Me, Myself, I

09/12/2010

Happy birthday Joan Armatrading – 60 today.


Word of the day

09/12/2010

Hwyl – enthusiasm, good spirit; emotional state capable of arousing intense eloquence.


Thursday’s quiz

09/12/2010

1. Who said: “Christmas begins about the first of December with an office party and ends when you finally realize what you spent, around April fifteenth of the next year“?

2. Name the poem and author of:

All this was a long time ago, I
remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth,
certainly . . .

3. Name the carol which starts: Not on a snowy night, by star and candle light, but on a summer’s day . . .

4. Who ordered the census which prompted Joseph & Mary’s journey to Bethlehem?

5.What were the first three gifts given in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas?


Who will buy Crafar farms now?

09/12/2010

The chances of the Hong Kong based Natural Dairy company passing the Overseas Investment Commission hurdles to allow it to buy the Crafar farms weren’t high to start with.

There’s even less chance now that the company front-woman May Wang has been bankrupted.

So who’s likely to buy the farms now?

It shouldn’t be Landcorp – it is one of the State Owned Enterprises giving a poor return on investment which was highlighted in a report on SOE performance released this week.

The best thing the receivers could do would be to stop trying to sell the farms as a single entity and offer them singly.

The rural real estate market is sluggish but the chances of attracting buyers able to buy single farms is far greater than finding someone willing and able  to buy the lot.


No good time for drought

09/12/2010

There’s never a good time to have a drought but a spring/early summer one is particularly difficult.

This is the time of year when you expect to have your best growth, but you need rain for growth and Northland hasn’t had any significant falls for months.

A farmer I spoke to last night said he’s had less than a half the normal rainfall in the past few months and his farm looks the way he’d expect it to look in autumn after a dry summer.

The government ahs recognised the seriousness of the problem. Agriculture Minister David Carter has declared a medium level drought zone everywhere north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

That triggers relief measures including  funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide help, welfare support and farm management advice.

It doesn’t, nor should it, provide handouts for farmers.

This is the first declaration of drought this summer but it may not be the last. MAF is monitoring several other areas which have had well below average rainfalls.

We got a very welcome 11 mls of rain in North Otago on Monday. That was the first significant fall for more than three months but it wasn’t enough for anyone to turn off their irrigators and we already need more.


Dairying doing it for NZ

09/12/2010

It’s easy to see the positive social and economic impact dairying makes in North Otago, there is now proof of how the wealth generated from milk benefits the whole country.

An independent report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, released today, shows money from milk flows right through the economy, starting at the farm gate and moving out to rural and urban communities.

The report to Fonterra and DairyNZ shows:-

  • Dairy provides 26% of New Zealand’s exports.
  • A $1 rise in Fonterra’s payout makes every New Zealander nearly $300 better off.
  • Dairy farmers spent around 50c in every dollar they received on locally produced goods and services.
  • Every tonne of dairy exports helps reduce the current account deficit, bringing down interest rates and reducing mortgage payments for homeowners.
  • Dairying employs 35,000 workers directly and a further 10,000 contractors.

Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier said today the report, commissioned by Fonterra and DairyNZ, will enable New Zealanders to better understand that when dairy does well, New Zealand does well.

“Most people understand dairy is a key export industry. Now they can understand what it means for them as the report accurately quantifies, for the first time, the tangible benefits to both rural and urban communities,” said Mr Ferrier.

An increase of $1 to Fonterra’s payout boost real incomes by about $270 for every person in New Zealand, showing everyone benefits when the company does well.

“Of the $7.5 billion farmers received in 2009, $3.6 billion was spent on domestically produced goods, including fertiliser, feed, agricultural services and financial services.

“There is no doubt that dairy has helped us out of the recession and the benefits extend well beyond the farm gate.  Export growth from the dairy sector has helped narrow the current account deficit and that helps everyone through lower interest rates on mortgages and other borrowings.”

NZIER Deputy Chief Executive, John Ballingall, said: “Our modelling shows that the dairy sector has delivered significant and ongoing benefits to the New Zealand economy.”

“Its influence extends well beyond its direct impacts in dairying areas, with the sector closely intertwined with the rest of the economy. That includes the jobs it delivers, the income that these workers earn, its links to supply firms, the effects of rural economic growth on urban centres and the tax revenue it provides to fund public services.

“The sector’s strength has been very evident as New Zealand recovers from the global financial crisis and domestic recession. Given anaemic domestic demand, the export side of the economy has been relied on to generate economic growth and dairy has made a significant contribution.”

DairyNZ Chief Executive, Dr Tim Mackle, said that last year dairying kept 35,000 people directly in work. “Our contribution to jobs is like having a city the size of Gisborne all working in the dairy industry. Urban centres also get a healthy share of indirect employment as they provide essential goods and services that are needed to produce dairy products.”

