4/10 and 8/10


The NZ herald has a Maori language quiz.

I got a lowly 4/10 in yesterday’s on greetings – hint don’t be fooled by the pictures.

I did better with today’s on food – 8/10.


Word of the day


Turpitude – baseness, deprarvity, vileness.

How to spot a meth lab


A public service annoucnement at  Credo Quia Absurdum Est shows how.

Rural round-up


Young Farmer contest #5 Will Grayling – RivettingKate Taylor:

Photos make the world go around…. here’s a selection of photos of Will in action at the 2011 National Bank Young Farmer Contest in Masterton over the past week – Wednesday’s welcome at the Masterton Town Hall where Will’s likeness to Prince Harry was first mentioned; Thursday’s technical day at the historic Brancepeth homestead and the speech back at the Solway Copthorne; Friday’s practical challenges, head to head (s) and agrisports at the Solway Showgrounds and finally the evening show at the new Wairarapa College auditorium. . .

Politicos turn to the land – Sally Rae:

Everyone, it seems, is the farmer’s friend – after all, it is election year.

Act New Zealand leader Don Brash probably summed it up best at Federated Farmers national conference in Rotorua when he said those attending would be “enduring a procession of politicians”. . .

Fonterra to pour $250m into Darfield – Tim Cronshaw:

Dairy giant Fonterra wants to pour another $250 million into trebling milk production at its Darfield site with a new dryer vying to be the largest in New Zealand.

The co-operative entered talks about stage two of the project with neighbours at a community meeting yesterday and is about to begin the consent process. The plan is to have the second dryer built by 2015 as the $200m site, still being constructed, is expected to be at full capacity by then.

 German investors pay $33m for farm – Collette Devlin:

A German investment management company is now possibly the largest player in rural land in Southland after it spent $33million to buy a dairy farm at Dipton.

Aquila AgrarINVEST Investitions Gmbh was granted approval under the Overseas Investment Act to secure the acquisition of rights or interests in up to 100 per cent of the units of Glencairn Ltd Partnership, which owns or controls a freehold interest in 1401ha of an existing dairy farm. . .

Following role models could double NZ food production:

Following role models could double NZ food production

New Zealand could produce enough food to feed around 40 million people if every farm performed at the same level as the most profitable, said Ballance Agri-Nutrients Chairman, David Graham.

He was speaking at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards annual showcase held in the Hawke’s Bay on 25 June.

“New Zealand currently produces enough food to feed approximately 20 million people. We know our most profitable farms achieve an economic farming surplus of $3,500 per hectare, yet the average farm achieves just over $2,000 and about half of all farms are operating below this.

“To double the amount of people we can feed we must lift our production by working on assisting the bottom half of this bell curve to lift its game.” . . .

My word, look – speculation works – Tim Worstall:

This followed a report on Thursday that showed US farmers had planted more corn than analysts had expected and that stocks of the grain were higher than forecast across the US.

Corn futures fell more than 6pc on Friday, bringing the fall since a US report was issued to about 10pc. . .

The Great corn con – Steven Rattner:

FEELING the need for an example of government policy run amok? Look no further than the box of cornflakes on your kitchen shelf. In its myriad corn-related interventions, Washington has managed simultaneously to help drive up food prices and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit, while arguably increasing energy use and harming the environment.

Even in a crowd of rising food and commodity costs, corn stands out, its price having doubled in less than a year to a record $7.87 per bushel in early June. Booming global demand has overtaken stagnant supply. . .

Hat tip:  Anti-Dismal

Credit card charges: user pays or buyer beware?


Any credit comes at a price and credit cards charge twice – both the owner and retailer pay fees.

Until recently it’s been relatively rare for retailers to charge more for sales by credit card although discounts for cash weren’t uncommon.

Now more retailers are imposing a surcharge on credit cards:

Banking ombudsman Deborah Battell says “charging a fee for using a credit card is becoming a lot more common and so we do see complaints about this kind of issue”.

Meanwhile Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says “retailers are seeing this as an opportunity to up the value of what they’re actually selling”.

Using a credit card to shop online for flights with Air New Zealand will incur $7 for a return flight. Many service stations now charge a service fee and even paying council rates online can attract a fee of nearly 3 percent.

If retailers don’t make the user pay they or other customers are subsidising the card users.

However, if the surcharge is greater than the fees the retailer pays it goes beyond cost recovery and buyers need to beware.

However, sometimes, even with the charge it can still be a good deal.

Our travel agent imposes a surcharge on credit card payments but if we use the card for at least half  any pre-paid travel costs we get free insurance.

Last time we did bookings we balked at the credit card charge, paid by internet banking then found that buying insurance cost about twice what the fees would have.

To kill or to breed?


Whether to kill lambs or keep them for breeding is the question exercising the minds of many sheep farmers.

With prices at levels we could only dream of this time last year it is tempting to sell but there’s also a need to rebuild the national flock.

Lamb numbers have been dropping for years for a variety of reasons including better returns from other land-uses.

Last spring’s snow storm in Southland which killed thosuands of sheep compounded the problem and falling lamb numbers are hitting the freezing works.

While that’s difficult for people whose jobs are affected it could be a sign that farmers are choosing to hold back stock for breeding which is better for the industry in the long term.

Unions losing power in Labour


A Labour leader is biting the union hand that elected him but it’s in Britain, not here.

In the Pensions War that has erupted between the government and the trade unions, the unions must surely feel astonished by the ingratitude of Ed Miliband. The unions founded and financed the Labour party. They currently give about £9 of every £10 that the cash-strapped party receives in donations. Moreover, Ed Miliband would not be Labour leader had he not had crucial union support. Yet here we are, at the beginning of the first serious confrontation between unions and the coalition, and Mr Miliband declines to back them and instead attacks strike action as “wrong”.

