Word of the day

September 23, 2014

Obnoxity –  an obnoxious, objectionable, or offensive person or thing; an object of aversion.


Chocolate chips and eggcorns

September 23, 2014

Discussion on Critical Mass with Simon Mercep today was sparked by:

* The science of the best chocolate chip biscuits (they called them cookies, but I prefer biscuits).

And

* Busted with an eggcorn. – malapropisms that ape the sound of a word.


Class of 2014

September 23, 2014

Prime Minister-elect John Key, his deputy Bill English and the new national MPs:

Bill English and I were proud to welcome National’s 15 new MPs to Parliament this morning.

 


Rural round-up

September 23, 2014

Comparing apples with oranges using new Sustainable Farming Fund tool:

Māori agribusiness will benefit from a new tool that can be used to compare the potential benefits of different land uses from an economic and social perspective.

The Social Return on Investment evaluation tool was developed as part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI’s) Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) Maori Agribusiness round held in 2012. It was co-developed by Aohanga Incorporation and AgResearch and aimed to produce a method to compare various development options for Māori Trusts and Incorporations with multiple shareholders.

“With multiple shareholders, it can be difficult to achieve consensus on the best options for Māori owned land,” says MPI’s Deputy Director General Ben Dalton. . .

Potential bio-control agents settling into containment:

Scientists at Landcare Research are investigating two small European insects as potential bio-control agents against the pest plant Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum).

Tutsan is a significant pest in parts of the Central North Island because it forms extensive patches that take over agricultural, production and conservation land. Unpalatable to stock, hard to kill, and shade tolerant, Tutsan is particularly prevalent in areas where the land has been disturbed by the likes of forestry – much like gorse and broom does. . . 

Five things you didn’t know about growing up in a farm family – Corn Corps:

Ahhh, fall is finally in the air! It’s the perfect time to grab the family and find a nice pumpkin farm or somewhere to pick some apples. Don’t forget the pumpkin spice lattes and a nice warm sweater. Forget about harvest you can finish that field tomorrow! – Said no farm family EVER!

For those of you who grew up on a farm you will know exactly what I am talking about. Growing up in a farm family, like anything else, has its pros and cons but it definitely a unique experience to say the least! Hopefully this will give the “non-farmers” a little bit of insight to what it is really like.

“Sure, we can go…. As long as it rains”

Farm kids know this one all too well. Planning family activities, attendance at Saturday tournaments, or RSVPing to a wedding invitation is next to impossible during planting and harvest seasons. . .

PERRIAM, a new lifestyle fashion brand, poised for launch:

Well-known Central Otago fashion designer Christina Perriam will unveil PERRIAM, her new luxury lifestyle fashion brand, in Tarras next month.

PERRIAM produces New Zealand-made merino clothing that embodies the comforting luxury inherent in the spirit of the high country. The heart of PERRIAM is Christina’s family and their farm, Bendigo Station in Central Otago – a place of rich history, pioneering spirit and enduring natural beauty.

Bendigo, also the home of the famous merino wether, the late Shrek the Sheep, will host an exclusive catwalk show for the launch of the first PERRIAM Woman Summer 2015 Collection, on October 18, 2014.

The Merino Shop in Tarras Village – home to Christina’s original labels ‘Christina Perriam’ and ‘Suprino Bambino’ – will undergo renovations to coincide with the launch and the go-live date of the new PERRIAM online shop, perriam.co.nz. . .

Hill Laboratories appoints new Food and Bioanalytical client services manager:

New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory, Hill Laboratories, has appointed Lorrae Taylor as client services manager for the organisation’s Food and Bioanalytical division.

Lorrae Taylor has nearly four decades of nationwide experience working in laboratories, or with laboratories to provide proficiency services testing.

Lorrae Taylor said Hill Laboratories’ client services teams, which are effective in all three of the company’s divisions, are what sets the organisation apart from most other analytical testing laboratories. . . .

