Word of the day

July 31, 2011

Laodicean -  lukewarm or healf-hearted, especially in regard to religion or politics; a person with such an attitude.


6/10

July 31, 2011

Luck has everything to do with this one.

I knew only one answer but still managed 6/10 in the Herald’s entertainment quiz.


Rural round-up

July 31, 2011

Owen Glenn: use science to be innovative:

In the second of a series leading up to the election, Owen Glenn says exporters’ form matters even more than the All Blacks’.

Every four years, rugby puts New Zealand on the world stage. Our exporters do the same every day.

Unlike the All Blacks, when exporters aren’t playing to their full potential, the whole country loses.

With two out of three jobs dependent on it and $4 of every $10 our economy produces generated by it, exporting matters. . .

Lonely bull still waiting for rescue – Kathy Marks:

When Victoria was hit by catastrophic floods in January, a bull named Bernard sought refuge on an island in the middle of a lake.

Six months later, he’s still stranded and his owner is appealing for help to reunite the increasingly bad-tempered animal with his herd. . .

8% rise in lamb numbers forecast - Sally Rae:

Reasonable conditions this lambing should see a rise in the total number of lambs by 2 million – up 8% – pushing export lamb production back towards 20.5 million head in 2011-12.

Export lamb production in 2010-11 was expected to finish at about 19 million head, down 11% on the previous season, according to the ANZ Agri-Focus report for July . . .

Researcher seeks tonic in pasture - Sally Rae:

It is a long way from managing a farm in the UK to being a research fellow in Dunedin – but Dr Marion Johnson has led an interesting life.

Dr Johnson, who grew up in Zambia, the UK and New Zealand, initially studied agriculture at Massey University.

She worked as a shepherd around the Wairarapa before shepherding on hill farms in Wales and Scotland . . .

Feeding out made easier – Sally Rae:

Dave McCabe, a North Otago contractor and farmer, has devised a method of pulling strings from bales on feed-out wagons that saves time and machinery.

Previously, he used a loader to pull out the strings. . .

Collaboration succeeding – John Aspinall:

Prior to 1987, most Crown-owned land in New Zealand was managed by the Lands and Survey Department (L&S).

In 1987, L&S was restructured into the Department of Conservation (Doc), Landcorp and Forestcorp. Most of the commercial-minded senior management people went to Landcorp and Forestcorp.

Doc gained practical hands-on field staff, but many of their management people took a very idealistic view that they would save the environment and could do it alone . . .

Farmers’ web portal winner:

AG-HUB, an agriculture web portal for farmers, has been awarded the Telecommunications Users’ Association of New Zealand (Tuanz) “best of the best” prize at its 2011 innovations awards.

Ag-Hub captured information from on-farm recording devices such as feed readers, effluent irrigators, moisture tapes and weather stations. . .

Fascinating new pastures for dairy cows thanks to innovative farmers - Pasture to Profit:

Many pasture based dairy farmers in both France & the UK are experimenting with mixed pasture swards. These “New Pastures” always include an abundance of clovers & increasingly include herbs such as Chicory & Plantain. The inclusion of the deep rooting herbs adds a completely new dimension to pastures for grazing dairy cows.

These pastures are very different from conventional pastures in many ways. Nitrogen fed pastures tend to be monocultures of ryegrasses. Well managed ryegrass clover pastures are highly productive. The clover content is related to the grazing intensity & the amount of nitrogen used. The mixed pastures offer considerable biodiversity, interesting possible changes to the cows diet, generally higher protein levels but more complex grazing properties. In mixed species pastures some plants are grazed out & its difficult to graze according to every plant’s requirements. However these new pastures might well enhance the health benefits of grass fed milk . . .

Alpaca breeders get serious about business - Jon Morgan:

Peter McKay gives a demonstration of the mating ritual of the alpaca. It’s not what you think. The Hawke’s Bay farmer tilts back his head, opens his throat and goes “orgleorgleorgleorgle”.

This rumbling gargle is the male alpaca’s foreplay. It starts the female ovulating. Mr McKay and wife Tessa have 160 alpacas on their 235-hectare sheep and beef farm at Maraekakaho.

