Word of the day

20/04/2013

Galvanic – of, pertaining to, or producing a direct current of electricity, especially when produced chemically; sudden and dramatic; affecting or affected as if by an electric shock; having an electric effect : intensely exciting; startling; shocking; stimulating; energizing.


Rural round-up

20/04/2013

World record for Canterbury merino farmer – Tim Cronshaw:

Canterbury merino farmer Anna Emmerson has beaten the Australians at their own game by winning the Loro Piana Challenge Cup in Hong Kong with a world record bale of the finest merino wool.

She broke her own record of 10.9 microns set in 2010 with an ultra-fine bale in the competition held in Paris.

In the past, winning bales have made around $200,000, paid by the family owned clothing and fabric maker Loro Piana, led by Italian brothers Pier Luigi Loro Piana and Sergio Loro Piana.

The business does not disclose the amount paid other than that a premium was offered above its market value if it breaks a record. . .

First Australian for Kellogg leaders’ programme:

Lincoln University’s Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme has extended its welcome, with the course accepting its first Australian participant this year.

 The programme has welcomed Mary Johnson as the first Australian to join the course and also the youngest applicant in its 34-year history.

“I found out about the programme through my line of work at Cattle Council Australia and then through the Australian Beef Industry Foundation,” says Johnson.
“I did some of my own research and found that the Kellogg programme is all over the world, so I jumped at the opportunity.” . .

Partnership offers promise of profit – Tim Cronshaw:

Meat companies cannot afford to suffer more financial losses after losing $200 million last season, and farmers must commit stock to one company to ensure a healthy red- meat industry, says Lincoln University agribusiness professor Keith Woodford.

He told 600 farmers at a Christchurch meeting of the new Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group on Wednesday that they had to work in partnership with the rest of the industry, because the combative approach was not working.

A sustainable industry, in which everyone made money, was the end game, he said. This would be challenging and require some restructuring. . .

Australians push for Korean FTA:

AUSTRALIAN BEEF farmers are pushing the Gillard Government to restart free trade agreement talks with South Korea. Industry leaders visited Seoul this month seeking to resume talks with the South Koreans.

The National Farmers Union says Australian beef producers stand to miss out on A$1.4 billion in exports to Korea unless a FTA is in place soon. It says the threat to other exports like wheat (A$350 million) and dairy (A$100 million) is also high.

FTA talks between Australia and South Korea stalled after the Australian cabinet banned even starting talks which require settling any type of investor-state dispute (allowing companies unhappy with their treatment in another country to seek arbitration in an agreed third jurisdiction). . .

Farmer protests fail to sway government

Protest meetings in Victoria and South Australia, further planned demonstrations and a direct meeting have all left Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig unmoved.

Farmer Power representatives met with Minister Ludwig last month at a meeting hosted by the Victorian Farmers Federation. The United Dairy Farmers of Victoria also attended.

The group asked for cash assistance to help farmers address cash flow problems. . .

Southern Clams Plans to Diversify with Bluff Oysters in Otago Harbour:

Within twelve months, Dunedin restaurants, could be serving live oysters on the shell straight from Otago Harbour. The plan is the brainchild of Southern Clams who have identified a unique opportunity to diversify their shellfish operations by utilising the certified growing waters of Otago Harbour.

In a consent application to the Otago Regional Council, tabled today, Southern Clams is proposing to take two year old oysters, which have been farmed by New Zealand’s Bluff Oyster Company (NZBO) in Bluff Harbour, and re-lay them in Otago Harbour for up to four weeks, until they meet statutory regulations for commercial harvest. . .


Boston bombing suspect arrested

20/04/2013

Police have arrested a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Law enforcement officials told CNN that authorities have confirmed the man in custody is 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who escaped an overnight shootout with police that left his older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev — the other man wanted in the bombings — dead.

The younger Tsarnaev was in need of undisclosed medical care, the officials said. . .


Saturday’s smiles

20/04/2013
A motorcycle mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a BMWR75 when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop.
The doctor was waiting for the service manager to take a look at his car when the mechanic shouted across the garage,”Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?”
The cardiologist, a bit surprised walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine.
I opened its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced anything damaged, and then put everything back in, and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how is it that I make £24,000 a year and you make £1.7 million …when you and I are basically doing the same work?”
The cardiologist paused, leaned over and whispered to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running”.
Hat tip: Baker and Associates’ Ag Letter – a weekly newsletter full of matters of interest to anyone interested in farming, and at least one joke. Subscription details here.

