Word of the day

June 6, 2019

Psittacistic  – pertaining to automatic, mechanical, repetitive, and meaningless speech with no thought given to the meaning of the words spoken; speech or writing that appears mechanical or repetitive in the manner of a parrot; the mechanical repetition of previously received ideas or images, without true reasoning or feeling; repetition of words or phrase.


Sowell says

June 6, 2019


Rural round-up

June 6, 2019

Making the most of beef and lamb – Daniel Birchfield:

Inspiration and collaboration are what Oamaru’s Pablo Tacchini is enjoying most about being a Beef + Lamb NZ ambassador chef.

That was on show at his restaurant, Cucina, as part of the 2019 Beef + Lamb NZ ambassador series on National Lamb Day last Friday.

Mr Tacchini and platinum ambassador chef Michael Coughlin, of Dunedin, created a six-course menu for more than 60 guests that focused on fine New Zealand cuts. . .

Oamaru man with 60 years’ experience in market gardens receives Queen’s Birthday Honour – Joanne Holden:

An Oamaru man who has helped the growth of several key organisations in the district has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Peter Lee, 82, has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for dedicating more than 60 years to horticulture and the Chinese community.

The honour was “humbling” for Lee as he considered his dedication to the groups he is involved in as “just part of being in the community”.

“I’m quite humbled,” he said. . . 

AgResearch project to determine whether dairy cows can be potty trained – Gerald Piddock:

Potty training Daisy the cow and the rest of New Zealand’s 4.99 million-strong dairy herd may seem fanciful, but that is exactly what AgResearch scientists are attempting in a new study.

While it is still at the experimental stage, if successful it could significantly reduce nitrogen loss on farms because it would help farmers better capture cow effluent before it made its way into waterways. It would improve hygiene in dairy sheds and give farmers greater control over where effluent is applied on pasture. . . 

M Bovis: 129 farms cleared of cattle disease, 43 ‘actively infected’ – MPI:

More than 100,000 cattle have now been culled as part of the government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme.

Figures released by the Ministry for Primary Industries also showed 171 properties had been confirmed as having the cattle disease.

Mycoplasma bovis can cause lameness, mastitis and abortions in cows and was first detected in New Zealand by the ministry in 2017.

In a stakeholder update, the ministry said of the 171 farms found to have the disease, 129 had now been cleared of cattle and declared safe to repopulate. . . 

Alliance Group invests in Dannevirke and creates 35 regional jobs:

Alliance Group is investing a further $1.4 million in improvements to its Dannevirke plant as it seeks greater efficiencies in processing. 

The 100 percent farmer-owned co-operative is re-configuring processing operations and investing in additional technology at the plant in southern Hawke’s Bay, bringing total investment at Dannevirke to $12 million in the past year.

The improvements to the plant’s lamb and sheep processing capabilities will increase the plant’s capacity by 20 percent. The company will re-configure product flows, install additional vacuum-packaging capacity and introduce additional downstream labelling and strapping equipment. . . 

A tax on red meat? That won’t save the planet – or do much to improve our health – Julian Baggini:

The devil is a shape-shifter, not least when he takes the form of demonic foods. In response, the armies of the righteous have already waged war on sugar, and now red meat is in their sights. This time their cause seems doubly just. Red meat, we are told, is not only bad for our health, but the belching and farting ruminants that we farm are ruinous for the planet.

Emboldened by the apparent success of the sugary drinks tax, the weapon of choice to slay this monster is a similar levy on meat. Oxford University’s professor of population health, Mike Rayner, has even done the maths, and concludes that we need to tax red meat by 20% and processed meat by at least 100% to offset their costs to human health.

On the face of it, the meat tax looks like an appetising idea. But once you start putting some flesh on its bare bones it starts to look less savoury. I’ve become even more convinced about this after taking part as a juror in a Food Policy on Trial event hosted by the Food Ethics Council, of which I am a member. This intensive, exploratory half-day exercise heard from four experts, with questions from jurors and an audience made up mostly of food industry and policy experts. . .


Driving on another planet

June 6, 2019

A New Zealand Transport Association tool shows 87% of road speeds are higher than is safe:

. . . The agency’s online risk assessment tool, Mega Maps, uses a range of factors such as road width and stereotype, shoulder width, roadside hazards and alignment to calculate the safe and appropriate travel speed.

Mega Maps suggests only 5 percent of the open road should have the current 100 kilometre an hour speed limit, and in most cases a speed of 60-80 km/h should apply.

