Blue & Gold with Red & Black

March 19, 2011

Matches in any sport between teams from the right side of the Waitaki and Mainlanders from the other side are different.

It’s a bit like family. We’ll support each other against anyone else but the rivalry when it’s one of us playing the other is extra keen.

The good start the Highlanders have made to the season and the Christchurch earthquake have ensured a good crowd at Carisbrook when they meet the Crusaders tonight.

I won’t go so far as to say I’ll be cheering for the red and black team, my heart will as always be with the blue and golds. But tonight more than any other time I’ve watched a team from my side of the Waitaki against another, I really won’t mind which one wins.

Tonight it’s not blue and gold against but with red and black.


Word of the day

March 19, 2011

Quadrivial – having or being four roads meeting in a point,  concerning a four-way junction; of the quadrivium; leading in four directions.


A week of it

March 19, 2011

A week of it  by Dinah Hawken features as this week’s Tuesday Poem.

Poems chosen by other Tuesday poets linked in the side bar include:

How I find the time to write by Renée Liang.

Everything is for a very short time by Jennifer Compton.

After Brain Trauma by Orchid Tierney.

Tooth by Siobhan Harvey.

Saturn’s Riddle by Fiona Sampson.

Men Briefly Explained by Tim Jones.

Things by Fleur Adcock.

After the Funeral by Helen Lowe.

Perspective  by Alicia Ponder.

Autumn Day by Anna Livesey.

Through A Dream by Colin Webster-Watson.

Matsuo Basho by Matsuo Basho.

Vicarage Kids by Ruth Arnison.

Abseiling At the Ellice St Quarry by Laurice Gilbert.

 Martyrdom of Friend James by Catherine Bateson


Health passports for disabled

March 19, 2011

The Health and Disability Commissioner is trialling “health passports” for disabled people that tell health professionals about their needs and issues.

I hope it succeeds for the sake of the disabled people and their caregivers.

Our son Dan had multi-disabilities and couldn’t communicate which made him totally dependent. I wrote an account of what he needed and when he needed it which went everywhere with him. It saved a lot of time on his many admissions to hospital, helped family and friends who used to look after him to give us a break and meant if something happened to me there was an up to date record for whoever took over his care.

The passport would be a more formal record which would be helpful to health professionals and make it easier to give continuity of care to people with disabilities.


Canada Geese from protected to pest

March 19, 2011

Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson’s announcement that permits will no longer be required for the shooting of Canada Geese is a welcome one.

“As the population of Canada geese continues to increase so does their risk to aviation safety and the damage they inflict to pasture and crops,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“The current status where the geese populations are managed as a game bird is not working.

“Farmers have been getting increasingly frustrated with these birds fouling pasture and damaging crops.

“They also pose an aviation hazard due to their large size and this change will allow for the birds to be more effectively controlled where they pose a risk to aircraft safety.”

Ms Wilkinson says there are tens of thousands of Canada geese across the country and recreational hunting opportunities will remain.

“I expect Fish and Game to continue to work with landowners to assist with managing populations around the country.

“The geese are well established and on top of that farmers will have an incentive to provide hunting access to reduce their goose control costs.”

Fish and Game isn’t happy:

But Fish & Game is calling the decision an “own goal” for Federated Farmers, which lobbied for the change.

“The small group within Federated Farmers who lobbied the minister so hard on this issue will probably spin this as a win,” says chief executive Bryce Johnson.

“Ironically though, the minister’s decision will foist the considerable expense of goose control onto their membership and, indeed, all farmers if the expected push for ratepayer-funded regional councils to take responsibility for control happens.”

This just shows how little Fish & Game knows about farmers, many of whom are forced to fund the organisation through hunting and fishing licences.

Federated Farmers is pleased that Canada Geese have been removed from the protected species list and can now be regarded as the pest they are.

“Federated Farmers has long been campaigning for the Canada Goose to be declared a pest. It’s not native, it spoils the environment and is even an air traffic hazard,” says Donald Aubrey, Federated Farmers game and pest animal management spokesperson.

“Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson’s announcement was inevitable, the population was getting out of control. For example, South Island Canada Goose Management Plan in 1995 set a population limit of 20,350. In 2008 that figure was 35,000.

“We applaud her for having the courage to make this decision after five years of consideration and following extensive lobbying by Federated Farmers.

“The Canada Goose was introduced to New Zealand as a game bird and has provided many landowners with nothing but trouble. It puts huge pressure on the environment, damaging crops, spoiling waterways with excrement and outcompeting native birds for resources.

“It adds thousands of dollars to the costs of doing business in the South Island especially.

“This ruling finally allows farmers to defend themselves against Canada Geese.

Christchurch Airport also supports the change in the birds’ status:

Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has come out in support of the change in protection status of Canada Geese.

“This bird is a hazard to aircraft,” said CIAL Chief Executive Jim Boult. “Canada Geese are large and cumbersome birds which can cause a great deal of damage if they collide with aircraft.”

Jim Boult pointed out that the Canada Geese population had steadily increased in Christchurch city over the last few years, which raised the risk of bird strike to aircraft. “We want to keep the population of Canada Geese to manageable levels, which will help keep the airspace as clear as possible.”

Fish and Game’s management of the species allowed the bird population to grow.

Airports, councils and farmers can now declare open season on the pest to make airspace safer and reduce the negative impacts the birds have on the environment through pollution of waterways, competition with native species and damage to crops.


Can only prove non-science wrong

March 19, 2011

Before we drilled for water we employed at water diviner.

