Word of the day


Mordant – incisive and trenchant;  caustic; bitingly sarcastic; a substance, typically an inorganic oxide, that combines with a dye or stain and thereby fixes it in a material; to treat a fabric with mordant.

Rural round-up


Few still hurting dairying – Gerald Piddock:

The bottom 10 per cent of dairy farmers is giving traction to the ‘dirty dairying’ slogan, according to DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle.

The industry has to aspire to 100 per cent compliance, but the reality is that there will be farmers who do not comply, he says.

Dr Mackle made his comments during a panel discussion about improving perceptions within the industry held at the South Island Dairy Event in Dunedin.

The industry had to remain profitable because that gave farmers options and drove sustainability, Dr Mackle said.

“The two go hand in hand. The minute we lose profitability, sustainability goes down the gurgler.” . . .

Farm goals acheived with monitoring:

Waikato farm consultant Brendan Brier believes lessons learned from the Waikato/Franklin Beef + Lamb New Zealand Monitor Farm are easily transferred to most sheep and beef operations.

“Monitor farms provide a valuable template for family farms wanting to instil greater structure and direction around the business and can be accessed by all farmers,” said Brier.

Mr Brier has led the Waikato/Franklin Beef + Lamb New Zealand Monitor Farm on behalf of the Waikato Innovation Park for the past three years. . .

Milk price recovery expected next year – Gerald Piddock:

Rabobank senior analyst Michael Harvey says he does not expect to see a recovery in milk prices until early next year because of high stockpiles.

That recovery might be reflected in the milk price later this year, he told the Dairy Event in Dunedin.

“The global economy’s going to be weak but certainly hopefully we’ll start to see a better picture by the end of this year,” he said. . . . 

NAIT arrival hiccups kept in check – Tim Fulton:

NAIT’s entry to saleyards probably went off with less fuss than the debut for primary and secondary tags a decade ago, says one of PGG Wrightson’s leaders.

PGW livestock general manager Nigel Thorpe dropped in on yards in Waikato and Bay of Plenty last week, one of many keeping an anxious watch over a historic moment for the country’s cattle trading and processing.

With evident relief Thorpe said the compulsory process of scanning, checking registrations, transferring data to software and on to the NAIT database “went without a motion really”. . .

Farm papers a hit in the city – Jamie Ball:

Much like the Slow Food Movement creeping its way across 150 countries since the 1980s, the Great Cafe Challenge could nail the zeitgeist of this decade.

  The popular initiative has just kicked off in Australia and Godzone is now following. The aim couldn’t be clearer: reconnect townies with the land by getting farming magazines and newspapers into cafes about the country. The understanding and appreciation of what goes in to produce the nation’s food is a subtle but vital cog in the agricultural wheel.

  As the Great Café Challenge’s Facebook page highlights, “No cafe in Australia would be possible without the farmers who grow the food and supply the milk. This is a challenge to every cafe owner across Australia to carry at least one weekly rural newspaper in their shop to help bridge the city-country divide.” . . .



Has Labour had a leadership change?


Critic, Otago University’s student magazine has a biased look at the state of the nation which includes this statement (p27):

. . . Law and politics student/tutor Sam McChesney believes that “this National government is basically a placeholder while Labour sorts its shit out. They’ve taken us backwards but not too far backwards, and in 2014 a Robertson- and Cunliffe-led Labour will rise like the phoenix to take the country into a new, enlightened age of social democracy.” . . .

Has Labour had a leadership change or is this supporter living in hope?

Problem drinking not confined to young


When the idea of a split age for the purchase of alcohol was first mooted I thought it was a good idea.

That would allow people to drink in licensed premises when they were 18 but not purchase alcohol to drink elsewhere until they were 20.

The aim is to address the problem of binge drinking and other problems associated with too much alcohol.

But when I thought about it more I realised that splitting the age is treating a symptom not the problem – and the problem isn’t confined to the young.

Teenager Verity Johnson writes:

If we actually want to reduce teenage binge drinking, we need to change what society demands. We need to show that drinking responsibly is the way to go. After all, drinking is going to happen.

Moderating it is the challenge.

National MP Michael Woodhouse has issued a challenge to young people who are advocating for him to vote to leave the purchase age at 18:

Here’s what will definitely get me voting 18/18:

  • if young people actively promote the idea getting trashed is dumb, in the same way that smoking or drink-driving is dumb
  • that student organisations pass remits promoting moderation, and rules expelling people from organisations (after say a three strikes process) for excessive drinking; messages saying alcohol consumption is normal – excessive consumption isn’t
  • messages that the taxpayer is entitled to expect its money given to students is not thrown up against the wall of the Cook.

All of these are very good points but the first doesn’t apply only to young people and the message that excessive consumption isn’t normal needs to be spread far more widely than youth organisations. 

A lot of people who should be old enough to know better also get trashed and organisations of older people condone or even encourage excessive drinking.

It’s absolutely no use telling young people to do as we say if older people aren’t doing it too.

Excessive drinking and the problems it causes aren’t acceptable at any age.

Tinkering with the purchase age or price of alcohol won’t change the culture which is the only way to properly address problem drinking.

DC day


Forty five years ago today was DC (decimal currency) Day in New Zealand when pounds, shillings and pence were replaced with dollars and cents.