It’s difficult to understand how any party which preaches democracy can give more power and influence to unions than its individual members.

Labour here is quick to criticise National of legislating for its mates if it does anything which might help businesses. Some businesses donate to National but only members have power in the party and most of the bigger ones donate to Labour and possibly some of the minor parties as well.

Some unions donate to other left wing parties, but it would be a cold day in hell before they gave money to National and I think it’s only in Labour where they have constitutional rights.

The internal workings of a party are the party’s own business. But if influence and policy in return for money is wrong for donors to right wing parties, it must also be wrong for left wing ones.

. . . Mr Miliband . . . also wants to recalibrate the relationship between Labour and the unions as a key element of his project to make the party more democratic, vigorous and engaged with the public. . .

The unions wield 50% of the vote at the party conference, a proportion that Mr Miliband thinks might be diminished by creating a new voting role at the conference for the elected members of the National Policy Forum.

The British Labour Party is attempting to reduce the power unions have in their party to make it  more democratic. What chance is there of Labour here doing the same?


July 5 in history


1295  Scotland and France formed an alliance, the beginnings of the Auld Alliance, against England.

1316  Battle of Manolada between the Burgundian and Majorcan claimants of the Principality of Achaea.

1321 Joan of The Tower, Queen consort of Scotland, was born (d. 1362).

1610  John Guy set sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland.

1687  Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.


1755 Sarah Siddons, British actress, was born (d. 1831).

1770  Battle of Chesma started, between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

Chios aivaz.jpg

1775  United States Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition.


1803 The Convention of Artlenburg led to the French occupation of Hanover.

1809  Battle of Wagram started.

Napoleon Wagram.jpg

1810  P.T. Barnum, American circus owner, was born (d. 1891).

1811  Venezuela declared independence from Spain.

1813  War of 1812: Three weeks of British raids on Fort Schlosser, Black Rock and Plattsburgh, New York began.

1814 War of 1812: Battle of Chippawa – American Major General Jacob Brown defeated British General Phineas Riall.


1830 France invaded Algeria.

1833 Admiral Charles Napier defeated the navy of the Portuguese usurper Dom Miguel at the third Battle of Cape St. Vincent.


1853 Cecil Rhodes, British founder of Rhodesia was born (d. 1902).


1865  The Salvation Army was founded in the East End of London.

Standard of the Salvation Army

1878 The coat of arms of the Baku governorate was established.

Baku gub coa n655.png

1881 A poll tax was imposed on Chinese people in New Zealand.

Poll tax imposed on Chinese

1884  Germany took possession of Cameroon.

1902 Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., American diplomat, was born (d. 1985)

1911 Georges Pompidou, French politician, was born (d. 1974).


1934  ”Bloody Thursday” – Police opened fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco.

1935  The National Labor Relations Act, which governs labour relations in the United States, is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1937  Spam, the luncheon meat, was introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

Spam with cans.jpeg

1937  Highest recorded temperature in Canada, at Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan: 45°C (113°F).

1940  World War II: The United Kingdom and the Vichy France government broke off diplomatic relations.

1941  World War II: German troops reached the Dnieper River.

1943  The Battle of Kursk, the largest full-scale battle in history started.

Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Zschaeckel-206-35, Schlacht um Kursk, Panzer VI (Tiger I).jpg

1943 – World War II: An Allied invasion fleet sailed for Sicily.

1945 World War II: Liberation of the Philippines declared.

1946 The bikini was re-introduced in Paris.


1947 Larry Doby signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians baseball team, becoming the first black player in the American League.

1948 National Health Service Acts created the national public health systems in the United Kingdom.

The NHS Logo for England 

 1950  Huey Lewis, American musician (Huey Lewis and the News), was born.

1950 – Michael Monarch, American guitarist (Steppenwolf), was born.

1950 Korean War: Task Force Smith – First clash between American and North Korean forces.

1950 The Knesset passed the Law of Return which granted all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

1951 William Shockley invented the junction transistor.

1954 John Wright, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1954 Jimmy Crespo, American guitarist (Aerosmith), was born.


1954 The BBC broadcast its first television news bulletin.

1954  Andhra Pradesh High Court was established.

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1958 Bill Watterson, American cartoonist, was born.

Calvin and Hobbes Original.png

1958 First ascent of Gasherbrum I, 11th highest peak on the earth.

1962  Algeria became independent from France.

1962 The Late Late Show, the world’s longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster, aired on RTÉ One for the first time.


1970 Air Canada Flight 621 crashed near Toronto International Airport killing 109 people.

1971  The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years, is formally certified by President Richard Nixon.

1973 Catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, killed 11 firefighters.


1975  Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.


1975  Cape Verde gained its independence from Portugal.

1977  Military coup in Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan was overthrown.

1979  Shane Filan, Irish musician (Westlife), was born.

1987 First instance of the LTTE using suicide attacks on Sri Lankan Army. The Black Tigers were born.

Ltte emblem.jpg

1989  Iran-Contra Affair: Oliver North was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service.


1995 Armenia adopted its constitution, four years after their independence from the Soviet Union.

1996  Dolly the sheep became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.


1998  Japan launched a probe to Mars.

1999 – President Clinton imposed trade and economic sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

2003 SARS was declared to be contained by the WHO.

2004  First Indonesian presidential election by the nation.

2009  Roger Federer won a record 15th Grand Slam title in tennis, winning a five set match against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon.

A dark-haired man is in the serving motion, which he is in all white clothing, and he has a redish-black tennis racket in his right hand

2009 The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, consisting of more than 1,500 items, was found near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire.


2009 Ethnic rioting broke out in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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