scale devastated Alexandria, killing 5,000 people in Alexandria, and 45,000 more outside the city.

1403 Battle of Shrewsbury: King Henry IV defeated rebels to the north of  Shropshire.

1545  The first landing of French troops on the coast of the Isle of Wight during the French invasion of the Isle of Wight.


1568 Eighty Years’ War: Battle of Jemmingen – Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva defeated Louis of Nassau.

Battle of Jemmingen by Frans Hogenberg

1718 The Treaty of Passarowitz between the Ottoman Empire, Austria and the Republic of Venice was signed.


1774 Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji ending the Russo-Turkish war.

 Here at 10-21 July 1774 was signed the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca. . .

1831 Inauguration of Léopold I of Belgium, first king of the Belgians.


1858 Alfred Henry O’Keeffe, New Zealand artist, was born (d. 1941).

1861 American Civil War: First Battle of Bull Run – the first major battle of the war began.


1865 Governor George Grey oversaw the capture of the Pai Marire (Hauhau) pa at Weraroa, Waitotara.

Capture of Weraroa pa

1865  Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.


1873 Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West.


1899 Ernest Hemingway, American writer, Nobel laureate, ws born (d. 1961).


1904  Louis Rigolly,  became the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land. He drove a 15-liter Gobron-Brille in Ostend.


1918  U-156 shelled Nauset Beach, in Orleans, the first time that the United States was shelled since the Mexican-American War.

1919  The dirigible Wingfoot Air Express crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, killing 12 people.

1920 Isaac Stern, Ukrainian-born violinist, was born  (d. 2001).


1922  Mollie Sugden, British comedic actress, was born  (d. 2009).

1924 Don Knotts, American actor, was born (d. 2006).

1925  Scopes Trial: high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100.


1925  Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to break the 150 mph (241 km/h) land barrier at Pendine Sands in Wales. He drove a Sunbeam to a two-way average of 150.33 mph (242 km/h).


1944 World War II: Battle of Guam – American troops land on Guam starting the battle.

First flag on Guam

1944  Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators were executed in Berlin, Germany for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.


1946 Barry Whitwam, British musician (Herman’s Hermits), was born.

1948 Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), English singer/songwriter, was born.

1948 Garry Trudeau, American cartoonist, was born.

1949 Hirini Melbourne, New Zealand musician and composer, was born (d 2003).

1949  The United States Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1951 Robin Williams, American comedian/actor. was born.

1953 Jeff Fatt, Chinese-Australian actor was born.

1954  First Indochina War: The Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.


1955 Howie Epstein, American musician (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), was born (d. 2003).

1956 Michael Connelly, American author, was born.

1959 Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate.

1961 Jim Martin, American musician (Faith No More), was born.

1961  Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 became the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).

Apollo 1 Prime Crew - GPN-2000-001159-grissom.jpg

1964  Singapore Race Riot – every year since then, Racial Harmony Day is celebrated on this day.


1966 Sarah Waters, British novelist, was born.

1969  Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.


1970  After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt was completed.

Aswan High Dam

1972  Bloody Friday bombing by the Provisional Irish Republican Army around Belfast, Northern Ireland – 22 bomb explosions, 9 people killed and 130 people seriously injured.

1973 In the Lillehammer affair in Norway, Israeli Mossad agents killed a waiter whom they mistakenly thought was involved in 1972’s Munich Olympics Massacre.

1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs British ambassador to the Republic of Ireland was assassinated by the Provisional IRA.

1977  The start of a four day long Libyan-Egyptian War.


1983 The world’s lowest temperature was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica at −89.2°C (−129°F).

1994  Tony Blair was declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in 1997.


1995 Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: The People’s Liberation Army began firing missiles into the waters north of Taiwan.

Taiwan Strait.png

1997  The fully restored USS Constitution (aka “Old Ironsides”) celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

Constitution sailing in Massachusetts Bay with six sails set and a crowd of civilian boats in the background with passengers aboard observing

2004 The United Kingdom government published Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country’s armed forces.

2005  Four terrorist bombings in London – all four bombs failed to detonate.

2008  Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić was arrested in Serbia and indicted by the UN’s ICTY tribunal.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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