365 days of gratitude

August 18, 2018

Dinner with old friends and new – a delicious meal complemented by entertaining company and lots of laughter for all of which I’m grateful.


Warwick Roger – 1946 – 16.8.18

August 18, 2018

Warwick Roger, one of New Zealand’s best journalists, has died.

The pioneering magazine editor, Warwick Roger, has died at the age of 72.

Once described as the best New Zealand journalist of his generation, Mr Roger changed the face of magazines in this country.

He worked at several newspapers, becoming a feature writer and columnist, before being appointed in 1981 as founding editor of Metro – the country’s first glossy city magazine. . .

The NZ Herald has tributes from journalists here.


Word of the day

August 18, 2018

Prebunk – to give thorough reports complete with context and facts; provide pre-emotive inoculation messages to misinformation; to provide an antidote to, or vaccination against, fake news.


Saturday’s smiles

August 18, 2018

A chemist walked into a pharmacy and asked the pharmacist, “Do you have any acetylsalicylic acid?”

“You mean aspirin?” asked the pharmacist.

“That’s it! I’m never very good with names,” the chemist replied.

 

 

A physicist, a biologist, and a chemist were going to the coast for the first time.

The physicist saw the ocean and was fascinated by the waves. He said he wanted to do some research on the fluid dynamics of the waves and walked into the ocean and drowned and disappeared.

The biologist said he wanted to do research on the flora and fauna inside the ocean and walked inside the ocean. She too drowned and was never seen again.

The chemist waited for a long time and afterwards, wrote the observation, “The physicist and the biologist are soluble in ocean water.”

 

Three statisticians went deer hunting.

They spotted one off in the distance. The first one shot about a meter too high; the second one, about a meter too low; the third one yelled, “We got it!”


Rural round-up

August 18, 2018

A New Zealand farmer looks at subsidies through a different lens – Craige Mackenzie:

A $12-billion “assistance package” to American farmers sounds like a great deal, at least for the recipients: a one-time payment that is intended to soften suffering caused by trade wars and low commodity prices, from a White House that sincerely wants to help.

I have a different perspective. As a farmer in New Zealand who once received government subsidies and then lost them, I speak from experience when I say that agriculture is much better off when governments stay out of our business and let us grow our food without interference.

The federal assistance package is in fact a devil’s bargain: It would deliver short-term benefits but also create long-term problems for American farmers. . .

Law to get tough – Neal Wallace:

Primary Industries Ministry officers now have greater search and surveillance powers than police, lawyers say.

The new law passed under urgency by Parliament strengthens the National Animal Identification and Tracking Act and allows officials to enter farms unannounced without a warrant to search for and seize items.

Penalties under the changes vary from infringement fees of $400 up to fines of $200,000 and five years in jail. 

Ashburton law firm Tavendale and Partners partner Kirsten Maclean said the powers contradict claims MPI wants to work with farmers over the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. . .

YFC champ adds dairying venture – Hugh Stringleman:

The Kidd family has expanded its farming interests in the Auckland province with the purchase of a medium-sized dairy farm and some adjacent leased land for grazing at Shelly Beach on the south Kaipara Head. Hugh Stringleman went to hear about the new venture.

The Kidds have gone to Philadelphia, in the United States, for the wedding of son Hamish, a New York-based investment banker, to an American woman.

Conversations on the long flights and while away among parents Richard and Dianne, of Whenuanui Farm, Helensville, their three sons and their respective partners will feature the latest expansion of the family farming enterprise. . . 

Drought proofing a dry continent – Viv Forbes:

Earth is a blue watery planet.

70% of its surface is covered by oceans of salt water, some of which are extremely deep. These oceans contain about 97% of Earth’s water. Another 2% is locked up in snow, ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% of Earth’s surface water in inland seas, lakes, rivers and dams. We have plenty of water, but not much to drink.

