Word of the day

February 5, 2015

Misophonia – hatred of sound; a neuropsychiatric disorder in which negative experiences (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds.


Rural round-up

February 5, 2015

Fonterra and DOC working together on World Wetlands Day:

With World Wetlands Day marked this week (February 2), Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC) are continuing their work to improve the health of five key catchments across New Zealand, through their Living Water partnership.

Living Water contributes to the conservation of wetlands through a ten year programme of work to improve water quality and the variety and abundance of native wildlife at the selected catchments located in major dairying regions.

The Living Water catchments are Hikurangi in Northland, three Waikato peat lakes – Areare, Ruatuna and Rotomānuka, Miranda/Pūkorokoro on the Firth of Thames/ Tīkapa Moana, Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury and Waituna in Southland. . .

 Setting dairying women on the right path:

Two participants of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s (AWDT) new pilot programme say they have been left feeling empowered and confident in the running of their dairy farming businesses.

Hawke’s Bay dairy farmer Zoe Kuriger and Arohena dairy farmer Cathy Prendergast were among the first intake of the Pathways Programme, which is run in two modules – the first held in November last year.

The Pathways Programme is a collaborative venture between Dairy Women’s Network and AWDT and is funded by DairyNZ and Ministry for Primary Industries. . .

 

Adding value to business and balance to life:

Dairy Women’s Network and DairyNZ are running free goal setting workshops called ‘Know where you are heading’ in nine locations throughout New Zealand during February and March.

The dairy module is suitable for all levels of dairying, however is open to DWN members and non-members, and both men and women of any profession.

The workshop has been jointly developed by DWN and DairyNZ, using material from DairyNZ’s Mark and Measure seminars.

“The aim of the workshop is to build farmer confidence and gain clarity on goals, as well as an understanding of the essentials of planning, goal setting and workable action plans,” said DWN Takaka regional convenor Tyler Langford, workshop co-presenter. . .

Young bidder gets the job done – :

A determined 17-year-old helped to set the prices at this week’s Hawarden crossbred sheep sale, as she held her nerve and saw off rival bidders for three pens of romney two-tooths.

Louisa McClintock was buying on behalf of her father, and paid between $165 and $173 for 230 romney and romney cross ewes.

“Dad just said, ‘Get the ones you like’, so hopefully I’ve done all right for him,” Louisa laughed after the sale. . .

Farmers urged to plan feed for cows carefully:

Industry body DairyNZ is urging farmers facing drier than normal farming conditions to carefully consider how they make their feed planning decisions to keep cows in milk while maintaining their condition.

General manager of extension, Craig McBeth, says farmers are now reaching some crunch points for making the calls on feed planning and milking frequency.

“We know some farmers have moved on to once a day milking or milking every 16 hours as a way of managing their way through what are still very dry conditions in most parts of the country despite the recent rainfall. In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen pastures go from green to brown pretty quickly with limited post grazing regrowth. Soil moisture levels are still well below the average for this time of year and we’re now seeing that reflected in crisp pastures,” he says. . .

 

 

No slowing in demand to buy Canterbury farms:

Local and international interest in the New Zealand rural real estate market remains extremely strong, defying suggestions demand could soften in the face of the lower Fonterra payout to farmers.

Shane O’Brien, national director of Colliers Rural & Agribusiness division, said buyers were taking the medium to long-term view of the dairy industry and were still keenly contesting quality land.

“We’re still getting strong enquiry both from local buyers wanting to expand their land holdings as well as from international funds and private investors.” . .

Wool Demand Outstrips Supply:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s General Manager, Mr John Dawson reports that strong buying interest for quick shipment underpinned this week’s wool market for the 13,789 bales on offer from both Islands.

Currency played a minor role despite the New Zealand dollar’s volatility with the indicator for the main trading currencies practically unchanged at 0.6898 compared to the last sale on 29th January.

Of the offering 90.8 percent sold with most unsold wools coming from the Mid Micron selection.

Mr Dawson advises that there were some inter Island variations in price direction in some sectors, with an overall firm to dearer trend. . . .

FMG Selects Interactive Intelligence as Telephony Partner

Reinforces Insurer’s Commitment to Servicing New Zealand’s Rural Sector

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) has announced that it will partner with FMG, New Zealand’s leading rural insurer, to roll out its Customer Interaction Center™ (CIC) IP communications software suite across the company’s New Zealand service centre operations.

CIC will support FMG in improving its overall customer experience delivery through key features, including recording and quality assurance, multi-media ACD contact centre, IVR, outbound dialer, agent and supervisor desktop functionality. . .

 


Thursday’s quiz

February 5, 2015

It’s your turn to ask the questions.

You don’t have to follow my usual five question formula.

Anyone who stumps us all will win a virtual basket of stone fruit.


