Word of the day

November 29, 2012

Dubiety – the state, or a matter, of doubt; a usually hesitant uncertainty or doubt that tends to cause vacillation; the condition or quality of being doubtful.


Rural round-up

November 29, 2012

Kiwi’s China dairy project receives first cows: Caleb Allison:

A Chinese dairy farm spearheaded by Kiwi dairy entrepreneur Howard Moore has received its first 3000 heifers from Australia.

Mr Moore – formerly technical manager at the Dairy Board and Kiwi Dairies – is the managing director of Taranaki Dairy Technologies, which is headquartered in Shanghai after he set it up two years ago. . .

Nearly 2 Million More Lambs But Third Smallest Lamb Crop:

An estimated 26.9 million lambs were tailed this spring – 1.9 million more than last year, according to Lamb Crop 2012, the latest report from Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Economic Service.

Even then, this will be the third smallest lamb crop since the early 1950s. Only the previous two years were lower.

This year’s increase was due to slightly more ewes mated (+0.6%) and the sheep being in good condition thanks to favourable feed conditions before mating. There was also an increase in the number of lambs born from hoggets, according to B+LNZ Economic Service Executive Director, Rob Davison. . .

The Hobbit can help New Zealand farming:

Federated Farmers is hopeful increased lamb production over 2012/13 may offset softer international prices and the high New Zealand dollar. It is also hopeful The Hobbit may also spur overseas demand for all things kiwi including wool.

“The 2012/13 Lamb Crop may be the third smallest since the 1950’s, but being up by 1.9 million on last season is a positive,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“While we currently need grass growth in some key areas, I am hopeful the increase in production may go some way to offset softer prices and that high Kiwi dollar. . .

Warning after livestock agent illegally tags cattle at saleyard:

 The conviction of a senior livestock agent in Blenheim serves as a warning that the illegal tagging of cattle will not be tolerated, says the Animal Health Board (AHB).

Richard John May, 66, and from Seddon, admitted two breaches of the Biosecurity Act after he “helped out a mate” by attaching three tags to a friend’s animals at the Blenheim public saleyard. The tags he used belonged to other farmers.

However, following a report from the on-site movement control and identification officer, the AHB’s own investigation led to May being prosecuted for the incident which took place in October last year. . . .

Wine industry profitability continues to show improvements in 2012:

Seventh annual financial benchmarking survey confirms gradual turnaround, but industry still has a long way to go

All but the largest New Zealand wineries have improved their profitability during the past financial year compared with results in 2011, according to a new survey.

Vintage 2012, the seventh annual financial benchmarking survey for the New Zealand wine industry, was released today by Deloitte and New Zealand Winegrowers. It tracks the results of survey respondents accounting for a third of the industry’s export sales revenue for the 2012 financial year. . .

Global Timber and Wood Products Market Update:

– a news brief from Wood Resources International LLC

Wood costs for pulp mills and sawmills in Brazil have fallen the past year and are currently among the lowest in the world, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

Pulp mills and sawmills in Brazil became more competitive in 2012, because the costs for the wood raw-material, which accounts for about 70 percent of the production costs, have declined by over 20 percent since 2011, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. . .

ANZ helps forge strong agriculture links between India and New Zealand:

NZ National Fieldays Society today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Confederation of Indian Industry – the industry organisation behind AGRO TECH, India’s largest agricultural technology trade event.

The Memorandum, which was brokered by ANZ, will provide the opportunity for collaboration between the two organisations – and their members – as they promote their international trade activities.

Jon Calder, CEO of NZ National Fieldays Society, and Sunil Kaushal, ANZ Head of India Relations, are in India as part of a business mission led by Minister for Primary Industries, Hon David Carter. The purpose of the mission is to forge closer economic relationships through the primary sector. . .

Why we need free trade – Gravedodger:

Stuff reports that 5400 horticultural producers are losing around 23 million dollars from tariffs being imposed as a precondition to foreign markets. . .

And a new use for milk which makes me wonder about the benefits of higher education:


Thursday’s quiz

November 29, 2012

1. Who said: We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.?

2. What is the common name for Calluna vulgaris?

3. It’s l’avoine in French, avena in Italian and Spanish and ōti in Maori, what is it in English?

4.What’s a tatty bogler?

5. Alfred Hitchcok said – “I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made object never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.” Was he right?


