Word of the day

12/02/2012

Nebbish – a timid, meek, weak-willed or ineffectual person


6/10

12/02/2012

6/10 in the Herald’s travel quiz.


We are happy and we know it

12/02/2012

Difficult as it might be to believe it if you spend too much time absorbing the doom and gllom that dominates headlines, the world is a happier place tha n it was four years ago.

More than three-quarters of people around the globe who were questioned in an international poll said they were happy with their lives and nearly a quarter described themselves as very happy.

“The world is a happier place today and we can actually measure it because we have been tracking it,” said John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos Global, which has surveyed the happiness of more than 18,000 people in 24 countries (not including New Zealand) since 2007.

But he added that expectations of why people are happy should be carefully weighed.

“It is not just about the economy and their well being. It is about a whole series of other factors that make them who they are today.”

The survey looked at a range of factors and some are those which many of us take for granted:

“There is a pattern that suggests that there are many other factors beyond the economy that make people happy, so it does provide one element but it is not the whole story,” said Wright.

“Sometimes the greatest happiness is a cooked meal or a roof over your head,” he explained. “Relationships remain the No 1 reason around the world where people say they have invested happiness and maybe in those cultures family has a much greater degree of impact.”

Regionally Latin America had the highest number of happy people, followed by North America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa. Only 15 per cent of Europeans said they were very happy.

On a more personal note married couples tended to be happier than singles but men seemed to be as content as women. Education and age also had an impact with more people under 35 saying they are very happy than 35-49 year olds. Higher education also equated with higher happiness.

Well-fed, well-educated and well-loved, sounds like happiness to me.

But while money itself doesn’t seem to be a major factor, it is definitely necessary for the food and education, and lack of financial stress would also help relationships.


Rural round-up

12/02/2012

Sheep and beef under threat from too much grass – Allan Barber:

This season’s excessive grass growth throughout the country except for Otago and Southland has generally been a cause for celebration among sheep and beef farmers, happy not to have to worry about drought and ecstatic about livestock prices.

But this may be a two-edged sword, in the first place for those farmers seeking replacement stock for whom the store market is too hot, and secondly for all those with problems controlling their grass, including both those who are reluctant to pay the going rate as well as the ones who have a straight numbers shortage.

It will also be a problem for meat companies chasing lower livestock volumes and being forced to take part in a procurement war – not desirable – or stay out of the market – equally or even more undesirable. . .

Highland breeders encourage others–  Sally Rae:

Grant and Cathy Watts are keen to encourage others to get involved in showing Highland cattle.   

Mr and Mrs Watts, who have been breeding the hairy beasts since 1999, will be exhibiting at the national South Island Highland cattle show in Oamaru.   

The show is being held in conjunction with the North Otago A and P show on February 25 and exhibitors from Southland to  South Canterbury will be attending with their prize cattle beasts . . .

Life on land change of tune – Sally Rae:

Australian sheep classer Gordon McMaster could have taken a      very different career path – if it had not been for his father.   

While known internationally for his involvement with merino sheep and kelpie dogs, it was music that was his first love and he nearly became a professional musician.   

As a lad, Mr McMaster (75) reached the finals of the      Australian amateur drumming championships and he was offered a position in a band in Sydney.   

But when the young Gordon came home from school and told his      father, he was told, in no uncertain terms, that no son of  his would be a professional musician. . .

A golden year for ENZAFOODS:

New Zealand’s largest apple processing company, ENZAFOODS is celebrating a special year of production, marking 50 golden years in business.

As the New Zealand apple season kicks off, ENZAFOODS will officially open its new $4 million processing line at its Hastings factory, which has been purpose built to produce premium fruit products and will create dozens up to 30 new jobs.

ENZAFOODS is now injecting an estimated $40 million into the economies of Hawke’s Bay and Nelson and providing more profitable contracts to growers for second grade fruit. . .

Rabobank appionts new head of Food & Agri research:

Rabobank has announced the appointment of Luke Chandler to the position of general manager of its Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory division in New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Chandler has returned from a three-year posting in Rabobank’s London office, establishing and heading the bank’s global Agri Commodity Markets Research team, to take on the new appointment.

Mr Chandler will also retain his international role as global head of Agri Commodity Markets Research, responsible for managing the bank’s analysis and outlook for the world’s major agri commodities markets. . .

