Did you see the one about . . .

09/09/2009

Show Time at In A Strange Land – old crafts and new junk at the Adelaide Show.

Post election polls for new governments at Kiwiblog.

Why all the talk about a new currency at The Visible Hand.

 Accidental Rape? at Macdoctor  who says ACC isn’t the right place for rape cliams.

Referendum Madness from Andrew Geddis at Pundit.

Lazarus a real nowhere man  at Inquiring Mind – we can but hope and in a similar vein Out of the ashes I rise . . . at Dim Post.

Hit Me Baby – Laughy Kate shows how low a blogger can go when driven to compete.

No photos it’s x-rated – at Kismet Farm where there’s no privacy in the horse paddock.

The Artist’s New Rubbish at Opinionated Mummy a rewrite of an old story for modern times.

Apropos of the art is rubbish issue this issue see also:

Rubbish? Art? but I repeat myself  at Not PC

Art that isn’t  at Lindsay Mitchell

Rubbish is not art by Lucia Maria at NZ Conservative

and

Modern Art is Rubbish  at Quote Unquote.

Bits on the Side for Sale at Bits on the Side – another blog bites the dust.


Did you see the one about . . .

09/07/2009

The science news cycle at Anti-Dismal

Office of devil’s advocacy 2 at Stephen Franks

Risky Behaviour at Frenemy

Weight Watchers and the historical astrocities argument  at M&M

The Office  at No Minister

Careful with the paradox of thrift at The Visible Hand in Economics

Apostrophe errors undermine credibility  at Bill Bennettnz (hat tip rivettingKate Taylor)

And a new (to me) blog: This New Zealand Life


Did you see the one about. . .

07/06/2009

 Pipe specification  at Somethingshouldgohere

Unintentional arrogance at Open Parachute

Why economics is hard  at The Visible Hand

Worthy pursuits – cough at Rob’s Blockhead

5 ways for banks to improve their on-line banking services  at Interest.Co.NZ

S59 amendment vitimises 2nd parent at Monkeywithtypewriter

Significant risk factor for child abuse omitted at Lindsay Mitchell

Hating on Teh Fatties at In A Strange Land

Weird Art Quiz at Artandmylife

A car quiz at Not PC

Ground rules in the first, second and third person at The Hand Mirror

Undomestic godess at Pundit

A puff too far  at Macdoctor

And a couple of newish  (to me) blogs:

Beverlyspills

Birdsofparadise – from Nicole Were, a New Zealander living in Yellowknife in the northwest of Canada (interviewed for the best song segment on Afternoons by Jim Mora on Thursday)


Did you see the one about . . .

30/05/2009

Recessions don’t hurt everyone at The Visible Hand in Economics

The Wesleys 1 at Musty Moments (numbers 2 -6 are also funny) Hat Tip: found via My First Dictionary at Kiwiblog

Cow breeding 101  at Kismet Farm

A New Zealnder opened a bank account today  at Watching Brief

Wondering at Craft is the New Black

Conversation wiht Myself about Obesity at Dim Post

Road Code Politics at MacDoctor

10 feminist motherhood questions from Blue Milk at In A Strange Land

Sommat Better at The Bull Pen

Extra-Ordinary at Bowalley Road

In which my cake geekery reaches new levels at The Hand Mirror


Did you see the one about . . .

01/05/2009

The Next Einstein won’t be British  at NZ Conservative

Why is science important?  at Open Parachute

A Green Conundrum  at Frenemy

Alcohol & Addiction Part II at the Visible Hand in Economics

Incentives Matter Bible File  at Anit-Dismal

Gob.Smacked  at The Hand Mirror

The Great Tamiflu Swindle  at Monkey with Typewriter

Press complaint: exploitation of mental illness at Kiwipolitico

Autumn in the Park  at Half Pie

Compounding errors  at Kismet Farm


Did you see the one about . . .

