11/15

13/10/2011

Blush – only 11/15 in Stuff’s kis’ quiz.

Memo to self: read whole question and all answers before clicking.


TV leaders’ debates scheduled

13/10/2011

TV1 will be broadcasting three leaders’ debates in the run-up to the election.

Prime Minister John Key and Opposition leader Phil Goff will face each other on the 31st of October and the 23rd of November.

The leaders of the wee parties will debate each other on November 16.

All debates will be live, hosted by Mark  Sainsbury and moderated by political editor Guyon Espiner.

Political scientists Dr Jon Johansson & Dr Claire Robinson will be fiving giving comments..

TVNZ will invite members of the audience who won’t be representatives of political parties.

A media panel lead by Te Karere Editor, Shane Taurima will also be given time to ask questions.

Viewers are invited to send in video questions for the leaders and vote in a text poll.  The debates
will also be streamed live on tvnz.co.nz


My way is our way

13/10/2011

Discussion on whether or not they should get had been settled but the decision on where to site it was still under debate until he said:

“It’s going to go where I want it to go but we have to agree on that site or we’re not going to have one at all.”

And some people think women are illogical!


Thursday’s quiz

13/10/2011

1. Who said: “Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many chances as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING.”

2. Who has just resigned as coach of the Silver Ferns, who has replaced her?

3. What is Spinacia oleracea more commonly known as and who ate it for strength?

4. It’s espoir in French; speranza in Italian, esperanza in Spanish and awhero, wawata or manawa ora  in Maori, what is it in English?

5. Where was Richie McCaw born and where was his childhood home?


New party formed to respond to crises

13/10/2011

A new political party, the Armchair Critics has been formed to respond to crises.

Self-appointed chair Mr Clark Kent said the idea for the ACP came to him while he was watching television.

“Night after night, I sat there and watched a depressing series of financial, social, moral, natural and unnatural crises unfold and no-one’s been able to stop them.

“You see all these so-called experts, rabbiting on about process and procedures when they should be getting in there boots and all and worry about consequences later.

“All them shiny pants and boffins haven’t stopped the earth moving in Christchurch, they’re not even trying to turn the tide back in Tauranga and none of them’s even mentioned Coronation Street.

“It’s time to stop talking and start doing and me and me mates are going to do it.”

Mr Kent said Armchair Party policies would include compulsory conscription into a disaster-response army for all 18 – 30 year olds and tax-free status for super heroes.

The party slogan is you don’t have to be a rocket scientist and the logo will be a bloke with his underpants outside his trousers tilting at a windmill.


5/10

13/10/2011

Hmm – only 5/10 in the Herald’s changing world quiz.


Who got rid of tramping huts?

13/10/2011

Labour’s sports policy includes  upgrading the infrastructure of huts and tracks.

Nothing wrong with that in theory, but who got rid of several tramping huts or reduced the number of beds in them?

Oh yes, that would be the last Labour government.

As for upgrading the infrastructure of huts, what does that mean and how will they afford the upgrades and on-going maintenance? The Department of Conservation which is charged with looking after them has a budget which is already over stretched.


The facts on Rena – UPDATED

13/10/2011

The captain of the Rema and another officer have been charged with ‘operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk’.

It is difficult to understand how a container ship could hit a well marked  charted reef but the court case may answer some of the many questions about that.

In the mean time, a media release from National MP Dr Jackie Blue answers the critics who think the government should have done, and should still be doing more:

1. What are Government’s environmental priorities?

The main concern is the 1700 tonnes of heavy oil on the Rena, of which an estimated 350 tonnes has leaked.  The second priority is
the 80 tonnes of hazardous goods, albeit these raise greater occupational safety risks for the salvage operation than environmental risks to the Bay of Plenty community.  The third is the risk to shipping from the containers lost overboard.

 2. Why was oil not removed from the vessel earlier?

The heavy oil tanks on the Rena are serviced by pipes in the duct keel which was extensively damaged when the ship hit the reef. 
The time critical issue in getting the heavy oil off the ship was putting together the alternative pipe system to enable the tanks to be emptied.  A further priority was pumping oil out of the bow tanks that were damaged to the stern tanks.  An additional complication was intrusions within the tanks that made the job of getting the pumps in from the top difficult.  Even if the oil transfer vessel, the Awanuia, had arrived prior to Sunday it would not have changed the time when the pumping could have started.

3. Why were booms not placed to contain the oil around the ship?

Booms are only useful in very specific circumstances and their performance varies with the type of oil and sea conditions.  They don’t work in a chop of more than 0.5 metres or in any significant sea current.  The fuel oil in the ship is heavy grade and can float below the surface, also making booms less effective in this spill.  Absorption booms are being used in some of the estuaries, but are limited to areas where there
is low current.

