Who’s he gonna call?


Former TVNZ Breakfast host Paul Henry was in New York’s Times Square today when news of Osama Bin Laden’s death broke.

Who’d did he call back home to tell about it, his former employer or TV3?

Slow learners


Labour is a wee bit slow in the learning department when it comes to social media.

They’re inviting people to help them design billboards like this:

Hat tip: Whaleoil who is saving images in a gallery.

Word of the day


Cacemphaton – a harsh sounding word or phrase; combination of sounds producing an illsounding, unpleasant or vulgar utterance.

Bin Laden is dead


Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Radio NZ reports US officials saying his body has been recoverd by US authorities.

Hokey pokey by any other name tastes as sweet


When New Zealanders overseas start talking about food from home, hokey pokey ice cream is always one of the first to be mentioned on the list of what we miss.

It’s a Kiwi speciality which is rarely seen in other parts of the world but look what was on the menu at Friday’s royal wedding party:

Each guest was served three mini desserts on a single plate: sherry trifle, chocolate mousse and honeycomb ice-cream in a brandy snap basket.

What they call honeycomb is what we know as hokey pokey and it no doubt tastes as sweet by any other name.

The Hieroglyph Moth


The Hieroglyph Moth  by Pascale Petit was featured at Tuesday Poem last week.

Contributions from Tuesday poets linked in that blog’s sidebar include:

A reading of T.S. Eliot’s Hollow Men with images of World War I and a reading of another Eliot poem,  The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, by the poet.

Three Roses by Timothy Cahill.

Midnight Pantoum by Saradha Koirala.

The Gazelle by Rainer Maria Rilke.

My Minion by Alicia Ponder.

Love in the Suburbs by Peter Lach Newinsky.

And a visual poem: Cut by Orchid Tierney,



7/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

No Milk Monday mothers misguided


A No Milk Mondays campaign has been started by a group of mothers and is aimed against what they say is profiteering by Fonterra and retailers.

They have started a No Milk Mondays campaign as a show of consumer power against the dairy manufacturers and retailers. . .

The campaign group says New Zealand families are struggling to afford milk, cheese and butter, which are important for the health of the country.

“The dairy food giants need to realise Kiwis happily pay good prices for their product, but we will not allow them to steal food out of the mouths of our children for the sake of selfish profiteering on the pretext of world markets setting local prices,” it said in a statement.

Selfish profiteering on the pretext of world markets setting local prices? That’s high on emotion and devoid of facts.

World prices have no influence on the difference between the wholesale and retail price but almost everything to do with the price of milk from the manufacturer.

Fonterra and the farmers who supply the company are in business to make money, the more we make from exports the better it is for the country. If the price for domestic supply was lower than the domestic price no-one would bother with the local market.

If anything, domestic prices should attract a premium. Town-supply cows have to be milked all year round while most herds which supply milk for export are dried off at the end of May and don’t start milking again until calving in August.

None of the people calling for us to subsidise consumers when prices are high would be willing to subsidise us when prices are low – not that I’d want them to.

Food prices dropped as a percentage of income, now they’re rising again and as we export so much food that’s good for us all.

The solution isn’t subsidies, regulation or anything else which handicaps producers and manufacturers, it’s a growing economy which will improve incomes.

Extremes that work and extremes that don’t


Act and the Mana Party are at opposite ends of the political spectrum and many of their policies are described as extreme.

That isn’t necessarily true of Act and even if it is, many of their policies would work, few if any of Mana’s would.

If Act was able to enact most of its policies it would make New Zealand wealthier.

The problem with this party isn’t where it wants to go but the speed at which it wants to travel and the casualties that would be left in its wake.

Mana’s radical socialist dogma by contrast wouldn’t work. Its policies would result in economic ruin and social chaos.

The problem with this party isn’t just where it wants to go but also that it wants to get there by punishing the productive and sabotaging self reliance.

The irony is that the people who would be hurt the most are the ones it purports to represent. The poor have most to lose from anything which handicaps economic growth and undermines the social safety net on which many of them depend.

May 2 in history


On May 2:

1194 – King Richard I  gave Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.

