Animal welfare paramount

September 28, 2009

Interest.co.nz have a very disturbing video of starving calves.

They were on a property owned by Crafar Farms, the country’s biggest dairy farmers.

Owners are not directly responsible for everything which happens on the farm. But they are responsible for ensuring that systems and processes are in place and operating properly.

It appears that in this case they weren’t.

Animal welfare must be the first priority in any livestock operation.

It appears that on this farm it wasn’t.

If owners aren’t able to monitor farms regularly they have to employ other people they can trust to do it.

The bigger the operation the more important it is to do that because no systems are perfect and the best processes are only as good as they people who carry them out.


Gardening advice from experts

September 28, 2009

The print edition of the NBR has a weekly In Tray column which this week is devoted to gardening advice from experts.

Among them are:

Graham Henry: Rotate your plants. Plants thrive on never knowing exactly where they are and what their place in the garden will be next week. Keep a few on the bench and bring them on when others wilt. Pack down well and maintain good field position. If plants won’t behave themselves, give them 10 minutes in the compost bin and they’ll come right.

And:

Micael (sic) Laws: Get the labelling right on you plants, otherwise confusion ensures and when things come up, you won’t know what you’ve got . . . For best results, I recommend orcids, dalias, dapnes, ydrangeas and ollyocks. Erb gardens are nice too.


Monday’s Quiz

September 28, 2009

1. What’s a mugwump?

2. Who wrote Book Book?

3. Who said,  “I was only doing my job boss, looking after my mates”?

4. The song is Po Atarau in Maori, what is it in English ?

5. What is paihamu?


New Zealand Book Month book a day challenge

September 28, 2009

dairy 10010

October is New Zealand Book Month – anyone keen to post on a book a day for the month, starting on Thursday?

That’s only 31 books and it doesn’t have to be a full review. The name, author and/or a little about the book, and/or the author and/or why you like it or not, will suffice.

Or, if you’ve written a book yourself,  and are in to shameless self-promotion, you could post about your own book 31 times.

If you need some inspiration, NZ History Online has 30 reasons to love NZ books and writing.

                                                                                             book month


Daylight Saving poll

September 28, 2009

Whoops – I tried to get the daylight saving poll in the sidebar and deleted it altogether.

There were 101 votes and the results were:

Starts too soon ends too late: 54%

Should last all year: 13%

Shouldn’t happen at all: 16%

Is a conspiracy against early risers: 5%

Other 12%

If anyone can tell me how to get polls into the sidebar, an electronic box of chocolates awaits you.

Deleting the poll deleted comments too – I think there were seven, all of which, I think supported my opposition to daylight saving starting this soon.


Prohibition not the cure for smoking

September 28, 2009

Some might call them nanny-state measures, but I have no problem supporting smoke free laws.

Smokers’ right to indulge their addiction comes a very distant second to other people’s right to breathe uncontaminated air.

It’s a filthy habit and while I understand that once addicted to tobacco it’s very difficult to give it up, I’ve never understood why anyone would want to take it up in the first place. It’s even more difficult to understand now it’s illegal in indoor workplaces and smokers are forced on to the streets where they huddle against the weather getting their fixes.

I’ve never had a problem with the imposition of tax on tobacco either because high price must be an incentive to quit.

However, there is a point where taxes get so high it creates a black market. That’s happening in Australia where home-grown tobacco – called chop chop has a ready market. Cigarette smuggling is also a problem there and in Britain where  young women are being offered free holidays abroad if they’ll smuggle cigarettes back with them.

That’s why I don’t support Hone Harawira’s call to ban cigarettes completely.

On Q&A this morning he said:

I’d like to see the production sale and manufacture of tobacco in Aotearoa banned yeah.  I think that unlike alcohol and other drugs which people like, with cigarettes most people actually want to stop more than 80% of smokers want to stop, so it’s not like there’s going to be a black market, it’s an opportunity for us to do something to help this country become healthy.

He’s wrong. Prohibition doesn’t work.

Making it even more difficult for people to smoke in public places, exerting social pressure, doing whatever can be done to show it’s an unattractive, unhealthy and stupid thing to do might work. Banning tobacco completely won’t, it will only create a black market.


September 28 in history

September 28, 2009

On September 28:

551: Confucious, the Chinese philosopher was born.

1066 The Norman conquest of England began with the invasion led by William the Conqueror.

King of England and Duke of Normandy
The Duke of Normandy in the Bayeux Tapestry

1571:Italian artist  Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born.


Chalk portrait of Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni, c. 1621.

1844 Sir Robert Stout, Premier and chief Justice, was born.

. . . in 1878  (he) introduced the Electoral Bill which made woman ratepayers eligible to vote and to stand for Parliament. In 1887 he supported Vogel’s Women’s Suffrage Bill. He won for women the right to vote for licensing committees, and was largely responsible for the Married Women’s Property Act 1884, which declared a married woman capable of acquiring, holding and disposing of property in her own right. Stout later worked, in close association with his wife, to limit the testamentary freedom of husbands so that property could not be willed away from wives. In 1896 he introduced a Limitation of the Power of Disposition by Will Bill. The Testator’s Family Maintenance Act 1900 was a modified form of this proposal.

1889: The first General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) defined the length of a meter as the distance between two lines on a standard bar of an alloy of platinum with ten percent iridium, measured at the melting point of ice.

1899 Premier Richard Seddon asked parliament to approve approve an offer to the British government of a contingent of mounted rifles to help in the Boer War.

1901 US television host Ed Sullivan was born.

1916 English-bron Australian actor Peter Finch was born.

1928: Sir Alexander Fleming noticed a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.

1934 French model and actress Brigtte Bardot was born.

1946 English singer Helen Shapiro was born.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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