Word of the day

December 2, 2012

Recherche – exquisite; lavishly elegant and refined; tasteful in appearance or behaviour or style;exotic; rare; affected, showy or pretentious.


Not such a quick dash

December 2, 2012

What was meant to be a quick dash into town to get my weekly fix of fine food from the Oamaru Farmers’ Market led me on a detour.

A friend at the market told me she’d just been to a house of flowers and I ought to go too.

It was a fundraising collaboration between Altrusa and floral artists.

The house and garden hosting the event were attractive to start with and the lawns and each room had been enhanced with stunning arrangements of flowers. Some had Christmas themes, all were amazing.

We were asked not to take photos so I can’t share any with you, but my mind’s eye is still full of beautiful floral pictures.

The quick dash to town took a lot longer than I’d planned but the detour was well worth the extra time.

 


6/10

December 2, 2012

6/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


That didn’t last long

December 2, 2012

Yesterday John Tamihere said he was going to behave.

Today, the RadioLive host pledged to behave.

Mr Tamihere said he can’t take back what he said in 2005 but he has no intention of repeating it in the future.

He hasn’t repeated those comments but  less than 24 hours later:

John Tamihere is back. And it seems nothing has changed. This time he’s calling one of National’s women MPs “fat”.

The former MP who in 2005 suffered a calamitous fall from grace has been allowed to become a member of the Labour Party once more.

But he’s vowing not to tone down his opinions or toe the party line. As if to prove his point, in an interview over a beer in a Henderson restaurant yesterday, Tamihere says he intends to be as outspoken as ever.

“People have got to get over themselves. There are some really fragile, brittle people in the Labour Party. When you give them a bit of a rev-up they get broken and bitter and twisted and hold it ’til the day they die.” . . .

He’s right about the fragility and brittleness of some in his party, but only when the insults are aimed at ones they consider their own, which this wasn’t:

. . .So, in the immortal words of fellow Westie MP Paula Bennett, we ask whether his return to politics will force him to “zip it sweetie”.

Tamihere laughs a big belly laugh. “Not for that bloody fat girl up here, I’m going to tell you that right now.” . . .

Had he referred to one of them as a fat girl there would have been objections to both the adjective and the noun.

There is very unlikely to be a response since it was aimed at a National MP.

Nor will you find National men condescendingly rushing to her defence as Trevor Mallard did to Jacinda Ardern last week.

In National men accept women as equals and don’t need blokes blundering in when they are perfectly capable of sticking up for themselves.

 

 


5/10

December 2, 2012

Just scraped a pass – 5/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.


Fewer US cattle, more opportunities for NZ?

December 2, 2012

RadioNZ reports the US beef herd numbers are at an all time low:

Numbers peaked at 132 million head of cattle in 1975. At the start of this year this was down to just under 91 million.

Across the US, cattle are sometimes housed in feedlots to be fattened for slaughter. These huge operations on average contain around 3000 animals have also suffered a significant drop in numbers, down around 12.5% on last year.

So what is going on?

There are long term factors in terms of profitability and rising costs but what’s really pushing the decline right now is a potent mix of environmental issues and politics. . .

These factors have been compounded by drought. It will rain again one day, the impact of environmental and political issues will be harder to get over.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has had a mandate in place since 2005 that requires a certain percentage of US liquid fuel comes from renewable sources.

In practice this means blending ethanol made from grain with regular gasoline. This year, as the drought persisted, desperate farmers asked the EPA to set the mandate aside to help cut corn prices.

They refused and this year ethanol production will consume a whopping 42% of the corn crop, says the US Department of Agriculture.

It is difficult to understand how fuel takes precedence over food in a hungry world.

Dr Stan Bevers from Texas A&M University say the US beef industry was built on abundant corn supplies, so the cattle industry must adjust and get smaller.”

According to Dr Derrell Peel, from the University of Oklahoma the current problems could have long term impacts on US beef. He thinks it is likely there will be changes in how cattle are fed. Less grain, more grass, and lighter cattle.

Housing animals or having them in feedlots makes it easier to deal with effluent but it is a very inefficient way of converting grass to protein.

The New Zealand free range grazing system is much more efficient and the decline in beef herds in the USA could provide opportunities for us.


Better in the tent?

December 2, 2012

The Labour Party has agreed to let ex-MP John Tamihere rejoin the party.

It can’t have been an easy decision after his acrimonious departure but the party has obviously decided to follow Lyndon Johnson’s adage about it being better to have a potential trouble-maker inside the tent.

 


December 2 in history

December 2, 2012

1409 – The University of Leipzig opened.

1755 – The second Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed by fire.

1763 – Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in the United States.

1775 – The USS Alfred became the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones.

1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years.

1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Austerlitz – French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeated a joint Russo-Austrian force.

1823 – Monroe Doctrine: US President James Monroe delivered a speech establishing American neutrality in future European conflicts.

1845 – Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announced to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.

1848 – Franz Josef I became Emperor of Austria.

1851 – French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrew the Second Republic.

1852 – Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became Emperor of the French (Napoleon III).

1859 – Georges Seurat, French painter was born (d. 1891).

1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown was hanged for his October 16th raid on Harper’s Ferry.

1867 – At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States.

1884 – Sir Erima Harvey Northcroft, New Zealand lawyer and judge, was born (d. 1953).

1899 – Philippine-American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed “The Filipino Thermopylae”, was fought.

1908 – Child Emperor Pu Yi ascended the Chinese throne at the age of two.

1917 – Six p.m. closing of pubs was introduced in New Zealand as a ‘temporary’ wartime measure. It ushered in what became know as the ‘six o’clock swill’, as patrons aimed to get their fill before closing time.

'Six o'clock swill' begins

1917 – An armistice was signed between Russia and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk began.

1920 – Following more than a month of Turkish-Armenian War, the Turkish dictated Treaty of Alexandropol is concluded.

1924 – Alexander Haig, American soldier and politician, was born (d. 2010).

1927 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Model A .

1930 – Great Depression: US President Herbert Hoover went before the United States Congress and asked for a US$150 million public works programme to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.

1939 – New York City’s La Guardia Airport opened.

1942 – Manhattan Project: A team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

1943 – A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks numerous cargo and transport ships, including an American Liberty ship, the John Harvey, with a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas.

1946 – The British Government invited four Indian leaders, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan to obtain the participation of all parties in the Constituent Assembly.

1947 – Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots broke out in Jerusalem in response to the approval of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

1954 – Red Scare: The United States Senate voted 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute”.

1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and China, was signed in Washington, D.C..

1956 – The Granma yacht reached the shores of Cuba’s Oriente province and Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.

1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba was going to adopt Communism.

1970 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency began operations.

1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain formed the United Arab Emirates.

1972 – Gough Whitlam became the first Labor Prime Minister of Australia for 23 years.

1975 – Pathet Lao seized power in Laos, and establishes the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

1976 – Fidel Castro became President of Cuba replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.

1977 – The first World Series Cricket “supertest” match played between Australia and West Indies.

1980 – Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, were murdered by a death squad in El Salvador.

1988 – Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state.

1990 – A coalition led by Chancellor Helmut Kohl won the first free all-German elections since 1932.

1993 – Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot and killed in Medellín.

1993 – STS-61 – NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

1999 – Glenbrook rail accident near Sydney.

1999 – The United Kingdom devolved political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.

2001 – Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2008 – Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigned after the 2008 Thailand political crisis.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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