Word of the day

May 4, 2015

Mishanter  – mishap,  misfortune, misadventure.


The earth moved

May 4, 2015

The piano started creaking, there was a rumble and the lights began to swing.

My first thought was Christchurch, but Geonet tells me the earthquake was 30 kilometres west of Wanaka and it was severe:

  • Map showing earthquake location.
Intensity severe
NZST Mon, May 4 2015, 2:29:10 pm
Depth 5 km
Magnitude 6.0
Location 30 km north-west of Wanaka

Rural round-up

May 4, 2015

Unlikely lower dairy payout will lead to immediate land use change – Allan Barber:

Previous downturns or relative changes in sector profitability have generally led to a change of land use; and because sheep farming was the predominant 20th century rural activity, land use change was usually to a form of farming other than sheep. Think forestry in the late 80s and 90s, dairy since the early years of this century, horticulture, grape growing and rural subdivision for lifestyle blocks since the 1980s.

Now the dairy payout has almost halved in 12 months because of global overcapacity and weaker economic conditions, the question arises whether there will be a flight from dairy, either back to sheep and beef or to one of the other agricultural options.

There are two main facts about the dairy sector: the current price is below the cost of production and global dairy production will continue to increase. There are also differing opinions about the implications of the price downturn and the prospect of improvement in the near future. . .

Dairy Awards Winners Lead Profitability Charge:

The winners of the 2015 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are ahead of the game in driving profitability on farms, during a forecast period of low milk payouts.

At Auckland’s Sky City Hotel last night, Justin and Melissa Slattery were named 2015 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year, James Foote became the 2015 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and James Davidson was announced 2015 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year.

Judges say the winners were actively seeking to manage through tougher economic times in the dairy industry. “They are ahead of the game and are planning to ensure they will be profitable if the payout is bad,” Sharemilker/Equity Farmer contest head judge Mark Horgan says. “The whole group were focused on operating profitable systems.”

Some finalists were actively involved in trialling new grasses on their farms while all were monitoring stock liveweights to ensure they met targets for optimum reproductive performance. . .

 

Culverden sharemilkers win national dairy title – Gerald Piddock:

The 2015 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards winners are ahead of the game in driving profitability on farms, during a forecast period of low milk payouts.

Justin and Melissa Slattery, who farm in Culverden, North Canterbury, were named 2015 NZ Sharemilker/Equity Farmers of the Year at the annual awards in Auckland on Saturday night.

James Foote was named 2015 NZ Farm Manager of the Year and James Davidson is the NZ Dairy Trainee of the Year.

The winners were actively seeking to manage through tougher economic times in the dairy industry, the awards judges said. . .

Nervous wait on backlogs – Nigel Stirling:

The United States’ emergence from its economic slumber looks certain to rev up beef prices again this year. First though, large inventories built up during last year’s ports strike will need to be worked through. 

Prices for imported cow and bull beef reached record highs of US$2.97/lb and US$3.17/lb respectively in November because of high consumer confidence and because the long-awaited rebuild in the domestic herd squeezed local supplies. . .

Vet LSD shows promise for cattle:

Farmers who have enjoyed improved flock performance using Vet LSD (Livestock Survival Drench) mineral supplement will welcome early trial results on its use in cattle.

Developed by respected Marlborough veterinarian Peter Anderson, Vet LSD is now recognised as the benchmark for quality mineral supplementation, providing a valuable boost to vitamin and trace element deficiencies.

Its success as a quality mineral supplement for sheep has made it a mainstay for farmers using it pre-mating to lift fertility performance and again at pre-lambing to boost lamb survivability. . .

 Tales of a bushman and businessman – Inga Stunzer:

DESPITE being softly spoken and self-deprecating, Tim Connolly has a mischievous twinkle in his eye that hints at a roguish past.

And this is all laid out in print in his self-published autobiography, Bushman Bullrider Bushman – well, let’s say a sanitised version of his life.

The title says it all. His book maps his life as a six-year-old on a remote property at the foot of the Carnarvon Ranges, to life on the professional bull-riding circuit in the US, to droving and working in the mines at Mt Isa.

