Word of the day

January 30, 2013

Logomachy– controversy marked by verbiage; an argument or dispute about words and their meanings; an argument or dispute carried out in words only; a battle of words; an argument or debate marked by the reckless or incorrect use of words.

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Traquilise sheep to test reaction time

January 30, 2013

An email told me the average driver’s reaction time is .75 seconds or 1 car length for every 10 mph then invited me to test my reaction speed by tranquilising sheep.

The best I could do was .170 seconds and an average of .2212 which makes me a bobbing bobcat – better than an ambling armadillo or sluggish snail but not as good as a rocketing rabbit or turbo-charged cheetah.

Warning – this could lead to a lot of time wasting.


Rural round-up

January 30, 2013

Hard going for independent dairy firm; more competition unlikely in milk processing – Tony Chaston:

Is there still a place for more competition in the NZ dairy industry with Fonterra being such a dominant force?

This article looks at 10 years of business by the number two dairy processor Open Country Dairy which has been characterised by fights with big brother to get a fair crack at the market, and challenges to be consistently profitable.

This fight to compete with Fonterra has affected nearly all the processing minows in NZ and many have had to acquire overseas capital and increased shareholder investment to stay afloat. . .

Six finalists contend for 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year title:

The Dairy Women’s Network has announced the names of the six women who will progress into the final round of judging for the 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year Award.

They are:
• Juliet MacLean, chief executive Synlait Farms Limited, Rakaia
• Justine Kidd, business manager BEL Group, Waipukurau
• Kath Taylor, dairy veterinarian and Mastitis consultant, VetSouth Limited, Winton
• Kathryn van den Beuken, farm owner/operator and key account manager AgITO, Rakaia
• Leonie Guiney, farm owner/operator, Fairlie
• Sarah Watson, farm supervisor Canterbury, MyFarm, West Melton. . . .

Proposed changes to Rural Post and the NZ Post Deed:

Federated Farmers is to consult its membership on proposed changes that could radically reshape the delivery of physical mail to over half a million New Zealanders in rural areas.

“NZ Post deserves praise for the way it has worked with Federated Farmers, Rural Woman NZ and the other rural stakeholders,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“This will largely not come as a shock because we are living through a fundamental shift in technology. The decline in physical mail is offset by the rise of electronic mail.

“Commercially, NZ Post’s business model must either evolve or face extinction but I doubt many people can seriously argue the status quo is tenable. . .

Alliance Group Welcomes Primary Growth Partnership Collaboration Programme:

Leading meat processor and exporter Alliance Group has welcomed the launch of an initiative designed to improve farmer profitability.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has approved a commitment of up to $32.4 million, matched by industry, from MPI’s Primary Growth Partnership Fund (PGP) for the red meat sector’s new Collaboration for Sustainable Growth programme.

Grant Cuff, chief executive of Alliance Group Limited, one of the founding organisations taking part in the initiative, said . . .

Actually, The $58K From 20 Cows Is Not That Easy – Milking on the Moove:

In my last post, How To Make $58,788 Per Year With 20 Cows. I talked about how a simple dairy can be set up for quite a small investment of just over $100,000 and the milk can be sold direct to the customer.

I hoped the post would encourage people to think differently about dairy farming and the possibilities available. 

It’s certainly a good illustration of how profitable a business can be if it can retain the whole retail price.

Warning!

It’s not quite that simple.

It’s easy enough to buy a few cows and build a cheap dairy to process the milk. That’s easy. There are plenty of experts who can design or build the components for you. . .

 Hawkes Bay water project boon for Maori workers:

The spokesperson for four hapu in Central Hawke’s Bay says it’s vital local Maori play a key role in a proposed $220 million water storage project.

The regional council’s Ruataniwha water storage scheme would see a dam built on the Makaroro River to store 90 million cubic metres of water which could irrigate 22,000 hectares of farmland. . .

Nearly 75% of Kiwi women not getting enough calcium:

We all need calcium for strong bones and teeth as part of a healthy lifestyle, but studies show that nearly 75 per cent of New Zealand women aren’t getting the recommended amount of dietary calcium in their day[1].