12/04/2009

Pirates are not all bad  at Anti-Dismal

Simon the Cyrenian (An Easter Song)  at Bowalley Road

A Tale of Two Cultures at Macdoctor

The view from a roofer’s recession  at The New Yorker (HatTip: Inquiring Mind)

Woman eats 51 of world’s hottest chilles in one sitting  at Farmgirl

Economists: more human than you think at the Visible Hand in Economics

The Art of borrowing  at Cactus Kate

All you wanted to know about the OIA but were afraid to ask  at goNZoFreakpwoer

Obsessing about weight in terms of not obsessing about weight  at 2bSophora

Le traison de clercs (and the journalists)  at Micky’s Muses


Spotlighting acne deters teen loiterers

09/04/2009

Spot the good idea.

First it was playing Barry Manilow music to keep teen loiterers away, now it’s special lights that spotlight acne.

Hat Tip: Visible Hand in economics


Did you see the one about . . .

05/04/2009

Feeding the Fish  at O Audacious Book

The Cold War  at Fifi Verses the World

This proof’s a lemon  at Visible Hand in Economics

Government car warranties at Anti-Dismal

How would you feel about a man in a skirt at Laughy Kate

Above and below  at Stellar Cafe

What to do with old bread  at In A Strange Land


Did you see the one about . . .

27/03/2009

The Wool Over our Eyes at NZ Conservative – does the Dim Post have a rival for satire?

Clark to take Tizard to New York at The Dim Post

Tall Poppies & Patriots at MonkeyWithTypewriter

Are nations just larger unions at The Visible Hand in Economics

How economics can get you a date at Anti-Dismal

ACC & the oh-shit circuit  and The dipstick a 21st century measurement system at Frenemy

The Slow Death of GP Services at Macdoctor

Biffo on the bog at Inquiring Mind

If you can imagine at Rob’s Blockhead

Land as woman at The Hand Mirror

One of the beauties of having a small brain . . .  at Laughy Kate


The money or the holiday

25/03/2009

Some of our staff take all the holidays owing to them and more; we have to insist others take all they’re entitled to.

Those who take extra time off won’t be affected by the proposal to allow workers to choose the fourth week’s holiday or an extra week’s pay; those who aren’t keen to take what they’re eligible for will happily take the money instead of  packing a bag for a  fourth week off.

Four weeks holiday plus 11 statutory days off adds up to six working weeks plus a day off work in a year. Not everyone wants that much so now they’ll have a choice of taking the money instead.

The existing policy gives workers a vacation which many turn into a staycation, because they can’t afford to go away. National’s policy will enable them to choose a paycation instead.

It’s each worker’s choice, and if blogs are anything to go by this is clearly understood by those on the right but not on the left.

Kiwiblog approves the move and notes the fear and ignorance from opponents. 

Keeping Stock  agrees with the Herald editorial.

Oswald Bastable will be happy to take the cash and use it for his annual holiday.

Whaleoil is please the government will let employees buy back holidays.

The Visible Hand in Economics thinks it’s an excellent policy, thinks the Greens have got it wrong and has a more detailed discussion.

Monkeywithtypewriter may not consider himself politically right but he’s right on this when he says four weeks entitlement, pull the other one.

Meanwhile the sky is falling on the left where:

Bomber at Tumeke! doesn’t understand that the four week’s entitlement doesn’t kick in until a year has been worked so has nothing to do with the 90 day trial period.

No Right Turn takes a very jaundiced view  of employers.

And The Standard is doesn’t believe in good faith.


Did you see the one about . . .

14/03/2009

A new study has revealed that if you don’t eat you’ll eventually die at Laughy Kate.

Fonterra Blues at Quote Unquote.

Drug companies vs doctors at the Visible Hand in Economics.

Only Turn Left at Watching Brief.

On the dismal science at Anti-Dismal.

I think I get it now from The NZ Home Office  (a new blog which has joined my list of regular reads).

The teacher robot at Lolly Scramble.

The reinstatement of titular land titles at Pundit.


How green can we grow?

