The NBR has launched a daily biz-quiz.

I got 3/5 in today’s.

Word of the day


Quantophrenia – an obsession with and exaggerated reliance upon mathematical methods or results, especially in research connected with the social sciences; a psychological compulsion to grasp for the numeric.

Trees bigger threat to farmland?


When we were on a farm tour of the East Coast last month we saw some land which looked as if it shouldn’t have been cleared of bush in the first place.

That was being addressed by replanting.

But we also saw good farmland which wasn’t at risk of erosion being planted in trees.

Federated Farmers believe this is a far greater problem than foreign ownership.

President Bruce Wills says the sale causes a minimal threat to New Zealand agriculture, when compared with the expansion of forestry.

He says 13,000 hectares of dairy land have been sold to foreign buyers since 2002, but in the same period, 1.78 million hectares of forestry have been sold to overseas investors.

Mr Wills says the debate about foreign investment in farm land needs to be extended to all land types.

He says more than 70% of New Zealand’s forests are now owned offshore.

The ownership of the forests doesn’t worry me but the waste of productive land and the impact on employment and local communities does.

A truck and trailer will carry about $3,000 worth of logs and it will be decades before the next harvest from that land.

A truck and trailer could carry about $50,000 worth of lambs and there will be another load from the same farm next season.

Too many books?


Every now and then my farmer suggests we have too many books.

I tell him there’s no such thing as too many books.

Even though I spent three hours last night culling out 14 bags (about the size of ones from the supermarket) of books for the Rotary Bookarama and there are no gaps on the book shelves I’m not prepared to concede he has a point.

The problem, if there is one, is too few shelves not too many books.

For Earth Day


Yesterday was Earth Day here, when we’re reminded to be green which is not the same as being Green.

In honour of that (and since it’s still April 22nd further west) from It’s a Farm Thing:

Hard and fast, hands only, no kissing


A British Heart Foundation campaign to bring CPR to the masses has gone viral thanks to its star footballer-turned-Hollywood-tough-guy, Vinnie Jones.

The message is simple – hands only, no kissing, lock your hands together, push down five or six centimetres, hard and fast about two times a second which handily is to the ryhthym of the Bee Gees hit song, Staying Alive.

The 3 News video on the story is here.

P.S. – the British video says dial 999. In New Zealand, of course, it’s 111.

April 23 in history


215 BC A temple was built on the Capitoline Hill dedicated to Venus Erycina to commemorate the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene.

1014 Battle of Clontarf: Brian Boru defeated Viking invaders, but was killed in battle.

1229 Ferdinand III of Castile conquered Cáceres.

1343 St. George’s Night Uprising.

1348 Edward III announced the founding of the Order of the Garter.

1521 Battle of Villalar: King Charles I of Spain defeated the Comuneros.

1564 – William Shakespeare, English writer and actor was born. (Traditional approximate birth date (in the Julian calendar) based on April 25th baptism) (d. 1616) .

1597  William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor was first performed, with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance.

1621 William Penn, English admiral was born (d. 1670).

1635 The first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, was founded.

1660 Treaty of Oliwa was established between Sweden and Poland.

1661King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1815 The Second Serbian Uprising – a second phase of the national revolution of the Serbs against the Ottoman Empire, erupted shortly after the annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire.

1867 William Lincoln patented the zoetrope, a machine that showed animated pictures by mounting a strip of drawings in a wheel.

1895 Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand writer, was born  (d. 1982) .

1910 Theodore Roosevelt made his The Man in the Arena speech.

1920 The national council in Turkey denounced the government of Sultan Mehmed VI and announced a temporary constitution.

1920 The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was founded in Ankara.

1923 1st official celebration of Children’s day, world’s only Children’s day that is offically being celebrated since 1923 and with international participation since 1979.

1928 – Shirley Temple, American actress and politician, was born.

1932  The 153-year old De Adriaan Windmill in Haarlem burned down.

1935  The Polish Constitution of 1935 was adopted.

1935 The first official Children’s day was celebrated in Turkey.

1940  The Rhythm Night Club fire at a dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi, killed 198 people.

1941 World War II: The Greek government and King George II evacuated Athens before the invading Wehrmacht.

1942  World War II: Baedeker Blitz – German bombers hit Exeter, Bath and York in retaliation for the British raid on Lübeck.

1948 1948 Arab-Israeli War: Haifa was captured from Arab forces.

1949 Chinese Civil War: Establishment of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

1955 The Canadian Labour Congress was formed by the merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour.

1961  Algiers putsch by French generals.

1967 Soviet space programme: Soyuz 1 (Russian: Союз 1, Union 1) was a manned spaceflight, Launched into orbit carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov.

1967 A group of young radicals was expelled from the Nicaraguan Socialist Party. This group went on to found the Socialist Workers Party.

1968  Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University took over administration buildings and shut down the university.

1979 Fighting in London between the Anti-Nazi League and the Metropolitan Police’s Special Patrol Group resulted in the death of protester Blair Peach, a New Zealander.

1982  The Conch Republic was established.

1983 Prince William met Buzzy Bee.

Prince William meets 'buzzy bee'

1985 Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke. The response was overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula was back on the market in less than 3 months.

1987 28 construction workers died when the L’Ambiance Plaza apartment building collapsed while under construction.

1988 Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side of the Moon left the charts for the first time after spending a record of 741 consecutive weeks (over 14 years) on the Billboard 200.

1990  Namibia became the 160th member of the United Nations and the 50th member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

1993 Eritreans vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia in a United Nations-monitored referendum.

1997  Omaria massacre in Algeria: 42 villagers were killed.

2003 Beijing closed all schools for two weeks because of the SARS virus.

2009 The gamma ray burst GRB 090423 was observed for 10 seconds as the most distant object of any kind and also the oldest known object in the universe.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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