November 27 in history

November 27, 2010

On November 27:

176 – Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted his son Commodus the rank of Imperator and made him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions.

Commodus Musei Capitolini MC1120.jpg

1095 – Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

1295 – The first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend  “The Model Parliament“.

1703 – The first Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703.

1815 – Adoption of Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland.

1830 – St. Catherine Laboure experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin standing on a globe, crushing a serpent with her feet, and emanating rays of light from her hands.

1839 – The American Statistical Association was founded.

1856 – The Coup of 1856 led to Luxembourg’s unilateral adoption of a new, reactionary constitution.

1868 – Indian Wars: Battle of Washita River – United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an attack on Cheyenne living on reservation land.

Seventh Cavalry Charging Black Kettle s Village 1868.jpg

1874 Chaim Weizmann, 1st President of Israel, was born.

1886 – German judge Emil Hartwich sustainsedfatal injuries in a duel, which became the background for “Effi Briest“, a classic work of German literature.

1895 – Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize.

1901 – The U.S. Army War College was established.

1912 – Spain declared a protectorate over the north shore of Morocco.

1924 – In New York City, the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held.

1925 Ernie Wise, British comedian, was born.

1934 – Bank robber Baby Face Nelson died in a shoot-out with the FBI.

1940 – The 16,712-ton New Zealand Shipping Company liner MV Rangitane was sunk by two German ‘auxiliary cruisers’ (armed merchant raiders), the Orion and Komet, 300 nautical miles off East Cape.

Liner sunk by German raiders off East Cape

1940 – Romania’s ruling party Iron Guard arrested and executed over 60 of exiled King Carol II of Romania‘s aides, including former minister Nicolae Iorga.

1940 – World War II: At the Battle of Cape Spartivento, the Royal Navy engaged the Regia Marina.


1940  Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist, was born.


1942  Jimi Hendrix, American guitarist, was born.

1942 – World War II: At Toulon, the French navy scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of Nazi hands.

Toulon 1942.jpg

1944 – World War II: An explosion at a Royal Air Force ammunition dump at Fauld, Staffordshire killed seventy people.


1963 – The Convention on the Unification of Certain Points of Substantive Law on Patents for Invention iwa signed at Strasbourg.

1964 – Cold War Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appealed to the United States and the Soviet Union to end nuclear testing and to start nuclear disarmament, stating that such an action would “save humanity from the ultimate disaster”.

1971 – The Soviet space programme’s Mars 2 orbiter released a descent module which malfunctioned and crashed, but was the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

1973 – The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States Senate voted92 to 3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.
President Gerald Ford, arms folded, in front of a United States Flag and the Presidential seal.

1975 – The Provisional IRA assassinated Ross McWhirter, after a press conference in which McWhirter had announced a reward for the capture of those responsible for multiple bombings and shootings across England.

1978 –  San Francisco, mayor George Moscone and openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.

1978 – The Kurdish party PKK was founded in the city of Riha (Urfa) in Turkey.


1983 – Avianca Flight 011, a Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid’s Barajas Airport, killing 181.

1984 – Under the Brussels Agreement signed between the governments of the United Kingdom and Spain, the former agreed to enter into discussions with Spain over Gibraltar, including sovereignty.

1989 – Avianca Flight 203, a Boeing 727, exploded in mid-air over Colombia, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground. The Medellín Cartel claimed responsibility for the attack.

1991 – The United Nations Security Council adoptsedSecurity Council Resolution 721, leading the way to the establishment of peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia.

1992 – For the second time in a year, military forces tried to overthrow president Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela.

1997 – Twenty-five were killed in the second Souhane massacre in Algeria.

1999 – The Labour Party took control of the New Zealand government with leader Helen Clark, the coutnry’s second female PM.

2001 – A hydrogen atmosphere was discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet.

Exoplanet Comparison HD 209458 b.png

2004 – Pope John Paul II returned the relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

2005 – The first partial human face transplant was completed in Amiens.

