Word of the day

11/07/2011

Fustian – thick, durable twilled cloth with a short nap, usually dyed in dark colours; pompous or pretentious speech or writing.


1/10

11/07/2011

How well do you know your entertianment news, the NZ Herald asks?

My 1/10 is evidence my answer is not very well at all – but I think that’s a good thing.


Rural round-up

11/07/2011

Confidence lifts on rural up-swing – Tony Chaston:

PGGW’s back to the basics approach and the focusing on its core asset, it’s staff, is a strategy many in the agricultural industry said should have happened years ago.

The direction the previous management had taken the company saw major damage to the once strong PGGW brand, and indirectly to its low share price.

It appears the new owners are giving this company some time to sort its act out, but this will not last forever, and it is no secret that the controlling shareholder interests are more in the seeds area, than other parts of the business . . .

Foreign buyers’ policy affirmed by farmers – RadioNZ:

Federated Farmers has reaffirmed its support for overseas investment in New Zealand agriculture by people who want to come and farm here.

But it’s not so comfortable with foreign coporate investors buying large numbers of farms that could end up in foreign control.

Beef + Lamb promoting trade opportunities with Japan:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen is part of the New Zealand delegation attending the Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum in Tokyo next week, working to strengthen the business relationship between the two countries.

With both countries in recovery mode since devastating earthquakes, common interests are strengthened and there is a realisation that business must play a leading role in moving Japan and New Zealand forward, Petersen said.

On the agenda will be discussion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement and while Japan is not yet a party to those negotiations it has signalled its interest.

“If Japan was to join the TPP this would certainly expand the trade opportunities for our two countries within the Asia Pacific region. . .

Woolly thinking it’s not – Peter Kerr:

For a change, you can’t call this woolly thinking

The wool industry got some interesting ‘innovation things’ happening at the moment.

Firstly, there’s a consortium consisting of the Wool Research Organisation of NZ, industry participants and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, that’s collectively investing $3m a year over the next five years on a range of projects. This is being managed by Wool Industry Research Ltd. (WIRL) and is examining some industry good projects and confidential individual company co-funded wool projects to help move the fibre up the value chain.

But, of more immediate interest is a project, initially kicked off by WRONZ, now managed by WIRL, which commissioned a New York based innovation consultancy to find some new, better paying, markets for wool. . .

Scientists in Scotland decode potato genome – BBC:

An international team of scientists based in Scotland has decoded the full DNA sequence of the potato for the first time.

The breakthrough holds out the promise of boosting harvests of one of the
world’s most important staple crops.

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee say it should soon be
possible to develop improved varieties of potato much more quickly. . .

Rabobank’s Agribusiness review June 2011:

Prepared by the bank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory division (FAR), the report provides monthly commentary on New Zealand and Australian agricultural conditions.

Key highlights:
•June was mild in New Zealand, with winter really only arriving at the end of the month. The seasonal outlook in New Zealand is generally for warmer than average temperatures and wetter than average rainfall. Continuing dry conditions across Australia through June, consistent with the end of the La Nina event and expected to prevail into spring, have switched the focus back to how much rain will fall on winter crops over coming months. . .

The full report is here.


Just wondering . . .

11/07/2011

. . .  why people on phones talk louder when it’s they who have trouble hearing and not the person on the other end at whom they’re shouting?


“Healthier” milk?

11/07/2011

Marks and Spencer is to become the first retailer in Britain to launch a brand of “healthier” milk.

The milk is said to have at least 6% less saturated fat than standard milk due to a tailored dairy cow diet -trialled last year – that features the removal of all palm oil.

I haven’t seen the results of any scientific studies on the affect of palm oil on milk quality and its fat content but diet does impact on the quantity and quality of milk produced by animals and people.

Babies of vegan mothers who fully breast feed don’t get enough fat for brain development and healthy physical growth.

To support farmer suppliers who convert to the new feed regime, M&S will introduce a new payment contract for farmers who achieve the reduced saturated fat level. M&S says the contract will recognise any additional costs incurred.

This is how the market should work. The end user tells farmers what it wants and is prepared to pay a premium to compensate for the added costs of producing it.

Fonterra should keep a very close eye on this development for two reasons: palm kernel is used as a feed supplement here and could be affecting the quality of milk produced; and there could be a premium for our milk, most of which is supplied by free range, grass-fed cows.


Channelling Henry Higgins

11/07/2011

Act’s strength has always been its social liberalsim.

It’s difficult to see quite how anti-Maori rants  fit that philosophy nor why a social liberal would channel Henry Higgins:

“It’s a men’s party. I can’t get them to agree to that but it’s a party for men and women who think like men. “

Ah yes, why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Deborah ahs the answer – our feeble lady brains can’t cope with anything rational.


Information or persuasion, parliamentary or political?

11/07/2011

Providing information to or seeking it from constituents could be a legitimate part of an MP’s parliamentary work and therefore should be publicly funded.

But persuasion is political work and should be funded by polticial parties not the public.

Labour’s asserton they  didn’t intend to breach the Electoral Act is difficult to believe.

Equally troubling is the fact that Parliamentary Services okayed the payment  for the offending stop asset sales signs.

Nobody is suggesting that funding breaches any rules which means the rules are still far too lenient.

