Word of the day

December 7, 2017

Minging – foul smelling; stinking.


Thursday’s quiz

December 7, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual bunch of Christmas lillies.


Rural round-up

December 7, 2017

LEGO farmer helps educate about agriculture – Joely Mitchell:

A small Lego farmer has taken the internet by storm, garnering over 13,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

He’s the brainchild of 27 year-old Aimee Snowden, who is passionate about Lego, photography, and agriculture.

Ms Snowden started Little Brick Pastoral in late 2014, as a way to educate a broad range of people about farming by sharing photos of her Lego farmer on-farm. . .

Little Brick Pastoral’s website is here.

Hawke’s Bay winegrowing future uncertain in face of water order – Victoria White:

Although Hawke’s Bay’s wine industry “can live with” some form of water conservation order (WCO) on the upper Ngaruroro River, it may not survive in future if this extends to the lower part.

This is what the special tribunal considering the WCO application was told yesterday, when the hearing reconvened after a week’s break.

The Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association opened the day, represented by legal counsel James Gardner Hopkins and deputy chairman Xan Harding. . . 

Dairy on-farm debt leaves little headroom – Keith Woodford:

The latest statistic for on-farm dairy debt held by banks was $40.9 billion at October 2017. This equates to $22 per kg milksolids.

Despite the major upturn in dairy prices of more than 50 percent that occurred between July and December 2016, and with those improved prices then holding through much of 2017, there were lags for the increase to flow through into farm incomes. Debt therefore continued to climb through to July 2017 reaching $41.2 billion. It then declined by $285 million in the four months through to October 2017. Looking back ten years, the dairy debt remains more than double the 2007 figure of $18.8 billion.

The recent decline in debt is surely a positive sign, but in the greater scheme of things the recent decline is modest. Key questions remain as to the long term financial stability of the dairy industry. . . 

Andrew MacPherson elected to Westland Milk Products Board:

Westland Milk Products shareholders confirmed farm owner, company director and former dairy veterinarian Andrew MacPherson as their newest director at the co-operative’s annual general meeting today (Wednesday 6 December).

MacPherson (BVSc, MBA (Dist), FNZIM) has worked in a range of senior executive roles including as CEO. He has extensive experience across a range of agri-sector businesses as governor, senior manager, business owner and farm owner.

He currently lives in Te Awamutu but is part of an equity partnership, Sewell Peak Farm Ltd, a 365ha dairy property milking 920 cows northeast of Greymouth on the West Coast. . .

Honey producers abuzz overr promisingg harvest – Adriana Weber:

A bumper honey harvest is on the cards for beekeepers around the country, according to Apiculture New Zealand.

The industry body said it was early days, but this year’s honey production season was shaping up to be one of the best in years.

The season runs from October to February and the recent warm weather has helped boost production.

Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos said it was a complete turnaround from last year’s poor season. . .

Bronze woolly wether park feature – Sean Nugent:

New Zealand’s greatest sheep will be immortalised in his own Shrek-themed park in Tarras village set to open in March next year.

A new bronze Shrek statue will be the fore figure of the 1ha park, on land beside the Tarras Village car park.

A 50m to 60m path will wind its way up to the statue, lined with native plants from the Bendigo landscape the world famous sheep once called home, as well as storyboards detailing his story and others from the Tarras area. . . 

 


Quote of the day

December 7, 2017

When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them as if their reason had left them. When it has left a place where we have always found it, it is like shipwreck; we drop from security into something malevolent and bottomless.Willa Cather who was born on this day in 1873.


Labour throwing money at wrong end of education pathway

December 7, 2017

The government has announced some details of its fee-free tertiary education policy:

From 1 January 2018 all New Zealand students who finish school in 2017, or will finish school during 2018, qualify for a year of free provider based tertiary education or industry training.

This policy will also benefit those who aren’t school leavers. Adults who have previously studied for less than half full time year of tertiary education or industry training also will qualify for fees free. . . 

This includes overseas students and those studying courses which may or may not have personal benefit but appear to be of  little if any benefit to the country:

Labour must explain why it believes taxpayers should be paying more for people to study golf, homeopathy and skydiving, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The Government was reluctant to provide any detail on its multi-billion fees-free policy and now we know why – today’s announcement has confirmed a return to the bad old Labour days of funding international hip hop study tours and family reunions.

“Under the criteria outlined today, fees-free study options will include a Diploma in Tournament Golf from IGQ Golf College, a Diploma in Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine from the New Zealand College of Chinese Medicine and a Diploma in Commercial Skydiving.

“While it makes sense that golf students ‘have an in-depth understanding of golf theory’ is it really a high priority for new spending?

“This is just bad policy. This is on top of the Government’s own estimates showing hardly any more students will be enrolling because of this policy, when Labour has justified this spending by saying it wants greater participation in tertiary education.

