Word of the day

August 23, 2012

Lupine – of or relating to or characteristic of wolves; savage; ravenous; predatory; Any of numerous plants of the genus Lupinus in the pea family, having palmately compound leaves and variously coloured flowers.


Southland party at Parliament

August 23, 2012

Invercargill MP Eric Roy is reviving the Southland party at Parliament:

Oysters, chocolate, meat and “sheep on a spit” will be a few of the delicacies National MP Eric Roy will be serving in Parliament next month to bring displaced Southlanders together for a night of cheese rolls and southern company.

Mr Roy said the Southland Party in the banquet hall of the Parliament building used to be an annual evening.

However, it had died out about seven years ago.

In its heyday, the night attracted about 400 Southland people to the Beehive, he said.

“It’s about networking and showing off Southland. It was always a good way for us to reconnect – people are saying it’s time we did it again.”

Mr Roy was calling on any Southlanders based in Wellington, as well as any Wellingtonians with Southland connections, to come out and party “Southland-style” in the capital.

A very protein-laden meal was promised with lots of hay bales, swedes and cheese rolls, he said. . .

I’m not sure about the protein content of hay bales but presumably they’re for sitting on not for eating.

The party’s Facebook page is here.


Thursday’s quiz

August 23, 2012

1. Who said: “There are flood and drought over the eyes and in the mouth, dead water and dead sand contending for the upper hand. The parched eviscerate soil gapes at the vanity of toil, laughs without mirth. This is the death of the earth.”?

2. Which group had a hit with Love is all Around Us  and the song track for Four Weddings and a Funeral?

3. It’s pluie  in French,  pioggia in Italian, lluvia in Spanish and hāuaua  in Maori, what is it in English?

4. How long did it rain after Noah and the animals entered the Ark?

5. Where is the wettest place (on land) in New Zealand?


Why wait?

August 23, 2012

There are so many questions which could be asked about the case of James Robertson Parker, the former deputy principal who has admitted multiple charges of sexually abusing children.

But the two which baffles me most are prompted by this:

Teachers’ Council director Peter Lind said the council was made aware of the case when it went before the courts.

Because he was unlikely to be out of jail in the next few months and will not pose a direct threat to children – the Council would wait for the full police investigation to be completed before they decided whether Parker would keep his registration.

The man has admitted multiple charges and the Teachers Council is waiting before they decide whether he keeps his registration.

The questions are:

1. Why wait?

2. If this isn’t enough to result in deregistration, what is?

 

 

 


Comparing apples with milk – updated

August 23, 2012

Update: The tech fairy is playing games with this post.

It first made the comments I wrote below the picture, which I found on Facebook, disappear. Then it got rid of the all the links in the side bar.

Because of that I’ve dumped the picture and typed what it said:

If everyone went vegan, would it destroy our economy?

The milk industry uses 1,638,706 hectares of land. With this it employs 45,000 people and earns, $NZ10.4b in profit annually.

Per hectare of land that is:45000/1638706 = 0.027 employees and 10.4×106 = $6.346.47 in profit.The horticulture industry uses 121,000 hectares of land. With his, it employs 50,000 people and earns $NZ 4b in profit annually. Per hectare of land that is 50000/121000 = 0.4 employees and 4×106 /121000 = $33.057.85 in profit.

Changing land from dairy to horticulture would employ 15 times as many people and improved New Zealand’s profit 5-fold.

No it would probably improve it.

I have no idea if those figures are correct but even if they are, there is a serious problem with the reasoning because it’s not comparing apples with apples.

 

Not all land which is suitable for dairying is suitable for horticulture.
Many horticulture products are fragile, don’t travel well and have short shelf-lives. If they’re not sold they perish; milk powder travels well and can be stored for ages.
Dairy products are high in protein and calcium, few if any horticulture products have these nutrients.
Markets which want dairy products want dairy products. If they can’t buy ours they’ll buy someone else’s, they won’t swap to fruit and vegetables instead.
The anti-dairy lobby is visible and vocal but if this picture is typical their arguments are long on emotion and short on facts.

In-work payments for those in work

August 23, 2012

The Green Party don’t appear to understand the reason that in-work tax credits go only to people in work for a very good reason although Finance Minister Bill English gave a good explanation yesterday:

. . . But the first part of the question, I think, demonstrates the difference in views about how to deal with poverty. The Government is focusing on mobility—that, in fact, a lot of families who at some times and in some periods experience low incomes actually get out of that situation. The in-work tax credit is designed to encourage people from benefits into work, and reward them for making the choice of going into work, because that is the best decision they can make to improve the incomes of their household and their children.

Holly Walker: What if a parent cannot find work? Do their children still have the same basic needs for food, shelter, warmth, and clothing that they would have if their parents were working?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Yes, their children do have basic needs that ought to be met, and that is why the Government has throughout the last 4 years, since the beginning of the recession in 2008, protected the real value of the incomes of all our low-income households. But I would repeat for the member that those levels of income are part of the story. The other part of the story is to maintain the ability of families and individuals to move on to higher incomes. The analysis of New Zealanders’ time on low incomes shows that a relatively small number stay on low incomes for a long time, and even of those who are on low incomes only a proportion of those suffer the symptoms of persistent deprivation, which is the worst aspect of poverty. . .

. . . Holly Walker: Since children have the same basic needs regardless of the income status of their parents, will he support the Green Party bill to replace the in-work tax credit with a payment for all children who need it, and eliminate a blatant discrimination against some of our poorest children?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: No, we will not. In fact, on the issue of discrimination, this case has been to every tribunal it can go to and no one has found that the difference in payment is discriminatory. We will stick by the policy that has been in place for some time, put in place by the previous Labour Government—that is, maintaining the in-work tax credit.

