Word of the day


Alexiteric –  resisting poison; obviating the effects of venom;  preservative against contagious and infectious diseases, and the effects of poison in general.

Heaven on earth


Quote of the day:

“I wondered if I was still here – I think I’m in heaven.”     Bob Glading, the oldest golfer (at 92) in the NZ PGA Pro-Am tournament at Jacks Point near Queenstown.




7/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Will sunlight penetrate thick hides?


Travel perks for former MPs are fairly near the top of most people’s list of things-to-cull.

They can say that they were part of their salary package at the time and they’d be right but just like moving forward on a green light when a juggernaut is racing through a red, they’d be right in the wrong environment.

That pay and conditions belonged to a by-gone era when such things were hidden behind smoke and mirrors.

Now they are to be exposed to sunlight:

Travel perks for former MPs will now be protected in law under legislation debated by Parliament yesterday but the amount spent by each individual former MP will be revealed annually.

This is a very smart move and a continuation of National’s policy of greater transparency.

Though whether the sunlight will penetrate the thick hides of all former MPs and curbs their travel remains to be seen.

Those inflicted with entitleitis might travel at our expense and put up with the opprobrium that will fall upon them when the bill is made public.

But at least we’ll know and they’ll know we know because the media will take great delight in telling them so.

Who really cares about LTP?


The Otago Regional Council is inviting submissions on its Long Term Plan.

Who really cares about it? I suspect only those with a particular issue they feel very strongly about will take up the invitation.

If changes mooted for local bodies come to fruition its probable the council will disappear long before the term of the plan but that doesn’t make submissions any less important.

This is one reason no farmer should begrudge paying a sub to Federated Farmers.

Few if any of us will bother to read the plan and fewer still will submit on it.

But Feds will do it on our behalf and we should be grateful that they do because the plan will affect the rates we pay and what we can and can’t do on our farms.

March 31 in history


1146 Bernard of Clairvauxpreached his sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade.

1492 Queen Isabella of Castille issued the Alhambra decree, ordering her 150,000 Jewish subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

1596 René Descartes, French mathematician, was born (d. 1650).

1621 Andrew Marvell, English poet, was born  (d. 1678).

1717 A sermon on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ” by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provokes the Bangorian Controversy.

1732 Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1809).

1774 American Revolutionary War: The Great Britain ordered the port of Boston, Massachusetts closed pursuant to the Boston Port Act.

1822  The massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following a rebellion attempt, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.

1854 Commodore Matthew Perry signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade.

1866 The Spanish Navy bombed the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile.

1885  The United Kingdom established a protectorate over Bechuanaland.

1889 The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated.

1903 Richard Pearse made a powered flight in an early aircraft.

1906 The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later National Collegiate Athletic Association) is established to set rules for amateur sports in the United States.

1909 Serbia accepted Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1909 Construction began on the RMS Titanic.

1912 Construction was completed on the RMS Titanic.

1917 The United States took possession of the Danish West Indies after paying $25 million to Denmark, and renames the territory the United States Virgin Islands.

1921 The Royal Australian Air Force was formed.

1926 John Fowles, English author, was born (d. 2005).

1930 The Motion Pictures Production Code was instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film for the next thirty eight years.

1931  An earthquake destroyed Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000.

1933 The Civilian Conservation Corps was established with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment.

1935 Herb Alpert, American trumpeter and band leader, was born.

1936 Marge Piercy, American writer, was born.

1940 The funeral of Labour Prime Minister Michael Josepgh Savage took place.

Funeral of Labour PM Savage

1942  World War II: Japanese forces invaded Christmas Island, then a British possession.

1942 Holocaust in Ivano-Frankivsk (then called Stanislawow), western Ukraine. German Gestapo organised the first deportation of 5,000 Jews from Stanislawow ghetto to Belzec death camp.

1946 – The first election was held in Greece after World War II.

1947  César Gaviria Trujillo, former President of Colombia, was born.

1948 Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1951 Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau.

1955 Angus Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955  Robert Vance, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1959 The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the border into India and was granted political asylum.