2006 – The Canadian House of Commons endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s motion to declare Quebec a nation within a unified Canada.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

Word of the day

November 26, 2010

Declivity – downwards slope, inclination downwards.

Friday’s answers

November 26, 2010

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who composed Bolero?

2. Who said: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”?

3. What is the capital city of Andalucia?

4. What was Sir Keith Holyoake’s middle name?

5. It’s dolor in Spanish, douleur in French, dolore in Italian and pāmamae in Maori – what is it in English?

Points for answers:

Andrei and Bearhunter wint he electronic bouquet for perfect scores – pick some irises.

Deborah got three.

David got a bonus point for honesty.

Paul got four, a welcome back and a bonus for extra informaiton, humour and a good point about the 375 Cambodians.

Adam got four.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Who was there first?

November 26, 2010

The Environment Court in Christchurch has reserved its decision about an appeal by winegrowers, over a ruling by Hurunui District Council to limit the noise level for wind machines used for frost protection.

Owners of vineyards in the Waipara Valley say a limit of 55 decibels, would mean machines operating at a level which wouldn’t provide full protection.

New Zealand Winegrowers policy manager John Barker says the outcome of the appeal will be significant for all growers, not just those in North Canterbury.

If the neighbours who will be affected by the noise were there first I would be sympathetic towards the noise limit. But if the vineyards were there first I’m on the side of the growers.

People move to lifestyle blocks in the country for a variety of reasons and often with the misconception that it will be more peaceful than life in town.

There will be fewer people and less traffic but there will usually be more animals and/or machinery which can be noisy.

When lifestylers meet agriculture and horticulture something has to give and those who were there first should come first when rules are being set.


November 26, 2010

10/10 in the Dominion Post weekly political quiz – but a couple were lucky guesses.

Wool part of the solution to falling sheep numbers

November 26, 2010

Beef + Lamb New Zealand ‘s announcement that the lamb drop was more than 10% down on last year’s wasn’t unexpected.

A cold, wet spring took its toll, not only in Southland and South Otago where it snowed in late September, but in the North Island too.

The Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Economic Service’s annual Lamb Crop Survey released today shows the number of lambs tailed was 25.11million head – 2. 8 million less than last spring – and the largest between – season percentage decrease seen in 21 years.

B+LNZ Economic Service Director, Rob Davison says both islands were affected by the cold and wet weather patterns that saw heavy snow fall to sea level in Southland during late September.

“North Island lamb numbers were back 9.5 per cent, while South Island numbers were back by 10.4 per cent.  Any regions where lambing was in full swing in late September were affected.

“Overall, the ewe lambing percentage across the country was 109.6 per cent. That’s 11.9 percentage points lower than last season’s 121.5 per cent – the lowest percentage we’ve seen since the spring of 1995.  While scanning results indicated lambing would be back slightly, it was the prolonged, cold wet weather during spring that was ultimately responsible.”

Lambs from hoggets were up 6.2 per cent on last season – this was partly because hoggets generally lamb later in spring and so largely avoided the adverse weather.  Hogget lambs this spring made up 4.0 per cent of the total lamb crop.

However, Mr Davison says continuing cooler weather, a lack of sunshine and consequent low pasture growth rates mean across the country, lambs are an average of two or three weeks behind where they would normally be at this time.  As a result, early drafts are down in both numbers and average weights.

 This will lead to a decrease in exports, although not by the same percentage.

“We estimate lambs for export will fall 1.4 million (-6.8%) on last season, to 19.5 million.  The reason for the lesser decline than the 2.8 million fall in the lamb crop, is that we predict fewer replacement lambs will be retained this season compared with last season’s high retention.  This season the trade-off will be to keep fewer replacements to generate cash flow.

“With fewer lambs to finish, average weights are expected to be up 1 per cent on last year to 17.8 kg which would make this the highest on record.  The prediction is that farmers will draft as many lambs as possible early to take advantage of the new season lamb schedule prices, then hold off until later in the season, opting to produce heavier weights to maximise per head prices – while at the same time hoping for a decrease in the New Zealand dollar by later in the season.

