Word of the day

March 16, 2013

Tchotchke – a small object that is decorative rather than strictly functional; small bauble or miscellaneous item; trinket, knickknack;  pretty girl or woman.


3/10

March 16, 2013

A very sorry 3/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


7/10

March 16, 2013

7/10 in the Herald’s political quiz.


Saturday’s smiles

March 16, 2013

A farmer named Paddy  was driving when he was hit by a truck owned by the Eversweet Company.

In court, the Eversweet Company’s hot-shot solicitor was questioning Paddy.

‘Didn’t you say to the police at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine?’ asked the solicitor.

Paddy responded: ‘Well, I’ll tell you what happened. I’d just loaded my fav’rit cow, Bessie, into da… ‘

‘I didn’t ask for any details’, the solicitor interrupted. ‘Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, ‘I’m fine!’?’

Paddy said, ‘Well, I’d just got Bessie into da trailer and I was drivin’ down da road…. ‘

The solicitor interrupted again and said,’Your Honour, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question. ‘

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Paddy’s answer and said to the solicitor: ‘I’d like to hear what he has to say about his favourite cow, Bessie’.

Paddy thanked the Judge and proceeded.’Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my fav’rit cow, into de trailer and was drivin’ her down de road when this huge Eversweet truck and trailer came tundering tru a stop sign and hit me trailer right in da side. I was trown into one ditch and Bessie was trown into da udder. By crikees I was hurt, very bad like, and didn’t want to move. However, I could hear old Bessie moanin’ and groanin’. I knew she was in terrible pain just by her groans.

‘Shortly after da accident, a policeman on a motorbike turned up. He could hear Bessie moanin’ and groanin’ too, so he went over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.

Den da policeman came across de road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, ‘How are you feelin’?’

‘Now wot da heck would you say?’

 


Rural round-up

March 16, 2013

‘An industry in transition’ – US beef challenges present opportunities for NZ producers:

The United States’ beef cattle industry is undergoing a major transition, with a significant contraction of its domestic herd diminishing available beef supply locally and offshore. This presents opportunities for New Zealand producers to cash in on increased market share, according to a visiting US meat industry expert.

Rabobank’s Texas-based vice president for animal proteins, Don Close says the reduction in the US herd is “unprecedented”, with current on-feed numbers at six per cent lower than 12 months ago, and set to continue to decrease into the 2013 Northern Hemisphere summer period.

“Right now, with a significant period of drought, the ongoing tightening of our cattle herd is really becoming increasingly evident,” Mr Close said. . .

Controversy over CAP capping and coupling plans – Paul Spackman:

Farming unions and environmental groups have given a very mixed response to yesterday’s crucial vote by MEP’s on the future of the CAP.

Elements that could cut red tape for farmers, ease the burden of inspections and allow for more proportionate penalties were generally welcomed.

However, other proposals were criticised by some for potentially distorting the market and discriminating against larger UK farms. . .

Rural media research reveals the changing face of farming:

The old image of farmers being dyed in the wool consumers of traditional media, late adopters of digital technology and low users of social media has been completely blown apart by a major piece of research commissioned by Waikato/Bay of Plenty based agency, King St.

The research involved 759 farmers – 314 dairy and 346 dry stock – participating in a 15-minute phone survey conducted by independent research firm, Versus Research, on behalf of King St and some of the agency’s rural clients.

The comprehensive study provides a full picture of farmers’ media habits. “It’s the largest study of its kind to be conducted and provides some extremely valuable information, along with some fresh insights”, says King St CEO, Chris Williams.

“If you think farmers are behind the times as an audience, you need to think again. Radio, TV and print are still going strong but it’s in digital media where we saw some big moves, particularly with the under 40s,” says Williams. “And rather than being behind, they are ahead in some instances.” . . .

Roadshow spreads word on lifting returns – Tim Cronshaw:

Sheep farming can once again be a mainstay of the New Zealand economy, says a top merino leader.

New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) chief executive John Brakenridge said sheep farming had anchored much of the New Zealand economy throughout the 1900s and had been overtaken by the dairy industry as it adapted to capture market opportunities.

For sheep farming to return to its previous position farmers had to be far more involved with global markets and accept scientific developments such as genomics research so that sheep could be adapted to meet market opportunities, he said. . .

