Word of the day

March 27, 2011

Thanatoid – apparently dead; death-like; resembling death; mortal; deadly.


Did you see the one about . . .

March 27, 2011

All Blacks in space – Eric Roy has a photo to prove it.

Go for the best deal regardless and “local” will really look after itself – Eye to the Long Run on why buying local isn’t necessarily better.

Earthquake photos – Offsetting Behaviour on Goggle Maps with lots of links.

Parlez vous Francais? – Penguinunearthed at Around the World on immersion language lessons.

Latest! Adolf Hitler predicts rain in Hokitika – Brian Edwards has the video.


Visiting is fine, living there’s a backward step

March 27, 2011

Quote of the week:

I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its trade offs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelphon on Earth Hour at Eye to the Long Run.


MMP gives parties too much power and makes them impotent

March 27, 2011

MMP gives parties a lot of power in some ways but leaves them impotent in others.

They rank the lists which determines the order candidates get into parliament giving them a lot of  control over candidates.

Once a minor party has a seat it has power far beyond its support base even, as both Jim Anderton and Peter Dunne prove, it is no longer effectively a party.

However, the system which gives parties a lot of power also leaves them powerless.

Labour doesn’t want Judith Tizard, Mark Burton, Mahara Okeroa, Martin Gallagher or Dave Hereora back in parliament but under the rules, they are the first five in line to get the seat vacated by Darren Hughes. Only if each in turn does not accept the offer can it be offered to Louisa Wall.

If any of those five returns to parliament we’ll be paying them 11 months salary and allowances which comes to a total of $162,020 to do what?

She or he will go to parliament, sit in the house and have select committee duties until parliament rises for the election in early October. S/he might be asked to be a buddy MP in an electorate but how hard s/he applies her/himself to the task will be entirely up to her/him.

Knowing s/he is only there as a stop-gap gives her/him nothing to lose as Judith Tizard has already made clear:

Goff’s other problem is Hughes’ vacant party list spot – it’s due to go to Judith Tizard.

He views her as a figure from the past and doesn’t want her back.

“It’s for seven months, for some that might be regarded as disruptive,” he says.

But Tizard is undecided – she’s got unfinished business.

“I’d love to make a valedictory speech,” she says.

And if she does – she really will be disruptive.

“The question is whether Phil Goff is the person to lead New Zealand and he’s got to capture New Zealand’s imagination and for New Zealand to see him as an alternative,” she says.

Labour is already unstable. Allowing a former MP to return when she makes it quite clear she isn’t loyal to the leader will only make that worse but the rules of MMP allow that to happen and there’s nothing the party can do about it.


Labor’s love lost

March 27, 2011

The Labor Party has lost the love of the electorate after 16 years in power in New South Wales.

The victory of the Coalition led by Barry O’Farrell came with the biggest swing in Australian electoral history.

If there are lessons in the routing for New Zealand one of them is that every party in power has a best-by date. Another is this:

Mr O’Farrell told 400 supporters at Parramatta Leagues Club: ”We won tonight seats we never dreamed of winning. And I am determined that the government I lead will govern for all people.” . . .

 . . .  ”The Liberal Party was born to represent all people, not sectional interests.”

MMP  makes it easier to promote sectional interests and gives them power far in excess of their support. But a government which panders to those interests to the detriment of the majority will be punished.

That is what happened to Labour here. In buying votes and and attempting to woo various small groups they  lost support of the majority.


Cleaning gutters . . .

March 27, 2011

. . .  before the downpour which brings rain inside the conservatory would have been a very good idea.

Especially as last night wasn’t the first time we haven’t done the precautionary cleaning and had to deal with a flood.


March 27 in history

March 27, 2011

On March 27:

196 BC  Ptolemy V ascended to the throne of Egypt.

 

1306 Robert The Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone.

1309  Pope Clement V excommunicated Venice and all its population.

Papst klemens v.jpg

1329  Pope John XXII issued his In Agro Dominico condemning some writings of Meister Eckhart as heretical.

Painting of a young cleanshaven man wearing golden robes and a tall conical hat with elaborate designs.  He is holding a large book in his lap, but looking towards the viewer.

1613  The first English child born in Canada at Cuper’s Cove, Newfoundland to Nicholas Guy.

1625  Charles I beccame King of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as claiming the title King of France.

1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1794 The United States Government established a permanent navy and authorized the building of six frigates.

