Word of the day

May 5, 2013

Laugh – to express mirth or delight, derision, or nervousness with an audible, vocal expulsion of air by a series of spontaneous or usually unarticulated sounds often accompanied by corresponding facial and bodily movements; show or feel amusement or good humour; feel or express derision or contempt; mock; produce sounds resembling laughter; affect, influence or express by laughter; to drive, put or bring by or with laughter; something amusing, absurd, or contemptible; fun.


Rural round-up

May 5, 2013

Multiple causes for colony collapse – report – by Seth Borenstein:

A new federal report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of US honeybees since 2006.

The intertwined factors cited include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides.

The multiple causes make it harder to do something about what’s called colony collapse disorder, experts say. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation’s bees to just disappear each winter since 2006. 

Bees, especially honeybees, are needed to pollinate crops.

The federal report, issued Thursday by the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, said the biggest culprit is the parasitic mite varroa destructor, calling it “the single most detrimental pest of honeybees”. . .

And the top steaks are…:

After an intense semi-final tasting today, the top 20 sirloin steaks have been found to compete in the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin Grand Final.

Today’s semi-final saw over 70 steaks tasted by a panel of chefs and foodwriters, including 2012 MasterChef winner Chelsea Winter.

Winter says the quality of the product on show made marking the steaks very difficult.

“I love a steak at the best of times and to taste some of the best in the country was a great experience. It was a hard job as they were each of such high quality, but someone has to do it!” says Winter. . .

Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Nominated For Green Ribbon Award:

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track has been nominated as a finalist in the Green Economy category for the 2013 Green Ribbon Awards for the second consecutive year. Honouring outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand’s environment, the Green Ribbon Awards are conferred by the Ministry for the Environment.

Environment Minister Amy Adams announced 32 finalists in 11 award categories that recognise individuals, businesses, communities and youth, as well as larger organisations.

“All the finalists have shown great dedication and initiative. I am looking forward to meeting them and learning first-hand about the great work they are all doing to help New Zealand’s environment,” Ms Adams says. . .

Growers, Importers Scramble to Meet New Brassica Rules:

A snap change to government import rules for brassica seeds has caught New Zealand producers on the hop as they prepare for sowing the high value crops.

The new rules, including mandatory fungicide treatment, mean significant delays to shipments and serious production issues for some growers already working to very tight planting schedules.

Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association, says the Ministry for Primary Industries gave no warning of the change and no immediate explanation. . .

Appointment Of AGMARDT’s Associate Board Member:

AGMARDT has announced the appointment of James Allen as an Associate Board Member to join its Board of Trustees.

AGMARDT is an independent not-for-profit trust that aims to foster and encourage leadership, innovation and research capability within the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors of New Zealand.

AGMARDT Chairman Jeff Grant said that the purpose of creating the Associate Board Member position is to provide an emerging agribusiness leader with an opportunity to observe and experience governance in action within an innovative agribusiness environment. . .


World Laughter Day

May 5, 2013

Happy World Laughter Day:

World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. The celebration of World Laughter Day is a positive manifestation for world peace and is intended to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter. Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement now counting over 6000 Laughter Clubs in more than 65 countries. . .
world laughter day

 

From Story People by Brian Andreas:

 


Wash your hands

May 5, 2013

Do we really need World Hand Hygiene Day?

If we want a simple, cheap and effective way to prevent the spread of disease and save lives, we do.

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew says World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May is an important reminder of the vital role hand hygiene plays in preventing harm to patients.

“Clean hands save lives – it’s as simple as that,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Cleaning their hands at the right times while caring for a patient is the single most important thing health care professionals can do to prevent a patient from developing a healthcare associated infection.”

Healthcare associated infections can lead to longer hospital stays, long-term disabilities, extra time off work, greater expense and, occasionally, death. They also cause considerable distress for patients and their families. . .

But hand hygiene isn’t only for health professionals.

The direction to wash our hands before handling or eating food and after using the loo  applies to all of us.

My parents wouldn’t let my brothers and me come to the meal table unless we’d washed our hands – and washed them properly.

Many families don’t eat at a table these days nor do they pay such strict attention to hand hygiene.

That increases the risk of spreading infectious complaints like colds, flu, and stomach bugs, none of which is likely to be fatal here.

In third world countries the consequences of poor hand hygiene can be much more serious but a New Zealander is helping to change that through Health Songs International:

Rob Greaney, founder of HSI has been writing songs for over 35 years.  In 2000 Rob traveled to Indonesia and entered an arts university in the West Java capital of Bandung.  Studying both language and musical styles Rob soon began to compose songs in Bahasa Indonesia.  In 2003 Rob was commissioned by a local NGO from a rural setting to create an album of “Health Songs” to help teach “Good health” messages.

