Word of the day

August 17, 2012

 

Consuetudinary – customary or traditionalan established custom or usage, esp. one having legal forcea manual describing the customs of a particular group (especially the ceremonial practices of a monastic order).

 


Friday’s answers

August 17, 2012

1. Which country does this quote refer to and who said it: “. . . the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition.”?

2. In which part of the human body are the smallest bones?

3. What is the largest carnivore on earth?

4. For what is an Apgar score used?

5. Which is the closest star to earth?

Points for answers:

Lester got 2 1/2

Andrei got four. I meant on earth as in on land but that wasn’t clear so am accepting the sea creature.

Roger got 1.

IHS got 2 with bonuses for extra information.

Grant wins an electronic batch of biscuits of his choice for five with bonuses for  extra information.

Answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wool carpets grow greener

August 17, 2012

Wool is the quintessential green product – natural, renewable, breathable, fire resistant and – at least in New Zealand – grown on free-range sheep.

The fire-resistance makes wool carpets popular in aeroplanes.

Even without that, the other factors ought to appeal to consumers with a green conscience and a New Zealand company has developed something to make wool carpets tick another environmental box:

Carpet manufacturer Cavalier Bremworth has unveiled a world-first carpet backing product it hopes will secure its environmental footing in the market.

It will reduce around 1200 tonnes of waste from landfills each year because it’s made by recycling your old carpet – but only if it’s made from wool. 

It looks like regular old carpet, but replacing the usual jute backing with a recycled wool product has taken two years of development, so Cavalier Bremworth is quite excited.

“Jute is an imported product and it has variable supply and cost,” says Desiree Keown, Cavalier Bremworth marketing manager. “We’ve now secured a product made entirely in New Zealand using New Zealand labour, made entirely from New Zealand recycled carpet so it’s a perfect story.”

It is estimated Kiwis dump 5000 tonnes of carpet in landfills each year. Synthetic carpet takes 50 years to break down – even pure wool takes a year.

But Cavalier Bremworth will slash that waste by a quarter. It plans to recycle 1200 tonnes of old wool carpet, turning it into new carpet backing.

Natural, renewable, breathable, fire resistant,  grown on free-range sheep, using recycled material that reduces waste – how hard can it be to sell that?

 


Opposition Bills bereft of economic sense

August 17, 2012

The luck of the draw for Members’ Bills was with the Opposition yesterday with three of theirs drawn:

Two of them – the Income Tax (Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit) Amendment Bill, put forward by Green MP Catherine Delahunty, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill proposed by  NZ First’s Winston Peters show the Opposition is bereft of economic sense.

If there is any good in the tax churn that is Working for Families it’s that it incentivises work by ensuring even a low-paid job brings in more money than a benefit.

If people can get the same money for not working as they would for having a job, why would they bother?

This was Labour policy at last year’s election and the Bill has given Labour a dilemma – to stick with the policy, which the electorate rejected, or dump the policy and upset a potential coalition partner?

Peters has had a fixation with the Reserve Bank and its powers for years. His Bill would require it to consider growth, the value of the dollar, export growth and employment as well as inflation which is its current target.

He was in parliament in the 1980s and should still be able to remember the damage wrought by inflation which was raging for much of the decade.

Requiring the Bank to do so much would almost certainly result in higher inflation with little if any positive impact on the other factors.

If he was really interested in employment and the dollar’s value he’d have a bill aimed at reducing impediments to business and entrenching reduced government spending.


Why are the gods only angered by politics?

August 17, 2012

Karl du Fresne is not impressed by primitive superstition being delivered straight-faced on the news:

Due respect for Maori culture is one thing. Expecting us to swallow primitive superstition is quite another – yet I heard a reporter on Morning Report this morning solemnly relaying a Maori warning that recent volcanic activity on White Island and Mt Tongariro was a sign that Ruamoko, the god of earthquakes and volcanoes, was unhappy about the way the government was proceeding with the partial sale of state assets. This comes only a couple of weeks after the Maori Council’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer, invoked the Maori belief in taniwha at the Waitangi Tribunal hearing on water rights. . .

