Quote of the day

February 22, 2017

Oh all the time when Victoria Wood and I did our series. There were people asking ‘Can women be funny?’ People still ask that. It’s like asking: ‘Can women breathe in and out?’  – Julie Walters who celebrates her 67th birthday today.

She also said:

I keep seeing myself in my daughter, and I see my mother in me and in her. Bloody hell.

And:

In order to be creative you have to be allowed to fail.


February 22 in history

February 22, 2017

1495 King Charles VIII of France entered Naples to claim the city’s throne.

1632 Galileo‘s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published.

1732 George Washington, First President of the United States, was born  (d. 1799).

1744 War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon started.

1797 The Last Invasion of Britain started near Fishguard, Wales.

1819 James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist, was born  (d. 1891).

1819 By the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain sold Florida to the United States for $US5m.

1847 Mexican-American War: The Battle of Buena Vista – 5,000 American troops drove off 15,000 Mexicans.

1855 Pennsylvania State University was founded as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania.

1856 The Republican Party opened its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1857 Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, English founder of the Scout movement, was born (d. 1941).

1862 Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia.

1879 Frank Woolworth opened the first of many of 5 and 10-centWoolworth stores.

1882 The Serbian kingdom was refounded.

1889 Olave Baden-Powell, English founder of the Girl Guides, was born  (d. 1977).

1902 The Kelburn cable car opened.

Kelburn cable car opens

1904 The United Kingdom sold  a meteorological station on the South Orkney Islands to Argentina.

1908  Sir John Mills, English actor, was born (d. 2005).

1915 Germany instituted unrestricted submarine warfare.

1918 Robert Wadlow, American tallest ever-human, was born  (d. 1940).

1922 Britain unilaterally declared the independence of Egypt.

1924 U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

1926 Kenneth Williams, English actor, was born  (d. 1988).

1943  Members of White Rose were executed in Nazi Germany.

1928 Bruce Forsyth, British entertainer, was born.

1944 American aircraft bombard the Dutch towns of Nijmegen, Arnhem,Enschede and Deventer by mistake, resulting in 800 dead in Nijmegenalone.

1948 Communist coup in Czechoslovakia.

1950  Julie Walters, English actress, was born.

1958 Egypt and Syria joined to form the United Arab Republic.

1959 Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500.

1962  Steve Irwin, Australian herpetologist, was born (d. 2006).

197 An Irish Republican Army car bomb was detonated at Aldershot barracks, killing seven and injuring nineteen others.

1974 Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit conference started in Lahore.

1979 Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.

1980 Miracle on Ice: the United States hockey team defeated the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3, in one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

1983 The Broadway flop Moose Murders opened and closed on the same night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

1986 Start of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

1994 Aldrich Ames and his wife Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy, were charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.

1995 The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, was declassified.

1997 Scottish scientists announced that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned.

2002 Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was killed in a military ambush.

2004 – The first European political party organisation, the European Greens, was established in Rome.

2006 At least six men staged Britain’s biggest robbery ever, stealing £53m (about $92.5 million or 78€ million) from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

2011 –  Christchurch was badly damaged by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake at 12:51 pm, which killed 185 people and injured several thousand.

2011 – Bahraini uprising: Tens of thousands of people marched in protestagainst the deaths of seven victims killed by police and army forces during previous protests.

2012 – A train crash in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killed 51 people and injured 700 others.

2014 – President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine was impeached by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by a vote of 328-0, fulfilling a major goal of the Euromaidan rebellion.

2015  – A ferry carrying 100 passengers capsised in the Padma River, killing 70 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

February 21, 2017

Affrayer – a person who engages in an affray; a brawler,  disturber of the peace.


Language is identity

February 21, 2017

It’s International Mother Languages Day.

Image may contain: text

Language is my identity.


Best intentions worst results

February 21, 2017

LIving Wage advocates want employers to pay a minimum of $20.20 an hour from July.

The rate, more than $4 above the adult minimum wage, is at the level needed to provide families with the necessities, they say.

How many jobs will that cost?

The current Living Wage, of $19.80 has already cost 17 jobs at Wellington City Council according to a report by Jim Rose for the Taxpayers’ Union.

The report’s key findings were:

  • Seventeen Wellington City Council employees lost their jobs after being under the skill level required for the living wage.
  • Councils hire on merit, so candidates under the skill level commensurate with the living wage will be crowded out by higher-skilled candidates.
  • There is no consensus or scientific basis for the calculation of a living wage. Any calculations are politically subjective.
  • Any living wage in New Zealand will be abated by up to 40% by decreases in government transfers and increased income tax obligations.
  • Living wages shift the burden from means-tested taxpayers to ratepayers and business owners.
  • Below-living-wage employment allows for in-work training, where employees trade off lower wages for the opportunity to learn skills that increase their future earning potential. 

Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand nobly want to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment with their activism for a living wage, but the evidence to date shows they are achieving the exact opposite. This report shows that a living wage will only make it harder for low wage earners to find work.

Contrary to intentions, living wage policies actually hurt the very people they seek to help. For the first time, we reveal that seventeen parking wardens lost their jobs at the Wellington City Council as a result of its living wage policy.

Living wage policies mean higher-skilled candidates apply for jobs previously occupied by lower-skilled candidates. Of course councils will hire on merit and shortlist the candidates who previously would never have applied for the lower, pre-living wage role. That’s exactly what happened when Wellington City Council brought its parking services in-house.

Minimum wage applicants do not get a shot against better-qualified candidates attracted by the higher wages. So much for the poverty alleviation and reduced unemployment.

The economic theory is clear that living wages do more harm than good, but the job losses in Wellington is the proof in the pudding. Councils should stop implementing these living wage policies which achieve so little but cost ratepayers who can ill afford it.

Living wage policies mean ratepayers pay more for less and achieve none of the intended poverty relief.

Those are very damning conclusions, but not surprising.

The Living Wage is based on what someone thinks a family of four needs to have a reasonable life.

It bears no relation to individual employee’s needs, ability or performance.

I have several reservations about Working For Families but it is a better way to help low income workers with dependent children than the living wage which takes no account of the value of their work.

The full report is here.


Quote of the day

February 21, 2017

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.  – Erma Bombeck who was born on this day in 1927.

She also said:

Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.

And:

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.

And:

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.

And:

No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed. I have known mothers who remake the bed after their children do it because there is wrinkle in the spread or the blanket is on crooked. This is sick.


February 21 in history

February 21, 2017

362 – Athanasius returned to Alexandria.

1245 Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, resigned after confessing to torture and forgery.

1440 The Prussian Confederation was formed.

1543 Battle of Wayna Daga – A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.

1613 Mikhail I was elected unanimously as Tsar, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.

1743 The premiere of George Frideric Handel‘s oratorio “Samson” took place in London.

1804  The first self-propelling steam locomotive made its outing at thePen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

1842 John Greenough was granted the first U.S.A. patent for the sewing machine.

1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.

1875 Jeanne Calment, French supercentenarian and longest-lived human on record, was born (d. 1997).

1879 An explosion in a Kaitangata coal mine killed 34 men.

Kaitangata mining disaster Kaitangata mining disaster

1885 The newly completed Washington Monument was dedicated.

1903 Anaïs Nin, French writer, was born (d. 1977).

1907  W. H. Auden, English poet, was born  (d. 1973).

1910 Douglas Bader, British pilot, was born (d. 1982).

1913  Ioannina was incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.

1916 Battle of Verdun started.

1918 The last Carolina parakeet died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1919 Kurt Eisner, German socialist, was assassinated.

1921 Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country’s first constitution.

1924 Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbambwe, was born.

1925 The New Yorker published its first issue.

1927 Erma Bombeck, American humourist, was born  (d. 1996).

1927 Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer, was born.

1933  – Nina Simone, American singer, was born (d. 2003).

1935  Mark McManus, Scottish actor, was born  (d. 1994).

1937  Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman’sArrowbile.

1937 – The League of Nations banned foreign national “volunteers” in theSpanish Civil War.

1945 Kamikaze planes sank the escort carrier Bismarck Sea and damaged the Saratoga.

1947 Edwin Land demonstrated the first “instant camera,” the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

1952 The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolished identity cards in the UK to “set the people free”.

1952 In Dhaka, East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) police opened fire on a procession of students that was demanding the establishment of Bengali as the official language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protestwhich led to the recognition of Bengali as one of the national languages of Pakistan. The day was later declared as “International Mother Language Day” by UNESCO.

1953  Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of theDNA molecule.

1958 The Peace symbol was designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.

1960 Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalised all businesses in Cuba.

1965 Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.

1970 A mid-air bomb explosion in  Swissair Flight 330 and subsequent crash killed 38 passengers and nine crew members near Zürich.

1971 The Convention on Psychotropic Substances was signed at Vienna.

1972 President Richard Nixon visited the People’s Republic of China to normalise Sino-American relations.

1972 The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 landed on the Moon.

1973  Israeli fighter aircraft shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet killing 108.

1974 The last Israeli soldiers left the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.

1975 Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman were sentenced to prison.

1986 Charlotte Church, Welsh singer, was born.

1995 Steve Fossett landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

2007 Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned from office. His resignation was rejected by the President Giorgio Napolitano.

2013 – Two bomb blasts in Hyderabad, India, killed at least 17 people and injured more than 100 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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