1964 The Dictatorship in Brazil, under the aegis of general Castello Branco, began.

1965 Iberia Airlines Convair 440 crashed into the sea on approach to Tangier, killing 47 of 51 occupants.

1966 The Soviet Union launched Luna 10 which became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.

1970 Explorer 1 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere (after 12 years in orbit).

1970 Nine terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijack Japan Airlines Flight 351 at Tokyo International Airport, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb.

1972 Alejandro Amenábar, Spanish film director, was born.

1979 The last British soldier left Malta which declared its Freedom Day (Jum il-Helsien).

1986 – A Mexicana Boeing 727 en route to Puerto Vallarta erupted in flames and crashes in the mountains northwest of Mexico City, killing 166.

1986 – Six metropolitan county councils were abolished in England.

1990 200,000 protestors took to the streets of London to protest against the newly introduced Poll Tax.

1991 The Islamic Constitutional Movement, or Hadas, was established in Kuwait.

1991 Georgian independence referendum, 1991: nearly 99 percent of the voters supported the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

1992 The USS Missouri (BB-63), the last active United States Navy Battleship, was decommissioned.

199 The journal Nature reported the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.

1995 In Corpus Christi, Texas, Latin superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her own fan club.

1998 Netscape released the code base of its browser under an open-source license agreement; with code name Mozilla and which was spun off into the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.

2004 In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, were killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

Word of the day


Acrasia – excess; intemperance; lack of self-control.

Safety perceptions


The Waitaki Safer Community Project is undertaking market research into how community groups and individuals in the Waitaki District perceive the safety levels in the district.

They mean more than feeling safe walking down the street at night or whilst sitting at home and are talking about the wider safety issues of health, education and wellbeing, of the elderly in their homes, youngsters and places to play.

The survey form is here.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”?

2. It’s automne in French, autunno in Italian, otoño in Spanish and tokerau in Maori, what is it in English?

3. What does a philematologist study?

4. Who are the chief executives of the Department of Conservation and Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry?

5. How would you play a piece of music if it had the instruction adagio?

Points for answers:

Gravedodger got one and a half with a bonus for wit.

Wildwan got two.

Roger wins an electronic banana cake with five right.

PDM gets a bonus for honesty.

Adam gets three – positively 🙂

Teletext wins an electronic banana cake with a double bonus for such full explanation and prompting me to listen to the music.


Grant got three and a bonus for humor.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Cans or can’ts


The opposition keeps asking where the jobs are while also opposing any intensification of agriculture, exploration for oil and gas and foreign investment.

If we want the first world incomes – and the social services and infrastructure which depend on that – we have to take up at least some of these opportunities for job creation and economic development which are available to us.

That doesn’t mean open slather.

Development must be undertaken in a way which protects the environment, with health and safety safeguards for workers, and there might need to be conditions imposed on foreign investment.

But if we want more jobs we need to look at how we can make the most of new opportunities rather than just saying we can’t.


Provinces not buying Labour’s profligacy


Quote of the day:

Any political analyst who has taken soundings in the provinces in recent times will have noted how irrelevant Labour appears to have made itself in the life of provincial NZ. It happens to be a phenomenon not limited to NZ, as attested by the crushing defeat of Labor in Queensland and the failure of the UK Labour Party to regain its ascendancy. Labour, wherever it may be, remains associated with fiscal profligacy. Voters see a conflict between the need for budgetary stringency and fulfilling the ideals of social justice which Labour stands for. At present, in the wake of the global financial crisis, the pendulum has swung in favour of budgetary rectitude. Trans Tasman

Past profligacy, and the inability to convince people they’ve learned how stupid that is, isn’t the only reason Labour isn’t making any headway in the provinces.

What policies it has are aimed at urban voters. The party shows no sign of moving away from  the anti-farmer sentiments its politicians espoused in the last parliamentary term and has yet to dispaly any enthusiasm for policies which encourage productivity.

Directors and investors beware


It will be cold comfort to the people who lost fortunes in Lombard Finance that Sir Douglas Graham also lost a large amount – a couple of million dollars.

The sentence of fines and community service handed down to him and other directors won’t help those who lost money either.

But it is a warning to other directors of their responsibilities and to investors that there’s a correlation between risk and return, no matter who’s running the company.

