Word of the day


Recherché – elegant, exquisite, tasteful; uncommon, rare; forced, over-refined; pretentious.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said : “Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.”?

2. Who wrote: How to Win Friends and Influence People?

3. It’s bibliothèque in French, biblioteca in Italian and Spanish and whare pukapuka in Maoir, what is it in english?

4. Where did Texel sheep originate?

5. How many South Island electortes electorates are there and how many people (more or less) in an electorate.



6/10 in NZ History Online’s weekly quiz.

Confusing consequence with cause


Green co-leader Metiria Turei gave a very moving speech in Parliament on Tuesday using the sad story of her father’s difficult life and early death.

But she made a mistake when she said:

The economic reforms of the 1980’s failed my Dad and are now failing our children and grandchildren. We have hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders struggling to survive, just like my Dad did.

It wasn’t the reforms of the 80s which failed the poor, it was the misguided policies which preceded them that failed us all.

The reforms of the 80s weren’t the cause of the problem, they were the consequence of earlier economic mismanagement by successive governments which spent more than they earned.

From the early 70s when export income fell governments tried to make up for that with high taxes, increased spending and misguided attempts to protect the economy with measures such as high tariffs and import cottrols.

The reforms of the 80s were necessary medicine to treat the very sick economy which resulted from that.

They were hard times for many people and Turei is right that many are still struggling, but the answers she suggests are a return to the policies which caused the problem in the first place.

Real growth based on exports which provide real jobs are the solution, not higher taxes and more government spending.

February 10 in history


On February 10:

1306  Robert the Bruce murdered John Comyn, his leading political rival sparking revolution in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

1355 The St. Scholastica’s Day riot broke out in Oxford leaving 63 scholars and perhaps 30 locals dead in two days.

1567 An explosion destroyed the Kirk o’ Field house in Edinburgh. The second husband of Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Darnley was found strangled, in what many believe to be an assassination.

 1567 drawing of Kirk o’ Field after the murder of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley drawn for Cecil (William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley) shortly after the murder.

1763 The 1763 Treaty of Paris ended theFrench and Indian War and France ceded Quebec to Great Britain.

French and Indian War map.png

1775 Charles Lamb, English essayist, was born  (d. 1834).

1798 Louis Alexandre Berthier invaded Rome.

1814 Battle of Champaubert

1840 Queen Victoria  married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

 Marriage of Victoria and Albert by Sir George Hayter

1846 First Anglo-Sikh War: Battle of Sobraon – British defeated Sikhs in final battle of the war.

 Raja Lal Singh, who led Sikh forces against the British during the First Anglo-Sikh War, 1846

1870 The YWCA was founded.

1893 Jimmy Durante, American actor/comedian, was born  (d. 1980).

1894  Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister, was born  (d. 1986).

1906 HMS Dreadnought (1906) was launched.

HMS Dreadnought 1906 H61017.jpg

1920 – Jozef Haller de Hallenburg performed a symbolic wedding of Poland to the sea, celebrating restitution of Polish access to open sea.


1923 Texas Tech University was founded as Texas Technological College in Lubbock.

1930  Robert Wagner, American actor, was born.


1931 New Delhi became the capital of India.

1933 The New York City-based Postal Telegraph Company introduces the first singing telegram.

1934 Fleur Adcock, New Zealand poet, was born.

1937 Roberta Flack, American singer, was born.

1947 Italy ceded most of Venezia Giulia to Yugoslavia.

1950 Mark Spitz, American swimmer, was born.

Mark Spitz Jul 2008-2.jpg

1952 Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, was born.

1955  – Greg Norman, Australian golfer, was born.

Gerg Norman visit USS John F Kennedy.jpg

1962 Captured American spy pilot Gary Powers was exchanged for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.


1964 – The aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) collided with the destroyer HMAS Voyager (D04) off the south coast of New South Wales.

 Animation showing the courses and positions of the two ships leading up to the collision

1967 The provision of free milk in schools ended.

End of free school milk

1967 – The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

1981 – A fire at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel-casino killed eight and injured 198.

1982  Iafeta Paleaaesina, New Zealand rugby league player, was born.

Feka Wigan.jpg

1989 Ron Brown became the first African American to lead a major American political party when he was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

1996 The IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov for the first time.

  Garri kasparow 20070318.jpg

2008 The 2008 Namdaemun fire severely damaged Namdaemun, the first National Treasure of South Korea.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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