Otaaaago!

23/08/2013

Otago 25 – Waikato 19.

Waikato 19 (Mikkelson try; Renata 4 pen, con)

Otago 26 (Parker, Ioane try; 4 pen, 2 con)

79 mins: Waikato 19 Otago 26

The Blue & Golds have won the Ranfurly Shield for the first time since 1957.

It’s been back on the right side of the Waitaki since then, when Southland won it.

But in spite of many heart-stopping close encounters, and some very good teams, including many All Blacks amongst whom was current coach Tony Brown, it’s taken Otago 56 years to win back the log of wood.


Word of the day

23/08/2013

Sisyphean – a task that is endless and ineffective comes; a pointless or interminable activity; of or relating to Sisyphus.


Not apple but kiwifruit

23/08/2013

An apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away.

While the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables is backed up by rigorous research, I don’t know if the apple prescription has any validity.

But University of Otago research supports the health giving properties of kiwfruit:

A daily vitamin C intake equivalent to eating two kiwifruit a day is required to ensure our muscles maintain optimal levels, researchers from the University of Otago, Christchurch have found.

Professor Margreet Vissers and her team from the Centre for Free Radical Research are involved in a large on-going study to better understand the critical role of vitamin C in the human body. They are also investigating the best way to obtain the vitamin from the diet.

Their paper on the uptake of vitamin C into muscle has just been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the most prestigious publication in the field of nutrition science.

The study has shown that skeletal muscle is very sensitive to changes in vitamin C intake and that the vitamin C content in muscle will fall if intake decreases below optimal levels. This is likely to affect muscle function. Muscle is the largest store of vitamin C in our bodies.

Professor Vissers and her team gave 54 males aged between 18 and 35 either half a kiwifruit or two kiwifruit a day over a six week period. They then measured the vitamin C content in muscle and elsewhere in the body.

The researchers found that general energy levels were increased with the ‘two per day’ kiwifruit dose, and this is likely to reflect the optimal muscle function under these conditions.

She says eating high-value vitamin C foods, like kiwifruit, is the ideal way to maintain healthy levels.

 “Many people think that all fruit and vegetables are equally able to supply vitamin C, but this is not the case. The levels in food vary hugely across the spectrum. We should eat a good range daily, but because many fruit contain only one tenth of a healthy daily vitamin C requirement, we would recommend at least one serve per day of a high-value food like kiwifruit. This will help you easily reach an optimal vitamin C intake, as well as delivering other vital nutrients.’’

The study was funded by Zespri International and the University of Otago.

When I was coping with a baby with a degenerative brain disorder a nurse recommended I take mega-does of vitamin C.

I tried it but remembering to take the supplement on top of the many essential medicines I had to give to my son caused more stress than it relieved.

Eating kiwifruit is however, not only easy, it’s enjoyable, and something I do most days in winter anyway.

My normal breakfast is grainy bread (Bürgen or Vogels) with cottage cheese and kiwifruit and at least once a day I have kiwifruit and yoghurt topped with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

Kiwifruit is only at its best in winter and spring, so where do we get our vitamin C in summer and autumn?


Rural round-up

23/08/2013

United stand taken on dairy cattle cruelty:

Following yesterday’s conviction of a dairy herd manager in Ashburton, Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and the New Zealand Veterinary Association, share the same stance on animal cruelty. Breaking tails is absolutely unacceptable and has no place in the New Zealand dairy industry.

“I have no idea why someone working on a dairy farm would believe that breaking tails makes cows easier to work with,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“We’ve seen several instances of this unacceptable practice as of late and it defies logic and stockmanship.

“First, it causes the animal pain and distress meaning they are not going to be a peak performer. Secondly, cows are not clueless. They will become leery of farm staff making them much harder to handle and to work with. . .

Meat industry reforms this year  unlikely:

The chances of getting any big meat industry changes in place for the new season are looking increasingly unlikely, as meat companies continue talks on where they might head with restructuring.