11/03/2009

When environmental concerns hit economic realities something’s got to give and if the conflict is between addressing hunger and staying in business now versus saving the planet for the future, cost and volume will be two of the deciding factors.

That’s why I don’t think Barney Foran  is on the right track when he says that if New Zealand farmers don’t lead the world in environmentally sustainable production we’ll be forced out of business.

He predicts that within a decade, meat will be marketed on its greenhouse gas emissions as well as water quality, biodiversity assets and cultural values. “Tomorrow’s meat enterprises will focus on product quality first, backed up by measured and low environmental impacts, austere production chains, avoidance of most chemicals and heavy metals and making farmed landscapes waterwise, biodiverse and beautiful.”

Food is already being marketed on greenhouse emissions. Last week I was shown packaging from French sausages. My French isn’t up to translating all the writing but it was obvious the little green box was showing the carbon emissions generated in production.

That will be a consideration for those who can pay to be choosey but not everyone can and even at the top end of the market price matters. Looking after the environment is important but if we don’t supply affordable food we’ll be out of business in much less than 20 years.

If that happened the world would be going hungry or else producers in other countries would fill the gap left as our production dropped and their production methods may well have a much larger environmental footprint than ours.

Commenting on  Foran’s view, Farmgirl asks if environmental concerns are a higher priority than food itself.

They shouldn’t be. Sustainability is supposed to be a three legged stool which gives equal value to environmental, economic and social concerns. If we concentrate on the environment at the expense of the other two factors the stool will fall over.

The issue also comes up at Mother Jones:

When most of us imagine what a sustainable food economy might look like, chances are we picture a variation on something that already exists—such as organic farming, or a network of local farms and farmers markets, or urban pea patches—only on a much larger scale. The future of food, in other words, will be built from ideas and models that are familiar, relatively simple, and easily distilled into a buying decision: Look for the right label, and you’re done.

But that’s not the reality. Many of the familiar models don’t work well on the scale required to feed billions of people. Or they focus too narrowly on one issue (salad greens that are organic but picked by exploited workers). Or they work only in limited circumstances. (A $4 heirloom tomato is hardly going to save the world.)

Responding to this, The Visible Hand in Economics  asks if organic farming is sustainable:

The key issue is:

  1. Organic farming uses a LOT more resources than normal farming;
  2. To call yourself organic and get that market recognition you need to be 100% organic;
  3. There is no market standard for recognising that a farmer is more sustainable or environmentally friendly than their rivals if they’re not organic.

I think that most consumers who buy organic are also the type of people who want to do the environmentally friendly thing. While organic farming may not be as polluting as farming with synthetic fertilizer it is much more resource intensive. So where’s the incentive for farmers to move towards less resource hungry AND more sustainable alternatives?

But there’s another question: when everything is taken into account is organic farming actually better for the environment?

The North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group was set up about 15 years ago and has done a lot of work, in conjunciton with the Otago Regional Council, to educate farmers in sustainable production and they’ve done a very good job. I don’t think any of the farms which follow the guidelines are organic but they use science-based practices  to maintain the health of the soil and waterways while producing meat, milk and crops which meet all the requirements for food health standards.

If they switched to organic farming the volume produced would fall, and it’s a moot point as to whether the quality would be any higher or if it would be any better for the environment.


Tumeke! rankings for October

22/11/2008

In response to a comment on the Tumeke! blogosphere rankings Tim Selwyn admits he counts the number of posts and comments manually.

That’s a huge task so it’s no wonder it takes two or three weeks for him to do it.

The results of his work show one new entrant in the top 20 – New Zeal moves up 7 to 16 which puts Homepaddock back one to 17.

Kiwiblog retained its first placing and was also first for the average number of comments.

Homepaddock was third for the number of posts – a place I don’t expect to maintain because I’ve been writing fewer posts since the election.

The biggest gain in the top 20 was No Minister which went up 6 places to 4th.