Dr Mackle said the NZIER report shows dairy accounts for 26 per cent of New Zealand’s total exports and it is looking to grow its contribution to the country.

“We’ve got a good track record of supporting regional growth, which this report shows, and we want to continue this trend. The challenge for our industry will be in how we achieve this growth in a sustainable way,” said Dr Mackle.

Highlights of  dairying’s contribution to the regions, based on 2009 figures,  include:

Waikato

  • Regional dairy production was worth $2.4 billion in 2009 (Matamata-Piako $552m, Waikato district $390m, Waipa $361, South Waikato $263m, Hauraki $196m)
  • More than 8,000 employed in local dairy industry

Bay of Plenty 

  • Regional dairy production was worth $605 million in 2009
  • Dairy revenue of $254m in Rotorua district
  • Bay of Plenty employs more than 3,200 directly in the dairy industry

Taranaki 

  • Regional dairy production was worth $822 million in 2009
  • Taranaki employs almost 3,900 directly in the dairy industry
  • 26 per cent employed in South Taranaki district by dairy industry, nearly 9 per cent of total dairy related employment in New Zealand

Manawatu-Wanganui/King Country

  • Dairy production in Otorohanga was $234m in 2009 and Tararua $188m
  • These regions employ more than 3,200 directly in the dairy industry

Canterbury

  • Regional dairy production was worth nearly $1 billion in 2009 (Ashburton $471m, Selwyn $270m, Timaru $185m)
  • Canterbury employs nearly 3,500 directly in the dairy industry

Otago/Southland

  • Regional dairy production was worth nearly $900m in 2009 (Southland $710m, Clutha $182m)
  • Otago/Southland employs more than 4,200 directly in the dairy industry.

The full report is here.


December 9 in history

09/12/2010

On December 9:

536 – Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully left the city, returning the old capital to its empire.

 

730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil: the Khazars annihilated an Umayyad army and killed its commander, al-Djarrah ibn Abdullah.

Khazar warrior with captive, based on reconstruction by Norman Finkelshteyn of image from an 8th-century ewer found in Romania (original at [1])

1425 – The Catholic University of Leuven was founded.

 

1531 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico City.

1608  John Milton, English poet, was born (d. 1674).

1787 John Dobson, English architect, was born  (d. 1865).

1793 – New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster.

1824 – Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeated a Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho, ending the Peruvian War of Independence.

 

1851 – The first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal, Quebec.

 

1872 – In Louisiana, P. B. S. Pinchback became the first serving African-American governor of a U.S. state.

1886 Clarence Birdseye, American frozen food manufacturer, was born (d. 1956).

 Birdseye’s double belt freezer

1888 – Statistician Herman Hollerith installed his computing device at the United States War Department.

1897 Activist Marguerite Durand founded the feminist daily newspaper, La Fronde, in Paris.

1899 New Zealand troops fired their first shots in the South African war.

NZ troops fire first shots during South African War

1902  Margaret Hamilton, American actress, was born (d. 1985).

1905 In France, the law separating church and state was passed.

1916 – Kirk Douglas, American actor, was born.

1922  Gabriel Narutowicz was announced the first president of Poland.

1929  Bob Hawke, 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1931 The Constituent Cortes approved the constitution which establishes the Second Spanish Republic.

Flag Coat of arms

1933  Ashleigh Brilliant, American writer (Pot-Shots), was born.

 

1934  Dame Judi Dench, English actress, was born.

1935 – Walter Liggett, American newspaper editor and muckraker, was killed in gangland murder.

1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launched an assault on Nanjing.

1940 – World War II: Operation Compass – British and Indian troops under the command of Major-General Richard O’Connor attacked Italian forces near Sidi Barrani in Egypt.

 

1941 Beau Bridges, American actor, was born.

1946 – The “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials” began with the “Doctors’ Trial“, prosecuting doctors alleged to be involved in human experimentation.

1950  Joan Armatrading, St. Kitts-born English singer, was born.

1953 John Malkovich,American actor, was born.

1953 – Red Scare: General Electric announced that all communist employees would be discharged from the company.

1957 – Donny Osmond, American singer and actor, was born.

1958  Nick Seymour, Australian bassist (Crowded House), was born.

1960 The first episode of Britain’s longest running television soap opera Coronation Street was broadcast.

 

1961 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Israel ended with verdicts of guilty on 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.

EichmannAdolfSS.jpg

1961 Tanganyika became independent from Britain.

 

1962  The Petrified Forest National Park was established in Arizona.

 Chinle Formation

1968 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) was publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.

 

1979 The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.

1988  The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland was officially opened.

1990  Lech Wałęsa became the first directly elected president of Poland.

2003 – A blast in the center of Moscow killed six people and wounds several more.

2006 – Moscow suffered its worst fire since 1977, killing 45 women in a drug rehabilitation center.

2008 – The Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich, was arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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