366 days of gratitude

August 3, 2016

If there’s a convenient time for the heating in your house to stop it’s not when it’s pouring with rain, the temperature’s only five degrees outside and you’re expecting a guest for the night.

I’d turned the radiator in the spare bedroom on early this afternoon and discovered it wasn’t working when I checked it a couple of hours later.

My farmer investigated and discovered there was no power to the motor which drives the system. Moments later he discovered the fridge wasn’t working either.

A check of the fuse box showed why. That was easily fixed and once it was sorted the heating was too for which I’m very grateful.


Word of the day

August 3, 2016

Avoska – a string bag; netted sack; a perhaps bag  (carried by Russians on the off-chance they would stumble across a store selling something worth buying and would be able to carry it home).

Hat tip: Tim Worstall


Rural round-up

August 3, 2016

DairyNZ: break-even cost pared back as farmers lift efficiency:

Industry body DairyNZ says the increased dividend and the maintained $4.25 per kg MS Fonterra Farmgate Milk Price is some good news for farmers with shares.

But another positive is also emerging – New Zealand dairy farmers have sharpened their systems and reduced costs through this sustained low milk price period.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says while the milk price will continue to keep pressure on farmers this season, the industry’s performance in cost-cutting on-farm means break-even costs have been reduced. . . 

TB Differential Levy:

New Zealand’s meat processors have for some years collected a single uniform biosecurity levy on beef and dairy cattle at meat processors to pay for the costs of TB eradication. Following a review undertaken last year, the Government and DairyNZ agreed that dairy farmers shall pay for a greater share of their share contribution to TB eradication via a differential levy paid on dairy cattle at meat processors.

Meat processors opposed this differential levy on dairy cattle at meat processing. Meat processors believe that it is contrary to good public policy for costs to be charged at the point of production where they do not arise – in this case, costs incurred by dairy farmers should have been met by a charge on their dairy production, rather than through a complex system of differentiating dairy and beef cattle at meat processing. . . 

Walker First Woman to Walk Away with Rural Real Estate Award:

Katie Walker accepts her award from Brennon Skipper (CEO of realestate.co.nz).

Taumarunui farmer Katie Walker, is the first woman to receive the coveted REINZ Rural Rising Star of the Year award.

Katie has made her mark, after her first year in the traditionally male dominated rural sector of the real estate industry. She joined the Property Brokers rural team three weeks after her second baby was born. “I had been in rural retail trade for years, left to have a family and wanted to come back to something more flexible,” she said.

“I went for the interview and I knew this was it.”

Independent travellers bring tourism dollar to new regions:

A new report into New Zealand’s tourism sector says travellers are looking to regional New Zealand for a more ‘authentic’ Kiwi experience.

In its latest report on the tourism sector, consumer behaviour analysts Marketview has looked at the spending patterns of tourists around the country, and Managing Director Stephen Bridle says the results mean good news for regional New Zealand.

“Our figures show confident, independent tourists want unique and authentic experiences centred on specific interests. Those here for cycling, golf, fishing and even shopping can find something uniquely Kiwi almost anywhere in the country.” . . 

Wood and carbon values boost forest interest:

Significant rises in New Zealand carbon prices and positive prospects for exported timber may signal a renaissance for forest plantings, with new opportunities for landowners and investors alike in coming years.

Since April the value of carbon prices in New Zealand have almost doubled to $18/tonne after languishing as low as $2.50 a tonne only two years ago.

Meantime log prices have remained relatively firm, sitting $15 a tonne above their five year average with some strong price signals over the past year coming from traditional markets including China and increasing market share to India and South Korea. As of May export values were up 6% in value on a year to year basis. . . 

Agcarm President Mark Christie to the 69th Agcarm Annual Conference:

New Zealand farmers and growers have been exporting food and fibre for over 150 years. Our primary industry export revenue is estimated to reach over $36.7 billion in the year ending June 2016.

Over this time innovation and research based science has allowed New Zealand farmers and growers to become world leaders in productivity and quality – with New Zealand well placed to help feed a growing global population.

These gains are increasingly at risk due to the politicising of science which is leading to its marginalisation. So arguing for sensible science is one of our industries greatest challenges. . . 

Production imminent at NZ’s first commercial scale biodiesel plant:

New Zealand’s first commercial-scale biodiesel plant today received its first delivery of inedible tallow, which enables the beginning of biodiesel production.

Z Energy’s $26 million biodiesel plant at Wiri, Auckland, is now in the commissioning phase and will start to produce high quality, sustainable biodiesel later this month. At the plant’s peak of production it will produce 20 million litres of biodiesel, which will be supplied as a biodiesel / mineral diesel blend to both commercial and retail customers across much of the upper half of the North Island.

Z’s General Manager of Supply and Distribution, David Binnie, said the delivery of tallow was a milestone which has been years in the making. . . 

Ten Year Milestone for Central Otago Wine Industry Ambassador Programme:

Telling the world about Central Otago’s wines and proving to people who sell those wines just how spectacular they are, is the job of Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd (COPNL).

COPNL’s latest group of brand ambassadors flew out of Queenstown airport at the end of last week, marking the completion of COPNL’s tenth iconic ‘E’Sensual’ event.

E’Sensual has been part of the Central Otago wine industry’s event calendar each year since 2007, and is targeted at international and national wine specialists who enjoy a first-hand taste of what the region’s wine industry has to offer. The 2016 E’Sensual marked the tenth anniversary of the event and celebrated the 150th E’Sensual guest hosted in the region. . . 

PGG Wrightson says annual profit rose about 20%; shares gain –  Paul McBeth

(BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson shares gained 4.5 percent after it said full-year profit rose about 20 percent and operating earnings beat guidance, which had already been upgraded on the strength of the horticulture and beef sectors.

The Christchurch-based company today said trading beat expectations “due to a variety of factors” and that operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation exceeded $68 million in the year ended June 30. Wrightson raised its earnings forecast in June, predicting ebitda of between $65 million and $68 million in the year, though down from $69.6 million in 2015. . . 


Linguistic facism

August 3, 2016

Saatchi and Saatchi chair, Kevin Roberts, has been put on leave after saying in an interview that gender bias in advertising business doesn’t exist.

The interview was in Business Review:

Roberts said: “Edward de Bono [the physician, psychologist, and author] once told me there is no point in being brilliant at the wrong thing — the fucking debate is all over. This is a diverse world, we are in a world where we need, like we’ve never needed before, integration, collaboration, connectivity, and creativity … this will be reflected in the way the Groupe is.”

Publicis Groupe has around a 50/50 gender split amongst all its staff, while around 65% of Saatchi’s staff are female as the agency wants to reflect the buyers of the types of products it is advertising, Roberts added.  . . 

Roberts said he doesn’t spend “any time” on supposed gender issues at his agencies at all — saying the issue is “way worse” in sectors like financial services, where there are “problems left, right, and center.”

Where this is a gender-related challenge at Saatchi, he said, is elevating female creatives into top roles.

“We have a bunch of talented, creative females, but they reach a certain point in their careers … 10 years of experience, when we are ready to make them a creative director of a big piece of business, and I think we fail in two out of three of those choices because the executive involved said: ‘I don’t want to manage a piece of business and people, I want to keep doing the work’,” Roberts said.

Historically, advertising companies have looked at this kind of scenario as a failure — but Roberts, who earlier in our conversation suggests it’s an area that his company “can’t figure out,” later suggests that perhaps agencies would do well to look at the issue through a different lens.

“If you think about those Darwinian urges of wealth, power, and fame — they are not terribly effective in today’s world for a millennial because they want connectivity and collaboration. They feel like they can get that without managing and leading, so maybe we have got the definition wrong,” Roberts said.

Women are saying: “We are not judging ourselves by those standards that you idiotic dinosaur-like men impose”

Rather than holding ambitions to progress into the higher echelons of the c-suite, many women — and men — simply want to be happy and do great work, which management can often overlook, Roberts said.

He added: “So we are trying to impose our antiquated shit on them, and they are going: ‘Actually guys, you’re missing the point, you don’t understand: I’m way happier than you.’ Their ambition is not a vertical ambition, it’s this intrinsic, circular ambition to be happy. So they say: ‘We are not judging ourselves by those standards that you idiotic dinosaur-like men judge yourself by’. I don’t think [the lack of women in leadership roles] is a problem. I’m just not worried about it because they are very happy, they’re very successful, and doing great work. I can’t talk about sexual discrimination because we’ve never had that problem, thank goodness.” . . .

Below the interview is the statement from Publicis saying Roberts has been placed on leave immediately:

Following the comments made by Saatchi & Saatchi Executive Chairman and Publicis Groupe Head Coach, Kevin Roberts, in a recent interview with Business Insider, Publicis Groupe Chairman & CEO, Maurice Lévy addressed a statement internally to all Publicis Groupe employees to reiterate the Groupe’s no-tolerance policy towards behaviour or commentary counter to the spirit of Publicis Groupe and its celebration of difference as captured in the motto Viva la Difference!

It is for the gravity of these statements that Kevin Roberts has been asked to take a leave of absence from Publicis Groupe effective immediately. As a member of The Directoire, it will ultimately be the Publicis Groupe Supervisory Board’s duty to further evaluate his standing.

Diversity & inclusion are business imperatives on which Publicis Groupe will not negotiate. While fostering a work environment that is inclusive of all talent is a collective responsibility, it is leadership’s job to nurture the career aspirations and goals of all our talent.

Promoting gender equality starts at the top and the Groupe will not tolerate anyone speaking for our organisation who does not value the importance of inclusion. Publicis Groupe works very hard to champion diversity and will continue to insist that each agency’s leadership be champions of both diversity and inclusion.

Not PC says Roberts has been suspended for honesty:

NZer Kevin Roberts was “suspended” from his job as head of the Saatchi advertising empire for saying companies should be judged by how happy they make their female employees happy, not by how many with female parts occupy the boardroom. The feminazis rose up in droves.  “People like Kevin Roberts no longer belong in ad agencies,” thundered the politest of the commentariat.We’re supposed to back his sacking say Twitterati, because this is apparently offensive to all right-thinking social-justice warriors. Get with their programme, Kev!

But what did he say that was so wrong, wonders Elena Shalneva? What’s wrong with being honest about “gender diversity”?

Not only is he well-informed on the subject, but he approaches the complex issue of gender diversity in a more intelligent and nuanced way than most…
From what I have read, there is absolutely nothing wrong with what Roberts said. On the contrary, he dared to approach an issue as sensitive as gender diversity in an honest and humane way, rather than resort to the one-sided ideological statements more customary to this subject.

Karl du Fresne  echoes that:

. . . The irony is that Roberts may not have been downplaying women’s legitimate career ambitions at all, but instead was wondering aloud whether there were better options for women than relentlessly pursuing advancement as men do. That was the interpretation placed on his remarks in a discussion (between women, as it happened) that I heard on the BBC.

Not that it matters. Men are not permitted to discuss such things. . . .

Whether or not Roberts is right is a matter of opinion.

I didn’t read anything in his comments that showed any criticism of diversity and inclusion.

On the contrary, like Not PC and du Fresne I read  a suggestion of another way of looking at work and success, that Roberts points out applies to some men too.

Whether or not he’s right, the reaction of the business is concerning. They put up no argument to refute Roberts, they simply stood him down.

That looks very like the linguistic fascism P.D. James criticises in today’s quote above.


GDT up 6.6% WMP up 9.9%

August 3, 2016

This morning’s auction resulted in a very welcome 6.6% increase in the GlobalDairyTrade price index.

GdT.3816

Whole milk powder, which largely determines the milk payout increased 9.9%.

G.dt3.816

gdt3816

One auction isn’t enough to say the worst is over, but it’s a sign that falling production is beginning to influence the price.


Quote of the day

August 3, 2016

I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism. P. D. Phyllis Dorothy) James who was born on this day in 1920.


August 3 in history

August 3, 2016

8  Roman Empire general Tiberius defeated Dalmatians on the river Bathinus.

881  Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu: Louis III of France defeated the Vikings, an event celebrated in the poem Ludwigslied.

1492  Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

1527  First known letter was sent from North America by John Rut.

1645  Thirty Years’ War: Second Battle of Nördlingen (Battle of Allerheim).

1678  Robert LaSalle built the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

1783  Mount Asama erupted in Japan, killing 35,000 people.

1801 Joseph Paxton, English gardener, was born (d. 1865).

1811 Elisha Graves Otis, American inventor, was born (d. 1861).

1811  First ascent of Jungfrau, third highest summit in the Bernese Alps.

1852 First Boat Race between Yale and Harvard, the first American intercollegiate athletic event. Harvard won.

1860 The Second Land War began in New Zealand.

Newzealandwarsmemorial.jpg

1860 W. K. Dickson, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1935).

1867 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1947).

1872 – Anthony Trollope, one of the Victorian era’s most famous novelists, landed at Bluff at the start of a two-month tour of New Zealand.

1887 Rupert Brooke, English poet, was born (d. 1915).

1900 The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded.

1913  Wheatland Hop Riot.

1914  – World War I: Germany declared war against France.

1916   Battle of Romani – Allied forces, under the command of Archibald Murray, defeated an attacking Ottoman army, under the command ofFriedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, securing the Suez Canal, and beginning the Ottoman retreat from t.e Sinai.

1920   P. D. James, English novelist, was born (d.2014).

1923 Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States following the death of Warren G. Harding the previous day.

1924 Leon Uris, American novelist, was born (d. 2003).

1926 Tony Bennett, American singer, was born.

1934  Adolf Hitler beaome the supreme leader of Germany by joining the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer.

1936  Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

1938 Terry Wogan, Irish television presenter, was born.

1940  Italy began the invasion of British Somaliland.

1941 Five days after its arrival in Wellington, the four-masted barquePamir was seized in prize by the New Zealand government, which then regarded Finland as ‘territory in enemy occupation’.

Finnish barque Pamir seized as war prize

1941 Martha Stewart, American media personality, was born.

1949  The National Basketball Association was founded in the United States.

1958 The nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travelled beneath the Arctic ice cap.

1960  Niger gained independence from France.

1972  The United States Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1975 A privately chartered Boeing 707 crashed into the mountainside near Agadir, Morocco killing 188.

1981  Senegalese opposition parties, under the leadership of Mamadou Dia, launched the Antiimperialist Action Front-Suxxali Reew Mi.

1985 Sonny Bill Williams, New Zealand rugby and league footballer, was born.

1997  Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre in Algeria; 40-76 villagers killed.

2001  The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Ealing injuring seven people.

2005  President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup while attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

2007 Keeping Stock was launched.

2010 – Widespread rioting erupted in Karachi, Pakistan, after the assassination of a local politician, leaving at least 85 dead and at least 17 billion Pakistani rupees (US$200 million) in damage.

2014 – A 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed at least 617 people and injured more than 2,400 in Yunnan, China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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