Word of the day

May 29, 2015

WOMADs – weapons of mass adminsitrative delay; regulation which blocks growth.

Hat tip: NBR


For stubborn lids

May 29, 2015

J Bloggs has been offering suggestions in the Friday’s answers post for tools to open jars with stubborn lids, neither of which are like the one I have.

I don’t know how to get a photo in a comment so here’s what I mean:

jar

When you squeeze the bottom arm it allows you to adjust the size of the grip.


Rural round-up

May 29, 2015

Top deer environment award winners announced – Kate Taylor:

Central Hawke’s Bay farmers George Williams and Laura Billings were presented with the Elworthy Environment Award at the deer industry conference in Napier on Tuesday night.

The couple have a 1188ha business, including home farm Te Maire, in the Tikokino area with sheep, beef and cropping as well as deer.

Williams has a personal passion for deer with a focus on velvet with a venison by-product.

Velvet production for the 2014/15 season was a total of 2550kg (including 278kg of regrowth). Te Maire has also hosted the Wilkins Farming North Island stag sale since 2010. . .

Chefs to serve up kiwi venison in Euorpean restaruants –  Kate Taylor:

New Zealand venison will be eaten at European restaurants this summer.

Thirty-six ambassador chefs in Belgium and the Netherlands will be serving cervena venison on their menus in a trial as part of a Passion2Profit initiative formally launched at the Deer Industry Conference in Napier on Tuesday. . .

NZ heading for lowest wool clip in 6 years as farmers favour meat breeds, sheep flock declines – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand, the world’s largest exporter of crossbred wool, is heading for its smallest annual wool clip in six years, reflecting the lowest sheep flock in more than 70 years, dry conditions and an increased focus on meat producing breeds of sheep.

New Zealand will probably produce 138,400 tonnes of greasy wool, or 833,700 wool bales, in the annual season that runs through June, down 5.4 percent on the year earlier, according to farmer-owned industry organisation Beef + Lamb New Zealand. That would mark the lowest level since the 2008/09 season when the clip dropped to 132,400 tonnes as farmers eschewed a second shear in the face of low wool prices. . .

Support for dairy farmers ramped up:

Industry body DairyNZ is ramping up its support to dairy farmers following the announcement today by Fonterra of an opening forecast Farmgate Milk Price of $5.25 per kgMS for the 2015-16 season.

Chief executive Tim Mackle says DairyNZ had already been working on boosting its Tactics for Tight Times campaign to help farmers cope with what is likely to be a “very tough and grim season”.

“By our calculations, this forecast will translate into an average farmer’s milk income dropping by $150,000 for this next season. We’ve worked out that the breakeven milk price for the average farmer now going forward is $5.70 kgMS, yet under this forecast scenario they’ll only be receiving $4.75 all up in terms of farm income including retro payments from last season and dividends. Annual farm working expenses will need to be reduced to minimise increasing debt levels further. The flow-on impacts to the local economy will be significant as that money gets spent on things like feed, fertiliser, repairs and maintenance items. There will also be less capital spending in our sector. . .

Well-oiled operation sees rapid growth – Harrison Christian:

WAYNE and Maureen Startup never dreamed the four olive trees in their Havelock North backyard would turn into 17,000.

But that is what happened, after they decided to go full-time with their hobby 15 years ago.

The Village Press, which takes its name from their hometown, is the biggest and most competitive olive oil operation in New Zealand. Its high-quality olive and avocado oils are stocked on shelves around the world – and the business continues to grow. . .

Farmers ready to put irrigation funds to good use:

Federated Farmers says farmers will put to good use a $25m funding boost, from the recent Budget, for investigation and development of irrigation projects.

The Government has put $25m into the Irrigation Acceleration Fund through the next five years to kick-start regional irrigation projects.

Federated Farmers spokesperson on water, Ian Mackenzie, says the Government is quite right to identify nearly every part of New Zealand as being hit by drought in the past three years. . .

Plant disease world first in Bay:

A Peruvian plant disease will be used in a world first biocontrol against a notorious weed in the Bay of Plenty and Northland

Lantana blister rust (Puccinia lantanae) was recently released in the Bay and Northland regions in an attempt to control lantana – considered one of the world’s 10 worst weeds.