“Most of the 80,000 students that will benefit would have enrolled anyway and were prepared to make some contribution to the cost of their study because they saw the lifetime value in it.

“New Zealand’s tertiary education system is already heavily subsidised and the average student loan is paid off in less than seven years. This policy will just give even more money to people who will earn high incomes and should contribute something to the cost of their education.

“The policy represents a colossal missed opportunity and grossly untargeted spending. Surely it would be better to invest public money into targeting the very small group for whom cost is a barrier?

“And with all the money being sucked into supporting every full-time student in their first year, it leaves nothing to invest in the tertiary institutions themselves so that they can deliver world-class education that equips the next generation of Kiwis to be internationally competitive.

“The tertiary education sector has been left in the dark for months and it’s only now getting the details of this major policy. It gives the sector less than a month to prepare for the changes – and all for a policy that acts as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.” 

About 80,000 students will qualify for the fee-free year but how much will it cost and how many extra students will enrol because of it?

The Government expects its $339 million first year fee-free tertiary education policy will see an additional 2000 people enter into study or training next year.

That’s nearly $170,000 per extra student, who may or may not go on to finish the course which may or may not be of any more than recreational value.

Meanwhile New Zealand’s literacy score has dropped for the first time in 15 years.

The government can’t be blamed for that result but it can be challenged on why it’s throwing money at first-year tertiary students when it would be far better used much earlier in the education pathway to improve the literacy of school children.

It probably wouldn’t take $170,000 per pupil and it would be addressing an urgent need which the fee-free policy is not.

Labour is throwing money spraying it round the upper end of the education pathway when there’s urgent need for more to be spent at the lower end, carefully targeted at children who are failing at primary school.


December 7 in history

December 7, 2017

521 Saint Columba, Irish Christian missionary to Scotland, was born (d. 597).

43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero was assassinated.

1724 – Tumult of Thorn – religious unrest is followed by the execution of nine Protestant citizens and the mayor of Thorn (Toruń) by Polish authorities.

1732 – The Royal Opera House opened at Covent Garden.

1776 – Marquis de Lafayette attempted to enter the American military as a major general.

1860 – Joseph Cook, 6th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1947).

1862 – US Civil War: Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.

1863 Richard Sears, American department store founder, was born  (d. 1914).

1869 – American outlaw Jesse James committed  his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.

1873 – Willa Cather, American author and poet, was born (d. 1947).

1888 Joyce Cary, Irish author, was born (d. 1957).

1900 Max Planck discovered the law of black body emission.

1921 Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, was born.

1923  Ted Knight, American actor, was born.

1928 Noam Chomsky, American linguist and political writer was born.

1930 W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts broadcast video from the CBSradio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The broadcast included the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

1936 – Australian cricketer Jack Fingleton became the first player to score centuries in four consecutive Test innings.

1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor – The Japanese Navy attacked the US Pacific Fleet and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1943 – Susan Isaacs, American author and screenwriter, was born.

1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia killed 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

1947 – Anne Fine, English author, was born.

1962 Prince Rainier III of Monaco revised the principality’s constitution, devolving some of his power to advisory and legislative councils.

1963 The Bassett Road machine gun murders took place.
Bassett Road machine-gun murders

1963 – Instant Replay was used for the first time in an Army-Navy game by its inventor, director, Tony Verna.

1970 The first ever general election on the basis of direct adult franchise was held in Pakistan for 313 National Assembly seats.

1972  Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched. The crew took the photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth.

1975 Indonesia invaded East Timor.

1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collided with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid Barajas International Airport, killing 93 people.

1984 – The ‘Thank God it’s over’ concert at Auckland’s Aotea Centre ended in a riot.

Queen Street concert ends in riot

1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashed near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shot his ex-boss travelling on the flight, then shot both pilots and himself.

1987 – Alianza Lima air disaster. A plane crashed killing all Alianza Lima team in Ventanilla, Callao, Peru.

1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale killed nearly 25,000, injures 15,000 and leaves 400,000 homeless.

1988 Yasser Arafat recognised the right of Israel to exist.

1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Fergusonmurdered six people and injured 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.

1995 The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

2003 – The Conservative Party of Canada was officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, was shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.

2006 – A tornado struck Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.

2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill began in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collided with the Very Large Crude Carrier,Hebei Spirit.

2015 – The JAXA probe Akatsuki successfully entered orbit around Venus five years after the first attempt.

2016  – Syrian army continued large-scale attack and controlled the revival (Sheikh Lutfi, Marja, Bab al-Nairab, Maadi, Al-Salhin) in the east of Aleppo backed by Russian Air Force and Iranian militias..

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


%d bloggers like this: