Win when they needed it

March 4, 2012

We were in Tekapo last night.

All but two of the nine of us had been born on the right side of the Waitaki River, though three of those now live on the north and at least one of those has changed allegiance.

Going to the pub to watch the match between the Highlanders and Crusaders was an option for the evening but the consensus was to stay where we were.

Two of us were dispatched to get Thai takeaways and checked the score en route – Highlanders ahead at half-time.

The news was received with cautious excitement by Highlanders supporters – our team has won a lot of first halves but not as many second halves.

As fulltime approached someone found a radio but couldn’t get reception.

We did have internet connection though and TVNZ live updates gave us the good news – Highlanders 27 – Crusaders 24.

If ever there was a week when the Highlanders needed a win, this was it and thankfully they did.


Word of the day

March 4, 2012

Mordant– sharply caustic or sarcastic; bitingly painful; incisive and trenchant; burning, corrosive; serving to fix colors in dyeing; reagent, such as tannic acid, that fixes dyes to cells, tissues, or textiles or other materials; a corrosive substance, such as an acid, used in etching.


Rural round-up

March 4, 2012

Only a Lotto ticket away from a PhD – Jon Morgan:

One day while travelling, Trevor Cook and a friend were discussing what they would do if they won Lotto.

His friend said: “I’d leave work and travel the world playing golf on the best courses I could find. What would you do?” Mr Cook, a Feilding veterinarian and farming consultant, thought for a bit and replied: “I’d cut down on work and do a PhD.”

He lets out a gruff laugh. “You should have seen the look on his face. `You’re not joking, are you,’ he said. I wasn’t. If I had the financial freedom, that’s exactly what I would do.” . . .

Classrooms to cowsheds:

The students of four Taranaki schools are combining classroom study with on-the-job learning in a Primary Industry Trades Academy (PITA).

The year 11-13 students of Hawera and Opunake high schools and New Plymouth’s Spotswood and Francis Douglas Memorial colleges are undertaking the National Certificate in Agriculture Level 2, in tandem with NCEA study. They form two clusters and undertake study on Thursdays or Fridays.

Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre established the academy in Taranaki this year after operating it in other areas of the lower North Island last year. It wants to expand it to other Taranaki schools. . .

Kylee’s in search of perfection – Sue O’Dowd:

Young ayrshire cattle judge Kylee Perrett brings a pedigree of her own to her role.

The 22-year-old is the daughter of prominent Taranaki ayrshire breeders Ivan and Robyn Fredrickson, of Ngaere, in central Taranaki.

And she’s well on the way to establishing herself as a stock judge on the show circuit.

She’s a New Zealand Ayrshire Association junior judge and wants to become a senior judge as soon as she can. . .

Farmers praised on water quality – Jill Galloway:

Farmers should be congratulated for doing their bit to improve the quality of the Manawatu River, says water quality scientist Shirley Hayward.

She talked to about 20 dairy farmers at a field day last week to help dairy farmers improve their productivity while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint.

Ms Hayward said Niwa figures showed river quality had improved during the past 10 years. She said there were fewer pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphrous. . .

Farmers face new take on water – Ali Tocker:

Waikato Regional Council is currently planning how it will work with farmers required to apply for water take consents under the council’s new water allocation policy.

The policy, variation 6 to the council’s regional plan, was endorsed by the Environment Court late last year. The period for appeals has now passed, clearing the way for the council to begin implementing the policy.

The council’s resource use division manager Brent Sinclair said his team is now doing detailed planning to ensure farmers in different areas are aware of their responsibilities under variation 6. The council will also work with the agricultural sector to develop the most efficient way for farmers to meet those responsibilities. . .

NZ to see more of luxury meat – Tim Cronshaw:

Merino-branded meat will be rolled out to more Kiwi diners and luxury global markets in the next year.

A mix of high-priced racks and legs with unconventional cuts of lamb such as short ribs are under the new luxury brand of Silere Alpine Origin Merino.

The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) is developing the merino brand in a joint venture with the meat company Silver Fern Farms (SFF) and plans to build on merino wool’s clever marketing with more innovative twists. . .


50 life lessons

March 4, 2012

An email arrived a couple of days ago entitled friends are the family you choose yourself with 50 life lessons.

The email said it was written by Regina Brett who is 90 years old.

That intrigued me and in an attempt to find out more I Googled her name which led me to this:

I’m officially an Urban Legend. You can find me on Snopes.com, right up there with myths about baby carrots.

The Internet aged me. The day before I turned 45, I wrote a column of the 45 Lessons Life Taught Me. I added five more lessons when I turned 50. My Life Lessons ended up e-mailed around the world. Only someone changed my age on an email to read: “Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old.” Then someone attached a picture of lovely old lady to the email. No, that dear senior citizen isn’t me.

For the record: I’m only in my 50’s. . .