Landcare Research scientists have been searching for biocontrols before it becomes widespread. . .

Input Prices Rise for Sheep And Beef Farmers:

Prices for inputs used on New Zealand sheep and beef farms increased 1.1 per cent in the year to March 2015, according to the latest Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Economic Service sheep and beef on-farm inflation report.

The sheep and beef on-farm inflation report identifies annual changes in farm input prices in New Zealand for the various expenditure categories. The on-farm inflation rate is determined by weighting the individual input category price changes by their proportion of total farm expenditure.

B+LNZ Economic Service chief economist Andrew Burtt says the increase in the 2014-15 year follows a 0.6 per cent decrease the previous year and was driven by rises in prices of interest and, local and central government rates and fees. It was only partly offset by a fall in fuel prices as fuel accounts for less than 5 per cent of sheep and beef total farm expenditure. . .

Pasture and Performance Loan to lift red meat productivity:

New Zealand’s largest rural lender today launched an extended lending package for red meat farmers wanting to boost farm productivity.

ANZ Bank’s Pasture and Performance Loan offers an interest rate of 5%* p.a. with a maximum loan of $100,000. The maximum loan term is five years, principal reducing, and there are no establishment fees. . .


Friday’s answers

May 29, 2015

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: I’m giving him a Useful Pot to Keep Things In, . . and to whom was he giving it?

2. What is an aglet?

3. It’s chose in French, cosa in Italian and Spanish and  mea in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is a gnomon?

5. What useful thing/s other might not have that you’d put in your ideal kitchen?

Points for answers:

Andrei got four right (right characters in wrong order for #1) and a bonus for extra information.

Tracey got two and J Bloggs got four.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Flag of the day

May 29, 2015

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

There’s more than 2000 in the gallery already.

This one is  From Our Past to Our Future – 6 by Barbara Peddie:

flag


Greenwash not green

May 29, 2015

Green Party co-leader aspirant James Shaw has just got his learners’ licence:

. . . Aged 16, Mr Shaw decided he would not learn to drive for environmental reasons. He has maintained that stance while living in Wellington, Brussels, and London.

Now that electric cars are more readily available, the 42 year-old is planning to change his policy, and has gained his learner licence. . .

Does he travel in cars that other people drive, does he travel in taxis, does he use products which are transported by land sea or air, does he fly . . .?

Not driving but being driven or flown isn’t being green it’s greenwash that defies logic.

If this is the sort of intellectual rigour the politician and his party apply to their policies and practices they are destined to remain on the loopy left of the political spectrum.


Working as it should

May 29, 2015

The New Zealand dollar has fallen to a four-year low in the wake of yesterday’s announcement of a reduced payout from Fonterra:

The kiwi touched 71.27 US cents, its lowest since March 2011, and was trading at 71.74 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 72.42 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 75.26 from 75.92 yesterday. . . .

This is the floating currency working as it should and a lower dollar will make it a little easier for all exporters.


Opt in should be rule for any deductions

May 29, 2015

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is proposing a law change which could drastically reduce Labour Party funds:

. . . After leading the Tory Party to its first majority for 23 years, Mr Cameron unveiled legislation that could see donations to Labour fall by tens of millions of pounds every year.

In a surprise move the Conservatives introduced a new law to reform the way union activists pay a “political levy” to Labour.

Under the Conservative plans, union members will have to opt-in to paying an annual amount to Labour, rather than opting out as at present.

It will dramatically reduce Labour’s funding from the unions and would significantly hamper the party’s ability to fight general elections.

In Northern Ireland, which has an opt-in system, fewer than 40 per cent of union members chose to pay into political fund. Under the current system in the rest of the UK just 8.8 per cent of union members opt out. . .

It’s a long time since I paid any union dues. Back then membership was compulsory and I have no memory of being asked my views on the union donating to any political party.

Now that union membership is voluntary does anyone know if union deductions here are opt in or opt out and how much say members have on donations from the unions to political parties?

This move may well be politically motivated but it is based on an important principle. The rule for any deductions from people’s pay should be opt in not opt out, except those like tax, child support and fines which are mandatory.

The opt-in rule should apply not only to deductions from pay but to any add-ons to purchases, for example insurance or other extras when you book travel, too.

