Word of the day

January 12, 2011

Wanion – bad luck, curse, misfortune, plague often attributed to the waning of the moon.


Reading Janet Frame

January 12, 2011

This Tuesday’s Poem is Reading Janet Frame by Harvey McQueen, which is part of a tribute to the poet who died on Christmas Day by Mary McCallum who also posted Harvey McQueen RIP on her own blog.

Other tributes from Tuesday poets include:

After the Disaster chosen by Helen Lowe

Tribute to Harvey McQueen by Helen Rickerby at Winged Ink

Harvey McQueen 1934-2010 – an appreciation by Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

Farewell to Harvey McQueen by Saradha Koirala

Tuesday poem to remember Harvey McQueen That Selfsame Song by Thomas Hardy, from Mariana Isara


Coroner’s recommendation not realistic for quads

January 12, 2011

The deaths of 120 people in quad bike accidents over the last 10 years is a matter of concern but the Labour Department has made the right call in rejecting a coroner’s recommendations for compulsory  lap belts and roll bars.

The department says lap belts would make it extremely difficult to “actively ride” a quad bike and the science of roll bar protection is incomplete.

Filipino beekeeper Jody Dean Santos, 21, of Masterton, died from a massive skull fracture days after he was “catapulted” off a quad bike he was riding at work in August 2008.

In his findings on the death, Wellington Coroner Ian Smith said accidents involving quad bikes had concerned coroners for a long time – about 120 had been killed on them in the past 10 years.

Mr Smith said he was frustrated by the failure of authorities to take up the recommendations coroners “consistently” made.

He recommended the Labour and Transport ministers undertake an immediate investigation to consider the mandatory use of helmets, roll bars and lap belts on all quad bikes.

There’s no debate about the use of helmets but roll bars require more research and lap belts would increase the danger of riding quads.

But Department of Labour national support manager Mike Munnelly said that while it supported compulsory helmet wearing, to ride a quad bike safely it was absolutely necessary to be able to stand up and to shift body weight for balance – or “active riding”.

“A lap belt or restraining system makes it extremely difficult for a rider to make these safety corrections and exposes them to increased danger,” Mr Munnelly said.

Even if this wasn’t the case the number of times riders get on and off a bike on farms would mean they’d be very unlikely to use a belt.

The department launched a quad bike safety programme last year. It pushes the message that riders must be trained and experienced enough to do the job, children should not ride adult quad bikes, always wear a helmet and choose the right vehicle for the job.

That is very good advice which we do our best to ensure our employees heed.

Alf Grumble gives his view on this issue in: if it’s a good idea for more people to belt up let’s start with coroners.


Nominations sought for Bloggies

January 12, 2011

Nominations have opened for the Bloggies – the 11th annual blog awards:

The rules are:

    • Any pages with dated entries that existed at some point during the year 2010 are eligible.
    • Only one nomination ballot and one finalist ballot may be submitted per person.
    • E-mail addresses are required to vote. You must use your own address and confirm the verification e-mail.
    • If you verify a second ballot, your first one will be replaced.
    • In the nomination phase:
      • URLs are required.
      • At least three different weblogs total must be nominated.
      • Weblogs may be nominated for multiple categories.
      • Nominees must suit the category they are placed in.
    • Weblogs may win a category over multiple years a maximum of three times.

Nominations opened on January 1 and close this coming Sunday January 16.

Next Wednesday (January 19) 200 randomly selected voters will  receive an invitation to choose the finalists from a list of the most-nominated weblogs in ten random categories.

The following Monday (January 24) finalist voting closes. The five (or six for Weblog of the Year) weblogs with the most votes become finalists.

On Tuesday February 1 finalists are announced and voting reopens to all to choose the winners. Voting closes on Sunday February 20.

A week later (Sunday 27th) winners will be announced announced and the Weblog of the Year receives the prize of 2,011 US cents (US$20.11).

Categories include best Australian or New Zealand blog.

Given the population imbalance between Australia and New Zealand it’s going to be easier for an Australian blog to win so should the New Zealand Bloggers’ Union, which was behind the Air NZ Best Blog Awards last year,  step in and co-ordinate a nomination?

Given the tight timeframe I’d suggest opening nominations today, closing them on Thursday then putting up the three which receive the most nominations for a vote which closes on Friday. That would give plenty of time for those wanting to take part to nominate the winner before nominations for the award close at 10pm on Sunday (EST which  is, I think, Monday afternoon here).


Exclusive use can benefit environment

January 12, 2011

Federated Farmers makes a stand for landowners in saying that fishing rights shouldn’t trample property rights:

Federated Farmers will defend a fundamental principle of land ownership – the right to exclude access – even if some anglers may have to choose to pay for convenient access.

“Federated Farmers agrees that selling river fishing rights is against the law,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers game and pest animal management spokesperson.

“Yet all landowners have the right to exclude access to their land by people who are uninvited, whether you live in the town or the country.

Few people would expect to have open access to a section in town, it doesn’t make any difference in the country just because the property is bigger.

“What this boils down to is common courtesy and respect for the property of others.  I know many farmers who freely grant access for recreational hunting or fishing but it’s based on the common courtesy of asking permission first. 

