Not amused by $112k salary for muse

June 18, 2009

 Magaly Rodriguez is officially known as the Chief Inspiration Officer at Idaho State University  the University of Idaho and is paid a salary of $112,ooo for nine months part-time work.

The university provost defends the position but staff facing cuts and students facing fee rises aren’t amused by the idea of paying a part-time muse a monthly salary of $12,500.

Hat Tip: The NZ Week.


A day in the life of a merino

June 18, 2009

Merino Inc is seeking photos which depict the day in the life of a merino sheep to showcase the industry.

It’s offering cash prizes for the three best photos taken by merino farmers, their families or people who work in the merino industry.

Merinos are prized for their fine wool which in recent years has bucked the trend of decling prices suffered by crossbred wool. It’sbecome well known through brands like Icebreaker, popular for its lightness, warmth – even when wet, breathability and machine washability. Trampers, musterers and others who can’t have a daily shower also value it because it doesn’t get smelly.

The most famous merino is probably Shrek, a whether, which evaded musterers on Bendigo Station for six years. When he was finally captured his 27 kilo fleece was shorn and aucitoned for charity and Shrek became an ambassador for Cure Kids.

One of the reasons for Shrek’s fame was this photo of him being carried by musterer Daniel Devine on the day he was found.

dairy 1

 Shrek retired last year after earning about $100 million for charity.


Delia’s NZ lamb promotion prompts storm in roasting pan

June 18, 2009

British culinary queen Delia Smith is advertising New Zealand lamb on her website: 

New Zealand Lamb is produced in lush pasturelands, where plentiful native grasses, fresh air and unlimited sunshine – over 2000 hours per year – all combine to give New Zealand Lamb great flavour and eating quality. The mild temperate climate also means that livestock can remain outside all year round, feeding on grass pasture without the need for nutrient supplements and, as there’s plenty of space for the animals to roam, they are essentially free range.

Nzlogo4 V Low Res And, naturally, there’s a link between what the sheep eat and the quality of their meat: it’s no surprise that feeding on juicy, nutrient-rich grass makes for meat that is also juicy and packed with flavour and nutritional value.

That sounds good to me but Delia’s getting a roasting from British farmers who reckon she should be promoting their lamb.

One concerned website reader, Lewis Palframan, said: ‘I’m gobsmacked and disappointed.

‘In the age of food miles and carbon footprints – not to mention the need for supporting British farming – what on earth is wrong with our own lamb?’

A spoksman for the National Farmers’ Union said: ‘British lamb is produced to some of the highest welfare standards possible and envied around the world for its quality.

‘We would urge consumers to buy British lamb, local if possible, and look out for the Red Tractor logo and quality standard mark.’

Delia received a CBE for her services to the British food industry. Her promotion of New Zealand lamb would be a bit like Alison Holst telling us to buy imported meat with but of course she wouldn’t do that when our lamb really is the best baa  bar none 🙂


First do no harm

June 18, 2009

First do no harm is a guiding principle in medicine.

If politicians and bureaucrats abided by it too we wouldn’t be saddled with the Kyoto Protocol in its current form. Nor would New Zealand be in danger of scoring an on-goal economically while at best making no impact on the environment and almost certainly  making it worse.

However, a joint report by the NZIER and Infometrics provides a glimmer of hope that reason might be brought to bear on our Kyoto commitments.

Environment Minister Nick SMith said at its release:

This report concludes that a modified emissions trading scheme is the best way forward. I am releasing this report to assist with informed public debate on climate change.

“The report highlights that the costs to New Zealand’s climate change policy are significantly greater if other countries do not put a price on carbon. This reinforces the Government’s policy of aligning our response more closely with other countries.

The report concludes:

On balance, our recommendation in the short run is to introduce an ETS with free allocation to competitiveness-at-risk sectors, with agriculture excluded if measurement of its emissions is prohibitively expensive. Free allocation should be output-linked and phased out as our competitors adopt carbon pricing. If agriculture is initially excluded it should be transitioned into the ETS, with free allocation if required, as measurement becomes economic.

The hardworking MP for Eketahuna, Alf Grumble, reckons this will give agriculture a bit of breathing space. I trust he’s lobbying his colleagues to ensure it does.


June 18 in history

June 18, 2009

On June 18:

1815 the Battle of Waterloo leads to the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte.

1928 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic (she was a passenger).

 

1940 Winston Churchill made his Finest Hour speech:

What General Weygand has called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

1942 Paul McCartney  was born.

McCartney performing in Prague, 6 June 2004


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