If eating sardines and tofu doesn’t tickle your fancy however, Anchor and Osteoporosis New Zealand have now made it easy to top up your daily dietary calcium with the launch of a calcium enriched spread.

Endorsed by Osteoporosis NZ, Anchor Dairy Blend Calci+ spread is the first calcium enriched spread that not only provides the goodness of New Zealand dairy and is spreadable straight from the fridge, but also offers 10 per cent of your recommended dietary intake (RDI) of calcium. . .

NZ to run agricultural training programme in Chile:

New Zealand is to run an agricultural training project in Chile.

The Chilean government has announced that New Zealand will be running the four-year initiative, aimed at revamping agricultural productivity in the South American country.

Chile says it hopes the programme will help improve the effectiveness of the agricultural subsidies it pays its farmers and attract more skilled workers to the sector. . .


Feds’ president’s farm in climate adaptation study

January 30, 2013

Federated Farmers’ president Bruce Wills’ farm is one being used for a case study on climate adaptation.

Irrespective of personal views around the causes for climate change, all farmers know our climate is ever-changing impacting farm businesses. This makes the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Impacts of Climate Change on Land based Sectors and Adaptation Options, an important contribution.

“All farmers know the climate changes and whether it is man-made, natural or a combination of the two, what really matters is building resilience into our farm businesses,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, whose own farm is one of the MPI case studies.

“The climate changes and will continue to change because we live on a dynamic planet. If we had little or no climate change our environment would be closer to that of Mars and hostile to life as we know it.

“What the Ministry for Primary Industries has produced is thought provoking because the overriding assumption around climate change has been its negative effects. The climate is in fact neutral; it is what we make of it which counts.

This is a very important point.

Almost all the information on climate change is about the politics and possible mitigation. This study is looking at how farmer might adapt to it.

“If we are in a warming cycle with higher concentrations of CO2, then we can expect increasingly rapid pasture, crop and tree growth boosting productivity. On the downside, there will likely be increased frequencies of drought and floods with pests and disease.

“Ensuring we have the right on-farm infrastructure, systems and personnel to cope with climate variability is vital. Especially once you marry what we are doing inside the farm-gate with what is happening regionally and nationally.

“It is also vital we maintain stringent biosecurity to defeat pests and exotic diseases before the border.

“With the case study done about our farm, it boils down to the tactical use of plantings to stabilise hillsides, farm dams to store water and stock policies to better cope with the weather volatility we are experiencing.

“Environmental management is vital; it’s about being able to farm sustainably and profitably for generations to come.

“While outside of the report, the control of possums by way of 1080 has been massive to our farm’s economic and environmental sustainability. The explosion of bird life and biodiversity I have seen with the demise of possums has been extraordinary.

“The other case studies are there to show farmers by sector and type just what is possible. I think it will engender discussion within the primary communities on where we go and how we get there. That is a discussion Federated Farmers is keen to be a part of.

“New Zealand’s innovative and progressive farmers are very good at reading environmental signals. Farming will continue to adapt and evolve in response to these changes,” Mr Wills concluded.

  The paper Impacts of Climate Change on Land based Sectors and Adaptation Options is here.

Feds has links to the paper, a toolbox and case studies under Useful facts, figures and resources here.


Opposition still want to tax and spend

January 30, 2013

Opposition parties’ announcements on housing confirm they haven’t learned from the global financial crisis, the mistakes of the labour-led governments of the noughties and their loss at the 2011 election.

They still want to tax and spend.

Prime Minister John Key said in his opening speech to parliament yesterday:

On this side of the House, where we have ideas and where we have plans, and where big success is not just stumbling over the autocue, we have four key priorities. No. 1 is responsibly managing the Government’s finances. That means living within your means. That means New Zealand earning a living. That means being sensible with taxpayers’ money. . .

Let us go back to getting back to surplus. On this side of the House we know that, when it comes to spending, Labour and the Greens are the Usain Bolt of spending.

They are the world champions when it comes to spending. Nothing has changed, and they will continue, given half a chance, to do it again. They cannot help themselves. Every time they open their mouths, they either get it wrong or they spend money they do not have. Those are the only answers they have got. . .

