Word of the day

January 6, 2013

Blesson -

Hat tip: Positivity


Rural round-up

January 6, 2013

An inspiring start to farming life – Diane Bishop:

The Otago Southland farmer names Tangaroa Walker as its 2012 newsmaker of the year.

The world is Tangaroa Walker’s oyster.

Since winning the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Trainee-Cadet of the Year Award in June last year, he has taken up a lower order sharemilking position on the farm he previously managed at Rimu, near Invercargill.

“I’m really loving it,” Tangaroa said. . .

Beekeepers eschew kiwifruit orchards as Psa sprays create ‘hazard’ - Jonathan Underhill:

Some beekeepers have pulled their hives out of kiwifruit orchards, concerned that sprays used to control the Psa vine-wilting bacteria are the latest hazard for an under-siege bee population.

“More than one beekeeper has withdrawn their hives,” said John Hartnell, honey exporter and bees spokesman at Federated Farmers. He wouldn’t put his own hives on a kiwifruit orchard, saying “that would destroy my business overnight.” . . .

Varroa spread takes heavy toll – Tim Cronshaw:

Some South Island beekeepers with hives freshly exposed to varroa mites have lost up to 25 per cent of their bees.

They have been forced to replenish their hives with new bees by putting in a man- grafted queen cell in the top box of a non-infected colony and shifting it across to restore a full population.

Varroa has continued its run to as far south as Invercargill now, with the few remaining pockets in the South Island expected to be infected by autumn. . .

Pasture for dairy cows under trial - Terri Russell:

A Southland agricultural research centre is participating in its first trial of grass that will be grazed by dairy cows instead of sheep, a likely result of the shift to dairying in Southland, the centre manager says.

Woodlands Research Station is one of four sites throughout New Zealand hosting the trial, run by DairyNZ and AgResearch, to measure the growth of different pasture varieties.

The centre is monitoring eight varieties of grass over five years and across 20 paddocks. . .

Outlook cloudy for 2013 – Allan Barber:

As we head into the New Year, the Christmas break has provided an opportunity to consider how the meat industry is likely to pan out during 2013. But literally as I write this speculative opinion piece, the fate of the American economy is still uncertain – although the Senate approved a restructured deal on taxes and expenditure yesterday, Republican dominated Congress has yet again balked at reaching an acceptable conclusion.

By the time you read this, the situation will no doubt have changed again for the better or the worse, but it isn’t easy to predict which. . .

Ministry needs recreational quad bike focus:

Farmers are taking quad bike safety seriously, but the latest incident in the Hawke’s Bay, again highlights this message is not getting through to recreational users.

“Recreational users, quad bikes and alcohol are a cocktail for disaster,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers spokesperson for health and safety.

“While many farmers are heeding the safety message, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment need to find a better way to convey safety when it comes to recreational users. . .


NZ 17th in top 22 retirement destinations

January 6, 2013

New Zealand is 17th in International Living’s list of 22 top retirement destinations.

Here we focus on the top 22 retirement destinations in the world, considering them across eight crucial categories: real estate, special retirement benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, health care, retirement infrastructure and climate.

We’ve looked at everything from Internet penetration to the price of a beer. We’ve paid attention to the discounts and benefits you receive as a retiree. And we’ve asked important questions like: How easy is it to stay in touch with the folks back home? Is it easy to make friends? What is there to do? Is a car necessary? . . .

New Zealand scored 82% for real estate, 74 for special benefits, 57 for cost of living, 90 for integration, 88 for entertainment and amenities, 71 for health, 86 for retirement  infrastructure, 87 for climate and got a total of 79.3.

The top 22 and their final scores are:

Ecuador

91.9

Panama

89.0

Malaysia

87.6

Mexico

85.1

Costa Rica

84.4

Uruguay

83.7

Colombia

83.0

Spain

82.5

Thailand

82.3

Malta

80.1

Portugal

80.1

Nicaragua

79.7

Ireland

79.5

France

79.5

Philippines

79.5

New Zealand

79.3

Italy

79.0

Brazil

75.5

Chile

74.8

Honduras

74.6

Belize

73.2

Dom. Rep

71.0

If political and economic stability were considered I think New Zealand might have scored higher.


iPhone contract from grown-up parent

January 6, 2013

A teacher was telling me about the challenges of dealing with pupils and cell phones.

It’s not just that they’re used at school but that they’re used through the night so pupils don’t get enough sleep.

“Too many parents aren’t prepared to make the rules and be the grown-ups in the family,” she said.

Janell Burley Hofmann isn’t one of those.

She gave her son an iPhone for Christmas and with it was an 19 point contract which began:

Dear Gregory

Merry Christmas!  You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.  Hot Damn!  You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift.  But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations.  Please read through the following contract.  I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.  Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.

 I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

 1. It is my phone.  I bought it.  I pay for it.  I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest?

 2.  I will always know the password.

 3.   If it rings, answer it.  It is a phone.  Say hello, use your manners.  Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”.  Not ever.

4.  Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm.  It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text.  Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected. . .

You can read the other 14 points here.

Hat tip: The Lady Garden


Sunday soapbox

January 6, 2013

Consider this soapbox 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, to muse or amuse.


January 6 in history

January 6, 2013

1412  Joan of Arc, Roman Catholic Saint and national heroine of France, was born -legendary date, some scholars think it was January 7-  (d. 1431).

1494  The first Mass in the New World was celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola.

1540 King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves.

1714 Percivall Pott, English physician, was born. He was one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen (d. 1788).

1721 The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings.

1781 In the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade Jersey.

1838 Samuel Morse first successfully tested the electrical telegraph.

1878 Carl Sandburg, American poet and historian, was born  (d. 1967).

1883 Khalil Gibran, Lebanese writer, was born (d. 1931).

1893 The Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress.

1907 Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare center for working class children in Rome.

1923 Norman Kirk, New Zealander Prime Minister, was born  (d. 1974).

1929 – Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India’s poorest people.

1930The first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed (from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York City).

1931 Thomas Edison submitted his last patent application.

1934 Harry M. Miller, New Zealand-born Australian entrepreneur, was born.

1936 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act was unconstitutional in the case United States v. Butler et al.

1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.

1942 Pan American Airlines became the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

1946  Syd Barrett, English guitarist, singer and songwriter Pink Floyd, was born  (d. 2006).

1953 Godfrey Bowen set a world record by shearing  456 full-wool ewes in nine hours.

Godfrey Bowen sets world sheep-shearing record

1953 Malcolm Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955 Rowan Atkinson, English comedian and actor, was born.

1959 Kapil Dev, Indian cricketer, was born.

1960   Nigella Lawson, English chef and writer, was born.

1964 Mark O’Toole, English bass guitarist (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), was born.

1965 Bjorn Lomborg, Danish mathematician, environmentalist and author, was born.

1974  In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commenced nearly four months early in the United States.

1978 The Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) ws returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.

1995 A chemical fire in an apartment complex in Manila, Philippines, led to the discovery of plans for Project Bojinka, a mass-terrorist attack.

2010 – The Ady Gil, a ship owned by Sea Shepherd, was sunk during a skirmish with the Japanese Whaling Fleet’s Shōnan Maru.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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