Word of the day

October 23, 2010

Dastard – a dishonerable or despicable person, villain.

(That is supposed to start with a d not a b).


Rural round up

October 23, 2010

The subheading on this blog is a rural perspective with a blue tint.

It’s often a lot more blue than rural (though the two aren’t mutually exclusive). I’ve decided to help rebalance that with ocassional posts linking to rural news and views, starting with these:

Sticky milk powder – Marcus Wilson at Sciblogs:

. . .   One of the most enjoyable talks was given by student Timothy Walmsley, concerning a study on the sticking of milk powder in spray dryers. To convert milk into powder form it is sprayed into a dryer; the milk solids remain and fall to the bottom but the water content is removed; the result is something that is easily packaged and transported. . .

Making Milking faster and easier:

DairyNZ has launched a programme for farmers aimed at improving the milk harvesting efficiency on New Zealand dairy farms.

“Milksmart is concerned not only with milking, but with the whole milk harvesting process, from collecting the cows from the paddock and milking, to clean-up and the return of the cows,” says DairyNZ Developer and project leader, Samantha Palmer.

The programme allows a farmer to complete a comprehensive self-assessment of the milk harvesting operation and then compare their performance against other farmers.

“The smallest change in the dairy shed can stack up to important savings in both time and costs over a whole season,” says Samantha.

More on this can be found at Milksmart.

What’s going on at New Zealand’s specialist land based university? – Tony Chaston queries Lincoln’s priorities and future:

High quality agricultural education is  needed to grow the rural economy into the future. In my opinion Lincoln University lost its way over the last 20 years focusing on “buying students” in many areas of education, just to survive, rather than focus on agriculture.

The Rural Recovery Group, set up in after the Canterbury earthquake is finding rural issues are starting to emerge:

Farmers had been downplaying damage, particularly as their counterparts in Southland and the North Island were struggling after recent snowstorms. The Group heard that because of those events, people were holding off on putting claims in. Rural Recovery Group co-ordinator Allan Baird urged them to register damage as soon as possible.

Selwyn District Council Recovery Welfare Manager Diane Chesmar said there had been a small number of Red Cross applications from the Selwyn district and some inquiries about emotional support.

“We understand that in this type of event the bulk of the social needs come three months after the event.”

Zespri lifts forecast payment to growers:

In the latest forecast from kiwifruit marketer ZESPRI, average fruit and service payments for kiwifruit growers are set to increase by $13.7 million or $0.15 per tray on last season.

ZESPRI’s Director of Corporate and Grower Services, Carol Ward, said: “Market returns this season are up on last year and reflect strong consumer demand for ZESPRI Kiwifruit. However we are still facing challenging market conditions as the global economy emerges from the recession, with Japan and East Asia recovering more quickly than Europe and North America.”

2011Nuffield Scholars to investigate Asian markets:

David Campbell is currently Livestock Productivity Manager and Project Leader ‘Special Milks’ for Synlait Farms Limited in Canterbury. . .

Nicola Waugh is another graduate of Massey University. She is currently employed by AgFirst Waikato Ltd as an agricultural consultant. . .

High accolade for high country leader:

John Brakenridge, Chief Executive of The New Zealand Merino Company Limited (NZM) has scooped the coveted ‘outstanding international business leader’ award at the New Zealand International Business Awards. 


Steampunk is coming

October 23, 2010

Last year’s inaugural steampunk exhibition at Oamaru’s Forrester Gallery was an outstanding success, this year’s promises to be even better.

On Wednesday, a  large crane was involved in preparing for the installation of something big outside:

Inside, the first of the many exhibits were in place, including  Dr Gattling’s Lunar Dismembulator which was photographed by the ODT.

The Victorian League of Imagineers are behind the exhibition, Tomorrow As It Used To Be which opens this morning. They’ll be celebrating with a street party next Saturday from 6.30 to 8pm.

Oamaru is New Zealand’s Steampunk capital but there are enclaves of similar creativity elsewhere.

When we were in Kununura in northern West Australia a couple of months ago we came across this Hardly Davidson.