In addition to these vast surface water supplies, water vapour is the fourth most abundant gas in the atmosphere, after nitrogen (76%), oxygen (21%) and Argon (1%). Moisture in the atmosphere varies from almost zero over deserts and ice caps up to 4% over the wet tropics. (Carbon dioxide is a miniscule 0.04%). . .

Wrightson posts record earnings, lowers dividend and eyes reinvestment options – Tina Morrison:

 (BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson, which is selling its dominant seed and grain business, posted record full-year earnings but lowered its final dividend payment to shareholders, saying it was eyeing reinvestment opportunities.

Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose to a record $70.2 million in the year ended June 30, in line with its forecast for earnings at the top end of its guidance range of $65 million to $70 million, and ahead of $64.5 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said. One-time items pulled net profit after tax down to $18.9 million from $46.3 million. . .

Zespri launches industry realignment process:

World leading horticultural company, Zespri Group Limited lodged several key documents to support its strategically important industry realignment initiative today, with MinterEllisonRuddWatts advising on the targeted share issue and buy-back.

Zespri’s Product Disclosure Statement, Disclose Register Entry and the Buy-Back Disclosure Document were today submitted to the Registrar of Financial Service Providers for review by the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority, as well as lodged on the USX Share trading platform. . .

Frankie Goes to Wellywood – and Deer Milk stars in the show:

Frankie Goes to Wellywood – and Deer Milk stars in the show

Deer Milk was up in lights last night at the first of three special evenings that chef Frank Camorra from Melbourne restaurant MoVida is presenting in conjunction with Wellington restaurant Logan Brown and Visa Wellington on a Plate.

In his first trip to the capital, Camorra’s menu features the ingredient that is lighting up fine dining in New Zealand. . .


When locals won’t work . . .

August 18, 2018

The Meatworkers’ Union isn’t happy that Alliance Group is bringing in  100 overseas workers for its Southland plants.

New Zealand Meatworkers Union said there were plenty of local workers vying for jobs that could now be going to overseas workers.

However, the company is standing firm. It said it was recruiting abroad to cover a worker shortage. . . 

The union’s Otago-Southland secretary Gary Davis said the decision would hit some Southland families hard.

The seasonal work often meant workers would finish at one plant and go to the other for additional work, Mr Davis said.

“If these people are brought in from overseas they’ll get a job there so they’ll fill in those positions.”

About 30 people could miss out on the additional work, he said. . .

Good local workers were applying to work at the plants, but they were being rejected, he said.

There was not enough education, training or support to assist more Southland workers to enter the industry, he said. . . 

The company has a different story.

Alliance Group refused to be interviewed today but in a statement, manufacturing general manager Willie Wiese said employing and upskilling New Zealanders was always their preference.

Sourcing seasonal workers remained one of its biggest challenges, despite running extensive recruitment campaigns.

Unemployment is now down to a level where most of those out of work don’t want to, or can’t, work.

Challenges in the meat industry include getting enough workers who are drug and alcohol free and who want to work the whole season.

Meat company workers earn big money for a few months and some of them decide they have earned enough part way through the season and no longer want to work full time, if at all.

The company might prefer to employ and train locals but it they won’t work it has to look for overseas workers who will.


Saturday soapbox

August 18, 2018

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Science is simply the word we use to describe a method of organising our curiosity.  – Tim Minchin


August 18 in history

August 18, 2018

293 BC  The oldest known Roman temple to Venus was founded, starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica.

1572 Marriage in Paris of the future Huguenot King Henry IV of Navarre toMarguerite de Valois, in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics.

1587 Virginia Dare, granddaughter of governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, became the first English child born in the Americas (d.?).

1634  Urbain Grandier, accused and convicted of sorcery, was burned alive in Loudun France.

1774 – Meriwether Lewis, American soldier, explorer, and politician, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was born (d. 1809).

1819 – Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia, was born (d. 1876).

