Word of the day

March 28, 2013

Bootless – ineffectual; useless; unavailing; without advantage or benefit.


Rural round-up

March 28, 2013

Strong contenders for Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013:

Twenty exciting and innovative businesses are in the line up for the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2013.

The judges now face the challenging task of choosing finalists in the four entry categories: Love of the Land (sponsored by Agrisea Limited), Help I Need Somebody (sponsored by Telecom), Making it in Rural (sponsored by Fly Buys) and Stay, Play, Rural (sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd).

These four category winners will go on to compete for the title of Supreme winner, Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013.

“This is the fifth year we’ve run the Enterprising Rural Women Awards,” says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans. “Each year it’s rewarding to see the diversity of businesses successfully run by women in rural areas and the significant inputs they make into the wider economy.

“Through these awards Rural Women NZ aims to celebrate their success and raise awareness of women’s entrepreneurship, which helps to grow dynamic rural communities.” . . .

Alliance boss is buoyant on prospects – Alan Williams:

Price falls have helped increase demand for lamb in world markets and this will help New Zealand processors avoid the big build-up in stocks that hurt them last year, Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff says.

The country’s biggest lamb exporter has cleared the high inventory levels from last year and is managing to move this season’s kill through the market despite higher processing tallies caused by the severe drought conditions. . .

 

 

Opportunity missed on goat meat exports – Rob Tipa:

ONE of the world’s leading judges of the South African Boer goat breed believes New Zealand has missed an opportunity to capitalise on huge worldwide demand for goat meat.

Celia Burnett-Smith, stud director of Australian Breeding Services and a partner in the Terraweena Boer Stud in Queensland, has judged Boer goats at livestock shows in South Africa, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand and has been invited to set up a classification system for the breed in England. . .

 

Managing our freshwater responses in a changing climate – Waiology:

While water management is challenging enough as it is, climate change makes it harder. No longer can we rely solely on experiences from the past to guide our actions, but we must also consider forecasts of the future. And with New Zealand’s water resources expected to change in the coming decades – well within resource management planning horizons – it would be prudent to start to adapt sooner than later. So how does climate change affect the ways water may be governed, and how are current governance systems placed to deal with climate change?  . . .

Celebrity Cook Takes Up The Fight For Kiwi Bees:

New Zealand’s famous Free Range Cook, Annabel Langbein, has become an ‘ambassador’ for New Zealand bees.

The cookbook author and television presenter has joined forces with the National Beekeepers Association to work on projects that help promote and protect our kiwi bees. She will work officially with the NBA to help spread the message that bees are vitally important and that they need our help to survive.

“My father kept bees as a hobby, so I grew up watching him tend the hives in our Wellington backyard. And as a free range cook who uses nature as my pantry I thoroughly appreciate the importance of bees and the hugely critical role they play in our everyday lives – not to mention the value they add to our economy through pollination.” . . .

And from Smile Project:


Friday’s answers

March 28, 2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.”

2. What determines the date of Easter?

3. Who wrote the poem Easter 1916 which concludes:

Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

4. In which garden was Jesus when Judas pointed him out to the authorities?

5. Hot Cross buns and Easter eggs – a treat for this weekend, just another commercial opportunity or . . .?

Points for answers:

Deborah wins an electronic batch of  hot cross buns with four right and a bonus for the poem, although I think it’s about Palm Sunday rather than Good Friday.

Rob also wins an electronic batch of hot cross buns for four right (Which was Mansfield’s poem and was it about  Easter in general or Good Friday in particular?).

Willdwan also wins an electronic batch of buns with four right.

Andrei got four right too with a bonus for extra information, winning an electronic batch of hot cross buns.

Grant also got four right and wins an electronic batch of buns.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Meridian unlikely to reach agreement with smelter

March 28, 2013

Meridian has announced it’s unlikely to reach an agreement with Pacific Aluminium over supply of electricity to its Bluff smelter.

. . . Chief Executive of Meridian Energy, Mark Binns, says that Meridian has advised Pacific Aluminium of its ‘bottom line’ position.

“Despite significant effort by both parties there remains a major gap between us on a number of issues, such that we believe that it is unlikely a new agreement can be reached with Pacific Aluminium,” says Mr Binns.

In the event no agreement can be reached, Meridian will seek to engage with Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Chemical Company Ltd, the shareholders of NZAS, who will ultimately decide on the future of the smelter. . . 

The smelter is a big employer in Southland but falling global prices for aluminium have put pressure on its operation.

This announcement also has implications for power prices. Without the smelter supply could well be greater than demand.

. . . news that there may be no new electricity price agreement with New Zealand Aluminium Smelters carries huge implications for the electricity sector, which has struggled to grow in the last five years and would face a massive supply over-hang which could last years, were the smelter to close.

However, that outcome is not yet certain.

The smelter’s majority owners, Anglo-Australian minerals giant Rio Tinto, are locked into the first three years of an new 18 year contract, which took effect from Jan 1, took three years to negotiate, and had been agreed in 2007.

While the New Zealand smelter makes internationally recognised high grade metal, which sells at a premium, Rio has been hit hard by its exposure to the aluminium sector, where world prices have been hit hard since the global financial crisis.

Rio Tinto is seeking to sell the smelter, along with a clutch of other, older smelters in Australasia, which it has packaged as a new subsidiary, Pacific Aluminium. . . .

If my recollection is correct the smelter was wooed to New Zealand by the price of cheap electricity.

This is an example of the dangers of such policy. It was designed with the good intentions of job creation but has skewed the electricity market.

