Word of the day

March 18, 2015

Futilitarian – a person devoted to futile pursuits; holding or based on the view that human endeavor is futile.


Rural round-up

March 18, 2015

A champion at work and play – Rick Powdrell:

For generations New Zealand has been blessed with numerous elite athletes from the wide variety of codes our sports mad nation participates in.

Through those generations we have seen a number of supreme elite athletes that have been outstanding in their particular sport, an athlete we describe as one out of the box.

Our generation has been privileged to witness ‘one out of the box’- shearer David Fagan. He has set numerous records, winning over 600 open events while been an inspiration to aspiring shearers and the farming community.

His record of 17 national championships, 16 Golden Shears titles, five individual world titles, seven world team titles and 10 world records is legendary and unsurpassed. . .

 The politics of effluent – Chris Lewis:

I have to say that when I entered farming politics, I never expected that a significant chunk of the conversations I would be having would be about the stuff that comes out of the back end of a cow.  The polite term is ‘effluent’ of course, but what is not polite is the significant impacts and costs involved with managing it.

Part of Waikato Federated Farmers role is to hold our regional council to account when warranted, and effluent has been a major bone of contention. However they are there to do a job, as are we, and sometimes it is just as important to celebrate them. Just as farmers feel we are always being criticised in the media, I imagine councils do too and as we well know this can result in an ill informed perspective being held by the public.

In the last six months the Waikato Regional Council have set up an Effluent Working Group that has worked with stakeholders such as councillors, council staff, dairy industry leaders and myself, to help navigate a better model of management going forward. . .

Fonterra confident $755 million price tag for Beingmate stake is good value – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group said the $755 million price tag for 18.8 percent of Shenzen-listed Beingmate Baby & Child Food represents good value and will deliver long-term value to the world’s largest dairy exporter.

The transaction, valued at 3,464 million RMB ($755 million) is well above the $615 million Fonterra indicated it would cost for up to a 20 percent share last year when the deal was first announced.

But chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini said the $615 million was a net figure, once the proceeds from the sale of Fonterra’s under-utilised Darnum plant in Australia into the joint venture it’s setting up with Beingmate are taken off the purchase price. . .

Third ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Finalist Named:

James Hoban is the third Grand Finalist to be named in the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

The twenty-nine year old took first place at the Tasman Regional Final in Kirwee on Saturday 14 March after a very close and tense Evening Show.

Mr Hoban went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, FMG, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone. . . .

Matua Crowned Winemaker of Year And Champion Wine of Show:

Chief Winemaker Nikolai St George added some impressive bling to the Matua awards cabinet on Saturday night at the 2015 New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, triumphing over all to take home the Royal Easter Show Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show in addition to the Pullman Hotels Trophy for Champion Syrah for the 2013 Matua Single Vineyard Matheson Syrah. With an additional two gold medals, 10 silver and two bronze, St George then took to the stage again to claim the Royal Agricultural Society Gold Medal for Wine Maker of the Year, which he also won in 2013. . .

 Federated Farmers Exec wins Golden Lamb Award:

Federated Farmers is thrilled one of their own has taken out this year’s Beef & Lamb Golden Lamb Awards.

Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairman says “Hamish Buchanan has outdone himself and should be incredibly proud of what he has achieved.”

“The Golden Lamb Awards is a challenging competition in its quest to find the highest yielding, most tender and tasty lamb in New Zealand. For our Tararua Meat & Fibre Chair to take that national title at such a young age is very impressive.” . . .

 

 


One spouse, two spice?

March 18, 2015

How’s your knowledge of plurals?

A+

Amazing! From Phenomena to Crises to Radii, you know your Plurals! The wild and wacky English language is often a hodgepodge of foreign words, weird abbreviations, and interesting conjugations. Plurals can be some of the most incorrectly applied and mixed up components of grammar, and most people really struggle with this quiz – but not you! Whether you’re a writer, or just a grammar aficionado, you absolutely dominated this quiz! Great job!

Apropos of plurals, why not one spouse, two or more spice?


GDT drops 8.8%

March 18, 2015

Fonterra’s GlobalDairyTrade price index dropped 8.8% in this morning’s auction.

That’s disappointing after six successive increases and may or may not be a consequence of the threat to lace infant formula with 1080.

gdt18.5.15


Quote of the day

March 18, 2015

In self-proclaimed intellectual circles, it has long been fashionable to belittle the idea of economic growth. “GDP is not the same as happiness”, some critics of growth will explain. Others will warn that excessive growth could destroy the environment and leave our planet uninhabitable. Others still will warn that the finite nature of our resources does not allow continuous growth in any case.

This kind of critique has become a pastime of the chattering classes. It is now part of polite conversation in the better suburbs of developed world cities. To question the value of growth at dinner parties in air-conditioned or heated houses while sipping French champagne and eating Italian prosciutto presumably adds a sense of intellectual gravitas to one’s physical well-being. These people probably do not even realise the self-contradiction in condemning economic growth while enjoying its blessings.  . .

Economic growth is no silver bullet to all the world’s problems. But it comes close. There is overwhelming evidence that the unprecedented economic expansion humanity has experienced roughly over the past three centuries has been a great force for good. It has made our lives better in ways that would have been unimaginable to previous generations.

This should also be the response to the aforementioned critics of growth. At which stage in history do they believe we should have proclaimed the end of economic development? Certainly not in Plato’s time (4th century BC) since that would have prevented the invention of the canal lock (3rd century BC) and paper (2nd century BC). Development should not have stopped at the time the Gospels were written either since otherwise we would not even have invented the wheelbarrow (2nd century AD).