The meat industry excellence group, which is pushing for reforms to create a more consolidated and profitable sector, has set up a formal body and appointed a couple of business and legal advisors.

But it’s waiting on meat companies now to see if they come up with any workable solutions from on-going talks. . .

Fonterra Endorses Border Testing Practices:

Fonterra today confirmed that it fully endorses and complies with the practice of country of origin and country of destination testing for all of its products.

Fonterra’s Group Director of Food Safety and Quality, Ian Palliser, said that testing across each point of the supply chain is best practice for Fonterra and for all global food businesses.

“Testing food products before they leave New Zealand, and again when they arrive at their port of destination, provides essential food safety assurance. It also enables rigorous testing by both New Zealand and the destination country, while the product is still fully within Fonterra’s supply chain.

“There are times when test findings differ between country of origin and country of destination. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including changes in product conditions during shipment, and different laboratories and testing methodologies. In these situations, the product is held, and the relevant companies and regulators work together to agree next steps,” Mr Palliser said. . .

Mesh cover highly effective at keeping pests off potatoes:

A team of researchers at Lincoln University say they are impressed with the results from a trial of a mesh cover that’s used to protect crops from insect pests.

The effectiveness of a mesh crop cover at protecting potatoes from the Tomato-Potato Psyllid was tested in a recent trial.

Future Farming Centre head Charles Merfield said the mesh was incredibly effective. It kept 99% of the psyllid out from under the mesh despite a plot of potatoes infested with psyllid being just a couple of metres away. . .

Farmax announces winner of inaugural Lincoln University scholarship:

Second year Lincoln University PhD student, Geoffrey Smith, has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from Farmax to advance his research into the strategic use of the drought-tolerant species lucerne as an alternative or complementary forage to ryegrass for Canterbury dairy farms.

Farmax General Manager, Gavin McEwen, said Smith’s research stood out for the selection panel because while it was focussed on Canterbury, it had the potential to create significant benefits for all New Zealand pastoral farmers. . .

Young Rancher Selected For Five Nations:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has selected Lauren McWilliam as the “young rancher” to represent New Zealand at next month’s Five Nations Beef Alliance in Brisbane.

The Alliance is a private entity involving the national organisations that represent beef cattle producers in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States. It develops strategies to encourage growth in global beef trading, while also addressing any mutual concerns of members.

As one of the five member organisations, B+LNZ, assisted by New Zealand Young Farmers, selects a young rancher (aged 23 to 31) to attend the Alliance’s annual meeting. Lauren will join other young ranchers in Brisbane from 8-13 September. They will include New Zealand’s representatives from the past two years, Richard Morrison and Peter Fitz-Herbert, both of Hunterville. . .


Friday’s answers

23/08/2013

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said, It’s part of a writer’s profession, as it’s part of a spy’s profession, to prey on the community to which he’s attached, to take away information – often in secret – and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it’s his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.?

2. Who wrote The Spy Who Came In From The Cold?

3. It’s espion in French, espía in Spanish and tutei in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who played James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me?

5. GCSB Act – necessary, an over-reaction, dangerous or . . .?

Points for answers (accepting that #5 is a matter of opinion.)

Andrei got four right.

Alwyn wins an electronic bunch of camellias for five right.

Tracey got one and a bonus for rational discussion.

Answers :

Read the rest of this entry »


Fonterra has work to do

23/08/2013

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the relationship between China and New Zealand remains strong but Fonterra has work to do.

“While trade and economic issues currently dominate the agenda, my discussions in Beijing have been wide ranging and have emphasised the extent of our shared interests,” Mr McCully says.

“This visit, which was planned some months ago, is timely in light of recent issues involving dairy products from New Zealand.”

Mr McCully today held discussions with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

“Mr Wang and I spoke openly and constructively about issues with some dairy products and the response by Fonterra and government agencies,” Mr McCully says.

“The New Zealand Government has high expectations for New Zealand exports, including the application of strict food safety standards. When issues arise we expect good disclosure and remedial action.