Conference a huge learning opportunity:

Dairy farmers are invited to participate in the NZ Dairy Business Conference, the 43rd annual event hosted by the New Zealand Large Herds Association and farm nutrition company Altum.

Chairman of the NZ Large Herds Association Bryan Beeston is encouraging dairy farmers to visit the dairy research and development capital of New Zealand where delegates will have a chance to see the nation’s top scientists at work in their world-leading research centres.

“It’s an opportunity to see innovation as it happens, with Fonterra making a rare decision to allow delegates a glimpse behind the scenes at its Palmerston North based research centre,”says Bryan. . .

Maker of women’s farm gear lookign to expand:

A women’s farmwear manufacturer hopes to grow the business both in New Zealand and overseas by expanding her product range.

Zanux founder Zane Miltona studied fashion in London before moving to a New Zealand farm four years ago.

Ms Miltona says she soon realised there was no fashionable farmwear available for women, so she began designing her own overalls and has developed a design that means she’s able to go to the bathroom without having to remove all the garment. . .

NZ capability in fresh produce on show in Germany:

New Zealand has a unique opportunity to showcase its strengths and secure new business at the world’s largest fresh produce trade event being held in Germany this week.

Each year Fruit Logistica, taking place in Berlin from 8 – 10 February, attracts more than 2,400 companies and 50,000 visitors from all parts of the world’s fresh produce value chain.

New Zealand companies exhibiting in 2012 include Plant & Food Research, Enzafruit, Zespri, BBC Technologies, Wyma Solutions, Fresh Appeal and Compac Sorting Equipment, with a range of other individuals and representatives also heading to Berlin. . .

Dairying with resilience: Dairy Women’s Networkconference:

Helping dairying women along their journeys toward developing dairy businesses in the face of challenges is one of the main themes of this year’s Dairy Women’s Network annual conference.

The conference will be held at Rotorua’s Millennium Hotel on 21 and 22 March.

The 2012 conference theme is ‘Dairying with Resilience’ and much of the programme is aimed at inspiring women and giving them the necessary tools to be resilient at home and on the farm.

Kicking off the conference is keynote speaker, Sarah Kennedy, CEO of RD1 – the Network’s new, exclusive sponsor of its Regional Groups. Sarah will talk about her journey into industry leadership and what it takes to achieve positions of influence.


Foreign investors also make losses

12/02/2012

Open Country Cheese blames its full year loss of $29.5m on the high Price of milk and our strong dollar.

The Auckland-based company has faced a kiwi dollar trading near a five-month high against the greenback in volatile global markets while global demand for commodities have helped drive up the price of milk, putting pressure on processing margins.

“It is clear that when this high degree of volatility is coupled with the commitment we have to produce competitive returns to our supply base we will have considerable more variance in our year to year trading results than desirable,” chief executive Steven Smith and chairman Laurie Margrain said in the annual report. . .

. . .  The dairy processor paid an average $7.56 per kilogram of milk solids to its farmer suppliers, a 24 percent increase from a year earlier. That’s short of the $7.60 per kg and 65 cents per share distributable Fonterra paid to its farmer shareholders.

Open Country is controlled by the Talley family and its second biggest shareholder is Singapore’s Olam International.

Will the people who are so upset at the thought of foreign investors taking New Zealand-made dividends be just as concerned about these ones having to take a loss.


Retirement rumours ignore facts

12/02/2012

The left’s latest plan is the desperate hope  that John Key’s second term is already looking more difficult than the first and so he’ll retire before the next election but:

This is guesswork based on nothing more than supposition that he is not as addicted to power as a Helen Clark or a Jim Bolger who would have stayed on into their dotage if allowed.

It is also ignoring a couple of salient facts.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly said he will complete this term and he has worked very hard to ensure he keeps his word, even though the financial and natural crisis which punctuated his first term gave him plenty of excuses to do otherwise.

The second is that people who succeed in business and life as he has don’t give up when the going gets tough.

He brought his family back to New Zealand, made considerable personal and financial sacrifices and entered politics because he believes New Zealand can succeed and he has a plan to help us do that.

It was never going to be easy and the various challenges, beyond anyone’s control, which his government has had to face since 2008 have made it even more difficult.