Mrs McKay tells what happens next. “They mate sitting down. It’s called a cush,” she says. “Then we wait two weeks to see if she is pregnant. If she goes into the cush for him, it didn’t work the first time. If she spits at him, it did.” . . .

Wine moguls thrive in hard year - Michael Berry:

Most Marlborough-linked wine magnates listed in this year’s National Business Review Rich List managed to increase their wealth in a tough year for the wine industry.

Siblings Jim and Rosmari Delegat, owners of Oyster Bay Vineyards Marlborough and who own much of the NZX-listed Delegat’s Wine Estate dropped to 39th this year, while increasing their net worth by $35 million to $150m . . .

Record rebate for Ballance Farmers:

Ballance Agri-Nutrients will pay shareholders a record rebate and dividend of $50.29 per tonne after achieving an $85.9 million operating profit for the 2010/11 financial year, more than four times the $20.7 million achieved in the prior year.

The total average payment to shareholders of $50.29 per tonne includes a rebate of $46 per tonne on fertiliser purchased and an imputed dividend of $0.10 per share, resulting in a total distribution to shareholders of $49 million. Ballance’s rebate payment is calculated based on both the quantity and the value of the product purchased. This means that farmers who have purchased higher-value products such as DAP, triple superphosphate or potash will receive a rebate and dividend in excess of $62 per tonne, with urea returning a rebate of over $54 per tonne. . .

Sheep: barnyard brainiacs -

It turns out that sheep are far more intelligent than their reputation for barnyard slowness would lead one to believe. In recent research published in PLoS ONE1, Professor Jenny Morton of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Cambridge and her colleague Laura Avanzo reported that domestic sheep can perform extremely well on tests of designed to measure cognitive abilities, possibly as well as any animal other than primates.

Professor Morton, who had been studying Huntington’s disease, wanted to find out whether transgenic sheep with a specific genetic defect might be useful in preclinical research regarding potential treatments for this neurodegenerative disease. Because Huntington’s is characterized by cognitive deterioration, Morton was particularly interested in seeing how well sheep would perform cognitively, since suitable research subjects for neurologic disorders like Huntington’s inevitably must undergo systematic cognitive testing relevant to the disease. . .

Hat Tip: Tim Worstall


Just a coincidence?

July 31, 2011

A  lot of farmers in the south have recently received a letter from Act MP John Boscawen seeking their views and support.

MPs have access to electoral rolls which give names, addresses and occupations but this letter doesn’t appear to have gone to all farmers.

All those I know have received the letter are members of Federated Farmers and I’ve yet to find any who isn’t a member of Feds who’s got the letter.

I’m not suggesting that the Federated Farmers’ data base has been used – Feds works with and keeps its distance from all political parties.

And my sample may not be representative. There could well be Feds members who haven’t got the letter and non-members who have.

But I did wonder if the announcement that former Feds president Don Nicolson was standing for Act and the apparent targeting of this letter is just a coincidence.

UPDATE: – Bulaman’s comment below shows at least one non-Feds member got the letter.


Small-scale hydro face of future

July 31, 2011

A private power scheme, sparked by a conversation in a paddock over the back of a ute, is generating enough power from more than 1,000 homes.

The Paul Wilson power scheme on Talla Burn on Beaumont Station  in Central Otago has been operating since November.

In officially opening it on Friday Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said small-scale schemes like this are the face of the future.

“The days of the big hydro scheme might be numbered – but don’t tell that to Contact, who have plans for Beaumont up the road,” Mr English said.

It was getting more difficult to build large dams and New Zealand had plenty of opportunities for smaller-scale operations, such as Talla Burn.

The two families behind Talla Burn had taken a considerable financial risk and it was fantastic to see a project like this come to fruition when such schemes were usually associated with big companies, he said.

“This scheme is a tribute to the practical wisdom and skills of the people of this part of the country.”

The length of time and expense of getting through the consent system adds huge costs to any power scheme. The bigger the scheme the more time and money it takes.

A media release from Pulse  which retails power generated from the scheme says:

The scheme . . .  20 km from Millers Flat, was the brainchild of Alan Hore, the farmer and Jeff Wilson, the sparky who saw the potential to harness the river’s power.