But the ODT points out the public appetite for such disregard for other people’s money has dulled:

. . . the Opposition parties, all of them, need to adopt a dose of common sense and realism if they are to make an impression. Although many voters have a wish list, not many want their taxes to increase to pay for such policies.

It’s easy enough to promise to give people what they think they want. It’s much harder to get them to accept paying for it.


Authorised expenditure

January 30, 2013

“A new book?” he said. “I thought you weren’t spending money on things this year, only people and experiences.”

“Books are people and experiences,” she said.


January 30 in history

January 30, 2013

1648 Eighty Years’ War: The Treaty of Münster and Osnabrück was signed, ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain.

1649 King Charles I of England was beheaded.

1661 Oliver Cromwell, was ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.

1790  The first boat specializing as a lifeboat was tested on the River Tyne.

1806 The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), was opened.

1820 Edward Bransfield sighted the Trinity Peninsula and claimed the discovery of Antarctica.

1826 The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world’s first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, opened.

1835 In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but failed and was subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.

1841 A fire destroyed two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

1847 Yerba Buena, California was renamed San Francisco.

1858 The first Hallé concert was given in Manchester marking the official founding of the Hallé Orchestra as a full-time, professional orchestra.

1862 The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor was launched.

1882  Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, was born (d. 1945).

1889 – Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, was found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.

1911 An amendment to the Gaming Act at the end of 1910 banned bookmakers from racecourses in New Zealand. Bookies were officially farewelled at the now defunct Takapuna racecourse.

Bookies banned from NZ racecourses

1911 The destroyer USS Terry (DD-25) made the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of James McCurdy 10 miles from Havana.

1911 – The Canadian Naval Service became the Royal Canadian Navy.

1913 The House of Lords rejected the Irish Home Rule Bill.

1925 The Government of Turkey threw Patriarch Constantine VI out of Istanbul.

1929 Lucille Teasdale-Corti, Canadian surgeon and international aid worker, was born (d. 1945).

1930 Gene Hackman, American actor, was born.

1930 The world’s second radiosonde is launched in Pavlovsk USSR.

1931 Shirley Hazzard, Australian-born author, was born.

1933 Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

1937 Vanessa Redgrave, English actress, was born.

1941 – Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1945  World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with refugees, sunk in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, leading to the deadliest known maritime disaster, killing approximately 9,000 people.

1945  Raid at Cabanatuan: 126 American Rangers and Filipino resistance liberated 500 prisoners from the Cabanatuan POW camp.

1945 Hitler gave his last ever public address, a radio address on the 12th anniversary of his coming to power. (

1947 Steve Marriott, English musician (Humble Pie, The Small Faces), was born  (d. 1991).

1948 – Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.

1951 Phil Collins, English musician, was born.

1954 Queens EliZabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh left New Zealand, bringing to an end the first tour by a ruling monarch.

Queen farewells New Zealand

1956 American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s home was bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1960 The African National Party was founded in Chad through the merger of traditionalist parties.

1960 Lily Potter, (fictional character) Mother of Harry J. Potter and Member of The Order of the Phoenix, was born.

1962 King Abdullah II of Jordan, was born.

1964  Ranger 6 was launched.

1968 Prince Felipe of Spain, was born.

1969 The Beatles‘ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London.

1971 Carole King’s Tapestry album was released, it became the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sold 24 million copies worldwide.

1972 Bloody Sunday: British Paratroopers killed 14 unarmed civil rights/anti internment marchers in Northern Ireland.

1972 Pakistan withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.

1979 Varig 707-323C freighter,  disappeared over the Pacific Ocean 30 minutes after taking off from Tokyo.

1982 Richard Skrenta wrote the first PC virus code, which was 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot programme called “Elk Cloner”.

1989 The American embassy in Kabul closed.

1994 Péter Lékó became the youngest chess grand master.

1995 Workers from the National Institutes of Health announced the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.

1996 Gino Gallagher, the suspected leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, was killed while waiting in line for his unemployment benefit.

1996 – Comet Hyakutake was discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake.

2000 Off the coast of Ivory Coast, Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashed into the Atlantic  killing 169.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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