Word of the day

May 25, 2015

Bafflegab – incomprehensible or pretentious verbiage;  bureaucratic, confusing or generally unintelligible jargon; gobbledygook.


Rural round-up

May 25, 2015

Extraordinary season for growers as industry gets back on track for growth:

Zespri’s final result for 2014/15 shows an industry that is back on track and revitalized for the strong growth outlook ahead.

The last season has been extraordinary, Zespri Chairman Peter McBride said, with the total fruit and service payment up 17 percent on the previous year to $939 million. Zespri’s global kiwifruit sales reached $1.568 billion, up 16 percent on 2013/14. Export earnings increased by 18 percent to $1.086 billion versus the 2013/14 season. “These strong headline results were achieved because of the effort of growers, the post-harvest sector and the Zespri team onshore and in the markets,” Mr McBride said. . .

Budget 2015: Driving primary sector export growth:

The Government will invest $7.5 million over two years in developing key skills and systems to help boost exports across the primary sector, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.

This investment focuses on key initiatives that will help deliver greater economic growth, including:

  • Identifying new farming systems and processes.
  • Building international consumer trust in New Zealand products.
  • Identifying and prioritising opportunities to increase investment, employment and incomes in the primary sector.
  • Encouraging more people to get involved in the primary industries. . . .

Nominations & entries open for South Island Farmer of the Year:

Nominations and entries are open for the 2015 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition, and organisers are hoping for another record year.

Foundation Chair Ben Todhunter says, “Last year we had record entries followed by the most popular winner’s field day in the history of the competition when more than 400 people turned up to tour Patoa Farms.”

The competition offers a top prize of a $20,000 travel grant to undertake further farm study or pursue farm business opportunities, plus four $5000 awards for the best performers in specific areas such as resource management, consumer awareness, innovation and human resource management. . .

Smart agriculture: What resilient farmers do differently – John Janssen:

Falling milk prices have seen renewed discussion about the tough times ahead for those in the dairy sector, and as such it seems a timely opportunity to share some insights into how farmers can put themselves into the best possible position to overcome the challenges ahead.

Adaptability and resilience have become critical to successful agribusiness ventures and we see time and again that the most profitable and resilient businesses are the ones where the decision-making over a period of time has been of a high standard. . . .

Weaker NZ Dollar Helps Wool Prices:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s Marketing Executive, Mr Paul Steel advises that a weaker New Zealand dollar compared to the last sale on 14th May, kept prices high despite a significant increase in the rostered quantity. Steady demand and exporters struggling to source enough wool to meet shipping requirements added extra strength to the market.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies eased 1.97 percent week on week.

Of the 9,733 bales on offer, 91.4 percent sold. . .

$41.2m for resource management, water reform:

The Government is committing $41.2 million in Budget 2015 to deliver on its priorities for the environment, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

Budget 2015 will invest an additional $20.4 million over four years to provide greater national direction and support to councils in implementing the resource management reforms.

A further $4 million will go towards supporting the Environmental Protection Authority’s role to implement the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) legislation in 2015/16. An additional $16.8 million is allocated to support the Government’s programme of improving the management of freshwater. . .

 


Flag of the day

May 25, 2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There’s more than 1000 in the gallery already.

This one is Twin Koru by Simon McIvor.

flag


Heels still height of misogyny

May 25, 2015

Heather du Plessis-Allan’s says it’s time to give heels a good kicking:

. . .I hate high heels. They’re the modern version of bound feet. I can’t understand how we’ve allowed balancing on one end of a short stick to become essential formal attire for women.

Here’s a little history lesson. High heels were originally worn exclusively by men. That was yonks ago when middle-aged French men still painted on lipstick and fake beauty spots. Heels were designed for riding, because the stirrup would catch quite nicely in the groove and allow the rider to stand up and shoot his gun. They were never worn for walking about.

You should try squeezing your feet into a pair of strappy shoes that look like they’ve been constructed from an electrician’s wiring leftovers and then trying to cross a steep street. If you lean acutely to the right you should just be able to avoid tumbling the other way down the hill. . .

If you’d like to know how bad high heels are for women, watch the next one you see tottering around in them. She’ll lead with her head. She’ll lean forward just a little too much. She’ll lift her knees just a little too high. She’ll pretty much walk like a pigeon. It’s murder for the spine.

I don’t want to be born to a gender doomed to carry my body weight on the balls of my feet. I don’t want to find myself walking around barefoot on my tip-toes long after I’ve taken my shoes off because I’ve grown so used to having Barbie-feet. . . .

It’s nearly three years since I blogged on this saying heels are the height of miogyny:

Being blessed, or cursed, with a thousand acre stride I’ve never been at home in high heels.

My rule of foot is that if I can’t stand, walk and, if need be, run in a pair of shoes, I won’t wear them.

The highest heels I possess aren’t very high at all because I put comfort well ahead of fashion. . .

That post was prompted by a piece in The Age by Anne Summers:

. . . Wearing heels can be uncomfortable and make you vulnerable to tripping or sinking into wet grass; not wearing heels invites the fashion police to denounce you as frumpy.

So, few women leaders will go flat-footed; most of them – like most other women – want to be stylish. But the choices for women today are not just between heels and flats; the height of the heel is the issue, and they have never been higher.

In an era when women are supposedly economically liberated and politically empowered, it seems fashion is doing its best to subvert this. A recent report found that Australian women were the most economically empowered of 128 countries surveyed. Yet, the woman executive or company director wanting a pair of ultra-glamorous Christian Louboutin shoes with their trademark red soles would find herself obliged to totter around on 16-centimetre heels.