“Both Chinese and New Zealand ministers acknowledge that Fonterra has work to do in the coming weeks to rebuild consumer confidence.

“China is an extremely important trading partner and we are committed to responding to this issue in a timely and cooperative manner.”

It’s not just in China that Fonterra has work to do.

I was in Auckland on Wednesday. The taxi driver who took me into the city was Sri Lankan.

He’d been a dairy farmer here and discussion turned to Fonterra.

He’d read a story in Sri Lankan media on-line which suggested that whatever was left over after the whey was removed from milk was doctored with other ingredients and sold as milk powder.

I said he shouldn’t believe everything he read on the internet.

He said that the story was quoting a medical doctor.

I said that still didn’t make it right and that no company which depended on trust would be involved with that sort of thing.

He wasn’t convinced.

That’s how easily doubts can be raised and reputations lost, especially in countries which don’t have our reputation for lack of corruption and therefore don’t have the trust we have in our institutions and systems.

Once doubts are raised it takes a lot of work, and time, to allay them.


40 + 40 + 20 doesn’t equal unity

23/08/2013

The Labour Party changed its rules last year.

The leader is decided by the caucus and the membership and union affiliates – 40%, 40% and 20% respectively.

That might sound reasonable to people within the party, it looks very messy from outside.

The Labour Party likes to think of itself as a broad church but it’s really just a collection of factions who see the party as a vehicle to get their policies enacted.

It’s almost certain there will be at least two candidates, possibly more.

It’s unlikely the caucus will be untied on who would be the best leader, it’s even less likely the membership will agree with each other and caucus.

Try convincing the public that the new leader deserves their support although the party and members didn’t agree on him ( at this stage there is no obvious her as a candidate) and union delegates had the casting votes.

One of David’s Shearer’s problems was his inability to unite his caucus and his party.

Winning the leadership could well be the easy bit for the new leader.

Internal unity will be the next hurdle and he will have less than two months to do that before the party conference where members may well wish to re-visit the man-ban.


Break out the popcorn

23/08/2013

Tweets of the day:

 

And:
  1. The internet, in which @dpfdpf and @CactusKate2 sign the entire @nzyoungnats up as @nzlabour members so they can vote @TrevorMallard leader

 And:
  1. Willing to bet these Mighty River Power shares on iPredict for a Cosgrove/Maroney ticket. Labour’s Dream Team. Can’t lose.

  1. First I felt I was missing out, being away during the Labour leadership spill. Then I remembered it’s Labour. There’ll be another one soon.


Labour worse than war zone

23/08/2013

Outgoing Labour leader David Shearer had a compelling back story.

He’d negotiated his way out of life and death situations in war zones.

. . .  dealing with the armed, desperate and irrational. . . .

. . . He has spent time dodging bullets and bombs . . .

He went from one war zone to another.

. . . negotiated his wife’s hostage release from a Somalian warlord, staring down the barrel of an AK47. . .

But he couldn’t win over the competing factions in his party and was defeated by the internal conflict.

. . .The other thing about war and politics is that you have to bring people together. Often there are issues you can have common consensus around, but you have to bring people together. I had to do that a lot in the Middle East and that built skills that are still important. . .

Skills honed in war zones weren’t sufficient to lead labour.

What does that say about the party?


August 23 in history

23/08/2013

79  Mount Vesuvius began stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

1305  William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason.

1328  Battle of Cassel: French troops stopped an uprising of Flemish farmers.

1514  Battle of Chaldiran ended with a decisive victory for the Sultan Selim I, Ottoman Empire, over the Shah Ismail I, Safavids founder.

