December 18 in history

December 18, 2017

218 BC – Second Punic WarBattle of the Trebia – Hannibal’s Carthaginian forces defeated those of the Roman Republic.

1271  – Kublai Khan renamed his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China.

1642  Abel Tasman and his men had the first known European encounter with Maori.

First contact between Maori and Europeans

1707 – Charles Wesley, English Methodist hymnist, was born (d. 1788).

1777 The United States celebrated its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the Americans over General John Burgoyne in the Battle of Saratoga in October.

1849 – Henrietta Edwards, Canadian activist and author was born (d. 1931).

1863  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, was born (d. 1914).

1878 – Joseph Stalin,  leader of the Soviet Union, was born  (d. 1953).

1890 Edwin Armstrong, American inventor (FM radio) was born (d. 1954).

1898  Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the new land speed record going 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h), in a Jeantaud electric car. This is the first recognised land speed record.

1900 The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria opened.

1908  – Celia Johnson, English actress, was born (d. 1982).

1910 –Eric Tindill, New Zealand cricketer and rugby player, was born  (d. 2010).

1913 – Willy Brandt, Chancellor of Germany, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1992).

1916  Betty Grable,  American actress, was born  (d. 1973).

1935 – Jacques Pépin, French chef, was born.

1938 Chas Chandler, English musician (The Animals), was born (d. 1996).

1943  Keith Richards, English guitarist (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1946   Steve Biko, South African anti-apartheid activist, was born  (d. 1977).

1946 – – Steven Spielberg, American director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded DreamWorks , was born.

1963   – Brad Pitt, American actor and producer was born.

1966  – Saturn‘s moon Epimetheus was discovered by astronomer Richard Walker.

1972 – Vietnam WarPresident Richard Nixon announced that the United States would engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with North Vietnam on the 13th.

1973 – – Soviet Soyuz ProgrammeSoyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, is launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.

1973 – The Islamic Development Bank was founded.

1981  – First flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160, the world’s largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep wing aircraft built.

1999 NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

2006 – The first of a series of floods struck Malaysia. The death toll of all flooding was at least 118, with over 400,000 people displaced.

2009 – The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference closed with the signing of the Copenhagen Accord.

2010 – Anti-government protests began in Tunisia, heralding the Arab Spring.

2015  – Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Great Britain, closed.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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Word of the day

December 17, 2017

Confect – make (something elaborate or dainty) from various elements; compound, make up, prepare or put together from varied materials; preserve.


Love Matters

December 17, 2017

love matters

Someone once told me that people will do anything for love & I had a hard time believing that because there’s Love everywhere. In the sunlight & air & trees & rocks. In the way words attach themselves to the things we do & see. In the heartbeat (beat beat beat) of the world.

They told me that didn’t count. Love only counts if you get it from other people, they said.

I looked around & all I could see were people wanting love, but not wanting to give it because it might hurt. Or because someone might say Go away. Take your Love & go someplace else where people actually want it (which is silly, because that’s everywhere)

It still makes me wonder if the only reason people will do anything for Love is because they think there’s only a little bit

& not the whole world. – Love Matters © 2016 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

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Rural round-up

December 17, 2017

Sniffer dogs to help detect pesky weed – Adriana Weber:

Dogs will be used to help find a pesky weed on farms and vineyards in Marlborough.

Chilean needle grass is an invasive plant that spreads rapidly and has sharp, needle-like tips.

It is very hard to detect, so two sniffer dogs specially trained to spot the weed have been sent to the region to help. . . 

Top quality meat remains in NZ for summer:

The common misconception that all the best meat New Zealand has to offer gets sent offshore is not true, says New Zealand’s largest Kiwi-owned meat processor, AFFCO.

While it is well known a large percentage of lamb is exported off shore to meet Christmas demand in the United Kingdom and Europe, it’s a little-known fact that the majority of beef cuts right from eye fillets to rump steak, stay here for Kiwi’s to enjoy over summer.

“Local demand is certainly higher at this time of year when we’ve come out of long winter period and people just want to put some steak on the barbeque,” says AFFCO’s New Zealand Sales Manager, Darryl Butson. . . 

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Did ewe know . . . wool fibre can be bent 20,000 times without breaking and return to its original shape.

Focus on consumer-based value, quality differences –  Wes Ishmael:

For all of you striving to be above average on your next ranch report card, we have good news.

“While the trend of increasing quality is difficult to quantify, the combination of genetic improvement, formula pricing that includes premium price structures, and additional days of feeding due to lower grain prices will continue to drive U.S. beef quality higher,” says Don Close, Rabobank senior animal protein analyst. “The premiums in the U.S. are expected to increase relative to Choice, branded and Select classifications.”

