Good sports

March 28, 2015

Sambit Bal writes:

The difference between New Zealand and South Africa in Auckland was a matter of moments: fleeting minutes that laid bare the fickle beauty and cruelty of sport.

Without the knowledge and experience of pain, the pleasures of sport will never feel truly sweet. And because sport provides such incredible highs, it must also be accompanied by corresponding lows – with every triumph must come heartbreak. And when a match goes down to the wire like this heart-stopper between New Zealand and South Africa did, when one ball or one shot in the last over decides who goes to the World Cup final, these emotions are that much more profound: they can last a lifetime. . .

It is worth reading in full and shows both New Zealand’s Black Caps and South Africa’s Proteas as very good sports.

 


Saturday soapbox

March 28, 2015

 

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
"It sure is..."

Be careful when you blindly follow the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.

Please note that electoral law prohibits any discussion of anything else that might be construed as campaigning for the by-election.


March 28 in history

March 28, 2015

37  Roman Emperor Caligula accepted the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate.

193 – Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated by Praetorian Guards, who then sold the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus.

364 Roman Emperor Valentinian I appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor.

845 Paris was sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collected a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

1472 Fra Bartolommeo, Italian artist, was born  (d. 1517).

1515 Saint Teresa of Avila, Spanish Carmelite nun, was born (d. 1582).
1750 Francisco de Miranda, Venezuelan revolutionary, was born  (d. 1816).
1760 Thomas Clarkson, British abolitionist, was born  (d. 1846).

1795 Partitions of Poland: The Duchy of Courland, a northern fief of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ceased to exist and became part of Imperial Russia.

1802 Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man.

1809 Peninsular War: France defeated Spain in the Battle of Medelin.

1834 The United States Senate censuresd President Andrew Jackson for his actions in de-funding the Second Bank of the United States.

1860 First Taranaki War: The Battle of Waireka started.

1862 Battle of Glorieta Pass – Union forces stopped the Confederate invasion of New Mexico territory.

1871 The Paris Commune was formally establised.

1889 The Yngsjö murder  took place in Sweden – Anna Månsdotter and her son were arrested.

1910 Henri Fabre was the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, after taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France.

1920 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in the Great Lakes region and Deep South states.

1921 Dirk Bogarde, English actor, was born  (d. 1999).

1930 Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara.

1935 Michael Parkinson, English broadcaster, was born.

1936 Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian author and politician, was born.

1939 Spanish Civil War: Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquered Madrid.

1941 Battle of Cape Matapan –  British Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham led the Royal Navy in the destruction of three major Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers.

1942 Neil Kinnock, British politician, was born.

1946 The United States State Department released the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, outlining a plan for the international control of nuclear power.

1946 Alejandro Toledo, former President of Peru, was born,

1948 John Evan, British musician (Jethro Tull), was born.

1948 – Milan Williams, American musician (The Commodores) was born (d. 2006).

1948 – Matthew Corbett, English retired actor, was born.

1955  New Zealand cricket experienced its darkest day, when its 11 batsman could muster only 26 runs against England at Eden Park.

NZ cricketers skittled for 26

1968 Brazilian high school student Edson Luís de Lima Souto was shot by the police in a protest for cheaper meals at a restaurant for low-income students.

1969 Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis made a statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in Greece.

1969 – The McGill français movement protest –  the second largest protest in Montreal’s history with 10,000 trade unionists, leftist activists, CEGEP some McGill students at McGill’s Roddick Gates.

1978 –  The US Supreme Court handed down a 5-3 decision in Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity.

1979 –  Operators failed to recognise that a relief valve was stuck open in the primary coolant system of Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor following an unexpected shutdown. As a result, enough coolant drained out of the system to allow the core to overheat and partially melt down.

1979 – The British House of Commons passed a vote of no confidence against James Callaghan’s government, precipitating a general election.

1983 The Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA), better known as CER, was signed. It was New Zealand’s first comprehensive bilateral trade agreement – and one of the first agreements of this kind in the world.

Signing of CER agreement strengthens trans-Tasman trade ties

Signing of CER strengthens Tasman trade ties

1990 President George H. W. Bush posthumously awarded Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.

1994  Zulus and African National Congress supporters battled in central Johannesburg, resulting in 18 deaths.

1994 – BBC Radio 5 was closed and replaced with a new news and sport station BBC Radio 5 Live.

1999 – Kosovo War: Serb paramilitary and military forces killed 146 Kosovo Albanians in the Izbica massacre.

2000 A Murray County, Georgia, school bus was hit by a CSX freight train which killed three children.

2003  In a “friendly fire” incident, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 190th Fighter Squadron attacked British tanks participating in the  invasion of Iraq, killing British soldier Matty Hull.

2005  The 2005 Sumatran earthquake rocked Indonesia, and at magnitude 8.7 was the second strongest earthquake since 1965.

2006 At least 1 million union members, students and unemployed took to the streets in France in protest at the government’s proposed First Employment Contract law.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

March 27, 2015

Charlatan – one who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a person who makes usually showy pretences to knowledge or ability; a person practising quackery or similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretence or deception; a person who attempts to deceive with false claims; a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc; a quack;  boastful unscrupulous pretender; mountebank, fraud, faker; swindler.


Rural-round-up

March 27, 2015

Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists announced:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has congratulated the three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, celebrating excellence in Māori farming.  

Mangaroa Station in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, Paua Station north of Kaitaia, and Maranga Station near Gisborne were announced as the finalists for the 2015 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming award at an event tonight in Parliament. . .

