Court backs blokes’ right to stand

January 23, 2015

A German court has backed blokes’ right to stand to pee:

A court in Germany is ruling in favour of a man’s right to urinate while standing up, after his landlord demanded money for damage to the bathroom floor.

The landlord, who was seeking €1900 ($NZ2878), claims the marble floor was damaged by urine that missed the toilet bowl.

But a Duesseldorf judge ruled that the man’s method was within cultural norms and said “urinating standing up is still common practice”.

Some German toilets have red traffic-style signs forbidding the standing position – but those who choose to sit are often referred to as a “Sitzpinkler”, implying it is not masculine behaviour. . .

The judge was a bloke.

Had it been a woman she might have had more sympathy for the landlord, or at least ordered the bloke to aim better or clean up after himself.


Word of the day

January 23, 2015

Shrievalty – the office, jurisdiction, or tenure of a sheriff; of or relating to a sheriff.


Rural round-up

January 23, 2015

Government assistance for drought not a hand out

Federated Farmers believes that if the government made a medium-scale adverse event declaration for some South Island provinces, it would give more emotional support to farmers than financial.

“Adverse event declarations don’t make rainfall, but they do put a label on a serious situation, providing some comfort and support to affected farmers,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Adverse Events Spokesperson.

“While the drought, in some parts of the country, has some farmers calling for a drought declaration, it has sparked questions in the media of whether farmers should be getting what is termed ‘hand-outs’ from the government. It needs to be clarified what exactly a drought declaration means.” . . .

Zespri monitoring Chinese arrest ‘situation’ – John Anthony:

Zespri is closely monitoring an investigation at one of its Chinese importers where nine staff have reportedly been arrested, the kiwifruit exporter says.

Zespri spokeswoman Rachel Lynch said Dalian Yidu imports many New Zealand and international agricultural products and dealt with less than 5 per cent of Zespri’s China volume. 

“There is nothing to indicate this investigation involves Zespri Kiwifruit. We’re in constant contact with our people in China monitoring the situation closely,” Lynch said. . .

Biocontrol of an environmental pest – wasps – Geoff ridley:

In an earlier blog I outlined the research programme that Beef + Lamb New Zealand was funding this year. The programme included a number of Sustainable Farming Fund projects one of which is research into the biological control of wasps.

This might seem like a strange one for us to help fund but two species of European wasp are now established across all of New Zealand and are a major environmental pest and hazard. For instance this time last year a Taumarunui sheep farmer was hospitalised after stepping into a was nest while checking electric fences. . .

This particular research is focussed on evaluating a species of mite that was discovered in the top of the South Island causing the collapsed wasp colonies. The mite was previously unknown and unnamed. This project will address the questions: . . .

Wine museum to feature Marlborough – Chloe Winter:

A French film crew has touched down in Marlborough, putting the region’s wine industry in the spotlight.

Six Marlborough wine industry figures are being interviewed this week and will feature in an exhibit in a new $93 million wine museum in Bordeaux, France next year.

Director Eric Michaud, director of photography Roland Clede and assistant director Geraldine Clermont, of Grand Angle Productions, arrived last weekend and have been busy filming winemakers and viticulturists speaking about different topics, from soil types, to subregions, to sustainability and organics, to how Marlborough’s wine industry started. . .

Solid Performance in December Rural Property Market

Summary

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 68 fewer farm sales (-12.3%) for the three months ended December 2014 than for the three months ended December 2013. Overall, there were 486 farm sales in the three months to end of December 2014, compared to 374 farm sales for the three months ended November 2014 (+30.0%) and 554 farm sales for the three months to the end of December 2013. 1,849 farms were sold in the year to December 2014, 5.9% more than were sold in the year to December 2013.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to December 2014 was $28,781 compared to $24,163 recorded for three months ended December 2013 (+19.1%). The median price per hectare fell 3.5% compared to November. . .

 Wool Strengthens:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s Marketing Executive, Mr Paul Steel reports that the North Island sale saw prices lift on the back of a weaker New Zealand dollar and steady off-shore interest.

