Word of the day

September 8, 2011

Enchufe – a cushy job; a contact, someone who has some kind of power or influence and can help you.


Feds urge NZers to be biosecurity 1st XV

September 8, 2011

Federated farmers is urging us all to be the biosecurity 1st XV:

“We welcome Rugby World Cup visitors to see, taste and wear some of the best food and fibre in the world,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers Vice-President and the Federation’s Biosecurity spokesperson.

“New Zealand is unique in that we are relatively free of major pests and diseases affecting agriculture in other parts of the world. While we all wish to see visitors enter our country quickly to enjoy our great Kiwi hospitality, biosecurity is one thing that must not be compromised.

“The office of the Minister of Biosecurity has assured Federated Farmers that biosecurity standards are not being relaxed due to the world cup. The Rugby World Cup will be a great boon for the economy but it would be a tragedy, if any gain was wiped out by a major incursion.

“That’s a message the Government fully understands, but we also need New Zealand’s public and businesses in the biosecurity team.

“Many visitors will be staying with friends, family or in paid-for accommodation. We really need the public, from hotel cleaners to friends and family to play the role of fullback. Each country has a list of its worst pests and diseases; they are the players we don’t want in New Zealand for Rugby World Cup 2011.

Many visitors, and far too many New Zealanders, don’t understand the importance of our rigorous biosecurity regulations and checks.

People used to travelling between countries where the border is nothing more than a line on a map aren’t used to the requirements to clean shoes and leave behind food, plants and other material which might harbour unwelcome visitors.

Our island status offers good protection from incursions by pests and diseases which could threaten export industries but unwitting visitors pose a threat which makes Feds’ warning, and tortured rugby analogy, very timely.

The message has added resonance as it coincides with the news a Fielding man has been prosecuted for keeping a snake.

Nathan Bush, 38, pleaded guilty to acquiring a snake in the Palmerston North District Court. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment.

In sentencing Bush, Judge Callander stressed that New Zealand has a snake-free environment and it is important to keep snakes out.

He intended the sentence to denounce Bush’s behaviour and also act as a deterrent.

The attraction of snakes escapes me and I can’t fathom why anyone would want to have one as a pet when it’s illegal.


Thursday’s quiz

September 8, 2011

1. Who said: “The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”?

2. Who is Fonterra’s CEO and what nationality is his successor?

3. Who founded WOW and where did it begin?.

4. What are the Argentinean, French and USA rugby teams called?

5. It’s viande in French, carne in Italian and Spanish and mīti in Maori, what is it in English?


5/15

September 8, 2011

5/15 in the Herald’s 1991 Rugby World Cup quiz – all of which were guesses.


Poll of polls shows Labour’s slide and strategic stupidity

September 8, 2011

The Herald’s poll of polls shows Labour’s support sliding down since July.

Three percentage points doesn’t sound like much but it would cost a couple of list MPs,  Stuart Nash and Steve Chadwick, their seats.

One is a first termer, the other should have retired gracefully.

This highlights the strategic stupidity in ranking their list early.

Had the party waited, as it could have safely done since the election date was announced in February, it might have used polls as an excuse to prune some of its deadwood.

Since it didn’t, it is looking increasingly more likely the part will keep the people who ought to have fallen on their swords at the expense of newer MPs who would have much more credibility in selling a fresh message.


Brash backs Mutu’s right to speak

September 8, 2011

Maori Studies professor Margaret Mutu’s call to limit white immigrants because they bring white  supremacist attitudes has understandably raised the ire of many people.

Some of them have called for her to be silenced.

Act leader Don Brash is not one of those. He does not in anyway support what she says but has spoken out in support of her  right to say it.

Can you imagine him getting support like that from her, or anyone else on the other side of the race debate,  if he made what they deemed to be grossly offensive statements?


September 8 in history

September 8, 2011

70  Roman forces under Titus sacked Jerusalem.

1151 King Richard I of England, was born (d. 1199).

1264  The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, was promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland.