1230 William de Braose, 10th Baron Abergavenny was hanged by Prince Llywelyn the Great.


1335 Otto the Merry, Duke of Austria, became Duke of Carinthia.

1536 Anne Boleyn was arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft.

1559 John Knox returned from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the beginning Scottish Reformation.


1568 Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped from Loch Leven Castle.

1670 King Charles II granted a permanent charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company to open up the fur trade in North America.


1729 Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was born (d. 1796).

1737  William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was born (d. 1805).

1806  Catherine Labouré, French visionary and saint was born (d. 1876).

1808  Outbreak of the Peninsular War: The people of Madrid rose up in rebellion against French occupation. Francisco de Goya later memorializes this event in his painting The Second of May 1808.

Goya - Second of May 1808.jpg

1808 Emma Wedgwood, English naturalist, wife of Charles Darwin, was born (d. 1896).


1816 Marriage of Léopold of Saxe-Coburg and Charlotte Augusta.


1829  Captain Charles Fremantle of the HMS Challenger, declared the Swan River Colony in Australia.


1863 American Civil War: Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering during the Battle of Chancellorsville

Battle of Chancellorsville.png

1866  Peruvian defenders fought off Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao.

Battle of Callao.png

1879  The Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party was founded in Casa Labra Pub (city of Madrid) by the Spanish workers’ leader Pablo Iglesias.


1885 Good Housekeeping magazine went on sale for the first time.


1885  Cree and Assiniboine warriors won the Battle of Cut Knife, their largest victory over Canadian forces during the North-West Rebellion.

Battle of Cut Knife.jpg

1885 – The Congo Free State was established by King Léopold II of Belgium.

1889 Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs a treaty of amity with Italy, which gave Italy control over Eritrea.

1892 Manfred von Richthofen, German World War I pilot – the Red Baron – was born (d. 1918).


1895 Lorenz Hart, American lyricist ws born (d. 1943).

1903 Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and author was born (d. 1998).

1918 General Motors acquired the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.

General Motors.svg

1932 Comedian Jack Benny‘s radio show aired for the first time.

Jack Benny

1933Gleichschaltung: Adolf Hitler banned trade unions.

1935 King Faisal II of Iraq was born (d. 1958).


1936 Engelbert Humperdinck, Indian-born singer, was born.

1945 World War II: Fall of Berlin: The Soviet Union announced the capture of Berlin and Soviet soldiers hoisted their red flag over the Reichstag building.

1945 World War II: Italian Campaign – General Heinrich von Vietinghoff signed the official instrument of surrender of all Wehrmacht forces in Italy.


1945 World War II: The US 82nd Airborne Division liberated Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1000 dead inmates, most starved to death.


1946  The “Battle of Alcatraz“ in which two guards and three inmates died.

1950 Bianca Jagger, Nicaraguan socialite, was born.

1952  The world’s first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet made its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg.

1955  Tennessee Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.


1963  Berthold Seliger launched a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres near Cuxhaven.

1964  Vietnam War: An explosion sank the USS Card while docked at Saigon. 

USS Card (CVE-11)

1964 Tram #252,  displaying the message ‘end of the line’ and with Mayor Frank Kitts in the driver’s seat, travelled from Thorndon to the Zoo in Newtown – the last electric tram journey in New Zealand.

NZ's last electric tram trip

1964 – First ascent of Shishapangma the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the Eight-thousanders.

1969   Queen Elizabeth 2 departsedon her maiden voyage to New York City.

QE2 leaving southampton water.jpg

1969 Brian Lara, Trinidadian West Indies cricketer, was born.


1982 Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sank the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.


1994– Bus disaster in Poland, 32 people died.


1995 During the Croatian War of Independence, Serb forces fired cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing 7 and wounding over 175 civilians.

1998  The European Central Bank was founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union’s monetary policy.


1999  Panamanian election: Mireya Moscoso became the first woman to be elected President of Panama.

Mireya Moscoso.jpg

2000 President Bill Clinton announced that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.

2000 Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveiled the Man With Two Hats monument in Apeldoorn and the other in Ottawa on May 11, 2000, symbolically linking the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout World War II.

Man With Two Hats Ottawa Statue.jpg

2002 Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala.

2004   Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria.

2008 Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar killing over 130,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

%d bloggers like this: