366 days of gratitude

September 19, 2016

Spring starts slowly in the garden but day by day plants which have been resting over winter make their appearance.

Today’s discovery was dog’s-tooth violets (Erythronium dens-canis if you want to get technical) spreading bright yellow cheer alongside the path through the trees and I’m grateful for them.


Word of the day

September 19, 2016

Dittohead – an unquestioning supporter of an idea or opinion expressed by a particular person or organization; one who mindlessly agrees with an idea or opinion.


Voting age women outnumber men

September 19, 2016

Statistics New Zealand has marked Suffrage Day with a media release which says voting-age women in New Zealand outnumbered men by about 137,000 at the 2013 Census, and women are more likely to vote.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year, Suffrage Day (September 19) comes just as local government voting papers go out on 16–21 September.

Census figures showed there were more than 1.66 million women in New Zealand aged 18 years and over (18+), compared with about 1.53 million men.

Women on average live longer than men which will account for some of the difference but just as women are more likely to vote, I wonder if they’re more likely to fill out census forms.

Women are more likely than men to vote in general and local government elections, according to past Statistics NZ General Social Surveys. In a survey after the 2011 general election more than 80 percent of women said they voted, compared with about 77 percent of men.

Almost 95 percent of women and men aged 65+ years said they voted in the 2011 general election, compared with just over half of those aged 18 to 24.

Voter turnout is lower for local government elections, at less than 65 percent for women and 62 percent for men. However, 87 percent of all those aged 65+ said they’d voted in local elections in a 2012 survey, compared with just 28 percent of people aged 18 to 24.

Census figures for 2013 showed there were 1.19 million European women in New Zealand aged 18+ years. There were about 193,000 Māori women in that age group, closely followed by almost 187,000 Asian women. Pacific women aged 18+ totalled about 90,000.

The candidates in my district and regional council wards have been elected unopposed which means the only decision I’ll have to make is whether to support the sitting mayor, Gary Kircher, or his challenger whose name escapes me.

The mayor is generally considered to have worked well in his first term so I’ll be voting to give him a second one.


Rural round-up

September 19, 2016

Officials crack down on dairy farmers for breaching employment obligations – Gerard Hutching:

Officials have discovered that half of the 28 dairy farms they visited in the last two months in Waikato were in breach of their employment obligations and have fined some farmers $2000 each.

The Labour Inspectorate has promised a nationwide crackdown on employers who fail to keep written employment agreements or time records. Maximum fines can reach $20,000 for serious breaches.

Federated Farmers dairy spokesman Andrew Hoggard said he could not defend the farmers.

“There are no excuses. Employment agreements have been around since 1991 so they can’t say they don’t know,” Hoggard  said. . .

Tenacity and vision mark tenure – Guy Williams:

One of Queenstown’s most respected community servants has hung up his chainsaw. Peter Willsman, the driving force behind the region’s ground-breaking wilding tree control group, has stepped down as co-chairman. Queenstown reporter Guy Williams asks him why, and looks at his legacy.

Wilding trees throughout the Wakatipu — and probably in the rest of the country as well — may well be standing a little taller this week.

That is because one of their biggest scourges, Peter Willsman, has called time on his leadership role in the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG).

Co-chairman since the group’s formation in 2009, he announced his resignation at its annual “reporting night” last week. . . 

100 farmers dump milk following silo collapse – Vaughan Elder:

About 100 farmers in Otago and Southland were forced to dump milk over the weekend in  the aftermath of the milk silo collapse at Fonterra’s Edendale site.

Fonterra has called in engineers from around New Zealand and the world to try to get the plant fully operational again after the silo collapsed  on Friday, bringing down an overhead gantry carrying large steam pipes.

Neighbours reported hearing a  loud boom about 1.50pm, followed by the  sound of steam escaping from the ruptured pipes, a noise which continued for about 30 minutes.

One said it sounded like a Boeing 747 flying low overhead. . . 

Farm trends shut yards – Neal Wallace:

The South Island’s largest sale yards at Temuka in South Canterbury are benefiting from competitors closing but could not take anything for granted, Temuka Saleyards Company chairman Ian Bowan says.  

The company has spent more than $100,000 on electronic ear tag readers and was planning a new effluent disposal system.  “We’ve kept up with everything. We haven’t got behind,” he said.  

News the Tinwald yards in Ashburton would close later this year confirmed a trend of consolidation of sale yards around the country, some closing and others holding fewer sales.  

Closures in recent years included Cromwell, Matamau near Dannevirke and Studholme and Holme Station in South Canterbury. . . 

Synlait’s Profit Triples in Fy16, Launches Next Growth Phase:

Synlait’s reported net profit after tax (NPAT) has more than tripled to $34.4 million for the financial year ending 31 July 2016.

Driven by an almost fourfold increase in canned infant formula volumes and growth in powder and cream product volumes, the positive result has also set the foundation for Synlait’s next phase of growth.

“Synlait is a growth company. Our FY16 performance highlights the progress we’ve made since our IPO in 2013 towards our aspiration of making more from milk,” said Chairman Graeme Milne.

“We are continuing this momentum with an accelerated pro-rata entitlement offer to eligible shareholders[1] to raise approximately $98 million in support of our next growth phase. Investing in further capital projects to expand our capability and capacity will put us in a strong position to pursue customer, product and market development opportunities in the coming years,” said Mr Milne. . . 

Quality can sell grain – Annette Scott:

New Zealand grains are in a league of their own and should be marketed as such, industry leaders say.  

