Word of the day

November 14, 2012

Supererogatory - excess: more than is needed, desired, or required; observed or performed to an extent not enjoined or required; payment beyond what is due or asked; superfluous, unnecessary.


Rural round-up

November 14, 2012

What does our agriculture offer?  romance and reassurance – Pasture Harmonies:

I’ll be the first to admit that the frilly, intangible, non-scientific aspects of what and how we produce our agricultural products can be a tricky little number to get your head around.

Much of what we’re good at doing as a nation is hard-edged, ‘proven’ – be it across on and off farm technical performance, engineering disciplines, the All Blacks even – all those things that you can measure and monitor.

But, for a moment let’s just sit and accept these quantifiable aspects.

What else does our agriculture offer? . . .

Chatham Rock Phosphate water turbidity model shows encouraging results:

Highly sophisticated computer models of the turbidity from material disturbed during extraction of rock phosphate nodules by Chatham Rock Phosphate have shown encouraging results.

The modelling work is being undertaken by Dutch applied research organisation Deltares using complex modelling techniques developed at their Delft headquarters. Deltares was asked to look at the dispersion behaviour of sediments released during the proposed extraction process.

The modelling results will now be independently evaluated. . .

Sheep in south heading for hills – Sally Rae:

More cows, more mixed farming systems involving dairy support and more finishing in the hill country.

That’s what Rabobank senior rural manager Richard Copland expects to see in the Gore area in the future.

Delivering the opening address at the New Zealand Grassland Association conference in Gore last week, Mr Copland outlined the “massive amount” of change in the district in recent years. . .

Queen gene selection top honey maker – Shawn McAvinue:

The process of breeding better queen bees began for the year in Mosgiel early last week.

Better Bees director David McMillan said drone bee semen was collected and mixed in the morning so queen bees could be artificially inseminated in the afternoon.

The same process would continue for three days so queen bees could sent to shareholders of the Dunedin company, he said Betta Bees assistant Diane Allan, from Balfour, said about 100 mature drone bees were needed daily to collect 20 microlitres of semen. . .

Peel Forest moving to ‘grass roots’ venison – Sandra Finnie:

PEEL Forest Estate owner Graham Carr is the first to admit there was room for improvement on his property, before he grasped the concept of environmentally sustainable deer farming.

It took a letter from Environment Canterbury because someone had “potted him” about dirty water coming off the property, to motivate him to “clean up his act”.

At a recent field day, well supported by friends and farmers, Mr Carr reflected on the the work he’d done in recent years towards his goal of fencing off 90 per cent of the farm by 2012 on one side of a road and how he has improved water quality. . .

Prince Charles and Federated Farmers Express Support for Campaign for Wool:

Fill your living environments with wool and do it in style. That was the message from the Campaign for Wool at Shear Brilliance on Monday and one that will continue to be passed on in the future.

The Campaign hosted HRH The Prince of Wales Monday, November 12 at Shear Brilliance – a wool showcase at The Cloud, Queens Wharf, Auckland. At the event, Prince Charles proudly wore his New Zealand wool suit and told exhibitors New Zealand is globally recognised for the quality of its wool.

The message that wool can fill more than just a closet was evident by the wide range of exhibitors and guests. The Campaign hosted dignitaries, VIPs from architectural, interior and related industries at this special exhibition. It was an opportunity to show New Zealand’s creativity and innovation with woollen textiles and products. . .

Glacial Wool Fit for a Prince:

To honour the Prince of Wales and recognise his role as champion and patron of the global Campaign for Wool, a unique six square metre rug bearing his coat of arms is being hand- crafted in Christchurch from New Zealand Glacial wool by leading New Zealand wool exporter New Zealand Wool Services International.

“The Prince of Wales is the most significant sheep farmer in the United Kingdom and the world’s foremost advocate for wool. He launched the international Campaign for Wool in 2010 to educate the world about the extraordinary benefits and versatility of wool in furnishings, fashion and everyday life”, said Michael Dwyer, managing director, New Zealand Wool Services International. . .

And from  Smile Project:

Photo

Right royal, vice regal birthday

November 14, 2012

Today is Prince Charles’s 64th birthday.

It is also the 58th birthday of Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and they will be sharing their party with other New Zealanders who were born on November 14th.

With the exception of the oldest applicant, the names of the 64 were chosen at random.  And like the group they were chosen from, the 64 are of all ages, from 18 to 101 and from throughout New Zealand.

The Prince is reported to be looking forward to the party:

. . . “One group will be of particular interest, namely those who were born on 14th November, an illustrious group which includes the Governor-General, Mrs Key and, er, me,” the Prince said.

“I look forward very much to our joint birthday party on Wednesday along with 64 fellow Scorpios and to discussing our plans for world domination.” . . .

It will be a right royal, vice regal celebration and a birthday to remember for them all.


Not quite total eclipse of the sun

November 14, 2012

Is it my imagination or has the temperature just dropped as the moon getting between the earth and sun gives us a partial eclipse of the sun?

This is another eclipse with a path mainly over ocean, in this case the south Pacific. The path of totality does start over extreme northern Australia about 200 km east of Darwin. The path crosses the Gulf of Carpentaria and then the base of the Cape York Peninsula with Cairns and Port Douglas seeing a total eclipse.

At Cairns the eclipse will occur in the early morning, totality lasting for 2 minutes. The Sun will be 14° above the horizon, so low to the east.

From Cairns the total path moves, at first, to the east-southeast across the Pacific, passing a little to the north of New Zealand. After reaching the latitude of the South Island of New Zealand, far out in the Pacific the path starts to swing back to the north, with the eclipse ending at sunset some way to the west of Coquimbo in Chile.

