Basie Boogie


Count Basie would have been 106 today.

Word of the day


Wibble – the trembling of the lower lip just shy of crying.

Saturday smiles


Apropos of the Australian election today:

A politician and a couple of her friends were fishing when their boat capsised. Shirl and Sue started to panic because they’d seen sharks in the area.

“No worries, mates,” said the politician and she started to swim towards land to get help.

As she swam, Shirl and Sue spotted the dorsal fins of two great white sharks heading straight toward the politician. Befores they could yell a warning, the politician took hold of their fins and the sharks escorted her safely to shore.

When the politician returned with help, Shirl and Sue asked her how she had managed such an amazing feat. The politician answered, “Professional courtesy.”

Carbon better than stock on marginal hill country


Subsidies encouraged farmers to develop marginal hill country land which would have been better nor cleared for both economic and environmental reasons.

Now there’s an opportunity to plant the land in trees and earn more per hectare from carbon credits than would be possible from sheep and beef.

 Bloomberg interviewed Wairarapa farmer Edwyn Kight who has planted  600 hectares of forest since carbon trading began and plans 800 more, keeping 1,000 hectares for livestock.

Carbon has the “potential to markedly alter the profitability of New Zealand’s hill country,” he said. “That land is not marginally economic to farm for sheep and cattle, it’s totally uneconomic. There’s a real opportunity for land use change here.”

He also counters the suggestion that carbon farming will add to depopulation of rural areas.

“It hasn’t happened because of forestry, it’s happened because of economics,” said Kight, who is a member of Federated Farmers.

For farmers like Kight, whose sheep and cattle are part of the exports Key wants to protect, the trading scheme is a means to stay in business.

“You don’t want it to be a call for the last one around to turn out the lights,” he said. “That’s what it was coming to.”

He’s right, there simply isn’t enough money to be made from running sheep and cattle on marginal hill country. But planting trees will not only be better for erosion control, thanks to the ETS, it will also provide cash flow for farmers.

Milk payout holding up


Fonterra shareholders received a welcome email from the co-operative’s chair Henry van der Heyden yesterday – the forecast milk payout is staying at $6.90 – $7.10.

That is based on the expectation dairy prices will strengthen as the season progresses.

The payout will be confirmed after the board’s meeting on September 23.

Sir Henry also complimented the response by farmers, the company’s service centre and tanker drivers to last weekend’s floods in the Bay of Plenty.

The flooding put 75 farms and 500,000 litres of milk at risk but Fonterra was able to pick up all the milk.

August 21 in history


On August 21:

1192  Minamoto Yoritomo became Seii Tai Shōgun and the de facto ruler of Japan.


1680  Pueblo Indians captured Santa Fe from Spanish during the Pueblo Revolt.

1689  The Battle of Dunkeld in Scotland.

1770  James Cook formally claimed eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales.


1772 King Gustav III completed his coup d’état by adopting a new Constitution, ending half a century of parliamentary rule in Sweden and installing himself as an enlightened despot.


1808 Battle of Vimeiro: British and Portuguese forces led by General Arthur Wellesley defeated French force under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot.

Battle of Vimeiro map.jpg

1810  Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Marshal of France, was elected Crown Prince of Sweden by the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates.


1821  Jarvis Island was discovered by the crew of the ship, Eliza Frances.

1831  Nat Turner led black slaves and free blacks in a rebellion.

1863  Lawrence, Kansas was destroyed by Confederate guerrillas Quantrill’s Raiders in the Lawrence Massacre.

Battle of Lawrence.png

1878  The American Bar Association was founded.


1888  The first successful adding machine in the United States was patented by William Seward Burroughs.


1904  William “Count” Basie, American bandleader, was born  (d. 1984).

1911 Mona Lisa was stolen by a Louvre employee.

See adjacent text.

1918   The Second Battle of the Somme began.

1920 Christopher Robin Milne, inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, was born (d. 1996).


1930 Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was born  (d. 2002).


1942  Allied forces defeated an attack by Japanese Army soldiers in the Battle of the Tenaru.


1944  Dumbarton Oaks Conference, prelude to the United Nations, began.

1945  Physicist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. was fatally irradiated during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


1952 Glenn Hughes, British bassist and vocalist (Finders Keepers/Trapeze/Deep Purple), was born.

1952  Joe Strummer, British musician and singer (The Clash), was born  (d. 2002).

1958  Auckland became the first city in New Zealand to introduce the ‘Barnes Dance’ street-crossing system, which stopped all traffic and allowed pedestrians to cross intersections in every direction at the same time.

Auckland pedestrians begin 'Barnes Dance'

1959  President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union – now commemorated by Hawaii Admission Day.

Flag of Hawaii State seal of Hawaii

1963  Xa Loi Pagoda raids: the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces vandalised Buddhist pagodas across the country, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead.

The front of the pagoda is cream colored and sits on a raised platform which is connected to the ground by a stairway. Chinese characters are above a set of ornate glass windows. A few people are sitting on the benches in the brick courtyard below, surrounded by many trees and shrubs. The roof is tiled brown and there is an unused flagpole at the front of the raise platform.

1968  Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia, crushing the Prague Spring and Nicolae Ceauşescu, leader of Communist Romania, publicly condemned the Soviet maneuver, encouraging the Romanian population to arm itself against possible Soviet reprisals.


1968  James Anderson, Jr. posthumously received the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine.

James Anderson, Jr.jpg   A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.

1969 Michael Dennis Rohan, an Australian, sets the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.


1971  A bomb exploded in the Liberal Party campaign rally in Plaza Miranda, Manila, with several anti-Marcos political candidates injured.

1976  Operation Paul Bunyan at Panmunjeom, Korea.

1983  Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated at the Manila International Airport.


1986 Carbon dioxide gas erupted from volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon, killing up to 1,800 people within a 20-kilometer range.


1991  Latvia declared renewal of its full independence after the occupation of Soviet Union.

1991  Coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapsed.


1993  NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft.

Mars Observer.jpg

2007   Hurricane Dean made its first landfall in Costa Maya, Mexico with winds at 165 mph (266 km/h).


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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