4. What about the environmental safety of the dispersant being used?

Dispersants help reduce the harm of an oil spill by breaking up the oil and thus reducing the toll on birdlife.  It is most effective as soon as possible after the oil enters the ocean.  Five dispersants were trialled because different formulations work differently on different oil types.  The dispersant being used, Corexit 9500, is approved by the Environmental Protection Authority and has a low eco-toxicity.  It is similar to dishwashing liquid or washing powder.  It can have ecological effects in shallow waters that exceed its benefits and, as a consequence, its use is being limited to deeper waters.  The Government is taking a cautious approach to its use but decisions on this, like on other parts of the operation, are being made by technical experts.

 5. What implications are there from this spill for the Government’s plans for petroleum development
in the marine environment?

The Government has taken a very environmentally responsible approach in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico disaster.  There was an independent review of New Zealand’s regulations and systems for managing the risks.  This review found New Zealand’s regulations and systems were in good shape, with the exception of the gap in respect of assessment of environmental effects in the EEZ.  The Government has introduced legislation based on world’s best practise for the EEZ and put in place interim arrangements.  This legislation was supported by the Greens but opposed by Labour.  You should note that there were 14 test bores drilled in the deep sea during Labour’s last term, without any mandatory assessment of environmental effects.  The connection between this shipping based spill and proposed deep sea drilling are thin.  The risks are quite different and no one is suggesting that an export based country should ban shipping.

This is an environmental disaster but TV3 has a history of maritime disasters which put it into perspective:

An estimated 300 tonnes of heavy fuel oil has spilled into the sea from the  Rena so far.

* Last year the Deepwater Horizon oil well exploded, spilling about 780,000  tonnes of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

* In 2003 the oil tanker Tasman Spirit ran aground off Karachi,Pakistan, spilling about 27,000 tonnes of crude oil.

* In 2002 the tanker Prestige wrecked on the Spanish coast leaked an  estimated 76,000 tonnes of crude oil.

* In 1989 the Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska,  spilling up to 119,000 tonnes of crude oil.

* In 1978 the oil tanker Amoco Cadiz ran aground off the French coast and  broke up, spilling its cargo of 220,000 tonnes of light crude oil and 4000  tonnes of fuel oil into the sea.

And in New Zealand:

 * In 2002, the Jody F Millennium broke free from her moorings in Gisborne Harbour and ran onto the beach in rough seas. An  estimated 25 tonnes of fuel oil leaked out, coming ashore over about 8km of  coastline.

* Also in 2002, the Hong Kong-flagged carrier Tai Ping, carrying 9500 tonnes  of fertiliser, ran aground at Tiwai Point, at the entrance to Bluff Harbour.  After being grounded for nine days, the vessel was refloated with not a drop of  oil spilled.

* In 2000, the Seafresh 1 caught fire and sank off the Chatham Islands,  spilling 60 tonnes of diesel.

* In 1999, the container ship MV Rotoma discharged around 7 tonnes of oily  water off Northland’s east coast.

* In 1998, the Korean fishing vessel Don Wong 529 ran aground off Stewart  Island, spilling 400 tonnes of automotive oil.

NZ History online has a list of disasters among which are the following maritime ones:

* The Maria broke up on rocks near Wellington on  23 July 1851, with the loss of 26 lives.

* The sinking of the Orpheus which hit the Manakau bar in 1863 killing 189 of the 259 people on board.

* The City of Dunedin which disappeared without trace in 1865 with 39 passengers and crew.

* After fire broke out on board the Fiery Star in 1865 the captain and 77 passengers took to the lifeboats and were never seen again.

* The steamer Taiaroa struck rocks at the mouth of the Clarence River on 11 April 1886, and 34 people drowned.

* The sinking of the General Grant in 1866 resulted in the death of all but 15 of the 83 on board.

* In 1869, 20 people died when the St Vincent was wrecked in Palliser Bay.

* In  1881, the steamer  Tararua struck a reef at Waipapa Point, Southland. In all, 131 passengers and crew died, including 12 women and 14 children. Most were washed overboard and drowned while the rescuers were held back by high seas.

* The following year a sudden storm wrecked two large sailing ships, the City of Perth and Ben Venue, in Timaru’s exposed roadstead. Nine lives were lost. Among the dead were the port’s harbourmaster and five local watermen, who had tried to rescue the ships’ crews.

* In 1886 Taiaroa struck rocks near the mouth of the Clarence River, north of Kaikōura, and sank with the loss of 34 lives.

* In  1894 the steamer Wairarapa hit cliffs on Great Barrier Island, resulting in the deaths of 101 of the 186 passengers and 20 of the 65 crew.

*  In 1902 the three-masted sailing ship the Loch Long was wrecked off the Chatham Islands, with the loss of 24 lives.