“Last season’s mid-November lambs were realising $5 to $5.20 per kilogram. This season, we’re ahead of those levels, around $6.10 to $6.30 per kilogram.”

Mr Davison says an active store market has already appeared, driven partly by fewer lamb numbers, but also concerns that the current La Nina weather pattern could deliver a dry summer across the country.

Farmers, and their financiers, will welcome the improved prices but the decreased numbers of lambs will put more pressure on the meat companies which were already regarded as having too much killing capacity.

However, falling numbers provide an insecure foundation  for higher prices. A stronger base requires better prices not just for meat but for wool and other by-products as well.

Wool Partners Co-operative  is offering an opportunity to for better returns from fibre, but it requires 50% of the wool clip to get under way. If it doesn’t get enough support the first realistic opporunity in years for improved returns from wool will be lost and that will be a blow to not only the wool industry but the meat industry too.

The full Lamb Crop 2010 survey is here.

Poorest don’t know about WFF

November 26, 2010

The Growing Up in New Zealand study found that many who need help most don’t know about Working for Families:

  • Nearly half (45 percent) of mothers in high deprivation areas were unaware of Working for Families.
  • I don’t think anyone should be surprised by that.

    WFF doesn’t go to people on benefits and there are likely to be more of them living in high deprivation areas.

    And remember the TV advertisements when Labour introduced WFF?

    They showed a well dressed family in a well furnished home with a father texting a daughter who was listening to an IPod. Those advertisements weren’t aimed at the people in high deprivation areas who needed help most, they were deliberately aimed at middle and upper income families.

    One of the options in the report from the Welfare Working Group is:

    An unconditional tax credit with a uniform tax rate that would replace all benefits and supplements.

     I wonder if that includes WFF and if that would focus assistance on those in need rather than those in want?


    Lindsay Mitchell writes:

    TV3 highlighted that 45 percent of the mothers in “high deprivation areas” were not aware of Working For Families. That is probably because they have no connection with the tax system through work. They will be well aware of the benefit system and using it.

    November 26 in history

    November 26, 2010

    On November 26:

    43 BC – The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (“Octavian”, later “Caesar Augustus”), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony was formed.


    783 – The Asturian queen Adosinda was put up in a monastery to prevent her kin from retaking the throne from Mauregatus.

    1476 – Vlad III Dracula defeated Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

    Vlad Tepes 002.jpg

    1731 William Cowper, English poet, was born (d. 1800).


    1778 –  Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Maui.

    1789 – A national Thanksgiving Day was observed in the United States.


    1805 – Official opening of Thomas Telford’s Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

    1842 – The University of Notre Dame was founded.

    1863 – American Civil War: Mine Run – Union forces under General George Meade positioned against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

    1865 – Battle of Papudo: The Spanish navy engaged a combined Peruvian-Chilean fleet north of Valparaiso, Chile.

    1876  Willis Carrier, American engineer and inventor(air conditioning), was born  (d. 1950).

    1895 Bill Wilson, American co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was born (d. 1971).


    1918 – The Podgorica Assembly voted for “union of the people”, declaring assimilation into the Kingdom of Serbia.

    1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.

    1922 Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, was born (d. 2000).


    1922 – Toll of the Sea debuted as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so but it was not widely distributed).

    1923  Pat Phoenix, English actress, was born.


    1924 – George Segal, American Pop Sculptor, was born (d. 2000).


    1939 – Shelling of Mainila: The Soviet Army orchestrated the incident which was used to justify the start of the Winter War with Finland four days later.

    1939 –  Tina Turner, American singer and actress, was born.

    1942 – World War II: Yugoslav Partisans convened the first meeting of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia.

    1944 – World War II: A German V-2 rocket hit a Woolworth’s shop on New Cross High Street killing 168 shoppers.

    1944 – World War II: Germany began V-1 and V-2 attacks on Antwerp.


