Long blinks


The speaking spot immediately after lunch is one many presenters dread and for good reason.

That’s when at least some members of the audience are likely to find the inside of their eyelids more compelling than the speaker.

Long blinks aren’t so bad if you’re not in the speakers’ line of sight but snoring is a give-away. So is the jolt of the head when you come to, even if you try to cover it up.

The Worsdworth column in last week’s Listener sought names for pretending you weren’t nodding off after you wake with a jolt.

Answers included: power (point)-napping, dishonestedium and a rued awakening.



Happy birthday Andrea Corr – 36 today.

Monday’s quiz


1. What contains 44 grams of carbohydrates, 26.7 grams of protein, 22.9 grams of fat, 5.3 grams of fibre and .9 grams of sodium?

2. From which direction do the mistral and levante blow?

3. Who said: “If we focus too intently on the past, we risk walking into the future backwards without seeing the great possibilities that lie ahead“?

4. What are the main ingredients of a daiquiri?

5. What’s the gestation period of a cow?

Like A Farmer


Day 17 of New Zealand Music Month – Deborah Wai Kapohe with Like A Farmer:

Moooving hearts and minds


Nobody loves me, every body hates me . . .

Dariy farmers might not feel quite as bad as that but there is concern in the industry about its regarded.

Enhancing dairy farming’s reputation, locally and globally, is part of the  DairyNZ’s strategy with good reason.

Dairying usually only hits the headlines over water quality issues or payout changes.

Stories which show the industry is a good one in which to work and produces a quality product through stewardship of land and water don’t usually gain much traction. And those which show dairy farming’s value to the economy are often tempered with complaints about the price of cheese.

Dairy NZ has plans for an advertising campaign to mooove the hearts and minds of the public using a cartoon cow.

It’s a good idea, so too is highlighting the people who work in the industry.

The winners of  the Dairy Industry Awards which were announced at the weekend would be a good place to start.

Stefan and Annalize du Plessis won the Farm Sharemilker of the Year title, Jeremy and Rebecca Duckmanton were second and  Greg and Hannah Topless came third.

Carwyn Monteith is the Farm Manager of the Year , Hamish and Natalie Davidson were second and William McKnight was third.

Blake Korteweg is the Dairy Trainee of the Year; Andrea Harvey came second and Angus Thomas was third.

A media release on the winners says:

Sharemilker head judge Johanna Deutz Ebeling says it was Stefan and Annalize du Plessis’ x-factor and infectious personality – as well as their achievements on farm – that helped them to claim the title. 

“They came from South Africa with nothing and have made a real go of being in the dairy industry and giving back to the dairy industry. They would help people out and people would help them back. They have got that x-factor.”

As well as 50% sharemilking 650 cows on a 240ha Dipton farm owned by Mosa Farming Ltd, a company formed by Owen and Margaret Westlake of Winton and the du Plessis’, Annalize du Plessis runs a recruitment business and, with a friend, has set up a cleaning business. . .

. . .  

Head judge David Whillans says there was a strong field of finalists demonstrating a high level of excellence on farms.

 “There are a lot of young people that have got into the dairy industry from other industries who are doing very well and they are really passionate about what they are doing.

 “Carwyn has got life skills external to dairy farming, so brings a whole wealth of experience and maturity to his role,” Mr Whillans says. “He displayed a comprehensive knowledge across all areas we judged and this was supported with good processes and documentation. He had an excellent human resources policy, employing on attitude and training on skill.”

Mr Monteith also had good financial processes in place and clear goals on where he and his wife are headed and how they will get there. They have secured a sharemilking position for the new season on the 188ha Takapau farm milking 515 cows that they currently manage. . .

. . .  Judge Kerry Lucas-Candy says the 2010 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year, Blake Korteweg, aged 26, will be a fantastic ambassador for dairy trainees as he is a good communicator and is community minded. He won $8600 in cash and prizes.

Mr Korteweg has been working on a 175ha family farm milking 560 cows near Balclutha, but will begin a contract milking position next month.

“He has quite a bit of life experience for his age having travelled and gained a building apprenticeship, and he is also very competitive,” Mrs Lucas-Candy says.

Last week Women’s Affairs Minister Pansy Wong referred to research which showed that sexism was the single biggest barrier for women working in dairying.

That surprised me. A third of the dairying workforce is female, many of those are at senior levels and these awards show that women, individually or in partnerships, are able to foot it with the men.

Whose money is it anyway?


People opposing the probable reduction in income tax levels in this week’s Budget keep talking about the rich getting more from tax cuts.

That presupposes it’s the government’s money to give when it’s not.

As Theodore Dalrymple points out, in a column on the British election campaign:

It suggests that it is the government that allows or grants the people money, not the people who allow or grant the government money. To refrain from taxing is not giving money away, it is to avoid appropriating money from its original owners. If a mugger in the street were to return us a couple of dollars from what he has taken from us for our bus-fare home, we would not consider that he has been generous or ‘given’ us anything, even if he makes a whole ceremony of the return of the two dollars. 

Regardless of what changes are made in the Budget, richer people will continue to give more of their money to the public coffers.

Of course they will still have more left after they’ve paid their taxes than poorer people but that’s because they earn more, not because the government won’t be taking enough from them.

