Quote of the day

May 29, 2016

To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless. Gilbert K. Chesterton who was born on this day in 1874.


Sunday soapbox

May 29, 2016

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.
The Moderation Movement's photo.

At the end of my time, the questions I”ll ask myself are: Did I love deeply? Did I laugh often? Did I treat people with compassion? Did I make a difference (however small)?Moderation Movement


May 29 in history

May 29, 2016

363 Roman Emperor Julian defeated the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but was unable to take the city.

1167 Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III was defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel.

1176 Battle of Legnano: The Lombard League defeated Emperor Frederick I.

1630 Charles II of England was born (d. 1685).

1414  Council of Constance.

1453 Byzantine-Ottoman Wars: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed IIFatih sacked and captured Constantinople after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.

1660 English Restoration: Charles II (on his birthday) was restored to the throne of Great Britain.

1677  Treaty of Middle Plantation established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Natives.

1727  Peter II became Tsar of Russia.

1733 The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves was upheld.

1780 American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Waxhaws Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton massacred Colonel Abraham Buford’s continentals.

1790  Rhode Island became the last of the original United States‘ colonies to ratify the Constitution and was admitted as the 13th U.S. state.

1848  Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th U.S. state.

1864  Emperor Maximilian of Mexico arrived in Mexico for the first time.

1867  The Austro-Hungarian agreement – Ausgleich (“the Compromise“) – was born through Act 12, which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1868  The assassination of Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia.

1874  G. K. Chesterton, English novelist, was born (d. 1936).

1886 Chemist John Pemberton placed his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, it appeared in the Atlanta Journal.

1900 – N’Djamena was founded as Fort-Lamy by French commanderÉmile Gentil.

1903 Bob Hope, British-born comedian and actor, was born (d. 2003).

1903  May coup d’etat: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, were assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization.

1906 T.H. White, British author, was born (d. 1964).

1913 Igor Stravinsky‘s ballet score The Rite of Spring received its premiere performance in Paris, provoking a riot.

1914 – Tenzing Norgay, Nepalese-Indian mountaineer, was born, (d. 1986).

1914  Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence with the loss of 1,024 lives.

1917 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was born (d. 1963).

1919 – Einstein’s theory of general relativity was tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington’s observation of a total solar eclipse in Principe and by Andrew Crommelin in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil.

1919 The Republic of Prekmurje founded.

1924  AEK Athens FC was established on the anniversary of the siege ofConstantinople by the Turks.

1935  The Hoover Dam was completed.

1939  Albanian fascist leader Tefik Mborja is appointed as member of the Italian Chamber of Fasces and Corporations.

1940  The first flight of the F4U Corsair.

1941 Doug Scott, British mountaineer, was born.

1942  Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”.

1945 Gary Brooker, musician (Procol Harum), was born.

1945  First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.

1948  Creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation

1950  The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia .

1953 Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay’s (adopted) 39th birthday.

Hillary and Tenzing conquer Everest

1954  First of the annual Bilderberg conferences.

1959 Rupert Everett, English actor, was born.

1961 Melissa Etheridge, American musician, was born.

1963 Tracey E. Bregman, American actress, was born.

1967 Noel Gallagher, English musician (former Oasis), was born.

1969  General strike in Córdoba, Argentina, leading to the Cordobazo civil unrest.

1973  Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

1975 Melanie Brown, English musician and actress (Spice Girls), was born.

1978 Adam Rickitt, British actor, was born.

1982 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral.

1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: At the European Cup final in Brussels 39 football fans died and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses after Liverpool F.C. fans breached a fence separating them from Juventus F.C. fans.

1985  Amputee Steve Fonyo completed cross-Canada marathon atVictoria, British Columbia, after 14 months.

1988  U.S. President Ronald Reagan began his first visit to the Soviet Union.

1990 The Russian parliament elected Boris Yeltsin president of the Russian SFSR.

1999  Olusegun Obasanjo took office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule.

1999 Space Shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with theInternational Space Station.

1999 – Charlotte Perrelli won the Eurovision Song Contest 1999  for Sweden with the song Take Me to Your Heaven.

