January 31 in history

January 31, 2013

1606  Guy Fawkes was executed for his plotting against Parliament.

1673 Louis de Montfort, French catholic priest and saint, was born (d. 1716).

1747 The first venereal diseases clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.

1797 Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1828).

1814 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas became Supreme Director of Argentina.

1849 Corn Laws were abolished in the United Kingdom (following legislation in 1846).

1862 Alvan Graham Clark discovered the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an eighteen inch telescope at Northwestern University.

1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee became general-in-chief.

1865  Henri Desgrange, Founder of the Tour-de-France, was born (d. 1940).

1872 Zane Grey, American Western writer, was born.(1939)

1876 The United States ordered all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1881  Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina was born  (d. 1931).

1884 Theodor Heuss, 1st President of Germany (Bundespräsident), was born (d. 1963).

1918 A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night led to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships.

1919 The Battle of George Square took place in Glasgow.

1919  Jackie Robinson, American baseball player,  first black player in Major League Baseball, was born (d. 1972).

1921 New Zealand’s first regular air mail service began with a flight by the Canterbury Aviation Company from Christchurch to Ashburton and Timaru.

NZ’s first regular airmail service begins

1921 Carol Channing, American actress and singer, was born.

1921 Mario Lanza, American singer was born (d. 1959).

1923 Norman Mailer, American writer and journalist, was born  (d. 2007).

1929 The Soviet Union exiled Leon Trotsky.

1930 3M began marketing Scotch Tape.

1938 – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, was born.

1943 German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus surrendered to the Soviets at Stalingrad, followed 2 days later by the remainder of his Sixth Army, ending one of World War II’s fiercest battles.

1945 US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion, the first such execution of a US soldier since the Civil War.

1946 Terry Kath, American musician (Chicago), was born (d. 1978).

1946 Yugoslavia‘s new constitution, modelling the Soviet Union, established six constituent republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

1950 President Harry S. Truman announced a programme to develop the hydrogen bomb.

1951 Harry Wayne Casey, American singer and musician (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.

1953 A North Sea flood caused over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands.

1956 John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, English singer (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd.), was born.

1958  Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.

1958  James Van Allen discovered the Van Allen radiation belt.

1961 Mercury-Redstone 2Ham the Chimp travelled into outer space.

1966 The Soviet Union launched the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna programme.

1968 – Nauru became independent from Australia.

1971 Apollo 14 Mission – Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lifted off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.

1971 – The Winter Soldier Investigation, organised by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicise war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, began in Detroit.

1990 The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow.

1995 President Bill Clinton authorised a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.

1996 An explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400.

2000 Alaska Airlines flight 261 MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 persons aboard.

2001 In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicted a Libyan and acquitted another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie in 1988.

2003 The Waterfall rail accident near Waterfall, New South Wales.

2009 – At least 113 people were killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, Kenya.

2010 – Avatar became the first film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.

2011 – A winter storm hit North America for the second time in the same month, causing $1.8 billion in damages across the United States and Canada and killing 24 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

January 30, 2013

Logomachy– controversy marked by verbiage; an argument or dispute about words and their meanings; an argument or dispute carried out in words only; a battle of words; an argument or debate marked by the reckless or incorrect use of words.


Traquilise sheep to test reaction time

January 30, 2013

An email told me the average driver’s reaction time is .75 seconds or 1 car length for every 10 mph then invited me to test my reaction speed by tranquilising sheep.

The best I could do was .170 seconds and an average of .2212 which makes me a bobbing bobcat – better than an ambling armadillo or sluggish snail but not as good as a rocketing rabbit or turbo-charged cheetah.

Warning – this could lead to a lot of time wasting.


Rural round-up

January 30, 2013

Hard going for independent dairy firm; more competition unlikely in milk processing – Tony Chaston:

Is there still a place for more competition in the NZ dairy industry with Fonterra being such a dominant force?