To move to more modern times, had economic development stopped when Ernst F. Schumacher suggested it should (Small is Beautiful was published in 1973), we would have never seen CD-ROMs, the Internet or the first vaccine for meningitis. And even if we had only stopped to grow and develop when Pope Francis told us to in November 2013, we would have never seen the first human clinical trials in the United States for a wearable artificial kidney – or the new iPhone 6.

Economic growth is the driver behind all of these developments because at its core, economic growth is not mainly about the production of more but about the discovery of better (though often it is both). Economic growth helps us to find new and improved ways of combining resources. The outcomes could be a new medicine, a faster way of travelling, a healthier way of eating or a better way of learning. . . Dr Oliver Hartwich

This is an extract from the New Zealand Initiative’s report The Case for Economic Growth by Eric Crampton and Jenesa Jeram.

 


March 18 in history

March 18, 2015

37 The Roman Senate annulled Tiberius‘ will and proclaimed Caligula emperor.

1229 Frederick II,  Holy Roman Emperor declared himself King of Jerusalem during the Sixth Crusade.

1241 Kraków was ravaged by Mongols.

1314 Jacques de Molay, the 23rd and the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake.

1438 Albert II of Habsburg became King of Germany.

1608 Susenyos was formally crowned Emperor of Ethiopia.

1766 The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had been very unpopular in the British colonies.

1781 Charles Messier rediscovered global cluster M92.

1834  Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle were sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.

1837 Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, was born (d. 1908).

1850 American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.

1858 Rudolf Diesel, German inventor, was born  (d. 1913).

1865 The Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourned for the last time.

1869 Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born  (d. 1940).

1871 Declaration of the Paris Commune; President of the French Republic, Adolphe Thiers, ordered evacuation of Paris.

1893 – Former Governor General Lord Stanley pledged to donate a silver challenge cup, later named after him, as an award for the best hockey team in Canada – the Stanley Cup.

1893 Wilfred Owen, British poet, was born (d 1918).

1906 Traian Vuia flew the first self-propelled heavier-than-air aircraft in Europe.

1913  King George I of Greece was assassinated in the recently liberated city of Thessaloniki.

1915 Richard Condon, American novelist, was born (d. 1996).

1915 Three battleships were sunk during a failed British and French naval attack on the Dardanelles.

1921  The second Peace of Riga between Poland and Soviet Union.

1922 Mohandas Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience. He would serve only 2 years.

1922 – The first public celebration of Bat mitzvah, for the daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, was held in New York City.

1923 Mathrubhumi one of the largest Malayalam daily started to publish from Kozhikode in Kerala.

1925 The Tri-State Tornado hit the Midwestern states of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, killing 695 people.

1928 Fidel V. Ramos, 12th President of the Philippines, was born.

1932 John Updike, American author, was born (d. 2009).

1936 Frederik Willem de Klerk, President of South Africa, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1937 The New London School explosion killed three hundred, mostly children.

1937 –  Spanish Republican forces defeated the Italians at the Battle of Guadalajara.

1937 – The human-powered aircraft, Pedaliante, flew1 kilometre (0.62 mi) outside Milan.

1938 Charley Pride, American musician, was born.

1938  Mexico nationalised all foreign-owned oil properties within its borders.

1940 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass and agreed to form an alliance against France and the United Kingdom.

1941 New Zealand troops arrived in Greece to bolster Allied defences.

NZ troops arrive in Greece

1944 – Dick Smith, Australian Adventurer and Businessman, was born.

1944 The eruption of Mount Vesuvius  killed 26 and causes thousands to flee their homes.

1945 Joy Fielding, Canadian novelist and actress, was born.

1945 World War II: 1,250 American bombers attacked Berlin.

1947 Patrick Barlow, English actor, comedian and playwright, was born.

1949 Alex Higgins, Northern Irish snooker player, was born  (d. 2010).

1950 John Hartman, American drummer (Doobie Brothers), was born.

1951 Ben Cohen, American co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, was born.

1953 An earthquake hit western Turkey, killing 250.

1959 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law allowing for Hawaiian statehood.

1960 James MacPherson, Scottish actor, was born.

1962 The Evian Accords put an end to the Algerian War of Independence.

1965 Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonovleft his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes to become the first person to walk in space.

1967 The supertanker Torrey Canyon ran aground off the Cornish coast.

1968  Gold standard: The U.S. Congress repeals the requirement for a gold reserve to back US currency.

1970 Lon Nol ousted Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.

1971 A landslide at Chungar, Peru crashed into Lake Yanahuani killing 200.

1974 Oil embargo crisis: Most OPEC nations ended a five-month oil embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.

1980 At Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia, 50 people were killed by an explosion of a Vostok-2M rocket on its launch pad during a fueling operation.

1989 A 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops.

1990  In the largest art theft in US history, 12 paintings, collectively worth around $300 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

1996 A nightclub fire in Quezon City, Philippines killed 162.

1997  The tail of a Russian Antonov An-24 charter plane breaks off while en-route to Turkey causing the plane to crash and killing all 50 on board and leading to the grounding of all An-24s.

2003 – British Sign Language was recognised as an official British language.

2006 – Mike Rann secured the first Labor majority government in South Australia since 1985 by winning the state election.

2012 – Tupou VI became King of Tonga.

2014 – The parliaments of Russia and Crimea signed an accession treaty.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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