Word of the day

01/02/2012

Indurate – to make hard, harden; to inure as to hardship or ridicule; to make callous or obdurate.


Marilyn Monroe moments

01/02/2012

The pilot and cabin attendants on yesterday’s flight from Christchurch to Wellington warned us to expect turbulence because of a strong nor wester..

It was a little bumpy but not too bad in the air.

However, I had a spot of bother with the wind after we landed.

I was wearing a skirt and had to gather it close to my side to save myself from several Marilyn Monroe moments.


Farrar to be stripped of knighthood

01/02/2012

The Labour Party has announced it will strip David Farrar of his knighthoood because of the value he has stripped from their brand.

“If it’s good enough for Britain to de-knight Fred Goodwin for the damage inflicted on the Bank of Scotland, it’s good enough for us to de-knight Farrar for the damage he does to Labour,” party spokesman Trival Mullard said.

“His use of facts and figures and reasonable approach to issues is continually showing Labour bloggers up as emotional and irrational and forcing us into committing SMOGS..

“He’s always finding positive things to say about the government, MPs and policies. But even worse, he  sometimes even says nice things about us which lowers our reputation in left-wing circles.

“You only have to look at the election results to see just how much damage he’s inflicted on us and come the revolution we’ll be stripping him of his title.”

When told that Farrar hadn’t been knighted Mullard said: “Ha, just you wait, no-one who does this much good for the government and this much harm to us will go unrecognised forever. By the time we get back into government he’ll be Sir David and one of the first actions we take will be to make him mister again.”

Inspired by shock as Labour discover Farrar is not the PM at Imperator Fish

 


Quote of the day

01/02/2012

“The welfare states across Europe have not helped boost entrepreneurship, because governments have told people ‘don’t worry, we’ll look after you’ instead of ‘you have a unique contribution to make’,” she says.

 “Instead governments need to be much smaller, with more focus on individuals. And we are now heading in that direction, because European governments suddenly realise they cannot afford to be so large.” Julie Meyer

Hat Tip: Mark Hubbard


Farms dangerous workplaces

01/02/2012

Four fewer people died as a result of farm work accidents last year than in 2010 but 14 deaths is still far too high.

“Any death is a tragedy and it’s much worse when it happens at a place of work that is also their home,” says David Rose, Federated Farmers health and safety spokesperson.

Animals, machinery, often difficult terrain and uncertain weather all make farms potentially dangerous places.

People are often working alone and a long way from help which means people who are injured can deteriorate before anyone even knows they’ve been hurt.

All of this ought to mean people take extra care. But farmers and farm workers are often very strong and independent individuals, focussed on what needs to be done and not always willing, or even aware of the need, to take a cautious approach when a job needs doing.

That is an observation, not an excuse for taking shortcuts with safety.

The human and financial costs of accidents are far too high and Federated Farmers farms safety manual is a good place to start in taking a serious approach to making farms safer workplaces.


Playing to poor-me gallery

01/02/2012

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples was playing to the poor-me gallery with his response to Prime Minister John Key’s first speech of the year last week:

Maori Party Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples is disappointed at the obvious omissions from the Prime Minister’s State of the Nation speech this afternoon.

“This was not a speech about the health of this nation – it was almost exclusively about the economy and budgetary matters,” said Dr Sharples.

“There was nothing said about the well-being of our nations peoples.

“I didn’t see the word poverty – even though the government has set up a Ministerial inquiry into poverty.

“The Treaty was not mentioned once – even though we have already begun to review the constitution of Aotearoa.

“And there was no reference to Maori in his speech – so our people must see that only the Maori Party in Parliament is able to bring their most important issues before the House of Representatives and the Government.