State Services Minister Tony Ryall says all relevant information – including about the smelter electricity contract – will be reflected in the Mighty River Power offer document which is currently being finalised.


Dame Kiri in concert

March 28, 2013

The $10 million refurbishment of Oamaru’s Opera House wasn’t without controversy.

That’s a lot of money for a small town.

But the leadership of the project by then-mayor Alan McLay and then-deputy, now Waitaki MP, Jacqui Dean, prevailed.

Last night the building got the seal of approval from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa who in opening remarks in which she described Opera House as a little gem and spoke of the importance of heritage.

This was the third time I’d heard her in concert. The first was at Millbrook, the second in Dunedin’s town Hall but this was the best.

There was no need for a microphone in the Opera House seats only about 500 people.This created an intimacy as she held us spell bound through a selection of opera and lighter songs.

She had us laughing, and also crying. Danny Boy is a family favourite, we sang it at our son, Dan’s funeral, but we weren’t alone in having tears in our eyes when she sang it.

Her accompanist, Professor Terrence Dennis, was a performer is his own right.

The ODT reports on Dame Kiri’s visit  here and here.

It was a very special night in a gem of a building with a star.


Full earth

March 28, 2013

“When there are people on the moon, do they see the earth waxing and waning and marvel when it’s full?” she asked.

“There’s no doubt a scientific answer to that question,” he said. “But I’ll vote for the poetic vision of  people seeing from a distance a world shining brightly and full of light.”


March 28 in history

March 28, 2013

37  Roman Emperor Caligula accepted the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate.

193 – Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated by Praetorian Guards, who then sold the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus.

364 Roman Emperor Valentinian I appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor.

845 Paris was sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collected a huge ransom in exchange for leaving.

1472 Fra Bartolommeo, Italian artist, was born  (d. 1517).

1515 Saint Teresa of Avila, Spanish Carmelite nun, was born (d. 1582).
1750 Francisco de Miranda, Venezuelan revolutionary, was born  (d. 1816).
1760 Thomas Clarkson, British abolitionist, was born  (d. 1846).

1795 Partitions of Poland: The Duchy of Courland, a northern fief of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ceased to exist and became part of Imperial Russia.

1802 Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man.

1809 Peninsular War: France defeated Spain in the Battle of Medelin.

1834 The United States Senate censuresd President Andrew Jackson for his actions in de-funding the Second Bank of the United States.

1860 First Taranaki War: The Battle of Waireka started.

1862 Battle of Glorieta Pass – Union forces stopped the Confederate invasion of New Mexico territory.

1871 The Paris Commune was formally establised.

1889 The Yngsjö murder  took place in Sweden – Anna Månsdotter and her son were arrested.

1910 Henri Fabre was the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, after taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France.

1920 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in the Great Lakes region and Deep South states.

1921 Dirk Bogarde, English actor, was born  (d. 1999).

1930 Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara.

1935 Michael Parkinson, English broadcaster, was born.

1936 Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian author and politician, was born.

1939 Spanish Civil War: Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquered Madrid.

1941 Battle of Cape Matapan –  British Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham led the Royal Navy in the destruction of three major Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers.

1942 Neil Kinnock, British politician, was born.

1946 The United States State Department released the Acheson-Lilienthal Report, outlining a plan for the international control of nuclear power.

1946 Alejandro Toledo, former President of Peru, was born,

1948 John Evan, British musician (Jethro Tull), was born.

1948 – Milan Williams, American musician (The Commodores) was born (d. 2006).

1948 – Matthew Corbett, English retired actor, was born.

1955  New Zealand cricket experienced its darkest day, when its 11 batsman could muster only 26 runs against England at Eden Park.

NZ cricketers skittled for 26

1968 Brazilian high school student Edson Luís de Lima Souto was shot by the police in a protest for cheaper meals at a restaurant for low-income students.

1969 Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis made a statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in Greece.

1969 – The McGill français movement protest –  the second largest protest in Montreal’s history with 10,000 trade unionists, leftist activists, CEGEP some McGill students at McGill’s Roddick Gates.

1978 –  The US Supreme Court handed down a 5-3 decision in Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity.

1979 –  Operators failed to recognise that a relief valve was stuck open in the primary coolant system of Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor following an unexpected shutdown. As a result, enough coolant drained out of the system to allow the core to overheat and partially melt down.

1979 – The British House of Commons passed a vote of no confidence against James Callaghan’s government, precipitating a general election.

1983 The Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA), better known as CER, was signed. It was New Zealand’s first comprehensive bilateral trade agreement – and one of the first agreements of this kind in the world.

Signing of CER strengthens Tasman trade ties

1990 President George H. W. Bush posthumously awarded Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal.

1994  Zulus and African National Congress supporters battled in central Johannesburg, resulting in 18 deaths.

1994  12-year-old schoolgirl Nikki Conroy was stabbed to death at Hall Garth School in Middlesbrough after a man walked into her maths classroom and attacked pupils with a knife.

1999 – Kosovo War: Serb paramilitary and military forces killed 146 Kosovo Albanians in the Izbica massacre.

2000 A Murray County, Georgia, school bus was hit by a CSX freight train which killed three children.

2003  In a “friendly fire” incident, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 190th Fighter Squadron attacked British tanks participating in the  invasion of Iraq, killing British soldier Matty Hull.

2005  The 2005 Sumatran earthquake rocked Indonesia, and at magnitude 8.7 was the second strongest earthquake since 1965.

2006 At least 1 million union members, students and unemployed took to the streets in France in protest at the government’s proposed First Employment Contract law.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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