“The idea really came about from a conversation we had in a paddock over the back of a ute,” says Jeff Wilson. “It continued around the kitchen table with our families all involved and four years later we are opening the station. We’ve rattled a few cages to get our commercial investment going and plan to rattle them more to get a good power deal for consumers.

“We’d like a rethink of the Resource Management Act because there are ways to harness power without destroying the environment. This scheme has been developed and built by people who are part of this land. We respect and love it and will take care of it for our future generations,” he said. . .

The scheme will generate 2.4MW of electricity to supply Central Otago households with power at a price expected to be considerably lower than competitors.

“The Talla Burn scheme is an example of the tenacity of the little battlers who put their money and ingenuity where their mouth is to overcome commercial and regulatory obstacles. The Hore and Wilson families have built an environmentally friendly generation scheme that contributes to the national goal of increasing energy self sufficiency,” says Pulse Managing Director Dene Biddlecombe.

Alan and Jean Hore and Jeff and Sue Wilson who took the risk, spent their own money and  persevered in spite of many obstacles is to be commended.

The scheme is named after the Wilson’s son and project engineer who drowned while collecting water samples for the project.


History without many pictures

July 31, 2011

In case you’re wondering why there are far fewer pictures on today’s history post than normal, it’s because pages take too long to load.

You can see pictures for individual events or people by clicking on links in each item or see them all at once by clicking on the link at the bottom of the post.


Democracies don’t have famines

July 31, 2011

Quote of the week from Roger Kerr:

Less edifying was a session titled ‘An Uncertain Harvest: Investigating Global Food Security’. Malthus seemed to have a couple of seats at the table in a round of agonizing about food security and whether the world can feed its population in the 21st century.

I made the point that food security is often the code word for agricultural protectionism. It has been the excuse for the common agricultural policy and protection of Japan’s rice farmers, for example. If markets are allowed to work, trading is free, and property rights and contracts are secure, it is hard to see why global supply and demand will not balance over the longer term.  As one delegate said, there’s never been a famine in a democracy.  

Consumers never win from protectionism and in the long-term producers don’t either. New Zealand is proof of that.

We might have been dragged kicking and screaming into the real susbisdy-free world in the 1980s but New Zealand farmers are much the stronger for it now.

Protectionism increases the power of politicians and bureaucrats which adds costs and uncertainties.

It also upsets the law of supply and demand, creating unwanted surpluses or unnecessary shortages.

Aid might be needed in the short-term but the best way to tackle famine is to open borders and ditch subsidies.

Fair Trade is a compelling slogan but the only really fair trade is free trade.


July 31 in history

July 31, 2011

30 BC  Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieved a minor victory over Octavian’s forces, but most of his army subsequently deserted, leading to his suicide.

781 The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji.

904 Thessalonica fell to the Arabs, who destroyed the city.

1009  Pope Sergius IV became the 142nd pope, succeeding Pope John XVIII.

Sergius IV.jpg

1200 Attempted usurpation of John Komnenos the Fat.

1423  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Cravant – the French army was defeated at Cravant.

1451  Jacques Cœur was arrested by order of Charles VII of France.

1492 Jews were expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree took effect.

1498 On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

1658 Aurangzeb was proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.

1667   Treaty of Breda ended the second Anglo-Dutch War.

 

1703  Daniel Defoe was placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but was pelted with flowers.

 

1741  Charles Albert of Bavaria invaded Upper Austria and Bohemia.

1777 Pedro Ignacio de Castro Barros, Argentine statesman and priest, was born (d. 1849).

1777 The U.S. Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette “be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.”

1790  First U.S. patent was issued to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

1800 Friedrich Wöhler, German chemist and founder of organic chemistry, was born (d. 1882).

1803 John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer, was born (d. 1889).

1856  Christchurch, New Zealand, was chartered as a city.

1860 Mary Vaux Walcott,  American artist and naturalist, was born (d. 1940).

1865 The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opened at Grandchester, Australia.

1895  The Basque Nationalist Party (Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco) was founded by Basque nationalist leader Sabino Arana.

1909  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Austrian writer and polyglot, was born (d. 1999).

1912  Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2006).