Some, perhaps almost all, of an MP’s parliamentary work could also be political but campaigning is definitely political not parliamentary and the public should not be funding that.

 


July 11 in history

11/07/2011

472  After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius was captured in the Old St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death.

Tremissis Anthemius-RIC 2842.jpg

911 Signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple and Rollo of Normandy.

1274 Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was born (d. 1329).

1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Dutch) – a coalition around the Flemish cities defeats the king of France’s royal army.

Battle of Courtrai2.jpg

1346  Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1405  Ming admiral Zheng He set sail to explore the world for the first time.

 

1476 Giuliano della Rovere was appointed bishop of Coutances.

1576 Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland.

1616 Samuel de Champlain returned to Quebec.

1735 Mathematical calculations suggested that on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.

Pluto-map-hs-2010-06-c180.jpg 

1740   Jews were expelled from Little Russia.

1750  Halifax, Nova Scotia was almost completely destroyed by fire.

1767 John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, was born (d. 1848).

1776 Captain James Cook began his third voyage.

1789 Jacques Necker was dismissed as France’s Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.

1796  The United States took possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.

Jay-treaty.jpg 

1798  The United States Marine Corps was re-established.

USMC logo.svg

1801  French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons made his first comet discovery.

1804 Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

 

1833  Noongar Australian aboriginal warrior Yagan, wanted for leading attacks on white colonists in Western Australia, was killed.

 

1848  Waterloo railway station in London opened.

 
Waterloo station main entrance.JPG

1859 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  was published.

 
Tales serial.jpg

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempted to invade Washington, D.C..

1877 Kate Edgar became the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a BA.

Kate Edger becomes NZ’s first woman graduate

1882  The British Mediterranean fleet began the Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt as part of the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.

1888 Carl Schmitt, German philosopher and political theorist, was born  (d. 1985).

1889 Tijuana, Mexico, was founded.

1893  The first cultured pearl was obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.

 

1893  A revolution led by the liberal general and politician, José Santos Zelaya, takes over state power in Nicaragua.

JZelaya.jpg
1895 The Lumière brothers demonstrated film technology to scientists.
Fratelli Lumiere.jpg

1897  Salomon August Andrée left Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North pole by balloon.

 

1899  E. B. White, American writer, was born  (d. 1985).

1906 The Gillette-Brown murder inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.

 

1914  Babe Ruth made his debut in Major league baseball.

 1916 – Reg Varney, English actor, was born (d. 2008).

1916 – Gough Whitlam, 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1919  The eight-hour working day and free Sunday became law in the Netherlands.

1920 Yul Brynner, Russian-born actor, was born (d. 1985).

1920 In the East Prussian plebiscite the local populace decided to remain with Weimar Germany

 

1921 A truce was called in the Irish War of Independence.

 

1921 – Former U.S. President William Howard Taft was sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to ever be both President and Chief Justice.

1921 – The Red Army captured Mongolia from the White Army and establishes the Mongolian People’s Republic.

1922 The Hollywood Bowl opened.

 

1929 David Kelly, Irish actor, was born.

1929 The Gillingham Fair fire disaster killed 15 in England.

1932 Bob McGrath, American actor, was born.

 

1936 The Triborough Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic.

1940 World War II: Vichy France regime was formally established. Henri Philippe Pétain became Prime Minister of France.

1943  Massacres of Poles in Volhynia.

1943 – World War II: Allied invasion of Sicily – German and Italian troops launched a counter-attack on Allied forces in Sicily.

SC180476.jpg

1947 The Exodus 1947 headed to Palestine from France.

Exodus 1947 after British takeover (note damage to makeshift barricades). Banner says: "Haganah Ship Exodus 1947".

1950 Bonnie Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1955  The phrase In God We Trust was added to all U.S. currency.

 

1957 Prince Karim Husseini Aga Khan IV inherited the office of Imamat as the 49th Imam of Shia Imami Ismaili worldwide, after the death of Sir Sultan Mahommed Shah Aga Khan III.

1959 Richie Sambora, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1960 Independence of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger.

1960  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published.

Mockingbirdfirst.JPG

1962 Pauline McLynn, Irish actress, was born.

 

1962  First transatlantic satellite television transmission.

1971  Copper mines in Chile were nationalised.

1973 A Brazilian Boeing 707 crashed near Paris on approach to Orly Airport, killing 123 of the 134 on-board.

1977 Martin Luther King Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

PresMedalFreedom.jpg

1978 Los Alfaques Disaster: A truck carrying liquid gas crashed and exploded at a coastal campsite in Tarragona, Spain killing 216 tourists.

1979  America’s first space station, Skylab, was destroyed as it re-enterws the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

1983 A Boeing 727 crashed into hilly terrain after a tail strike in Cuenca, Ecuador, claiming 119 lives.

1987  According to the United Nations, the world population crossed the 5,000,000,000 mark.

1990 Oka Crisis: First Nations land dispute in Quebec began.

  

1991  A Nationair DC-8 crashed during an emergency landing at Jeddah, killing 261.

1995  A Cubana de Aviacion Antonov An-24 crashds into the Caribbean off southeast Cuba killing 44 people.

1995   Over 8000 Bosnian men and children (mostly Bosniaks) were killed by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic.

2006 –  209 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Mumbi.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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