Now living in Miriam Vale, Tim says the idea to write began about 30 years ago. . .

Harris Tweed – the wool to succeed – Victoria Moss:

Even through the clouds on a murky day, as your plane begins its descent, the islands of the Hebrides are breathtaking: the barren landscape, that mixture of vibrantly coloured furrows accented with heaps of peat, has an earthy beauty. Driving across the Isle of Lewis, you see a bare expanse dotted by small villages, the houses flecked in pebbledash, all built to endure their environment rather than to please the eye. But aesthetics have long had a home here. These undulating roads have welcomed Dame Vivienne Westwood (who apparently complains if she arrives in good weather, preferring the biblical wind, rain and hailstones that more fittingly frame these islands) and designers from Chanel, Comme des Garçons, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, as well as a harried employee from a Parisian fashion house sent here on a wait-and-return private jet to pick up a pre-fashion-week panic roll of Harris Tweed.  . .


Academic success not only measure of smart

May 4, 2015

The New Zealand Herald asks what, if anything, can be done about a new social problem:

 A shortage of men that well-educated women want to marry? . . .

Among people in the 30-34 age bracket with a university degree or similar qualification, there are 155 women for every 100 men. That would be less of a problem if the women were more willing to “marry down”. The overall ratio is 91 men to 100 women in the population aged 25-49.

But women are perhaps less inclined than men to marry someone not as well educated, which may add to the shortage of partners for intelligent women. . .

Women of that age are the first generation to have been brought up by mothers who almost certainly had at least part-time paid work.

They are more likely than their mothers and certainly grandmothers to have been encouraged into tertiary education and to have fulfilling careers that wouldn’t stop when they married and which they could continue, at least part-time, when they had children.

That doesn’t necessarily make them smarter than their mothers or fathers, nor does it necessarily make them smarter than their contemporaries, male or female, who don’t go to university.

Whether or not, as some argue, education has become more feminised which makes it easier for girls and women to succeed than boys and men, academic qualifications aren’t the only measure of smart.

Education is good but more formal education isn’t necessarily better for everyone.

Earning power isn’t the only measure of smart either. But someone who straight to university could take years to, and might never, make up for the lost wealth that others who go straight into work can accrue while their contemporaries are studying.

The solution is not, as one dating agency suggests, for women to lower their expectations. They should, of course, keep an open mind when they meet someone but it would be idle to pretend that these things are of no account. The solution, as the researchers suggest, is to raise the numbers of men in higher education.

The gender imbalance among 30-somethings with degrees is exactly the same problem that began to be noticed in secondary schools 15-20 years ago. A number of teachers noticed boys were being overshadowed by girls in class work and results. The problem was denied by educational research at that time, perhaps because the observers put it down to new modes of teaching and group-learning that suited girls more than teenage boys.

Nothing has been done about it and it should be no surprise that women now comprise 60 per cent of tertiary graduates. Women have taken their rightful place in many professions, if not yet reaching the top in fair numbers. They are no longer denied the opportunity to reach their educational potential and society is better for their participation.

The failure of men to foot it with them educationally in equal numbers is no reason to change the education system or promote men undeservedly. The shortage of partners for highly educated women is a problem only men can solve. Get your credentials, boys.

Moving quickly past the question of whether the education system has changed to favour females and whether women have been promoted undeservedly. . .

Being academic equals might do it for some couples, but it takes a lot more to making a strong and enduring marriage than that.

In real life few marry and live happily ever after. A strong and enduring marriage requires a whole lot more from both partners than can be measured by an academic qualification.


Quote of the day

May 4, 2015

But if there is one thing we have learned about being in government, it is that the electorate is always looking forward and not back.

Yes, they want us to implement our election commitments. They want us and in fact expect us to keep our word, and we will.

But more than that, the voters expect a forward-looking agenda from the Government.

. . . They expect a programme that will keep pace with the times and the challenges that they and their families face every day.

That is why is there is no room for complacency.

There is no room for sitting back and thinking that because progress is good that the job is somehow done.

There is always more to do.

And part of that work is staying connected with the electorate – both cities and regions alike – to understand voters’ aspirations and their expectation of government.

