Word of the day


Lacuna – an  unfilled space or interval; a gap; a  missing portion in a book or manuscript; a  small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure.

Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ?

2.  Which was Margaret Mahy’s first published book?

3. It’s amitié in French, amicizia in Italian, amistad in Spanish and whanaungatanga in Maori, what is it in english?

4. Who is the longest serving Prime Minister in the Pacific, and from which country?

5. Who won New Zealand’s 100th Olympic medal and in which sport ?

Points for answers:

I found three sources for the quote but Deborah’s, Rob’s and Grant’s answers seem more likely so I’m allowing them.

Deborah got four and a bonus for wit.

Andrei got 1 1/2.

Rob got 2 1/2 with a bonus for humour.

IHS got one.

Grant got four and a bonus for lateral thinking.

Deborah and Grant both get an electronic carrot cake – with cream cheese icing.

Am tpying this at 7:50, if you answered after that you’ll have to award your own points.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Is it the title that doesn’t work?


Quote of the day:

 I’m a great admirer of escapist fiction, publicity handouts and celebrity drivel in a general sense but why call it The News. Perhaps it’s the title that doesn’t work. John Clarke.

Headwinds expected, will abate


Rabobank’s Rural Confidence Survey shows the global economy continues to create headwinds for farmers.

The latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has shown that while New Zealand farmers remain more optimistic about the performance of their own farm businesses relative to the wider agricultural economy, both confidence indicators fell this quarter. Both indicators are now in negative territory, showing that more New Zealand farmers expect conditions to worsen, rather than improve. . .

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Ben Russell said the further fall in confidence reflects the uncertain global economic environment that New Zealand farmers are operating in, which has placed downward pressure on commodity prices.

“For many, coming out of a season where the planets aligned in terms of climatic conditions and commodity prices, many are pragmatic in their outlook that these conditions are unlikely to be repeated. Farmers have also seen commodity prices come back off their more recent highs, while the New Zealand dollar has remained very strong,” he said.

After a couple of years of high prices there’s no surprise in predictions of softening prices, particularly when the global economy is still depressed.

New Zealand and Australia are generally doing better than our traditional trading partners and we can be grateful for the efforts put into opening trade opportunities in Asia. Growing demand there will off-set some of the fall in demand from Europe and the USA.

Farmers are expecting lower prices this season but the longer term outlook is still good. The growth in the world population and growing demand for protein from developing markets should both ensure good markets for our produce.

Jobs don’t come from doing nothing


The Opposition is frothing about the Household Labour Force Survey which showed a small increase in unemployment to 6.8%.

But they’re the ones who oppose every move the government makes to reduce costs, move those who can work off benefits into jobs and the development opportunities which will create more jobs.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce is right, the unemployment rate underlines the need for New Zealand to take up all our opportunities for productive growth.

The results show that it is important we allow businesses the opportunity to grow and create jobs across the economy,” Mr Joyce says.

“This includes the intensification of agriculture, the development of aquaculture, greater foreign investment, encouraging hi-tech industries, expanding oil and gas exploration, and progressing an international convention centre in Auckland.

“Those that oppose some or all of these things need to understand you can’t have more jobs without taking up these opportunities.

“It’s vital that we put out the welcome mat to businesses given the backdrop of the Global Financial Crisis and the on-going impact of the Canterbury Earthquakes.”

. . . “Our focus is on ensuring businesses have access to the necessary innovation, capital, skilled workers, resources, supporting public infrastructure and markets they need to be internationally competitive,” Mr Joyce says.

“The good news is that in the past two years 55,000 new jobs were created in New Zealand despite some of the toughest economic head winds the World has seen. However, the reality is that if we want more and better jobs then we need to encourage more successful, growing and competitive companies to be based here.”

Jobs don’t come from doing nothing.

(Photo borrowed from Credo Quia Absurdum Est).

We have to do something but not just anything. It’s no use postponing the day of reckoning with tax, borrow and spend policies as Labour did.

We need productive jobs which earn export dollars.

It’s time to stop saying no and learn how to say yes to opportunities boost economic growth and environmental protection.





August 10 in history


610 The traditional date of the Laylat al-Qadr, when Muhammad began to receive the Qur’an.

955 Battle of Lechfeld: Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor defeated the Magyars, ending 50 years of Magyar invasion of the West.

991 Battle of Maldon: English, led by Bryhtnoth, Duke of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings.

1270 Yekuno Amlak took the imperial throne of Ethiopia, restoring the Solomonic dynasty to power after a 100-year interregnum.

1316  Second Battle of Athenry.

1519 Ferdinand Magellan‘s five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe.

1557 Battle of St. Quentin: Spanish victory over the French in the Habsburg-Valois Wars.

1628 The Swedish warship Vasa sank in the Stockholm harbour after only about 20 minutes on her maiden voyage.

1675 The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London was laid.

1680 The Pueblo Revolt began in New Mexico.

1792 French Revolution: Storming of the Tuileries Palace, Louis XVI was arrested.

1809 Quito declared independence from Spain.

1829 First ascent of Finsteraarhorn, the highest summit of the Bernese Alps.

1840 HMS Britomart arrived at Akaroa, on Banks Peninsula, a week before a shipload of French colonists landed. The ship’s captain raised the Union Jack to confirm British sovereignty over the area.

British assert sovereignty as French head for Akaroa

1846 The Smithsonian Institution was chartered by the United States Congress after James Smithson donated $500,000 for that purpose.

1861 American Civil War: Battle of Wilson’s Creek.

1901 The U.S. Steel Recognition Strike by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers began.

1904 Russo-Japanese War: the Battle of the Yellow Sea.

1905 Russo-Japanese War: peace negotiations began in Portsmouth.

1913  Delegates from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece signed the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the Second Balkan War.

1920 World War I: Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI’s representatives signed the Treaty of Sèvres that divides the Ottoman Empire between the Allies.

1932 Rin Tin Tin, German shepherd dog, was born (b. 1918).

1932 A 5.1kg  chondrite-type meteorite broke into at least seven pieces and landed near Archie in Cass County, Missouri.

1940 Bobby Hatfield, American singer (The Righteous Brothers), was born (d. 2003).

1943 Jimmy Griffin, American guitarist (Bread), was born (d. 2005)

1944 World War II: American forces defeated the last Japanese troops on Guam.

1947  Ian Anderson, Scottish singer (Jethro Tull), was born.

1948 Candid Camera made its television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone.

1954 The groundbreaking ceremony for the Saint Lawrence Seaway was held.

1961  Jon Farriss, Australian musician (INXS).

1969 Members of Charles Manson‘s cult killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

1977  David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) was arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.

1988  U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese Americans who were either interned in or relocated by the United States during World War II.

1990  The Magellan space probe reached Venus.

1990 The Massacre of more than 127 Muslims in North East Sri Lanka by paramilitaries.

1993  An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale hit the South Island.

1995  Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were indicted for Oklahoma City bombingMichael Fortier pleaded guilty in a plea-bargain agreement for his testimony.

1998 The Royal Proclamation of HRH Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah as the crown prince of Brunei.

2003 The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK – 38.5°C (101.3°F) in Kent.

2003 – Yuri Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space.

2006  Scotland Yard disrupted major terrorist plot to destroy aircraft travelling from the United Kingdom to the United States. In the wake of this all toiletries were banned from commercial airplanes.

2009 – Twenty people were killed in Handlová, Trenčín Region, in the deadliest mining disaster in Slovakia’s history.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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