Word of the day

April 7, 2015

Pussyvan – a flurry; temper; tantrum.


Rural round-up

April 7, 2015

Sticky fingered thief nabs hives:

A Taranaki beekeeper has been stung by the theft of 20 hives containing up to a million bees.

Stephen Black said the theft had cost him thousands of dollars. The hives had at least 200 kilograms of honey, which was ready for harvest.

He said they were probably targeted because of the increasing value of manuka honey. . .

Kiwi invention manages polluting cow urine :

On dairy farms around the country, pastures and soil are struggling to absorb vast amounts of cow urine, creating a huge headache for farmers.

An Auckland company believes it has come up with a solution to stop nitrates from cow urine polluting soils and waterways, and also believes it will help farmers save money.

“Dairy farming, although it is bringing enormous benefits to the country’s economy, it is producing more nitrates that are getting into our waterways, so something has to be done,” says Dr Bert Quin.

That is what has led Dr Quin and his business partner, Geoff Bates, to come up with the invention they’ve nicknamed “Spikey”. . .

Zespri completes European planting – Gerard Hutching:

The Mafia is just one of the hazards that Zespri’s European supply manager Callum Kay has to be aware of, but he says its threat is well contained.

Based just south of Rome, Kay manages Zespri’s kiwifruit growing business in Italy and France. About 1400 hectares are planted in Italy, 400 ha in France.

The majority of the kiwifruit in Italy is grown in the Lazio region near Rome, followed by Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia Romagna in the north. About 5 per cent of plantings are in Calabria and Campania, home to the ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra criminal organisations. . .

Visitors increasingly vital for station – Sally Rae:

Lake Ohau Station managers Simon and Liko Inkersell are very aware they live in a special environment.

The 8322ha high country property, on the shores of Lake Ohau, is situated in a spectacular location, with increasing numbers of visitors in the area.

Part of their business was now also bringing people into the area, with the opening of the Lake Ohau Quarters two years ago, and accommodation was becoming a significant part of the operation, Mr Inkersell told an Otago Merino Association field day at the property recently. . .

Landcorp launches new brand – Gerard Hutching:

State-owned enterprise farmer Landcorp has launched a new brand called Pamu to identify its products.

It was a “great modern design” that had been tested with consumers in New Zealand and overeas.Meaning “to farm” in Maori, Pamu was a “fresh, original name which talks to who we are and what we do” said Landcorp chief executive Steve Carden. The cost of the exercise was $65,000.

Carden said the branding was all about adding value to products.

“Consumers are really interested in finding out about products and where they came from,” he said. . .

NMIT ready to harvest new varieties:

New grape varieties planted on Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT)’s Marlborough campus vineyard are ready for their first vintage this year.

 In 2012, NMIT viticulture and wine staff and students began replacing rows of Pinot Noir on the half-hectare on-campus vineyard with several new and classic varieties donated by Riversun Nursery in Gisborne.  They completed further plantings in 2013 and 2014.

NMIT viticulture tutor Glenn Kirkwood says the new varieties have all grown “incredibly well” on the fertile soil, however it remains to be seen how the fruit pans out.

‘FIRB’ screen locks out investors –  David Leyonhjelm:

NEW foreign investment rules for agricultural land purchases will choke farm sales in red tape, says DAVID LEYONHJELM.


I’VE met plenty of farmers my age who are thinking about and planning for the end of their farming days.

Some have succession plans with family members. But many don’t, and their plan is to sell. They’re not sentimental but they have a strong connection with their land, and they know its worth.

They also need to sell at a fair price. They’ve got debts to repay before funding their retirement. After a lifetime of investing in the farm, their superannuation nest egg doesn’t compare with those who have been ‘pay-as-you-go’ employees all their life.

The potential outcome of one who has decided it’s time to sell goes as follows. . .

 


The case for vaccination

April 7, 2015


Fewer passports, lower costs?

April 7, 2015

The return to 10-year passports is welcome but like the Taxpayers’ Union executive director, Jordan Williams, queries why this could mean they become more expensive:

“If the validity of Kiwi passports is doubled to 10 years, our report on the cost of New Zealand passports shows that a price hike is still unjustified.”

“Even at the current price, New Zealanders would still pay more for a 10-year passport than the average citizen in our trading partners.”

“Last year we exposed the Government for sitting on a whopping surplus from passport fees. Passport fees should be set to recover the cost and not a dollar more. If Mr Key is being advised that a price hike is needed, clearly New Zealand officials are doing a much poorer job than our trading partners in running an efficient operation that allows citizens the basic ability to travel.”

If passports last for 10 years there will be fewer renewals to process.

That ought to require fewer staff and less office space and that ought to result in cost savings which ought to be passed on in lower fees.

With a smaller population we won’t have the economies of scale bigger countries do but fees for 10 year passports should be closer to $135 than $270.

Fees for passports should reflect a fair cost recovery and not be designed to make an excessive profit.

While giving a brickbat to the suggestion of a fee hike, I must also deliver a bouquet for very fast processing by the passport renewal office.

I renewed my passport on-line last week.

That process took me longer than it should have because I didn’t have a photo of the required 5ookb and had to get a professional to take one and email it to me.

