Word of the day


Exsibilation –  the collective hisses of a disapproving audience.



9/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.

Saturday’s smiles


This came in an email from an English friend.

I have no idea if it’s a true story, if it is I admire both the courage and the wit of the woman.

After a busy day he settled down in his train from Waterloo for a nap as far as his destination at Winchester , when the chap sitting near him hauled out his mobile.

“Hi darling it’s Peter, I’m on the train – yes, I know it’s the 6.30 not the 4.30 but I had a long meeting – no, not with that floozie from the typing pool, with the boss, no darling you’re the only one in my life – yes, I’m sure, cross my heart” etc., etc.

This was still going on at Wimbledon, when the young woman opposite, driven beyond endurance, yelled at the top of her voice, “Hey, Peter, turn that bloody phone off and come back to bed!!”

Maybe the baristas and motel staff  upset by people exhibiting an ignorance of cell phone etiquette could resort to similar tactics.



7/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz

First they came for the apple trees . . .


First the vandals came for the apple trees:

Vandals spent a night destroying 1500 apple trees on a Hawke’s Bay orchard at the weekend and the owner is at a loss to explain why his fruit trees were targeted.

Some staff are now sleeping in paddocks to keep an around-the-clock watch on the remaining crop, which provides a livelihood for several families.

On Sunday morning Jonty Moffett arrived at his orchard at Fernhill, near Hastings, to discover the trees had been cut down the previous night.

The two-year-old trees were 1.8m to 2m tall. Some had been cut in half, others had been severed at ground level. . .

Then they attacked the pines:

Vandals have destroyed 375 genetically modified radiata pine trees at a research site in Rotorua, causing about $400,000 worth of damage.   

The tress, planted at forestry research site Scion to test herbicide resistance and study reproductive development, were  destroyed over Easter weekend, chief executive Warren Parker told Radio New Zealand.   

The trees were protected by electric fencing.   

“Somebody broke in through the three security fences – dug under the final one – and either pulled out or cut off 375      plants … It is outright vandalism,” Dr Parker said. . .

There is no suggestion the two incidences of vandalism were related.

The second one was almost certainly the work of people opposed to genetic modification, goodness only knows what motivated the vandals who destroyed the apple trees.

But if three security fences don’t keep vandals out there’s little anyone can do to keep their property and crops safe from those determined on doing damage.

Blue green better than red Greens


The news that the Memorandum of Understanding between National and the Green Party won’t go any further isn’t unexpected:

A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key said in deciding not to broaden the current MOU “we took into account the quite different priorities and philosophies of the two parties”.

“With a zero Budget coming this year, the Government did not have additional resources available for the policy priorities of the Greens.

Try as they might to present themselves as moderate, the Greens are well to the left on social and economic issues.

They also like to present themselves as the only party with an environmental focus but Nationals blue green approach which balances environmental, economic and social considerations is a better one than the Green’s red one.

If we want first world environmental standards we need a first world economy to pay for them and you don’t get that through higher taxes and other policies which increase the burden of the state.



April 14 in history


43 BC  Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieging Julius Caesar’s assassin Decimus Junius Brutus in Mutina, defeated the forces of the consul Pansa, who was killed.

69 Vitellius, commander of the Rhine armies, defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum and seizes the throne.

1028  Henry III, son of Conrad, was elected king of the Germans.

1205 Battle of Adrianople between Bulgarians and Crusaders.

1294 Temür, grandson of Kublai, is elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong.

1341 Sacking of Saluzzo  by Italian-Angevine troops under Manfred V of Saluzzo.

1434 The foundation stone of Cathedral of  St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes was laid.

1471 The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Warwick at the battle of Barnet; the Earl of Warwick was killed and Edward IV resumed the throne.

1699  Birth of Khalsa  the brotherhood of the Sikh religion, in Northern India in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar.

1775 The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage  – the first abolitionist society in North America – was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

1828  Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary.

1846 The Donner Party of pioneers left Springfield, Illinois, for California, on what became a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival.

1849 Hungary declared itself independent of Austria with Lajos Kossuth as its leader.

1860 The first Pony Express rider reached Sacramento, California.

1864 Battle of Dybbøl: A Prussian-Austrian army defeated Denmark and gained control of Schleswig. Denmark surrendered the province in the following peace settlement.

1865   Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

1865 U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family were attacked in their home by Lewis Powell.

1866 Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher, was born (d. 1936).

1881 The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight erupted in El Paso, Texas.

1890 The Pan-American Union was founded by the First International Conference of American States.

1894 Thomas Edison demonstrated the kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flip in sequence.

1904 Sir John Gielgud, English actor, was born (d. 2000).

1912  The British passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg at 11.40pm in the North Atlantic, and sankthe following morning with the loss of 1,517 lives.

1915 The Turks invaded Armenia.

1927 The first Volvo car premiered in Gothenburg.

1927 Alan MacDiarmid, New Zealand chemist, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 2007).

1931 Spanish Cortes Generales deposed King Alfonso XIII and proclaimed the 2nd Spanish Republic.

1932 A crowd of about 1500 rioted in Queen Street.

Unemployed riots rock Queen Street

1935 Black Sunday Storm, the worst dust storm of the U.S. Dust Bowl.

1935 Loretta Lynn, American singer/songwriter, was born.

1941 Julie Christie, British actress, was born.

1941 World War II: The Ustashe, a Croatian far-right organisation was put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis Power after the Operation 25 invasion.

1941 Rommel attacked Tobruk.

1944 Bombay Explosion: A massive explosion in Bombay harbour killsed300 caused economic damage valued then at 20 million pounds.

1945 Osijek, Croatia, was liberated from fascist occupation.

1945 – Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, 8th Prime Minister of Samoa, was born.

1945 Ritchie Blackmore, English guitarist (Deep Purple), was born.

1951 Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist, was born.

1956 In Chicago videotape was first demonstrated.

1958 The Soviet satellite Sputnik 2 fell from orbit after a mission duration of 162 days.

1961 Robert Carlyle, British actor, was born.

1969  Academy Award for Best Actress was a tie between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand.

1973 David Miller, American tenor (Il Divo), was born.

1978: Thousands of Georgians demonstrated in Tbilisi against Soviet attempts to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language.

1981 The first operational space shuttle, Columbia (OV-102) completed its first test flight.

1986 In retaliation for the April 5 bombing in West Berlin that killed two U.S. servicemen, U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered major bombing raids against Libya, killing 60 people.

1986 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) hailstones fell on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92 – these were the heaviest hailstones ever recorded.

1988 The USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will.

1988  The Soviet Union signed an agreement pledging to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

1994 In a U.S. friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shoot-down two United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people.

1999  NATO mistakenly bombed a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees.

1999 A severe hailstorm struck Sydney causing A$2.3 billion in insured damages, the most costly natural disaster in Australian history.

2002 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to office two days after being ousted and arrested by the country’s military.

2003 The Human Genome Project was completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%.

2003 U.S. troops in Baghdad captured Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985.

2005 The Oregon Supreme Court nullified marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Multnomah County.

2007 At least 200,000 demonstrators in Ankara protested against the possible candidacy of incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

2010 – Nearly 2,700 people were killed in a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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