    1949 – The Indian Constituent Assembly adopted India’s constitution presented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

    Constitution of India.jpg

    1950 – Korean War: Troops from China launch a massive counterattacked against South Korean and United Nations forces (Battle of the Ch’ongch’on River and Battle of Chosin Reservoir), ending any hopes of a quick end to the conflict.

    A snow covered hill with the hill top on fire and the slopes filled with charging soldiers

    1960 – The National Party, led by Keith Holyoake, defeated Walter Nash’s one-term Labour government. Holyoake went on to become the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister.

    'Kiwi Keith' begins 12-year reign as PM

    1965 – In the Hammaguir launch facility in the Sahara Desert, France launched a Diamant-A rocket with its first satellite, Asterix-1 on board, becoming the third country to enter outer space.

    Diamant P6230215.JPG

    1968 – Vietnam War: United States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescued an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire and was later awarded the Medal of Honor.


    1970 – In Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) of rain fell in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.

    1977 – ‘Vrillon’, claiming to be the representative of the ‘Ashtar Galactic Command’, tookover Britain’s Southern Television for six minutes.

    1983 – Brink’s-MAT robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million were stolen from the Brink’s-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport.

    1990 – The Delta II rocket made its maiden flight.

    A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying the Dawn spacecraft.

    1998 – Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

    2003 – Concorde made its final flight, over Bristol.


    2004 – Ruzhou School massacre: a man stabbed and killed eight people and seriously wounded another four in a school dormitory in Ruzhou, China.

    2004 – Male Po’ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) died of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct.


    2008 – The first of 10 co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-based terrorists were fired.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

    Word of the day

    November 25, 2010

    Wellaway  – an expression of sorrow, grief, woe or distress; a lamentation.

    Thursday’s quiz

    November 25, 2010

    1. Who composed Bolero?

    2. Who said: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”?

    3. What is the capital city of Andalucia?

    4. What was Sir Keith Holyoake’s middle name?

    5. It’s dolor in Spanish, douleur in French, dolore in Italian and pāmamae in Maori – what is it in English?

    Degrees of separation

    November 25, 2010

    One of the men who died in the Pike River mine is the cousin of one of our staff.

    That won’t be unusual in New Zealand where our small population results in very few degrees of separation and that is why today it’s not an exaggeration to say the country mourns.

    If we don’t know someone, we’ll know someone who knows someone who died, who is grieving, and/or who is helping.

    Kiwiblog has delivered some well deserved bouquets to some of those involved.

    I second that and make particular mention of the politicians.

    We usually see what divides them but from the start of this tragedy we’ve seen the common humanity which unites them. West Coast Tasman MP  Chris Auchinvole and list MP Damien O’Connor have been there as MPs and Coasters doing what they can to support the people they serve.

    As Prime Minister John Key said:

     New Zealand stands shoulder to shoulder with you. Though we cannot possibly feel this pain as you do, we have you in our hearts and our thoughts. Like you, we had all longed for that miracle to occur-that your men would be returned home to you. Tonight, on behalf of the people of New Zealand, we send our sympathy to the children who have lost their fathers, to the parents who have lost sons, to the wives who have lost their husbands, to the girlfriends who have lost their partners, to the siblings who have lost their brothers.”

    What can you do to help?

    November 25, 2010

    While the country is focusing on the deaths of the 29 men who died in the Pike River coal mine, life and death – which is a part of it – are going on for other people in other places.

    Today friends are holding a memorial service for their daughter who died after a riding accident overseas. They will be just one of many families facing up to the death of someone they love.

    Every day someone dies as the result of illness, accident or crime. Almost all leave behind people who loved them and they have wider friends and family who want to help but don’t always know what to do.

    The following suggestions are adapted from a piece I wrote on the death of a child for North and South in 1991.

    Please don’t ask “how are you?” unless you really want to know the answer.

    How are you?” has become a meaningless greeting to which the expected answer is “fine”. But I am not fine. At best I’m a bit fragile and a lot of the time I’m far worse – I feel upset, hurt, bewildered, angry, guilty. These and other normal feelings which follow the death of someone you love are not the things of casual conversation. If you are not prepared to hear about them, please choose another way to greet me.