Of the 10,000 bales on offer 97 percent sold. The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies compared to the last sale on 15th January was down 1.63 percent.

Mr Steel advises Fine Crossbred Fleece and shears were 1 to 4 percent dearer.

Coarse Crossbred Fleece were 1 to 3 percent stronger with shears generally firm to 2 percent dearer. . .

 

Food Ingredients to sell Lactose online:

GlobalDairyTrade (GDT), the world’s leading online dairy auction platform, announced today that Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI) will offer food grade lactose on the platform.

AFI, a global leader in producing natural whey ingredients, is an independently-operated subsidiary of Arla Foods, a leading European dairy co-operative, and GDT registered seller.

GDT director Paul Grave said Arla Food Ingredients will offer a significant volume of lactose to the platform.

“AFI’s offering of lactose on GDT reflects an increasing trend for European producers to seek export of Europe, and to extend their reach to the global market, as they expand production.” . . .


Friday’s answers

January 23, 2015

1. Who said: The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.?

2. Who wrote Grapes of Wrath?

3. It’s framboise in French, lampone or pernacchia in Italian,  frambuesa in Spanish and rāhipere in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Which Beatles’s song had fruit in the title?

5.What’s your favourite way to serve berries?

Points for answers:

Andrei wins a virtual basket of berries with a clean sweep.

PDM got three.

Gravedodger got four.

Alwyn also wins a virtual basket of berries with five right.

J Bloggs got four.

Teletext’s clean sweep also wins a virtual basket of berries (technical or not as you please).

Answers follow the break:

1. Aristotle.

2. John Steinbeck.

3. Raspberry.

4. Strawberry fields for Ever.

5. Fresh as they are or with the addition of ice cream and/or cream and meringues or pavlova.


A tale of two treatments

January 23, 2015

There’s the treatment of a council:

. . .The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s new wastewater plants have failed to meet the conditions of a new resource consent six times since it came into force in October.

The regional council’s chief executive Liz Lambert said it was drawing up an abatement notice, but her council did not think punishing the district council was appropriate.

“We believe that any financial punishment really doesn’t help the ratepayer.

“We’d rather see the money go towards the right outcome.” . . .

Well yes, but would farmers get the same treatment?

The Environment Court’s decision to fine Okoroire sharemilker Bas Nelis has caused disappointment all-round.

On Friday, Nelis’ company Hold the Gold was fined $16,875 under the Resource Management Act for unlawful use of land and disturbing the riverbed.

The Waikato Regional Council, which prosecuted the company, and Judge Melanie Harland, who delivered the sentence, are facing a backlash.

The main point of contention is the infringements happened while Nelis was clearing a gully of noxious plants to replant it with natives – an activity the council actively encourages.

Nelis is well-known for his environmental and riparian planting work and, in 2008, won an Farm Environment Award in the Dairy Industry Awards.

Harland acknowledged this in her decision, but also said Nelis should have known better, given his history of environmental work. . .

This is two different councils with two very different ways of treating infringements.

Letting wastewater enter a waterway is much worse than disturbing a riverbed while clearing noxious plants to replace with natives.

But the district council has been treated leniently in Hawkes Bay and the Waikato farmer has not.

 


Too high but falling

January 23, 2015

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has welcomed latest child abuse statistics showing that the number of children abused in the year ended June 2014 fell by 2,306 or 12 percent on the previous year.

“Let there be no doubt that our child abuse figures remain appallingly high but it is pleasing to see the numbers going down for the first time in 10 years,” says Mrs Tolley.

During the year to June 2014, 16,289 children had 19,623 findings of abuse substantiated compared to 18,595 children with 22,984 findings of abuse in the previous year. 

Of the 146,657 notifications made to Child, Youth and Family in 2014, 54,065 reports required further action involving 43,590 children.  This compared to 148,659 notifications in 2013 where 61,877 reports required further action in relation to 48,527 children.  A drop of 4,937 children.

In 2014, there were 9,499 children who were emotionally abused, 3,178 children who were physically abused and 1,294 children who were sexually abused.  In 2013 the corresponding figures were 11,386 children emotionally abused, 3,181 physically abused and 1,423 sexually abused.