1913 The Balkan States signed an armistice at Bucharest.

1919 German national assembly adopted the Weimar constitution.

1921 Peter Benenson, British founder of Amnesty International, was born (d. 2005).

1930  The radio mystery programme The Shadow  aired for the first time.

1932  The NSDAP won more than 38% of the vote in German elections.

1936  The International Olympic Committee announced that the 1940 Summer Olympics would be held in Tokyo. However, the games were given back to the IOC after the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, and are eventually cancelled altogether because of World War II.

1938 Bulgaria signed a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanti (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia).

1938 Archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis.

1940 A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collided with a multi-car freight train heading in the opposite direction, killing 43 people.

1941  Holocaust: under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, ordered SS General Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”

1943 Lobo, American singer and songwriter, was born.

 1944  Geraldine Chaplin, American actress, was born.

1944 – Jonathan Dimbleby, British journalist and television presenter.

1945  Pierre Laval, the fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrendered to Allied soldiers in Austria.

1945  John K. Giles attempted to escape from Alcatraz prison.

1948  New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) was dedicated.

1951  Japan Airlines was established.

1954 First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.

1959  The Basque separatist organisation ETA was founded.

1964 Jim Corr, Irish singer and musician (The Corrs), was born.

1964  Ranger 7 sent back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.

1970 Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

1972 – Operation Motorman: British troops moved into the no-go areas of Belfast and Derry. End of Free Derry.

1972 – Three car bombs detonated in Claudy, Northern Ireland, killing nine.

1973 A Delta Air Lines jetliner crashed while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89.

1976 John Walker won gold in the 1500 metres at the Montreal Olympics.

John Walker wins gold in Montreal

1976 NASA released the  Face on Mars photo.

1978 Will Champion, English musician (Coldplay), was born.

1980 Mils Muliaina, New Zealand rugby union player, was born.

1980 Mikko Hirvonen, Finnish rally driver, was born.

1981 – General Omar Torrijos of Panama died in a plane crash.

1981 A total solar eclipse occured.

1987  A rare, class F4 tornado ripped through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.

1988  32 people died and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapsed in Butterworth, Malaysia.

1991  The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacked Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.

1992  A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashed into a mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.

1999  Lunar Prospector – NASA intentionally crashed the spacecraft into the Moon, ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon’s surface.

2002  Hebrew University of Jerusalem was attacked when a bomb exploded in a cafeteria, killing 9.

2006  Fidel Castro handed over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro.

2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever, ended.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

For more photos, click on the link or go here.


Word of the day

July 30, 2011

Autolatry – self-worship.


6/10

July 30, 2011

6/10 in the Herald’s news quiz – better than this morning’s travel quiz but still room for improvement.


Good question

July 30, 2011

The tax advisor had just read the story of Cinderella to his four-year-old daughter for the first time.

The little girl was fascinated by the tale, especially the part where the pumpkin turns into a golden coach.

Suddenly she piped up, “Daddy, when the pumpkin turned into a golden coach, would that be classed as income or a long-term capital gain?”

It’s a joke but it does raise a serious point about the complexities of a capital gains tax – ambiguities and complexity create loopholes.

I’m not against a CTG in theory but I am opposed to Labour’s proposal for very good reasons:

We should be aiming at a reduction in taxes not an increase.

Complicated taxes cost too much to administer and divert time, energy and money from productive activity to avoidance strategies.

We need to remove compliance costs and other barriers to productivity not increase them.

Those with sympathy for Labour’s proposal should the truth behind these jokes:

The difference between simple and complex taxes is clear:  If you have simple ones the government gets your money. If you have complex ones, the tax advisor gets your money.

For every tax problem there is a solution which is straightforward, uncomplicated and wrong.

How do you know you’ve met a good tax accountant?
S/he has a loophole named after her/him.

A fine is a tax for doing something wrong.  A tax is a fine for doing something right.

And anyone swayed by the results of the Herald DigiPoll survey which shows 16.5% of peole strongly in favour and  21.4% moderately in favour oc Labour’s CTG should consider the words of Geroge Bernard Shaw:

The government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.


3/10

July 30, 2011

No excuses – a sorry 3/10 in the Herald’s travel quiz.


Thieving bs

July 30, 2011

When we were planning to be away from home for nearly a month I wondered whether or not I’d blog about our travels.

The chances of some low-life reading this blog, knowing where we live, that the house would be empty most of the time and acting on it were remote. But I decided that even with staff living near by it would be better not to advertise our absence.

