If you’re happy and you know it . . .


 . . .  you might be a butcher.

An Australian study found that butchers are happiest and most satsified in their work.

Don Wilson who was the Queen’s butcher before he moved to New Zealand said:

“We listen to the radio all day. All butchers listen to the radio, so you sing along with the radio and you make yourself happy, basically.”

Wilson says butchers like to have a laugh with the customers, and it seems they are just as satisfied outside of work. The survey found butchers are having 60 percent more sex than other workers.

“Well, we’ll put that down to the red meat,” says Mr Wilson, “but that also depends on your Mrs as well.”

The survey found butchers are not only happy, but healthy. More than 50 percent of butchers said that they had not taken any sick leave at all in the past year.

Are they happy because they’re healthy, or healthy because they’re happy?

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What is this crop?


2. Who said “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”?

3. Who wrote the Alex quartet?

4. Which is the highest state highway in New Zealand?

5. What is an anaphora?

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kaikoura Council sees sense on seaside BBQ


Businesses in Kaikoura have complained to the council about what they see as unfair competition from a Seaside Barbeque business.

But the council has sensibly sided with Kaikoura Seafood BBQ.

It’s not a council’s business to regulate competition, it’s their business to ensure food premises abide by hygiene standards and any other by-laws.

Instead of complaining, other eateries should be trading on their competitive advantages While eating al fresco has its attractions so to does dining inside: weather proor, comfortable seating, clean loos, no sand in your food  . . .

If the other eateries can’t cope with the heat from the BBQ’s competition they should leave the kitchens to those who can.

Profanity promotes pain relief


English researchers have discovered that swearing helps reduce the perception of pain.

That may be so, but my mother still wouldn’t approve of me doing it.

Where Fonterra goes farm prices follow


Farm prices followed the Fonterra payout up and now they’re following it down.

New Zealand farm prices have fallen by a quarter across the country in the last year
and taken an even heavier hammering in Southland where the dairy conversion boom has ground to a halt.

Rural lifestyle blocks, however, are continuing to sell, with sales volumes increasing over June 2008 figures, and the median price for lifestyle blocks falling a more modest 7.4% year to year.

This will be worrying for people who borrowed a large proportion of the purchase price because the fall in values could mean they lose their equity in their properties.

But it’s a necessary correction to a market in which land values were not necessarily related to its earning capacity and unless you’re needing to sell there’s no need to panic. Prices went up, they’ve come down and they will, eventually, go up again.

Sheep and beef prices went up last season and the outlook for the coming season is reasonably positive; and the fundamentals which drove drove property prices up in the wake of the dairy boom haven’t changed.

The world is short of food and growing middle classes in China and India want more protein.

New Zealand farmers are very good at converting grass to protein and those who do it with low cost systems will not only ride out the recession but prosper from it.

Bastille Day


The French Revolution started on July 14 ,1789, with the storming of the Bastille.

La Marsellaise is regarded as one of the better national anthems, however, if this translation is to be believed, I prefer the version I don’t understand.

Because of some silly treaty . . .


Can you pick and choose which parts of a treaty you abide by and which you don’t after you’ve signed it?

If you want to be trusted, as a country and government, I don’t think so without further negotiations. Sue Kedgley has another view:

. . . but she says we have to go ahead because of some silly treaty with Australia, . . .

She was referring to Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson during the Q & A discussion on adding folic acid to bread.

The possible risks of adding folic acid to everyone’s diet have been highlighted.  This post by Macdoctor  puts another side to the story and Otago University specialist in human nutrician, Professor Murray Skeaff says there’s no evidence adding folate to bread will increase the risk of cancer.

However, the opposition is likely to be based at least as much on emotion as science.

Regardless of the emotion and science there is also opposition to mass medication in general. I have a great deal of sympathy with that view, especially when it is aimed at a very small percentage of the population – women who are pregnant or about to be.

If taking extra folic acid can prevent birth defects it should be encouraged, but education for those who need it rather than medication of us all would be my preferred strategy.

I hope Wilkinson does everything she can to at least delay the compulsorary addition of folic acid to our bread.

However, if New Zealand signed a treaty with Australia, that may not be easy because we can’t just pick and choose which bits of a treaty we adhere to, even if it was a previous government which signed it.

If there’s a problem with its effect, there’s a process the government will have to go through to resolve it.

Disregarding the treaty because it’s “silly” isn’t an option because that would call into question New Zealand’s commitment to every other treaty it has signed.

July 14 in history


On July 14:

 1789 French citizens stormed the Bastille.

Prise de la Bastille, by Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Houel

1853 New Zealand’s first general election began.

1865 Edward Whymper made the first ascent of the Matterhorn

1950 Sir Apirana Ngata died.

Apirana Ngata

Sir Apirana Ngata, circa 1905. (Photo: Wikipedia)

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