Word of the day

September 25, 2012

Eleemosynary – of or pertaining to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable; derived from or provided by charity; dependent on or supported by charity.


Lost in translation

September 25, 2012

In April the ODT wrote about a Beef + Lamb field day at one of our farms and headlined it making the most of a ‘wonderful place’.

It began:

“One of North Otago’s hidden secrets” is how Grant Ludemann describes Glencoe Run.   

 Profitable lamb finishing at altitude was the theme of a Beef and Lamb New Zealand Farming for Profit field day held at the 1900ha property, near Waianakarua, last week.   

 Mr Ludemann and his wife Ele purchased Glencoe about seven  years ago and it is part of their extensive stable of farming      operations throughout the South Island. . . .

One of our staff was wandering round the internet the other day and came across another story headlined making a many of a ‘wonderful place’.

It began:

“One of North Otago’s dark secrets” is how Grant Ludemann describes Glencoe Run.

 Profitable lamb finishing during altitude was a thesis of a Beef and Lamb New Zealand Farming for Profit margin day hold during the 1900ha property, nearby Waianakarua, final week.   

Mr Ludemann and his mother Ele purchased Glencoe about seven  years ago and it is partial of their endless quick of farming  operations via a South Island. . .

It continues in the same vein as if it has been translated to another language and back to English with a lot of the sense lost and much hilarity gained in the process.

Who did it, into which language it was translated and why it was translated back is a mystery.


Customer service – spot the flaws

September 25, 2012

The call came from Meridian Energy about a final meter reading.

Caller: “The contractor went to do the final reading on Tuesday but couldn’t get in to the house.”

Me: “No-one lives in the house, the key is here.”

Caller: “Yes, I told them that and they were to call in to the house or office to get the key but they said no-one was there.”

Me: “Which day was that?”

Caller: “Tuesday.”

Me: “Some one was in the office from 8.30 until 4ish and I was in the house all afternoon.”

Caller: “Well, they said no-one was home and I want to book them again.”

Me: “Could they ring before they come to make sure someone will be here?”

Caller: “I can ask them but they have their own mobile phones and don’t like using them because they have to pay for them.”

Sigh.

This call was from an energy company but it could have been from numerous others which expect you to hang about waiting for them.

Mobile phones ought to make it so much easier for them to let you know when they’re likely to come.

Instead too many use them only to communicate with their own company and don’t worry about the customer.


Rabobank forecasts agflation

September 25, 2012

Drought in the USA, Russia and South America is contributing to higher prices for agricultural commodities.

Skyrocketing agricultural commodity prices are causing the world to re-enter a period of “agflation”, with food prices forecast to reach record highs in 2013 and to continue to rise well into Q3 2013. Unlike the staple grain shortage 2008, this year’s scarcity will affect feed intensive crops with serious repercussions for the animal protein and dairy industries, according to Rabobank.

Luke Chandler Global Head of Agri Commodity Markets Research at Rabobank commented, “The impact on the poorest consumers should be reduced this time around, as purchasers are able to switch consumption from animal protein back towards staple grains like rice and wheat.

These commodities are currently 30 per cent cheaper than their 2008 peaks. Nonetheless, price rises are likely to stall the long-term trend towards higher protein diets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. In developed economies – especially the US and Europe –where meat and corn price elasticity is low, the knock-on effect of high grain prices will be felt for some time to come.”

Due to the long production cycles of the animal protein and dairy industries, the affects of grains shortages will be more sustained as herds (especially cattle) take longer to rebuild, maintaining upward pressure on food prices. However, food makes up a smaller proportion of budget spend in such countries, so the current period of agflation should not lead to the unrest witnessed in response to the shortage in 2008.

Rabobank estimates that the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index will rise by 15 per cent by the end of June 2013. In order for demand rationing to take place, in turn encouraging a supply response, prices will need to stay high. As such Rabobank expects prices – particularly for grains and oilseeds – to remain at elevated levels for at least the next 12 months.

Most of our meat and milk producing herds are free range which means we ought to benefit from increased prices for our produce without them being offset by significant increases in the cost of feed.

Whilst the impact of higher food prices should be reduced by favourable macroeconomic fundamentals (low growth, lower oil prices, weak consumer confidence and a depreciated US dollar); interventionist government policies could exacerbate the issue. Stockpiling and export bans are a distinct possibility in 2012/13 as governments seek to protect domestic consumers from increasing food prices. Increased government intervention will likely encourage further increases in world commodity and food prices.

Rabobank expects that localised efforts to increase stockpiles will prove counterproductive at the global level, with those countries least able to pay higher prices likely to see greater moves in domestic food price inflation. This is a vicious circle, with governments committing to domestic stockpiling and other interventionist measures earlier than usual—recognising the risk of being left out as exportable stocks decline further.

On top of that, Rabobank warns that global food stocks have not been replenished since 2008, leaving the market without any buffer to adverse growing conditions. Efforts by governments to rebuild stocks are likely to add to food prices and take supplies off the market at a time when they are most needed.

That sounds like another argument for free trade.


September 25 in history

September 25, 2012

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time, Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born.

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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