    Don’t expect too much of me too soon.

    If I’d broken my leg it would be in a cast and you wouldn’t expect me to get back to normal for months. You can’t bandage a broken heart and you can’t see the scars. But they need time to heal and I need time to come to terms with the realisation that “normal” from now on is life without the one I loved.

    Don’t ignore the death or the one who died.

    You wouldn’t have any trouble talking about good news. If I’d just won Lotto it would be the first thing you would mention. Bad news is different – you probably don’t know what to say or how to say it. But the death is the biggest thing in my life and it helps if you acknowledge that.

    Be honest, and try to avoid platitudes.

    “This is awful, I don’t know what to say” is more real and more honest than clichéd phrases that may not be true anyway. Time alone doesn’t heal, the fact we have each other is irrelevant because drowning people can’t save each other and there is no comfort in the suggestion that any god would will a tragedy.

    Don’t think that having, or being able to have, other children or other relationships will be of any comfort now.

    People can’t be replaced. I loved the one I lost for who he was as an individual, not as an interchangeable piece in a set and mourning for him, at least at first will strain rather than strengthen bonds with others in my circle.

    If you want to help, make a specific offer or just do something.

    Saying “if there’s anything I can do” might make you feel better, but I’m unlikely to take you up because I probably don’t know what I need and I’m unsure what your “anything” means. However if you turn up with food, an offer to babysit,  or just a listening ear, your kindness will be gratefully accepted.

    Practice, don’t preach.

    However weak or strong my faith, and whatever your beliefs and mine, this is no time for sermons.

    Be sensitive.

    I find it hard to believe life in the outside world is still going on when my private world has collapsed. I hope this death won’t leave me bitter. But when I’m struggling with the weight of my own feelings I may not be able to appreciate your joys or sorrows.

    Don’t expect me to follow a prescribed pattern of grieving.

    Denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance are all stages in the grief process but no two people will go through them in the same way. I’ll have good days and bad days, sometimes I’ll cope with a lot, at other times I’ll be undone by little things. It may seem illogical, but feelings often are.

    Don’t confuse control with coping.

    A stiff upper lip probably means I’ve got a tight rein on my feelings, not that I have come to terms with them. You may not be comfortable with crying or screaming but they are far healthier than numbness, which can be a sign of denial.

    Keep in touch.

    I’ll always be grateful for the practical and moral support you gave immediately after the death and I know you have to get on with your life. But grief doesn’t end with the funeral and occasional phone call, note or visit will let me know you haven’t forgotten.

    This death has left me emotionally shattered. It will take time to put the pieces together, to start looking outwards again. But when things get really bad, knowing there is a friend who cares enough to give practical support will help heal the grief wound.

    November 25 in history

    November 25, 2010

    On November 25:

    1034 – Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots died. Donnchad, the son of his daughter Bethóc and Crínán of Dunkeld, inherited the throne.

    1120 – The White Ship sank in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.


    1177 – Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.

    Schlacht von Montgisard 2.jpg

    1343 – A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastated Naples and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places.

    1491 – The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, began.

    Granada 1492 Detail.jpg

    1667 – A deadly earthquake rocked Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people.

    1703 – The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reached its peak intensity. Winds gusted up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died.

    1755 – King Ferdinand VI of Spain granted royal protection to the Beaterio de la Compañia de Jesus, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary.


    1758 – French and Indian War: British forces captured Fort Duquesne from French control. Fort Pitt built nearby grew into modern Pittsburgh.

    1759 – An earthquake hit the Mediterranean destroying Beirut and Damascus and killing 30,000-40,000.

    1783 – American Revolutionary War: The last British troops left New York City three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

    1795 – Partitions of Poland: Stanislaus August Poniatowski, the last king of independent Poland, was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Russia.

    1826 – The Greek frigate Hellas arrived in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy.

    Hellenic Navy Seal

    1833 – A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coast.


