Word of the day

July 31, 2014

Chad – a piece of waste material removed from card or tape by punching.


December 23 in history

December 23, 2009

On December 23:

1732 Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor, was born.

Richard Arkwright by Joseph Wright of Derby

1822  Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer, was born.

1867  Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon, was born.

1893 The opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck was first performed.

1913 The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.

 

1914  World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrived in Cairo, Egypt.

1925  Rayner Unwin, British book publisher, was born.

1933  Akihito, Emperor of Japan, was born.

1937  First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.

1938  Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.

1947 The transistor was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.

 A replica of the first working transistor

1951  Anthony Phillips, British musician (Genesis), was born.

1953 Queen Elizabeth II arrived in New Zealand, the first reigning monarch to visit.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for summer tour

1954  The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

1958  Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world’s highest self-supporting iron tower.

Tokyo Tower 20060211.JPG

1964 Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1970 The North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan was topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.

Wtc arial march2001.jpg

1972 The Nicaraguan capital of Managua was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 10,000.

1972 The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster were rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.

1986  Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.

 

1990  In a referendum, 88% of Slovenia‘s population vote for independence from Yugoslavia.

2002 A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.

2004  Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean was hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

2005  Chad declares a state of war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


Relatively better isn’t the same as good

November 19, 2009

New Zealand tops Transparency International’s 2009 corruption perception index.

The others in the top 10 are: Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands and Australia, Canada and Iceland which are 8th equal.

The countries at the bottom are: Chad, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Corruption is a form of oppression and this map shows how widespread it is:

While it’s good to be relatively good, what really matters is not how good we are perceived to be relative to anyone else but how good we are fullstop.

A score of 9.4 does mean we’re perceived to be pretty good.

That makes it more likely that other countries and other people will trust us and our institutions.

But we need to be vigilant to ensure that reality matches the perception.

Hat tip: Poneke.


NZ tops Global Peace Index

June 3, 2009

 New Zealand has topped the  Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index .

dairy 1

The Institute is an Australian think tank dedicated to developing the inter-relationships between business, peace and economic development.
The results of the 2009 survey  suggest:
that the world has become slightly less peaceful in the past year, which appears to reflect the intensification of violent conflict in some countries and the effects of both the rapidly rising food and fuel prices early in 2008 and the dramatic global economic downturn in the final quarter of the year. Rapidly rising unemployment, pay freezes and falls in the value of house prices, savings and pensions is causing popular resentment in many countries, with political repercussions that have been registered by the GPI through various indicators measuring safety and security in society.
 
The GPI uses 23 indicators  of the existence or absence of peace, divided into three broad categories:  measures of ongoing domestic and international conflict, measures of safety and security in society and measures of militarization.
The Top 10 countries were: New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland and Slovenia.
At the bottom were: Georgia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Pakistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Israel, Somalia, Afghaanistan and Iraq.
The full list is here.

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