Word of the day

March 31, 2011

Zelotypia – morbid jealousy;  abnormal or excessive zeal.


Thursday’s quiz

March 31, 2011

1. Who said “Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.”

2. It’s  débauché in French,  libertino in Spanish, and disoluto dissoluto in Italian (I couldn’t find it in Maori), what is it in English?

3. When was daylight saving  introduced permanently to New Zealand?

4. On which station was the merino wether Shrek found and who owns it?

5. what does the culinary term au gratin  mean?


What does your tax buy?

March 31, 2011

Ever wondered exactly where the tax taken from your hard earned income goes?

You can find out here.

The biggest proportion goes to the Ministry of Social Development (about 27% if my calculations are correct). Health,  Education, Inland Revenue,  Treasury, Transport, Defence Force, Labour, Police and Corrections get the next biggest cuts. After that its spent on Economic Development, Justice, Building & Housing, Foreign Affairs and Trade,  then Research, Science and Development.

Then the money goes to Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, Conservation, Internal Affairs, Defence (not sure why the Ministry of Defence is different from the Defence Force), Culture and Heritage, States Services Commission, Justice, Te Puni Kokiri, Land Information NZ, Customs, Parliamentary Services, Statistics, Fisheries, Food Safety Authority, National Library, Crown Law and Government Security Communications Bureau.

After that the money goes to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Education Review Office, Archives New Zealand, Parliamentary Counsel Office, Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Ombudsmen, Serious Fraud Office, Pacific Island Affairs, Women’s Affairs and the last few cents go to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Calculations are based on the 2010 Budget and there have already been changes, for instance Archives and the Parliamentary Library have been combined and a Primary Industry Ministry is being formed from Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

If you earn $20,000 it calculates you pay $2,520 in total of which $681.13 goes on welfare and 10 cents contributes to the environment commissioner.

If you earn $50,000 you contribute $8,020 to the public coffers, $2,167.73 to the social development ministry and 32 cents to the commissioner.

Those on $100,000 pay $23,920. MSD takes $6,65.34 and the commissioner gets 96.

If you’re earning $500,000 you pay $155, 120 in tax contributing $42,143.62 to the MSD and $6.24 to the Environment Commissioner.

Hat Tip: Credo Quia Absurdum Est.


Commerce Commission looking at investigating dairy prices

March 31, 2011

The Commerce Commission is doing preliminary work to determine if a price control enquiry into the retail price of milk is warranted.

A number of parties have laid specific complaints with the Commission about the retail price of milk and are calling for the Commission to hold a price control inquiry. . .

“A price control inquiry is undertaken in order to ascertain whether to recommend price regulation of a good or service. Goods or services may only be regulated under the Commerce Act if there is little or no competition, and if the benefits of regulation materially outweigh the costs of regulation. We do not undertake such inquiries lightly,” said Dr Mark Berry, Chair of the Commerce Commission.

There are potentially three market levels involved in the production of milk: the supply of raw milk to milk product processors, the manufacture and supply of milk products, and the retailing of milk products.

“The Commission intends to review the operation of each of these levels and consider whether it should hold a price control inquiry,” said Dr Berry.

The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act aims to ensure that independent processors are able to obtain raw milk from Fonterra at the price which Fonterra pays to its own farmer suppliers. This legislation plays an important role in ensuring contestability in dairy markets. The existence of that legislation would be an important consideration in any decision to commence a price control inquiry. Also important would be whether the increased prices reflect increases in the international price of milk products rather than a lack of competition in New Zealand.

In deciding whether a price control inquiry is warranted the Commission would also need to consider the level of competition between the two major town milk processors and the two major supermarket chains. The Commerce Act requires that there be little or no competition between these parties before regulation can be imposed. Such an inquiry would also need to address the likelihood of potential new competition.

It’s only a week since the Commission said it wouldn’t be looking into the price of milk but the change of mind isn’t a bad thing.

It isn’t launching an investigation, merely doing preliminary work to see if there should be an inquiry.

Dairy products, or alternatives, are important in balanced diets, especially for children, and the Commission’s findings will determine if there should be an inquiry.

Dairy prices are largely influenced by the international market. Higher prices mean we’re getting more for exports which is good for the economy though not so good for people shopping on tight budgets.

