Mid week music


Ravel’s Bolero premiered 81 years ago this week.

The first time I remember hearing it was during the film 10 which starred Bo Derek.

Is this disaster day?


When compling the day in history post I don’t always include natural disasters but I did today because there were so many:

1343 A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

1703 The Great Storm of 1703, Britain’s biggest windstorm.

1759 An earthquake hit the Mediterranean destryoing Beirut and Damascus.

1833 A  massive undersea earthquake near Sumatra.

1839  A cyclone hit India.

1926 The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history.

1950 The “Storm of the Century“, struck the northeastern USA.

1987 Super Typhoon Nina pummeled the Philippines.

1996  An ice storm strikes the central U.S. killing 26 people.

2000  2000 Baku earthquake.

The Gravedodgers may well be sensible to delay the erection of their shade sails.

Xcheque.com worth checking


A post at Phil Clarke’s Business Blog on how to translate $NZ per kilo of milk solids into British pence per litre led to Xcheque.com .

It’s a website with a wealth of dairy industry news and views which includes a global milk calculator and blogs.

The people behind Xcheque.com are Neil Lane and Jon Hauser:

Neil Lane who grew up on his parents dairy farm in Gippsland and has been involved in the dairy industry for most of his working life. For the past 8 years Neil has run his own consulting business specialising in the provision of farm systems advice. He consults to individual dairy farmers, dairy industry projects, and milk processors as part of the Intelact group of consultants. . .  

Jon Hauser holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and has accumulated 30 years experience in research, manufacturing, and commercial management of dairy and other food processing businesses. He has also had an active role in the dairy co-operative sector as a CEO and Director.  . .

They are Australians but the website covers global dairy industry news and issues.

Oh dear, I’ve found another opportunity for work avoidance.

Three questions:


1.Why does the carbon liability for oil falls on consumers when the liability for food falls on producers?

2. Why is New Zealand criticised for our per capita emissions when we export most of what we produce form the animals that produce the bulk of our emissions?

3. Why action which reduces emissions in one place is deemed to be good, even if it leads to an increase in emissions in another place?

Unexpected consequences


A letter to the editor of the Southland Times:

We’ll meat again
Since Mr Wyatt’s suggestion (November 4) I have tried a no-meat diet of beans, greens and onions but sad to say after the increased emissions I now have no friends, am sleeping in the garage, the cat clawed the sofa to pieces, the dog bit my leg and the pigs thought I was talking to them.

It’s now back to a healthy balanced diet of meat and vegetables.

(Did you know that pigs, like most other animals and birds, also eat meat in their natural environment?)

                                                                                                                                               Neville Stronach, Te Anau              

Greenpeace still aiming at wrong target


Greenpeace protestors are still aiming at Fonterra.

This time they’re accusing the co-operative of climate crimes. 

Climate campaigner Simon Boxer says Fonterra knows its imported palm kernel comes at the expense of rainforests, orangutans, indigenous peoples and the climate.

I have doubts about the wisdom of importing palm kernel because of biosecurity risks. But I don’t understand why Greenpeace is targeting Fonterra when palm oil used in soap and food must be much more of a problem than the relatively small amount of pke used for animal food.

Federated Farmers thinks the group has lost its way in its anti-farming obsession:

“Greenpeace is only green in the first five letters of its name and is really an anti-business, anti-trade and anti-farming front,” says David Rose, Federated Farmers Southland-based spokesperson for law and order.

He said public relations stunts cause inconvenience and loss of revenue to people going about their lawful business and points out that the exports generated by farmers and Fonterra help pay for medicine, education and other services.

“At least farmers are aware of their impact on the environment and are working hard to develop management and mitigation measures. That’s why water quality today is far better than when I was a lad, except that is, in our towns and cities.

“Picking on farming is also darn odd. Among the major productive sectors in the economy, we’re actually doing the second best job at reducing emissions.

“Between 1990 and 2007 agriculture emissions grew by 12 percent yet electricity emissions grew by 120 percent despite wind farms, transport by 74 percent despite hybrid cars and industrial processes by 35 percent.

“Farmers are actively cutting emissions growth per unit of output because we farmers are doers while Greenpeace are just talkers. I’d like to see its ideas for real economic growth that doesn’t mean regressing to the dark ages. . .”

Greenpeace does seem to be more intent on protesting for publicity than solving problems.

Farmers, processors and the government are putting a lot of money into research to find ways of reducing animal emissions. Until that research bears fruit the only way to make substantial reductions in emissions is to reduce the national herd.

That would lead to food shortages, damage our economy and almost certainly increase global emissions as countries which produce milk less efficiently than we do, increased their production to fill the gap in the market.

November 25 in history


On November 25:

1491 The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, began.

Granada 1492 Detail.jpg

1343 A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastated Naples  and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places.

1703 The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reached its peak intensity which it maintained through November 27. Winds gusted up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died.

1759 An earthquake hit the Mediterranean, Beirut and Damascus were completely destroyed, 30,000-40,000 people died.

1833 A  massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocked Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coasts.

1839  A cyclone hit India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa. The storm wave swept inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths resulted.

1835 Andrew Carnegie, British-born industrialist and philanthropist, was born.


1844  Karl Benz, German engineer and inventor, was born.

1867  Alfred Nobel patented dynamite.


1880 John Flynn (minister), Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, was born.

1880  Elsie J. Oxenham, British children’s author, was born.

1890 Isaac Rosenberg, English war poet and artist, was born.

1903  Timaru boxer Bob Fitzsimmons became the first man ever to be world champion in three different weight divisions.

1909  P.D. Eastman, American children’s author and screenwriter, was born.

1914  Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player, was born.

1915 Augusto Pinochet, Chilean Dictator, was born.

1926 The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history struck. 27 twisters of great strength were reported in the Midwest, including the strongest November tornado, an estimated F4, that devastated Heber Springs, Arkansas. There were 51 deaths in Arkansas alone, 76 deaths and  400 injuries in all.

1940 First flight of the deHavilland Mosquito and Martin B-26 Marauder.


1947  New Zealand ratified the Statute of Westminster and thus becomes independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom.

1950  Alexis Wright, Australian author, was born.

1950 The “Storm of the Century“, a violent snowstorm, paralyzed the northeastern United States and the Appalachians, bringing winds up to 100 mph and sub-zero temperatures. Pickens, West Virginia, recorded 57 inches of snow. 323 people died as a result of the storm.


Surface Analysis showing cyclone near time of maximum intensity on November 26, 1950.

1952 Agatha Christie‘s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opensedat the Ambassadors Theatre in London and eventually became the longest continuously-running play in history.

StMartins theatre London2.jpg

1975  Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands.

1984  36 top musicians gathered in a Notting Hill studio torecord Band Aid‘s Do They Know It’s Christmas in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

Cover art for the original release (artist Peter Blake)

1986 The King Fahd Causeway was officially opened in the Persian Gulf.

1987 Super Typhoon Nina pummeled the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that swallows entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths were attributed to the storm.
1996  An ice storm strikes the central U.S. killing 26 people. A powerful windstorm affects Florida and winds gust over 90 mph, toppling trees and flipping trailers.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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