March 30 in history


240 BC 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

1282 The people of Sicily rebelled against the Angevin KingCharles I, in what became known as the Sicilian Vespers.

1296 Edward I sacked Berwick-upon-Tweed, during armed conflict between Scotland and England.

1746 Francisco Goya, Spanish painter, was born  (d. 1828).

1811 Robert Bunsen, German chemist, was born (d. 1899).

1814 Napoleonic Wars: Sixth Coalition forces marched into Paris.

1814 – Joachim Murat issued the Rimini Declaration which later inspired Italian Unification.

1820 Anna Sewell, British author, was born (d. 1878).

1842 Anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation by Dr Crawford Long.

1844 One of the most important battles of the Dominican War of Independence from Haiti took place near the city of Santiago de los Caballeros.

1853 Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter, was born  (d. 1890).

1855 Origins of the American Civil War: Bleeding Kansas – “Border Ruffians” from Missouri invaded Kansas and forced election of a pro-slavery legislature.

1856 The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War.

1858 Hymen Lipman patented a pencil with an attached rubber.

1863 Danish prince Wilhelm Georg was chosen as King George of Greece.

1864 Franz Oppenheimer, German sociologist, was born (d. 1943).

1867 Alaska was purchased for $7.2 million, about 2 cent/acre ($4.19/km²), by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward. The media called this Seward’s Folly.

1870 Texas was readmitted to the Union following Reconstruction.

1885 The Battle for Kushka triggered the Pandjeh Incident which nearly gave rise to war between the British and Russian Empires.

1909 The Queensboro Bridge opened, linking Manhattan and Queens.

1910  The Mississippi Legislature founded The University of Southern Mississippi.

1912 Sultan Abdelhafid signed the Treaty of Fez, making Morocco a French protectorate.

1913 Frankie Laine, American singer, was born (d. 2007).

1918 Outburst of bloody March Events in Baku and other locations of Baku Governorate.

1928 Tom Sharpe, English satirical author, was born.

1930 Rolf Harris, Australian artist and entertainer, was born.

1937 Warren Beatty, American actor and director, was born.

1939 The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets a world airspeed record of 463 mph.

1939 – First flight of the Australian C.A.C. CA-16 Wirraway.

1940 Sino-Japanese War: Japan declared Nanking to be the capital of a new Chinese puppet government, nominally controlled by Wang Ching-wei.

1941 Graeme Edge, British musician (Moody Blues), was born.

1945  Eric Clapton, British guitarist, was born.

1945 World War II: Soviet Union forces invaded Austria and took Vienna; Polish and Soviet forces liberated Gdańsk.

1945 – World War II: a defecting German pilot delivered a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 to the Americans.

1949  A riot broke out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joined NATO.

1950 Robbie Coltrane, Scottish actor and comedian, was born.

1954  Yonge Street subway line opened in Toronto, the first subway in Canada.

1959 Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis, who was convicted of child abuse at the Christchurch Civic Creche, was born.

1961  The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed in New York.

1962 MC Hammer, American rap musician, was born.

1964 Tracy Chapman, American singer, was born,

1965 Vietnam War: A car bomb exploded in front of the US Embassy, Saigon, killing 22 and wounding 183 others.

1967 Fred Ladd flew a plane under Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Fred Ladd flies plane under Auckland Harbour Bridge

1968 Celine Dion, Canadian singer, was born.

1972  Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive began after North Vietnamese forces cross into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of South Vietnam.

1979 Airey Neave, a British MP, was killed by a car bomb as left the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claimed responsibility.

1979 Norah Jones, American musician, was born.

1979 First Gay Rights Parade held in Michigan.

1981 President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.

1982 Space Shuttle programme: STS-3 Mission was completed with the landing of Columbia at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

2006  The United Kingdom Terrorism Act 2006 became law.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

Word of the day


Nihilarian – one who does useless work, had a meaningless job or deals with unimportant things.

18% increase in Fonterra’s 1/h profit


Fonterra has made a strong start to the financial year with an 18% increase in it’s first half profit.

