Basics before bright lights

29/01/2018

The Auckland Harbour Bridge has became a multimedia stage for a massive light and sound show:

Ninety thousand LED lights and 100 floodlights beamed and flashed from the Harbour Bridge in time with original music, delighting thousands who packed viewing points around the city to watch.

Every visible beam, arch, pile, girder, strut and pylon lit up for a six-minute show which was repeated at 9.30pm, then every half hour until midnight. . . 

Vector has committed $10 million to the project for installation and maintenance costs over the next 10 years.

Bridge authorities New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Council have also committed funding. . . 

The show may well be spectacular but if I was a ratepayer I’d be asking why the council was spending money on bright lights when it’s basic infrastructure is failing:

Four homes have been evacuated in the Auckland suburb of Milford after a burst sewage pipe spilt waste through local properties.

A fire service spokeswoman said they were called to the scene on Shakespeare Rd at 2.40am on Sunday after receiving reports of a water leak.

Upon arrival, the water leak was found to be a burst sewage pipe and Auckland Council was notified. . . 

Safeswim has issued a long-term no-swimming warning near the Wairau Creek outlet due to its “high risk” and has further advised people not to swim on Milford Beach. . . 

There is constant bad publicity about the impact of dairy farming on rivers in spite of the fact that farmers have collectively spent millions of dollars ensuring they are not polluting watersway and most problems now are due to the lag-effect from poor practices in the past.

Farmers have responded to the pressure to clean up their acts but councils are being far too slow to sort out urban water issues.

Queenstown Lakes District Council has been fined $37,500 for discharging raw sewage into the protected Kawarau River and criticised for systems that allowed it to happen.

The judge’s written decision said the Queenstown Lakes District Council pleaded guilty to discharging contaminants to land that then entered water.

It said a jetboat driver on the Kawarau River, near Frankton, smelt the sewage on February 20, 2017.

He smelt it again the next day, investigated and found discoloured water entering the river.

“There were solids and paper particles floating in the water,” the judge said.

The material was found to be entering the river through a blocked district council stormwater drain.

“It appears that the wastewater system had been deliberately designed and constructed by the district council so that any overflow of wastewater would go into the stormwater system,” Judge Dwyer said. . . 

It would be better for councils to spend money on the design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure than fines for breaches.

That is a far higher priority than light and sound shows.


May 30 in history

30/05/2010

On May 30:

70 Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breached the Second Wall of Jerusalem. The Jewish defenders retreated to the First Wall. The Romans built a circumvallation, all trees within fifteen kilometres were cut down.

Arch of Titus Menorah.png

1416 The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burned Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.

 

1431  Hundred Years’ War: 19-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. Because of this the Catholic Church remember this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
 

1434  Hussite Wars (Bohemian Wars): Battle of Lipany – effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeated and almost annihilated Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.

 

1536  Henry VIII of England married Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.

1539  Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay, Florida,  with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.

 

1574  Henry III becomes King of France.

1588 The last ship of the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

 

1635  Thirty Years’ War: the Peace of Prague (1635) was signed.

1642  From this date all honours granted by Charles I were retrospectively annulled by Parliament.

1757 Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1844).

 

1806 Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.

1814 Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition – the Treaty of Paris (1814) was signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent. 

1832  The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario opened.

Locks in summer.

1842  John Francis attempted to murder Queen Victoria as she drove down Constitution Hill with Prince Albert.

1846 Peter Carl Fabergé, Russian goldsmith and jeweller, was born (d. 1920).

 

1854 The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law establishing the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

1859 Westminster’s Big Ben rang for the first time in London.
 

1868  Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day) was observed in the United States for the first time (By “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan‘s proclamation on May 5).

1871  The Paris Commune fell.

 

1876  Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murat V.

1879 New York City’s Gilmores Garden was renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.

1883  A rumour that the Brooklyn Bridge was going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.

1911  At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ended with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.

 

1913  First Balkan War: the Treaty of London, 1913 is signed ending the war. Albania becomes an independent nation.

1914  The new and then largest Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, set sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England to New York City.

Aquitania 06.jpg

1815  The East Indiaman ship Arniston was wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, the loss of 372 lives.

EastIndiaman.jpg

1917  Alexander I became king of Greece.

1922  In Washington, D.C. the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.

 

1941  World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb on the Athenian Acropolis, tear down the Nazi swastika and replace it with the Greek flag.

 

1942  World War II: 1000 British bombers launched a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.

 

1948  A dike along the flooding Columbia River broke, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.

1955 Topper Headon, British musician (The Clash), was born.

1958  Memorial Day: the remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, were buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

1959  The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour was officially opened by Governor-General Lord Cobham.

Auckland harbour bridge opened

1961  Long time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo was assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

 
Head and shoulders of a man with a small moustache wearing a military uniform with many medals on his chest. He is looking into the camera, smiling slightly.