Both the Caucus and the party organisation have important roles to play in staying connected. 

My expectation of MPs is that they will work closely with the party to ensure that our connections with local communities are as close as they possibly can be.

Party membership remains at the core of this, and I know that growing membership is a key priority of the Board.

Encouraging more members to become active in campaigns is also important as we head towards seeking a fourth successive election mandate.

So as a party we have a lot of work ahead of us. . . John Key


May 4 in history

May 4, 2015

1008 Khajeh Abdollah Ansari, The Persian Sufi was born (d. 1088).

1256  The mendicant Order of Saint Augustine was constituted at the Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV issued a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.

1343 The four Estonian kings were murdered at the negotiations with the Livonian Order.

1415 Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.

1471  Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeatsed a LancastrianArmy and killed Edward, Prince of Wales.

1493 Pope Alexander VI gave most of the New World to Spain via the papal bull Inter caetera.

1494 Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica.

1626  Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrived in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.

1655 Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian maker of musical instruments, was born (d. 1731).

1675  King Charles II ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

1715 Richard Graves, English writer, was born (d. 1804).

1772 French explorer Marion du Fresne arrived in the Bay of Islands.

Marion du Fresne arrives in Bay of Islands

1776  Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.

1799 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam: The siege of Seringapatam ended when the city was assaulted and the Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.

1814 Emperor Napoleon I of France arrived at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.

1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain signed the Decrete of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism.

1855  William Walker departed from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.

1859  The Cornwall Railway opened across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall.

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ended with a Union retreat.

1869 – The Naval Battle of Hakodate took place in Japan.

1886 Haymarket Square Riot: A bomb was thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, killing eight and wounding 60.

1904  The United States began construction of the Panama Canal.

1904  Charles Stewart Rolls met Frederick Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

1910 The Royal Canadian Navy was created.

1912  Italy occupied the Greek island of Rhodes.

1919  May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations in Tiananmen Squarein Beijing protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.

1923 – Eric Sykes, English actor, director, and screenwriter was born (d. 2012).

1927 – Terry Scott, English actor was born (d. 1994)

1932  Mobster Al Capone began serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.

1937 – D.P. Hulse and T.W. Smith were both killed in the second avalanche to hit the Homer tunnel project in less than 12 months.

1942 World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea began with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands.

1945 World War II: British forces liberated Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.

1945 – World War II: The North Germany Army surrendered to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

1946  U.S. Marines stopped a two-day riot which killed five people at Alcatraz federal prison .

1949 The  Torino football team (except for one player who did not take the trip due to an injury) was killed in a plane crash at the Superga hill at the edge of Turin, Italy.

1950 – Darryl Hunt, English musician (The Pogues)

1953  Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

1961 American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.

1970 Vietnam War:  Kent State shootings: the Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opened fire killing four students and wounding nine others.

1972 The Don’t Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organisation founded in Canada in 1971, officially changed its name to “Greenpeace Foundation“.

1974 An all-female Japanese team reached the summit of Manaslu, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.

1979 Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1980  President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia died in Ljubljana at the age of 87.

1982  Twenty sailors were killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield was hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.

1987 United States Supreme Court building was designated a National Historic Landmark.

1988 The PEPCON disaster rocked  Henderson, Nevada, as tons of space shuttle fuel detonates during a fire.

1989  Iran-Contra Affair: Former White House aide Oliver North was convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges. The convictions are, however, later overturned on appeal.

1990  Latvia proclaimed the renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation.

1994  Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo accords regarding Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

1996 José María Aznar was elected Prime Minister of Spain, ending 13 years of Socialist rule.

1998 Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski  was given four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepted a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.

2000  Ken Livingstone became the first Mayor of London.

2001 – The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed structure in the United States, opened to the public.

2002  An EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 crashed in a suburb of Kano, Nigeria shortly after takeoff killing more than 148 people.

2007  Greensburg, Kansas was almost completely destroyed by a 1.7mi wide EF-5 tornado.

2007 –The Scottish National Party won the Scottish general election and became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.

2014 – Three people were killed and 62 injured in a pair of bombings on buses in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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