It’s the work of New Zealand born artist, Al Mason, whom we came across painting a mural.

You can see more examples of his work at the Lovell Gallery.


8/10

October 23, 2010

8/10 – with some guesses – in the Herald’s weekly news quiz.


Let them pedal and puff

October 23, 2010

The ink has hardly had time to dry on the papers telling the world that Jim Hopkins is the new deputy mayor of the Waitaki District and already he’s come up with a grand plan to take us forward, backwards and wherever else we might like to drive:

If Wallywood and Auckland don’t want roads, then fine, we’ll have ’em. What was yours will be ours. They’ll make up for all the ones we haven’t had these many decades past. So any roads you don’t want, just wrap ’em up, whack a stamp on them and send ’em to Ethyl, c/o the wop-wops. We’ll look after them, drive on them, start businesses, produce exports and generally have a yabba dabba doo time. While you’re waiting for the train.

‘Cos things are a tad Flintstonial beyond the city limits. In the south, for instance, simple peasant folk have been toiling away for years, handcrafting volts for the national grid, milking sheep, shearing cows and doing their disproportionate bit for the export drive. But do we get flyovers, Ethyl? Like heck! Do we get viaducts, tunnels, six lanes and a median? Has a grateful government said, “Here, have a motorway, on the house”? Absolutely not. The odd passing lane, parsimoniously allocated and that’s it. The big dosh has gone on projects in Auckland and Wellington.

I suspect that if dollars per kilometre per person was calculated the country might find itself more generously roaded than the cities. Although if we throw export earnings into the equation the case for rural roads might be stronger.

But let’s not allow the facts to get in the way of a good column. If people in our northern cities prefer to get on their bikes and into trains, we should leave them to pedal and puff.

 Down here where the population is smaller and more scattered we’ll take all the roads that are going – preferably with tar seal.


October 23 in history

October 23, 2010

On October 23:

42 BC  Roman Republican civil wars: Second Battle of Philippi – Mark Antony and Octavian decisively defeated Brutus’s army. Brutus committed suicide.

 

425 Valentinian III became Roman Emperor, at the age of 6.

 
ValentinianIIISolidus.jpg

502 The Synodus Palmaris, called by Gothic king Theodoric the Great, discharged Pope Symmachus of all charges, ending the schism of Antipope Laurentius.

1086 At the Battle of az-Zallaqah, the army of Yusuf ibn Tashfin defeated the forces of Castilian King Alfonso VI.

1157 The Battle of Grathe Heath ended the civil war in Denmark. King Sweyn III was killed and Valdemar I restored the country.

Grathe Hede.jpg

1295 The first treaty forming the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France against England was signed in Paris.

1503  Isabella of Portugal, queen of Spain and empress of Germany (d. 1539)

1641 Outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

1642  Battle of Edgehill: First major battle of the First English Civil War.

 

1694  British/American colonial forces, led by Sir William Phipps, fail to seize Quebec from the French.

 

1707 The first Parliament of Great Britain met.

1739 War of Jenkins’ Ear started: British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, reluctantly declared war on Spain.

1812  Claude François de Malet, a French general, began a conspiracy to overthrow Napoleon Bonaparte, claiming that the Emperor died in Russia and that he was now the commandant of Paris.

 

1844  Robert Bridges, English poet, was born (d. 1930).

Robert Bridges.jpg

1850 The first National Women’s Rights Convention began in Worcester, Massachusetts.

 

1861  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Washington, D.C., for all military-related cases.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Westport – Union forced under General Samuel R. Curtis defeated Confederate troops led by General Sterling Price at Westport, near Kansas City.

Westport-cropped.jpg

1867  72 Senators were summoned by Royal Proclamation to serve as the first members of the Canadian Senate.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Metz concluded with a decisive Prussian victory.

1906 Alberto Santos-Dumont fliew a plane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe at Champs de Bagatelle, Paris.

1911  First use of aircraft in war: An Italian pilot took off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War.

1912  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo between the Serbian and Ottoman armies began.