Heavy reliance on the dairy industry had affected arable growers’ returns so they suggested other principle markets should be explored.  Market trends, challenges and opportunities were the focus of a grains forum held in Canterbury on Thursday.  

Facilitated by the Grain and Seed Trade Association (GSTA) in conjunction with the Foundation for Arable Research and Federated Farmers, the forum stimulated thinking around plans for future action in the grains sector. . . 

Prices keep heads shaking – Hugh Stringleman:

Keen demand for young cattle for restocking will centre on sale yard prices for 100kg weaners from the end of the month, AgriHQ livestock market analyst Rachel Agnew says.  

The weaner market was expected to open with prices well over $4/kg liveweight, probably $4.50 to $4.80.  

“Inquiry levels are starting to build up and the first weaner calves are an eagerly anticipated part of the annual cattle cycle,” she said.  

Buying weaners was a way of stocking up with the lowest financial outlay. . . 

Computing giant includes rural secondary schools in “vision’ competition:

HP New Zealand (HP NZ) is asking rural students to share their vision of how they think they will learn in the future to be in the running to win a share of $26,000 worth of HP products and support.

The HP Rural Schools Competition, in its third year, gives rural New Zealand primary schools – and for the first time this year – secondary schools, the chance to win HP technology and support best suited to the school’s needs. Entries are open now. . . 

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Why men shouldn’t vote

September 19, 2016

It’s the 123rd anniversary of New Zealand women gaining the right to vote.

Apropos of this, Alice Duer Miller wrote in 1915:

Why we oppose votes for men:

1: Because man’s place is in the army.

2. Because no  really manly man  wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.

3. Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to the,.

4. Because men will lose their charms if they step out of the natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms and drums.

5. Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct in baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government.


Quote of the day

September 19, 2016

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.  Sir William Golding who was born on this day in 1911.

He also said:

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

And:

Language fits over experience like a straight-jacket.

And:

Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.


September 19 in history

September 19, 2016

335  Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.

1356  In the Battle of Poitiers, the English defeated the French.

1676 Jamestown was burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.

1692 Giles Corey was pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.

1777  First Battle of Saratoga/Battle of Freeman’s Farm/Battle of Bemis Heights.

1796 George Washington’s farewell address was printed across America as an open letter to the public.

 

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Luka – Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeated a Confederate force commanded by General Sterling Price.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris began.

1881 President James A. Garfield died of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting.

1882 Christopher Stone, first disc jockey in the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1965).

1889 – Sarah Louise Delany, American physician and author, was born (d. 1999).

1893 The Governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Women's suffrage day

1911 Sir William Golding, English writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1993).

1927 Nick Massi, American singer and guitarist (The Four Seasons), was born (d. 2000).

1930 – Derek Nimmo, English actor, was born (d. 1999).

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor, was born.

1934 Brian Epstein, English musical group manager (The Beatles) (d. 1967).

1934  – Austin Mitchell, English academic and politician, was born.

1940 – Zandra Rhodes, English fashion designer, founded the Fashion and Textile Museum, was born.

1940 Bill Medley, American singer and songwriter (The Righteous Brothers), was born.

1940 – Paul Williams, American singer-songwriter and actor, was born.

1940 Witold Pilecki was voluntarily captured and sent to Auschwitz in order to smuggle out information and start a resistance.

1940 – Paul Williams, American composer, was born.

1941 Mama Cass Elliot, American musician, was born (d. 1974).

1944  Armistice between Finland and Soviet Union was signed ending theContinuation War.

1944  – Edmund Joensen, Faroese politician, 9th Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, was born.

1945  – Kate Adie, English journalist and author, was born.

1945  Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) was sentenced to death in London.

1946 The Council of Europe was founded following a speech by Winston Churchill at the University of Zurich.

1948  – Jeremy Irons, English actor, was born.

1949 Twiggy, English model, was born.

1952  The United States barred Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England.

1957  First American underground nuclear bomb test.

1959  Nikita Khrushchev was barred from visiting Disneyland.

1961  Betty and Barney Hill claimed  they saw a mysterious craft in the sky and that it tried to abduct them.

1970  The first Glastonbury Festival was held at Michael Eavis’s farm.

1970  Kostas Georgakis, a Greek student of Geology, set himself ablaze in Matteotti Square in Genoa, as a protest against the dictatorial regime of Georgios Papadopoulos.

1971 Montagnard troops of South Vietnam revolted against the rule of Nguyen Khanh, killing 70 ethnic Vietnamese soldiers.

1972 Matt Cockbain, Australian rugby player, was born.

1972 A parcel bomb sent to Israeli Embassy in London killed one diplomat.

1973 Investiture of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

1974 – Jimmy Fallon, American comedian and talk show host, was born.

1976 Turkish Airlines Boeing 727 hit the Taurus Mountains killing all 155 passengers and crew.

1982 Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons :-) and :-(on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System.

1983  Saint Kitts and Nevis gained  independence.

1985 An earthquake killed thousands and destroyed about 400 buildings in Mexico City.

1985  Tipper Gore and other political wives formed the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testified at U.S. Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music.

1989  A terrorist bomb exploded on UTA Flight 772 in mid-air above the Tùnùrù Desert, Niger, killing 171.

1991  Ötzi the Iceman was discovered by German tourists.

1995 The Washington Post and The New York Times published the Unabomber’s manifesto.

1997  Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria; 53 killed.

2006  Thai military staged a coup in Bangkok; the  Constitution was revoked and martial law declared.

2010 – The leaking oil well in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was sealed.

2011 – Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees surpassed Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball’s all time saves leader with 602.

2013 – Disney closed 3 of its MMO games, Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Pixie Hollow Online

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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