Word of the day


Visceral – of, pertaining to or affecting the viscera; characterised by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect; characterised by or dealing with coarse or base emotions; earthy.

Books, adjectives and icons


Websites discussed with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today were:

How a book is born (warning might be depress you if you’ve got a good idea). Hat tip: Beattie’s Book Blog

The hierarchy of adjectives – scroll down to the last paragraph to find one of those things-you-know-but-didn’t-know-you-knew. Hat tip: Quote Unquote

And one we didn’t discuss because Jim had discussed it with someone else recently but I missed it and you might have too: Icons that don’t make sense anymore – only people of a certain age will recognise the origins of most of them.

Fonterra forecast payout down 30c


Fonterra has revised its forecast payout for this season down by 30 cents to $6.45- $6.55 before rententions.

It’s also announced an opening forecast of $5.95 – $6.05 before retentions for next season.

The updated forecast Payout range for this year comprises a lower forecast Farmgate Milk Price of $6.05 per kgMS and a forecast Net Profit after Tax range of $570-720 million, equating to 40-50 cents per share.

As a consequence, Fonterra forecasts that a 100 per cent share-backed farmer will earn on average in the range $6.45-$6.55 per kgMS before retentions.

CEO Theo Spierings said the lower forecast Farmgate Milk Price was due to continued softening of commodity prices.

“The Global Dairy Trade trade weighted index has declined 20.3% since our last Farmgate Milk Price forecast of $6.35 in April,” said Mr Spierings.

“Dairy production levels in the US and Europe are high, while we continue to have higher-than-normal production levels from New Zealand. All this is occurring at a time of heightened uncertainties in global markets.”

Mr Spierings said with the softening of global commodity prices, operating earnings were expected to be marginally ahead of 2011.

The grapevine has been suggesting next season’s payout could have been as low as $4.50. the opening forecast of more than a dollar higher than that is a relief but nothing is certain and that will put pressure on budgets.

On mice and moths


When we got home after five days away on Sunday I checked the mouse traps.

The ones in the laundry, kitchen and living room were empty but the three in the hall cupboard had all done what they’re designed to do.

I disposed of the bodies, reset the traps and within an hour had caught another mice.

Since then the traps have been untouched and there’s been no fresh signs of mice.

My war against unwanted visitors has opened on a new front though – I’ve discovered holes in a couple of woollen garments which point to the presence of moths in my wardrobe.

They seem to have a taste for merino and have chewed through in places it will be difficult to repair.

Why save what few watch?


Grey Power has added its voice to the individuals and groups calling on the government to save the free-to-air channel TV7.

There is a case for public broadcasting but TV1, 2 and 7 are poor models. The first two are indistinguishable from other commercial channels and TV7 has such a tiny number of viewers.

Maori TV is a better model, but it rarely attracts much of an audience either.

Rather than wasting time and energy trying to save a channel hardly anyone watches, people should be trying to find ways to get the best of the channel’s programmes on TV1 where they’d have a better chance of attracting a greater audience.

Labour cops debt-blame


Labour is copping the blame for the country’s debt:

Almost half of those in the survey saw it as effectively ”a plague on both their houses”, with 44 per cent blaming a combination of the Clark and Key governments.

But among those who singled out one or the other, 33 per cent saw Labour as being more at fault, while only 18 per cent blamed National more.

Debt has increased under National but among the reasons for that are expensive policies enacted by Labour and factors outside any government’s control:

The National-led Government has pointed to a number of main drivers of the soaring debt:

 Costly programmes put in place by Labour, including KiwiSaver, Working for Families and interest free student loans  All were endorsed by National, though it has taken the pruning shears to them, especially KiwiSaver.

– The global financial crisis in 2008-09 and the slowing of the New Zealand economy.

– The Canterbury earthquakes, which has cost the Government more than $9b..

The road back to surplus is a bit rocky but it is the right one to follow.

Had we continued on the path Labour wanted to lead us had they won the 2008 election we might well be little if any better off than the likes of Spain and Greece.

As it is, the government is determined to lead by example and is doing all it can to reduce costs without slashing services.

Some would argue it hasn’t gone far enough, but if it goes too far, too fast it will outpace public tolerance.


May 22 in history


334 BC The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.

1176 The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempted to murder Saladin near Aleppo.

1377  Pope Gregory XI issued five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.

1455 Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeated and captured King Henry VI of England.

1724 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer  was born (d. 1772).

1762 Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Hamburg.

1807 A grand jury indicted former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.

1807 Most of the English town of Chudleigh was destroyed by fire.

1809 On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon was repelled by an enemy army for the first time.

1813 Richard Wagner, German composer, was born (d. 1883).

1819 The SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

1826  HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.

1840 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished.

1842 Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discovered Howe Caverns when they stumbled upon a large hole in the ground.

1843 Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory . They were part of the Great Migration.

1844 Persian Prophet The Báb announced his revelation, founding Bábism. He announced to the world the coming of “He whom God shall make manifest”.

1848 Slavery was abolished in Martinique.

1856  Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas“).

1859  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British physician and writer, was born  (d. 1930).

1871  The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.

1872  Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.

1884  The first representative New Zealand rugby team played its first match, defeating a Wellington XV 9-0.

First NZ Rugby team in action

1897 The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was officially opened.

1903 Launch of the White Star Liner,  SS Ionic.

1906 The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opened in Athens.

1906  The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.

1907 Laurence Olivier, English stage and screen actor, was born  (d. 1989).

1915 Lassen Peak eruptsed.

1915 Three trains collided in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green,, killing 227 people and injuring 246.

1936 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) was founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.

1936  M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer, was born  (d. 2005).

1939 World War II: Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.

1942  Mexico entered World War II on the side of the Allies.

1942 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbanded, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, was formed.

1946  George Best, Northern Irish footballer, was born  (d. 2005).

1947  Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Truman Doctrine granting $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.

1958  Sri Lankan riots of 1958: a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.

1950 Bernie Taupin, English songwriter, was born.

1955 Iva Davies, Australian rock star (Icehouse), was born.

1960 An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hit southern Chile – the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.

1962  Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashed after bombs explode on board.

1963  Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis.

1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.

1967  The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels burned down -the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.

1968 The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sank with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.

1969  Apollo 10‘s lunar module flew within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.

1970 Naomi Campbell, British model and actress, was born.

1972  Ceylon adoptseda new constitution, ecoming a Republic, changed its name to Sri Lanka, and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.

1980  Namco released the arcade game Pac-Man.

1990  Microsoft released the Windows 3.0 operating system.

1992  After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the last time.

1997  Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: a federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury.

2002 – A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

2003 Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

2004  Hallam, Nebraska, was wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) that broke a width record at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide, and killed one resident.

2008  The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashed 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 US states and one Canadian province.

2011– An EF5 Tornado struck the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing 161 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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