*  The same year  the steamer Elingamite was wrecked on the Three Kings Islands, north of Cape Rēinga, with the loss of 45 lives.

* In 1909 the Cook Strait ferry Penguin struck rocks off Cape Terawhiti and sank with the loss of 72 lives.

* In 1950 the passenger launch Ranui, returning from a holiday trip to Mayor Island, was wrecked on North Rock, Mt Maunganui. Of the 23 people on board, only one survived.

* In 1951 the 10 crew on board  Husky and Argo, were lost during the centennial Wellington-Lyttelton yacht race. (My father was on board the Caplin, another yacht which entered the race).

* The Holmglen foundered north of Oamaru in 1959. All 15 crew were lost.

* In 1966 the collier Kaitawa was lost with all 29 hands.

* In 1968 the  Lyttelton–Wellington ferry Wahine struck Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Of the 734 passengers and crew on board, 51 died (a 52nd victim died several weeks later, and a 53rd of related causes in 1990).

These don’t make the foundering of the Rema any better.

It is an environmental disaster which will have social and economic repercussions but no human lives have been lost, nor should any be put at risk in the recovery and clean-up.

UPDATE: Whaleoil has some graphics which also put the Rena into perspective.


October 13 in history

13/10/2011

54 Nero ascended to the Roman throne.

1307 Hundreds of Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Phillip the Fair

1332  Rinchinbal Khan, Emperor Ningzong of Yuan became the Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, reigning for only 53 days.

1362 The Chancellor of England for the first time opened Parliament with a speech in English.

1773 The Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered by Charles Messier.

1775 The United States Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy).

1777  British General John Burgoyne’s Army at The Battles of Saratoga was surrounded by superior numbers, setting the stage for its surrende which inspired  France to enter the American Revolutionary War against the British.

1792  The cornerstone of the United States’ Executive Mansion (known as the White House ) was laid.

1812 War of 1812: Battle of Queenston Heights – As part of the Niagara campaign in Ontario, United States forces under General Stephen Van Rensselaer were repulsed from invading Canada by British and native troops led by Sir Isaac Brock.

1843 Henry Jones and 11 others founded B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world).

1845  A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approved a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, would make Texas a U.S. state.

1862  Mary Kingsley, English writer and explorer, was born (d. 1900).

1884 Greenwich, was established as Universal Time meridian of longitude.

1885 The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) was founded in Atlanta.

1892  Edward Emerson Barnard discovered D/1892 T1, the first comet discovered by photographic means, on the night of October 13–14.

1904 Wilfred Pickles, English actor and broadcaster, ws born (d. 1978).

1915  The Battle for the Hohenzollern Redoubt marked the end of the Battle of Loos in northern France, World War I.

1917  The “Miracle of the Sun” was witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal.

1918  Mehmed Talat Pasha and the Young Turk (C.U.P.) ministry resigned and signed an armistice, ending Ottoman participation in World War I.

1923  Ankara replaced Istanbul as the capital of Turkey.

1925   Lenny Bruce, American comedian (d. 1966)

1925 – Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minsiter, was born.

1934 Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician, was born.

1941 Paul Simon, American singer and musician (Simon & Garfunkel), was born.

1943  World War II: The new government of Italy sided with the Allies and declared war on Germany.

1946  France adopted the constitution of the Fourth Republic.

1959 Marie Osmond, American entertainer, was born.

1962 The Pacific Northwest experienced a cyclone the equal of a Cat 3 hurricane. Winds measured above 150 mph at several locations; 46 people died.

1968 Carlos Marin, Spanish baritone (Il Divo), was born.

1969 Nancy Kerrigan, American figure skater, was born.

1970 Paul Potts, British opera singer, was born.

1972  An Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62 crashed outside Moscow killing 176.

1972  Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes mountains. By December 23, only 16 out of 45 people were still alive  to be rescued.

1975 Dame Whina Cooper led a land march to parliament.

Whina Cooper leads land march to Parliament

1976  A Bolivian Boeing 707 cargo jet crashed in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, killing 100 (97, mostly children, killed on the ground).

1976  The first electron micrograph of an Ebola viral particle was obtained by Dr. F.A. Murphy.

1977 Four Palestinians hijacked Lufthansa Flight 181 to Somalia and demanded the release of 11 members of the Red Army Faction.

1983 Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois.

1990  End of the Lebanese Civil War. Syrian forces launched an attack on the free areas of Lebanon removing General Michel Aoun from the presidential palace.

1992  An Antonov An-124 operated by Antonov Airlines crashed near Kiev.

1999 – The United States Senate rejected ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

2010 – The 2010 Copiapó mining accident in Copiapó, Chile came to an end as all 33 miners arrived at the surface after surviving a record 69 days underground awaiting rescue.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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