 Can green-lipped mussels be the next heavy lifter? – Keith Woodford:

If New Zealand is to double agri-food exports by 2025 in line with Government targets, then we are going to need some lateral thinking. We won’t get there just by doing more of what we have been doing.

Related to this, in recent weeks I have been giving thought as to whether the green-lipped mussel can be one of the heavy lifters that can get the job done for New Zealand.
The green-lipped mussel is indigenous to New Zealand. The species is found nowhere outside our coastal waters. It is easily identified in the shell by its distinctive emerald green colour. The flesh is also distinctive from other mussels.

Maori would no doubt have harvested green-lipped mussels for many hundreds of years, but most of nature’s mussels are well hidden. In most years there are huge amounts of microscopic mussel spat washed up attached to seaweed on the Northland Coast, particularly on the so-called Ninety Mile Beach. Exactly where it comes from no-one knows. . .

 – Keith Woodford:

A Chinese language report on WeChat –China’s popular social media platform – indicates that the Chinese infant formula market is about to become a lot more price competitive. According to a usually reliable Chinese industry website, the New Hope Nutritional Foods Company is about to introduce a new line of products called ‘Akarola’ which will come from New Zealand and sell for less than one third the price of similar products.

New Hope already has a New Zealand sourced brand called ‘Akara’ which is manufactured and canned by Canterbury-based Synlait. Linked to this, Synlait announced in late 2014 that it was taking a 25 percent share in New Hope Nutritional Foods and that this would create an integrated supply chain from farm to consumers, in line with Chinese Government regulations. . .

Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Awards Winners Determined to Advance in Industry:

The 2015 Canterbury/North Otago Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, Justin and Melissa Slattery are passionate and determined to advance in the dairy industry – in fact they want to be farm owners before they are 35 years old.

The Slatterys took out the major title and claimed $18,800 in prizes at last night’s 2015 Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Industry Awards annual dinner held at the Airforce Museum of New Zealand at Wigram. The other big winners were Mark Cudmore, the 2015 Canterbury/North Otago Farm Manager of the Year, and James Davidson, the 2015 Canterbury/North Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year. . .

Food Safety Law Reform Bill consultation begins:

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed the consultation process for the Food Safety Law Reform Bill, which will address the recommendations from the Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Contamination Inquiry.

“We have made substantial progress implementing the WPC Inquiry recommendations; however, some recommendations require legislative change,” Mrs Goodhew says.

“The Food Safety Law Reform Bill will address these recommendations and reinforce New Zealand’s reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and suitable food.

“We are seeking feedback from the public and those in the food industry to ensure the proposed changes are usable and practical for all involved.” . .

Red Meat Sector welcomes signing of Korea FTA:

The recently signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Korea will be a significant step towards reducing the overall amount of tariffs paid on New Zealand red meat exports, according to the Chairmen of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Trade Minister Tim Groser signed this week the New Zealand Korea FTA with his Korean counterpart.

“This deal is critical for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and meat exporters, keeping us competitive in this key market,” said Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman James Parsons. . .

 Commerce Commission issues draft determination on wool scouring assets application:

The Commerce Commission has reached a preliminary view that it should allow Cavalier Wool Holdings to acquire 100 per cent of New Zealand Wool Services International’s wool scouring business and assets.

The Commission has today published its draft determination on Cavalier Wool Holding’s application under the Commerce Act for authorisation of the proposed acquisition.

“Our preliminary view is that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the North and South Island wool scouring markets, and in the small domestic customer wool grease market. Cavalier Wool Holdings would essentially have a monopoly on the supply of wool scouring services and the supply of wool grease post-acquisition. However, at this preliminary stage, the Commission is currently satisfied that the public benefits of the acquisition would outweigh the loss of competition,” said Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry. . .

 


Friday’s answers

March 27, 2015

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.?

2.  Name three of the seven deadly sins.

3. It’s châtiment in French;  punizione  in Italian, castigo in Spanish and whiu in Maori, what is it in English?

4. In which musical would you find the lines:

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment,
Of innocent merriment!

5. If someone wrongs you what’s the best response – revenge, karma, forgivenss or . . . .?

Points for answers:

Andrei got four and a nearly – right composers and song writer but wrong musical.

J Bloggs and Gravedodger both win a virtual bunch of sweet peas with five right.

 

Answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


What makes a good local MP?

March 27, 2015

Trusty, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind . . .

These are the character traits a Scout or Guide is supposed to demonstrate. They are also essential character traits for a good MP.

Local MPs haven’t been so local anymore since that MMP has decreased the number of electorates and thereby increased their size but that makes availability and commitment to the electorate and its people even more important.

All of this makes me wonder what the people of Northland are thinking if the TV3 poll is right and 54% of them want Winston Peters as their MP when 48% don’t trust him and 9% don’t know if they trust him.

Why would people vote for someone they don’t trust, who doesn’t live in the electorate,  who will be at least as interested in courting the rest of New Zealand as party leader as he is in the people of Northland and who is coming to the end of a political career distinguished at least as much by controversy as accomplishment?

Contrast that with National’s candidate Mark Osborne who lives in the electorate, is in partnership with his wife in a business in the electorate, has children at school in the electorate and as a backbench MP at the start of a political career would have the time and commitment to serve the people of the electorate.

It is even more puzzling when getting Peters as a part-time electorate MP would give more power to both Peter Dunne and the Maori Party.

. . .Those who vote in Northland tomorrow will not remove National from power whatever happens, but they could shift the balance of power in Parliament from Epsom’s David Seymour, who is safely in National’s pocket, to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party. They will be the real winners if Northland elects Winston Peters. . .

And the losers will be all of New Zealand which needs a strong, stable government and the people of Northland who need a good local MP.


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