Word of the day

September 14, 2012

Excogitate - to consider; think carefully and thoroughly; plan; devise.


Grace in adversity

September 14, 2012

The murder of a loved husband, father, son and brother is more than enough for any family.

Having his brother-in-law charged with the crime and the family’s private business made public in the court case would have compounded matters.

Throughout the trial and in its aftermath, the grace shown by the Guy family in their adversity was inspiring.

Scott Guy’s brother-in-law Ewen Macdonald  was acquitted of the murder but admitted other crimes for which he was sentenced today.

The family’s grace shows again in their statement:

Today is yet another reminder of how one person’s actions have affected everyone in our family. The sentencing today does not give us closure or satisfaction. It is simply a reminder that there are consequences for the decisions that Ewen made

One consequence is that Ewen is no longer part of our day to day lives. He has lost our trust and has hurt us deeply and shaken the values which our family hold dear.  However the turmoil we have been through has brought our immediate family closer together, and it is our future that we now focus on.

Our family is now challenged with building a new life. We are determined to build a future not on anger or revenge, not on resentment or sorrow. We must build a future for our children and grandchildren on love and compassion, on truth and faith.

We can only reiterate our heartfelt thanks to all New Zealanders for the support and caring you have shown our family, which continues to give us strength and courage.

It takes a very big heart to show grace when anger and bitterness would be so much easier.


Friday’s answers

September 14, 2012

Thursday’s questions were:

1. “. . .  for when women are the advisers, the lords of creation don’t take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what
they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole.”?

2.  Which New Zealand author wrote The Matriarch?

3. It’s matrone in French, matrona in Italian, matriarca in Spanish and kuikui in Maori, what is it in English?

4.  Who was the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, battle strategy, heroic endeavour, handicrafts and reason.

5. Who topped Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women this year?

Points for answers:

Andrei got three and a smile for #5.

Alwyn wins an electronic bouquet of magnolia with four right.

Grant got three.

Adam got one a bonus for added interest.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Rural round-up

September 14, 2012

“Healthy bastards” outlive hard ones – Laura Richards:

Men are not meant to die earlier than women, but they do, according to Doctor Dave Baldwin. Men live four years less than women, on average, he said.

“They have higher rates of suicide, heart disease and cancer.”

Known as the Bulls Flying Doctor throughout the country, Dr Baldwin was the keynote speaker at this year’s final Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Manawatu Finishing Farm seminar series held in Feilding.

While the message of “How to be a healthy bastard – a farmer’s guide” was more geared to the men in the audience, everyone enjoyed the politically incorrect chuckles along the way. . .

Kangaroo meat healthier: foodies:

CHEFS and nutritionists are hopping on the kangaroo train, urging diners to eat roo meat for its health benefits.

Executive chef John Lawson, from Mr Hive restaurant, says Australia should embrace roo on the menu.

There needs to be more marketing around kangaroos and how to cook them,” he said.

“People have avoided roo because of the perception it is a wild animal so it is tough and lean, but they cultivate them now so they do have more fat on them.”

Nutritionist Lola Berry said it was great for losing weight . . .

Lavender oils award success out of the blue - Sally Rae:

When Barry and Jo Todd entered their lavender oil in the New Zealand Lavender Growers Association’s awards, they wanted    to ascertain the quality of their oil.   

The first-time entrants were “totally gobsmacked” to win the Ken Wilson Memorial Trophy and the Eoin Johnson Memorial Cup  for the best grosso and best lavandin oil respectively, along with a silver award.   

Mr and Mrs Todd own a boutique lavender farm, Danseys Pass Lavender, in the remote Danseys Pass in North Otago. . .

Decision to Enter Ballance Farm Environment Awards Pays Off:

Frank Portegys almost didn’t enter the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards because he felt his family-owned dairy farm wasn’t ready.

He can see the irony in this because as a former fertiliser and dairy farm consultant he’d often encouraged other people to enter in the past. He’d even been a judge for the competition.

“So I’ve heard the excuses about the farm not being ready. I’ve always wanted to enter the Awards but we are only in our fifth season here and our riparian plantings are in the very early stages, so I was a little hesitant at the start.” . . .

Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World and a Trio of Trophies for Yealands Estate at the International Wine Challenge

Yealands Estate has collected a trio of trophies at the International Wine Challenge Awards ceremony held in London last night.

In addition to the International Sauvignon Blanc and the White Marlborough trophy, Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was also awarded the 2012 James Roger Trophy. . . .

Bay’s wine website now with Chinese subtitles

As more Hawke’s Bay wineries move to tempt the growing number of Chinese wine drinkers, the region’s wine organisation is gearing up to support them with an updated website that features Chinese translation of both copy and videos.

Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Inc., executive officer Lyn Bevin reports there are 26 local wineries now exporting to China, up from 18 late last year. . .


It might be a good story . . .

September 14, 2012

Paper Plus is promoting this book as one of Kerre’s choices:

This Way Of   Life
Sumner   Burstyn
This is the book of the multi award winning documentary of the same name.   It’s the tale of the Ottley-Karena family and their incredible life living in   and around the Ruahine Ranges. Mum, Colleen, dad, Peter and their seven kids   have absolutely nothing – in terms of material possessions – but they are   rich beyond belief – in terms of life skills, love and appreciation for what   is truly important… read more
9781869509644
RRP$34.99

It might be a good book, well written with an interesting story and stunning photos but I think the author’s recent rant and subsequent publicity will be a strong deterrent for many who might otherwise have bought it.


