Word of the day

October 8, 2012

Otiose – futile,ineffective; serving no practical purpose or result; useless; superfluous; indolent, idle, lazy.


Rural round-up

October 8, 2012

Season just ended could produce messy results – Allan Barber:

The two largest processors and exporters, Silver Fern Farms and Alliance, have captured the headlines in the last couple of weeks.

Hot on the heels of its announced intention to close its sheepmeat chain at Mataura, Alliance has come out with an offer to suppliers of $20 in November per lamb contracted before the end of October.

From the other cooperative camp Keith Cooper, CEO of SFF, last week sent an email out to suppliers which highlighted the disappointing financial result for the year ended 30 September because of the exchange rate and declining sheepmeat values in January and February not being reflected in procurement prices . . .

Australian shearer cleans up on Saturday, back on job today – Lynda van Kempen:

It will be business as usual today for triple New Zealand Merino Shearing champion Damien Boyle, who will be back in the shed, but this time no trophies are at stake.

The Western Australian farmer won his third successive open title on Saturday night, at the 51st fine wool shearing championship, staged over two days, in Alexandra.

Boyle and his family have been long-time supporters of the event, competing for the past 15 years. . .

Best laid plans turn into new ambitions – Sally Rae:

Ever since she could remember, Carolyn Beaver wanted to be a veterinarian.

With a passion for animals and anything medical, it seemed a natural choice for the young woman from Whangarei.

She graduated from Massey University as a veterinary surgeon in 1999 and spent three years working as a mixed-animal practitioner in Whangarei, while also doing volunteer ambulance work for St John. . .

US milk production picks up – Dr Jon Hauser:

Last week we, along with others in the dairy press, reported the news from the USDA that US August milk production had declined for the first time in 31 months (“US milk production in YOY negative,” Xcheque.com, 21 September 2012).

According to the USDA August production was down 0.2 per cent relative to August last year. Using year-on-year analysis the US milk production only began falling in August, leaving the question open as to whether it will keep going down or if it has reached a floor. Rising feed prices brought about by the US drought definitely point to an ongoing decline.

However, as we’re fond of saying here at Xcheque, year-on-year comparisons can be misleading! . . .

ECan decision facilitates plains irrigation – Marta Steeman:

A landmark decision by Environment Canterbury paves the way for the controversial Central Plains Water scheme in Canterbury.

Environment Canterbury is recommending to the government changes to the National Water Conservation Order for the Rakaia River which will help introduce more irrigation on the Canterbury Plains.

ECan said on Thursday it had adopted the report and recommendations of independent hearing commissioners who heard electricity firm TrustPower’s application for the changes. . .

Lamb prices hurting Americans – Gerald Piddock:

New Zealand farmers are not the only lamb producers facing tough times.

North American sheep farmers have had a 40 per cent drop in lamb prices with values now sitting where they were a decade ago, Beef+Lamb North American representative Andrew Burt said.

Mr Burt is back in New Zealand having recently taken up the role of Beef+Lamb’s chief economist.

US lamb producers were forecasting an over-supply of lamb for this coming season he said. . .

Improving water quality in Lake Rotorua and good fish stocks int he Manawatu Rvier show that benefits are building from community water quality gains – Bruce Wills:

According to Fish & Game’s Wellington Manager, Phil Teal, employers should have been on sickie patrol from Monday, since that signalled the start of the 2012/13 sports fishing season.

What is more, according to Fish & Game, rivers such as the Waikanae, Otaki, Hutt, Ruamahanga, Manawatu and Rangitikei will be running clear and apparently this is ideal for trout fishing.

If trout is the canary of our waterways – though I would prefer native fish instead – then Fish & Game’s “recent monitoring has also shown good numbers of trout in the rivers, so prospects are looking good…Wellington, Wairarapa, the Kapiti Coast and Manawatu have world-class trout fishing opportunities right on the doorstep – these regions have a growing reputation for quality river fishing”. . . 


Take printer out of box . . .

October 8, 2012

Clarke and Dawe explain how quantitative easing works – or doesn’t:

 


Defence experts urge caution with dotbomb

October 8, 2012

Defence experts who have been researching the dotbomb are urging armed forces to be careful with it.

General Ricochet, who heads the research project said there was no doubt the dotbomb had potential as a weapon of mass distraction.

“It’s a sort of modern-day blunderbuss which could be used like a scatter-gun with non-nuclear fallout,” he said.

“We’re especially excited about the way it manages to keep exploding without destroying itself. This could have positive implications for defence budgets”

However, the General warned that the unpredictable nature of the prototype did raise concerns about whether the dotbomb could be safely used in field conditions.