That doesn’t take anything away from her 50 life lessons – though it does prompt a 51st: don’t believe everything you read in an email.

Her 50 life lessons  are:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

That reminded me of Erma Bombeck’s If I had to live my life over column which Snopes says is also often misquoted . If you follow that link you’ll find what she really wrote.

 

 


Equality or prosperity?

March 4, 2012

The quote in the previous post was from a Critic interview with National’s senior whip and Dunedin-based MP and Dunedin North MP David Clark.

Among the questions asked by interviewer, Callum Fredric was:

In a hypothetical society, which society would you prefer: One where everyone earns $50,000 per year; or one where half the people earn $70,000 and the other half earns $300,000?

In the discussion that followed Michael said:

. . .  It’s a really straightforward question, with a really straightforward answer. Either you agree with the proposition that as long as you’re better off, it’s okay for other people to be even more better off in society, all other things being equal. . .

The question was about income inequality. All other things being equal, would a society where everybody is better off but there is greater income inequality be a better society than one where everyone is equally impoverished? I’m going to quote my new colleague Dr Jian Yang who grew up in china. And in his maiden speech said by 1968 when he was 6 years old, china under Mao Zedong had reached its utopia. Everyone was equally impoverished, and on his tenth birthday his present was two eggs for breakfast. So we can go to the statistics that David loves quoting and say that according to your argument, we would be better off living in Afghanistan or the Czech republic than we would be in NZ and I simply reject that proposition. What’s important is the issue of social mobility. So fair pay for work.

The left are spending a lot of energy on inequality but it’s not whether everyone has enough is far more important than whether some people have more.

Prosperity for everyone even if it’s unequal is far better than everyone being equally poor.

 

 

 


Can’t legislate culture change

March 4, 2012

Quote of the day:

… if we can’t agree that getting really pissed, and throwing up and falling down is not cool, then no amount of law change in Wellington is going to change that. Michael Woodhouse

He’s right. You can’t legislate a change in culture.

Parliament could tighten drinking laws and increase the tax on alcohol but that won’t change the belief among some people that getting drunk is normal and acceptable.

 


March 4 in history

March 4, 2012

51 Nero, was given the title princeps iuventutis (head of the youth).

303 or 304  Martyrdom of Saint Adrian of Nicomedia.

852  Croatian Duke Trpimir I issued a statute, a document with the first known written mention of the Croats name in Croatian sources.

932  Translation of the relics of martyr Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, Prince of the Czechs.

1152 Frederick I Barbarossa was elected King of the Germans.

1215 King John of England made an oath to the Pope as a crusader to gain the support of Innocent III.

1238 The Battle of the Sit River was fought between the Mongol Hordes of Batu Khan and the Russians under Yuri II of Vladimir-Suzdal during the Mongol invasion of Russia.

1351 Ramathibodi became King of Siam.

1386 Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) was crowned King of Poland.

1394  Henry the Navigator, was born (d. 1460).

1461 Wars of the Roses: Lancastrian King Henry VI was deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then became King Edward IV.

1492 King James IV of Scotland concluded an alliance with France against England.

1493  Christopher Columbus arrived back in Lisbon aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.

1519 Hernán Cortes arrived in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

1570 King Philip II of Spain banned foreign Dutch students.

1611 George Abbot was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.

1629 Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a Royal charter.

1665 King Charles II declared war on the Netherlands which marked the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

1675 John Flamsteed was appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.

1678  Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer, was born  (d. 1741).

1681 Charles II granted a land charter to William Penn for the area that became Pennsylvania.

1756 Sir Henry Raeburn, Scottish painter, was born  (d. 1823). 

1778 The Continental Congress voted to ratify both the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance with France – the first treaties entered into by the United States government.

1789 In New York City, the first United States Congress met, putting the Constitution of the United States into effect.

1790 France was divided into 83 départements, which cuts across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.

1791 – A Constitutional Act iwa introduced by the British House of Commons which envisaged the separation of Canada into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario).

1793 French troops conquered Geertruidenberg, Netherlands.

1794 The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1797 In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams was sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington.

1804 Castle Hill Rebellion: Irish convicts rebel against British colonial authority in the Colony of New South Wales.

1813 Russian troops fighting the army of Napoleon reaced Berlin  and the French garrison evacuated the city without a fight.

1814 Americans defeated the British at the Battle of Longwoods .

1824 The “National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck” was founded in the United Kingdom, later to be renamed The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1858.

1837 Chicago was incorporated as a city.

1848 Carlo Alberto di Savoia signed the Statuto Albertino that became the first constitution of the Regno d’Italia

1855 Sheep rustler James Mackenzie was caught in the Upper Waitaki with 1000 sheep from the Levels Station near Timaru.

Legendary sheep rustler James Mackenzie caught

1861  First national flag of the Confederate States of America (the ‘Stars and Bars’) was adopted.

1877 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s ballet Swan Lake received its première performance at the Bolshoi Theatre.

