Word of the day

July 27, 2011

Jargogle –  to befuddle, confuse, jumble.


Just wondering . . .

July 27, 2011

. . . why electricians put sockets in such inaccessible places.

They might not be attractive but I’d rather look at them when I don’t need them than have to scrabble round tyring to plug something in when I do.


Need more Maori in science

July 27, 2011

The diminishing interest in science by young people in general and Maori in particular is concerning.

Radio NZ reports that Crown research Institute Plant and Food had no takers for scholarships offered to Maori students because it couldn’t find any interested in science.

After attending an Auckland University graduation ceremony for science students last year this doesn’t surprise me.

More than half receiving degrees were Asian or Middle Eastern, the next biggest group was Pakeha and there was just a sprinkling of Maori or Pacific grads.

Whatever the reasons for the apparent lack of interest in science, Plant and Food’s plan to offer scholarships to high school pupils make sense.

Those engaged in science at school are more likely to consider tertiary studies.

That might increase the chances of them going into agriculture which, given how land is under Maori ownership, would be a very good thing.


Labour still has to swallow dead rats

July 27, 2011

Another day, another poll which shows Labour is failing to attract the support it would need to lead a government.

The blame for the dismal poll ratings has been laid on Phil Goff, too many old faces in caucus and lack of unity.

All three could be contributing factors but there is another – the party hasn’t yet swallowed any dead rats.

National had to do it before the 2008 election. Some of those deceased rodents are still causing indigestion for members but swallowing them was necessary for National to win swinging voters.

Phil Goff made a belated, we-might-have-got -some-things-wrong admission some time ago but neither he nor the party have done anything more to show they really believe that.

So far Labour’s policies are ones which appeal to the party’s own hard-core supporters, but their still bleeding support to the left and doing nothing to win that’s likely to woo swinging voters back from the centre and further right.

To do that they’ll have to swallow some dead rats by accepting some of the policies which don’t come naturally to them and ditch some of those which do.


Difference of opinion not war

July 27, 2011

The petty politicking in the wake of the Norwegian massacre appalls me.

The mass killings were a tragic act of evil, the politics of the perpetrator and his victims are irrelevant.

This is like Port Arthur or Aramoana and Andrei says it all, There is nothing intelligent to say.

We should be thinking of the victims and those who mourn them, not engaging in political point scoring.

As an elderly friend once told me, politics is a difference of opinion, not a war.


July 27 in history

July 27, 2011

On July 27:

1054  Siward, Earl of Northumbria invaded Scotland to support Malcolm Canmore against Macbeth of Scotland, who usurped the Scottish throne from Malcolm’s father, King Duncan. Macbeth was defeated at Dunsinane.

Head and shoulders of bearded man in the gloom, wearing a medieval helmet

1214 Battle of Bouvines: Philip II of France defeated John of England.

Bataille de Bouvines gagnee par Philippe Auguste.jpg

1302  Battle of Bapheus: Decisive Ottoman victory over the Byzantines, opened up Bithynia for Turkish conquest.

I Osman.jpg

1549 Jesuit priest Francis Xavier’s ship reached Japan.

1663 The English Parliament passed the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies had to be sent in English ships from English ports.

1689  Glorious Revolution: Battle of Killiecrankie ended.

1694  A Royal Charter was granted to the Bank of England.

1720  The second important victory of the Russian Navy – the Battle of Grengam.

Battle of grengam.jpg

1768 Charlotte Corday, French aristocrat who killed Jean-Paul Marat, was born (d. 1793).

1778  American Revolution: First Battle of Ushant – British and French fleets fought to a standoff.

Bataille d Ouessant 1778.jpg

1794  Maximilien Robespierre was arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 “enemies of the Revolution”.

1824 Alexandre Dumas, fils, French author, was born (d. 1895).

1862 The SS Golden Gate caught fire and sinks off Manzanillo, Mexico, killing 231.

1866  The Atlantic Cable was  completed, allowing transatlantic telegraph communication for the first time.

1870 Hilaire Belloc, English writer, was born (d. 1953).

1880  Second Anglo-Afghan War: Battle of Maiwand – Afghan forces led by Ayub Khan defeated the British Army.

Royal Horse Artillery fleeing from Afghan attack at the Battle of Maiwand.jpg

1882  Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer, was born (d. 1965).

1914  Felix Manalo registered the Iglesia ni Cristo with the Philippine government.

1916  Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic and novelist, was born (d. 2007).

1919  The Chicago Race Riot erupted after a racial incident on a South Side beach, leading to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.

1917 The Allies reached the Yser Canal at the Battle of Passchendaele.

1921  Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemist Frederick Banting announced the discovery of the hormone insulin.

1928  Tich Freeman became the only bowler ever to take 200 first-class wickets before the end of July.

1929 Jack Higgins, British novelist, was born.

1976 UK second edition

1940 The animated short A Wild Hare was released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.

1941  Japanese troops occupied French Indo-China.

1944 Bobbie Gentry, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1949 – Maureen McGovern, American singer, was born.

1949 – Robert Rankin, English novelist, was born.

1949  Initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner.

1953  Korean War endeed: The United States,  China, and North Korea, signed an armistice agreement. Syngman Rhee, president of South Korea, refused to sign but pledged to observe the armistice.

1955  The Allied occupation of Austria stemming from World War II, ended.

1958 Christopher Dean, English figure skater, was born.

1963 Pioneeer aviator George Bolt died.

Pioneer aviator George Bolt dies

1964 Vietnam War: 5,000 more American military advisers were sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.

1968 Cliff Curtis, New Zealand actor, was born.

1969 Jonty Rhodes, South African cricketer, was born.

1974  Watergate Scandal: The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.

1976  Former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka was arrested on suspicion of violating foreign exchange and foreign trade laws in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals.

1981  On Coronation Street, Ken Barlow married Deirdre Langton.

1983  Black July: 18 Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo were massacred by the Sinhalese prisoners, the second such massacre in two days.

1987 RMS Titanic, Inc. began the first expedited salvaging of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.

1990  The Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian Soviet Republic declared independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union.

1990 – The Jamaat al Muslimeen staged a coup d’état attempt in Trinidad and Tobago, occupying Parliament and the studios of Trinidad and Tobago Television, holding Prime Minister A. N. R. Robinson, most of his Cabinet, and the staff at the television station hostage for 6 days.

1995  The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C..

1996  Centennial Olympic Park bombing: In Atlanta, Georgia, a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Alice Hawthorne was killed, and a cameraman had a heart attack fleeing the scene. 111 were injured.

1997  Si Zerrouk massacre in Algeria; about 50 people killed.

2002  Ukraine airshow disaster: A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashed during an air show at Lviv, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others, the largest air show disaster in history.

2006  The Federal Republic of Germany was deemed guilty in the loss of Bashkirian 2937 and DHL Flight 611, because it was illegal to outsource flight surveillance.

2007  Phoenix News Helicopter Collision: News helicopters from television stations KNXV and KTVK collided over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase; there were no survivors.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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