If you’re old enough, you might recognise this song, although it’s not the tune I thought I remembered.

If you were still at primary school in the run up to the currency conversion you might still have a certificate proclaiming you were a dollar scholar.

July 10 in history


48 BC Battle of Dyrrhachium: Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.

988 The city of Dublin was founded on the banks of the river Liffey.

1212 The most severe of several early fires of London burns most of the city to the ground.

1452  King James III of Scotland  was born (d. 1488).

1460 Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick defeated  the king’s Lancastrian forces and took King Henry VI prisoner in the Battle of Northampton.

1499  Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returned to Lisbon, after discovering the sea route to India as a companion of Vasco da Gama.

1509  John Calvin, French religious reformer, was born  (d. 1564).

1553 Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England.

1584 William I of Orange was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard.

1645  English Civil War: The Battle of Langport.

1778 American Revolution: Louis XVI of France  declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.

1789 Alexander Mackenzie reached the Mackenzie River delta.

1802 Robert Chambers, Scottish author and naturalist, was born  (d. 1871).

1804  – Emma Smith, Inaugural President of the Women’s Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born (d. 1879).

1806 The Vellore Mutiny, the first instance of a mutiny by Indian sepoys against the British East India Company.

1821 The United States took possession of its newly bought territory of Florida from Spain.

1830 Camille Pissarro, French painter, was born  (d. 1903).

1850  Millard Fillmore was inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States.

1859 Big Ben rang for the first time.

1864  Austin Chapman, Australian policitian, was born (d. 1926).

1871  Marcel Proust, French writer, was born (d. 1922).

1875  Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator, was born (d. 1955).

1903 John Wyndham, British author, was born (d. 1969).

1909 Donald Sinclair, British hotel manager, inspiration for Fawlty Towers, was born  (d. 1981).

1913  Death Valley, California hit 134 °F (~56.7 °C), the highest temperature recorded in the United States.

1921 Belfast’s Bloody Sunday: 16 people were killed and 161 houses destroyed during rioting and gun battles in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1921 Harvey Ball, American commercial artist, was born (d. 2001).

1925 Meher Baba began his silence of 44 years. His followers observe Silence Day on this date in commemoration.

1925 Scopes Trial: The so-called “Monkey Trial” began with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

1931 Alice Munro, Canadian writer, was born.

1938  Howard Hughes set a new record by completing a 91 hour flight around the world.

1940 Tom Farmer, Scottish entrepreneur, was born.

1940 World War II: the Vichy government is established in France.

1940  World War II: Battle of Britain – The German Luftwaffe began attacking British convoys in the English Channel thus starting the battle (this start date is contested).

1941 Jedwabne Pogrom: the massacre of Jewish people living in and near the village of Jedwabne in Poland.

1943 World War II: The launching of Operation Husky began the Italian Campaign.

1947 Arlo Guthrie, American musician, was born.

1947  Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was recommended as the first Governor General of Pakistan by then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Clement Attlee.

1951 Korean War: Armistice negotiations began.

1954 Neil Tennant, British musician (Pet Shop Boys), was born.

1962  Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.

1966 The Chicago Freedom Movement, lead by Martin Luther King, held a rally at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

1967 New Zealand adpoted decimal currency.

NZ adopts decimal currency

1968 Maurice Couve de Murville became Prime Minister of France.

1973  The Bahamas gained full independence within the Commonwealth of Nations.

1973 – National Assembly of Pakistan passed a resolution on the recognition of Bangladesh.

1971  King Hassan II of Morocco survived an attempted coup d’etat, which lasts until June 11.

1976 The Seveso disaster in Italy.

1976   One American and three British mercenaries were executed in Angola following the Luanda Trial.

1978  President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania was ousted in a bloodless coup d’état.

1980 Alexandra Palace burned down for a second time.

1985  Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sank in Auckland harbour.

Rainbow Warrior sunk in Auckland harbour

1991 Boris Yeltsin began his 5-year term as the first elected President of Russia.

1991  The South African cricket team was readmitted into the International Cricket Council following the end of Apartheid.

1992 In Miami, Florida, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.

1997 Scientists reported the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supported the “out of Africa theory” of human evolution placing an “African Eve” at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

1997 – Partido Popular (Spain) member Miguel Ángel Blanco was kidnapped in the Basque city of Ermua by ETA members, sparking widespread protests.

1998 The Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by former priest Rudolph Kos.

2000 A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline.

2000  EADS, the world’s second-largest aerospace group is formed by the merger of Aérospatiale-Matra, DASA, and CASA.

2002  At a Sotheby’s auction, Peter Paul Rubens’ painting The Massacre of the Innocents sold for £49.5million (US$76.2 million) to Lord Thomson.

2003 A bus collided with a truck, fell off a bridge on Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong, and plunged into the underlying valley, killing 21 people.

2005  Hurricane Dennis slams into the Florida Panhandle, causing billions of dollars in damage.

2006 Pakistan International Flight PK-688 crashes in Multan, Pakistan, shortly after takeoff, killing all 45 people on board.

2008  Former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boškoski is acquitted of all charges by a United Nations Tribunal accusing him of war crimes.

2011 – Russian cruise ship Bulgaria sunk in Volga near Syukeyevo, Tatarstan, leading to 122 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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