No Good Samaritan

September 14, 2012

A drunk middle-age man fell off a station platform in Stockholm and hit his head.

CCTV caught what looked like someone going to his rescue.

But this was no Good Samaritan. Instead of helping the injured man, he robbed him and left him to be hit by a train.

Hat tip: TV3


Schools’ purpose to educate

September 14, 2012

Proposals for school closures and mergers are always fraught.

Principals, teachers, other staff, pupils and their families have vested interests in their schools, past pupils will also have views and at the best of time suggestions of significant changes to schools is likely to cause angst.

This isn’t the best of times for Christchurch and it is little wonder that the proposals announced yesterday to close some schools and merge others have been met with an emotional response.

But change is inevitable.

Some schools can not be rebuilt and thousands of children have left the city leaving some schools with much lower rolls.

The government’s response must be based on fact not emotion and with the knowledge a limited amount of money must be spent in the way that best provides for the educational needs of the children in the city and the hinterland.

In announcing the government will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to restore the education sector in greater Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said:

“As we move from recovery to renewal we have an opportunity to realign services with changing community needs and ensure our investment delivers better outcomes for learners and the wider community.

“In line with community feedback we are taking the time to get this right, because the benefits to Christchurch and wider New Zealand are tremendous.

“Over time the renewed education network can provide greater Christchurch, Canterbury and wider New Zealand with a significantly enhanced asset.”

Education Minister Hekia Parata said schools have been grouped into clusters based on location:

“This will enable decisions about the schooling network to consider housing developments and surrounding infrastructure. It will also facilitate engagement with parents and learners to ensure they play a significant role in deciding the type of education provision that meets their community’s needs,” Ms Parata says.

The clusters have been grouped into three categories based on the scale of work required, the speed at which it can be achieved, and the engagement needed to finalise decisions.

The categories are:

·         Restoration; ·         Consolidation, and; ·         Rejuvenation.

“Of the 215 schools in the greater Christchurch region, we are proceeding to consult on a proposal to close 13 schools. Another 18 schools will be involved in mergers of some kind,” Ms Parata says.

“Our priority is delivering a network that will meet changing community needs and deliver better outcomes for learners.”

The Government also announced the major projects identified for immediate implementation are the rebuilding of Halswell School, and enhancement of education provision at Pegasus Town and Rolleston.

Schools provide jobs for principals, teachers and support staff, they can be a community hub and the location of community facilities such as halls and swimming pools.

Closures or mergers will result in the loss of jobs and facilities.

But the purpose of schools is to educate their pupils and that must be the focus in negotiations over the proposals.

 


September 14 in history

September 14, 2012

81 Domitian became Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of his brother Titus.

786  Harun al-Rashid became the Abbasid caliph upon the death of his brother al-Hadi.

1180  Battle of Ishibashiyama in Japan.

1607 Flight of the Earls from Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland.

1682  Bishop Gore School, one of the oldest schools in Wales, was founded.

1752  The British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days (the previous day was September 2).

1769 Alexander von Humboldt, German naturalist and explorer, was born (d. 1859).

1812  Napoleonic Wars: French grenadiers entered Moscow. The Fire of Moscow began as soon as Russian troops left the city.

1829 The Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Adrianople with Russia,  ending the Russo-Turkish War.

1847  Mexican-American War: Winfield Scott captured Mexico City.

1862  American Civil War: The Battle of South Mountain, part of the Maryland Campaign.

1901 President  William McKinley died after an assassination attempt on September 6, and was succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.

1917  Russia was officially proclaimed a republic.

1923 Miguel Primo de Rivera became dictator of Spain.

1938 The cornerstone of the first Labour government’s welfare policies, the Social Security Act, introduced revised pensions and extended benefits for families, invalids and the unemployed.

Social Security Act passed

1944 World War II: Maastricht became the first Dutch city to be liberated by allied forces.

1947  Sam Neill, New Zealand actor, was born.

1948  Groundbreaking for the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

1953  Judy Playfair, Australian swimmer, was born.

1958  The first two German post-war rockets, designed by the German engineer Ernst Mohr, reached the upper atmosphere.

1959 The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashed onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.

1960 The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded.

1961 Wendy Thomas, namesake of the eponymous restaurant (Wendy’s), was born.

1971 Jeff Loomis, American guitarist (Nevermore), was born.

1975 The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, was canonized by Pope Paul VI.

1982  President-elect of Lebanon, Bachir Gemayel, was assassinated.

1984 Joe Kittinger became the first person to fly a hot air balloon alone across the Atlantic Ocean.

1995 Body Worlds opened in Tokyo.

1998 Telecommunications companies MCI Communications and WorldCom completed their $37 billion merger to form MCI WorldCom.

2001  Historic National Prayer Service held at Washington National Cathedral for victims of the September 11 attacks. A similar service was held in Canada on Parliament Hill, the largest vigil ever held in the nation’s capital.

2003 In a referendum, Estonia approved joining the European Union.

2007 – Late-2000s financial crisis: The Northern Rock bank experienced the first bank run in the United Kingdom in 150 years.

2008 – All 88 people on board Aeroflot Flight 821 were killed when the plane crashed on approach to Perm Airport.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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