Word of the day


Sláinte – cheers.

Still seeking support for two good causes


David Farrar and Cameron Slater are still seeking support for their bid to bid for the No sign which a failed politician used to confirm answers to such questions as could he be trusted? and was he telling the truth?.

Helping them will support two good causes:

 The more we get, the more likely it is we will win – plus the more money gets raised for families of those who died in Christchurch. It’s a win-win.

As I originally said, if the framed sign is won by Whale and me, we will ensure it turns up to as many of Winston’s meetings as possible. It will be wonderful. We’ll just have someone silently holding it up at the wave back of the room – no need to heckle or interject – it will be a silent reminder to people about how he lied to the media and the public repeatedly.

After the election, our intention is to then permanently loan it to the Backbencher pub opposite Parliament, where it can be displayed permanently – along with a statement providing context for it.

If you’re willing to help,  e-mail David with your pledge.

While on the subject of fundraisers, the $33,000 bid from  the AllFlex Platinum Primary Producers Group was topped up to $40,000 and won Colin Meads’ No 8 jersey which was auctioned on the Farming Show.

Jamie Mackay interviewed Sir Colin about that on Tuesday and Allflex CE Shane McManaway yesterday.

The APPPG intend to auction the jersey again next year and use the proceeds for charity.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said: “And I promise I’ll never do it again. That’s the one good thing about me. I never do the same wrong thing twice.”?

2. What does pachyglossal mean?

3. It’s mensonge in French,  mentira in Spanish and teka in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Instruments which are struck, shaken or plucked belong in which section of an orchestra?

5. Which husband and wife edited Metro and North and South respectively in the 1980s?

Cars stuck in insurance limbo


Now that the immediate crisis of the Christchurch earthquake is over the city is facing the frustration of trying to get back to normal life when life is anything but normal.

Given the devastation the progress made on restoring power, water and sewerage has been impressive, although that won’t be any consolation to those still without services.

Although the initial inspection of houses has been fast tracked a lot of people are left in limbo not knowing if they will be able to return to their homes and if they can when that will be.

Businesses face similar frustrations and so do car owners.

Three parking buildings have been declared too unsafe for vehicle retrieval:

• Smiths City (Columbo Street/Dundas Street)
• Lichfield Street car park (33 Lichfield Street, near Oxford Terrace, adjacent Ballantynes)
• Farmers car park on at 194 Oxford Terrace

Engineering assessments will continue regularly to assess if and when access can be made safe.

This means it is also not possible to update owners of the condition of individual vehicles at these locations.

Supt Sam Hoyle said: “We fully appreciate it makes lives very difficult for some people not knowing when, or even if, they will get their vehicle back, or whether it is in a driveable condition. Be assured that if we can retrieve a vehicle we will, but the advice of the engineers is that some buildings are just too unsafe at this stage.”

 This puts the cars in insurance limbo.

Insurance companies won’t pay out until the cars are written off and that can’t happen until they’re retrieved.

Safety of people must come before the retrieval of vehicles and insurance companies can’t pay out on vehicles if they aren’t certain of their state.

This leaves a lot of people without their cars for an unknown time and without the resources to replace them.

“Triangle of life” advice disputed


An email doing the rounds advises people not to get under a desk or other furniture for protection during an earthquake but to curl up beside it in the triangle of life.

The email quotes Doug Copp of American Rescue Team International (ARTI) has other advice, including that it’s better to get out of a car and lie down beside it than stay in it.

But if you Google triangle of life you find the advice is disputed.

Urban legends and several other sites say that rather than saving lives, following the suggestions made in the email could endanger them.

Drop, cover and hold on is generally regarded as the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake.

What is it about the Irish?


Lots of countries have saints, but most saints’ days pass unnoticed by the rest of the world.

What is it about the Irish which means St Patrick’s Day makes such an impact, even on those who haven’t kissed the Blarney Stone, drunk Guinness, read James Joyce and/or can’t pronounce begorra correctly?

March 17 in history


On March 17:

45 BC Julius Caesar defeated the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.

Caesar campaigns from Rome to Munda-fr.svg

180 Marcus Aurelius died leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

Commodus Musei Capitolini MC1120.jpg

624 Led by Muhammad, the Muslims of Medina defeated the Quraysh of Mecca in the Battle of Badr.


1337 Edward, the Black Prince was made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England.

1473 King James IV of Scotland was born (d. 1513).

1756 Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).


1776 American Revolution: British forces evacuated Boston, Massachusetts after George Washington and Henry Knox placed artillery overlooking the city.

1780 American Revolution: George Washington granted the Continental Army a holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”.

1805 The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, became the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.

1834 Gottlieb Daimler, German engineer and inventor was born (d. 1900).


1845 The rubber band was patented.


1846 Kate Greenaway, English children’s author and illustrator, was born (d. 1901).


1860 The opening shots of the first Taranaki War were fired when imperial troops attacked a pa built by the Te Ati Awa chief Te Rangitake at Te Kohia.

First Taranaki war erupts at Waitara

1861 The Kingdom of Italy (1861-1946) was proclaimed.

1864 Joseph Baptista Indian Home Rule founder was born  (d. 1930).

1880 Lawrence Oates, English army officer and Antarctic explorer, was born (d. 1912).

1919 Nat King Cole, American singer, was born (d. 1965).

1920 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Founding Leader of Bangladesh, was born (d. 1975).

1938 Rudolf Nureyev, Russian-born dancer and choreographer, was born (d. 1993).

1938 Zola Taylor, American singer (The Platters), was born  (d. 2007).

1939 Battle of Nanchang between the Kuomintang and Japan started.

1941 The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1941 Paul Kantner, American musician (Jefferson Airplane) was born.

1942 The first Jews from the Lviv Ghetto were gassed at the Belzec death camp (eastern Poland).

1945 The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany collapsed, ten days after its capture.

1947 First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.

1948 Benelux, France and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Brussels.

Signing of the Treaty of Brussels (1948).jpeg

1950  Researchers at the University of California announced the creation of element 98, which they named “Californium.”

1951 Scott Gorham, American musician (Thin Lizzy) was born.

1954 Lesley-Anne Down, English actress, was born.

1957 A plane crash in Cebu killed Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay and 24 others.

1958 The United States launched the Vanguard 1 satellite.

Vanguard 1.jpg

1959 Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet for India.

Characteristic hands-raised anjali greeting

1960 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action programme that led to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

1966  Off the coast of Spain, the Alvin submarine found a missing American hydrogen bomb.


1967 Billy Corgan, American musician (Smashing Pumpkins), was born.

1969 Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer, was born (d. 2010).

1969 Golda Meir became the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

1970 My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charged 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.

1973 The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy was taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family.

 The photograph Burst of Joy. From left to right, Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm, Lorrie Stirm, Bo Stirm, Cindy Stirm, Loretta Stirm, and Roger Stirm. (© Slava Veder / Associated Press)

1976 Stephen Gately, Irish singer, musician, and actor (Boyzone) was born (d. 2009).

1979 The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapsed during engineering works, killing two workers.

1988 A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashed into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.

1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, was attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.

1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Suicide car bomb attack killed 29 and injured 242.

2000 More than 800 members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in a mass murder and suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult.

2003 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigned from the British Cabinet over his disagreement with government plans for the war with Iraq.

2004 –  Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 killed, 200 wounded, and the destruction of 35 Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Nis.

2008 – Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer resigned after a scandal involving a high-end prostitute. Lieutenant Governor David Paterson became New York State governor.

Sourced from NZ History and Wikipedia.

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