Monitor puts squeeze on farm fuel thieves – Tim Cronshaw:

Stealing fuel from farm tanks will be made much harder for thieves with a smart new device.

The release of the remotely transmitted levno technology coincides with reports from the Federated Farmers of increased thefts of fuel, equipment and livestock. In the last few weeks diesel has been drained from diggers in Nelson and from fuel tanks in Upper Takaka and Motueka.

The theft of diesel and petrol is likely to be a bigger problem than realised with a farming enterprise estimating as much as 20 per cent of their fuel goes missing. . .

Myanmar President Welcomed by Fonterra:

Today, on his first visit to New Zealand, Myanmar President Thein Sein met with the Fonterra Co-operative Group’s Chairman John Wilson and CEO Theo Spierings at their headquarters in Auckland.

Fonterra, is opening an office later this year in Myanmar, and the meeting aimed to further strengthen the company’s relationship with Myanmar where it has been supplying high quality dairy nutrition for almost 20 years.

Chairman John Wilson said they were pleased to welcome President Sien to New Zealand and provide him with a deeper understanding of their business, and the New Zealand dairy industry. . .

Renowned NZ grape grower Willie Crosse strikes Gold again:

New Zealand Wine Society has been privileged to make wines from Willie Crosse’s pristine fruit since the 2001 vintage when his Riesling won a Gold medal. Eleven vintages on, the magic is stronger than ever.

At the 2013 Easter Show Wine Awards Willie and New Zealand Wine Society did it again, collecting another Gold medal for the Crosse Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2012.

Willie is thrilled and says, ‘Jo Gear [the winemaker] is shaping quite a record with our riesling. 2012 was a good year on the vineyard, thanks to a very cool summer and a long dry finish through autumn which brought out the flavours and kept the grapes clean. It was a challenging start, but perfect in the end.’ . . .


NZ too hot, dry, UK too cold, wet

March 16, 2013

New Zealand farmers have all fingers and toes crossed that forecast rain will arrive in sufficient quantity to relieve the drought.

Their British counterparts have the opposite problem:

Feeding animals has become a crippling expense for some farmers after a wet, cold winter. Some are now relying on food vouchers in order to keep going.

The number of working farmers asking for emergency financial assistance has almost tripled since last year, a farming charity says.

The second wettest summer on record was followed by a harsh winter, flooded grazing land and ruined crops, all resulting in soaring feed prices many farmers struggle to pay.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) charity supports members of the farming community when they face hardship.

Farmer Kit Dean normally keeps around 80 cattle grazing in the fields of his North Yorkshire farm until mid-October. They have been inside since early June when his fields flooded.

“Some days you do wonder if you can carry on,” he says.

“There are times when I wonder if I’ve failed.” . . .

The rest of the story makes very sad reading.

Whether it’s too hot and dry or too cold and wet, farming is a tough business but the weather isn’t the only problem in the UK.

. . . Some economists, like former government farming advisor Sean Rickard, think that it is not just the weather that is having an adverse effect on British farming.

“We have a romantic view,” he says.

“The Cap [EU’s Common Agricultural Policy] maintains farmers in business no matter how inefficient they are and keeps the size of farms smaller than they should be.

“Many farmers are already hanging on by their fingertips and don’t have the spare income to put aside for a rainy day or to reinvest in the business. The larger the farm, the more efficient the farm, the lower the cost of production.” . . .

Hard as it is for farmers facing drought here, at least they don’t have the distortions of subsidies and quotas to worry about.


About that manufacturing crisis

March 16, 2013

The Opposition are continuing to waste their time and our money generating publicity manufacturing a manufacturing crisis.

There is no doubt some businesses are failing and jobs are being lost.

But New Zealand manufacturing expanded for a third month to reach the highest level in a year in February, driven by an accelerating pace of production and new orders.

BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index rose 1.1 points to 56.3, the highest since February 2012. All five of the seasonally adjusted diffusion indexes expanded last month.

Food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing was the fastest growing sector, with a reading of 67.8, which bank of New Zealand economist Craig Ebert said may reflect increased meat processing in the face of drought. That would be offset, though, by reduced milk processing, he said. Production sped to 61.4 from 57.7 in January.

“We have to take today’s PMI as encouraging,” Ebert said. “It outlines that production is picking up and will keep doing so if new orders are any guide.”