“Good progress is being achieved in implementing the Children’s Action Plan.   With 30 specific measures designed to prevent abuse and neglect, it will make a real difference in reducing child abuse in this country.

“New Zealanders are becoming increasingly intolerant of abuse and neglect in their communities, and the more people willing to report their concerns, the better chance we’ll have to keep our children safe and protected.” says Mrs Tolley.

The number of people on benefits is also declining.

Could there be a link between that and the decline in child abuse?
While New Zealand's child abuse statistics are still far too high, we're making significant progress in preventing abuse and neglect.<br /><br />
ntnl.org.nz/1zxtVU7

 


January 23 in history

January 23, 2015

971 – In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han were soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops. The Southern Han state was forced to submit to the Song Dynasty, ending not only Southern Han rule, but also the first regular war elephant corps employed in a Chinese army that had gained the Southern Han victories throughout the 10th century.

1368  Zhu Yuanzhang ascended to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that lasted for three centuries.

1510  Henry VIII, then 18 years old, appeared incognito in the lists at Richmond, and was applauded for his jousting before he reveals his identity.

1556 The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hit Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.

1570  The assassination of regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray threw Scotland into civil war.

1571 The Royal Exchange opened in London.

1579 The Union of Utrecht formed a Protestant republic in the Netherlands.

1656 Blaise Pascal published the first of his Lettres provinciales.

1719 The Principality of Liechtenstein was created within the Holy Roman Empire.

1789  Georgetown College, the first Roman Catholic college in the United States, was founded.

1793 Second Partition of Poland: Russia and Prussia partitioned Poland for the second time.

1813 Camilla Collett, Norwegian writer and feminist, was born  (d. 1895).

1832  Edouard Manet, French artist, was born (d. 1883).

1849  Elizabeth Blackwell the USA’s first female doctor, was awarded her M.D. by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York.

1855 John Moses Browning, American inventor, was born (d. 1926).

1855 A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit the Wellington region.

Massive earthquake hits Wellington region

1855  The first bridge over the Mississippi River opened.

1870 U.S. cavalrymen killed 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre.

1897  Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Canadian soldier, W.W.II codename, Intrepid. Inspiration for James Bond., was born (d. 1989).

1897 Elva Zona Heaster was found dead.The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.

1899 Emilio Aguinaldo was sworn in as President of the First Philippine Republic.

1904 Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund was devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead.

1907 Charles Curtis of Kansas became the first Native American U.S. Senator.

1912 The International Opium Convention was signed at The Hague.

1920  The Netherlands refused to surrender ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies.

1943 Troops of Montgomery‘s 8th Army captured Tripoli from the German-Italian Panzer Army.

1943  World War II: Australian and American forces defeated the Japanese army in Papua. This turning point in the Pacific War marked the beginning of the end of Japanese aggression.

1943 Duke Ellington played at Carnegie Hall  for the first time.

1948  Anita Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1950 – The Knesset passed a resolution that stated Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

1951 Yachts left Wellington bound for Lyttelton in an ocean yacht race to celebrate Canterbury’s centenary.  Only one, Tawhiri, officially finished the race. Two other yachts, Husky and Argo, were lost along with their 10 crew members.

Disastrous centennial yacht race begins
1951 – Chesley Sullenberger, Captain of US Airways Flight 1549, a flight that successfully ditched into the Hudson River, was born.
1957  Princess Caroline of Monaco, was born.
1958 Overthrow in Venezuela of Marcos Pérez Jiménez

1960 The bathyscaphe USS Trieste broke a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean.

1964 The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, was ratified.

1973 President Richard Nixon announced that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.

1973 A volcanic eruption devastated Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.

1985 O.J. Simpson became the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame.

1986  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

1997 Madeleine Albright became the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.

2003 Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10

2009 Dendermonde nursery attack in Dendermonde, Belgium.

2010 – Protests took place in 60 Canadian cities against the prorogation of the 40th Canadian Parliament.

2012 – A group of Gaddafi loyalists took control of part of the town of Bani Walid and flew the green flag after a battle with NTC forces left 5 dead and 20 injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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