Why was MWU afraid of sunlight?

November 29, 2012

A year ago Allan Barber began trying to discover the true state of the Meatworkers’ Union’s finances.

His perseverance paid off and the consolidated accounts have been posted on the Incorporated Societies’ website. There is a considerable difference between the figures in these accounts and those first submitted:

In contrast to the original set of accounts which showed the national office as having net assets of less than $1 million, the true picture incorporating all the branches shows net assets of over $5 million.

Barber says there doesn’t appear to be anything untoward in the accounts so why was the union afraid of exposing the full accounts to sunlight?


Does anyone in Labour understand the numbers

November 29, 2012

Labour’s Finance spokesman got the numbers around the party’s building policy wrong in trying to score a point in parliament:

 . . . Finishing off the session, Labour Party finance spokesman David Parker decided to question Heatley’s figures.

“I would ask, Mr Speaker, whether the Minister checked his arithmetic coming to the House. Because by my reckoning, if there was going to be one house built every hour, for every hour of the day, seven days a week for ten years, there would be a build of 613,000 houses, not the 100,000 houses that the Labour Party says we’re going to build,” Parker said.

Parker now probably wishes he hadn’t brought it up. Heatley said he supposed the press gallery would go and determine who was correct.

There are potentially two answers, given the way Heatley worded the equation:

Twenty-four houses built every day over ten years (and excluding any leap years – 24 x 365 x 10) gives 87,600 houses. About 13,000 short of what Labour was proposing, and in line with Heatley’s math.

Another way of doing it would give 87,360 houses: 1 x 24 x 7 x 52 x 10. Pretty much the same.

Either way, quite a bit off Parker’s 613,000.

If the finance spokesman can’t do fairly basic calculations, with or without a calculator, it’s no wonder the party’s policies don’t add up.

 


Hobbit sequel

November 29, 2012

Steven Joyce, in his role as acting Minister of Finance, explains the plot of the next sequel to the Hobbit:

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Word has reached me of a drama that is currently playing out, which might be suited to the big screen or perhaps go straight to DVD. In this particular performance—it is a very similar movie—the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of— . . .

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: In this particular performance, the “Fellowship” is led by a tall, thinning, grey wizard, who surrounds himself with a loyal legion of halflings sworn to protect him against a slimy, bearded creature hiding and plotting in the darkness, consumed by jealousy, and relentlessly in pursuit of his “precious”. Their journey is made more difficult by the presence of a number of goblins still loyal to their former leader, an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing eye, watching from a distance—roughly, between here and New York. We are due to hear more about the conclusion of this particular story in February of next year, but I understand that it might be a little bit of a flop, because, rather than giant eagles, the fellowship have decided to put their faith in an elderly mallard.

On a more serious note, he also details the contribution the screen industry makes to New Zealand economy.

Mr Speaker, may I be the first to wish you a happy “Hobbit Day”, and say that New Zealand has a vibrant screen industry, which directly supports more than 2,700 businesses, over 95 percent of which are involved in production and postproduction work. The Statistics New Zealand 2010-11 screen industry survey reported that revenue from the screen industry increased to almost $3 billion in 2011. Feature film revenue for New

Zealand has been trending up since the screen industry survey was first released in 2008. In 2011 feature film revenue increased by 15 percent to more than $700 million, and international revenue also grew by 17 percent, to more than $440 million, with almost $390 million coming from North America.

Hon Tau Henare: How are the Hobbit films supporting New Zealand jobs and the wider community?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: The Hobbit films have led to around 3,000 jobs to date, with about $1.5 million per week being paid to the crew. There has also been a significant flow-on effect: 93,000 hotel beds have been occupied, 1,800 rental cars and 1,650 other vehicles used, just over $9 million spent with local suppliers for set construction, and just under $1.5 million spent with local food suppliers. Further, the media exposure for New Zealand tourism from the films and from today’s world premiere will be felt for years to come. The Government realised the benefits that would come from making these films in this country, and is proud to have actively supported The Hobbit films from the very beginning.