Cheese good as gold

20/04/2013

Demand for dairy products is outstripping supply which is pushing up prices.

Cheese is now such a good investment in Britain a pension fund is banking on it.

A giant mountain of maturing cheddar cheese is to be used as security for a pension fund.

Twenty million kilos of Cathedral City cheddar will now back up pension funds of workers at Dairy Crest, one of the UK’s biggest cheesemakers.

Some 20,000 pallets of the cheese, nearly half the company’s total stock, have been pledged to the pension fund trustees.

The cheese is made in Cornwall, but matured in a warehouse in Warwickshire.

It is kept on the shelves there for 12 months.

In the event of the pension fund running into financial trouble, the trustees will now be able to sell blocks of cheddar to make up the shortfall. . .

If the value of cheddar is so good a pension fund is banking on it, does that mean cheese is now as good as gold?

Hat tip: SkepticLawyer


LabourGreens steal from us all

20/04/2013

JB Were says the LabourGreen power plan will sap energy from the local market:

The Labour/Greens announcement on electricity sector reform concerns us on two fronts: firstly, the move to a state buyer of power risks being a retrograde step for the New Zealand economy. Secondly, we believe it will prove damaging for New Zealand capital markets, and comes at an unfortunate time given the significant progress made here since 2010. We detail these two concerns below: . . .

The damage to capital markets has already started.

Share prices in energy companies  fell yesterday in the wake of the LabourGreen plan to power us back to the socialist seventies.

TrustPower, which is 50.7 percent owned by Infratil, fell 5 percent to $7.18, leading decliners as fallout from the opposition parties’ plan to centralise buying of electricity and split generators from their retail arms weighed on utilities.

Contact Energy fell 2.8 percent to $5.31 and lines company Vector slid 2.1 percent to $2.82. Infratil dropped 1.3 percent to $2.30. . .

Those shares aren’t just owned by the wealthy the left hate.

They’re also owned by people of modest means who have worked hard and put something away for a rainy day.

They’re also owned by community trusts and other philanthropic organisations which fund charitable projects.

They’re also owned by insurance companies, including ACC.

They’re also owned by Kiwisaver and the Superannuation Fund.

The LabourGreen power plan is in sabotaging the value of investments is stealing from us all.


Saturday soapbox

20/04/2013

Saturday’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, to muse or amuse.

Photo: Hitchens' Razor


April 20 in history

20/04/2013

1303 The University of Rome La Sapienza was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

1453 The last naval battle in Byzantine history when three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fought their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.

1494 Johannes Agricola, German Protestant reformer was born (d. 1566) .

1534  Jacques Cartier began the voyage during which he discovered Canada and Labrador.

1535 The Sun Dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan

1653  Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament.

1657 Admiral Robert Blake destroyed a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

1657  Freedom of religion was granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1689 The former King James II of England,  then deposed, lay siege to Derry.

1775 American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston began.

1792 France declared war on Austria, beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

1809 Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 The Governor of Caracas declared independence from Spain.

1828 René Caillié became the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.

1861 American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

1862 Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard completed the first pasteurisation tests.

1871 The Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law.

1884 Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum Genus.

1889 Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator, was born  (d. 1945) .

1893 Joan Miró, Spanish painter, was born  (d. 1983).

1902 Pierre and Marie Curie refined radium chloride.

1914 Forty-five men, women, and children died in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner’s strike.

1918 Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

1926 Western Electric and Warner Bros. announced Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

1939  Billie Holiday recorded the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit“.

1941  Ryan O’Neal, American actor, was born.

1945  World War II: US troops captured Leipzig, Germany.

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler made his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.

1948 Craig Frost, American musician (Grand Funk & Bob Seger), was born.

1949  Jessica Lange, American actress, was born.

1953 Sebastian Faulks, British novelist, was born.

1958  The first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern Hemisphere opened in Hamilton.

Mormon temple opens in Hamilton

1961 Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.

1964  BBC Two launched with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.

1968  Enoch Powell made his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.

1972 Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.

1978  Korean Air Flight 902 was shot down by Soviets.

1980 Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists were arrested.

1981 – Alison Roe won the Boston Marathon.

1985 ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.

1986 Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

1986 Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director, was born.

1986 Professional basketball player Michael Jordan set a record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.

1998 German terrorist group Red Army Faction announced their dissolution after 28 years.

1999 Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

2007 Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricaded himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008 Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

2010 – Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion killed 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sourced from Nz History Online and Wikipedia


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