1331  Stephen Uroš IV Dušan declared himself king of Serbia.

1380  Battle of Kulikovo – Russian forces defeated a mixed army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance.

1449  Battle of Tumu Fortress – Mongolians capture the Chinese emperor.

1504  Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence.

1514  Battle of Orsha – in one of the biggest battles of the century, Lithuanians and Poles defeated the Russian army.

1565  The Knights of Malta lifted the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18. 

1727 A barn fire during a puppet show in the village of Burwell in Cambridgeshire killed 78 people.

1755  French and Indian War: Battle of Lake George.

1756  French and Indian War: Kittanning Expedition.

1761 Marriage of King George III to Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.  

1793 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Hondschoote.

1796 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Bassano – French forces defeated Austrian troops at Bassano del Grappa.

1831 William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned King and Queen of the Great Britain and Ireland. 

1841 Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer, was born (d. 1904). 

1863 American Civil War: Second Battle of Sabine Pass – on the Texas-Louisiana border at the mouth of the Sabine River, a small Confederate force thwarted a Union invasion of Texas.

1886 Siegfried Sassoon, English poet, was born (d. 1967).

1888 In London, the body of Jack the Ripper‘s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found.

1892  The Pledge of Allegiance was first recited.

1900  Galveston Hurricane killed about 8,000 people.

 

1914  World War I: Private Thomas Highgate became the first British soldier to be executed for desertion during the war.

1921 Harry Secombe, Welsh entertainer, was born (d. 2001).

1921 – 16-year-old Margaret Gorman won the Atlantic City Pageant’s Golden Mermaid trophy; pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America. 

1923  Honda Point Disaster: nine US Navy destroyers ran aground off the California coast, seven people died.

1925 Peter Sellers, English actor, was born (d. 1980). 

1930 3M began marketing Scotch transparent tape. 

1932 Patsy Cline, American singer, was born (d. 1963).

1934  A fire aboard the passenger liner SS Morro Castle killed 135 people. 

1941  World War II: Siege of Leningrad began.

1943  World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announced the Allied armistice with Italy.

1944  World War II: London was hit by a V2 rocket for the first time.

1945 Cold War: United States troops arrived to partition the southern part of Korea in response to Soviet troops occupying the northern part of the peninsula a month earlier.

1945 Ron Pigpen McKernan, American musician (Grateful Dead), was born (d. 1973).

1947 Benjamin Orr, American bassist and singer (The Cars), was born (d. 2000).

1951 Treaty of San Francisco: 48 nations signed a peace treaty with Japan in formal recognition of the end of the Pacific War. 

1954 New Zealand signed the Manila Pact which established the South East Asia Treaty Organisation – SEATO.

NZ signs Manila Pact

1959 The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) was established.

1960  US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center.

1962  Last run of the famous Pines Express over the Somerset and Dorset Railway line (UK) fittingly using the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, 9F locomotive 92220 Evening Star.

1966  The Severn Bridge was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II.

1966  The first Star Trek series premieree on NBC.

1967  The formal end of steam traction in the North East of England by British Railways.

1968 The Beatles performed their last live TV performance on the David Frost show – singing their new hit “Hey Jude“.

1970  Hijacking (and subsequent destruction) of three airliners to Jordan by Palestinians.

1971 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated, featuring the premiere of Leonard Bernstein‘s Mass

1974 Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1975 US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appeared in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”. 

1991  The Republic of Macedonia became independent.

1993 Chinese athlete Wang Junxia set a new women’s 10,000 m world record of 29:31.78, breaking the former record by 42 seconds.

1994  A USAir Boeing 737 crashes in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania.

2004 NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-landed when its parachute failed to open. 

2005 Two EMERCOM Il-76 aircraft landed at a disaster aid staging area at Little Rock Air Force Base; the first time Russia has flown such a mission to North America.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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