Word of the day

August 26, 2013

Boustrophedon – designating or of an ancient form of writing in which the lines run alternately from right to left and left to right; turning like an ox when ploughing.


Now there are three

August 26, 2013

David Cunliffe is joining the race for Labour leader.

Bryce Edwards has an amusing collection of responses from Twitter among which are:

Jordan McCluskey ‏@JordanMcCluskey

Never has a Labour leader (aspirant) been so brazen about raising taxes. Speechless, but Labour base catnip.

Toby Manhire ‏@toby_etc

Cunliffe warns media not to get ahead of themselves, immediately after delivering speech fit for a third consecutive term victory.

Nick Cross ‏@NW_Cross

BREAKING: David Cunliffe basically Jesus in New Lynn

Tim Murphy ‏@tmurphyNZH

Why does David Cunliffe’s picture on the wall dominate Savage and all the Labour PMs so grandly?

Giovanni Tiso ‏@gtiso

Tecnically David Shearer is still the leader, so I hope Gower asks Cunliffe if he supports him.

Claire Trevett ‏@CTrevettNZH

Cunliffe’s announcement so far is more like a victory speech than the launch of a bid.

James Macbeth Dann ‏@edmuzik

Cunliffe says he’s been “very humbled”, but I think scientists have proven that that is not medically possible


Rural round-up

August 26, 2013

New irrigation system being trialled – Sally Rae:

The development of a new irrigation system, being trialled in North Otago, has been described as a potential ground-breaker for the industry.

RX Plastics, the Ashburton-based manufacturer and distributor of the K-Line irrigation pod and sprinkler system, has produced the G-Set irrigation system, which it believes meets a gap in the market for an efficient system that irrigates more challenging areas.

G-Set was an embedded system that could be installed anywhere that irrigation pipe could be run, making it more suitable for more difficult terrain, hill slopes and irregular shaped pastures, sales and marketing manager Phil Gatehouse said. . .

Sour times in the dairy industry – Sally Rae:

Queen Elizabeth famously had one in 1992. Now it is dairy giant Fonterra – New Zealand’s largest exporter – that has experienced an ”annus horribilis”, as agribusiness reporter Sally Rae reports.

January 2013: Fonterra moves to persuade global customers that New Zealand dairy products are safe in the wake of the discovery of dicyandiamide residue in milk.

Chief executive Theo Spierings says the co-operative’s testing found only minute traces of DCD – a nitrification inhibitor used by the dairy industry to reduce nitrate leaching into waterways and greenhouse gas emissions – and they were about 100 times lower than acceptable levels under European food safety limits. . .

Think of rural communities – Rebecca Harper:

Earthquakes have become too much of a regular occurrence for many New Zealanders.

The earth moving can be a frightening and destructive thing.

The latest significant quake was centred in Seddon on August 16. The force was reportedly comparable to that felt in central Christchurch on February 22, 2011.

Almost every home in Seddon was damaged by the earthquake swarm, which began with a magnitude 6.6 quake at 2.31pm on Friday, August 16. About 50 aftershocks of magnitude four or more rocked the region in the 30 hours after the initial jolt. . .

Making money in the hills and on the flats:

HILL COUNTRY farmers should put their efforts and energy into increasing lambing and calving rates, rather than trying to finish stock.

Meanwhile finishers should focus on daily liveweight gain and maximum return on feeds.

That’s the message large-scale finisher Roger Dalrymple, Bulls, gave a recent BRIG (Beef Returns Improvement Group – see panel) seminar near Hunterville, Rantikei.

“The one thing that hill country farmers can influence most is their lambing percentage and if they increase this from say 110% to 130%, their returns will skyrocket,” Dalrymple says. . .

POTATO TOM, a probable world first:

ONE PLANT, two crops: it’s a bit like having your cake and eating it and for New Zealanders it could be reality this summer.