1848  Camila O’Gorman and Ladislao Gutierrez were executed on the orders of Argentine dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Globe Tavern – Union forces tried to cut a vital Confederate supply-line into Petersburg, Virginia, by attacking the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

1868 – French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen discovered helium.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Gravelotte .

1877  Asaph Hall discovered Martian moon Phobos.

1885 Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist, was born  (d. 1964).

1891 Major hurricane struck Martinique, leaving 700 dead.

1892 – Soon after the development of the modern bicycle, Australasia’s first women’s cycling club opened in Christchurch.

First women's cycling club in Australasia formed

1903 German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flew his self-made, motored gliding aeroplane four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers.

1904 – Max Factor Jr, Polish-born cosmetics entrepreneur, was born  (d. 1996).

1908 – Bill Merritt, New Zealand cricketer and sportscaster, was born (d. 1977).

1909 Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presented Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees.

1910 – Champion rower Dick Arnst won a race on the Zambezi River.

Champion rower Dick Arnst wins race on Zambezi River

1914 – Lucy Ozarin, psychiatrist, United States Navy lieutenant commander, was born.

1917  A Great Fire in Thessaloniki, Greece destroyed 32% of the city leaving 70,000 individuals homeless.

1920 Shelley Winters, American actress, was born  (d. 2006).

1920 The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.

1925 – Brian Aldiss, English author and critic, was born.

1935 Sir Howard Morrison, New Zealand entertainer, was born (d 2009).

1935 Robert Redford, American actor, was born.

1937 – Sheila Cassidy, English physician and author, was born.

1938  The Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York State, United States with Ontario, Canada over the St. Lawrence River, was dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1941 Adolf Hitler ordered a temporary halt to Nazi Germany’s systematic euthanasia of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests.

1943 – Carl Wayne, English singer and actor (The Move, The Hollies, and The Vikings), was born (d. 2004).

1944 – Robert Hitchcock, Australian sculptor and illustrator, was born.

1949 – Nigel Griggs, English bass player, songwriter, and producer (Split Enz and Schnell Fenster), was born.

1950  Julien Lahaut, the chairman of the Communist Party of Belgium was assassinated by far-right elements.

1952 Patrick Swayze, American actor, was born  (d. 2009).

1955 – 20 year-old Edward Te Whiu was hanged for murder.

20-year old hanged for murder

1956 – Sandeep Patil, Indian cricketer and coach, was born.

1957 – Ron Strykert, Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Men at Work), was born.

1958  Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita was published in the United States.

1961 – Huw Edwards, Welsh-English journalist and author, was born.

1963 American civil rights movement: James Meredith became the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

1965 Vietnam War: Operation Starlite began – United States Marines destroyed a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in the first major American ground battle of the war.

1966 Vietnam War: the Battle of Long Tan – a patrol of 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment encountered the Viet Cong.

1969  Jimi Hendrix played the unofficial last day of the Woodstock festival.

1971 Prime Minister Keith Holyoake announced to Parliament the decision to withdraw New Zealand’s combat force from Vietnam before the end of the year.

Deadline for Vietnam pull-out announced

1976 In the Korean Demilitarized Zone at Panmunjeom, the Axe Murder Incident resulted in the death of two US soldiers.

1977  Steve Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 in King William’s Town, South Africa. He later died of the injuries sustained during this arrest.

1982  Japanese election law was amended to allow for proportional representation.

1983  Hurricane Alicia hit the Texas coast, killing 22 people and causing over USD $1 billion in damage (1983 dollars).

1989  Leading presidential hopeful Luis Carlos Galán was assassinated near Bogotá in Colombia.

2000 A Federal jury finds the US EPA  guilty of discrimination against Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, later inspiring passage of the No FEAR Act.

2005 Massive power blackout in  Java, affecting almost 100 million people.

2008 President Of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf resigned due to pressure from opposition.

2008 – War of Afghanistan: Uzbin Valley ambush occurred.

2017 –  –The 2017 Turku attack took place in Finland – 10 people were stabbed, two of whom died.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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