Word of the day

January 21, 2012

Ratiocination – of, relating to, marked by, or skilled in methodical and logical reasoning; the process of exact thinking; conscious deliberate inference.

Enough but not too much

January 21, 2012

For years we’ve been told to be slip,slap and slop when we’re in the sun and seek shade as much as we can to avoid skin cancer.

But now there are warnings we’re not getting enough vitamin D and a study – admittedly only in mice – suggests that this vitamin could help prevent some age-related diseases including some  which lead to blindness.

Unfortunately the report doesn’t say how to get enough sun to get the vitamin D required for eye health without getting too much which would put us at risk of the diseases caused by over exposure.

Maybe someone could do a study on the adverse affects on anxiety levels from incomplete reports on health studies.


January 21, 2012

8/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Saturday’s smiles

January 21, 2012

A city couple were driving down a country lane on their way to visit some friends.

They turned off the main road onto an unsealed track, came to a muddy patch in the road and the car became bogged.

After a few minutes of trying to get the car out by themselves, they saw a young farmer coming down the lane, driving some oxen before him.

The farmer stopped and offered to pull the car out of the mud for $50. The couple accepted and minutes later the car was free. The farmer turned to the driver and said, “You know, you’re the tenth car I’ve helped out of the mud today.”

The driver looked around at the fields incredulously and said to the farmer, “That’s very public-spirited of you but when do you have time to plough your land? At night?”

“No,” the young farmer replied, “Night is when I put the water in the hole.”

Where’s the proof?

January 21, 2012

A lot of people believe this:

We all know recycling is good for the planet . . .

But where is the proof that it is and the cost of collecting, transporting and recycling rubbish is justified by the benefits?

Recycling definitely reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

It could well be better than burning, burying or whatever other methods people who don’t use landfills do with their rubbish.

But is it always better for the planet?

My question is prompted in part by the memory of a newspaper story read some years ago,  which I haven’t been able to find on-line, of the air and water pollution from recycling plastic in China and the damage to the health of the workers.

It’s possible that was an isolated case that recycling plastic has improved since then and that other forms of recycling do more good than harm but I don’t know for sure.

I have no problem accepting that reducing and reusing are better for the environment but I have yet to see anything to prove that recycling always is.

Air NZ looking east?

January 21, 2012

Asia is the flavour of the moment as New Zealand moves from traditional markets and destinations for trade and tourism.

It’s called the east but that’s from a European perspective, Asia is really to our west unless you go the long way round the world.

The nearest major land block to our east is South America and there are also opportunities for business and holidays there too.

Fonterra is already involved in dairy farming in Chile.

PGG Wrightson’s investment in Uruguay wasn’t successful but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities there and in other parts of South America.

One of the obstacles is the shortage of flights and I hope speculation that Air New Zealand is exploring markets in South America is true.

It would add a much-needed additional option for would-be travellers.

Only Lan Chile and Aerolineas Argentina fly direct between Auckland and South America – to and from Santiago and Buenos Aires respectively.

You have to fly to Sydney to go with Qantas. Emirates has recently entered the South American market but you not only have to take the long way via Dubai you have to stay there for at least a night.

The only options with Star Alliance partners are with indirect and much longer routes via the United States or Europe.

The World Cup brought more tourists here from Argentina. Now that the tri-nations competition has been expanded to include the Pumas in what will be the Rugby Championship,  there will be more interest from people wanting to come here and go there. That will lead to an increase in interest in Argentina and further afield in South America with the potential for more tourism and trade opportunities.

We’ve been to Argentina five times. It’s an amazing country and in spite of the cultural and language differences we’ve found the people are like us in many ways.

Visiting there would be even better if we could fly with Air New Zealand.

Quote of the day

January 21, 2012

. . .  It is within the state-sustained underclass that the greatest danger to children appears to exist. And even if it is doesn’t, even if it is merely part of a larger problem, it is the part we can influence.

Forget colour. Consider circumstance. Multiple babies, different fathers, transient partners, a lifestyle entirely dependent on benefits paid by state agencies so haunted by the memory of the soup kitchens that they refuse to make anybody “pray” for anything. So they write the cheque and leave the bridge. They don’t stay on board. They don’t come to the rescue. They don’t even know there’s been an accident.

This is not Daniel Moynihan’s infamous “benign neglect”. It is malign neglect, a breech of the duty of care. It is the state failing the most vulnerable, the most helpless, the most dependant of its citizens. If money is paid for the nurture of children, then those who pay it must do everything in their power to ensure those children are nurtured. If they don’t, they are complicit.

There’s nothing wrong with asking people to perform certain tasks in exchange for payment they have freely sought. That’s how the world works. . .  Jim Hopkins

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