Word of the day

February 23, 2014

Svengali – a person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another, especially for a sinister purpose; person who, with evil intent, tries to persuade another to do what is desired.


Rural round-up

February 23, 2014

Farmers will need to change environment thinking– Tony Benny:

Farmers will need to change their way of thinking about the environment under new regulations in the Canterbury land and water regional plan, but while that may initially be painful for some there will be bottomline payoffs.

The plan was notified last month and with appeals, solely on questions of law, to close today (February 22), it is likely to become operative within a few months. It prescribes limits on allowable nitrate leaching, varying depending on where farms are, and whether water quality is already compromised (red zones), at risk (orange) or acceptable (blue or green). . .

Westland Milk considering China-based  subsidiary – Alan Wood:

The West Coast’s dairy co-operative plans to increase its China export base with a possible subsidiary company and an increased number of employees to add to its Shanghai office.

Westland Milk Products has invested in the milk processing and infant formula powder sectors and exports about $130 million of product a year into China.

There is another $130m of product exported into other Asian countries, and Asia including China together made up about 40 per cent of Westland Milk’s sales, chairman Matt O’Regan said. . .

Kiwi genetic expertise for salmon health:

ONE OF the world’s leading salmon egg producers is working with AgResearch to develop genomic selection in Atlantic salmon.

Icelandic company Stofnfiskur HF and AgResearch, New Zealand’s pastoral crown research institute, are working together to help increase the efficiency of the company’s salmon breeding systems, using modern genomic tools pioneered in sheep.

Stofnfiskur’s high health status of their breeding stock in Iceland allows eggs to be exported to most salmon-producing countries throughout the world. . .

Summer hunting on offer to help farmers:

A SPECIAL two-day bird hunting season is being held in Taranaki and Whanganui to help farmers disperse paradise shelducks.

Fish & Game has declared a special two-day hunting season for paradise shelduck to help farmers disperse flocks which can damage pastures and crops.

The special season will run from 6.30am, Saturday, March 1, until 8pm on Sunday March 2, in Game Management Areas B and C only. The daily bag limit has been set at 10 paradise shelduck per hunter. . . .

Think small plea to machinery makers:

MACHINERY MAKERS should focus more on the smallholder, says the lead editor of a new UN Food and Agriculture Organisation book.

 Mechanisation for rural development, a review of patterns and progress from around the world contains in-depth studies of mechanisation from Africa, Asia, the Near East, South America and Eastern Europe, and covers topics such as development needs, manufacturing and information exchange.

“The book delves into many aspects of farm mechanisation, not only how machines will contribute to an environmentally sustainable future, but also what policies will put machines at the service of family farms so that they too can profit,” says Ren Wang, assistant director-general of FAO’s agriculture and consumer protection department. . . .

R&D targets bee killer

DEVELOPING new ways to treat the devastating honey bee parasite, varroa mite, is among the aims of a new research and development (R&D) statement from the federal government.

Varroa mites are parasites that live on bees and they can lead to the destruction of whole colonies and hives.

Modelling by CSIRO shows varroa mite could cost our crop industries about $70 million a year if it established in Australia.

Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce this week released a statement outlining the areas where R&D could help to better prepare our industries and mitigate the risk. . .


Dress Up Box for the Future

February 23, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

dress up

 

©2014 Brian Andreas

Published with permission.

If you’d like a daily dose of whimsy like this by email, click on the link and you’ll find a place to sign-up.


Alt-country band rather than rock star

February 23, 2014

HSBC economist Paul Bloxham labelled our economy a rock-star one.

In the print edition of the NBR, (not on-line) Rob Hosking cautions points out the dangers in that:

New Zealand’s economic rock-star excesses of the 1970s led to a long and painful rehabilitation in the 1980s and 1990s.

New Zealand’s economy is in fact more of a good solid alt-country band – one whose members have been through rehab, kicked the worst of their nasty habits (though not all – see those household debt figures mentioned above) and which is now carving out a more mature, less over-the-top style.

It is one we should stick to.

New Zealand’s economy is growing again and it needs to keep doing so.

It’s the only way we can afford to repay debt and afford the first world goods, service and infrastructure, public and private, we want.

Falling off the responsible wagon will return us to the over-indulgence and excesses funded by over-taxing and spending which put New Zealand into recession long before the GFC.

The damage that would do would eventually require another long and painful rehabilitation and we don’t want to go back there.

Friday’s announcement that the operating deficit before gains and losses was $379 million higher than forecast shows there is no capacity for excess.