 

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris Leads the Way:

Amongst some of the best Pinot Gris in the country, Hawkes Bay’s Esk Valley Pinot Gris 2014 has been awarded the number one spot in Dish Magazine, with the tasting panel led by Dish Drinks Editor Yvonne Lorkin.

“We have been producing Pinot Gris since 2001 the best of which to date is the 2014,” Gordon Russell, Winemaker at Esk Valley said, “This is our unique take on a Pinot Gris from a great Hawkes Bay harvest.”

Esk Valley has a reputation throughout the world for producing exceptional premium wines. Russell who’s been at the helm for over twenty years as winemaker for Esk Valley has an emphasis on hand crafting his boutique wines using traditional methods and local knowledge. He refers to himself as, “I’m just the conductor, with the music already written in the vineyard.” . . .

Akarua Vintage Brut 2010:

Raise your glass and join us in a toast as we celebrate Central Otago winery Akarua winning a prestigious international trophy for its sparkling wine Akarua Vintage Brut 2010 – awarded the World Champion New Zealand Sparkling Wine Trophy at The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships (CSWWC), announced on the 4th September 2014.

Having launched their sparkling wine range in early 2012, Akarua is gaining a solid reputation for its quality and style. . .

 


Too soon, too dark, too cold

September 23, 2014

Just five days until the clocks go forward but it’s still winter.

Fresh snow fell on the Kakanui Range on Sunday night and yesterday temperatures barely got to double figures.

It’s warm in North Otago today but that is not likely to last.

Further north it’s worse:

Daylight saving works in the middle of summer but the end of September is too soon to start when it’s too dark in the mornings and too cold to enjoy longer evenings.

Delaying the start by two or three weeks until the sun is closer to the south would give more daylight at both ends of the day and allow temperatures to get a little more spring-like, if not yet summery.


Free to vote, free to not

September 23, 2014

The angst over low voter turnout has resulted in the inevitable suggestion of compulsion:

A political scientist says compulsory voting would be the easiest way to lift declining number of people voting.

About a million people did not vote in Saturday’s election.

The Electoral Commission estimates voter turnout was 77 percent of those enrolled, which is up from 74 percent in 2011. . .

Julian Lee counters that by explaining why he doesn’t vote:

Until today I’ve always tried to keep my filthy non-voting habits to myself. . .

You could enter a polling booth on election day stark drunk, barely able to stand, unable to think or concentrate, mindlessly tick the ballot paper and you would earn more respect from the voting public than if you had soberly and sincerely made the conscious decision not to vote.

I have given this decision hours and hours of thought. I’ve read all the parties’ policies. I have weighed and speculated and considered every possible option.

And my conclusion? I choose not to participate in the game.

But I’ve finally decided to publicly own up because I think it is bizarre I should feel ashamed of a political opinion in what most people would consider a free and tolerant society. . .

He goes on to discuss his reasons which includes thinking it won’t make a difference because bureaucrats rather than politicians control everything.

I disagree with his reason but agree with his conclusion:

. . .  And surely, every else taken into consideration, I have the right to choose not to choose?

If we are free to vote we should also be free to not vote.

Better a lower number of people voting freely for whatever reason motivates them than a larger number voting because they are compelled to.

 


Labour’s leadership woes will linger

September 23, 2014

David Cunliffe has just finished a media conference in which he announced a full leadership vote before Christmas:

The party suffered its worst election result in 92 years at the weekend, obtaining just 24 percent of the party vote.

“I, as leader, am responsible for that result,” Mr Cunliffe said this morning. “Voters are always right. We are not yet seen as a credible alternative.”

Mr Cunliffe says he has thrown his “hat in the ring” for the top job.

“[But], if the leader isn’t me, I will get behind the new one.” . . .

There are already six contenders to replace him.

The party needs to do a full post-mortem and the leadership is part of that.

But this announcement will mean the party’s leadership woes will linger until the vote and delay any action on any other changes.

Labour needs to change a lot more than its leader and unless the members and unions back someone the caucus also backs a new leader could make matters worse.

UPDATE:

 


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