1962 Kevin Eastman, American comic book creator (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), was born.

1963  A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis was held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.

 

1966 Former Congolese Prime Minister Evariste Kimba and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.

1967 Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped his motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row.

 

1967  The Nigerian Eastern Region declared independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.

1971 Mariner 9 was launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.

Mariner09.jpg
 

1972 The Angry Brigade went on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout Britain.

 

1972  In Tel Aviv members of the Japanese Red Army carried out the Lod Airport Massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.

1989  Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: the 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.

 

1998  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia


March 30 in history

30/03/2010

On March 30:

240 BC 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

A color image of Comet Halley, shown flying to the left aligned flat against the sky

1282 The people of Sicily rebelled against the Angevin KingCharles I, in what became known as the Sicilian Vespers.

Sicilian Vespers (1846), by Francesco Hayez

1296 Edward I sacksed Berwick-upon-Tweed, during armed conflict between Scotland and England.

A man in half figure with short, curly hair and a hint of beard is facing left. He wears a coronet and holds a sceptre in his right hand. He has a blue robe over a red tunic, and his hands are covered by white, embroidered gloves. His left hand seems to be pointing left, to something outside the picture.

1746 Francisco Goya, Spanish painter, was born.

1811 Robert Bunsen, German chemist, was born.

1814 Napoleonic Wars: Sixth Coalition forces marched into Paris.

1814 – Joachim Murat issued the Rimini Declaration which later inspired Italian Unification.

1820 Anna Sewell, British author, was born.

1842 Anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation by Dr Crawford Long.

1844 One of the most important battles of the Dominican War of Independence from Haiti took place near the city of Santiago de los Caballeros.

1853 Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter, was born.

Impressionist portrait painting of a man with a reddish beard wearing a dark coat and white shirt while looking forward with his body facing left

1855 Origins of the American Civil War: Bleeding Kansas – “Border Ruffians” from Missouri invaded Kansas and forced election of a pro-slavery legislature.

1856 The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War.

 

1858 Hymen Lipman patented a pencil with an attached rubber.

 

1863 Danish prince Wilhelm Georg was chosen as King George of Greece.

1864 Franz Oppenheimer, German sociologist, was born.

 

1867 Alaska was purchased for $7.2 million, about 2 cent/acre ($4.19/km²), by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward. The media called this Seward’s Folly.

 

1870 Texas was readmitted to the Union following Reconstruction.

1885 The Battle for Kushka triggered the Pandjeh Incident which nearly gave rise to war between the British and Russian Empires.

1909 The Queensboro Bridge opened, linking Manhattan and Queens.

 

1910  The Mississippi Legislature founded The University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi Seal

1912 Sultan Abdelhafid signed the Treaty of Fez, making Morocco a French protectorate.

 

1913 Frankie Laine, American singer, was born.

1918 Outburst of bloody March Events in Baku and other locations of Baku Governorate.

1928 Tom Sharpe, English satirical author, was born.

 

1930 Rolf Harris, Australian artist and entertainer, was born.

1937 Warren Beatty, American actor and director, was born.

1939 The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph.

1939 – First flight of the Australian C.A.C. CA-16 Wirraway.

 

1940 Sino-Japanese War: Japan declared Nanking to be the capital of a new Chinese puppet government, nominally controlled by Wang Ching-wei.

1941 Graeme Edge, British musician (Moody Blues), was born.

1945  Eric Clapton, British guitarist, was born.

1945 World War II: Soviet Union forces invaded Austria and took Vienna; Polish and Soviet forces liberated Gdańsk.

1945 – World War II: a defecting German pilot delivered a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 to the Americans.

 

1949  A riot broke out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joined NATO.

1950 Robbie Coltrane, Scottish actor and comedian, was born.

1954  Yonge Street subway line opened in Toronto, the first subway in Canada.

1959 Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis, who was convicted of child abuse at the Christchurch Civic Creche, was born.

1961  The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed in New York.

 

1962 MC Hammer, American rap musician, was born.

1964 Tracy Chapman, American singer, was born,

1965 Vietnam War: A car bomb exploded in front of the US Embassy, Saigon, killing 22 and wounding 183 others.

1967 Fred Ladd flew a plane under Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Fred Ladd flies plane under Auckland Harbour Bridge

1968 Celine Dion, Canadian singer, was born.

1972  Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive began after North Vietnamese forces cross into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of South Vietnam.

T-59 VC.jpg
North

1979 Airey Neave, a British MP, was killed by a car bomb as left the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claimed responsibility.

 

1979 Norah Jones, American musician, was born.

1979 First Gay Rights Parade held in Michigan.

1981 President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.

 

1982 Space Shuttle programme: STS-3 Mission was completed with the landing of Columbia at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

Sts3-patch.png

2006  The United Kingdom Terrorism Act 2006 becomes law.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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