He wandered around the paddocks with a forked stick which pointed down at a spot where he told us we’d find water.

When the driller turned up we told him that and he laughed and said we’d wasted our money. “The trouble with water diviners is that you can only ever prove them wrong,” he said. “If they’re right without the backing of science you don’t know if it’s just luck.”

This applies also to anyone who says they can predict earthquakes.

Ken Ring has terrified people in Christchurch by warning there could be another big earthquake this weekend. Some are so scared they’ve left the city.

David Winter took a scientific approach to his predictions and showed them for what they are here and here; his account of being on TV here and the Campbell Live interview here.

The full moon will be very close to the earth tonight, but David shows that lunar phase is a very poor indicator of earthquake strength.

I have a great deal of sympathy for the people who have found Ken Ring’s prediction the last straw and have left the city for the weekend. Emotion beats facts and their fear is understandable.

And I applaud those like Keeping Stock who is visiting friends and whanau in spite of it; and Nick Smith and the Skeptics :

The minister and the Skeptics Society are planning to have lunch in the Sign of the Kiwi, one of the tallest and oldest buildings in Christchurch, at noon this Sunday, the day Ken Ring predicted another earthquake would hit the city.

The minister, who has a background in earthquake engineering and a PhD in geotechnical engineering, told NBR he had been taken aback by the number of people taking Mr Ring seriously.

So will there be an earthquake in Christchurch this weekend?

Who knows? There might be and there might not be, there is no credible scientific method of predicting that.


March 19 in history

March 19, 2011

On March 19:

1279  A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen eneds the Song Dynasty in China.

1687 Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, was murdered by his own men.

Cavelier de la salle.jpg

1813 David Livingstone, Scottish missionary and explorer, was born (d. 1873).

1821 Richard Francis Burton, British explorer, diplomat and author, was born (d. 1890) .

 

1839 Bees were introduced to New Zealand.

Honey bees brought to NZ

1848 Wyatt Earp, American policeman and gunfighter, was born (d. 1929).

1853 The Taiping reform movement occupied and makes Nanjing its capital.

 The Heavenly king’s throne in Nanjing

1861 The First Taranaki War ended.

 

1863  The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.

1865  The Battle of Bentonville started.

1866 A hurricane caused major damages in Buenos Aires.

1906 Adolf Eichmann, Nazi official, was born (d 1962).

EichmannAdolfSS.jpg

1915 Pluto  was photographed for the first time but is not recognised as a planet.

Pluto-map-hs-2010-06-c180.jpg

1916 Irving Wallace, American novelist, was born (d. 1990).

1916 Eight American planes took off in pursuit of Pancho Villa, the first United States air-combat mission in history.

1918 The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time.

1921 One of the biggest engagements of theIrish War of Independence took place at Crossbarry, County Cork. About 100 Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers escaped an attempt by more than 1,300 British forces to encircle them.

Iarthair Chorcaí 163.jpg

 1921 Tommy Cooper, Welsh comedy magician, was born (d. 1984).

1921 Italian Fascists shot from the Parenzana train at a group of children in Strunjan (Slovenia): two children were killed, two mangled and three wounded.

1931  Gambling was legalized in Nevada.

1932 The Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened.

1933 Philip Roth, American author, was born.

Goodbye columbus.jpg

1933 – Renée Taylor, American actress, was born. 

1936 Ursula Andress, Swiss actress, was born.

 

1941 The 99th Pursuit Squadron also known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all-black unit of the Army Air Corp, was activated.

 

1944 Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize, was born.

1944 World War II: Nazi forces occupied Hungary.

1945 A dive bomber hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13), killing 724 of her crew.

USS Franklin underway

1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler issued his “Nero Decree” ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed.

1946 Jayforce landed in Japan.

Jayforce lands in Japan

1946 French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion become overseas départements of France.

1946  Ruth Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

 

1947 Glenn Close, American actress, was born.

1952  Warren Lees, New Zealand Test wicket-keeper, was born.

1953 Ricky Wilson, American musician (The B-52′s), was born (d. 1985).

1954 Willie Mosconi set the world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during a straight pool exhibition at East High Billiard Club in Springfield, Ohio.

1955 Bruce Willis, American actor, was born.

1958 The Monarch Underwear Company fire left 24 dead and 15 injured.

1962 – Algerian War of Independence ceasefire took effect.

1965 The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 was discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.

1969 The 385 metres (1,263 ft) tall TV-mast at Emley Moor, collapsed due to ice build- up.

EmleyMoorMastSpring2006.jpg

1972 India and Bangladesh signed a friendship treaty.

1982 Falklands War: Argentinian forces landed on South Georgia Island, precipitating war with the United Kingdom.

Guerrico-1980s.jpg

1989 The Egyptian Flag was raised on Taba, Egypt announcing the end of the Israeli occupation after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Peace negotiations in 1979.

1990 The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureş began.

2002 Operation Anaconda ended (started on March 2) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with 11 allied troop fatalities.

Anaconda-helicopter.jpg

2002 – Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth on charges of human rights abuses and of election tampering, following a turbulent presidential election.

2004 Konginkangas bus disaster: A semi-trailer truck and a bus crash head-on in Äänekoski, Finland. 24 people were killed and 13 injured.

Konginkankaan bussiturma.jpg 

2004 A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in 1952 over the Baltic Sea was recovered after years of work.

2004 Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu were shot just before the country’s presidential election on March 20.

 Chen and Lu minutes before the shooting incident

2008  GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that was the farthest object visible to the naked eye was briefly observed

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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