Word of the day

26/08/2013

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

26/08/2013

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

26/08/2013

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

26/08/2013

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

26/08/2013

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?

26/08/2013

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

26/08/2013

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.

 


Delay for dairy at China ports

26/08/2013

Another week, another problem with our food exports to China:

New Zealand dairy products ranging from milk powder to mozzarella cheese are being held on the wharves at Chinese ports as officials debate what form of additional testing should be applied following Fonterra Cooperative Group’s whey protein scare.

The Ministry of Primary Industries in Wellington confirmed to BusinessDesk late last week that exporters other than Fonterra are experiencing delays.

However, it appears the problem is not a blanket ban or evidence of anything more than the fact that authorities at each Chinese port are interpreting centrally issued orders to apply caution to dairy imports into China with additional caution. . .

Soundings in China by BusinessDesk suggest demand for Fonterra’s ingredients by Chinese food manufacturers and demand in supermarkets for New Zealand-sourced infant milk formula have been unaffected after a sharp, initial reaction when the issue was first revealed. . .

Trade officials are at pains to stress the issue reflects the fact that while China issues regulations from Beijing, these are interpreted autonomously by officials operating at each port. While delays to a wider range of New Zealand dairy products may persist for some time, they reflect caution rather than a punitive attitude, despite early Chinese media coverage deeply critical of Fonterra’s third Chinese food scare since 2008. . . .

There might be some politics and protectionism in the mix here but you can’t blame them for being cautious.

That caution reinforces the importance of the investigations being undertaken in the wake of Fonterra’s precautionary recall of products containing a small batch of whey protein concentrate.

They need to find answers to many questions about how the issue was handled which reassure customers and officials that our standards of food safety are as high as they can be.


At least three in race

26/08/2013

Grant Robertson announced yesterday that he will stand for the leadership of the Labour Party.

Duncan Garner tweeted last night that Shane Jones will give it a go too:

EXCLUSIVE: Shane Jones will stand for the leadership. His people in the north have told him to. This will spice it up! @RadioLIVENZ Drive.

As I type, David Cunliffe has yet to declare his hand but it’s a fairly safe bet he’ll stand as well.

If there’s more than two in the race, voting will be preferential.

It’s unlikely that any candidate will get more than 50% of the vote in the first ballot or that Jones will beat either Robertson or Cunliffe.

If there are only three in the race, the second preference of Jones’s supporters will determine the leader.


August 26 in history

26/08/2013

1071  Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert.

1278 Ladislaus IV of Hungary and Rudolph I of Germany defeated Premysl Ottokar II of Bohemia in the Battle of Marchfield near Dürnkrut in (then) Moravia.

1346  Hundred Years’ War: the military supremacy of the English longbow over the French combination of crossbow and armoured knights was established at the Battle of Crécy.

1498  Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pietà.

1676 Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1745).

1768 The HM Bark Endeavour expedition under Captain James Cook set sail from England.

1778 The first recorded ascent of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia.

1789  Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen approved by National Assembly at Palace of Versailles.

1819 Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1861).

1858 First news dispatch by telegraph.

1862 American Civil War: the Second Battle of Bull Run began.

1865 Arthur James Arnot, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1946).

1866 – After two bungled attempts and near disaster at sea, the first communications cable between the North and South Islands of New Zealand   was completed.

1875 John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Scottish novelist, Governor General of Canada, was born (d. 1940).

1883 The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa began its final, paroxysmal, stage.

1894 The second Maori King, Tukaroto Matutaera Potatau Te Wherowhero Tawhiao, died.

Death of second Maori King

1898 Peggy Guggenheim, American art collector, was born (d. 1979).

1904 Christopher Isherwood, English-born writer, was born (d. 1986).

1906 Albert Sabin, American polio researcher, was born (d. 1993).

1910 Mother Teresa, Nobel Peace Prize winning Christian missionary, was born (d. 1997).

1911 – The New Zealand Coat of Arms was warranted.

1914  World War I: the German colony of Togoland was invaded by French and British forces.

1920  The 19th amendment to United States Constitution took effect, giving women the right to vote.

1940 Chad was the first French colony to join the Allies under the administration of Félix Éboué, France’s first black colonial governor.

1942  Holocaust in Chortkiv, western Ukraine: At 2.30 am the German Schutzpolizei started driving Jews out of their houses, divided them into groups of 120, packed them in freight cars and deported 2000 to Belzec death camp; 500 of the sick and children weremurdered on the spot.

1944 World War II: Charles de Gaulle entered Paris.

1957 The USSR announced the successful test of an ICBM – a “super long distance intercontinental multistage ballistic rocket … a few days ago,” according to the Soviet news agency, ITAR-TASS.

1970  The then new feminist movement, led by Betty Friedan, led a nation-wide Women’s Strike for Equality.

1977  The Charter of the French Language was adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec

1978   Pope John Paul I was elected to the Papacy.

1978 – Sigmund Jähn became first German cosmonaut on board of the Soyuz 31 spacecraft.

1980  Macaulay Culkin, American actor, was born.

1982 David Long, New Zealand musician, was born.

1992 Václav Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar signed agreement of split of Czechoslovakia in Brno.

1997  Beni-Ali massacre in Algeria; 60-100 people killed.

1999 – Russia began the Second Chechen War in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade.

2002 – Earth Summit 2002 began in Johannesburg.

2011 – The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing’s all-new composite airliner, received certification from the EASA and the FAA.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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