“A farm may be open ground but its also private property like someone’s house in-town.  Importantly it’s also a working environment that may contain sensitive areas or hazards.  Taking rather than securing permission is not only illegal but may have unintended adverse consequences.

“Anglers need to respect the right of the landowner to grant or refuse access.  After all, if you’ve had your gates left open, fences damaged or discarded fishing line left behind, then you’re probably less inclined to say yes. . .

We have never had any problems with people who’ve asked permission to cross or property but we have had problems with those who don’t – including theft of fuel, illegal hunting and damage to a security camera.

Donald was responding to comments from anglers criticising landowners who grant exclusive access to fishing guides which was the subject of a post on Monday.

Over at Offsetting Behaviour, Eric Crampton points out there can be environmental benefits from exclusive access:

One of my favourite Kiwi enviropreneurs is Elm Wildlife Tours down in Dunedin. I always recommend that folks visiting the Department book in with them if heading that way. Elm partnered with a local farmer whose land had Yellow-Eyed Penguin habitat: Elm gets exclusive access for its tour groups and works to improve the habitat. Making the resource excludable encourages conservation.

Maintaining and enhancing natural resources takes money and this is an excellent way to control access, for the sake of the landowner and the penguins, and ensure the habitat is looked after.

Landowners are charging for access, not for fishing, although if the only way to the river is through a farm it’s a distinction which makes no difference. Those complaining about that ought to remember it’s not only private landowners who charge. DoC sells concessions to tourist operators who use  land under their control and they also sell the right to hunt on it.

We neighbour a DoC block and the easiest access is through our property. We’ve never charged anyone who’s asked to cross our land although that increases the need for maintenance on our tracks.

But charging by DoC is a sensible form of user pays – those who make money from others or enjoy hunting  on DoC  land pay for the privilege which helps offset the cost of maintenance and enhancement.


January 12 in history

January 12, 2011

On January 12:

475  Basiliscus becomes Byzantine Emperor, with a coronation ceremony in the Hebdomon palace in Constantinople.

Solidus Basiliscus-RIC 1003.jpg

1528 – Gustav I of Sweden crowned king.

1539 – Treaty of Toledo signed by King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

1729 Edmund Burke, Irish statesman, was born (d. 1797).

 

1777 Mission Santa Clara de Asís was founded in what is now Santa Clara, California.

Mission Santa Clara de Asís

1808 The meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society,was held in Edinburgh.

 Robert Jameson, founder and life president of the Wernerian Society

1848  The Palermo rising  in Sicily against the Bourbon kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

1863, Swami Vivekananda, Indian philosopher, was born  (d. 1902).

1866  The Royal Aeronautical Society was formed in London.

1872  Yohannes IV was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years.

Yohannesson.jpg

1876 Jack London, American author, was born.

1893 Hermann Göring, German Nazi official, was born.

1895 The National Trust was founded in the United Kingdom.

1906 Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman‘s cabinet (which included amongst its members H. H. Asquith, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill) embarked on sweeping social reforms after a Liberal landslide in the British general election.

1908 A long-distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

1911 The University of the Philippines College of Law was formally established; three future Philippine presidents were among the first enrollees.

 1915 The Rocky Mountain National Park was formed by an act of U.S. Congress.

1915  The United States House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.

1916 Pieter Willem Botha, South African politician, was born  (d. 2006).

1917  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Indian spiritualist, was born (d. 2008).

1918 Finland’s “Mosaic Confessors” law went into effect, making Finnish Jews full citizens.

1932 Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

1932 Des O’Connor, British television presenter, was born.

1941  Long John Baldry, British blues singer, was born (d. 2005).

1945  Maggie Bell, Scottish singer (Stone the Crows), was born.

1946  Cynthia Robinson, American musician (Sly & the Family Stone), was born.

1951 Kirstie Alley, American actress, was born.

1952  John Walker, New Zealand middle distance runner, was born.

1954 Queen Eilzabeth II opened a special session of the New Zealand Parliament in its centennial year. It was the first time New Zealand’s Parliament had been opened by a reigning monarch

QEII opens NZ Parliament
 

1964 Rebels in Zanzibar began the Zanzibar Revolution and proclaimed a republic.

1967  Dr. James Bedford became the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation.

1968 Heather Mills, British activist and model, was born.

1970  Biafra capitulated, ending the Nigerian civil war.

1974 Melanie Chisholm, British singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1976 The UN Security Council voted 11-1 to allow the Palestine Liberation Organisation to participate in a Security Council debate (without voting rights).

1991 Gulf War: An act of the U.S. Congress authorised the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.

1992 A new constitution, providing for freedom to form political parties, was approved by a referendum in Mali.

1998 Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.

2004 The world’s largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, made its maiden voyage.

Queen Mary II Einlaufen Hamburg Hafengeburtstag 2006 -2.jpg

2005 Deep Impact launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta 2 rocket.

Deep Impact.jpg

2006 The foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany declared that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have reached a dead end and recommend that Iran be referred to the United Nations Security Council.

2006  A stampede during the Stoning the Devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 362 Muslim pilgrims.

2007  Comet McNaught reached perihelion becoming the brightest comet in more than 40 years.

Comet McNaught as seen from Swift's Creek, Victoria on January 23, 2007

2010 – The 2010 Haiti earthquake  killed at least 230,000 and destroyed the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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