This article looks at 10 years of business by the number two dairy processor Open Country Dairy which has been characterised by fights with big brother to get a fair crack at the market, and challenges to be consistently profitable.

This fight to compete with Fonterra has affected nearly all the processing minows in NZ and many have had to acquire overseas capital and increased shareholder investment to stay afloat. . .

Six finalists contend for 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year title:

The Dairy Women’s Network has announced the names of the six women who will progress into the final round of judging for the 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year Award.

They are:
• Juliet MacLean, chief executive Synlait Farms Limited, Rakaia
• Justine Kidd, business manager BEL Group, Waipukurau
• Kath Taylor, dairy veterinarian and Mastitis consultant, VetSouth Limited, Winton
• Kathryn van den Beuken, farm owner/operator and key account manager AgITO, Rakaia
• Leonie Guiney, farm owner/operator, Fairlie
• Sarah Watson, farm supervisor Canterbury, MyFarm, West Melton. . . .

Proposed changes to Rural Post and the NZ Post Deed:

Federated Farmers is to consult its membership on proposed changes that could radically reshape the delivery of physical mail to over half a million New Zealanders in rural areas.

“NZ Post deserves praise for the way it has worked with Federated Farmers, Rural Woman NZ and the other rural stakeholders,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“This will largely not come as a shock because we are living through a fundamental shift in technology. The decline in physical mail is offset by the rise of electronic mail.

“Commercially, NZ Post’s business model must either evolve or face extinction but I doubt many people can seriously argue the status quo is tenable. . .

Alliance Group Welcomes Primary Growth Partnership Collaboration Programme:

Leading meat processor and exporter Alliance Group has welcomed the launch of an initiative designed to improve farmer profitability.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has approved a commitment of up to $32.4 million, matched by industry, from MPI’s Primary Growth Partnership Fund (PGP) for the red meat sector’s new Collaboration for Sustainable Growth programme.

Grant Cuff, chief executive of Alliance Group Limited, one of the founding organisations taking part in the initiative, said . . .

Actually, The $58K From 20 Cows Is Not That Easy – Milking on the Moove:

In my last post, How To Make $58,788 Per Year With 20 Cows. I talked about how a simple dairy can be set up for quite a small investment of just over $100,000 and the milk can be sold direct to the customer.

I hoped the post would encourage people to think differently about dairy farming and the possibilities available. 

It’s certainly a good illustration of how profitable a business can be if it can retain the whole retail price.

Warning!

It’s not quite that simple.

It’s easy enough to buy a few cows and build a cheap dairy to process the milk. That’s easy. There are plenty of experts who can design or build the components for you. . .

 Hawkes Bay water project boon for Maori workers:

The spokesperson for four hapu in Central Hawke’s Bay says it’s vital local Maori play a key role in a proposed $220 million water storage project.

The regional council’s Ruataniwha water storage scheme would see a dam built on the Makaroro River to store 90 million cubic metres of water which could irrigate 22,000 hectares of farmland. . .

Nearly 75% of Kiwi women not getting enough calcium:

We all need calcium for strong bones and teeth as part of a healthy lifestyle, but studies show that nearly 75 per cent of New Zealand women aren’t getting the recommended amount of dietary calcium in their day[1].

If eating sardines and tofu doesn’t tickle your fancy however, Anchor and Osteoporosis New Zealand have now made it easy to top up your daily dietary calcium with the launch of a calcium enriched spread.

Endorsed by Osteoporosis NZ, Anchor Dairy Blend Calci+ spread is the first calcium enriched spread that not only provides the goodness of New Zealand dairy and is spreadable straight from the fridge, but also offers 10 per cent of your recommended dietary intake (RDI) of calcium. . .

NZ to run agricultural training programme in Chile:

New Zealand is to run an agricultural training project in Chile.

The Chilean government has announced that New Zealand will be running the four-year initiative, aimed at revamping agricultural productivity in the South American country.