Serbian artillery Battle of Kumanovo.jpg

1915 Among the fatalities when the transport Marquette sank  in the Aegean Sea were 32 New Zealanders, including ten nurses – making 23 October the deadliest day in the history of this country’s military nursing.

Ten NZ nurses lost in <em>Marquette</em> sinking

1915  In New York City, 25,000-33,000 women march on Fifth Avenue to advocate their right to vote.

1917  Lenin called for the October Revolution.

1925 Johnny Carson, American television host (d. 2005)
Carnac.jpg

1929 Great Depression: After a steady decline in stock market prices since a peak in September, the New York Stock Exchange began to show signs of panic.

1929 The first North American transcontinental air service began between New York City and Los Angeles, California.

1931 Diana Dors, British actress was bron (d. 1984).

1935 Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard “Lulu” Rosencrantz were fatally shot at a saloonin Newark, New Jersey in  The Chophouse Massacre.

1940 Pelé, Brazilian footballer, was born.

Pelé 23092007.jpg

1941  Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov took command of Red Army operations to prevent the further advance into Russia of German forces and to prevent the Wehrmacht from capturing Moscow.

 
Georgi Zhukov in 1940.jpg

1942  World War II: Second Battle of El Alamein began.

El Alamein 1942 - British infantry.jpg

1942  All 12 passengers and crewmen aboard an American Airlines DC-3 airliner were killed when it is struck by a U.S. Army Air Forces bomber near Palm Springs, California. Amongst the victims was award-winning composer and songwriter Ralph Rainger (“Thanks for the Memory”, “Love in Bloom”, “Blue Hawaii”).

1942   Michael Crichton, American writer, was born (d. 2008).

1942 – Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, was born (d. 2007).
The Body Shop logo.svg

1942   The Battle for Henderson Field began during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

GuadNakagumaMatanikauDeadJapanese.jpg

1944  : Battle of Leyte Gulf – The largest naval battle in history begins in the Philippines.

USS Princeton (CVL-23) 1944 10 24 1.jpg

1946  The United Nations General Assembly convened for the first time.

1948 A plane crash on Mt Ruapehu killed 13 people.

Mt Ruapehu air crash kills 13

1956  Thousands of Hungarians protest against the government and Soviet occupation.

 

1958  The Springhill Mine Bump – An earthquake trapped 174 miners in the No. 2 colliery at Springhill, Nova Scotia, the deepest coal mine in North America at the time.

 

1958  The Smurfs, a fictional race of blue dwarves, appeared for the first time in the story Le flute à six schtroumpfs, a Johan and Peewit adventure by Peyo which was serialized in the weekly comics magazine Spirou.

Smurf1.gif

1972   Operation Linebacker, a US bombing campaign against North Vietnam ended after five months.

1973  A United Nations sanctioned cease-fire officially ended the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Syria.

1983  Lebanon Civil War: The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut was hit by a truck bomb, killing 241 U.S. Marines. A French army barracks in Lebanon was also hit, killing 58 troops.

1989  The Hungarian Republic was officially declared by president Mátyás Szűrös, replacing the communist Hungarian People’s Republic.

1989  Phillips Disaster in Pasadena, Texas killed 23 and injured 314.

 

1992  Emperor Akihito became the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil.

1993  Shankill Road bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb prematurely detonates in the Shankill area of Belfast, killing the bomber and nine civilians.

1998  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reached a “land for peace” agreement.

 

2001 The Provisional IRA began disarmament after peace talks.

2001  Apple released the iPod.

IPod family.png

2002  Moscow Theatre Siege began: Chechen terrorists seized the House of Culture theater in Moscow and took approximately 700 theatre-goers hostage.

2004 A powerful earthquake and its aftershocks hit Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, killing 35 people, injuring 2,200, and leaving 85,000 homeless or evacuated.

 

2007 A powerful cold front in the Bay of Campeche caused the Usumacinta Jackup rig to collide with Kab 101, leading to the death and drowning of 22 people during rescue operations after evacuation of the rig.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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