As it was, we did have a theft from our property while we were away, although strictly speaking it wasn’t of our property.

We felled a lot of trees earlier this year, sold what timber we could and were left with a pile of scrappy wood not good enough to sell but fine for fires.

Several people have been taking it with our permission and one couple was out last Monday cutting it up. They finished with a couple of trailer loads but had only one trailer so left a pile of wood to collect the following day.

When they returned on Tuesday they found some thieving bs had stolen the lot. It was fairly close to the house, in the paddock in the photo featured at the top of the page. That makes us think the theft was done by someone who knew we weren’t here which has left us feeling both angry and uneasy.

If the sort of people who steal like this think about consequences they’d probably reckon it’s the type of crime we wouldn’t bother reporting. But one thing the thieves didn’t know was that the bloke from whom they stole the wood is a policeman – and he’s not a very happy one now either.


Conduct unbecoming of a candidate

July 30, 2011

A political party candidate had arranged for a commercial sign writer to do some work for his campaign material.

The sign writer provided a quote, which was agreed to, did the work and sent an account.

Some three months later the candidate walked into the sign writer’s office with his cheque book and started arguing about the price.

The time to argue about the price is when the quote is given, not three months after the work has been completed and the bill sent.

This is unbecoming conduct for any customer and it’s especially poor behaviour from someone aspiring to public office.

Just as well the candidate’s chance of winning the seat for which s/he’s standing are even slimmer than the sign writer agreeing to do any more work for her/him.

P.S.

The reason I haven’t identified the candidate or her/his party is that I got this story second-hand. But I wouldn’t have posted on it had I not had total confidence in my source.


July 30 in history

July 30, 2011

762  Baghdad was founded.

1419  First Defenestration of Prague.

1502 Christopher Columbus landed at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.

 

1549 Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, was born (d. 1609).

 

1608  Samuel de Champlain shot and killed two Iroquois chiefs which set the tone for French-Iroquois relations for the next 100 years.

 

1619  The first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convened for the first time.

 

1629  An earthquake in Naples killed 10,000 people.

1733  The first Masonic Grand Lodge in what became the United States was constituted in Massachusetts.

1756 Bartolomeo Rastrelli presented the newly-built Catherine Palace to Empress Elizabeth and her courtiers.

 

1811  Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican insurgency, was executed by the Spanish.

Miguel Hidalgo.jpg

1818 Emily Brontë, English novelist, was born (d. 1848).

 

1825 Malden Island was discovered.

 

1859 First ascent of Grand Combin.

1863 Henry Ford, American industrialist, was born (d. 1947).

 

1863 Indian Wars: Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signed the Treaty of Box Elder, agreeing to stop the harassment of emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of the Crater – Union forces attempt edto break Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia by exploding a large bomb under their trenches.

Battle of the Crater.jpeg

1866 New Orleans’s Democratic government ordered police to raid an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing 40 people and injuring 150.

1871  The Staten Island Ferry Westfield’s boiler exploded, killing over 85 people.

 

1893 Fatima Jinnah, Pakistani Mother of the Nation, was born (d. 1967).

1898 Henry Moore, English sculptor, was born (d. 1986).

 

1916  Black Tom Island explosion in Jersey City.

1925 Alexander Trocchi, Scottish writer, was born (d. 1984).

 
Cover

1926 Christine McGuire, American singer (The McGuire Sisters), was born.

1930  Uruguay won the first Football World Cup.

 1932  Premiere of Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.

 

1935 Ted Rogers, English comedian and game show host, was born (d. 2001).

1940 Sir Clive Sinclair, English entrepreneur and inventor (pocket calculator, home computer), was born.

 

1941 Paul Anka, Canadian singer and composer, was born.

 

1945   Japanese submarine I-58 sank the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen.

  

1947 Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born American actor and 38th Governor of California, was born.

 

1950 Frank Stallone, American singer and actor, was born.

1953  Rikidōzan held a ceremony announcing the establishment of the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance.

1956  A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.

 

1958 Kate Bush, English singer/songwriter, was born.

1958 Daley Thompson, English decathlete, was born.

1965  US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

1969 Vietnam War: US President Richard M. Nixon made an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and met  President Nguyen Van Thieu and U.S. military commanders.