A partial eclipse will be visible from all parts of Australia (anywhere it is not total), although the Sun rises after the start of the partial eclipse for the western half of the country. A partial eclipse is also visible from New Zealand, many of the south Pacific islands and, at sun set in most of Chile and the southern parts of Argentina.

 


Need for professional body to speak on education

November 14, 2012

Karl Du Fresne has worked out what was wrong with Ministry of Education head Lesley Longstone saying New Zealand’s education isn’t world class:

. . . Had she spent more time here, she would understand that only teachers and their unions are allowed to say there’s anything wrong with the education system, and that only they are entitled to define what’s wrong and what’s right. Longstone riled the teachers by drawing attention to the stubbornly high proportion of under-performing Maori and Pacific Island students. Teachers are allowed to highlight this, but only as a way of exposing government failings and condemning inequity in the system. When they are not focusing on the system’s failings, teachers are forever talking up our internationally high achievement rankings (which Longstone acknowledged), for which they like to take credit.

What upsets the teachers when the head of the Ministry of Education brings up the subject of under-achievement is that it threatens to turn the debate in a direction they don’t like. When teachers talk about under-achievement, it’s with a view to leaving the system unchanged but having more money ploughed into it: more teachers at the chalkface, higher pay (to encourage more people to take up the profession) and smaller class sizes. But when Longstone brings the subject up, in the teachers’ eyes it can only be because the government wants to soften us up for some wicked neoliberal experiment such as charter schools.

How much simpler everything would be if we forgot foolhardy alternative ideas and left it to teachers to control the education debate. That’s the natural way of things. The sooner the English interloper comes to terms with this peculiar fact of New Zealand education, the sooner we can all get back to normal.

Doctors have professional bodies which speak on general health matters as distinct from a union which speaks on industrial matters.

When education is in the media it is almost always the union which is quoted, confusing professional matters with industrial ones.

Teachers are badly in need of a professional body which speaks on education without the left-wing industrial bias which reduces the authority of union utterances.

 


Who would do better?

November 14, 2012

Richard Long ends his parting shot in Dominion Post by telling Labour to take it easy on David Shearer.

. . . He’s got what the public relations people describe as the ideal “legend” to make an outstanding Labour leader. He’s also doing better than Helen Clark in Opposition: her polling was in margin-of-error territory. Give the man a break.

What he hasn’t got is traction with the public nor any significant runs on the board against the government.

But Rob Hosking points out no-one else in his caucus has done much either.

. . . And while Mr Shearer’s performance has been somewhat ill-starred, look at the rest of the caucus.

Few have managed any substantial hits on the government. . .

. . . It can be argued Mr Shearer should be judged by the same standard he set his MPs, and by that standard there is no doubt too many opportunities have gone begging.

On the eve of Labour’s annual conference later this week, the party’s question is whether any of the alternatives could do any better.

On recent performance the answer to that question would be no.

 

 

 


November 14 in history

November 14, 2012

1533 – Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, Inca empire.

1770 – James Bruce discovered what he believed to be the source of the Nile.

1805 Fanny Mendelssohn, German composer and pianist, was born (d. 1847).

 1840 Claude Monet, French painter, was born (d. 1926).

1845 – Governor George Grey arrived in New Zealand.

George Grey arrives in NZ

1878 – Julie Manet, French painter, was born (d. 1966).

1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) began a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days.

1896 – Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States (d. 1979)

1908 Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was born.

1910 – Aviator Eugene Ely performed the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia when he took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.

1918 – Czechoslovakia became a republic.

1919 Veronica Lake, American actress, was born (d. 1973).

1921 – The Communist Party of Spain was founded.

1921 – Brian Keith, American actor, was born. (d. 1997).

1922 – The BBC began radio service.

1922 – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian UN Secretary-General, was born

1923 – Kentaro Suzuki completed his ascent of Mount Iizuna.

1935 King Hussein of Jordan was born (d. 1999).

1940 – Coventry was heavily bombed by Luftwaffe bombers. Coventry Cathedral was almost completely destroyed.

1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sank after torpedo damage from U-81 sustained on November 13.

1947 P. J. O’Rourke, American writer, was born.

1948 Prince Charles was born.

1952 – The first regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express.

1954 – Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of New Zealand, was born.

1954 – Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State, was born.

1957 – The Apalachin Meeting outside Binghamton, New York was raided by law enforcement, and many high level Mafia figures were arrested.

1959 Paul McGann, British actor, was born

1965 – Vietnam War: The Battle of the Ia Drang began – the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.

1967 – The Congress of Colombia, in commemoration of the 150 years of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declared this day as “Day of the Colombian Woman”.

1969 – NASA launchds Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.

1970 – Soviet Union enters ICAO, making Russian the fourth official language of organisation.

1970 – Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed in the mountains near Huntington, West Virginia, killing 75, including members of the Marshall University football team.

1971 Adam Gilchrist, Australian cricketer, was born.

1971 – Enthronment of Pope Shenouda III as Pope of Alexandria.

1973 – The passage of the Social Security Amendment Act introduced the Domestic Purposes Benefit to New Zealand’s social welfare system.

DPB legislation introduced

1973 – Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.

1975 – Spain abandoned Western Sahara.

1982 – Lech Wałęsa, the leader of Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, was released after 11 months of internment.

1984 – Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated in his home city.

1990 – After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.

1991 – Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to Phnom Penh after 13 years of exile.

 1991 – In Royal Oak, Michigan, a fired United States Postal Service employee went on a shooting rampage, killing four and wounding five before committing suicide.

1995 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forced the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.

2001 – War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters took over Kabul.

2002 – Argentina defaulted on an $805 million World Bank payment.

2003 – Astronomers Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz discovered 90377 Sedna, a Trans-Neptunian object.

2007 – The last direct-current electrical distribution system in the United States was shut down in New York City by Con Edison.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikiepdia


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