Federated Farmers research shows farmers get between 15 and 35% of the retail price of milk which doesn’t look like creaming it to me.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Tasman Coles and Woolworths are facing a Senate inquiry into the milk wars which started in January when Coles dropped its own-brand milk price to $1 a litre.

Hat Tip: Interest.co.nz


March 31, 2011

free counters


March 31 in history

March 31, 2011

 1146 Bernard of Clairvaux preached his sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade.

1492 Queen Isabella of Castille issued the Alhambra decree, ordering her 150,000 Jewish subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

 

1596 René Descartes, French mathematician, was born (d. 1650).

1621 Andrew Marvell, English poet, was born  (d. 1678).

1717 A sermon on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ” by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provokes the Bangorian Controversy.

 

1732 Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1809).

 

1774 American Revolutionary War: The Great Britain ordered the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed pursuant to the Boston Port Act.

1822  The massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following a rebellion attempt, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.

1854 Commodore Matthew Perry signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.

 

1866 The Spanish Navy bombed the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile.

1885  The United Kingdom established a protectorate over Bechuanaland.

1889 The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated.

Tour Eiffel Wikimedia Commons.jpg

1903 Richard Pearse made a powered flight in an early aircraft.

 

1906 The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later National Collegiate Athletic Association) is established to set rules for amateur sports in the United States.

1909 Serbia accepted Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1909 Construction began on the RMS Titanic.

RMS Titanic 3.jpg

1912 Construction was completed on the RMS Titanic.

1917 The United States took possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands.

1921 The Royal Australian Air Force was formed.

Ensign of the Royal Australian Air Force.svg

1926 John Fowles, English author, was born (d. 2005).

FrenchLieutenantsWoman.JPG

1930 The Motion Pictures Production Code was instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film for the next thirty eight years.

 

1931  An earthquake destroyed Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000.

1933 The Civilian Conservation Corps was established with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment.

 

1935 Herb Alpert, American trumpeter and band leader, was born.

 

1936 Marge Piercy, American writer, was born.

Woman on the Edge of Time (book cover).jpg

1940 The funeral of Labour Prime Minister Michael Josepgh Savage took place.

  Funeral of Labour PM Savage

1942  World War II: Japanese forces invaded Christmas Island, then a British possession.

1942 Holocaust in Ivano-Frankivsk (then called Stanislawow), western Ukraine. German Gestapo organised the first deportation of 5,000 Jews from Stanislawow ghetto to Belzec death camp.

1946 – The first election was held in Greece after World War II.

1947  César Gaviria Trujillo, former President of Colombia, was born.

1948 Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1951 Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.

 

1955 Angus Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955  Robert Vance, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1959 The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the border into India and was granted political asylum.

Characteristic hands-raised anjali greeting

1964 The Dictatorship in Brazil, under the aegis of general Castello Branco, began.

1965 Iberia Airlines Convair 440 crashed into the sea on approach to Tangier, killing 47 of 51 occupants.

1966 The Soviet Union launched Luna 10 which became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.

Luna 10

1970 Explorer 1 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere (after 12 years in orbit).

Explorer1.jpg

1970 Nine terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijack Japan Airlines Flight 351 at Tokyo International Airport, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb.

1972 Alejandro Amenábar, Spanish film director, was born.

1979 The last British soldier left Malta which declared its Freedom Day (Jum il-Helsien).

1986 – A Mexicana Boeing 727 en route to Puerto Vallarta erupted in flames and crashes in the mountains northwest of Mexico City, killing 166.

1986 – Six metropolitan county councils were abolished in England.

1990 200,000 protestors took to the streets of London to protest against the newly introduced Poll Tax.

1991 The Islamic Constitutional Movement, or Hadas, was established in Kuwait.

 

1991 Georgian independence referendum, 1991: nearly 99 percent of the voters supported the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

1992 The USS Missouri (BB-63), the last active United States Navy Battleship, was decommissioned.

USS Missouri in her 1980s configuration

199 The journal Nature reported the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.

 

1995 In Corpus Christi, Texas, Latin superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her own fan club.

1998 Netscape released the code base of its browser under an open-source license agreement; with code name Mozilla and which was spun off into the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla Foundation logo.svg

2004 In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, were killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

March 30, 2011

Frugal – economical; avoiding waste or unnecessary expenditure; thrifty; prudent.


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