1555  Calvinists were granted rights in the Netherlands.

1572   St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre – Mob violence against Huguenots in Paris.

1595  Michael the Brave confronted the Ottoman army in the Battle of Calugareni.

1708  Meidingnu Pamheiba was crowned King of Manipur.

1775 King George III declared that the American colonies existed in a state of open and avowed rebellion.

1793 French Revolution: a levée en masse was decreed by the National Convention.

1799  Napoleon left Egypt for France en route to seize power.

1813  Battle of Grossbeeren, the Prussians under Von Bülow repulsed the French army.

1839  The United Kingdom captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for war with Qing China.

1858  The Round Oak rail accident in Brierley Hill, England.

1866  Austro-Prussian War ended with the Treaty of Prague.

1873  Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London opened.

1875 William Eccles, English radio pioneer, was born (d. 1966).

1896 First Cry of the Philippine Revolution was made in Pugad Lawin (Quezon City), in the province of Manila.

1900 Malvina Reynolds, American folk singer/songwriter, was born (d. 1978).

1904 The automobile tyre chain was patented.

1912 Gene Kelly, American dancer and actor, was born (d. 1996).

1914 World War I: Japan declared war on Germany and bombed Qingdao, China.

1914 – World War I: the Battle of Mons; the British Army began withdrawal.

1921  British airship R-38 experienced structural failure over Hull in England and crashed in the Humber estuary.  Only 4 of her 49 British and American training crew survived.

1923  Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.

1929  Hebron Massacre during the 1929 Palestine riots: Arab attack on the Jewish community in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, continuing until the next day, resulted in the death of 65-68 Jews and the remaining Jews being forced to leave the city.

1934 Barbara Eden, American actress and singer, was born.

1938 English cricketer Sir Len Hutton set a world record for the highest individual Test innings of 364, during a Test match against Australia.

1939 New Zealand writer Robin Hyde died in London.

Writer Robin Hyde dies in London

1939  World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland were divided between the two nations.

1942  Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.

1942  The last cavalry charge in history took place at Izbushensky.

1943 Nelson DeMille, American novelist, was born.

1943   Kharkov was liberated.

1944   Marseille was liberated.

1944   King Michael of Romania dismissed the pro-Nazi government of General Antonescu, who was arrested. Romania switched sides from the Axis to the Allies.

1944  Freckleton Air Disaster – A United States Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashed into a school in Freckleton, England killing 61 people.

1946 Keith Moon, English musician (The Who), was born (d. 1978).

1946  Ordinance No. 46 of the British Military Government constitutes the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein.

1947 Assisted immigration to New Zealand for British people resumed after WWII.

Assisted immigration resumes after war

1947 – Willy Russell, British playwright, was born.

1948  World Council of Churches was formed.

1949 Rick Springfield, Australian singer and actor, was born.

1951 Queen Noor of Jordan, was born.

1954 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

1958  Chinese Civil War: The Second Taiwan Strait crisis began with the People’s Liberation Army’s bombardment of Quemoy.

1966  Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.

1975 Successful Communist coup in Laos.

1977  The Gossamer Condor won the Kremer prize for human powered flight.

1979  Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected to the United States.

1982 Bachir Gemayel was elected Lebanese President amidst the raging civil war.

1985  Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defected to East Germany.

1989  Hungary: the last communist government opened the Iron curtain and caused the exodus of thousands of Eastern Germans to West Germany via Hungary.

1989  Singing Revolution: two million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stoodon the Vilnius-Tallinn road, holding hands (Baltic Way).

1989 – 1,645 Australian domestic airline pilots resigned after the airlines threaten to fire them and sue them over a dispute.

1990  Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi state television with a number of Western “guests” ( hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War.

1990  Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1990  West and East Germany announced that they would unite on October 3.

1994  Eugene Bullard, The only black pilot in World War I, was posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

1996 Osama bin Laden issued message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’

2000  Gulf Air Flight 072 crashed into the Persian Gulf near Manama, Bahrain, killing 143.

2006 – Natascha Kampusch, who was abducted at the age of 10, managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.

2007 – The skeletal remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Anastasia were found near Yekaterinburg, Russia.

2010 – Manila hostage crisis, in which 8 hostages were killed

2011 – A 5.8 earthquake occurred in Mineral, Virginia.

2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces took control of Bab al-Azizia compound.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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