Hat tip: Tim Worstall


Quote of the day

May 29, 2015

. . . outside politicised bubbles, most do not think in terms of “left” and “right”. Outside the political world, most think in terms of issues to be addressed in a way that is convincing, coherent, and communicated in a language that people understand. Statistics and facts won’t win the support of millions; we’re human beings, we think in terms of empathy. Stories are more persuasive, because they speak to us emotionally. . .Owen Jones writing on lessons for the left from the victory of Podemos in Spain’s regional elections.


May 29 in history

May 29, 2015

363 Roman Emperor Julian defeated the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but was unable to take the city.

1167 Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III was defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel.

1176 Battle of Legnano: The Lombard League defeated Emperor Frederick I.

1630 Charles II of England was born (d. 1685).

1414  Council of Constance.

1453 Byzantine-Ottoman Wars: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih sacked and captured Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.

1660 English Restoration: Charles II (on his birthday) was restored to the throne of Great Britain.

1677  Treaty of Middle Plantation established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives.

1727  Peter II became Tsar of Russia.

1733 The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves was upheld.

1780 American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Waxhaws Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton massacred Colonel Abraham Buford’s continentals.

1790  Rhode Island became the last of the original United States‘ colonies to ratify the Constitution and was admitted as the 13th U.S. state.

1848  Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th U.S. state.

1864  Emperor Maximilian of Mexico arrived in Mexico for the first time.

1867  The Austro-Hungarian agreement – Ausgleich (“the Compromise“) – was born through Act 12, which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1868  The assassination of Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia.

1874  G. K. Chesterton, English novelist, was born (d. 1936).

1886 Chemist John Pemberton placed his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, it appeared in the Atlanta Journal.

1900 – N’Djamena was founded as Fort-Lamy by French commander Émile Gentil.

1903 Bob Hope, British-born comedian and actor, was born (d. 2003).

1903  May coup d’etat: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, were assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization.

1906 T.H. White, British author, was born (d. 1964).

1913 Igor Stravinsky‘s ballet score The Rite of Spring received its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot.

1914  Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives.

1917 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was born (d. 1963).

1919Einstein’s theory of general relativity was tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington’s observation of a total solar eclipse in Principe and by Andrew Crommelin in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil.

1919 The Republic of Prekmurje founded.

1924  AEK Athens FC was established on the anniversary of the siege of Constantinople by the Turks.

1935  The Hoover Dam was completed.

1939  Albanian fascist leader Tefik Mborja is appointed as member of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.

1940  The first flight of the F4U Corsair.

1941 Doug Scott, British mountaineer, was born.

1942  Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”.

1945 Gary Brooker, musician (Procol Harum), was born.

1945  First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.

1948  Creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation

1950  The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia .

1953 Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay’s (adopted) 39th birthday.

Hillary and Tenzing conquer Everest

1954  First of the annual Bilderberg conferences.

1959 Rupert Everett, English actor, was born.

1961 Melissa Etheridge, American musician, was born.

1963 Tracey E. Bregman, American actress, was born.

1967 Noel Gallagher, English musician (former Oasis), was born.

1969  General strike in Córdoba, Argentina, leading to the Cordobazo civil unrest.

1973  Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

1975 Melanie Brown, English musician and actress (Spice Girls), was born.

1978 Adam Rickitt, British actor, was born.

1982 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral.

1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: At the European Cup final in Brussels 39 football fans died and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses after Liverpool F.C. fans breached a fence separating them from Juventus F.C. fans.

1985  Amputee Steve Fonyo completed cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months.

1988  U.S. President Ronald Reagan began his first visit to the Soviet Union.

1990 The Russian parliament elected Boris Yeltsin president of the Russian SFSR.

1999  Olusegun Obasanjo took office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule.

1999 Space Shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station.

1999 – Charlotte Perrelli won the Eurovision Song Contest 1999  for Sweden with the song Take Me to Your Heaven.

2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in at tournaments.

2004  The National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

2008 – A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck Iceland near the town of Selfoss, injuring 30 people.

2012 – A 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit northern Italy near Bologna, killing at least 24 people.

 

2014 – Ignatius Aphrem II is enthroned as the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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