1882 Britain‘s first electric trams run in East London.

1887 Gottlieb Daimler unveiled his first automobile.

1890 – The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet (520 m) long, was opened by Edward the Prince of Wales.

1891 Lois Wilson, founder of Al-Anon, was born (d. 1988).

1893 The army of Francis, Baron Dhanis attacked the Lualaba, enabling him to transport his troops across the Upper Congo and, capture Nyangwe almost without an effort.

1894 Great fire in Shanghai. Over 1,000 buildings are destroyed.

1899 Cyclone Mahina swept in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 12 metre (39 ft) wave that reached up to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) inland, killing over 300.

1902 The American Automobile Association was established.

1908 The Collinwood School fire, Collinwood, Ohio, killed 174 people.

1911 Victor Berger (Wisconsin) became the first socialist congressman in U.S.

1917 Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first female member of the United States House of Representatives.

1917 – Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich’s renunciation of the throne was made public, and Tsar Nicholas II publicly issued his abdication manifesto. The victory of the February Revolution.

1918 The first case of Spanish flu occurred, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

1925 Calvin Coolidge became the first President of the United States to have his inauguration broadcast on radio.

1928 Alan Sillitoe, English writer, was born (d. 2010).

1929 Charles Curtis became the first native-American Vice President of the United States.

1930 Floods ransacked Languedoc and the surrounding area in south-west France, resulting in twelve départements being submerged by water and causing the death of over 700 people.

1931 The British Viceroy of India, Governor-General Edward Frederick Lindley Wood and Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) met to sign an agreement envisaging the release of political prisoners and allowing salt to be freely used by the poorest members of the population.

1933 Frances Perkins became United States Secretary of Labour, the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

1933 – The Parliament of Austria was suspended because of a quibble over procedure – Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss initiated authoritarian rule by decree.

1941 The United Kingdom launched Operation Claymore on the Lofoten Islands.

1944 Michael “Mick” Wilson, drummer (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), was born.

1945 Princess Elizabeth, joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver.

1945 – Lapland War: Finland declared war on Nazi Germany.

1948 Lindy Chamberlain, who maintained a dingo stole her baby and whose conviction for murdering the baby was overturned, was born.

1948 Chris Squire, English bassist (Yes), was born.

1949 Carroll Baker, Canadian country singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, announces the first successful kidney transplant.

1957 The S&P 500 stock market index is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.

1960 French freighter ‘La Coubre’ exploded in Havana, killing 100.

1962 The United States Atomic Energy Commission announced that the first atomic power plant at McMurdo Station in Antarctica was in operation.

1966  Canadian Pacific Air Lines DC-8-43 exploded on landing at Tokyo International Airport, killing 64 people.

1970 French submarine Eurydice exploded.

1976 The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention was formally dissolved resulting in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London via the British parliament.

1976 – The last flight of the second Concorde prototype aircraft to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at the Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton.

1976 – The first Cray-1 supercomputer was shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.

1977 The 1977 Bucharest Earthquake in southern and eastern Europe killed more than 1,500.

1979 The first encyclical written by Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (“The Redeemer of Man”) was promulgated.

1980 Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe won a sweeping election victory to become Zimbabwe‘s first black prime minister.

1982 NASA launched the Intelsat V-508 satellite.

1983 Bertha Wilson was appointed the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada.

1985 The Food and Drug Administration approved a blood test for AIDS.

1986 The Soviet Vega 1 began returning images of Comet Halley and the first images ever of its nucleus.

1991 Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, returns to his country for the first time since Iraq‘s invasion.

1994 Space shuttle STS-62 (Columbia 16) launched into orbit.

1994 – Bosnia’s Bosniaks and Croats signed an agreement to form a federation in a loose economic union with Croatia.

1997 U.S. President Bill Clinton banned federally funded human cloning research.

1998 Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services: The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.

2001 4 March 2001 BBC bombing: a massive car bomb explodes in front of the BBC Television Centre  seriously injuring 11 people. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA.

2001 Hintze Ribeiro disaster, a bridge collapses in northern Portugal, killing up to 70 people.

2002 Canada bans human embryo cloning but permits government-funded scientists to use embryos left over from fertility treatment or abortions.

2002 Multinational Force in Afghanistan: Seven American Special Operations Forces soldiers are killed as they attempt to infiltrate the Shahi Kot Valley on a low-flying helicopter reconnaissance mission.

2005 The car of released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena was fired on by US soldiers after it ran a roadblock in Iraq, causing the death of an Italian Secret Service Agent and injuring two passengers.

2007 Approximately 30,000 voters took advantage of electronic voting in Estonia, the world’s first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting was allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet.

2009 – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur – the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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