Teach Your Children Well


Happy birthday David Crosby, 69 today.

Word of the day


Ragmatical – wild, riotous, ill-behaved.

Saturday’s smiles


A young teacher started work at a country school and was keen to make lessons relevant to her pupils.

During maths she said to her class:  “If there were 12 sheep in a paddock and six of them got through a hole in the fence, how many would be left?’

“None”, answered Peter.

“None, Peter? You don’t know your maths if you think 12 minus 6 equals none.”

“No, Miss, you don’t know your sheep. When one goes, they all go,” Peter replied.

Capital cafes cop unexpected consequences of credit card disclosure


The revelations on credit card spending of politicians and public servants have been diverting, although the capitals cafes and restaurants might not be as happy as most of the public is.

Trans Tasman notes:

As if a chill wind wasn’t already blowing through the accounts of Wellington eateries, the swathe of newly released credit card details from Govt dept heads can be expected to have a further dampening effect on dining habits in the capital. Perhaps the only pleasure politicians and senior public servants will be able to take from this is it will almost certainly reduce the hosting opportunities to which the Press Gallery – writers of most of the credit card exposes – will be invited.

The amount it cost to produce the records has led to questions of whether the exercise can be justified.

I think it can because the knowledge that expenditure is likely to be made public in future will be a good restraint on extravagance.

However, it’s important we don’t get too Presbyterian about the dining habits of politicians and public servants.

Business does happen over meals and relationships are built round a dinner table in a way that doesn’t happen in an office. We can’t expect that to happen over fish and chips on a park bench.

Providing the bill meets the “actual and reasonable” test applied to covering expenses in most private businesses we shouldn’t complain about them in the public sector.

Quote of the week


The announcement from Minister of Finance and Infrastructure Bill English yesterday that government agencies are now being told to consider such partnerships for any new projects brought a predictable, if illogical, howl of protest from Labour, the Greens and the Council of Trade Unions.

Probably the largest single public-private partnership in this country’s history was initiated by the last Labour government. That is the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, known to friend and foe as the Cullen Fund.

Rob Hosking on the Left’s private hang-ups.

These two paragraphs are part of a  column which exposes Labour’s confused position on privatisation but it’s part of the subscriber-only content so unless you’ve paid up you’ll have to take my word for it.

August 14 in history


On August 14:

1183  Taira no Munemori and the Taira clan took the young Emperor Antoku and the three sacred treasures and fled to western Japan to escape pursuit by the Minamoto clan.

Emperor Antoku.jpg

1385 – Portuguese Crisis of 1383–1385: Battle of Aljubarrota – Portuguese forces commanded by King João I and his general Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilian army of King Juan I.


1598  Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford – Irish forces under Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

Aodh Mór Uî Néill (anglicisé comme) Hugh The Great O'Neill) (c. 1550 – 20 July 1616).JPG

1842 Indian Wars: Second Seminole War ended.


1846  The Cape Girardeau meteorite, a 2.3 kg chondrite-type meteorite struck near in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

1867 John Galsworthy, English novelist and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born (d. 1933).


1880  Construction of Cologne Cathedral was completed.

Cologne Cathedral.jpg

1885  Japan’s first patent was issued to the inventor of a rust-proof paint.

1888  A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost Chord, one of the first recordings of music ever made, was played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison’s phonograph in London.


1891 Petitions organised by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) seeking women’s suffrage and signed by a total of 9000 women were presented to New Zealand’s Parliament.

Women's vote petitions presented to Parliament

1893  France introduced motor vehicle registration.

1900  A joint European-Japanese-United States force (Eight-Nation Alliance) occupied Beijing, in a campaign to end the Boxer Rebellion.

Boxer Rebellion.jpg

1901  The first claimed powered flight, by Gustave Whitehead in his Number 21.


1908  The first beauty contest was held in Folkestone.

1912  United States Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government.

1921  Tannu Tuva, later Tuvinian People’s Republic was established as a completely independent country.


1933  Loggers caused a forest fire in the Coast Range of Oregon – the first forest fire of the Tillamook Burn.


1935  United States Social Security Act passes, creating a government pension system for the retired.

1936 Rainey Bethea was hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in the last public execution in the United States.

1937 Chinese Air Force Day: The beginning of air-to-air combat of the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II in general, when 6 Imperial Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers were shot down by the Nationalist Chinese Air Force.

1941 David Crosby, American musician, was born.

1941 Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter of war stating postwar aims.


1945  Steve Martin, American actor and comedian, was born.


1945 Japan accepted the Allied terms of surrender  and the Emperor recorded the Imperial Rescript on Surrender.


1946 Susan Saint James, American actress, was born.

1947  Pakistan and India gained Independence from the British Indian Empire and joined the British Commonwealth.

1948  Don Bradman, widely regarded as the best cricket batsman in history, makes a duck in his final Test innings.


1950  Gary Larson, American cartoonist (The Far Side), was born.

1967  UK Marine Broadcasting Offences Act declared participation in offshore pirate radio illegal.

1969 British troops were deployed in Northern Ireland.

1972  An East German Ilyushin Il-62 crashed during takeoff from East Berlin, killing 156.

1980  Lech Wałęsa led strikes at the Gdańsk shipyards.


1987  All the children held at Kia Lama, a rural property on Lake Eildon, Australia, run by the Santiniketan Park Association, were released after a police raid.

1994 Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the terrorist known as “Carlos the Jackal“, was captured.

2003  Widescale power blackout in the northeast United States and Canada.

NOAA satellite imagery one day before and the night of the blackout.

2006  Chencholai bombing – 61 Tamil girls were killed in Sri Lankan Airforce bombing.

2007   Kahtaniya bombings killed at least 400 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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