He noted that the performance of manufacturing was still patchy, with metal product manufacturing in contraction with a reading of 46.4.

New orders were at 58.2 on the scale where 50 separates expansion from contraction, the strongest since February last year. Employment was on 50.1, the first time that measure hasn’t contracted since May 2012. Finished stocks on 51.8 and deliveries on 53.9 both slipped from the previous month.

Last month the loss of 192 jobs at Summit Wool Spinners rocked Oamaru. But last week, the new owners, Canterbury Wool Spinners/Godfrey Hirst, rehired 60 staff t the plant.

Expansion and contraction are a normal part of business.

Some industries are going backwards but others are stable or expanding and manufacturing as a whole is not in crisis.


Saturday soapbox

March 16, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.

You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.
:) kindest, Boris


March 16 in history

March 16, 2013

597 BC – Babylonians captured Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king.

37 Caligula became Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius.

1190 Massacre of Jews at Clifford’s Tower, York.

1322 The Battle of Boroughbridge took place in the First War of Scottish Independence.

1521 Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines.

1621 Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greeted them, “Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset.”

1660 The Long Parliament disbanded.

1689 The 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers was founded.

1774 Captain Matthew Flinders, English explorer, was born (d. 1814).

1789 Georg Simon Ohm, German physicist, was born (d. 1854).

1792 King Gustav III of Sweden was shot. He died on March 29.

1802  The Army Corps of Engineers was established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point.

1812  Battle of Badajoz (March 16 – April 6) – British and Portuguese forces besieged and defeated French garrison during Peninsular War.

1815 Prince Willem of the House of Orange-Nassau proclaimed himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.

1818 Second Battle of Cancha Rayada – Spanish forced defeat Chileans under José de San Martín.

1839 – John Butler Yeats, Northern Irish artist (d. 1922).

1865 The Battle of Averasborough began as Confederate forces suffer irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the American Civil War.

1872 The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 at The Oval in Kennington , London.

1900  Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.

1912 Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Scott’s South Pole expedition left the tent saying, “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

1920 Leo McKern, Australian actor, was born (d. 2002).

1924 In accordance with the Treaty of Rome, Fiume became annexed as part of Italy.

1926  Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

1926 Jerry Lewis, American comedian, was born.

1935 Adolf Hitler ordered Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Conscription was reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

1939 Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.

1939 Marriage of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran.

1940 Jockey Y-fronts were first sold in New Zealand shops.

Jockey Y-fronts hit NZ shops

1942 The first V-2 rocket test launched. It exploded at lift-off.

1945 The Battle of Iwo Jima ended but small pockets of Japanese resistance persisted.

1945 – Ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 were killed.

1948 Michael Bruce, American musician (Alice Cooper), was born.

1950   Czechoslovakia‘s ministry of foreign affairs asks nuncios of Vatican to leave the country.

1952  In Cilaos, Réunion, 1,870 millimetres (74 in) of rain fell in one day, setting a new world record.

1958  The Ford Motor Company produced its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company’s founding.

1959 EUROAVIA, the European Association of Aerospace students was founded, the first initiative towards European cooperation in Aerospace.

1962 A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappeared in the western Pacific Ocean, with 107 missing.

1963 Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor, was born.

1963  Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing 11,000.

1966 Launch of Gemini 8, the 12th manned American space flight and first space docking with the Agena Target Vehicle.

1968 Vietnam War: In the My Lai massacre, between 350 and 500 Vietnamese villagers were killed by American troops.

1968 – General Motors produced its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.

1976 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned, citing personal reasons.

1977 – Assassination of Kamal Jumblatt the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War.

1978  Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed by his captors.

1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the 5th-largest oil spill in history.

1983 Demolition of the radio tower Ismaning, the last wooden radio tower in Germany.

1984 William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity.

1985 Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut.

1988  Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

1995 Mississippi formally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.

1997 Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrested Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.

1998  Pope John Paul II asked God for forgiveness for the inactivity and silence of some Roman Catholics during the Holocaust.

1999 – NZHistory.net.nz was launched.

NZHistory.net.nz launched

2003 – The largest coordinated worldwide vigil took place, as part of the global protests against Iraq war.

2005 –  Israel officially handed over Jericho to Palestinian control.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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