    1835 Andrew Carnegie, British-born industrialist and philanthropist, was born (d. 1919).


    1839 – A cyclone in India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroyed the port city of Coringa. The storm wave swept inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths resulted.

    1844  – Karl Benz, German engineer and inventor, was born (d. 1929).

    1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Missionary Ridge .

    Battle of Missionary Ridge McCormick Harvesting.jpg

    1867 – Alfred Nobel patented dynamite.


    1874 – The United States Greenback Party was established consisting primarily of farmers affected by the Panic of 1873.

    1880 John Flynn, Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, was born.

    1880  Elsie J. Oxenham, British children’s author, was born.

    1890 Isaac Rosenberg, English war poet and artist, was born.

    1903 – By winning the world light-heavyweight championship, Timaru boxer Bob Fitzsimmons became the first man ever to be world champion in three different weight divisions.

    Fitzsimmons wins third world boxing title

    1905 – The Danish Prins Carl arrived in Norway to become King Haakon VII of Norway.

    1914  Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player, was born(d. 1999).

    1915 – Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator, was born (d. 2006).

    1917 – German forces defeated Portuguese army of about 1200 at Negomano on the border of modern-day Mozambique and Tanzania.

    1918 – Vojvodina, formerly Austro-Hungarian crown land, proclaimed its secession from Austria–Hungary to join the Kingdom of Serbia.

    1926 – The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history struck on Thanksgiving day. 27 twisters were reported in the Midwest, including the strongest November tornado, an estimated F4, that devastated Heber Springs, Arkansas and killed 51 with 76 deaths and over 400 injuries in all.

    1936 – Germany and Japan sigedn the Anti-Comintern Pact, agreeing to consult on measures “to safeguard their common interests” in the case of an unprovoked attack by the Soviet Union against either nation.


    1940 – World War II: First flight of the deHavilland Mosquito and Martin B-26 Marauder.


    1943 – World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina was re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    1947 – Red Scare: The “Hollywood Ten” were blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios.


    1947 – New Zealand ratified the Statute of Westminster and thus became independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom.

    1950  Alexis Wright, Australian author, was born.


    1950 – The “Storm of the Century“, a violent snowstorm, paralysed the northeastern United States and the Appalachians, bringing winds up to 100 mph and sub-zero temperatures. Pickens, West Virginia, recorded 57 inches of snow; 323 people died as a result of the storm.


    1952  – Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history.

    StMartins theatre London2.jpg

    1958 – French Sudan gained autonomy as a self-governing member of the French Community.

    Flag of Sudan

    1960 – The Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were assassinated.


    1963 – President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

    1970 – In Japan, author Yukio Mishima and one compatriot committed ritualistic suicide after an unsuccessful coup attempt.


    1973 – George Papadopoulos, head of the military Regime of the Colonels in Greece, was ousted in a hardliners’ coup led by Brigadier General Dimitrios Ioannidis.

    1975 – Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands.

    1977 – Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. was found guilty by the Philippine Military Commission No. 2 and sentenced to death by firing squad.

    1982 – The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroyed an entire city block.

    1984 – 36 top musicians recorded Band Aid‘s Do They Know It’s Christmas in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

    1986 – The King Fahd Causeway was officially opened in the Persian Gulf.


    1987 – Typhoon Nina pummelled the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that destroys entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths are attributed to the storm.

    1988 – German politician Rita Süssmuth became president of the Bundestag.


    1992 – The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia voted to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993.

    1996 – An ice storm struck the central U.S. killing 26 people. A powerful windstorm affected Florida and winds gusted over 90 mph.

    1999 – The United Nations established the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic.

    2000 –  Baku earthquake.


    2005 – Polish Minister of National Defence Radek Sikorski opened Warsaw Pact archives to historians. Maps of possible nuclear strikes against Western Europe, as well as the possible nuclear annihilation of 43 Polish cities and 2 million of its citizens by Soviet-controlled forces, are released.

    2008 – A car bomb in St. Petersburg killed three people and injured one.