. . . “Given the large size of both the revenue and spending bases, overall we are still tracking reasonably close to forecast for the first six months of the financial year,” Mr English says. “And we remain on track to surplus in 2014/15. As we’ve said many times, this will require ongoing discipline and responsible fiscal and economic management. “New Zealand certainly doesn’t need irresponsible and expensive spending promises – which we’re already seeing from other political parties – more than a year before we’ve even posted a surplus.” . . .

What we need is more of what we’ve got – disciplined spending and policies which promote growth.


Being human

February 23, 2014

Quote of the day:

“. . . The country’s best-read blogs are all political, they’re all partisan, and they make no apology for it. Indeed, journalists in the mainstream media might learn a thing or two from that: television viewers and newspaper readers would prefer that journalists be transparently partisan than pretend to some high-and-mighty objectivity that nobody can ever really achieve. Everyone has a world view, and it affects how they interpret and report the events around them. That’s called being human. . . . ”  Jonathan Milne

Journalists in the mainstream media, especially if it’s state owned, have a duty to be balanced, fair and objective.

That doesn’t mean not having views, it means not letting those views cloud their judgement or influence their work.


Sunday soapbox

February 23, 2014

Sunday’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, amuse or bemuse.

Today is a great day to be inspired by good words.


February 23 in history

February 23, 2014

632 The Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of Prophet Muhammad.

1455 Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type?

1633 Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator, man of letters and diarist, was born  (d. 1703).

1660 – Charles XI became King of Sweden.

1739 – Richard Palmer was identified at York Castle by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.

1744 –  Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker, was born  (d. 1812).

1820 – Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers was exposed.

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.

1840  Frederick Wicks, English author and inventor, was born (d. 1910).

1847  Battle of Buena Vista – American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1850 César Ritz, Swiss hotelier, was born (d. 1918).

1854 The official independence of the Orange Free State was declared.

1887 French Riviera was hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000.

1898 Émile Zola was imprisoned in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus.

1903 Cuba leased Guantánamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity”.

1904  940,000 hectares of west Southland were permanently reserved for what became Fiordland national park.

First step in creation of Fiordland National Park

1905 Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.

1909 The AEA Silver Dart made the first powered flight in Canada.

1917 First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg. The beginning of the February Revolution.

1918  First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov. In honor of this victory, the date has been celebrated from 1923 onward as “Red Army Day”; it was renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is colloquially known as “Men’s Day”.

1919 Benito Mussolini formed the Fascist Party in Italy.

1934 Léopold III became King of Belgium.

1940 100,000 people welcomed home HMS Achilles, the ship involved in the Batte of the River Plate, the Allies first naval victory in WWII.

100,000 welcome home HMS <em>Achilles</em> crew

1940 Peter Fonda, American actor, was born.

1941 Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

1944 The Soviet Union began forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people from the North Caucasus to Central Asia.

1945 During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman, reached the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and were photographed raising the American flag. The photo won a Pulitzer Prize and became the model for the national USMC War Memorial.

1945 The 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, freed the captives of the Los Baños internment camp.

1945 Manila, was liberated by American forces.

1945 Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań.

1945 German town of Pforzheim was completely destroyed by a raid of 379 British bombers.

1945  The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was bombed by Allied forces.

1947 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.

1954 The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

1955  First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

1957  The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc was opened in Dakar.

1958 Cuban rebels kidnapped 5-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

1960 Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, was born.

1966 In Syria Baath party member Salah Jadid led an intra-party military coup that replaced the previous government of General Amin Hafiz, also a Baathist.

1969 Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer, was born.

Michael Campbell Wellington 2005.jpg

1981 Antonio Tejero attempted a coup d’état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

1983 The Spanish Socialist government of Felipe González and Miguel Boyer nationalised Rumasa, a holding company founded by entrepreneur José María Ruiz Mateos.

1983 Emily Blunt, British actress, was born.

1983 The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.

1987 Supernova 1987a was seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

1991 Ground troops crossed the Saudi Arabian border and entered Iraq, starting the ground phase of the Gulf War.

1991 Thai General Sunthorn Kongsompong led a bloodless coup d’état, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan.

1992 –  The Socialist Labour Party was founded in Georgia.

1998 –  Tornadoes in central Florida destroyed or damaged 2,600 structures and killed 42.

1998 – Osama bin Laden published a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders”; the latter term is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.

1999 Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan was charged with treason in Ankara.

1999 An avalanche destroyed the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.

2005 n Slovakia, a two-day “Slovakia Summit 2005” took place between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

2005 The French law on colonialism was passed, requiring teachers to teach the “positive values of colonialism”.

2007 – A train derailed on an evening express service near Grayrigg, Cumbria, killing one person and injuring 22.

2008 A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit crashed on Guam, the first operational loss of a B-2.

2010 – Unknown criminals poured more than 2.5 million litres of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, causing an environmental disaster.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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