Topless with a top?


Pippa Middleton, sister of and bridesmaid to, Kate Duchess of Cambridge is one of the top search terms for Google.

TV3’s report on this is headlined Pippa Middleton topless photo emerges.

The story makes no mention of that but there is a photo captioned: Pippa Middleton dances topless with a friend .

She might be dancing with someone and he could be a friend but she’s wearing a top which is firmly attached to her top.

Did whoever wrote the caption and headline not see the top or is this the sort of total disconnect between story and headline, caption and photo  to titilate which used to be the preserve of the sleazier tabloids?

Word of the day


Garboil – a state of commotion, noise and confusion; disturbance; uproar.

iPredict: Act up to 7%


iPredict shows a surge of support for Act after the change of leadership.

Its forecast share of the party vote has more than doubled – up from 3.1% to 7%.

Not surprisingly some of that support has come from people who had supported National which has gone down from 47.5% to 46%.

Forecast vote shares are now: National 46.0% (down from 47.5% last week and 48.0% the week before), Labour 29.3% (up from 28.9% last week), Act 7.0% (up from 3.1% last week), the Greens 6.9% (up from 6.5% last week), New Zealand First 4.8% (up from 4.2% last week), UnitedFuture 1.6% (steady), the Maori Party 1.5% (steady), the Mana Party 1.3% (up from 1.1% last week), the New Citizen Party 0.7% (steady) and the proposed Reform New Zealand Party 0.6% (up from 0.4% last week).

Based on this data, and the electorate results above, Parliament would be as follows: National 59 MPs (down from 62 last week), Labour 37 MPs (down from 38 last week), Act 9 MPs (up from none last week), the Greens 9 MPs (up from 8 last week), the Maori Party 3 MPs (steady), UnitedFuture 2 MPs (steady) and the Mana Party 2 MPs (up from 1 last week). There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply, so that Mr Key’s National Party could govern with the support of one of the Act, Maori or UnitedFuture parties. There would be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern.

That last sentence is worth repeating: There would be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern.

Even if New Zealand First reached 5% that wouldn’t change. If all other party votes were constant:

 Parliament would be as follows: National 56 MPs, Labour 36 MPs, Act 8 MPs, the Greens 8 MPs, New Zealand First 6 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, UnitedFuture 2 MPs and the Mana Party 2 MPs. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply. There would continue to be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern, but the National Party would have a number of options including governing with Act alone, governing with both the Maori and UnitedFuture parties but not Act, governing with all three of these current support parties, or governing with New Zealand First despite Mr Key’s pledge not to do so.

Overall, the market continues to indicate an 86% probability there will be a National Prime Minister after the election (steady compared with the last two weeks).

There is absolutely no question of John Key going back on his decision not to entertain Winston Peters as a coaltion partner. On these figures that means even if his party got into parliament it wouldn’t be in government.

However, this is a predictions market not a survey and a little more than a week ago iPredict was forecasting that Brash’s attempt to takeover the Act leadership would fail.

A lot has happened since then and there’s more than six months to go to the election in which we can expect a lot more to happen which could influence voters.

Freedom from information


Frankly, the main point is, in terms of the story, the facts are somewhat difficult to grasp and it’s good to know that Clake and Dawe are up to speed and fully across the details of everything we need to know:

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Corgis were originally bred to do what work?

2. Who said: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” ?

3. Which New Zealand singer sang If I Only Had Time? (token gesture to NZ music month).

4. It’s amitié in French, amistad in Spanish and the nearest I could find in Maori was whanaungatanga – what is it in English?

5. What is a gnomon?

Points for answers:

Andrei gets four with a bonus for Greek and wins an electronic batch of biscuits.

Paranormal gets three and a nearly for #4.

PDM gets two and a nearly for #4.

David gets two and a bonus for deduction.

Paul got three with bonuses for humour and extra information (I couldn’t find any reference to a model of the solar system for gnomon but am open to persuasion).