    2009 – A storm brought 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah sparking floods which killed over 150 people and sweep thousands of cars away in the middle of Hajj.

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

    Second explosion dashes hope

    November 24, 2010

    A second explosion in the Pike River mine has dashed hopes that any of the trapped men might still be alive.

    The waiting is over but this is the worst possible outcome.

    Rob left a comment on my first post this morning saying  it was a time to hope.

    Now is a time to grieve and I hope the media give the people who have lost husbands, sons, fathers and friends, the space they will need to do that.

    Word of the day

    November 24, 2010

    Dephlogisticate – to make something fire-proof, to take away the aiblity to burn.

    Good science and good farming at Grasslands conference

    November 24, 2010

    An International Grasslands Conference in Ireland five years ago convinced opened my farmer’s eyes to New Zealand’s natural advantages – the climate and soils which help us grow good pasture.

    It also confirmed the already positive view he had of Grasslands Association as an organisation.

    Farmers tend to be good adopters of science because it’s generally easy to apply findings and measure the benefits. Grasslands’ conferences brings together scientists and farmers for their mutual benefit.

    At the conference dinner last week I was immediately struck  by the mutual respect scientists and farmers had for each other and the positive atmosphere. It was great to be somewhere where farming is valued, appreciated and celebrated.

    A highlight of the dinner was the presentation of the Grasslands Trust Awards.

    The Ray Brougham Trophy for an outstanding national contribution to the New Zealand grassland industry went to John McKenzie, general manager of  Wrightson Seeds.

    The Regional Award for exceptional effort above and beyond the normal career contribution that supports the regional pastoral agricultural industry, be it technology development or an aspect of farming itself, went to Andy Macfarlane. He runs his own consulting firm, Macfarlane Rural Business, among many other contributions to farming.

    The Farming Awards are given in recognition of  high performance pastoral farming and adoption of new technologies. The criteria includes: 

    • Good grassland farming – an impressive, profitable grassland-based business, run for at least five years on the property.
    • Innovative approach – using the latest grassland technology effectively.
    • Sustainable management – a good degree of sustainability in the enterprise and a strong responsibility for environmental matters.
    • Communication skills – passing on good grassland farming skills to others in the region, and including local community activity.

     These were won by Craig and Ros Mckenzie who farm at Methven, and my farmer.

    The certificate says:  The presentation of this honour is a just tribute to outstanding ability and confidence in the potential of NZ’s greatest industry – Grassland Farming.

    My farmer is quietly chuffed by  the honour and I’m basking in reflected glory.

    Bad employers make bad policy

    November 24, 2010

    Labour has a penchant for employment policy which treats all employers as if they are like the minority of bad ones.

    My theory that that’s because they judge others by their own low standards has been strengthened by another example:

    Mr Goff today put pressure on Mr Key, saying he should make Mrs Wong front-up and explain, or sack her from National’s caucus.

    Kiwiblog covers the hypocrisy of this in the wake of the way Labour has acted over misdeeds in its own caucus.

    But there is more hypocrisy – Labour is the party which keeps telling us it’s the one which stands up for workers’ rights, among which is the right to fair process.

    Yet here’s the leader calling for someone to be thrown out of caucus before the process is completed.

    Imagine how he’d react if an employer tried to do that with a worker.

    And oh how ironic that this call was made when employment law reforms, including a 90 day trial period for all new employees, are being opposed so strongly by Labour.

    How long do you hope?

    November 24, 2010

    When we were told our then-16 week old son had a degenerative brain disorder and was likely to die soon I understood what we were being told, but I couldn’t, wouldn’t quite believe it.

    Medical science isn’t infallible, there’s always the possibility of miracles . . .  in spite of the fact I knew neither of those were possible this time, I still clung to a tiny bit of hope.

    Four weeks later when the doctor told me he had died, my first response was to say “pardon?”

    It wasn’t that I didn’t hear him or understand, Tom was in my arms and I could see he wasn’t breathing.  I knew in my head that he’d gone, but my heart wouldn’t quite accept it.