2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in at tournaments.

2004  The National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

2008 – A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck Iceland near the town of Selfoss, injuring 30 people.

2012 – A 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit northern Italy near Bologna, killing at least 24 people.

2014 – Ignatius Aphrem II is enthroned as the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


366 days of gratitude

May 28, 2016

My mother heard a recipe for a fail-proof souffle on the radio, tried it, liked it and passed the recipe on to me.

I had the idea that souffles were temperamental so it was with some trepidation that I tried it.

My fears were groundless – the souffle rose and stayed risen when taken from the oven.

Since then I’ve used the recipe hundreds of time and, touch wood, the recipe has lived up to its fail-proof reputation.

The one we had for tea tonight was particularly good.

Today I’m grateful for fail-proof souffles.


Word of the day

May 28, 2016

Sapropel – an unconsolidated sludge consisting of the decomposed remains of aquatic organisms, esp algae, that accumulates at the bottoms of lakes and oceans; black, decaying, organic bottom deposits in some lakes, rivers, etc. that lack oxygen and are rich in hydrogen sulfide;  dark-coloured sediments that are rich in organic matter; a slimy sediment of marine, estuarine, or lacustrine deposition consisting largely of organic debris derived from aquatic plants and animals;


Rural round-up

May 28, 2016

Westland ups its payout prediction for the coming season:

New Zealand’s second biggest dairy co-operative Westland Milk Products has released a budget for the 2016-17 dairy season of $4.55 – $4.95 per kilo of milk solids (kgMS).

Payout for the current season will be in the range of $3.80 – $3.90 per kgMS.

Westland will also start its payout advance payments for the 2016-17 season at $3.80 per kgMS, payable 20 September 2016. . . 

Westland tops Fonterra – Hugh Stringleman:

Dairy farmers received cold comfort when Fonterra announced a low forecast milk price of $4.25/kg milksolids for the new season from June 1, with an advance rate beginning at $3.01.

Analysts’ expectations had been for an opening price of $4.60 or more, as well as some upside when world product prices steadily improved as expected towards the end of 2016.

They said Fonterra seemed to base its opening forecast on spot market prices and not the generally expected improving trend. . .

Farm profits help rural students get ahead – Kate Taylor:

A hill country farm east of Dannevirke has helped hundreds of young people with their tertiary studies. Kate Taylor visited to find out how.

Sheep and beef farmer Max Buckendahl has called the Weber district home for almost three decades but when his 30th anniversary rolls around next year he’s off to see the country.

Together with partner Lynn Moss and a fifth-wheeler artic truck caravan, he’s going to work (and fish) in the warmer climates of Northland for half the year and travel New Zealand for the other half.

“There’s no particular reason to go now but I wanted to stay here 30 years first,” he says. . . 

Silver Fern Farms:Details of Special Meeting:

• Special Meeting date set for Monday, 11 July 2016

Dunedin 27 May 2016: Silver Fern Farms has today settled the statement from two of the 80 requisitioners, in a form that Silver Fern Farms is willing to include in its Notice of Meeting, and has set a date of Monday 11 July to hold the Special Meeting.

The Board has received a statement from two of the 80 requisitioners and notes that the original 80 requisitioners sought a meeting of shareholders to consider: . . 

Silver Fern shareholders to vote again on Shanghai Maling deal in July – Paul McBeth:

 (BusinessDesk) – Shareholders of meat processor Silver Fern Farms will have a second vote on whether to approve its planned tie-up with China’s Shanghai Maling Aquarius in July, though the board intends to go ahead with the deal irrespective of the outcome.