Highlights include:


  • Total sales volume growth of 51 per cent;
  • Revenue up 7 per cent;
  • Record milk collections, up 10 per cent for season to date;
  • Net profit after tax up 18 per cent;
  • Normalised earnings2 before interest and tax up 8 per cent;
  • Earnings per share up 14 per cent;
  • An interim dividend of 12 cents per share, up from 8 cents per share in the same period in 2011

The company confirmed the forecast payout before  retentions at $6.75 – $6.85 for a fully shared up farmer.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said: “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”?

2. It’s automne in French, autunno in Italian, otoño in Spanish and tokerau in Maori, what is it in English?

3. What does a philematologist study?

4. Who are the chief executives of the Department of Conservation and Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry?

5. How would you play a piece of music if it had the instruction adagio?

Happy stat of the day


Some good news from jail:

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says the number of prisoners testing positive for drugs has reached a record low.

Latest figures, for the eight months up to the end of February, show that only 4.3 per cent of prisoners returned a positive result after random tests for drugs.

“These figures are fantastic, and show that our significant investment in addiction treatment and prison security is paying off,” says Mrs Tolley.

“We have come a long way since testing first began in 1998, when over a third of prisoners tested positive for drugs.

“In 2007/08, 13 per cent of prisoners tested positive and by last year this had fallen to seven per cent, so we are well on track to achieve our lowest-ever yearly results.

“If we want to stop prisoners from reoffending we have to break their addictions.

“We are doing this by cutting off the supply of drugs and contraband, and increasing access to drug treatment. This is also making prisons safer places for staff.

“Since 2008, we have doubled the number of prisoners able to attend specialist drug treatment units, and introduced new laws that increase search powers for Corrections officers and provide new offences relating to contraband. . . “

Alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are significant contributing factors in the crimes which lead many people to prison.

Treating addictions among a captive audience is a logical way to reduce reoffending.


Lilvestock tax loophole closed


The government has closed a loophole in the livestock tax rules which enabled farmers to get an unintended tax break.

Finance Minister Bill English and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said:.

 . . . the current rules were too loose and allowed some farmers switching between the two main livestock valuation methods to receive an unfair tax advantage over those farmers who applied the rules as they were intended.

The Government has changed the rules so that those who elect to use the ‘herd scheme’ cannot change to the alternative ‘national standard cost scheme’, except in narrow circumstances. . .

. . . Mr English said the Government’s decision to move quickly to change the rules was driven by concerns about fairness for all taxpayers.

“The Government’s intention to make the tax system fairer was made clear in the previous two Budgets and, in the case of livestock taxation, was specifically signalled as part of Budget 2011,” Mr English said.

“Allowing some farmers to switch out of the herd scheme – at a time of high livestock values – would have left other taxpayers exposed to an estimated loss of $275 million over the next six years. That is simply unfair.”

Some people were gaming the system and it’s hard to argue with the changes.

Farming for Profit field day


Beef and Lamb NZ is holding a Farming for Profit field day in North Otago today.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand farming for profit programmes share  information and monitor the progress of a whole community rather than an  individual farm.

This programme will enable us to work harder on your behalf. It’s all  about coming up with local solutions for local needs, so you have the  practical tools you need to help you improve your farm business.

Thursday 29 March: Beef + Lamb New   Zealand North + East Otago Farming for Profit Field Day Funded by farmer levies

Where; Glencoe farm, Herbert. End ofMt Misery Road, turn-off SH1 about 5km south of Herbert (by the Mill House). Will be signposted.

When: 1.15-5pm

What: Looking at lamb finishing on one of Grant and Ele Ludemann’s properties. We will cover, breeds, targets, feeding and selling for profit.

Speakers on the farm tour will include Grant Ludemann, Jarron Farmer, David Stevens, AgResearch, Mark Crawford, Ravensdown. BBQ to finish afternoon.

Contact: Graeme Pringle , facilitator 03 4183188, cadb2@ihug.co.nz

March 29 in history


1461 Battle of Towton – Edward of York defeated Queen Margaret to become King Edward IV of England.

1549 Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, was founded.

1632 Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed, returning Quebec to French control after the English had seized it in 1629.

