Word of the day


Plonking – acting stupidly especially in depserate effort to gain publicity; doing anything which earns the title plonker.

(The timing of this post and this act may or may not be a coincidence).



9/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Friday’s answer


Thursday’s questions were:

1. What are the two knitting patterns named after an Irish and a Scottish island?

2. Who said: “Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”?

3. Who is the mayor of Dunedin?

4. It’s cochon in French; cerdo in Spanish and poaka in Maori what is it in English?

5. What is the capital of Ecuador?

Points for answers:

Wally gets an electronic banana cake for 5 right  – When I do the questions I usually do a post with the answers at the same time.  Yesterday I hit publish on this one with the answers instead of the one with the questions. I realised that within a couple of minutes and deleted it so it must just be a coincidence that the wording in your answers is an exact copy of mine 🙂

 Andrei got 3 ½ (yes I like romantic fiction though haven’t readMansfieldPark).

Paul got 2 ½ (would have been another for the mayor had the question been asked last year) and a bonus for extra information and irony.

I2 got 4.

PDM got 2.

David gets an electronic banana cake too for 5.

Answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »



7/10 in the NZ Herald’s news quiz.

Some get it some don’t



But the wider population has cottoned on to realities Labour seems obvious to. The party’s promises, its policies, its priorities and its whole attitude is based on the assumption the run of mostly debt-fuelled and hollow prosperity of the noughties is still with us, or at least is just around the corner again.

ODT editorial:

Yet the gap between National and its chief opposition, the Labour Party, remains wide, and Labour has been unable to yet find an effective means to close it.

The boldness of National’s bid to seek a pre-election mandate for policies which, on the whole, might be regarded as having little attraction compared with more usual “hip-pocket” measures suggests the party’s strategists are reading middle New Zealand considerably more accurately than their opponents.

Trans Tasman and the ODT editorial get it. National gets it. Many voters get it. Labour and its potential coalition partners don’t.

Over taxing and consumption fuelled by borrowing got the country into trouble; lower taxes, more savings, investment and export-led growth are what will get us out of it.

From trust to prosperity


Quote of the week from Trans Tasman:

This is now a Govt so fully in command even left-wing commentators like Chris Trotter and Matt McCarten are conceding John Key’s stratospheric poll ratings are the reward of the strategy he devised: first, earn the trust of the people, re-balance the economy, protect the vulnerable, and put the economy back on the road to prosperity.

This is what the people and parties calling for National to be more radical fail to understand.

Labour campaigned on trust in 2008 in the hope of convincing voters that Key and National weren’t to be trusted.

The party and leader have showed that they can. They’ve kept promises and have been open about changes they will make if re-elected so voters can give – or not – give them a mandate.

They could have been more radical. The many financial and natural disasters with which they’ve had to cope gave them plenty of excuse for that and a lot of National Party members would have  endorsed them. But a more radical programme would have left too many casualties in its wake for centre and floating voters.

Gaining and maintaining trust were and are still important steps if National is to get the country further along the road to prosperity.

That isn’t to say policy has been developed only with floating voters in mind.

It is all part of a plan to re-balance the economy away from over-taxing, borrowing and spending to savings, investment and export-led growth. 

A good number of voters have accepted the need for this but there’s still time for them to change their minds. The election result is not a foregone conclusion.

Having shown voters he and his party can be trusted Key and National are trusting voters with the truth about their intentions for the next three years in the hope  voters will trust them for another term in government.

June 3 in history


350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor.

Centenionalis-Nepotianus-rome RIC 200.2.jpg

1140  French scholar Peter Abelard was found guilty of heresy.


1326 Treaty of Novgorod delineated borders between Russia and Norway in Finnmark.

1539  Hernado de Soto claimed Florida for Spain.


1608  Samuel de Champlain completed his third voyage to New France at Tadoussac, Quebec.

1620 Construction of the oldest stone church in French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, began in Quebec City.