The cooperative today set the meeting for July 11 in Dunedin where shareholders will vote on approving the proposed partnership and restructure, where the Chinese firm takes 50 percent ownership of the meat processor in return for $261 million of cash, a special dividend, and funds to bankroll the cooperative for seven years. Shareholders backed the deal in October, but John Shrimpton and Blair Gallagher, representing a group of 80 shareholders, have since sought a special meeting to effectively reconsider the transaction. . . 

Federated Farmers welcomes Freshwater Improvement Fund:

Federated Farmers is commending the Government on a new $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund to aid communities investment in solutions for water quality in New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and groundwater supplies, announced in yesterday’s budget.

Federated Farmers water spokesperson Chris Allen says the fund will help communities achieve desired water quality outcomes sooner.

“It’s going to take innovative thinking, time and money to get to the level of water quality our communities aspire too,” he said. . . 

TB continues to be challenge for next decade:

Funding for TB control is less than it has been in the past but Federated Farmers is confident the new programme will continue to make progress with a more efficient spend of the money.

Federated Farmers OSPRI (TB Free NZ) spokesman Anders Crofoot said: “The amended TB Plan is a shift in approach from containing the disease to active eradication in livestock and wildlife. To date we’ve been successful at removing TB from large areas of New Zealand. This means with improved operational efficiencies and targeted work, enabled by advances in modelling we should see new TB Plan targets achieved.

The programme carried out by OSPRI will aim to eradicate bovine TB from cattle and deer by 2026, and from TB-infected wildlife in New Zealand by 2055. . . 

Government Support for Landcare:

Yesterday’s Budget marks a return to stable base-line funding for the work of NZ Landcare Trust.

The Minister for the Environment is responsible for financial appropriations for the 2016/17 financial year which include approximately $27 million for grants to third parties for water initiatives, environmental management and education programmes.

A specific appropriation identified within ‘Vote Environment’ has been established for the promotion of sustainable land management practice through a national network of coordinators. These funds are available due to the reprioritisation of $800,000 from the Community Environment Fund. This transfer reflects joint Ministers’ decision to fund the NZ Landcare Trust activities for 2016/17 and out years. No expiry date for this resourcing commitment has been set and it is identified as an on-going commitment. . . 

DairyNZ’s commitment to supporting dairy farmers:

Industry body DairyNZ is committed to supporting dairy farmers following the announcement by Fonterra of an opening forecast Farmgate Milk Price of $4.25 per kgMS for the 2016-17 season.

“The $4.25 per kgMS is not a surprise, although the particularly low opening advance rate of $2.50 per kgMS plus capacity adjustment is tough for farmers who will find the winter particularly difficult,” says DairyNZ chief executive, Tim Mackle. “This is the lowest opening advance rate in at least the last 14 years.

“The break-even milk income required for the average farmer is $5.25 per kgMS, yet under this forecast scenario they’ll only be receiving $4.45 per kgMS all up in terms of farm income, including retro payments from last season and dividends. . .

PwC supports NZ Milk Futures to manage milk price risk:

The NZX today launched a NZ Milk Futures contract that will eventually provide the opportunity for large and small dairy farmers to proactively risk manage milk price movements and volatility.

“The new futures contract essentially replaces, and considerably enhances, the Guaranteed Milk Price (GMP) contract previously offered by Fonterra,” says Roger Kerr, PwC Partner and Treasury Advisor.

“While the new futures contract has been expected, it will need support from the market to ensure its viability. This means that industry players with resources available to make this commitment, should be encouraged to participate,” says Mr Kerr. . .


Saturday’s smiles

May 28, 2016

A ship engine failed and none of the crew could fix it.

Eventually the captain suggested someone he knew who had 40 years’ on the job.

He inspected the engine very carefully from top to bottom.

After looking things over, he reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer.

He gently tapped something and instantly, the engine lurched into life.

It was fixed and the ship could sail.

A week later the owners got a bill for $10,000.

They weren’t impressed.

“You hardly did anything, how could that cost $10,00,” one said and requested an itemised account.’

The reply simply said:  “Tapping with a hammer – $2.00; Knowing where to tap? – $9,998.00.”

 


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