Word of the day


Gosstitutes –  people who are paid not to have sex but to talk about having sex so the media can run their uncorroborated tales of steamy lust.

Hat tip: Jim Hopkins



Just 4/10 in the Herald’s travel quiz – silly to get the flag one wrong, I knew it was that country’s colours but didn’t recall the emblem.

Just wondering . . .


. . .  if there is a smaller  distance than that between too hot and too cold on the temperature control of a shower?



7/10 in the NZ Herald’s changing world quiz.

Counting for nothing


The on-line registration form wanted to know what area of business I was in.

The options were:

Accountancy & tax advice; aerospace and defence; automobiles; banking; basic resources/mining; chemicals/comms/publishing/media; consulting/business services; education/academia; energy/utilities; engineering/construction; financial services/food and beverages; fund/asset management; government/ public service/NGO; health and pharmaceuticals/IT/computing; industrial goods and services; insurance; personal & household goods; property; retail; telecommunications; transport/logistics; travel & leisure.

Obviously this organisation thinks agriculture and other areas of primary production count for nothing.

A few days later another form gave a more comprehensive list which included agriculture and some unpaid work:

Professional or senior government official; business manager or executive; business proprietor or self-employed; teacher, nurse police or other trained service worker; clerical or sales employee; farm owner or manager; technical or skilled worker; semi skilled worker; domestic worker, labourer or agricultural worker; home duties (not otherwise employed) student tertiary; student secondary; secondary primary/intermediate; retired/ superannuitent; unemployed/beneficiary; other not listed above.

Home duties (not otherwise employed)? Ah well I suppose it’s better than housewife/husband/person.

But it doesn’t take into account the unpaid work which people, usually but not only women, do outside the home, apropos of which Sandra thinks we need to ask some new questions.

We’ve made a lot of progress in accepting that women can have careers, but there has been little if any progress in recognising the importance of unpaid work which is so important in extended families and the wider community.

Growth in spite of problems


Labour faced few real difficulties not of its own making duirng its last nine years in government.

In spite of that the productive sector went into recession under their watch and the economy stayed buoyant only because of consumption fuelled by borrowing.

National has faced an unprecedented series of financial and natural disasters since it won the 2008 election and yet the economy has still grown in the past year.

GDP increased .8% in the March quarter, in spite of the impact of the Christchurch earthquake, and 1.5% in the year to the end of March.

Imagine what might have happened if the government which led us into recession in good times, had been mismanaging the economy in the past three years.

Imagine what will happen if Labour leads the next government – more tax and spend.

Bill English makes  clear the contrast between those policies and National’s:

“We’re also confident this recovery will be built on a sound platform of higher savings, exports and productive investment, rather than the excessive borrowing, consumption and government spending of much of the past decade.

“That will remain the focus of the Government’s economic programme,” Mr English says.

Labour hopes its tax policy will be a game-changer. But all it does is reinforce that it plans to continue the tax and spend policies which failed us in its last term.

July 16 in history


622 The beginning of the Islamic calendar.

1054 Three Roman legates fracture relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal Bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as starting the East-West Schism.

1194 Saint Clare of Assisi, Italian follower of Francis of Assisi, was born (d. 1253).

1212  Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa: Forces of Kings Alfonso VIII of Castile, Sancho VII of Navarre, Pedro II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal defeated those of the Berber Muslim leader Almohad, thus marking a significant turning point in the Reconquista and medieval history of Spain.

Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.jpg

1377  Coronation of Richard II of England.

1661 The first banknotes in Europe were issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.

1683 Manchu Qing Dynasty naval forces under traitorous commander Shi Lang defeated the Kingdom of Tungning  in the Battle of Penghu near the Pescadores Islands.

1769  Father Junipero Serra founded California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

Mission San Diego de Alcalá

1779 American Revolutionary War: Light infantry of the Continental Army seized a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.

Battle of Stony Point.jpg

1782  First performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio.

1809  The city of La Paz  declared its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and formed the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.

1862 American Civil War: David Farragut was promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.

Admiral David Farragut (1801–1870) - collodion, LC-BH82-4054 restored.jpg

1872 Roald Amundsen, Norwegian polar explorer, was born (d. 1928).

1880 Emily Stowe became the first female physician licensed to practice medicine in Canada.

1911 Ginger Rogers, American actress and dancer, was born (d. 1995).

1915  Henry James became a British citizen, to dramatise his commitment to England during the first World War.

1918  Czar Nicholas II, his family, the family doctor, their servants and their pet dog were shot by the Bolsheviks, who had held them captive for 2 months in the basement of a house in Ekaterinberg, Russia.

1928 Anita Brookner, English novelist, was born.

Cover to the First Edition

1931 Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia signsedthe first constitution of Ethiopia.

1935 The world’s first parking meter was installed in the Oklahoma capital, Oklahoma City.

1941 Joe DiMaggio hit safely for the 56th consecutive game.

1942 Holocaust: Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv): the government of Vichy France orderswsthe mass arrest of 13,152 Jews who were held at the Winter Velodrome in Paris before deportation to Auschwitz.

1945 World War II: The leaders of the three Allied nations, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Harry S Truman and leader of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin, met in the German city of Potsdam to decide the future of a defeated Germany.

1945  Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age began when the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon.

Trinity shot color.jpg

1948 Following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, capitulated to Israeli troops during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War’s Operation Dekel.

1948 – The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, markedthe first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.

1951 King Léopold III of Belgium abdicated in favor of his son, Baudouin I of Belgium.

1951  J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye was published by Little, Brown and Company.

Rye catcher.jpg

1952 Stewart Copeland, American drummer (The Police, was born.

1957  United States Marine major John Glenn flew a F8U Crusader supersonic jet from California to New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, setting a new transcontinental speed record.

1960  USS George Washington (SSBN-598) a modified Skipjack class submarine successfully test fired the first Ballistic missile while submerged.

USS George Washington (SSBN-598)

1965 New Zealand’s 161 Battery, stationed at Bien Hoa air base near Saigon, opened fire on a Viet Cong position in support of the American 173rd Airborne Brigade.

NZ artillery opens fire in Vietnam

1965 The Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opened.

1969 Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first manned space mission to land on the Moon was launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

1973 Watergate Scandal: Former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield informed the United States Senate that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.

1979 Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and was replaced by Saddam Hussein.

1981 Mahathir bin Mohamad became Malaysia’s 4th Prime Minister; his 22 years in office, ending with retirement on 31 October 2003, made him Asia’s longest-serving political leader.

1983 Sikorsky S-61 disaster: A helicopter crashed off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.

1990  Luzon Earthquake struck in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines with an intensity of 7.7.

Cabanatuan City (Philippines)

1994 Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter.

Hubble Space Telescope

1999  John F. Kennedy, Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, died in a plane mishap, with his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette.

2004  Millennium Park, considered Chicago’s first and most ambitious early 21st century architectural project, was opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

2007  2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake: an earthquake 6.8 in magnitude and aftershock of 6.6  off Japan’s Niigata coast, killed 8 people, with at least 800 injured, and damaged a nuclear power plant.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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