1621  The Dutch West India Company received a charter for New Netherlands.

1658  Pope Alexander VII appointed François de Laval vicar apostolic in New France.

1659 David Gregory, Scottish astronomer and mathematician, was born  (d. 1708).

1665  James Stuart, Duke of York (later to become King James II of England) defeated the Dutch Fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

1770  Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

1726 James Hutton, Scottish geologist, was born  (d. 1797).

1800 U.S. President John Adams took up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern because the White House was not yet completed).

A painted portrait of a man with greying hair, looking left.

1808 Jefferson Davis, American politician and President of the Confederate States of America was born (d. 1889).

1839 Lin Tse-hsü destroyed 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.

1861  Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces routed Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia in first land battle of the War.

Lander ride at Battle of Philippi Races.png

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Cold Harbor – Union forces attacked Confederate troops in Hanover County, Virginia.

Battle of Cold Harbor.png

1865 George V  was born  (d. 1936).

Boy wearing a sailor suit 

1866  The Fenians were driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the United States.

1885 In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil Cree leader Big Bear escaped the North West Mounted Police.


1888 The poem “Casey at the Bat“, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, was published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1889  The coast to coast Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.
System map

1889  The first long-distance electric power transmission line in the United States was completed, running 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.

1916 The Reserve Officer Training Corp, ROTC , was established by the U.S. Congress.


1916 – The National Defense Act was signed into law, increasing the size of the United States National Guard by 450,000 men.

1921 Forbes Carlile, Australian Olympic swimmer and coach, was born.


1924 Jimmy Rogers, American blues guitarist, was born  (d. 1997).

1935 One thousand unemployed Canadian workers boarded freight cars in Vancouver,  beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario.

1936 Sir Colin “Pine Tree”  Meads, farmer and former All Black, was born.

Colin 'Pinetree' Meads born

1937  The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson.


1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk ended with a German victory and Allied forces in full retreat.


1947 Mickey Finn, British guitarist and percussionist (T.Rex), was born  (d. 2003).


1950 Suzi Quatro, American musician and actress, was born.

1956 British Railways renamed ‘Third Class’ passenger facilities as ‘Second Class’ (Second Class facilities had been abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class).

1962 Susannah Constantine, British fashion guru, was born.

Head and shoulders of two brown-haired women sitting next to each other, wearing large scarfs. 

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 charter, Chateau de Sully crashed after an aborted takeoff from Paris, killing 130.

1963  The Buddhist crisis: Soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam attacked protesting Buddhists in Huế,  with liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades, causing 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.

1963  A Northwest Airlines DC-7 crashed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, killing 101.

1965  Launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Crew-member Ed White performed the first American spacewalk.


1968 Valerie Solanas, author of SCUM Manifesto, attempted to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times.


1969  Melbourne-Evans collision: Off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne cut the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half.

The stern section of USS Frank E. Evans on the morning after the collision. USS Everett F. Larson (right) is moving in to salvage the remains of the abandoned destroyer.

1973  A Soviet supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 crashed near Goussainville  killing 14, the first crash of a supersonic passenger aircraft.


1979  A blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico caused at least 600,000 tons (176,400,000 gallons) of oil to be spilled into the waters.

IXTOC I oil well blowout.jpg

1982  The Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, was shot on a London street. He survived but was permanently paralysed.

1989  The government of China sent troops to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.

1989  SkyDome was officially opened in Toronto.


1991 Mount Unzen erupted in Kyūshū, Japan, killing 43 people, all of them either researchers or journalists.

1992 Aboriginal Land Rights were granted in Australia in Mabo v Queensland (1988), a case brought about by Eddie Mabo.

1998  Eschede train disaster: an ICE high speed train derailed in Lower Saxony causing 101 deaths.

Ice eschede 1.jpg

2006 The union of Serbia and Montenegro endedwith Montenegro’s formal declaration of independence.


2007  USS Carter Hall engaged  pirates after they boarded the Danish ship Danica White off the coast of Somalia.

USS Carter Hall approaches USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) for an underway replenishment in the Indian Ocean (Oct. 7, 2007).

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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