Among my other regular reads Roarprawn gained 2 to 11; Dimpost  dropped 1 to 13; Inquiring Mind  was steady on 15; Poneke  went down 1 to 18 but was 5th for the highest average number of comments (and second in that category for blogs done by individuals rather than a number of contributers.) If I was judging the quality of comments, Ponke would rate highly – he manages to attract mainly intelligent and often witty comments with few which confuse personal invective and debate.

Keeping Stock dropped just 1 to 19 in spite of a decline in the number of posts while cruising for a couple of weeks; and the Visibile Hand in Economics also dropped 1 to 20.

 The Hand Mirror was steady on 22, NZ Conservative was up 1 to 23 and also did well with the average number of comments, due in part to their popular Friday night free for all; Big News leapt 16 to 26;  Anti Dismal gained 8 places to 29 and Something Should Go here gained a couple to 34.

In a Strange Land was down 3 to 52; Monkeywith typewriter gained 1 to 56; exexpat dropped 6 to  59;  goNZo Freakpower  gained 9 places to 87, Cicero made a first appearance at 65 and Macdoctor debuted at 71.

I couldn’t find John Ansell on the list, I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t look properly or his blog is too new to register.


Can a blog and its blogger have different personalities?

21/11/2008

The Typealzyer reckons Homepaddock is ESTP – the doers:

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

 The letters are from Myers Briggs personality types and stand for extroverted, sensing, thinking and perceiving.

But I’ve done the test three times and always come out as INFP – introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving, though I haven’t come across any blogs which come into this category.

David Farrar reckons Kiwiblog’s ESTP is about right. Anti-Dismal is INTJ – the scientists –  and so is the Visible Hand in Economics.

Exexpat   discovered that, like me, she has a different personality from her blog – it’s ISTP – the mechanics – and she’s INTJ – the scientists.

I also tried Homepaddock with gender analyzer which guessed the blog is written by a man (56%), but said it’s quite gender neutral.

I guess that means that pop psychology should be rearded as entertainment rather than science.

Keeping that in mind you can do an on-line personality test here.


Tumeke! rankings

23/10/2008

Tim Selwyn at Tumeke! has updated the New Zealand blogosphere’s rankings with the top 20 for September.

Kiwiblog retains its well deserved first place.

Policy Blog (up 7 to 7th), Dim Post  (up 4 to 12th) Roarprawn  up an impressive 21 to 13th and Cactus Kate (up 1 to 14th) have overtaken Inquiring Mind  (down 4 at 13th) and Homepaddock which has dropped 4 to 16th.

Among my other regular reads, The Hive  is up 4 to 4th, Not PC  has gone up 2 to 7, No Minister  has dropped 4 to 10th,  Poneke  is down a couple to 17th, Keeping Stock has dropped a place to 18th and the Visible Hand in Economics is up 3 to 19th.


Immigrants welcome but can’t buy land

19/10/2008

The Green Party policy welcomes immigrants but its economic policy  wants to stop them from buying land.

If someone from overseas buys land here they will almost certainly do it with foreign currency which is of benefit to our economy and it’s not who owns the land but what they do with it that matters.

Panelists at a farm forum I attended in July – two farmers, an accountant and a farm advisor, – were adamant that foreign investment in land was a good thing.

It boosted prices so vendors recieved more for their properties which they were able to reinvest elsewhere in the economy.

The new owners farmed the land so that they and/or their staff became part of the community contributing not just economically but socially too. If they chose not to keep the farm, it  was put on the market and available for another purchaser from New Zealand or elsewhere because no matter who owns it, they can’t take land away.

What people do with land is a matter for local and central governments through district and regional plans and the Resource Management Act. Foreign owners already have to satisfy the Overseas Invesment Commission before they buy farmland and that is a sufficient hurdle to ownership.

The Visible Hand in Economics also has questions about restricting land ownership to New Zealanders.


Tumeke blog rankings

21/08/2008

Tim Selwyn has published the July rankings for the New Zealand bologsphere on Tumeke!