How? With an innovation Tharfield Nursery, Katikati, is marketing nationwide in what it believes is a world first commercialisation. The Western Bay of Plenty operation has grafted thousands of Gardeners Delight tomato plants onto Agria potatoes to create the POTATO TOM, a trademarked seedling it is distributing under its incredible edibles brand. “It will produce a great yield of potatoes and tomatoes,” says nursery general manager, Andrew Boylan. While the idea of grafting a tomato with a potato is not new this could be the first time anyone has successfully developed this combination at a commercial level globally, he adds. . .

Woodchip wins stand-off study:

WELL MANAGED woodchip is the best stand-off for cow care judging by the findings of a Dairy NZ research project.

Agresearch scientist Karen Schulz presented the results of the three month trial at a recent field day at Fonterra’s Jordan Valley farm, Northland.

During the trial 80 pregnant non-lactating cows were split into groups and allocated to one of four different stand-off surfaces for eighteen hours/day, and pasture for the remainder of the day.

After four days of this on-off regime, they had a week on pasture with researchers continuing to record lying times as well as signs of leg health, walking gait and dirtyness. . .


Democracy in Labour

August 26, 2013

Is this how democracy works in Labour?

David Cunliffe is going to announce his candidacy for the Lame Duck Party leadership this afternoon, and has already been working the membership.

In Invercargill, for example, he’s told a former unelected failed MP that she will be back on the List for the next election if she can deliver all the local electoral college votes. . .

If this is true – and I know enough to not always trust the grapevine – it’s not a good reflection on the candidates or party.

Electoral law requires parties to select lists democratically, I don’t think a promise of a List place in return for votes would qualify as democratic outside the Labour Party.

Although of course a list place isn’t the same as a list seat so it’s an empty promise anyway.


Tender-minded moderate progressive

August 26, 2013

My score in this social attitude test:

Radicalsim 61

Socialism 0

Tenderness 84.375

These scores indicate that you are a very tender-minded moderate progressive; this is the political profile one might associate with an animal rights activist. It appears that you are moderate towards religion, and have a balanced attitude towards humanity in general.

Your attitudes towards economics appear laissez-faire capitalist, and combined with your social attitudes this creates the picture of someone who would generally be described as libertarian.

To round out the picture you appear to be, political preference aside, an idealist with few strong opinions.

Hmm.


Could a list MP lead?

August 26, 2013

In the unlikely event Shane Jones wins Labour’s leadership selection he won’t be the first list MP to lead a party.

The Green Party is led by two and NZ First is led by one.

He wouldn’t be the first to lead one of the bigger parties either – Don Brash was a list MP when he led National.

If it hadn’t been for Helen Clark’s desperate and expensive election bribes and the media focussing on the exclusive Brethren’s influence while ignoring the pledge card scandal he might have been Prime Minister.

There are advantages to leading as a list MP. It would enable greater concentration on the leadership without the distraction of an electorate.

But that is also a disadvantage – electorate helps keep MPs grounded and in touch with constituents in a way most list MPs aren’t.

That is one of the reasons that even after more than a decade and a half of MMP list MPs are still regarded as somehow not quite as legitimate as those who represent electorates.

There is no reason a list MP couldn’t become Prime Minister but not having a seat could make it a wee bit harder.


Team NZ wins 7 -1

August 26, 2013

Team New Zealand has won the Luis Vuitton series against Luna Rossa, earning the right to contest the America’s Cup against Oracle.

. . .They clinched the Louis Vuitton finals for the third time in the 30 year history of the event, their only defeat coming after a gear failure in race two of the finals.

With the much anticipated showdown with Oracle less than a fortnight away, Team NZ will spend the next 13 days fine-tuning crew work and seeking further boat speed from their AC72 catamaran. . .

The first of 17 races for the Cup is on September 8.

This contest is often criticised for being not so much sport as a game for the wealthy and a triumph of engineering and technology rather than prowess.

There is an element of truth in that but no-one watching the races could deny the skill and strength of the crews.

And just as athletes who could never make it to the Olympics are inspired by champions, the many thousands of New Zealanders who mess around in boats, and many who don’t, get a thrill, and inspiration, from watching elite sportsmen compete, and triumph, in yachting.

There could also be a boost for business with the recognition for our boat builders.

 


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