Chile says it hopes the programme will help improve the effectiveness of the agricultural subsidies it pays its farmers and attract more skilled workers to the sector. . .


Feds’ president’s farm in climate adaptation study

January 30, 2013

Federated Farmers’ president Bruce Wills’ farm is one being used for a case study on climate adaptation.

Irrespective of personal views around the causes for climate change, all farmers know our climate is ever-changing impacting farm businesses. This makes the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Impacts of Climate Change on Land based Sectors and Adaptation Options, an important contribution.

“All farmers know the climate changes and whether it is man-made, natural or a combination of the two, what really matters is building resilience into our farm businesses,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, whose own farm is one of the MPI case studies.

“The climate changes and will continue to change because we live on a dynamic planet. If we had little or no climate change our environment would be closer to that of Mars and hostile to life as we know it.

“What the Ministry for Primary Industries has produced is thought provoking because the overriding assumption around climate change has been its negative effects. The climate is in fact neutral; it is what we make of it which counts.

This is a very important point.

Almost all the information on climate change is about the politics and possible mitigation. This study is looking at how farmer might adapt to it.

“If we are in a warming cycle with higher concentrations of CO2, then we can expect increasingly rapid pasture, crop and tree growth boosting productivity. On the downside, there will likely be increased frequencies of drought and floods with pests and disease.

“Ensuring we have the right on-farm infrastructure, systems and personnel to cope with climate variability is vital. Especially once you marry what we are doing inside the farm-gate with what is happening regionally and nationally.

“It is also vital we maintain stringent biosecurity to defeat pests and exotic diseases before the border.

“With the case study done about our farm, it boils down to the tactical use of plantings to stabilise hillsides, farm dams to store water and stock policies to better cope with the weather volatility we are experiencing.

“Environmental management is vital; it’s about being able to farm sustainably and profitably for generations to come.

“While outside of the report, the control of possums by way of 1080 has been massive to our farm’s economic and environmental sustainability. The explosion of bird life and biodiversity I have seen with the demise of possums has been extraordinary.

“The other case studies are there to show farmers by sector and type just what is possible. I think it will engender discussion within the primary communities on where we go and how we get there. That is a discussion Federated Farmers is keen to be a part of.

“New Zealand’s innovative and progressive farmers are very good at reading environmental signals. Farming will continue to adapt and evolve in response to these changes,” Mr Wills concluded.

  The paper Impacts of Climate Change on Land based Sectors and Adaptation Options is here.

Feds has links to the paper, a toolbox and case studies under Useful facts, figures and resources here.


Opposition still want to tax and spend

January 30, 2013

Opposition parties’ announcements on housing confirm they haven’t learned from the global financial crisis, the mistakes of the labour-led governments of the noughties and their loss at the 2011 election.

They still want to tax and spend.

Prime Minister John Key said in his opening speech to parliament yesterday:

On this side of the House, where we have ideas and where we have plans, and where big success is not just stumbling over the autocue, we have four key priorities. No. 1 is responsibly managing the Government’s finances. That means living within your means. That means New Zealand earning a living. That means being sensible with taxpayers’ money. . .

Let us go back to getting back to surplus. On this side of the House we know that, when it comes to spending, Labour and the Greens are the Usain Bolt of spending.

They are the world champions when it comes to spending. Nothing has changed, and they will continue, given half a chance, to do it again. They cannot help themselves. Every time they open their mouths, they either get it wrong or they spend money they do not have. Those are the only answers they have got. . .

But the ODT points out the public appetite for such disregard for other people’s money has dulled:

. . . the Opposition parties, all of them, need to adopt a dose of common sense and realism if they are to make an impression. Although many voters have a wish list, not many want their taxes to increase to pay for such policies.

It’s easy enough to promise to give people what they think they want. It’s much harder to get them to accept paying for it.


Authorised expenditure

January 30, 2013

“A new book?” he said. “I thought you weren’t spending money on things this year, only people and experiences.”

“Books are people and experiences,” she said.


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