1971  Apollo 15 Mission – David Scott and James Irwin on Apollo Lunar Module module, Falcon, landed with first Lunar Rover on the moon.

 

1971  An All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 and a Japanese Air Force F-86 collided over Morioka killing 162.

1974  Watergate Scandal: US President Richard M. Nixon released subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the United States Supreme Court.

1974  Six Royal Canadian Army Cadetswere  killed and fifty-four injured in an accidental grenade blast at CFB Valcartier Cadet Camp.

1975  Three members of the Miami Showband and two gunmen were killed during a botched paramilitary attack in Northern Ireland.

1978  The 730 (transport), Okinawa changed its traffic on the right-hand side of the road to the left-hand side.

 

1979 Carless days were introduced in New Zealand to combat the second oil shock.

Carless days introduced

1980 Vanuatu gained independence.

1980  Israel’s Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law

1997  Eighteen lives were lost in the Thredbo Landslide.

2003  In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line.

VolkswagenBeetle-001.jpg

2006 World’s longest running music show Top of the Pops was broadcast for the last time on BBC Two after 42 years.

Top of the Pops 2003.jpg

2006 Lebanon War: At least 28 civilians, including 16 children were killed by the Israeli Air Force in what Lebanese call the Second Qana massacre.

 

2009 A bomb exploded in Palma Nova, Mallorca, killing 2 police officers. Basque separatist group ETA was believed to be responsible.


Word of the day

July 29, 2011

Idiocrasis – idiocracy; peculiarity of temperament or constitution; idiosyncrasy.


5/10

July 29, 2011

5/10 in the Herald’s changing world quiz.


Friday’s answers

July 29, 2011

1.Who said: “”Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”?

2. What is a nematode?

3.  Name the poet who wrote the following lines and the poem from which they come:

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the

sky

Like a patient etherised upon a table;

4. In which country is Ephesus?

5. Vancouver and Alberta are in which states?

Memo to self don’t compose quiz questions late at night when overtired.

5. was supposed to be: in which provinces are Vancouver and Calgary?

Points for answers:

Everyone gets one for #5 because I got the question wrong.

Bearhunter got 5 with bonuses for reading to kids and reasoning which earns an electronic batchof biscuits.

Andrei got four.

Cadwallader got 3 1/2 (you got the poet but not the poem).

PDM got three and a bonus for humour.

Gravedodger got four and a bonus for wit.

David got three and a bonus for extra facts.

Fred got three.

Adam got three and a bonus for the pasta.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


A subsidy by any other name

July 29, 2011

Quote of the week from Trans Tasman:

If a NZ business can’t deliver a good value/quality product to a NZ based Crown entity compared with a foreign based company without assistance then it is more politically honest not to call it a procurement policy, but a state subsidy. It will then be up to taxpayers whether the extra money is worth it.

It’s referring to Labour’s procurement policy for crown entities which aims to favour local businesses and it’s right.

There’s no point pussy-footing round with euphemisms, a subsidy by any other name still comes at a cost.

If local companies were used in spite of inferior goods and services and/or higher prices then they’d be being subsidised and it’s taxpayers who would pay the higher bill.


Celebrating success and philanthropy

July 29, 2011

The NBR calls it’s Rich List a celebration of success and it is.

Those who practice the politics of envy will focus on the numbers. Those who prefer politics of aspiration will appreicate the hard work and risks required to make it and will take note of the philanthropic attitudes of most of those featured

John Todd, who is in the top 10, was inducted into the Fairfax Media New Zealand Business Hall of Fame on Wednesday and said:

Making money is not a sin, but if you are successful you have a moral responsibility to help others . . .

I am fortunate that my family and friends take this attitude regardless of whether or not they have a lot of money, but obviously the more you have the more you’re able to help.

The Dominion Post notes the philanthropic attitude is shared by all seven of this week’s inductees:

The seven new inductees of the Fairfax Media New Zealand Business Hall of Fame share many traits – all are enterprising and have made enormous contributions to the country’s economic and social development.

Philanthropy is another defining feature along with the desire to protect their privacy, particularly when it comes to their finances. 

The Rich List and Hall of Fame recognise entrepreneurial success and philanthropy, and we need more of both.


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