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He states that owing to the want of rain feed has dried up badly, while grain crops are stunted in growth and light-headed, and turnips are languishing for want of moisture. Of course, there are many striking exceptions to the general rule. These are found in favoured situations where either the soil is of a more retentive character or where the full effect of the sun's rays is not experienced. In these circumstances meadows are green and fresh, grain crops, chiefly oats, look promising, though backward, and turnips have made good headway. Of all the country seen the worst is Southland, usually accounted a wet region. There everything wears a parched and disheartening appearance, and the outlook is in the aggregate most discouraging, alike in regard to grain yields and feed for stock. So far neither sheep nor cattle seem to have felt the pinch of hunger, but unless rain comes soon all animals will have a bad time.
Debate on hard or soft tyres
There is a good deal of doubt amongst road transport engineers, whether the solid rubber tyres used on the majority of commercial vehicles should be hard or soft. Some engineers advocate hard tyres — the harder the better — and others are in favour of soft tyres; and there are still others who hold that the choice depends upon the condition of the roads and the design of the vehicle, especially in relation to its springs. It may seem curious that this point has not already been cleared up, but the reason is simply that with the usual mechanical drive from a petrol or steam engine there is no means of determining the exact amount of energy supplied to the wheel. Until this is known, the relative efficiencies of different hardnesses of tyre cannot be more than guessed at. With electric vehicles the case is different, as the amount of current used can be measured to the minutest fraction and the efficiency of motors and other parts of the equipment is fixed. Therefore the Electrical Vehicle Committee of Great Britain recently decided to organise a series of thorough tests to bring the matter to a conclusive issue. These tests will be of great value to the motor industry in all parts of the world.
Free-for-all at Kaiapoi
A strong counter-attraction to the regatta was provided in the main street at Kaiapoi on Saturday afternoon, in the shape of a free fight, in which a large number of Maoris and pakehas, men and women, participated. What led to it no one seemed to know.
A semi-humorous interlude was provided at the Herbert Booth Mission on Tuesday night last (reports the Ashburton Guardian). Some wag advised an already bibulous person to go into the Theatre Royal, where he stated a banquet was in progress and spiritual comfort could be obtained. Accepting the hint, the drunk entered the theatre and called for beer. The missioner invited him to take a front seat with the intention of keeping him quiet. The diturber came forward, but was not to be pacified,
and Mr Booth finally requested him to go outside. — ODT, 10.3.1920