United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg

1794 Denmark and Sweden formed a neutrality compact.

1814 War of 1812: Forces under General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

Battle of Horseshoe Bend.jpg

1836 Texas Revolution: Goliad massacre – Antonio López de Santa Anna ordered the Mexican army to kill about 400 Texans at Goliad, Texas.

1836 Kirtland Temple in Ohio was dedicated in an 8 hour long service led by Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.

KirtlandTemple Ohio USA.jpg

1846  Mexican-American War: Siege of Fort Texas.

Siege of Fort Texas.gif

1851 – First reported sighting of the Yosemite Valley by Europeans.

 

1854 Crimean War: The United Kingdom declared war on Russia.

Malakhov1.jpg

1863 Sir Henry Royce, English automobile pioneer, was born (d. 1933).

 

1871 The first international rugby football match, England v. Scotland, was played in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

1881 Rioting took place in Basingstoke in protest against the daily vociferous promotion of rigid Temperance by the Salvation Army.

1883 English Salvation Army officers, Captain George Pollard and Lieutenant Edward Wright, arrived at Port Chalmers on a mission to establish a New Zealand branch of the quasi-military Christian evangelical movement, which had been founded in the slums of London’s East End in 1865.

The 'Sallies' come to New Zealand

1886 Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrendered to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

1899 Gloria Swanson, American actress, was born  (d. 1983).

  1906 The Alpine Club of Canada was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Alpine Club of Canada

1910 A fire during a barn-dance in Ököritófülpös, Hungary, killed 312.

1912 James Callaghan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 2005).

1917  Cyrus Vance, American politician, was born (d. 2002).

1918 Moldova and Bessarabia joined Romania.

1924 Sarah Vaughan, American singer, was born (d. 1990).

1931 David Janssen, American actor, was born (d. 1980).

The Futgitive title screen.png

1938  The Battle of Taierzhuang.

Taierzhuang.jpg

1941 Yugoslavian Air Force officers toppled the pro-axis government in a bloodless coup.

1943  Battle of the Komandorski Islands – In the Aleutian Islands battle started when United States Navy forces intercepted Japanese attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska.

USS Salt Lake City

1945 Operation Starvation, the aerial mining of Japan’s ports and waterways began.

1950 Tony Banks, English musician (Genesis), was born.

1958  Nikita Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet Union.

A portrait shot of an older, bald man with bifocal glasses. He is wearing a blazer over a collared shirt and tie. In his hands, he is holding a set of papers.

1959 Andrew Farriss, Australian musician (INXS), was born.

1963  Beeching axe: Dr. Richard Beeching issued a report calling for huge cuts to the United Kingdom’s rail network.

1964  The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 struck South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

 

1969 Mariner 7  was launched.

Mariner 67.gif

1970 Concorde made its first supersonic flight.

 

1975 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System began.

Trans-Alaska Pipeline System Luca Galuzzi 2005.jpg

1975  Fergie, American pop singer (The Black Eyed Peas), was born.

1976 The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opened.

Black and white Washington Metro logo with a big white M above smaller white letters spelling Metro

1977 Tenerife disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). 61 survived on the Pan Am flight.

1980 The Norwegian oil platform Alexander Kielland collapsed in the North Sea, killing 123 of its crew of 212.

 

1980 Silver Thursday: A steep fall in silver prices, resulting from the Hunt Brothers attempting to corner the market in silver, led to panic on commodity and futures exchanges.

1984 Ernie Abbott, the caretaker at Wellington’s Trades Hall, was killed instantly when he moved a booby-trapped suitcase.

Trades Hall bombing

1986 A car bomb exploded at Russell Street Police HQ in Melbourne, killing 1 police officer and injuring 21 people.

1990 The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba in an effort to bridge the information blackout imposed by the Castro regime.

1993  Jiang Zemin was appointed President of the People’s Republic of China.

1993 – Italian former minister and Christian Democracy leader Giulio Andreotti was accused of mafia allegiance by the tribunal of Palermo.

1994 – One of the biggest tornado outbreaks in recent memory hit the Southeastern United States. One tornado slammed into a church in Piedmont, Alabama during Palm Sunday services killing 20 and injuring 90.

1994 – The Eurofighter took its first flight in Manching, Germany.

1998 The Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence.

1999 An F-117 Nighthawk was shot down during the Kosovo War.

2002 – Passover Massacre: A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 29 people partaking of the Passover meal in Netanya, Israel.

2004 HMS Scylla (F71), a decommissioned Leander class frigate, was sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe.

Scylla - Odinn scrap.jpg

2009  Situ Gintung, an artificial lake in Indonesia, failed killing at least 99 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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