Tech fairy having tantrum?


Is the tech fairy having a tantrum?

I lost Google Reader, got it back but now it’s gone again, can’t do Google searches nor get into Xtra email, though I can get messages with another address.

I tried clicking on a couple of blogspot blogs and can’t get them either.

Act on Campus referred to police


The electoral Commission has reported Act on Campus to the police over its ‘Not your typical party’ flyer, baseball cap and t-shirt.

There’s something wrong with the system when a decision on referring an alleged breach of electoral law isn’t made until more than two months after the election.

Electoral law should be simple, easy to understand and comply with and any breaches should be dealt with before an election if at all possible.

Milk production up, prices stable


The global production of milk has gone up an estimated 2.2%, Fonterra chair Sir Henry van der Heyden said in a newsletter to shareholders.

Demand is growing at the same time which is keeping prices relatively stable. The three year average whole milk price is holding at around $3,500 a tonne.

However, the trade weighted price of milk went down .9% in this morning’s globalDairyTrade auction.

The price of anhydrous milk fat was down 3.5%; cheddar was down 1.1%; milk protein concentrate was down 4.9%; rennet casein was down 4.3%; skim milk powder was down .5% and whole milk powder was down .9%.



Thursday’s quiz


1. This is the Chinese year of what?

2. Of which country is Goodluck Jonathan president?

3. Who said: Diligence is the mother of good luck.”?

4. It’s chance in French,  fortuna in Italian, suerte in Spanish and waimaria in Maori, what is it in English?

5. Who wrote Lucky Jim?

More proof manuka honey heals


A few years ago a farm tour detoured to a small company which produced manuka honey products.

We were given a packet of lozenges for sore throats with instructions to suck one and as soon as it had gone suck a second.

I took the packet home and forgot about it until weeks later I woke up to a throat that felt as if it had been scraped with sandpaper. I took the lozenges as prescribed and felt the benefit immediately.

The lozenges aren’t stocked in many pharmacies but you can get them from Manukamed.

Researchers here and oversea have done studies into maunka honey’s healing powers and a new one has found it can clear up and prevent wound infection.

Researchers at the Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales have found further evidence of manuka honey’s antibacterial qualities, suggesting it could be used clinically to treat infections that often fail to respond to antibiotics.

A $100m industry was established after researchers at Waikato University discovered the honey’s unique antibacterial properties. This new study could give the industry a further boost.


High dollar hinders and helps


Exporters and the tourism industry complain about the high value of our dollar because it increases the price of our goods and services in other currencies.

But it also increases our spending power when we travel, reduces the cost of imports and  makes it easier to pay back debt, most of which is owed to foreign banks.

In spite of the fact that the costs are balanced by benefits and it’s now more than 20 years since our dollar was floated, there are still calls from some people for the government to intervene to reduce its value.

That’s not something this government is going to do and Finance Minister Bill English says   we should get used to our currency being worth around 80 US cents.

“It keeps moving back to 80 cents. We thought it looked like it was going to drop off in the latter part of last year, but it’s gone back up to 80 cents,” English said to media in Wellington today.

“The good news is that it maintains consumers’ purchasing power, so it’s helping them to pay off their debt, and our exporters have adapted to it pretty well. So despite the fact that it’s historically high, our manufacturing sector has been growing and our primary production sector’s just had the biggest export quarter it’s ever had,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say ‘no worries’ – it’s a headwind. But we need to ensure our exporters can be competitive at 80 US cents, and they are showing the can be. I think that’s positive for our future.”

The higher dollar may hinder some exporters by making our goods more expensive but it also helps by reducing the cost of imports.

Fuel and fertiliser are two of the biggest farm expenses and the higher dollar helps keep their prices lower.

Which is Labour’s real view on land sales to foreigners?


Last week Labour was opposed to any land sales to foreigners.

Kiwiblog reminds us that last year the party was  opposed to any land sales to foreigners unless they invested in significant further processing of related primary produce and related jobs.

This week, the party has two different views on the issue following news that Canadian James Cameron has spent $20m buying a couple fo farms in the Wairarapa.

At least one MP has a softer line than last week’s position:

If a foreign purchaser of New Zealand land is going to live here and not “bugger off” back overseas, then the Labour Party is not opposed to the sale, the party’s finance spokesman David Parker says.

David Shearer is still opposed to any sale to foreigners:

Labour leader David Shearer continued his hard line on foreign buyers saying “New Zealanders do not want to be sharemilkers on foreign-owned land.”

I probably know a lot more sharemikers than he does and the nationality of the landowners doesn’t seem to be an issue with them.

I also know people from France, Wales and the United States who own farms here, make a vvery good job of running them and also play significant roles in their communities.

Shearer might like to tell the people who sold the farms what’s wrong with their actions.

Then he could explain which policy is the official one – last year’s, last week’s which is still his this week, or this week’s new one from Parker?

February 2 in history


962 Pope John XII crowned Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

1032 Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor became King of Burgundy.

1536  Pedro de Mendoza founded Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1653  New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) was incorporated.

1709 Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

1790 The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time.

1812 Russia established a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, California.

1829  William Stanley, inventor and engineer, was born (d. 1909).

1848 Mexican-American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed.

1848 California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese emigrants arrives in San Francisco, California.

1876 The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball was formed.

1880 The first electric streetlight was installed in Wabash, Indiana.

1882 James Joyce, Irish author, was born (d. 1941).

1882 The Knights of Columbus were formed in New Haven, Connecticut.

1887 In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day was observed.

1899 The Australian Premiers’ Conference decided to locate Australia’s capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne.

1901 Queen Victoria’s funeral took place.

1905 Ayn Rand, Russian-born American author and philosopher, was born (d 1982).

1913 Grand Central Station opened in New York City.

1922 Ulysses by James Joyce was published.

1925 Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1925 – The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake struck northeastern North America.

1931 – Les Dawson, British comedian, was born (d. 1993).

1933 Adolf Hitler dissolved the German Parliament.

1934 The Export-Import Bank of the United States was incorporated.

1935 Leonarde Keeler tested the first polygraph machine.

1940 David Jason, English actor, was born.

1940  Frank Sinatra debuted with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

1946 The Proclamation of Hungarian Republic was made.

1947 Farrah Fawcett, American actress, was born.

1948 Al McKay, American guitarist and songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1957 Iskander Mirza of Pakistan laid the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage.

1967 The American Basketball Association was formed.

1971 Idi Amin replaced President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda.

1974 The men’s 1500-metre final at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games was called the greatest middle distance race of all time. Tanzanian Filbert Bayi won in a new world record time of 3 minutes 32.16 seconds. New Zealand’s emerging middle distance star John Walker came second, also breaking the existing world record. The remarkable feature of this race was the fact that the third, fourth (New Zealander Rod Dixon) and fifth place getters ran the fourth, fifth, and seventh fastest 1500m times to that date. The national records of five countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand – were all broken in this race.

‘The greatest middle distance race of all time’

1974 The F-16 Fighting Falcon flew for the first time.

1976 The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada.

1987 The Philippines made a new constitution.

1989 Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armored column left Kabul.

1989 Satellite television service Sky Television plc launched.

1990  F.W. de Klerk allowed the African National Congress to function legally and promised to release Nelson Mandela.

1998 A Cebu Pacific Flight 387 DC-9-32 crashed into a mountain near Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, killing 104.

2002 Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange married Máxima Zorreguieta.

2007 Four tornadoes hit Central Florida, killing 21 people.

2007 – Widespread flooding in Jakarta, began, eventually killing 54 and causing more than US$400 million in damages.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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