That’s saying a mouthful when you consider how much of the nation’s federally inspected fed cattle supply already grades USDA Choice or higher — upwards of 80%. For instance, the last week of October, 76.8% graded Choice and Prime, according to USDA’s National Steer and Heifer Estimated Grading Report. Of the Choice-grading carcasses, 29.17% were USDA-certified in the upper two-thirds of Choice. . .

Entries open for New Zealand Champions of Cheese awards 2018:

The New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) is delighted to announce entries are open for its annual Champions of Cheese Awards.

The Specialist Cheesemakers Association has been running the awards since 2003, and will host their 15th annual NZSCA Gala Cocktail Awards Evening in Auckland at Fale Pasifika on Thursday 15 March 2018. For the first time the awards are being organised by specialist food marketing communications company Marvellous Marketing. . . 

Buying a Farm – “Caveat Emptor”:

Buying a farm is a major investment that has now become much more complicated with the Waikato Regional Council’s proposed and current rule changes under Plan Change 1.

Plan Change 1 requires farmers to obtain a nitrogen reference point (NRP) based on either the 2014/15 or the 2015/16 season.

Under a standard agreement for sale and purchase a vendor has no obligation to provide the information necessary to calculate the NRP. If a farmer does not have this information, they are assigned 75per cent of the sector average. . . 

Dairy Compliance Awards:

Hawke’s Bay’s dairy farmers who are consistently achieving full compliance with their resource consents were recognised at the Dairy Compliance Awards 2017 event last week .

HBRC Chief Executive James Palmer said the scheme is getting good participation, and the people involved are continuing to perform at a high level of compliance.

“The scheme is important for both dairy farmers and the regional council. HBRC wants to help farmers to succeed and the Regional Council is pleased with the environmental performance they are achieving.” . . 

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Did ewe know . . .  wool does its bit for climate change. It can store nearly 2x its weight in CO2 in a duarble, wearable form.

Snow Farm NZ locks in “Locals Season” for 2018:

After the success of the Snow Farm local days in 2017, Snow Farm is making 2018, the locals season, with our most affordable early bird seasons pass prices ever.

Adult seasons passes will be $149 and children seasons passes will be $49. Passes can be purchased at the Snow Farm NZ website www.snowfarmnz.com from the 11th of December to the 31stof January when the prices increase to our pre seasons rates.

“Traditionally most early bird pass sales are to locals and New Zealand residents, so we are looking forward to having more locals taking advantage of this amazing deal and spending more time up at the Snow Farm. . . 


Sunday soapbox

December 17, 2017

Sunday’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.

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Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion.

What we should have been taught was how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.


December 17 in history

December 17, 2017

497 BC – The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome.

546 – Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plundered the city, by bribing the Byzantine garrison.

942 Assassination of William I of Normandy.

1398 – Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud‘s armies in Delhi were defeated byTimur.

1531 – Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

1538  Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII.

1577  Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for Queen Elizabeth I.

1583 – Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg.

1586 – Emperor Go-Yozei became Emperor of Japan.

1600 – Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici.

1637 – Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rose against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu.

1773 At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men who were with James Cook’s navigator Tobias Furneaux died at the hands of Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, led by their chief, Kahura.

Ten crew of Cook's ship killed and eaten

1819  Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

1834 The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Irelandopened.

1853 – Pierre Paul Émile Roux, French physician, co-founded the Pasteur Institute (d. 1933)

1865 First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1874 – William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canadian economist and politician, 10th Prime Minister of Canada was born(d. 1950)

1889 New Zealand’s Eifel tower opened at the South Seas Exhibition.

New Zealand’s own Eiffel Tower opens

1904 Paul Cadmus, American artist, was born (d. 1999).

1915 André Claveau, French singer, was born (d. 2003).

1918 Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin.

1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.

1936  Tommy Steele, English singer and actor, was born.

1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman, was born (d. 2005).

1938  Peter Snell, New Zealand runner, was born.

Peter Snell and Murray Halberg win Olympic gold

1939  Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

Graf Spee at Spithead.jpg

1944 Major Major, No. 1 Dog, 2NZEF, and member/mascot of 19 Battalionsince 1939, died of sickness in Italy. He was buried with full military honours at Rimini.

Major Major, mascot of 19 Battalion, dies of sickness

1945 – Jacqueline Wilson, English author and academic, was born.

1947  First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

1961 Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1967  Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappeared while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

1969 The SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”

1983 The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store killing six people.

1989 Pilot episode of The Simpsons aired in the United States.

2003  SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight.

2005 – Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne as King of Bhutan.

2009 – MV Danny F II sank off the coast of Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of 44 people and over 28,000 animals.

2010 – Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.

2013 – The anti-corruption operation in Turkey begins with high profile detainments.

2014 – The United States and Cuba re-established diplomatic relationsafter severing them 55 years ago.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

December 16, 2017

Wemble – to be undecided or indecisive, to switch back and forth between decisions, opinions, options, or directions; to invert a basin or pot on a shelf so dust doesn’t settle on the inside.


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