    That’s hope in the face of hopelessness and it’s not unusual.

    Perhaps that’s how the families and friends of the men trapped in the Pike River mine feel. As every day goes past with nothing heard from deep inside the mine the outlook gets bleaker, but still they hope. 

    The video of the blast  showed the severity of the explosion, but still, no-one wants to give up and say it’s a matter of recovery rather than rescue.

    Yesterday the tone at the media conferences was more subdued, but still the mine management and rescue teams are trying to do everything possible, just in case.

    And still, no matter how grim the outlook, unless there is evidence that it’s absolutely hopeless, people will continue to hope.

    How long do you hope?

    As long as you can.

    November 24 in history

    November 24, 2010

    On November 24:

    380 – Theodosius I made his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople.


    1429 – Joan of Arc unsuccessfully besieged La Charité.

    1542 – Battle of Solway Moss: The English army defeated the Scots.

    1639 – Jeremiah Horrocks observed the transit of Venus, an event he had predicted.


    1642 – Abel Tasman became the first European to discover the island Van Diemen’s Land (later renamed Tasmania).

    1806 William Webb Ellis, who is credited with the invention of Rugby, was born (d. 1872).
    1815 Grace Darling, English heroine, was born (d. 1842).
    Grace Horsley Darling - Portrait.jpg
    1849  Frances Hodgson Burnett, British-born author, was born (d. 1924).

    1850 – Danish troops defeated a Schleswig-Holstein force in the Battle of Lottorf.

    1859 – Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

    Origin of Species title page.jpg

    1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Lookout Mountain – Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant captured Lookout Mountain and began to break the Confederate siege of the city led by General Braxton Bragg.


    1864 – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French painter, was born (d. 1901).


    1868 Scott Joplin, Ragtime Composer, was born (d. 1917).
    1888  Dale Carnegie, American writer, was born (d. 1955).
    1894 Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer, was born (d. 1978).
    Herbert Sutcliffe.jpg
    1897  Lucky Luciano, American gangster, was born  (d. 1962).

    1922 – Author and Irish Republican Army member Robert Erskine Childers was executed by an Irish Free State firing squad for illegally carrying a revolver.

    1940 – World War II: Slovakia became a signatory to the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

    1941 – World War II: The United States granted Lend-Lease to the Free French.

    1942 Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian, was born.
    Billy 1.jpg

    1943 – World War II: The USS Liscome Bay was torpedoed near Tarawa and sank with nearly 650 men killed.


    1944 – World War II: The first bombing raid against Tokyo from the east and by land was carried out by 88 American aircraft.


    1959 – All hands were lost when the modern coastal freighter Holmglen foundered off the South Canterbury coast. The cause of the tragedy was never established.

    Fifteen die in mysterious shipwreck

    1961 Arundhati Roy, Indian writer, was born.

    1962 – The West Berlin branch of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany formed a separate party, the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin.

    1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters. The shooting was broadcast live on television.

    1965 – Joseph Désiré Mobutu seized power in the Congo and becomes President.

    1966 – A Bulgarian plane with 82 people on board crashed near Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

    1966 – New York City experienced the smoggiest day in the city’s history.

    1969 – The Apollo 12 command module splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.


    1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money.

    1973 – A national speed limit was imposed on the Autobahn in Germany due to the 1973 oil crisis.

    1974 – Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discovered the 40% complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, nicknamed “Lucy” (after The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.

    1992 – A China Southern Airlines domestic flight crashed, killing all 141 people on-board.

    1993 – In Liverpool, 11-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were convicted of the murder of 2-year-old James Bulger.

    2007 – Australians elected the Labor Party at a federal election; outgoing prime minister, John Howard, became the first since 1929 to lose his own seat.
      Kevin Rudd headshot.jpg John Howard May 2006.jpg

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

    Word of the day

    November 23, 2010

    Gongoozler – an idle spectator; one who stares endlessly at something unusual; someone who watches but does not contribute to the content or interest of an event.

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