. . . As if citing taniwha wasn’t bad enough, we’re reduced to an even more abject embrace of stone-age superstition when the state-owned radio network can report, with a straight face, that the Maori god of earthquakes and volcanoes is cutting up rough because he (she?) doesn’t like what the government is doing.

What next? Will we be told that Tangaroa, the sea god, plans to unleash a tsunami that will rise up from Wellington Harbour and destroy the Beehive? Will Radio New Zealand report that John Key is at risk of being hit by a bolt of lightning directed at his head by Tawhirimatea, the weather god? . . .

Are the gods left wing or has their ire been raised by policies from the left in the past?

If they’re going to get angry,  why only about politics?

Why can’t they be enraged about child abuse; educational failure; gang culture; violence; drug, alcohol and gambling addiction; crime . . . and instead of directing their tantrums at innocent bystanders, couldn’t they aim it at the perpetrators?

If gods care about assets and water shouldn’t they also care about people?


August 17 in history

August 17, 2012

986  A Byzantine army was destroyed in the Battle of Gates of Trajan by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron.

1786 – Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and soldier, was born (d. 1836).

1807  Robert Fulton‘s first American steamboat left New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.

1839 The NZ Company’s sailing ship Tory dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound to pick up fresh water, food and wood before proceeding to Port Nicholson (Wellington Harbour).

NZ Company ship Tory arrives

1862  Indian Wars: The Lakota (Sioux) Dakota War of 1862 began as Lakota warriors attacked white settlements along the Minnesota River.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville – Confederate forces defeated Union troops.

1883  The first public performance of the Dominican Republic’s national anthem, Himno Nacional.

1893  Mae West, American actress, was born (d. 1980).

1904 Mary Cain, American newspaper editor and politician, was born  (d. 1984).

1907  Pike Place Market, the longest continuously-running public farmers market in the US, opened in Seattle.

1908  Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, realized by Émile Cohl, was shown in Paris.

1914  Battle of Stalluponen – The German army of General Hermann von François defeated the Russian force commanded by Pavel Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia.

1915  Jewish American Leo Frank was lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia.

1918  Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky was assassinated.

1920  Maureen O’Hara, Irish actress, was born.

1943 Robert De Niro, American actor, was born.

1943  The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffered the loss of 60 bombers on the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission.

1943 : The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrived in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.

1943 First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King began.

1944 Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, billionaire, was born.

1945  Indonesian Declaration of Independence.

1946 Martha Coolidge, American film director, was born.

1947 The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan was revealed.

1953   First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.

1959  Quake Lake was formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Yellowstone earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana.

1959  Kind of Blue by Miles Davis the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, was released.

1960  Gabon gained independence from France.

1960 Sean Penn, American actor and director, was born.

1962  Gilby Clarke, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1962  East German border guards killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.

1969  Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.

1970  Venera 7 launched.

1978  Double Eagle II became first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.

1979 Two Soviet Aeroflot jetliners collide in mid-air over Ukraine, killing 156

1980  Azaria Chamberlain disappeared, taken by a dingo.

1982  The first Compact Discs (CDs) were released to the public in Germany.

1988  Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.

1998  Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admitted in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admitted before the nation that he “misled people” about his relationship.

1999 A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck İzmit, Turkey, killing more than 17,000 and injuring 44,000.

2004  The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopted new state symbols: Boze Pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms was adopted for the whole country.

2005 The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts.

2005  Over 500 bombs were set off by terrorists at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh.

2008  By winning the Men’s 4x100m medley relay, Michael Phelps became the first Olympian to win eight gold medals in the same Olympics.

2009 – An accident at the Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam in Khakassia, Russia, killed 75 and shut down the hydroelectric power station, leading to widespread power failure in the local area.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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