Kiwkblog and Public Address retain first and second places respectively.

The Standard and Whaleoil swap places at third and fourth.

Frogblog, Not PC and No Minister are steady at numbers five, six and seven and The Hive is up one place to eight.

No Right Turn is down one to nine. Tumeke!, Poneke, Inquiring Mind and Cactus Kate retain their places from 10 to 13.

Keeping Stock is impressively up 11 at 14; New Zealand Conservative has jumped seven to 15 and Homepaddock has moved up five to 16.

The Visible Hand in Economics is down one to 17, Liberty Scott is steady at 18, the Dim Post moves up 13 to 19; and The Hand Mirror is down six to 20.

Links to all these sites are on my blogroll.

Tim comments:

Apart from the bronze, the top dozen are rather static. The big movers seem to be the more right wing blogs that have picked up their traffic count and content output – the latter driving the former most likely: Keeping Stock, NZ Conservative and Home Paddock helping to displace left Labour blogs of Jordan Carter and Tony Milne.

The ranking is based on Alexa rank for traffic plus the number of posts, comments and links.

Thanks, Tim for the time and effort you put it working it all out and thanks to all of you who visit, link and comment and thereby contribute to Homepaddock’s improved place.


Lower dollar good news and bad news

12/08/2008

The good news about the falling dollar, down to an 11 month low of US69.84c this morning, is that we get more for our exports.

However, the lower value of our currency also increases the price of imports which is particularly bad news for farmers when two of our biggest budget items – fertiliser and fuel – are already highly priced.

One reason for the dollar’s fall is the Reserve Bank’s decision to relax its guard against inflation by lowering the official cash rate.

Several commentators said this would be good for exporters, but I’m not sure how much better off we are if the gains on the swings of increased returns for our produce is countered on the roundabout of increased prices for inputs.

Nor do I think that a weak currency is a good recipe for a strong economy.

And I am definitely not relaxed about a little bit more inflation. The memory of the economic disaster which resulted when all the little bits more became a lot and led to inflation rates of more than 20% in the 1980s, and the painful process of bringing it down again, are still too fresh.

I’m with Don Brash who, when he was governor of the Reserve Bank, told a public meeting that a little bit of inflation was like being a little bit pregnant, it doesn’t stop at a little bit.

The B- I got for stage one Economics, as it was then known, doesn’t qualify me to debate this issue. But The Visible Hand in Economics and Show Me The Money  and Brian Fallow  are qualified and they all warn about the dangers of going soft on inflation too.

The falling dollar is a good news-bad news story for exporters and if it contributes to higher inflation the bad will more than outweigh the good.


Politicising the Apolitical

03/07/2008

Some policy areas are supposed to be kept clear of party politics.

Labour trampled all over the convention that consitutional matters were in that category with the Electoral Finance Act. Now they look set to do it again with monetary policy. 

The Government is signalling a change in the way the Reserve Bank fights inflation in what could mark the first major shift away from the bank’s focus on interest rates as its sole weapon.

 It is understood the Government has decided to give up on seeking consensus with National over possible changes and will go it alone.

That could see it campaigning on changes to the policy targets agreement between the finance minister and the governor of the bank – or even changes as radical as amendments to the Reserve Bank Act itself.

I am concerned because Labour: 

          * is abandoning a bi-partisan approach to monetary policy;

           * has not learned from the EFA debacle that they should not play politics with matters which need to have at least bipartisan and preferably cross-party support.

           * has made no effort to cut back their own profligate spending of taxpayers’ money which has made  a significant contribution to inflation.

           * is prepared to put short term politics before the long term interest of the country by abandoning the fight against inflation.

Inflation is theft which hits the poorest hardest.

There may be better ways to fight it than interest rates – but that should be determined by cross-party concensus not by petty party politics in a desperate bid to turn the polls around.

The Visible Hand In Ecnomics is troubled by this and is calling for submissions on it.

Hat Tip: Adam Smith


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