Word of the day


Animadversion – harsh criticism or disapproval; a critical or censorious remark.

Porcelain Unicorn


British film director Sir Ridley Scott launched a global film making contest for aspiring directors. It’s titled “Tell It Your Way”.

The film could be no longer than three minutes, contain only 6 lines of narrative & be a compelling story.

There were more than 600 entries.

The winner was “Porcelain Unicorn” from American director Keegan Wilcox.

Thursday’s quiz on Friday


1. Who said: “The lack of money is the root of all evil“?

2. Who wrote “Not A Penny More Not A Penny Less“?

3. Vexillology is the study of what?.

4. What is the English name for the mountain Maori call Tititea?

5. Gaborone  is the capital of which country?

Are voters smart enough?


Question of the day (my bold):

As a voter (and an academic), I don’t think university degrees make a politician good or bad. There are many educated fools out there. What worries me is whether we, the voters, are any good at deciding whether we are voting for the best candidates, or understanding whether the policies of those we elect would work. Would our democracy work better if we, the voters, were smarter? That doesn’t necessarily require a degree or two either. Flaco (@ 10:41).

S/he is responding to a column  on intellectual snobbery in parliament in which Claire Trevett syas the university of life is the best qualification for politicians.


Labour and local government haven’t got message yet


Voters sent Labour a message in last year’s election by either voting for other parties or not voting at all.

But has the party got it? Trans Tasman doesn’t think so:

Shearer is still feeling his way forward as Opposition leader, and those who are eager to detect signs Labour has absorbed the lessons of its thrashing at the polls last November have yet to be convinced it has done so.

NZ is living in a very different world from where it stood just a decade ago. The limitations of state power in an era of global financial constraint have become clearer to even the most indifferent citizen. There is no longer any conviction Govts can find, and deliver, an easy path to prosperity. New Zealanders are able to see only too clearly in the fate of countries like Greece that the penalties of using debt to achieve prosperity can be catastrophic. The painful lesson from the first decade of this century is there are no silver bullets in the political armoury, particularly when the nation has to deal with a disaster as big as the Canterbury earthquakes.

Businesses and households have got the message.

The government is very clear it has got the message and most of the public service has got it too.

But there is no clear evidence that Labour has really got it yet and there is another big sector of the economy that isn’t yet showing it’s got the message and that’s local government.

Anti-obesity compaigners slam Shearer speech


Anti-obesity campaigners have slammed a breakfast speech by Labour Leader David Shearer giving it a fail for high sugar content, low protein and calcium content and complete lack of fibre.

Candyfloss is simply not acceptable as a breakfast food. It is nothing more than sugar, colour and flavouring with no nutritional value, and we are at a loss to know why it was accompanied by woolly side dishes” Ms Truly Trim spokesperson for Thin is In said.

“The leftwing of the country was looking for Mr Shearer to provide a real red meat and green vegetable dinner full of essential vitamins and minerals and all he gave us was sweet nothingness.

“We wanted something we could get our teeth into not something that would rot our teeth.”

Chair of Fat Fighters, Fairly Fatnomore, said her organisation was similarly disappointed.

“After keeping us waiting for all these months we were hoping he’d serve up something really substantial,” she said.

“It might be too early for a main course but we were hoping for a really satisfying appetiser. Instead all we got were nibbles that sound better than they taste and leave you feeling hungry five minutes after you’ve swallowed them.

“We were hoping for some wholemeal bread and low-fat butter policy and all we got was syrupy sentiments.”




March 16 in history


597 BC – Babylonians captured Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king.

37 Caligula became Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius.

1190 Massacre of Jews at Clifford’s Tower, York.

1322 The Battle of Boroughbridge took place in the First War of Scottish Independence.

1521 Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines.

1621 Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greeted them, “Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset.”

1660 The Long Parliament disbanded.

1689 The 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers was founded.

1774 Captain Matthew Flinders, English explorer, was born (d. 1814).

1789 Georg Simon Ohm, German physicist, was born (d. 1854).

1792 King Gustav III of Sweden was shot. He died on March 29.

1802  The Army Corps of Engineers was established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point.

1812  Battle of Badajoz (March 16 – April 6) – British and Portuguese forces besieged and defeated French garrison during Peninsular War.

1815 Prince Willem of the House of Orange-Nassau proclaimed himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.

1818 Second Battle of Cancha Rayada – Spanish forced defeat Chileans under José de San Martín.

1839 – John Butler Yeats, Northern Irish artist (d. 1922).

1865 The Battle of Averasborough began as Confederate forces suffer irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the American Civil War.

1872 The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 at The Oval in Kennington , London.

1900  Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.

1912 Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Scott’s South Pole expedition left the tent saying, “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

1920 Leo McKern, Australian actor, was born (d. 2002).

1924 In accordance with the Treaty of Rome, Fiume became annexed as part of Italy.

1926  Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

1926 Jerry Lewis, American comedian, was born.

1935 Adolf Hitler ordered Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Conscription was reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

1939 Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.

1939 Marriage of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran.

1940 Jockey Y-fronts were first sold in New Zealand shops.

Jockey Y-fronts hit NZ shops

1942 The first V-2 rocket test launched. It exploded at lift-off.

1945 The Battle of Iwo Jima ended but small pockets of Japanese resistance persisted.

1945 – Ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 were killed.

1948 Michael Bruce, American musician (Alice Cooper), was born.

1950   Czechoslovakia‘s ministry of foreign affairs asks nuncios of Vatican to leave the country.

1952  In Cilaos, Réunion, 1,870 millimetres (74 in) of rain fell in one day, setting a new world record.

1958  The Ford Motor Company produced its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company’s founding.

1959 EUROAVIA, the European Association of Aerospace students was founded, the first initiative towards European cooperation in Aerospace.

1962 A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappeared in the western Pacific Ocean, with 107 missing.

1963 Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor, was born.

1963  Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing 11,000.

1966 Launch of Gemini 8, the 12th manned American space flight and first space docking with the Agena Target Vehicle.

1968 Vietnam War: In the My Lai massacre, between 350 and 500 Vietnamese villagers were killed by American troops.

1968 – General Motors produced its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.

1976 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned, citing personal reasons.

1977 – Assassination of Kamal Jumblatt the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War.

1978  Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed by his captors.

1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the 5th-largest oil spill in history.

1983 Demolition of the radio tower Ismaning, the last wooden radio tower in Germany.

1984 William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity.

1985 Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut.

1988  Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

1995 Mississippi formally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.

1997 Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrested Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.

1998  Pope John Paul II asked God for forgiveness for the inactivity and silence of some Roman Catholics during the Holocaust.

1999 – NZHistory.net.nz was launched.

NZHistory.net.nz launched

2003 – The largest coordinated worldwide vigil took place, as part of the global protests against Iraq war.

2005 –  Israel officially handed over Jericho to Palestinian control.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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