Word of the day

February 4, 2011

Googleganger  – person with the same name as you, whose online references are mixed with yours among search results for your name.

(Macquarie Dictionary’s 2010 Word of the Year)

Hat Tip: Afternoons


Friday’s answers

February 4, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. How much does Winston Peters still owe the public coffers?

2. Who said “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

3. Who was the youth in Greek mythology who fell in love with is own image?

4. It’s babiole in French; gingillo in Italian and chuchería  in Spanish, what is it in English (I can’t find the word in Maori but there’s a bonus if you can).

5. Who wrote You’re so vain?

A glitch resulted in the quiz being posted in two parts and not everyone saw the last two questions.

Points for answers here and here:

JC got two (out of three).

Paul got four (NZ First and its front man are one and the same thing) with a bonus for wit and added information and another for his Maori translation.

Gravedodger got one and a bonus for observation (out of three).

Andrei wins an electronic box of peaches for five right and a bonus for anticipation, albeit misplaced.

Inventory 2 also gets an electronic box of peaches for five right with a bonus for added info – though not for Maori translation unless my understanding of taonga as a treasure rather than a bauble, is wrong.

Adam got four.

PDM got 3 and a nearly for the answers to # 4 and 5.

Bearhunter got 4 1/2 (the half was because the answer was right but he admitted to copying the others) with a bonus for honesty and added information.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Bank the gains, budget conservatively

February 4, 2011

When was the last time prices for lamb, wool, beef, milk and grain were all reasonable at the same time?

I can’t remember.

In the last decade or two if returns for one product was up the rest were usually down.

But this year, in spite of the high dollar, all commodities are receiving better prices.

Even Federated Farmers , is chirpy:

While appreciating commodity prices will be positive for the New Zealand economy, it is only part of the cost equation for goods for all farmers, whether you’re producing cheese or lamb.

“Global commodity prices are up. Whole Milk Powder (WMP) prices have doubled in the last 12 months, and butter is at 20 year highs because of constrained supply,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.

“Wool and meat are also showing positive signs and the positive economic contribution of agriculture is benefiting every New Zealander, every day.

“These are sustainable prices because food is the new black. About 70 million people join the human race each year as the global population heads towards 6.9 billion.

“We are seeing strong price signals from the ANZ Commodity Price Index and from Fonterra’s GlobalDairyTrade auction yesterday.  Food is no longer a plentiful low cost good but is now starting to reflect the real cost of production and its scarcity.

Feds is warning there could be volatility ahead and advises farmers to bank the gains and budget conservatively.

If the grapevine in our area can be taken seriously, that is what most are doing. Memories of the crash from peak prices in 2006 are too fresh for anyone sensible to think what comes up can’t go down.

McKenzie also points out that higher prices are only part of the story.

“Farmers don’t get the retail shelf price. We have to meet the full cost of production and input costs are up. Last year dairy famers had on average only 70 cents profit out of the $6.10 milk price left over for debt, taxes and in dividends.

“It’s the compliance costs we have the least control over.  In the past year we’ve had increases in local authority rates, ACC levies and particularly the impact of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) on fuel and electricity.

“Dairy farmers in particular have greater environmental expectations upon them and we have to be in the black to be green,” Mr McKenzie concluded.

Many of those costs are fixed ones which we face regardless of whether prices for our produce are going up or down. We must make hay while the financial sun is shining and this time it isn’t just food that is receiving better prices, fibre is too.

We got $4.80 a kilo for crossbred lambs’ wool last week, sold some more this week and received an extra 20 cents.

My farmer thinks it’s at least 20 years since wool was earning that sort of money.

That’s a very welcome turn around from the last few years when we were lucky if the price paid for wool did anything more than cover the cost of shearing it.

Timber too is finally worth more than the cost of felling the trees.

We’ve got a plantation of pines planted about 30 years ago. Any time we’ve looked at selling the timber in recent years we’ve been told the only market would be fire wood. But now the price has gone up we’re cutting them down, cover the costs of that and replanting and still have a bit left over.

As an investment over 30 years the return wouldn’t be particularly good, but the trees were planted on a steep hillside which wouldn’t have been good for much else anyway.


You choose

February 4, 2011

Quote of the week from John Armstrong:

Key’s mischievous matchmaking, however, has him defining the election as a contest between a forward-looking National Party versus a rearwards-looking Labour Party beholden to the whims of NZ First.

In short, Key’s not-so-subtle pitch is one of stability versus chaos. New Zealand, you choose.

This is what I said yesterday – ruling out Peters gives voter, not the would-be king maker, the power.

Lindsay Mitchell made a a similar point in honest John vs perfidious Peters.


February 4 in history

February 4, 2011

On February 4:

211 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.

Septimius Severus busto-Musei Capitolini.jpg

960 The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty  period.

1677 Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer, was born  (d. 1731).

1703 In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commited seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.

 Incense burns at the burial graves of the 47 Ronin at Sengaku-ji.

1789 George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1792 George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1794 The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.

1810 The Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe.

1820 The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald completed the 2 day long capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.

 

1825 The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.

1859 The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.

 Luke 11, 2 in Codex Sinaiticus

1902 Charles Lindbergh, American pilot, was born (d. 1974).

1905 Hylda Baker, English comedy actress, was born (d. 1986).

1913 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activistwas, born (d. 2005).

1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston, was born.

1915 Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, was born  (d. 2007).

1921 Betty Friedan, American feminist, was born  (d. 2006).

1921 Lotfi Asker Zadeh, American-Iranian/Russian mathematician and computer scientist and the father of fuzzy logic., was born.

1936 Radium becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.

1941 The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops.

Small web logo.jpg

1941 John Steel, British musician (The Animals), was born.

 

1945 World War II: The Yalta Conference began.

 The “Big Three” at the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin. Also present are Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, RN, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, RAF (both standing behind Churchill); and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt).

1947  Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1948 Alice Cooper, American musician, was born.

1948 Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) became independent.

1957 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne‘s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.

1966 All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 jet plunged into Tokyo Bay, killing 133.

1967  Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

Lunar orbiter 1 (large).jpg

1969 Yasser Arafat took over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1974 The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.

 

1975 American Lynne Cox became the first woman to swim Cook Strait when she swam from the North Island to the South in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

First woman to swim Cook Strait

1975 Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.

1976 In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake killed more than 22,000.

1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.

1985 The New Zealand Labour government refused the USS Buchanan entry to the country on the grounds that the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the ship had nuclear capability.

USS <em>Buchanan</em> refused entry to NZ

1992 A Coup d’état led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.

             

1996 Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin tied all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)

1997 Two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

1997 Serbian  President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.

1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000.

1999 Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an urelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.

1999 The New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon.

The New Carissa
 

2003 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed  Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution.

2004 Facebook, a mainstream online social network was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook.svg 

2006 A stampede occured in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.

2008 – The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme began to oeprate.

LOWEMZONEfeb08.PNG

2010 – The Federal Court of Australia’s ruling in Roadshow Films v iiNet set a precedent that Internet service providers (ISPs) were not responsible for what their users do with the services the ISPs provide them.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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