They have also made the need to reverse the tax, borrow and spend policies of the Clark governments and replace them with ones which foster real growth based on exports, savings and investment even greater.

His government has made some tough decisions and there has been a positive change in direction.

The idea that he would give up now just because it’s not going to be easy and let the left back into power before the necessary changes are cemented in is ludicrous.

It also says a lot about Labour’s desperation and lack of a plan, if they’re basing their hopes of a reversal in their polling on unfounded rumours.


February 12 in history

12/02/2012

881 Pope John VIII crowned Charles the Fat, the King of Italy.

1429  English forces under Sir John Fastolf defended a supply convoy carrying rations to the army besieging Orleans from attack by the Comte de Clermont and John Stuart in the Battle of Rouvray (also known as the Battle of the Herrings).

1502 Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon on his second voyage to India.

1541 – Santiago, Chile was founded by Pedro de Valdivia.

1554 A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for treason.

1567 Thomas Campion, English composer and poet, was born (d. 1620).

1700 The Great Northern War began in Northern Europe.

1719 The Onderlinge van 1719 u.a., the oldest existing life insurance company in the Netherlands was founded.

1771 Gustav III became the King of Sweden.

1809 Charles Darwin, English naturalist, was born (d. 1882).

1809 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, was born (d. 1865).

1816 The Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, was destroyed by fire.

1817 An Argentine/Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeated Spanish troops on the Battle of Chacabuco.

1818 Bernardo O’Higgins formally approved the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile.

1825 The Muscogee (Creek )ceded the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government, and migrate west.

1828 George Meredith, English writer, was born (d. 1909).

1832 Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands.

1855 Michigan State University was established.

1870 Women gained the right to vote in the Utah Territory.

1879 The first artificial ice rink in North America opened at Gilmore’s Park in New York City.

1881 Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina, was born  (d. 1931).

1894 Anarchist Émile Henry hurled a bomb into Paris’s Cafe Terminus, killing one and wounding 20.

1909 SS Penguin was wrecked in Cook Strait.

SS <em>Penguin</em> wrecked in Cook Strait

1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.

1911 Stephen H. Sholes, American recording executive, was born  (d. 1968).

1912 Xuantong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, the last Emperor of China, abdicated.

1914 The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was put into place.

1915 Lorne Greene, Canadian actor, was born  (d. 1987).

1923 – Franco Zeffirelli, Italian film and opera director and designer, was born.

1924  Calvin Coolidge became the first President of the United States to deliver a political speech on radio.

1934 The Austrian Civil War began.

1934 In Spain the national council of Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista was inaugurated.

1938 Judy Blume, American author, was born.

1945 David Friedman, American economist, was born.

1946 Operation Deadlight ended after scuttling 121 of 154 captured U-boats.

52 surrendered U-boats moored at HMS Ferret,Lisahally, Northern Ireland

1948 Raymond Kurzweil, American inventor and author, was born.

1949 – Joaquín Sabina, Spanish singer and songwriter, was born.

1950 Steve Hackett, English guitarist (Genesis), was born.

1961 U.S.S.R. launched Venera 1 towards Venus.

1966 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced the Six Points in Karachi as the election manifesto of Awami League, that led to formation of Bangladesh.

1973 The first United States prisoners of war were released by the Viet Cong.

1974 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature was exiled from the Soviet Union.

1990 Carmen Lawrence became the first female Premier in Australian History when she became premier of Western Australia.

1997 Hwang Jang-yop, secretary in the Workers’ Party of Korea and a prime architect of North Korea’s Juche doctrine, defects at the South Korean embassy in Beijing along with his aide, Kim Dok-hong.

1999 President Bill Clinton was acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.

2001 NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touchdown in the “saddle” region of 433 Eros becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

2002 The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević began.

2002 – An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashed in the mountains outside Khorramabad, Iran while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport, killing 119.

2004 The city of San Francisco,  began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

2006 A powerful winter storm blanketed the Northeastern United States dumping 1 to 2 feet of snow from Washington D.C. to Boston, and a record 26.9 inches of snow in New York City.

2007 A gunman opens fire in a mall in Salt Lake City killing 5 people wounding 4 others in the Trolley Square shooting.

2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed into a house near Buffalo, New York killing 50 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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