Word of the day

June 9, 2012

 Horatory –  an effort to persuade; marked by a strong urging; serving to encourage or incite.


Saturday’s smiles

June 9, 2012

1 – I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

2 – Borrow money from pessimists — they don’t expect it back.

3 – Half the people you know are below average.

4 – 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

6 – A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

7 – A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

8 – If you want the rainbow, you have got to put up with the rain.

9 – All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.

10 – The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

11 – I almost had a psychic girlfriend, …… But she left me before we met.

12 – OK, so what’s the speed of dark?

13 – How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?

14 – If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

15 – Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

16 – When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

17 – Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

18 – Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

19 – I intend to live forever… So far, so good.

21 – Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.

22 – What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

23 – My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”

24 – Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

25 – If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

26 – A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

27 – Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

28 – The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

29 – To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

30 – The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

31 – The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.

32 – The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

33 – Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don’t have film.

34 – If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

35 – If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?


Drop, cover and hold

June 9, 2012

People in Christchurch know the drop, cover and hold drill and it is important that the rest of us do too.

That’s the motivation behind the Great New Zealand Shakeout – the country’s largest ever earthquake drill which is being held at 9:26am on September 26 (9:26 on 26.9).

Why bother?

While earthquake hazard varies from region to region (see below), all of New Zealand is prone to earthquakes.  You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes – at home, at work, at school or on holiday. 

New Zealand ShakeOut has been created to help people and organisations get better prepared for major earthquakes, and practice how to be protected when they happen.  Everyone will practice “Drop, Cover and Hold”—the right action to take in an earthquake.

New Zealand ShakeOut also provides a fantastic opportunity for organisations and businesses to examine and review their own emergency preparedness arrangements.  Families and households can create, review and practice their household plans.

Civil Defence Minister Chris Tremain says that more than 100,000 people have already registered to participate.

It’s easy to think it won’t happen here, but that’s what Canterbury people would have thought before the September 2010 earthquake. That and the thousands that have followed are proof it could happen anywhere and we all ought to know how to protect ourselves and those around us.

We’ve had all-too regular reminders that these are the shaky isles and we need to be prepared for the shaking wherever and whenever it happens.


Simple taxes are better

June 9, 2012

When GST was set up in New Zealand it was deliberately kept simple for very good reasons.

Simple taxes are easier to comply with, more difficult to avoid or evade and less expensive to administer.

The problems which can occur when you start making exceptions are clearly seen in Britain where pasties straight from the oven or cooling naturally will be exempt from a Budget VAT increase but those kept warm will still incur the extra 50p.

It must be all very confusing for those selling food and their customers but Lizzie Fournier from City FM has come up with a chart to help them:

If you click on it you’ll get a more legible version.

Labour here has sensibly back-tracked on its election policy to take GST of fresh fruit and vegetables. Let the mess in Britain be a lesson to them any others who want to tinker with GST.

I’m loath to call any tax good, but simple ones are definitely better.

Hat Tip: Taxpayers’ Alliance.


June 9 in history

June 9, 2012

53  Roman Emperor Nero married Claudia Octavia.

62  Claudia Octavia was executed.

68  Roman Emperor Nero committed  suicide, after quoting Homer’s Iliad..

721  Odo of Aquitaine defeated the Moors in the Battle of Toulouse.

1310  Duccio‘s Maestà Altarpiece, a seminal artwork of the early Italian Renaissance, was unveiled and installed in the Siena Cathedral.

1534 Jacques Cartier was the first European to discover the Saint Lawrence River.

1595 King Wladislaus IV of Poland, was born (d. 1648).

1650  The Harvard Corporation, the more powerful of the two administrative boards of Harvard, was established,  the first legal corporation in the Americas.

1667 The Raid on the Medway by the Dutch fleet began.

1732  James Oglethorpe was granted a royal charter for the colony of Georgia.

1772  The British ship Gaspee was burned off the coast of Rhode Island.

1781 George Stephenson, English mechanical engineer, was born (d. 1848).

1798  Irish Rebellion of 1798: Battle of Arklow and Battle of Saintfield.

1815  End of the Congress of Vienna.

1856 Five hundred Mormons left Iowa City and headed west for Salt Lake City carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts.

1863  American Civil War: the Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia.

1868 – Titokowaru’s war began with the killing of three settlers near Ketemarae, north of Hāwera, by Ngā Ruahine warriors acting on the orders of the spiritual leader Titokowaru.

1873  Alexandra Palace burned down after being open for only 16 days.

1885  A peace treaty was signed to end the Sino-French War.

1891 Cole Porter, American composer and lyricist, was born  (d. 1964).

1909  Alice Huyler Ramsey, a 22-year-old became the first woman to drive across the United States. With three female companions, none of whom could drive a car, in fifty-nine days she drove a Maxwell automobile the 3,800 miles from Manhattan to San Francisco.

1915  William Jennings Bryan resigned as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State over a disagreement regarding the United States’ handling of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania.

1922  First ringing of the Harkness Memorial Chime at Yale University.

1923 Bulgaria‘s military took over the government in a coup.

1928  Charles Kingsford Smith completed the first trans-Pacific flight in a Fokker Trimotor monoplane, the Southern Cross.

1930  Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle was killed during rush hour at the Illinois Central train station by the Leo Vincent Brothers, allegedly over a 100,000 USD gambling debt owed to Al Capone.

1934  Donald Duck made his debut in The Wise Little Hen.

1941 Jon Lord, English musician (Deep Purple), was born.

1944  World War II: 99 civilians were hung from lampposts and balconies by German troops in Tulle in reprisal for maquisards attacks.

1944  World War II: the Soviet Union invaded East Karelia and the previously Finnish part of Karelia, occupied by Finland since 1941.

1946 King Bhumibol Adulyadej ascended to the throne of Thailand. He is currently the world’s longest reigning monarch.

1953 Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence: a tornado spawned from the same storm system as the Flint tornado hit in Worcester, Massachusetts killing 94.

1954 Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashed out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether Communism had infiltrated the Army – giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

1956 Patricia Cornwell, American author, was born.

1957  First ascent of Broad Peak (the world’s 12th highest mountain).

1958 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London Gatwick Airport.

1959  The USS George Washington was launched, the first submarine to carry ballistic missiles.

1961  Michael J. Fox, Canadian-born actor, was born.

1967  Six-Day War: Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria

1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a national day of mourning following the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

1973  Secretariat won the Triple Crown.

1978  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened its priesthood to “all worthy men”, ending a 148-year-old policy excluding black men.

1979 The Ghost Train Fire at Luna Park, North Sydney, killed seven.

1985  Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon.

1986  The Rogers Commission released its report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

1999  Kosovo War: the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization sign a peace treaty.

2008  Lake Delton drained as a result of heavy flooding breaking the dam holding the lake back.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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