Word of the day


Pluvial – rainy; of or pertaining toor characterised by rain; marked or formed by abundant rainfall; a geologic change resulting from the action of rain; a period marked by increased rainfall.



6/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Saturday’s smiles


A couple emerged from a restaurant on a rainy evening to find that
they had locked the keys in the car.

The woman suggested they phone the AA but the man said he’d be able to open the door with a wire coat hanger.

He we went back to the restaurant to get one but they didn’t have any.

The woman again suggested phoning the AA but the man said he was sure the department store a couple of blocks away would still be open.

The woman returned the to restaurant to wait while her husband jogged to the store and back.

He returned with a triumphant grin and a wire coat hanger.

After a few attempts, he managed to slip the hanged down the side of the door and release the lock.

They got in, found the key and the man slid the coat hanger under the seat.

“Don’t forget it’s there,” he said. “If we ever lock ourselves out again we’ll know where to find a hanger.”

Eccentricity rules on Sealand


An email from a reader alerted me to this obituary for Prince Roy of Sealand.

Prince Roy of Sealand, who has died aged 91, was plain Roy Bates until, on Christmas Eve 1966, he established his own micro-nation on an abandoned wartime sea fort off the Suffolk coast and declared himself head of state.. .

It’s a delightful tribute to an eccentric, worth reading in full.

Prince Roy is dead, long live Prince Michael – and eccentricity.

No excuse for abuse


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says there is no excuse for child abuse.

“There is no justification for the vile maltreatment, neglect, and abuse of children that has too frequently led to tragic consequences”.

“It does not matter how poor or rich you are – no child should ever be placed in danger. This is one time to put politics aside, and do what is important, in ensuring all our families are supported to care and protect their children”.

“Printing wads of money will not save the lives of our babies”.

“The Māori Party has always said that the situation of over 270,000 children living in poverty is intolerable; and we must work together to create the jobs and opportunities to bring more income into the home.

“But we should all be on the same page with these two issues. Child abuse and treatment must be addressed and the White Paper is a good step in that direction. Whānau poverty must also be addressed – absolutely”.

“But the two are not mutually exclusive – there are well off families who treat their children with contempt; there are also many families living on limited incomes who treat their children as taonga”.

“Like many in my generation, as children we didn’t have a lot to go on, in terms of the material wealth of our household. But we were rich in the support of our extended family. One of the glaring differences between then and now is how difficult it can be for our young parents, isolated in the city, and lacking family around them. Our collective challenge must be to ensure all our families are supported, no matter what their circumstances.

“Whanau, hapu and iwi need to prepare for their tamariki to be returned. We must pick up on the momentum and begin the process of Whanau Ora and ensure our people have capability. This will require the right supports and training in place – much as is already in place with foster care”.

“I had hoped that this might be a time when right across Parliament we could unite in a common call to support our families to fulfil their responsibilities. I resent the interpretation that child abuse is the practice of the poor. Truth is, while those with sizeable salaries can often hide the extent of the harm done, abuse, neglect and trauma can and does occur across all demographics”.

“Let’s be united in our concerted campaign to insist that there is no justification for child abuse – to abuse and neglect your children is not acceptable and never will be”.

She is right.

Poverty is a problem but it isn’t the cause of, or excuse for, the neglect and maltreatment of children.

That isn’t restricted only to the poor. However, children whose parents are on welfare are more likely to be abused and the Opposition parties which have criticised the White Paper have also opposed measures the government is promoting to get those on welfare who could work to do so.

Manufacturing a crisis


Labour, New Zealand First and the Green party have launched a parliamentary inquiry into the manufacturing crisis.

It would be more accurate to call it a manufactured crisis because as Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce points out, the only crisis is the one they’re determined to manufacture.

“Not content to be told by nearly every mainstream economic commentator that there is no jobs crisis, manufacturing crisis, or economic crisis, opposition parties are determined to keep talking the New Zealand economy down by heading off in search of one to serve their own political ends,” Mr Joyce says.

“However, the key statistic they are complaining about is already two years out of date – with the number of manufacturing jobs actually growing over the last two years. The number of jobs in the economy overall has grown by 57,000 in the same time period.

“There is no doubt that economic conditions in the post GFC- world are challenging for some firms. The role of Government is to do things that help make firms more competitive and that is what our Business Growth Agenda is all about.

“The Government would welcome opposition support in areas that make a real difference for firms – thinks like reforming the RMA, supporting employment law changes to increase flexibility, and controlling ACC’s costs.

“If the political opposition and the EPMU were serious about jobs they would ask Forest and Bird to withdraw their objections to Bathurst Resources’ Escarpment Mine project near Westport. Doing so would create 225 new jobs on the West Coast straight away and 400 over time.

“Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First can’t have it both ways. They can’t on one hand moan about job losses and then on the other not support initiatives that would create the sort of jobs that they’re asking for.

“Rather than supporting Government initiatives to grow the economy, this unholy alliance just wants to reheat their failed election policies, albeit with one addition – getting out the printing presses and printing money.”

The global economy is stormy but in spite of that the New Zealand economy is growing, albeit not as fast as most of us would like it to.

However, these three parties which are manufacturing a crisis are also the ones which aren’t supporting initiatives that would foster growth and create more jobs.

October 13 in history


4 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.

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 Minister, 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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