He must know that getting the economy and budgetary matters right is the only way to pay for education, health and other services and boost employment and that those are the only way to alleviate poverty.
He also ought to know that when the Prime Minister talks about New Zealanders he means all of us and that it is not necessary to single out any particular group.
This speech, like yesterday’s threat to walk away from the Maori Party’s coalition agreement with the government, was chest-beating for a constituency.
He and his co-leader Tariana Turia can’t possibly have forgotten the message they gave voters during the election campaign — that you can’t achieve anything in opposition.
But they are on dangerous ground because their grandstanding will not appeal to all Maori.
Iwi with money to invest are keen to take up the opportunities provided by the partial sale off state assets.
In playing to the poor-me gallery Sharples and Turia are foolishly overlooking the other gallery full of people keen to stand on their own feet.

February 1 in history

01/02/2012

1327 Teenaged Edward III was crowned King of England, but the country was ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer.

1662 Chinese general Koxinga seized the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.

1663 Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, Filipino foundress of the Religious of the Virgin Mary, was born  (d. 1748).

1790 The Supreme Court of the United States attempted to convene for the first time.

1793 French Revolutionary Wars: France declared war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

1814 Mayon Volcano, in the Philippines, erupted, killing around 1,200 people.

1842 The Fifeshire arrived in Nelson with the first immigrants for the New Zealand Company’s latest venture, which followed the settlement of Wellington, New Plymouth and Wanganui.

First NZ Company settlers arrive in Nelson

1861 Texas seceded from the United States.

1862 Julia Ward Howe‘s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was published for the first time in the Atlantic Monthly.

1865 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

1873 John Barry, Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born (d. 1901).

1884 Edition one of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

1893 Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.

1896 The opera La bohème premieresd in Turin.

1897 Shinhan Bank, the oldest bank in South Korea, opened in Seoul.

1901 Clark Gable, American actor, was born  (d. 1960).

1908 King Carlos I of Portugal and his son, Prince Luis Filipe were killed in Terreiro do Paco, Lisbon.

1918 Muriel Spark, Scottish author, was born  (d. 2006).

1920 The Royal Canadian Mounted Police began operations.

1931 Boris Yeltsin, 1st President of the Russian Federation, was born.

1934 Bob Shane, American folk singer (The Kingston Trio), was born.

1937 Don Everly, American musician (Everly Brothers), was born.

1937 Ray Sawyer, American singer (Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show), was born.

1942 Vidkun Quisling was appointed Premier of Norway by the Nazi occupiers.

1943 The German 6th Army surrendered at Stalingrad.

1946 Trygve Lie of Norway was picked to be the first United Nations Secretary General.

1957 Felix Wankel‘s first working prototype DKM 54 of the Wankel engine was running at the NSU research and development department Versuchsabteilung TX in Germany.

1958 Egypt and Syria merged to form the United Arab Republic, which lasted until 1961.

1958 The United States Army launched Explorer 1.

1960 Four black students staged the first of the Greensboro sit-ins.

1965 The Hamilton River in Labrador, Canada was renamed the Churchill River in honour of Winston Churchill.

1968 – Canada’s three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, were unified into the Canadian Forces.

1972  Kuala Lumpur became a city by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

1974 A fire in the 25-story Joelma Building in Sao Paulo killed 189 and injures 293.

1979 – The Ayatollah Khomeini was welcomed back into Tehran after nearly 15 years of exile.

1981 Trans-Tasman sporting relations reached breaking point at the Melbourne Cricket Ground when Australian captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother Trevor to bowl underarm (along the ground) for the final delivery of a limited-overs cricket international against New Zealand.

Trevor Chappell bowls underarm

1989 The Western Australian towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder amalgamate to form the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

1992 The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal court declares Warren Anderson, ex-CEO of Union Carbide, a fugitive under Indian law for failing to appear in the Bhopal Disaster case.

1996 The Communications Decency Act was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1998 Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne became the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral.

2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

2004 251 people were trampled to death and 244 injured in a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

2005 King Gyanendra exercised a coup d’état to capture Neapl, becoming Chairman of the Councils of ministers.

2005 – Canada introduced the Civil Marriage Act, making Canada the fourth country to sanction same-sex marriage.

2009 Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the first openly gay head of state in the modern world.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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