What is it the left do not understand about the danger of snaring people in the welfare trap?

Some people will need a permanent benefit. But most will be in temporary need of assistance and the sooner they are helped to move from a benefit to work the better for them, their family  and society.

Keeping people on benefits when they could be working isn’t good for them and it isn’t fair on those who pay the taxes to support them.

This view isn’t the preserve of the right wing. Labour MP Trevor Mallard made this point on Facebook yesterday.

The post has now disappeared but Keeping Stock took the precaution of taking a screen shot.

https://i0.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/-M_gjoUa1PH0/UDQU5aFM9uI/AAAAAAAAEVA/V1m-G3rWn_s/s1600/Duck+1.png

In-work tax credits provide an incentive to work by ensuring people who earn a living are better off than those on benefits.

If people can get a similar income on a benefit than they can from working too many wouldn’t bother to work.

The solution to poverty is not to make life on a benefit more comfortable but to help those who could work to work.


August 23 in history

August 23, 2012

79  Mount Vesuvius began stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

1305  William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason.

1328  Battle of Cassel: French troops stopped an uprising of Flemish farmers.

1514  Battle of Chaldiran ended with a decisive victory for the Sultan Selim I, Ottoman Empire, over the Shah Ismail I, Safavids founder.

1555  Calvinists were granted rights in the Netherlands.

1572   St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre – Mob violence against Huguenots in Paris.

1595  Michael the Brave confronted the Ottoman army in the Battle of Calugareni.

1708  Meidingnu Pamheiba was crowned King of Manipur.

1775 King George III declared that the American colonies existed in a state of open and avowed rebellion.

1793 French Revolution: a levée en masse was decreed by the National Convention.

1799  Napoleon left Egypt for France en route to seize power.

1813  Battle of Grossbeeren, the Prussians under Von Bülow repulsed the French army.

1839  The United Kingdom captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for war with Qing China.

1858  The Round Oak rail accident in Brierley Hill, England.

1866  Austro-Prussian War ended with the Treaty of Prague.

1873  Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London opened.

1875 William Eccles, English radio pioneer, was born (d. 1966).

1896 First Cry of the Philippine Revolution was made in Pugad Lawin (Quezon City), in the province of Manila.

1900 Malvina Reynolds, American folk singer/songwriter, was born (d. 1978).

1904 The automobile tyre chain was patented.

1912 Gene Kelly, American dancer and actor, was born (d. 1996).

1914 World War I: Japan declared war on Germany and bombed Qingdao, China.

1914 – World War I: the Battle of Mons; the British Army began withdrawal.

1921  British airship R-38 experienced structural failure over Hull in England and crashed in the Humber estuary.  Only 4 of her 49 British and American training crew survived.

1923  Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.

1929  Hebron Massacre during the 1929 Palestine riots: Arab attack on the Jewish community in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, continuing until the next day, resulted in the death of 65-68 Jews and the remaining Jews being forced to leave the city.

1934 Barbara Eden, American actress and singer, was born.

1938 English cricketer Sir Len Hutton set a world record for the highest individual Test innings of 364, during a Test match against Australia.

1939 New Zealand writer Robin Hyde died in London.

Writer Robin Hyde dies in London

1939  World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland were divided between the two nations.

1942  Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.

1942  The last cavalry charge in history took place at Izbushensky.

1943 Nelson DeMille, American novelist, was born.

1943   Kharkov was liberated.

1944   Marseille was liberated.

1944   King Michael of Romania dismissed the pro-Nazi government of General Antonescu, who was arrested. Romania switched sides from the Axis to the Allies.

1944  Freckleton Air Disaster – A United States Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashed into a school in Freckleton, England killing 61 people.

1946 Keith Moon, English musician (The Who), was born (d. 1978).

1946  Ordinance No. 46 of the British Military Government constitutes the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein.

1947 Assisted immigration to New Zealand for British people resumed after WWII.

Assisted immigration resumes after war

1947 – Willy Russell, British playwright, was born.

1948  World Council of Churches was formed.

1949 Rick Springfield, Australian singer and actor, was born.

1951 Queen Noor of Jordan, was born.

1954 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

1958  Chinese Civil War: The Second Taiwan Strait crisis began with the People’s Liberation Army’s bombardment of Quemoy.

1966  Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.

1975 Successful Communist coup in Laos.

1977  The Gossamer Condor won the Kremer prize for human powered flight.

1979  Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected to the United States.

1982 Bachir Gemayel was elected Lebanese President amidst the raging civil war.

1985  Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defected to East Germany.

1989  Hungary: the last communist government opened the Iron curtain and caused the exodus of thousands of Eastern Germans to West Germany via Hungary.

1989  Singing Revolution: two million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stoodon the Vilnius-Tallinn road, holding hands (Baltic Way).

1989 – 1,645 Australian domestic airline pilots resigned after the airlines threaten to fire them and sue them over a dispute.

1990  Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi state television with a number of Western “guests” ( hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War.

1990  Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1990  West and East Germany announced that they would unite on October 3.

1994  Eugene Bullard, The only black pilot in World War I, was posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

1996 Osama bin Laden issued message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’

2000  Gulf Air Flight 072 crashed into the Persian Gulf near Manama, Bahrain, killing 143.

2006 – Natascha Kampusch, who was abducted at the age of 10, managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.

2007 – The skeletal remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Anastasia were found near Yekaterinburg, Russia.

2010 – Manila hostage crisis, in which 8 hostages were killed

2011 – A 5.8 earthquake occurred in Mineral, Virginia.

2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces took control of Bab al-Azizia compound.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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