“We need to be very cautious about the wide-spread deployment of a weapon like this. It’s possible its potential for inflicting damage on victims who had even passing contact with it months before it’s fired could contravene the Geneva Convention.

“We’re also concerned about the risk of widespread collateral damage once it’s deployed and we can’t yet be sure it won’t backfire.”


A hundred trillion reasons . . .

October 8, 2012

. . . why increasing the money supply is not a good idea:

(picture borrowed from Facebook).
We were in Argentina last week.
People there prefer United States dollars to the peso because inflation devalues their own currency so quickly.
Green co-leader Russel Norman appears to be oblivious to the dangers of printing more money.  What do his potential coalition partners think?

October 8 in history

October 8, 2012

314 Roman Emperor Licinius was defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and lost his European territories.

451  The first session of the Council of Chalcedon began.

1075  Dmitar Zvonimir was crowned King of Croatia.

1200  Isabella of Angoulême was crowned Queen consort of England.

1480  Great standing on the Ugra river, a standoff between the forces of Akhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia which resulted in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and the eventual disintegration of the Horde.

1573  End of the Spanish siege of Alkmaar, the first Dutch victory in Eighty Years War.

1600  San Marino adopted its written constitution.

1806  Napoleonic Wars: Forces of the British Empire laid siege to the port of Boulogne by using Congreve rockets.

1813  The Treaty of Ried was signed between Bayern and Austria.

1821  The government of general José de San Martín established the Peruvian Navy.

1829  Stephenson’s The Rocket won The Rainhill Trials.

1847 Rose Scott, Australia social reformer, was born (d. 1925).

1856  The Second Opium War began with the Arrow Incident on the Pearl River.

1860  Telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco opened.

1862  American Civil War: Battle of Perryville – Union forces under General Don Carlos Buell halted the Confederate invasion of Kentucky by defeating troops led by General Braxton Bragg.

1871  Four major fires broke out on the shores of Lake Michigan including the Great Chicago Fire, and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire.

1879 War of the Pacific: the Chilean Navy defeated the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau was killed.

1895 Zog I, King of Albania, was born (d. 1961).

1895 Juan Perón, Argentinean President, was born  (d. 1974).

1895 Eulmi incident– Queen Min of Joseon, the last empress of Korea, was assassinated and her corpse burnt by the Japanese in Gyeongbok Palace.

1912 First Balkan War began when Montenegro declared war against Turkey.

1918  World War I: In the Argonne Forest in France, United States Corporal Alvin C. York led an attack that killed 25 German soldiers and captures 132.

1920 Frank Herbert, American writer, was born (d. 1986).

1925 Cubana de Aviación founded.

1928  Joseph Szigeti gave the first performance of Alfredo Casella‘s Violin Concerto.

1932  The Indian Air Force was established.

1939 Paul Hogan, Australian actor, was born.

1939  World War II: Germany annexed Western Poland.

1941  Stan Graham shot dead three policemen and fatally wounded two other men before escaping into the bush.

Stan Graham runs amok on West Coast

1941 US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was born.

1943 US actor Chevy Chase was born.

1943 US children’s horror writer R.L (Robert Lawrence) Stine was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Crucifix HillCapt. Bobbie Brown received a Medal of Honor for his heroics.

1948 Johnny Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born (d. 2004).

1949 Sigourney Weaver, American actress, was born.

1952  The Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash killed 112 people.

1962  Spiegel scandal: Der Spiegel published the article “Bedingt abwehrbereit” (“Conditionally prepared for defense”) about a NATO manoeuver called “Fallex 62″, which uncovered the sorry state of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s army) facing the communist threat from the east at the time.

1965 C-Jay Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born.

1967  Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men were captured in Bolivia.

1968  Vietnam War: Operation Sealords – United States and South Vietnamese forces launched a new operation in the Mekong Delta.

1969 The opening rally of the Days of Rage, organised by the Weather Underground in Chicago, Illinois.

1970  Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejected US President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion”.

1973  Yom Kippur War: Gabi Amir’s armored brigade attacked Egyptian occupied positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal  in hope of driving them away. The attack failed, and over 150 Israeli tanks were destroyed.

1974 Franklin National Bank collapsed due to fraud and mismanagement.

1978 Australia’s Ken Warby set the  world water speed record of 317.60mph at Blowering Dam, Australia.

1982  Poland banned Solidarity and all trade unions.

1990  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Police killed 17 Palestinians and wounded over 00.

1998  Oslo’s Gardermoen airport opened.

2001 A twin engine Cessna and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) jetliner collided in heavy fog during takeoff from Milan, Italy killing 118.

2001  U.S. President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

2005 – Kashmir earthquake: Thousands of people were killed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in parts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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