“It’s like foot binding – except women are doing it to themselves,” says Kirstie Clements, former editor in chief of Australian Vogue.

She says Louboutin’s original shoe, the classic Pigalle pump, “made you walk sexily, looked beautiful and were comfortable”. They had 8.5-centimetre heels. Today Louboutin’s lowest is 10 centimetres.

These shoes are uncomfortable – “they cripple you before you even leave the house,” Clements says. Models at Alexander McQueen’s 2010 spring show refused to walk down the catwalk wearing his Alien shoes after several were hurt, one requiring knee surgery.

So, if women whose job descriptions require them to don extreme outfits are refusing to wear such shoes, why are ordinary women embracing them with such enthusiasm? Why would a woman who is trying to be taken seriously as a manager, an executive, a director or a politician wear footwear that belongs in the bordello? . . .

Why? Because it’s fashion and it’s very difficult to find shoes which combine comfort and style.

That difficulty also applies to clothes.

A lot of fashion is art, designed to be hung on models who are much taller and far skinnier than the average woman.

Those who thanks to nature, or unhealthy exercise and eating regimes, don’t look like models do their best with what they’ve got and what they can find to wear but it is rare to come across clothes and shoes to match which are both comfortable and stylish.

Heels are still the height of misogyny.

But just as years of scientific evidence on the dangers of the sun hasn’t stopped most of us thinking tanned skin is more attractive, we’ve been conditioned to think legs look better when the feet attached are shod in heels – and it even works for cows.

 


Quote of the day

May 25, 2015

I have seen great intolerance shown in support of tolerance.Samuel Taylor Coleridge


May 25 in history

May 25, 2015

567 BC – Servius Tullius, king of Rome, celebrated a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.

240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

1085 Alfonso VI of Castile took Toledo, Spain back from the Moors.

1420  Henry the Navigator was appointed governor of the Order of Christ.

1521  The Diet of Worms ended when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

1659  Richard Cromwell resigned as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England.

1738  A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ended the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.

1787 In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convened a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presided.

1803 Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher, was born (d. 1882).

1809 Chuquisaca Revolution: a group of patriots in Chuquisaca (modern day Sucre) revolted against the Spanish Empire, starting the South American Wars of Independence.

1810 May Revolution: citizens of Buenos Aires expelled Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the May week, starting the Argentine War of Independence.

1837  The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebelled against the British.

1861 – The first edition of The Press went to press.

1865  In Mobile, Alabama, 300 were killed when an ordnance depot exploded.

1878 Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, American entertainer, was born (d. 1949).

1878  Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore opened at the Opera Comique in London.

1892 Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav resistance leader and later president, was born (d. 1980).

1895  Playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde was convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.

1895  The Republic of Formosa was formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president.

1913  Richard Dimbleby, British journalist and broadcaster, was born (d. 1965).

1914  The United Kingdom’s House of Commons passed the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.

1921 Hal David, American lyricist and songwriter, was born (d. 2012).

1925  John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

1926 Sholom Schwartzbard assassinated  Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of Ukrainian People’s Republic.

1927 Robert Ludlum, American writer was born (d. 2001).

1933 Basdeo Panday, 5th Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, was born.

1935  Jesse Owens broke five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1936 Tom T. Hall, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1936  The Remington Rand strike, led by the American Federation of Labor, began.

1938 Raymond Carver, American writer, was born  (d. 1988).

1938 Spanish Civil War: The bombing of Alicante caused 313 deaths.

1939 Ian McKellen, English actor, was born.

1940  World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk began.

1946  The parliament of Transjordan made Abdullah I of Jordan their king.

1953  At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducted its first and only nuclear artillery test.

1953 The first public television station in the United States officially began broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.

1955 A night time F5 tornado struck f Udall, Kansas, killing 80 and injuring 273.

1955  First ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition.

1959 Julian Clary, British television personality, was born.

1961 Apollo program: John F. Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the moon” before the end of the decade.

1962  The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, went out of business.

1963 In Addis Ababa, the Organisation of African Unity was established.

1966  Explorer 32 launched.

1966 The first prominent DaZiBao during the Cultural Revolution in China was posted at Peking University.

1967  Celtic Football Club became the first Scottish, British and northern European team to win the European Cup, beating Inter 2–1 in the Estádio Nacional, in Lisbon.

1968 – Three people died in the Inangahua earthquake.

1978 Bastion Point protestors were evicted.

Bastion Point protestors evicted

1979  American Airlines Flight 191: A McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashed during takeoff at O’Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground.

1979  Six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from the street just two blocks away from his New York home, prompting an International search for the child, and causing President Ronald Reagan to designate May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day (in 1983).

1981  In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council was created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

1982  HMS Coventry  was sunk during the Falklands War.

1985 Bangladesh was hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which killed approximately 10,000 people.

1997  A military coup in Sierra Leone replaced President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.

1999 The United States House of Representatives released the Cox Report which detailed China‘s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.

2000  Liberation Day of Lebanon. Israel withdrew its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion in 1978.

2001  Erik Weihenmayer  became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

2002  China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 broke apart in mid-air and plunged into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.

2002  A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique killed 197 people.

2009  North Korea allegedly tested its second nuclear device.

2011 – Oprah Winfrey  ended her twenty five year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

2012 – The Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).

2013 – Suspected Maoist rebels killed at least 28 people and injured 32 others in an attack on a convoy of Indian National Congress politicians in Chhattisgarh, India.

2013 – A gas cylinder exploded on a school bus in the Pakistani city of Gujrat, killing at least 17 children and injuring 7 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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