Word of the day

07/04/2013

Ukase – a proclamation by a Russian emperor or government having the force of law; an order or decree issued by an authority; an edict.


Very promising

07/04/2013

Quote of the day:

“All I can tell you is the IMF is very supportive of what is being done by the Government in that respect.

“If you look at the numbers, if you look whether it is growth, whether it is employment, whether it is inflation, whether it is debt, overall it is very stable and it is also very promising.

“If you compare the potential growth rate of New Zealand and thee forecasts we have which I will not disclose because they will be disclosed in a couple of weeks time, it’s certainly a lot better than what we see in other parts of the world.

“An economy grew on the basis of its components – resources, manpower, capital, financial markets and policies and policies and the policies we believe are sound and solid.” IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.

 

The head of the International Monetary Fund, an organisation of 188 countries, has praised the direction of New Zealand's economy.


BlaBlaMeter

07/04/2013

The New Zealand Initiative has come up with a BlaBlaMeter which rates the amount of bull in a piece of writing.

I copied a few extracts from posts and got ratings from o.o8 – your text shows no or marginal indications of ‘bulls***’-English through .11 – your text shows only a few indications of ‘bull****’-English. .29 – your text shows some indications of ‘bull***’-English, but is still within an acceptable range to .41 something’s getting a bit fishy. You probably want to sell something, or you’re trying to impress somebody. It still may be an acceptable result for a scientific text.

The last one was from a post on irrigation which might fit the criteria of scientific text.

Hat tip: Lindsay Mitchell.


6/10

07/04/2013

6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


Saturday’s quiz

07/04/2013

Andrei made up for my not posting a quiz this week by posing five questions in yesterday’s soapbox.

I’m sure someone can do better than me – I googled to check after I answered and managed only one correct answer.


Forwards or backwards?

07/04/2013

Richard raised the issue of getting in and out of  angle parks.

Apparently the is law that one must go front first into angle car park or you risk a fine. That is OK but the problem is when you leave and have to back out. In the last two years my wife and me have had four bumps backing out of angle car parks always with others also backing out.
Its not our bad driving, at least not mine. Rather it is easier and safer to take the time to back in because you can watch the vehicles either side and you should know when to stop?
I think this issue could be a game changer in politics but have not worked out how.

Entering an angle park frontwards as they’re designed now would require an awkward manoeuvre, going past the park, then reversing back into oncoming traffic.

Even if there was a change in direction to make going in backwards easier, I’d prefer to back out into open space than into a confined area between two other vehicles.

However, visibility when backing out can be restricted, especially if there’s a bigger vehicle beside you.

Angle parks take less space than parallel ones but whichever way they’re angled and which ever way you tackle them, entering and exiting requires care.


Southland’s loss NZ’s gain?

07/04/2013

Invercargill City Council has resolved to take out full-page advertisements in all major New Zealand newspapers to get across what it calls the “correct information” about the deal Meridian Energy and the smelter’s owner, Rio Tinto, are trying to negotiate over power prices.

I’m pleased my rates won’t be paying for that.

The rest of New Zealand, or at least the newspaper reading segment of it, might have a great deal of sympathy for the plight of workers facing redundancy and the downstream impact on Invercargill and Southland.

But sympathy is very unlikely to translate into action and if it did, what action would that be?

When the price of aluminium was high it might have made sense to import bauxite, use our relatively cheap power to convert it into aluminium and export that. But the world price of aluminium has plummeted and Rio Tinto says the power isn’t cheap enough to keep it here.

Getting across the “correct information” isn’t going to change that.

The ads are going to be even less effective if those who read them also read that there’d be no trouble getting excess power to Auckland if the smelter closed.

The ICC would be better employed working out how to attract businesses to the south to help employ those who would lose jobs in the smelter closed.

That might also provide a use for at least some of the excess power so it wouldn’t need to be sent north.

Without that, the loss of the smelter in Southland could turn into the gain of a greater supply and therefore lower priced power for the rest of New Zealand.


April 7 in history

07/04/2013

451 – Attila the Hun sacksedthe town of Metz and attacked other cities in Gaul.

529 First draft of Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) was issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.

1348 Charles University was founded in Prague.

1506  Saint Francis Xavier, Spanish co-founder of the Society of Jesus, was born (d. 1552).

1521  Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu.

1541 Francis Xavier left Lisbon on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies.

1718 Hugh Blair, Scottish preacher and man of letters, was born  (d. 1800).

1770 William Wordsworth, English poet, was born  (d. 1850).

1776 Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captured the Edward.

1788 –  American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.

1795 France adopted the metre as the basic measure of length.

1803 Flora Tristan, French feminist and socialist philosopher, was born (d. 1844).

1827 John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.

1856 New Zealand’s first state secondary school, Nelson College, opened.

First state secondary school opens in Nelson

1860 Will Keith Kellogg, American cereal manufacturer, was born (d. 1951).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ended – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates.

1868 Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation was assassinated.

1890 Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.

1908 Percy Faith, Canadian composer and musician, was born  (d. 1976).

1906  Mount Vesuvius erupted and devastated Naples.

1906 – The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain control over Morocco.

1908 H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1915 Billie Holiday, American singer, was born (d. 1959).

1922 Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leased Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.

1927 First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).

1933 Prohibition  in the USA was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

1934 Ian Richardson, Scottish actor, was born  (d. 2007).

1938 Spencer Dryden, American drummer (Jefferson Airplane), was born (d. 2005).

1939  World War II: Italy invaded Albania.

1939   Francis Ford Coppola, American film director, was born.

1939  Sir David Frost, English broadcaster and TV host, was born.

1940 Booker T. Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

1941 Gorden Kaye, British actor, was born.

1943 Germans ordered 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they were shot dead and buried in ditches.

1944 Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany, was born.

1945 World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, was sunk 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.

1945 – World War II: Visoko was liberated by the 7th, 9th and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.

1946 Syria‘s independence from France was officially recognised.

1948 The World Health Organisation was established by the United Nations.

1948 A Buddhist monastery burned in Shanghai, leaving twenty monks dead.

1951 Janis Ian, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his “domino theory” speech during a news conference.

1954 Jackie Chan, Chinese actor, director, producer, and martial artist., was born.

1956 Spain relinquished its protectorate in Morocco.

1963 Yugoslavia was proclaimed to be a Socialist republic and Josip Broz Tito was named President for life.

1964  IBM announcedthe System/360.

1964 Russell Crowe, New Zealand actor, was born.

1969 The Internet’s symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1.

1971 U.S. President Richard Nixon announced his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

1977 German Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.

1978 Development of the neutron bomb was canceled by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

1983 During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first space shuttle spacewalk.

1985 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.

1989  Soviet submarine Komsomolets sank in the Barents Sea killing 42 sailors.

1990 John Poindexter was found guilty of five charges for his part in the Iran Contra Affair (the conviction was later reversed on appeal).

1992 Republika Srpska announced its independence.

1994  Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.

1999 The World Trade Organisation ruled in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

2001 Mars Odyssey was launched.

2003 U.S. troops captured Baghdad.

2009 Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

2009 – Mass protests began across Moldova under the belief that results from the parliamentary election are fraudulent.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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