Moderation movement

February 5, 2015

Among all the bad and mad advice on what and how and how much to eat, there is occasionally a voice of sanity:

There is more than one way to achieve wellness.  There is not one 'correct' way of eating or moving in order to be healthy.  Be wary of anyone who claims there is. If there's more than one path to wellness then how do you know which is the best way for YOU?   Here are my tips for finding your own healthy balance... YOUR best path to wellness will: Be sustainable for you Your habits could easily be sustained for the rest of your life.  They are not extreme behaviours that can only be followed for a short period of time.  They are suited to your lifestyle, your working hours, your family commitments and your preferences.   Make you feel great (long term) Your health habits should make you feel physically, mentally and emotionally better.  You should not feel guilty, anxious or obsessive.  (Those feelings are a sure sign you're not on the right wellness path for you).   Be flexible Your food and exercise choices should allow for social events, eating out, and celebrations.  Your ideal path to wellness recognises that these are an important part of your life and you should enjoy them without anxiety or guilt.   Get advice from true experts When you're feeling unwell you book in to see your GP.  When you need assistance with your eating or digestive issues you book to see a dietitian.  When you have an injury you book in to see a physiotherapist.  Your best path to wellness will let the true experts guide you, ignoring health trends and self-proclaimed health gurus. Be focused on how you feel and function (rather than how you look) Achieving wellness is about feeling energised, moving more easily, eliminating or reducing pain, boosting immunity, and reducing your risk of disease.  Feeling strong, fit, well and energised is awesome.  Shaping your body to look a particular way is not improving your wellness and it's worth reminding yourself of the difference regularly. Not follow others blindly Only you know what makes you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.  Sometimes to sort it all out you'll need expert advice and consultation, but it's still your journey, your choice.  Just because a friend or family member feels fabulous eating one way, or doing particular exercise, doesn't mean you will too.   Be open to discussion and new evidence When you're on your best path to wellness, you don't feel the need to defend it aggressively.  You're open to discussing other's ways of eating and exercising.  You don't judge other's paths because you know they're choosing their own way, like you're choosing your own way.  You don't shame others.  You're willing to read new research or hear from experts and you make your own decisions about it.  You feel confident in your choices because they are YOURS. Have I forgotten anything?  How do you know when you're on the right (or wrong) path to wellness for YOU? - Jodie, Healthy Balance Fitness

 

There is more than one way to achieve wellness. There is not one ‘correct’ way of eating or moving in order to be healthy. Be wary of anyone who claims there is.

If there’s more than one path to wellness then how do you know which is the best way for YOU?

Here are my tips for finding your own healthy balance…

YOUR best path to wellness will:

* Be sustainable for you

Your habits could easily be sustained for the rest of your life. They are not extreme behaviours that can only be followed for a short period of time. They are suited to your lifestyle, your working hours, your family commitments and your preferences.

* Make you feel great (long term)

Your health habits should make you feel physically, mentally and emotionally better. You should not feel guilty, anxious or obsessive. (Those feelings are a sure sign you’re not on the right wellness path for you).

* Be flexible

Your food and exercise choices should allow for social events, eating out, and celebrations. Your ideal path to wellness recognises that these are an important part of your life and you should enjoy them without anxiety or guilt.

* Get advice from true experts

When you’re feeling unwell you book in to see your GP. When you need assistance with your eating or digestive issues you book to see a dietitian. When you have an injury you book in to see a physiotherapist. Your best path to wellness will let the true experts guide you, ignoring health trends and self-proclaimed health gurus.

* Be focused on how you feel and function (rather than how you look)

Achieving wellness is about feeling energised, moving more easily, eliminating or reducing pain, boosting immunity, and reducing your risk of disease. Feeling strong, fit, well and energised is awesome. Shaping your body to look a particular way is not improving your wellness and it’s worth reminding yourself of the difference regularly.

* Not follow others blindly

Only you know what makes you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes to sort it all out you’ll need expert advice and consultation, but it’s still your journey, your choice. Just because a friend or family member feels fabulous eating one way, or doing particular exercise, doesn’t mean you will too.

* Be open to discussion and new evidence

When you’re on your best path to wellness, you don’t feel the need to defend it aggressively. You’re open to discussing other’s ways of eating and exercising. You don’t judge other’s paths because you know they’re choosing their own way, like you’re choosing your own way. You don’t shame others. You’re willing to read new research or hear from experts and you make your own decisions about it. You feel confident in your choices because they are YOURS.

Have I forgotten anything? How do you know when you’re on the right (or wrong) path to wellness for YOU?

This comes from the Moderation Movement.


Why aren’t houses like cars?

February 5, 2015

This could be part of the solution to housing affordability:

In the 1970s the GM factory in Trentham turned out old-school Vivas and Chevettes. Today it was re-opened by the Hon Bill English with a role better suited to the 21st century – building homes.

Matrix Homes was established last year by Wellington entrepreneur Sean Murrie and architect Graeme Farr to produce quality affordable homes for two thirds the cost of traditional building methods.

Matrix Homes’ managing director Sean Murrie said, “Matrix Homes came about from our belief that New Zealanders pay millions more than they should for housing due to inefficient practices and markets.

“Our mission is to put that right by redesigning the build process. We set out to drastically reduce the cost of a new home without sacrificing the quality you expect in what is most people’s largest investment. By re-engineering the whole build process from the ground up, Matrix have made a quantum leap forward in affordability and quality.”

