Word of the day

September 15, 2011

Zassledit‘  (Russian) –  to leave dirty footprints.

RWC – Russia vs USA

September 15, 2011

Russia debuts in the Rugby World Cup this evening – playing the USA.

It’s only a couple of decades ago that these two nations were Cold War enemies, but politics has nothing to do with me picking the USA.

We had a wonderful week in New York in July followed by a weekend visiting friends in Portland (Maine) and five lazy days in Honolulu on the way home.

All my picks – Scotland, Canada and Samoa won yesterday.

The second win for Scotland puts it at the top of Pool B but it’s next couple of games against Argentina and England will be tougher.


September 15, 2011

7/10 in the Herald’s changing world quiz.

Thursday’s quiz

September 15, 2011

1. Who said: “Rugby football is a game I can’t claim absolutely to understand in all its niceties, if you know what I mean. I can follow the broad, general principles, of course. I mean to say, I know that the main scheme is to work the ball down the field somehow and deposit it over the line at the other end and that, in order to squalch this programme, each side is allowed to put in a certain amount of assault and battery and do things to its fellow man which, if done elsewhere, would result in 14 days without the option, coupled with some strong remarks from the Bench.” ?

2. Who holds the Women’s Rugby World Cup and how many times have they won it?

3. The anthem of which country begins:   Oíd, mortales, el grito sagrado: Libertad! Libertad! Libertad!

4. It’s jouer in Frnech, giocare in Italian, jugar in Spanish and purei in Maori, what is it in English?

5.  Who hosts the Farming Show and on which radio station did he begin it?

Bradford’s candidacy boost for Bennett

September 15, 2011

Former Green MP Sue Bradford has confirmed  her candidacy in Waitakere.

This will help sitting MP and cabinet minister Paula Bennett by splitting the left vote.

The candidacy will get Bradford and her party some publicity and if Mana got sufficient party votes for a second MP, assuming its leader Hone Harawira keeps his seat, she might get in to parliament.

The iPredict contract gives Bennett a 74% chance of holding the seat.

The contract on Bradford being  second on Mana’s list, after Harawira, hasn’t attracted much interest.

Dairy workers have it easy?

September 15, 2011

Tesco has a website to promote the nutritional benefits of milk.

It includes a page introducing farmer Jo who it turns out isn’t a fulltime farmer:

Unlike Harry, who was herding cows before he could walk, I never thought I would end up back here. I studied History in Birmingham and lived there and then in London. But the chance came to develop different areas of the farm which are not strictly cow/crop related and I jumped at it. I now run the mountain boarding centre (like snow boarding with pneumatic wheels – loads of fun!) but I still work around the farm.

One of her duties is milking when a herdsman is off and she says:

Their job is a real lifestyle choice. They start at 4am to prepare for 5am milking, then go home and sleep before milking is done again at 5pm.

I’d be surprised if that’s how it is for most dairy farm workers in Britain, it’s certainly not here.

They get up early to do the morning milking. Whoever is rostered to get the herd in will start about 4.30am, the others at 5:00. After milking and washing the shed they go home for breakfast then back to work feeding out, shifting breaks, attending to animal health, doing repairs and maintenance . . .  They go home for lunch and sometimes have time for a short nap and then it’s back for afternoon milking which usually starts with getting the cows in at about 2.30. When milking’s finished they clean the shed before going home for dinner.

Extra staff are usually employed to feed calves but there are other duties around calving then it’s not long before mating which also requires more work. They might also be required to irrigate. Managers and share milkers  have administration to do too.

Dairy workers here are well paid, but the good ones earn every cent. It’s usually only on their days off that they’d have the luxury of sleeping between milkings unless they are employed only for milking and not full time.

Hat Tip: Business Blog

Apropos of websites promoting milk, DairyNZ has appointed Rosie as Cowbassador, the face of New Zealand’s 4.4 million dairy cows  face of New Zealand’s 4.4 million dairy cows. Followers have the chance to win an iPad.

Observers responsible but not judges?

September 15, 2011

The Crimes Amendment Bill (No 2) which aims to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect passed its second reading on Tuesday.

It creates a new offence of failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult from the risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault, with a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

Justice Minister Simon Power said:

“New Zealand has a shameful history of child abuse and this bill will make an example of adults who put their interests before those of the vulnerable children around them,” Mr Power said.

“This bill sends a very clear message that it’s no longer okay for people to turn a blind eye.”

Mr Power said a parent or person over 18 may be found liable if they have frequent contact with the victim, and:

  • They are a member of the same household as the victim.
  • Though they do not live in the same household, they are so closely connected with it that they are regarded as a member of it.
  • They are a staff member of a hospital or institution where the victim resides.

On top of that, the bill doubles the maximum penalty for cruelty to a child from five years to 10 years’ imprisonment and extends the offence to include vulnerable adults – those in care because of their age, detention, sickness, or mental impairment.

We do have a shameful record of abuse and neglect and that makes the case of the comedian whose name is suppressed who was discharged without conviction after pleading  guilty even more puzzling.

If I understand this correctly, had this bill been enacted, the mother of the child involved who laid the complaint would have committed an offense had she stayed silent.

If an adult who doesn’t act when they know a chid is being abused or neglected is wrong, how can a judge say the consequences of a conviction for someone who admits offending would outweigh the gravity of the offence?

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