1638 Swedish colonists established the first settlement in Delaware, naming it New Sweden.

1790 John Tyler, 10th President of the United States, was born  (d. 1862).

1792 King Gustav III of Sweden died after being shot in the back at a midnight masquerade ball 13 days earlier.

1799 New York passed a law aimed at gradually abolishing slavery in the state.

1799 Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1869).

1806 Construction was authorised of the Great National Pike, better known as the Cumberland Road, the first United States federal highway.

1809 King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden abdicated after a coup d’état.

1809 At the Diet of Porvoo, Finland’s four Estates pledged allegiance to Alexander I of Russia, commencing the secession of the Grand Duchy of Finland from Sweden.

1831 Great Bosnian uprising: Bosniak rebel against Turkey.

1847 Mexican-American War: United States forces led by General Winfield Scott took Veracruz after a siege.

1849 The United Kingdom annexed the Punjab.

1857 Sepoy Mangal Pandey of the 34th Regiment, Bengal Native Infantry revolted against the British rule in India and inspired a long-drawn War of Independence of 1857 also known as the Sepoy Mutiny.

1865 American Civil War: The Battle of Appomattox Court House began.

1867 Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent to the British North America Act which established the Dominion of Canada on July 1.

1870 Pavlos Melas, Greek officer who organized and participated in the Greek Struggle for Macedonia, was born  (d. 1904).

1871 The Royal Albert Hall was opened by Queen Victoria.

1879 Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Kambula: British forces defeated 20,000 Zulus.

1882 The Knights of Columbus were established.

1886 Dr John Pemberton brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia.

1900 John McEwen, eighteenth Prime Minister of Australia, was born  (d. 1980).

1902 William Walton, English composer, was born  (d. 1983).

1911 The M1911 .45 ACP pistol became the official U.S. Army side arm.

1916 Eugene McCarthy, American politician, was born (d. 2005).

1930 Heinrich Brüning was appointed German Reichskanzler.

1936 In Germany, Adolf Hitler received 99% of the votes in a referendum to ratify Germany’s illegal reoccupation of the Rhineland, receiving 44.5 million votes out of 45.5 million registered voters.

1941 World War II: British Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy forces defeated those of the Italian Regia Marina off the Peloponnesus coast of Greece in the Battle of Cape Matapan.

1942 Nazi sabotage hoax – career criminal Sydney Ross met the minister of national service, Robert Semple, in Wellington and claimed he had been approached by a German agent to join a sabotage cell and that Nazi agents had landed by submarine and were living at Ngongotaha, Rotorua. Ross was taken to see Prime Minister Peter Fraser, who referred the matter to Major Kenneth Folkes, a British intelligence officer brought to New Zealand to set up the Security Intelligence Bureau.

1942 The Bombing of Lübeck was the first major success for the RAF Bomber Command against Germany and a German city.

1943 Eric Idle, English actor, writer, and composer, was born.

1943 Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1943 Vangelis, Greek musician and composer, was born .

1945  Last day of V-1 flying bomb attacks on England.

1957 The New York, Ontario and Western Railway made its final run.

1961 The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote in presidential elections.

1963 Elle Macpherson, Australian model, was born.

1968 Lucy Lawless, New Zealand actress and singer, was born.

1971 – A Los Angeles, California jury recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers.

1973 Vietnam War: The last United States combat soldiers left South Vietnam.

1974 NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first spaceprobe to fly by Mercury.

1982 The Telegu Desam Party (India’s regional political party) was established by N. T. Rama Rao.

1982 – The Canada Act 1982 (U.K.) received the Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II, setting the stage for the Queen of Canada to proclaim the Constitution Act, 1982.

1987 WrestleMania III set a world indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome with 93,173 fans.

1993 Catherine Callbeck became premier of Prince Edward Island and Canada’s first female to be elected in a general election as a premier.

1999 The Dow Jones Industrial Average closesdabove the 10,000 mark (10,006.78) for the first time ever, during the height of the internet boom.

2004 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined NATO as full members.

2004 The Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.

2008-  35 Countries & more 370 cities joined Earth Hour for the first time.

2010 – Two female suicide bombers hit the Moscow Metro system at the peak of the morning rush hour, killing 40.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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