However, once I had the photo the rest of the process was simple and when I submitted the application I got an immediate acknowledgement from the Department of Internal Affairs.

That email was sent at 6:55 last Tuesday evening and told me it could take 10 working days to process my application.

I got a second email at 4:54pm on Thursday informing me my new passport had been dispatched.

That is very good service and while I haven’t received the new passport yet that is due to Easter holidays, not the passport office.

 

 

 

 


Paul Henry 1

April 7, 2015

Paul Henry’s new programme won the battle of the breakfast shows in our house this morning.

But then we’d been watching TV3’s breakfast programme much more than TV1’s anyway.

Henry’s show is a multi-media one.

Radio, live streaming and TV are very different media. But I got all I needed to know listening with my eyes shut when my farmer turned the television on at 6am while I was still dozing.


Quote of the day

April 7, 2015

. . . Taken as a group, the writings in the Bible represent human beings struggling to work out this strange notion of right and wrong, and which is which.

That is where, I think, God resides, and also where humanity lies: in our need to work out right from wrong. The fact of our flawed state as human beings means we do not get it right, and also our perceptions of God will always be similarly flawed.

This is why, in turn, I do not trust certainty in either religion or in atheism. It is often said that the proselyting atheists of the Richard Dawkins mould are just fundamentalists of a different kind, and I think this is true, in a way which goes beyond the obvious levels.

But to deal with the obvious first: there is a missionary zeal, certainly, Dawkins et al share with the more foam-flecked fundamentalists.

But mostly, both actually serve to deny humanity. In the case of the crusading atheists, they seem to be trying to extirpate something which has been uniquely human, which is this development of religious belief down the millennia.

In the case of fundamentalists, of any stripe, the restrictions they prescribe for human behaviour is a similar denial of basic humanity and to the central mystery of our existence. . . Rob’s Blockhead Blog

I think his thoughts on fundamentalists apply to politics as well as religion.


April 7 in history

April 7, 2015

451 – Attila the Hun sacked the town of Metz and attacked other cities in Gaul.

529 First draft of Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) was issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.

1348 Charles University was founded in Prague.

1506  Saint Francis Xavier, Spanish co-founder of the Society of Jesus, was born (d. 1552).

1521  Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu.

1541 Francis Xavier left Lisbon on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies.

1718 Hugh Blair, Scottish preacher and man of letters, was born  (d. 1800).

1770 William Wordsworth, English poet, was born  (d. 1850).

1776 Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captured the Edward.

1788 –  American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.

1795 France adopted the metre as the basic measure of length.

1803 Flora Tristan, French feminist and socialist philosopher, was born (d. 1844).

1827 John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.

1856 New Zealand’s first state secondary school, Nelson College, opened.

First state secondary school opens in Nelson

1860 Will Keith Kellogg, American cereal manufacturer, was born (d. 1951).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ended – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates.

1868 Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation was assassinated.

1890 Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.

1908 Percy Faith, Canadian composer and musician, was born  (d. 1976).

1906  Mount Vesuvius erupted and devastated Naples.

1906 – The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain control over Morocco.

1908 H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1915 Billie Holiday, American singer, was born (d. 1959).

1922 Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leased Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.

1927 First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).

1933 Prohibition  in the USA was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

1934 Ian Richardson, Scottish actor, was born  (d. 2007).

1938 Spencer Dryden, American drummer (Jefferson Airplane), was born (d. 2005).

1939  World War II: Italy invaded Albania.

1939   Francis Ford Coppola, American film director, was born.

1939  Sir David Frost, English broadcaster and TV host, was born.

1940 Booker T. Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

1941 Gorden Kaye, British actor, was born.

1943 Germans ordered 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they were shot dead and buried in ditches.

1944 Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany, was born.

1945 World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, was sunk 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.

1945 – World War II: Visoko was liberated by the 7th, 9th and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.

1946 Syria‘s independence from France was officially recognised.

1948 The World Health Organisation was established by the United Nations.

1948 A Buddhist monastery burned in Shanghai, leaving twenty monks dead.

1951 Janis Ian, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his “domino theory” speech during a news conference.

1954 Jackie Chan, Chinese actor, director, producer, and martial artist., was born.

1956 Spain relinquished its protectorate in Morocco.

1963 Yugoslavia was proclaimed to be a Socialist republic and Josip Broz Tito was named President for life.

1964  IBM announced the System/360.

1964 Russell Crowe, New Zealand actor, was born.

1969 The Internet’s symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1.

1971 U.S. President Richard Nixon announced his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

1977 German Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.

1978 Development of the neutron bomb was canceled by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

1983 During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first space shuttle spacewalk.

1985 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.

1989  Soviet submarine Komsomolets sank in the Barents Sea killing 42 sailors.

1990 John Poindexter was found guilty of five charges for his part in the Iran Contra Affair (the conviction was later reversed on appeal).

1992 Republika Srpska announced its independence.

1994  Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.

1999 The World Trade Organisation ruled in favour of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

2001 Mars Odyssey was launched.

2003 U.S. troops captured Baghdad.

2009 Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

2009 – Mass protests began across Moldova under the belief that results from the parliamentary election are fraudulent.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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