Gravedodger got four and an on the right track for #5 which also wins an electronic batch of biscuits.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

More money for maternity services


Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced a $54.4 million boost for maternity services and assistance to new mothers.

 “It will mean better teamwork and provide extra help to mothers and babies who need it.

“This Government has invested an extra $1.2 billion in health services over the past two years, and Budget 2011 will provide an extra $33.2 million for maternity services over four years to improve safety and quality.

“A further amount of $21.3 million will boost extra WellChild services, with a particular focus on first time mothers.

“We all want the best possible services to protect the safety of mothers and babies,” Mr Ryall says. “The additional funding will support midwives, nurses and doctors to improve safety and quality in maternity and WellChild services.”

This will extend initiatives the government has already introduced to improve services for mothers and babies. That includes one I feel particularly strongly about, the funding to enable new mothers to stay in maternity centres until breast feeding is established.

The extra funding includes:

$18.4 million to improve the safety and quality of services for mothers and babies, by bringing all local maternity professionals together for regular clinical reviews of all births. This funding will also increase the number of midwives in hospitals, together with medical specialists on-site and on-call.
• $6 million to revamp new parent information services.
• $6.8 million to help vulnerable mothers access a fuller range of health and social services. It will also assist midwives to make appropriate and timely referrals to other practitioners.
• One-off funding of $2 million to ensure all DHB maternity data is collected nationally.

The $21.3 million over four years for additional WellChild visits has a particular focus on the needs of first time mothers.

The additional funding is expected to deliver an extra 54,000 visits to around 18,000 mothers who need this additional support. For these mothers, this will mean, on average, three additional WellChild visits up to the first two months of a baby’s life.

WellChild currently provides two visits during the first two months of life.

“The Government is committed to giving new mums greater support if they need it, Mr Ryall says. “These three additional WellChild visits will ensure a smoother handover from midwives to WellChild providers and an even better start for mothers and their babies.

Additional Wellchild visits will be especially welcome.

New parents often don’t have the support of extended family as they might have in the past. Even if they do, a health professional can give reassurance, help prevent problems and treat those which do arise earlier.

Going into the home allows midwives and Plunket nurses to get a much better idea of how new parents are coping and are better able to identify babies which might be at risk then they could when babies are brought to them for clinic visits.

And because everyone gets Wellchild visits  there is no stigma attached to them as there might be to visits by other agencies like CYFS or a Public Health nurse.

Who’s left for him to play with?


No National-led coalition would include Hone Harawira’s party.

Labour, or at least its leader, has ruled out inviting him into coalition too.

Now Harawira has ruled himself out of a coalition which includes the Maori Party.

Who’s left for him to play with?

If he has a wee chat to Chris Carter he’ll find parliament is a very lonely place when you’ve got no mates.

Self help beats state handouts


Quote of the week in Trans Tasman:

Dr Sharples, more than his other colleagues, has grasped the fact accelerating self-help Maori economic development will do more to lift living standards among Maori than any Govt programme.

This is a concept which leader of the yet-to-be constituted Mana Party, Hone Harawira, doesn’t understand.

Economic and social development are inter-related. A growing economy provides jobs and funds education, health and other initiatives which help people help themselves.

The best way to help the disadvantage, of any race, is not handouts which encourage dependence, it’s self-help projects which foster independence.

May 6 in history


On May 6:

1527  Spanish and German troops sacked Rome;  147 Swiss Guards, including their commander, died fighting the forces of Charles V in order to allow Pope Clement VII  to escape into Castel Sant’Angelo.

Sack of Rome of 1527 by Johannes Lingelbach 17th century.jpg

1536  King Henry VIII  ordered English language Bibles be placed in every church.

1542  Francis Xavier reached Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese India at the time.

1682  Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles.