Matrix Homes are not built on-site but under cover in the Trentham factory. This enables work to continue irrespective of the weather. The cost-savings are achieved through greater efficiencies: economy of scale in sourcing building materials, standardised modular construction and no down time.

“Traditional ‘affordable’ housing focuses on reducing the cost of materials and results in a home that forever looks cheap. Matrix is a proper wood-framed house with timber weatherboards, cedar cladding is an option, Gib lined and with a galvanized iron roof. So far we’ve designed dozens of Matrix configurations for the three standard modules.

A range of sustainable options are also available including a full off-grid package including solar hot water heating and a self-contained wastewater system,” Sean Murrie said.

“With Matrix you get factory quality control and eliminate ad hoc on-site improvisation. Our design incorporates standardised window sizes enabling phenomenal savings. Assembling floors and walls on pre-built jigs has virtually eliminated the tape measure – the biggest single source of time and material wastage. Materials are pre-cut and perfect with each component optimised and identical.

“More often than not, your new home will be completed by the time you have planning consent and completed your site preparation. We can deliver virtually anywhere in the country and the modular format enables you to expand your home at a later date if required.”

Prices range from $89,000 for a one bedroom home of 51 m2, $99,000 for a 70m2 2 bedroom home to $195,000 for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home of 140 m2. Pricing includes floor coverings, painting, oven, cook top, range hood, laundry tub, corner shower, hand basins and vanity units, heated towel rail and extractor fan. Transport, piles and installation are in addition. While homebuyers are responsible for site preparation, Matrix can organise this on their behalf.

Homebuyers can personalise their home by selecting options including decks, garages and heat pumps and the like.

When the factory reaches full production, economies of scale will enable the costs to be further reduced to around half that of a same sized house build on-site.

The factory currently employs six people fulltime with that number expected to grow to 70 by the end of this year.

Sean Murrie said, “A Show Home has been completed and the concept has attracted considerable interest from home buyers and property developers and we are now completing the final design details for a large number of customers. By the end of 2015, we expect to be building one house per day and are aiming for 1,000 per year when the factory reaches full production. Realising this goal will help contribute to lowering the cost of new housing and develop a sustainable manufacturing business in the Hutt Valley.”  

How much did it cost to buy an average car and an average house 50 years ago and how much does it cost now?

I can’t give the exact figures but I cam confident that the increase in the cost of the average car is far less than the cost of the average house?

Several factors will be responsible for that, one of those is that we get mass produced cars but we don’t get mass produced houses.

These houses aren’t mass produced but the time and cost involved in building them is a lot less than conventional methods.


February 5 in history

February 5, 2015

1649 The claimant King Charles II of England and Scotland was declared King of Scotland.

1725 James Otis, American lawyer and patriot, was born (d. 1783).

1778  South Carolina was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

1782 Spanish defeat British forces and capture Minorca.

1783 In Calabria, Italy, a sequence of strong earthquakes started.

1788 Robert Peel, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1850).

1818 Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ascended to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1840 John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1921).

1840 Hiram Stevens Maxim, American inventor (Maxim gun), was born (d. 1916).

1859 – Wallachia and Moldavia were united under Alexander John Cuza as the United Principalities.

1878 André Citroën, French automobile pioneer, was born  (d. 1935).

1885 – King Léopold II of Belgium established the Congo as a personal possession.

1867 New Zealand’s third public railway, the 27-kilometre line between Invercargill and the port at Bluff, built by the Southland Provincial Council, opened.

Opening of railway from Invercargill to Bluff

1900 The United States and the United Kingdom signed a treaty for the Panama Canal.

1908 – Daisy and Violet Hilton, British conjoined twins, were born  (d. 1969).

1911 – Pioneering aviator Vivian Walsh made the first controlled powered flight in New Zealand.

First controlled powered flight in New Zealand

1917 The current constitution of Mexico was adopted, establishing a federal republic with powers separated into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

1917 – The Congress of the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson‘s veto. Also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia.

1918 Stephen W. Thompson shot down a German airplane, the first aerial victory by the U.S. military.

1919 Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith launched United Artists.

1920  Frank Muir, British comedian, was born (d. 1998).

1924 The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the “BBC pips”.

1942 Cory Wells, American singer (Three Dog Night), was born.

1946 The Chondoist Chongu Party was founded in North Korea.

1958 Gamel Abdel Nasser was nominated to be the first president of the United Arab Republic.

1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

1962 President Charles De Gaulle called for Algeria to be granted independence.

1964 Duff McKagan, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1972 Bob Douglas became the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

1972 Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, was born.

1994  More than 60 people were killed and some 200 wounded when a mortar shell hit a downtown marketplace in Sarajevo.

1997 – The “Big Three”  banks in Switzerland announced the creation of a $71 million fund to aid Holocaust survivors and their families.

2004 Twenty-three Chinese people drowned when a group of 35 cockle-pickers was trapped by rising tides in Morecambe Bay, England. .

2004 – Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front captured the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion.

2008 – A major tornado outbreak across the Southern United States left 57 dead.

2009 The United States Navy guided missile cruiser Port Royal ran aground off Oahu, Hawaii, damaging the ship and a coral reef.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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