For most urban areas, Mega Maps suggests the safe and appropriate speed would be 30-40 km/h . . 

Road design is one factor in making driving less safe. New Zealand roads could be much better but plans by the previous government to improve some by building four-lane highways were canned by this one.

I do most of my driving on the open road and it’s rare to have a longer trip when I’m not caught behind someone dawdling along at 10, 20 or more kilometres an hour below the legal, and safe for most, speed limit.

There are times when the road is hilly and windy, the light is poor and/or the weather inclement when slower speeds are appropriate but driving at 60 – 80 kph on most roads most of the time, providing the driver isn’t distracted,  tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, would be a recipe for frustration.

It would also put a handbrake on the economy:

A wholesale reduction in speed limits could do more harm than good by further isolating regional New Zealand and weakening the economy, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

Media reports today reveal the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) estimates 87 per cent of our roads have speed limits that are too high for the conditions. Its mapping tool suggests many roads with a 100kmh speed limit should be reduced to as low as 60kmh.

“We all want safer roads, and while reducing speed limits across the board might be the easiest thing to do, it is too simplistic and would have huge implications for our way of life,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“Slower roads would impact regional New Zealand severely. Drastic speed limit cuts might mean it would take 45 minutes longer to get to New Plymouth from Hamilton, for example. In terms of isolation, that’s the equivalent of shifting the city another 60 kilometres out to sea.

“There would also be significant economic costs. If it suddenly took 30 per cent longer to move freight the same distance our national productivity would drop substantially, freight costs would rise and our international competitiveness would fall.

“A smaller economy would invest less in healthcare, for example, ultimately costing lives. Houses would be more expensive to build and the price of food would go up. These broader implications need to be considered fully.

“Over the past three years the road toll has risen, and we should absolutely be focused on understanding why. But it’s worth remembering that speed alone is not the cause.

“Other factors include drugged-driving, enforcement of current laws around drink-driving, not wearing seat belts, the quality of our roads, driver distraction and a huge increase in tourism.

“The Government should reverse its policy of not investing in quality new roads, and deal with its blind spot on drugged drivers. It has resolutely ignored the issue for nearly 18 months and it is appalling that the Minister in charge of road safety, Julie Anne Genter, is opposed to roadside drug testing because of her Green Party’s liberal approach to drugs.

“If the Government is truly concerned about saving lives on our roads, then why did the Budget show a cut, in real terms, to road safety policing?”

Most people don’t drive on a whim for the sake of it. We drive to get somewhere we need to go and want to get there in the shortest time we can safely do it.

Then there’s the people who drive for a living, many of whom are those who transport goods.

Slower legal speeds would add to the hours truck drivers would take to get from one place to another and curtail the distance they could travel without going over the time limits imposed on their driving for safety’s sake. It would also raise issues of animal welfare for those transporting stock.

Recommending that only 13% of roads can be safely driven at 100 kph suggests the tool is designed for driving on another planet.


Quote of the day

June 6, 2019

Left wing…Right wing…it’s so limited; why doesn’t it ever occur to any of them that what one is really longing for is the wishbone?”  ― Jan Struther who was born on this day in 1901.


June 6 in history

June 6, 2019

1508 Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, was defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces.

1513 Italian Wars: Battle of Novara. Swiss troops defeated the French under Louis de la Tremoille, forcing the French to abandon Milan. Duke Massimiliano Sforza was restored.

1523 Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden, marking the end of the Kalmar Union.

1644 The Qing Dynasty Manchu forces led by the Shunzhi Emperor captured Beijing during the collapse of the Ming Dynasty.

1654 Charles X succeeded his abdicated cousin Queen Christina to the Swedish throne.

1674 Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire was crowned.

1683 The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opened as the world’s first university museum.

1752 A fire destroyed one-third of Moscow, including 18,000 homes.

1799 Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet, was born (d. 1837).

1808 Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte was crowned King of Spain.

1809 Sweden promulgated a new Constitution, which restores political power to the Riksdag of the Estates after 20 years of Enlightened absolutism.

1813 War of 1812: Battle of Stoney Creek – A British force of 700 under John Vincent defeated an American force three times its size under William Winder and John Chandler.

1823 Samuel Leigh and William White established Wesleydale, a Wesleyan (Methodist) mission station at Kaeo, near Whangaroa Harbour.

Wesleyan mission established

1832 The June Rebellion of Paris was put down by the National Guard.

1833 U.S. President Andrew Jackson became the first President to ride a train.

1841 – Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish author and publisher, was born (d. 1910).

