Love at Livebait


This Tuesday’s Poem is Love At Livebait by Gillian Clarke.

As always the links in the sidebar lead to other poems.

I read  Havey McQueen’s Just So: A Love Poem of Sorts  last night and am still thinking about it. It follows a post  he wrote about Inclusion Body Myositis, which makes the poem even more poignant.

Same old fear and loathing


What’s his name, the bloke who leads New Zealand First, addressed his flock today.

It’s the same old mixture of fear and loathing based on what will appeal to his audience with little regard for the facts.

The tragedy is the people most likely to be disadvantaged if he gets back in to parliament will be sucked in by it.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. Where is the brisket in cattle?

2. What is  timocracy?

3. Who said: “They meant abnormal. Divisions of the kind were fashionable at that time, and it was so easy to stifle one’s need to help by deciding that help could neither be accepted nor understood.”

4 What are the Roman numberals for  50, 100, 500 and 1000?

5.  Who was the original Dr Who?

Bearhunter wins the  electronic bouquet with a perfect score.

Andrie got four right.

David got one and a bonus for not ignoring the quiz when he didn’t know most of the answers.

Gravedodger got three.

PDM got two.

Paul got three and a bonus for music and humour.

Adam got one (and I thought you were a Dr Who fan).

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »



8/10 in this week’s NZ History Online quiz.

Don’t panic


When I heard John Key not absolutely rule out going in to coalition with Winston Peters (3:20) I wasn’t happy.

I’m not the only one. Brunette had her knickers twisted too.

But when the panic subsided I began thinking and I worked out the strategy – don’t give him any oxygen.

If John had ruled out any dealing with Peters, the media would have gone to him for comment and even if they didn’t  he’d have used it as a grandstand.

Instead, he’s got one less excuse for a rant.

He’s not saying he will, he’s just ignoring him which is the best thing to do with him.

 So relax.

Deep breaths.

Stay calm.


On farm life and deaths are messy


In town life is clean.

Food comes from supermarkets in hygienic packages.

On farms life is a bit messier.

Food comes from living, breathing animals.

Life here is dirty and dusty, muddy and bloody and sometimes it’s not just life but death.

I don’t know any good farmer s who are complacent about animal deaths, whether they happen naturally or by human intervention to prevent suffering. But they can’t afford to be squeamish either.

TV1’s  Sunday evening news story on cow inductions was designed to be squeamish.

 Breakfast yesterday morning added some rational comments (though Pippa’s statement that if a cow didn’t calve in time “he or she” wouldn’t be able to get in calf again in time for next season shows a gap in her understanding of biology which ought to be addressed).

Last night’s news continued the story as if nothing was being done to change the practice.

It is, inductions which happen to a minority of cows on a minority of farms are being phased out and DairyNZ said the industry is united behind its plan:

Dr Rick Pridmore, Strategy and Investment Leader for Sustainability at DairyNZ says earlier this year the programme was revised to move the reduction target from a national herd level to targets at an individual farm level. These targets reduce over a three year period.

“The change to individual herd targets will focus efforts on the small tail of the industry who are yet to reduce their use of the practice. This small tail represents only 4.6% of the nation’s dairy cows.”

Letters were sent out to every dairy farmer in the country in early June telling them of this change. The industry stakeholders backing the programme are the New Zealand Veterinary Association, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers Dairy and the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand.

The industry is collecting data on this procedure from all dairy farms as part of their annual farm drug use audit. Induction records will be sighted and checked, and the percentage of animals induced will be reported, with cross-checks back against veterinary records. In addition, any farm which does not meet the targets will be notified to their supplier through their veterinarian.

Dr Pridmore says the programme is phased over three years so farmers who use the practice can be supported as they change their farm system by making alternative stock management decisions, which is a complex and lengthy process for many.

“The key advantage of this new process is that we will be able to identify these businesses so we can support them with the InCalf educational programme as well as through the dairy companies and local veterinarians.”

Dr Pridmore says the practice is allowable under the Animal Welfare Act and the Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare so long as it is carried out by a veterinarian according to the guidelines set out in the agreed Operational Plan.

“The practice is not an issue of animal welfare, it is an ethical issue and one the industry has proactively reduced since the 1990s so that we are now dealing with the tail-end.”

 That last sentence is important: “”The practice is not an issue of animal welfare, it is an ethical issue . . .”

Ethics change. What was once regarded as acceptable is no longer and it’s being phased out.  Though like rivettingKate Taylor I do wonder what’s the story ? and note a double standard.


The people who say they’ll give up milk  milk on the strength of this story should have nothing to worry about. If the milk comes from town supply herds, they calve all year round and wouldn’t normally be induced.

August 3 in history


On August 3:

8  Roman Empire general Tiberius defeated Dalmatians on the river Bathinus.


881  Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu: Louis III of France defeated the Vikings, an event celebrated in the poem Ludwigslied. 

1492  Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.


1527  First known letter was sent from North America by John Rut.

1645  Thirty Years’ War: Second Battle of Nördlingen (Battle of Allerheim).

1678  Robert LaSalle built the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

Woodcut of the Griffon


1783  Mount Asama erupted in Japan, killing 35,000 people.

1801 Joseph Paxton, English gardener, was born (d. 1865).


1811 Elisha Graves Otis, American inventor, was born (d. 1861).


1811  First ascent of Jungfrau, third highest summit in the Bernese Alps.


1852 First Boat Race between Yale and Harvard, the first American intercollegiate athletic event. Harvard won.

 Harvard’s Blade
 Yale’s Blade

1860 The Second Land War began in New Zealand.


1860 W. K. Dickson, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1935).


1867 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1947).


1887 Rupert Brooke, English poet, was born (d. 1915).


1900 The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded.


1913  Wheatland Hop Riot.

1914  Germany declared war against France.

1916   Battle of Romani – Allied forces, under the command of Archibald Murray, defeated an attacking Ottoman army, under the command of Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, securing the Suez Canal, and beginning the Ottoman retreat from t.e Sinai.

World War I- Battle of Oghratine

1920   P. D. James, English novelist, was born.


1923 Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States following the death of Warren G. Harding the previous day.


1924 Leon Uris, American novelist, was born (d. 2003).


1926 Tony Bennett, American singer, was born.


1934  Adolf Hitler becomes the supreme leader of Germany by joining the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer.


1936  Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

Jesse Owens1.jpg

1938 Terry Wogan, Irish television presenter, was born.

1940  Italy began the invasion of British Somaliland.

Somaliland Italian invasion.png

1941 Five days after its arrival in Wellington, the four-masted barque Pamir was seized in prize by the New Zealand government, which then regarded Finland as ‘territory in enemy occupation’.

Finnish barque Pamir seized as war prize

1941 Martha Stewart, American media personality, was born.


1949  The National Basketball Association was founded in the United States.


1958 The nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travelled beneath the Arctic ice cap.


1960  Niger gained independence from France.

1972  The United States Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1975 A privately chartered Boeing 707 crashed into the mountainside near Agadir, Morocco killing 188.

1981  Senegalese opposition parties, under the leadership of Mamadou Dia, launched the Antiimperialist Action Front-Suxxali Reew Mi.

1985 Sonny Bill Williams, New Zealand rugby and league footballer, was born.

Sonny bill Williams.JPG

1997  Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre in Algeria; 40-76 villagers killed.

2001  The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Ealing injuring seven people.

2005  President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup while attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

2007 Keeping Stock was launched.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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