Hon Tau Henare: What reports has he seen opposing development of the New Zealand screen industry?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I have seen a number of comments, which included, firstly, opposing and, then, pledging to repeal the legislation passed to enable the filming of The Hobbit, even if it meant losing the films offshore. I have seen other comments that label the passing of that legislation as “staggering”, “a day of shame”, and also “a disgrace”. I note with interest, though, that these people, who are loosely described by the media as “Hobbit-haters”, have clearly changed their tune, with a number of their rank now attending the red carpet world premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington this afternoon. These same people will no doubt attend the opening of the Auckland International Convention Centre when it happens, will no doubt attend the opening of the Denniston mine when it happens— . . .

The H word is considered unparliamentary but it applies to the Hobbit-haters who moan about job losses and the sticky economy but oppose legislation and development which will lead to economic growth and create more jobs.

 

 


November 29 in history

November 29, 2012

800 – Charlemagne arrived at Rome to investigate the alleged crimes of Pope Leo III.

939 – Edmund was crowned King of England as his half-brother Aethelstan died.

1394 – The Korean king Yi Song-gye, founder of the Joseon-Dynasty, moved the capital from Kaesŏng to Hanyang, today known as Seoul.

1777 – San Jose, California, was founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe.

1781 – The crew of the British slave ship Zong murdered 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea in order to claim insurance.

1807 – The Portuguese Royal Family left Lisbon to escape from Napoleonic troops.

1830 – November Uprising: An armed rebellion against Russia’s rule in Poland began.

1832  Louisa May Alcott, American novelist, was born (d. 1888).

1845 – The Sonderbund was defeated by the joint forces of other Swiss cantons under General Guillaume-Henri Dufour.

1847 – Whitman Massacre: Missionaries Dr. Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and 15 others were killed by Cayuse and Umatilla Indians, causing the Cayuse War.

1849  Sir John Ambrose Fleming, British physicist, was born (d. 1945).

1850 – The treaty, Punctation of Olmütz, signed in Olomouc meant diplomatic capitulation of Prussia to Austrian Empire, which took over the leadership of German Confederation.

1864 – Indian Wars: Sand Creek Massacre – Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacred at least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Spring Hill – Confederate advance into Tennessee missed the opportunity to crush the Union army.

1872 – Indian Wars: The Modoc War began with the Battle of Lost River.

1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrated his phonograph for the first time.

1890 – The Meiji Constitution went into effect in Japan and the first Diet convened.

1893 Elizabeth Yates became the first woman in the British Empire to win a mayoral election when she became Mayor of Onehunga.

First woman mayor in British Empire elected   First woman mayor in British Empire elected

1893 – Ziqiang Institute, today known as Wuhan University, was founded by Zhang Zhidong.

1898  C. S. Lewis, Irish writer, was born(d. 1963).

1899 – Spanish football club FC Barcelona was founded by Joan Gamper.

1910 – The first US  patent for inventing the traffic lights system was issued to Ernest E. Sirrine.

1913 – Fédération Internationale d’Escrime, the international organizing body of competitive fencing was founded in Paris.

1915 – Fire destroyed most of the buildings on Santa Catalina Island, California.

1917  Merle Travis, American singer/guitarist, was born (d. 1983).

1922 – Howard Carter opened the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the public.

1929 – U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd becamed the first person to fly over the South Pole.

1932 Jacques Chirac, French President, was born.

1933 John Mayall, British blues musician, was born.

1943 – The second session of AVNOJ, the Anti-fascist council of national liberation of Yugoslavia, was held determining the post-war ordering of the country.

1944 – The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome was performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.

1944 – Albania was liberated by the Albanian partisans.

1945 – The Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was declared.

1947 – The United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine (The Partition Plan).

1950 – Korean War: North Korean and Chinese troops force United Nations forces to retreat from North Korea.

1952 – Korean War: U.S. President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfilled a campaign promise by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.

1961 –  Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, was launched into space.

1963 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

1963 – Trans-Canada Airlines Flight 831: A Douglas DC-8 carrying 118, crashed after taking-off.

1965 – Canadian Space Agency launched the satellite Alouette 2.

1972 – Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) released Pong (the first commercially successful video game) in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.

1987 – Korean Air Flight 858 exploded over the Thai-Burmese border, killing 155.

1990 – The United Nations Security Council passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, authorizing “use all necessary means to uphold and implement” United Nations Security Council Resolution 660″ to restore international peace and security” if Iraq did not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991.

2007 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines laid siege to The Peninsula Manila after soldiers led by Senator Antonio Trillanes staged a mutiny.

2007 – A 7.4 magnitude earthquake off the northern coast of Martinique.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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