Economics 101

December 10, 2009

The headlines says:

South Island wool price movements reflect supply

The story says:

NZ Wool Services International Ltd reports prices at today’s South Island wool auction saw wool supply factors driving price movements, with prices of different types rising or falling depending on the quantity of wool available.

Prices responding to supply and demand, isn’t that amazing?


Grand Ole Opry

December 10, 2009

It’s 82 years today since Grand Ole Opry was first broadcast.


Do you know any good H jokes?

December 10, 2009

I’m taking part in a celebrity debate tomorrow.

It’s in Palmerston, a very small town which has a very generous definition of celebrity, and proceeds are going to the museum.

The moot is That There Should Be An H In Palmerston and I’m speaking against the motion.

If you know any good H jokes, or even any good jokes (suitable for a general audience) please leave them in the comments.


The bull still has a place

December 10, 2009

I wouldn’t normally presume to advise either Cactus Kate or Roarprawn on anything to do with sex but I’m entering the debate between them this time because the sex is of the bovine variety.

In a post supporting the proposed dairy operation in the Mackenzie Basin Cactus Kate wrote:

Their whole purpose is to be impregnated by a bull who engages in random group sexual acts with the entire herd in a fashion only an NRL team could understand.

Roarprawn responded with a great cartoon and said:

She also misses on one critical point and stunningly its about sex and cows or sex with cows and bulls.
There is no one time coupling with a rampant bull – nope.The closest a cow gets to the bovine hanky panky is a brief encounter with a sterile straw of semen. The poor cows don’t even get to have a bit of natural nooky.

Both are only half right.

Dairy farms use artificial insemination but not all cows conceive that way and those which don’t get to play with the bulls.

Most of the AI semen is usually from dairy breeds like Jerseys or Friesians and the heifer calves which are produced will be kept as replacements for older cows.

The bulls are usually beef breeds and the offspring sold as bobby calves or, if like us you have beef cattle too, they’re kept and raised for the meat market.


MPs missed chance to let law reflect reality

December 10, 2009

It wasn’t about religion.

It wasn’t about families.

Todd McLay’s Easter Trading bill was simply going to mean the law reflects reality in places like Wanaka and Rotorua.

Our Easter Trading law is a dog’s breakfast.

Shops in Queenstown and Taupo, which are judged to be tourist destinations are allowed to trade,  neighbouring towns like Wanaka and Rotorua which have with similar appeal to travellers, are not.

But changes in retail make the law even more absurd. Service stations are allowed to open and sell magazines but a book shop isn’t.

Year after year I’ve seen retailers in Wanaka ignore the law and open. Year after year the Department of Labour stalks them and lays some charges to make an example of them. Last time a Wanaka retailer appeared in court the judge said the law was a nonsense.

Yesterday MPs had a chance to sort out the nonsense.

The bill wasn’t going to unleash commercial mayhem and tear families apart. It was merely going to give local authorities the power to decide if shops could open in their area.

It would have let Queenstown Lakes and Rotorua councils fix local problems but  it was defeated 62-59.

No-one would have been forced to open a business, no-one would have been forced to work in it, no-one would have been forced to patronise it.

It would have just meant the law reflected reality in a few places where retailers choose to open, their staff have the right to work or not and people have the ability to patronise them or not.

Next year the bi-annual Warbirds over Wanaka will bring more than 20,000 people to the town. There will be stalls at the airport where the show takes place, there will be stalls on Pembroke park at the Sunday market, petrol stations, tourist shops and pharmacies will be open and selling things legally. Shops in town will also be open and selling similar, or event he same, things and breaking the law by doing so.

MPs lost an opportunity to back a very moderate Bill which would have meant the law reflects reality.

Instead of which it will be ignored and a law which is regularly ignored in this way is very bad law.


A dog of an idea

December 10, 2009

In a list of Labour’s spending excesses, Duncan Garner writes:

Michael Cullen spent twice what he had to buying back KiwiRail from Toll.

The purchase suited Labour for political reasons. They campaigned on KiwiSaver, KiwiRail and Kiwibank. But it was not good value for money – taxpayers’ money. Cullen would never have spent his own dosh on such a buy-up.

I note KiwiRail is now valued at half what Cullen paid for it . .

In her Listener column Joanne Black writes:

My elder daughter and I are much excited at the moment by what name we would give a cat . . . Naming a dog? That would be so much easier. If I had a dog I’d call it Kiwirail.

Apropos of this, like Whaleoil, I’m not impressed with Otago University’s decision to grant Cullen an honorary degree.


December 10 in history

December 10, 2009

On December 10:

1394 King James I of Scotland was born.

1520  Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domine outside Wittenberg‘s Elster Gate.


1655 The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps was founded by Michiel de Ruyter.

1684  Isaac Newton‘s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.

Head and shoulders portrait of man in black with shoulder-length gray hair, a large sharp nose, and an abstracted gaze

1830 Emily Dickinson, American poet, was born.

1868 The first traffic lights were installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they used semaphore arms and were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

1878  Rajaji, India’s freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India was born.

1901 The first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

 The committee room of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

1902 Women were given the right to vote in Tasmania.

1906 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to do so.

1907 The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clashed with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals which had been vivisected.

1907 Rumer Godden, English writer, was born.

1908 Ernest Rutherford won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Rutherford wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

1914 Dorothy Lamour, American actress, was born.

1927 The Grand Ole Opry premiered on radio.

Grand Ole Opry Logo 2005.png

1932 Thailand adopted a Constitution and became a constitutional monarchy.

1936 Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication.

The Instrument of Abdication signed by Edward VIII and his three brothers.

1948 The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1949 Chinese Civil War: The People’s Liberation Army began its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.

Shangtang.jpg

1952 Susan Dey, American actress, was born.

1955 Jacquelyn Mitchard, American novelist, was born.

1960  Kenneth Branagh, Northern Irish actor and director, was born.

1962 New Zealand born Maurice Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. His colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick shared the prize for their studies on the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic molecule found in all organisms. Watson used X-rays to show the shape of the double helix.

Wilkins wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

1978 Arab-Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1983 Democracy was restored in Argentina with the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.

1989 Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced the establishment of Mongolia‘s democratic movement that peacefully changed the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.

1993 The last shift left Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marked the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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