1844 The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London.

1857 Sophia of Nassau married the future King Oscar II of Sweden-Norway.

1859 Queensland was established as a separate colony from New South Wales (Queensland Day).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Memphis – Union forces captured Memphi, from the Confederates.

1868 Robert Falcon Scott, English explorer was born (d. 1912).

1882 More than 100,000 inhabitants of Bombay were supposedly killed in the so-called ‘Bombay Cyclone of 1882‘, but this has proved a hoax and did not happen.

1882 The Shewan forces of Menelik defeated the Gojjame army in the Battle of Embabo. The Shewans capture Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam, and heir victory leads to a Shewan hegemony over the territories south of the Abay River.

1889 The Great Seattle Fire destroyed downtown Seattle, Washington.

1892 Chicago El began operation.

1894 Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners’ strike.

1901 – Jan Struther, English author and hymn writer, was born (d. 1953).

1903 – Bakht Singh, Indian evangelist,  bible teacher and preacher, was born (d. 2000).

1906 Paris Métro Line 5 was inaugurated with a first section from Place d’Italie to the Gare d’Orléans.

1912 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska began.

1918 World War I: Battle of Belleau Wood – The U.S. Marine Corps suffered its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Chateau-Thierry.

1919 The Republic of Prekmurje ended.

1921 The Southwark Bridge in London, was opened for traffic by King George V and Queen Mary.

1923 V. C. Andrews, American author, was born (d. 1986).

1925 The Chrysler Corporation was founded by Walter Percy Chrysler.

1926 – Erdal İnönü, Turkish physicist and politician, Prime Minister of Turkey, was born  (d. 2007).

1932 The Revenue Act of 1932 was enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per US gallon (1/4 ¢/L) sold.

1933 The first drive-in theatre opened, in Camden, New Jersey.

1934 King Albert II of Belgium, was born.

1934 New Deal: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Securities Act of 1933 into law, establishing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

1936 Levi Stubbs, American musician (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2008).

1939 Adolf Hitler gave a public address to returning German volunteers who fought as Legion Kondor during the Spanish Civil War.

1942 Battle of Midway. U.S. Navy dive bombers sank the Japanese cruiser Mikuma and four Japanese carriers.

1944 Battle of Normandy began. D-Day, code named Operation Overlord, commenced with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy.

1944 Alaska Airlines commenced operations.

1946 The Basketball Association of America was formed in New York City.

1954 – Allan Hewson, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1956 Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player, was born.

1962 – Grant Fox, New Zealand rugby player and sportscaster, was born.

1964 Under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven,Germany, were terminated.

1966 James Meredith, civil rights activist, was shot while trying to march across Mississippi.

1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy died from his wounds after he was shot the previous night.

1971 Soyuz 11 launched.

1971 A midair collision between a Hughes Airwest Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a United States Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighter near Duarte, California claimed 50 lives.

1971 Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Khanh between Australian and Vietnamese communist forces began.

1974 Sweden became a parliamentary monarchy.

1981 A passenger train travelling between Mansi and Saharsa, India, jumped the tracks at a bridge crossing the Bagmati river.

1982 1982 Lebanon War began. Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invaded southern Lebanon in their “Operation Peace for the Galilee“.

1983 – Joe Rokocoko, Fijian rugby player and All Black was born.

Joe Rokocoko.jpg

1984 The Indian Army attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar following an order from Indira Gandhi.

1985 The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” was exhumed in Embu, Brazil; the remains found were later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”.

1986 – Gin Wigmore, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1988 – Israel Dagg, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Israel Dagg at World Cup Parade.jpg

1990 U.S. District court judge Jose Gonzales rules that the rap album As Nasty As They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew violated Florida’s obscenity law; he declared that the predominant subject matter of the record is “directed to the ‘dirty’ thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind.”

1993 Mongolia held its first direct presidential elections.

1996 – Commissioned by Genesis Energy, New Zealand’s first commercial wind farm opened in the windy hills of Wairarapa.

New Zealand’s first wind farm becomes operational

1999 In Australian Rules Football, Tony Lockett broke the record for career goals, previously 1299 by Gordon Coventry which had stood since 1937.

2002 A near-Earth asteroid estimated at 10 metres diameter exploded over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The resulting explosion was estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.

2004 Tamil was established as a Classical language by the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.

2005 The United States Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana, in Gonzales v. Raich.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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