And what will anyone of us get in return for the money? Dalrymple says:

In return for this appropriation of our funds by politicians, they offer us all kinds of benefits, and it would be dishonest not to acknowledge that we do indeed receive some or many of them, and that, once we have received them, we are reluctant to relinquish them, however unsustainable in the long term they might be. I am not one of those that believes that Man naturally desires freedom, at least if by a desire for freedom is meant a desire that automatically trumps all other desires and is prepared to take the consequences. What our politicians have learnt to hold out as the prospect before us, like a mirage in the desert, is the greatest, most sought-after and least possible freedom of all, the freedom from bad consequences.
The idea of infinite benevolence has been transferred from the deity to the government, nowhere more successfully than in the minds of the governors themselves. Illusion, Benevolence and Power are our new Faith, Hope and Charity. 

There is much of concern in this. It increases dependence and it also increases uncertainty because like other deities, governments which give can also take away.

May 17 in history


On May 17:

152 Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason.


1536  George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford and four other men were executed for treason.

1590  Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland.

1642 Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (1612–1676) founded the Ville Marie de Montréal.

Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve.jpg

1673  Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette began exploring the Mississippi River.


1749 Edward Jenner, English medical researcher was born (d. 1823).


1775  American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress banned trade with Canada.

Congress voting independence.jpg

1792 The New York Stock Exchange was formed.


1805 Muhammad Ali became Wāli of Egypt.

ModernEgypt, Muhammad Ali by Auguste Couder, BAP 17996.jpg

1809 Napoleon I of France ordered the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.

1814  Occupation of Monaco changed from French to Austrian.

1814 The Constitution of Norway was signed and the Danish Crown Prince Christian Frederik was elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.

1849 A fire threatened to burn St. Louis, Missouri to the ground.

1860 German football club TSV 1860 München was founded.


1863 Rosalía de Castro published Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language.

1865 – The International Telegraph Union (later International Telecommunication Union) was established.

1868 Horace Elgin Dodge, American automobile manufacturer, was born (d. 1920).

1873 El Paso, Texas was established by charter from the Texas Legislature.


1875  Aristides won the first Kentucky Derby.

Aristides (horse).jpg

1877 The Victorian Football League was founded.

Vfl logo.png

189– The first Omonoia station of the Athens metro was inaugurated in Greece.

1900  Second Boer War: British troops relieved Mafeking.


1902 Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.


1911 Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish actress, was born (d. 1998).

1914  The Protocol of Corfu was signed recognising full autonomy to Northern Epirus under nominal Albanian sovereignty.

1915 The last British Liberal Party government (Herbert Henry Asquith) fell.


1919 War Department (UK) ordered the use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes.

1927 U.S. Army aviation pioneer, Major Harold Geiger, died in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane.


1933  Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort formed Nasjonal Samling — the national-socialist party of Norway.

1935  Dennis Potter, English writer, was born (d. 1994).


1936 Dennis Hopper, American actor and director, was born. 

1939 The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers played in the first-ever televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game.

1939 Gary Paulsen, American author, was born.

1940 World War II: Germany occupied Brussels.

1940 World War II: the old city centre of the Dutch town of Middelburg was bombed by the German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland.

1943 The United States Army contracted with the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School to develop the ENIAC.


1943 – World War II: the Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams.

Mohne Dam Breached.jpg

1949  Bill Bruford, English musician (Yes), was born.

1954 The United States Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education which declared that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students and denying black children equal educational opportunities unconstitutional.

1956 Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer, was born.

Ray Leonard.jpg

1961 Enya, Irish singer and songwriter, was born.

1962 George Wilder escaped from New Plymouth prison.

George Wilder escapes from prison

1963  Bruno Sammartino defeated Nature Boy Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds in Madison Square Garden for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. It begins the longest heavyweight championship reign in professional wrestling history.

1967 Six-Day War: President Abdul Nasser of Egypt demanded dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt.


1969 Venera program: Soviet Venera 6 began its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.

1970Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean.


1971 Princess Máxima of the Netherlands was born.

1973Watergate scandal: Hearings begin in the United States Senate and are televised.

1974 Andrea Corr, Irish singer (The Corrs), was born.

1974 Police in Los Angeles raided the Symbionese Liberation Army‘s headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.

Symbionese Liberation Army Naga Symbol color.svg

1974  Thirty-three people were killed by terrorist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan.

1980 General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea declared martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations.

A portrait of an Asian man in his 40s wearing glasses and a beige wool jumper. He sits on a chair and narrows his eyes.

1980 – On the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacked a polling location in the town of Chuschi, Ayacucho, starting the Internal conflict in Peru.

The Shining Path's flag

1983 U.S. Department of Energy declassified documents showing world’s largest mercury pollution event in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (ultimately found to be 4.2 million pounds), in response to Appalachian Observer’s Freedom of Information Act request.

1983 Lebanon, Israel, and the United States signed an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

1984 Prince Charles calls a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend,” sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.

1987  An Iraqi fighter jet fired two missiles into the U.S. warship USS Stark (FFG-31), killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.

USS Stark FFG-31

1992 Three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon began in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that resulted in 52 officially confirmed deaths, many disappearances, hundreds of injuries, and more than 3,500 arrests.

1994  Malawi held its first multiparty elections.

1995  After 18 years as the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac took office as President of France.


1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic Of Congo.


2004 Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.

2006 The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico to be an artificial reef.

USS Oriskany

2007 Trains from North and South Korea crossed the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This was the first time that trains crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.

2009 Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected the first female President of Lithuania.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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