1757  Battle of Prague – A Prussian army fought an Austrian army in Prague during the Seven Years’ War.

Battle of Prague, 6 May 1757 - Attempted envelopment.gif

1758 Maximilien Robespierre, French Revolutionary was born (d. 1794).

1816  The American Bible Society was founded.

Logo of the American Bible Society

1835 James Gordon Bennett, Sr. published the first issue of the New York Herald.


1840  The Penny Black postage stamp beccame valid for use in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.


1856 Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist, was born (d. 1939).

1856 Robert Peary, American explorer, was born  (d. 1920).

1857  The British East India Company disbanded the 34th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry whose sepoy Mangal Pandey had earlier revolted against the British and is considered to be the First Martyr in the War of India’s Independence.

Mangal pandey gimp.jpg

1860  Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Mille expedition sets sail from Genoa to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Partenza da Quarto.jpg

1861  Motilal Nehru, Indian freedom fighter, was born (d. 1931).

1861  American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia was declared the new capital of the Confederate States of America.

1863 American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ended with the defeat of the Army of the Potomac by Confederate troops.

Battle of Chancellorsville.png

1877  Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Sioux surrendered to United States troops in Nebraska.


1882 Thomas Henry Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish were stabbed and killed during the Phoenix Park Murders in Dublin.


1882  The United States Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act.


1889  The Eiffel Tower was officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition.


1895 Rudolph Valentino, Italian actor, was born (d. 1926).

1904 Moshe Feldenkrais, Ukrainian-born founder of the Feldenkrais method, was born (d. 1984).

1910  George V beccame  King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII.

Full-length portrait in oils of a blue-eyed, brown-haired man of slim build, with a beard and moustache. He wears a British naval uniform under an ermine cape, and beside him a jewelled crown stands on a table.

1915  Orson Welles, American film director and actor, was born (d. 1985).

1920 Kamisese Mara, 1st Prime Minister of Fiji and President of Fiji, was born (d. 2004).

1935  New Deal: Executive Order 7034 created the Works Progress Administration.


1935  The first flight of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk.

1937  Hindenburg disaster:  Thirty six people were killed when the German zeppelin Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

1940  John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.

JohnSteinbeck TheGrapesOfWrath.jpg

1941   Bob Hope performed his first USO show.


1941  The first flight of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

1942  World War II:  On Corregidor, the last American forces in the Philippines surrendered to the Japanese.

Map of Corregidor 1941.jpg

1945  World War II: Axis Sally  delivered her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.

1945 Bob Seger, American singer/songwriter, was born.

1945 – World War II: The Prague Offensive, the last major battle of the Eastern Front, began.

Battles in NE Transylvania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia (1944–1945)

1947 –Alan Dale, New Zealand actor, was born.

A head shot of a man wearing a suit; he is turned away from the camera.

1953 Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, was born.

1954 Roger Bannister became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.

1960 More than 20 million viewers watch the first televised royal wedding when Princess Margaret married Anthony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey.

1962  St. Martín de Porres was canonized by Pope John XXIII.

1966 Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were sentenced to life imprisonment for the Moors Murders in England.

1976  An earthquake struck Friuli, causing 989 deaths and the destruction of entire villages.

1981  A jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selected Maya Ying Lin’s design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from 1,421 other entries.

1983  The Hitler diaries were revealed as a hoax after examination by experts.


1984  103 Korean Martyrs were canonized by Pope John Paul II in Seoul.

1989 Cedar Point opened Magnum XL-200, the first roller coaster to break the 200 ft height barrier.

Magnum1 CP.JPG

1994  Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand officiated at the opening of the Channel Tunnel.


1994 – Former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones filed suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging that he had sexually harassed her in 1991.

1996 A totally New Zealand  Royal Honours system was established.

New royal honours established

1997 The Bank of England was given independence from political control, the most significant change in the bank’s 300-year history..

Logo of the Bank of England

  1999  First elections to the devolved Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly  were held.

Coat of arms or logo.    Coat of arms or logo.

2001  During a trip to Syria, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque.

2002  Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by an animal rights activist.


2008 Chaiten Volcano erupted in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 4,500 people.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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