Through careful analysis of musical style and working closely with a team of skilled health workers, the album Indonesia Sehat was completed.  This album was used extensively by the group and was received with delight by the locals in the context of neighbourhood health clinics.
This album was the genesis of HSI as it is known today.

Rob spoke at Rotary recently and told us about teaching a hand washing song to children in Indonesia.

A few weeks later he visited a school and noticed a new water tower.

The principal told him it had been built on the insistence of the children. Water used to run out late morning and after learning about the importance of clean hands through the song they said they couldn’t eat lunch unless they could wash first.

A former staff member needed a song like that. He used to come in, wash his hands then go to the loo and not wash again before eating lunch.

We need some exposure to germs to build up immunity, but that’s not an excuse for poor hygiene like that.


Not all schools want free food

May 5, 2013

Hone Harawira’s Bill proposing to provide food for all decile one and two schools will be debated in parliament soon.

It is a blunt instrument which will do nothing for hungry children in higher decile schools and provide food where it’s not needed and not wanted.

A school principal in Whangarei says a proposed law change aimed at providing meals for students in poorer schools could reinforce negative stereotypes. . .

Hora hora Primary principal Pat Newman said that may send a message that all parents with children at poorer schools don’t feed them properly.

He said it does not cost his school a lot to step in when it needs to, discretely offering breakfast and sandwiches to individual students in need. . .

The Press points out other problems with the proposal:

One difficulty is the sheer logistics of the proposal. Most schools are neither set up nor staffed to provide meals to pupils. One figure much bandied about during recent debate has suggested that 80,000 children go to school each morning without having had breakfast.

While that number has a whiff of the Ministry of Made-Up Numbers about it, even confined to decile 1 and 2 schools, Harawira’s proposal would be a large and time- consuming effort to get breakfast and lunch to all those deemed to need them.

But the main difficulty with Harawira’s idea is that it tackles the issue from the wrong end. Hungry children in school are a just symptom of a root cause – inadequate, negligent parenting and decision-making.

For the state to take over providing something as fundamental as proper meals will, if anything, only aggravate that root cause.

The more dud parents become aware that their children will be fed if they fail to do so, the more they will be inclined to abdicate the responsibility.

Providing a decent breakfast and lunch for a child is hardly an onerous or expensive task. Eggs on toast or cereal for breakfast, and sandwiches with a nourishing filling for lunch, are within the capacity of every parent. . .

It’s not the fault of hungry children that their parents don’t feed them and it is a problem which needs to be addressed.

But providing food for all low decile schools isn’t the best way to do it.

Fonterra is providing free milk for all schools that want it – some high decile schools choose to have it, some low ones don’t.

This targeted and voluntary approach, in conjunction with charities like Kids Can which provides food,  doesn’t address the problem of hopeless parents.

But at least it doesn’t waste food on schools which don’t need it, and gives it do children who do.


Sunday soapbox

May 5, 2013

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, to muse or amuse.

:) kindest, Boris


May 5 in history

May 5, 2013

553 The Second Council of Constantinople began.

1215  Rebel barons renounce their allegiance to King John of England.

1260 Kublai Khan became ruler of the Mongol Empire.

1494 Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica and claimed it for Spain.

1640  King Charles I of England dissolved the Short Parliament.

1762  Russia and Prussia signed the Treaty of St. Petersburg.

1789  In France, the Estates-General convened for the first time since 1614.

1809  Mary Kies becomes the first woman awarded a U.S. patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.

1809 – The Swiss canton of Aargau denied citizenship to Jews.

1818 Karl Marx, German political philosopher was born (d. 1883).

1821  Emperor Napoleon I died in exile on the island of Saint Helena.

1830 John Batterson Stetson, American hat manufacturer was born (d. 1906).

1833 James Busby became New Zealand’s official British resident.

Busby becomes official British Resident

1835 The first railway in continental Europe opened between Brusselsand Mechelen.

1862  Cinco de Mayo in Mexico: troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halted a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla.

1864 American Civil War: The Battle of the Wilderness began in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

1864 – Nellie Bly, American journalist and writer was born  (d. 1922).

1865  In North Bend, Ohio, the first train robbery in the United States took place.

1866  Memorial Day first celebrated in United States at Waterloo, New York.

1877  Indian Wars: Sitting Bull led his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles.

1886  The Bay View Tragedy: A militia fired into a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing seven.

1891 The Music Hall in New York City (later known as Carnegie Hall) had its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.

1904  Cy Young of the Boston Americans threw the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.

1914 – Tyrone Power, American actor was born (d. 1958).

1916 U.S. marines invaded the Dominican Republic.

1919 – Georgios Papadopoulos, Greek dictator was born (d. 1999).

1921 Coco Chanel introduced Chanel No. 5.

1925  Scopes Trial: serving of an arrest warrant on John T. Scopes for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

1925  The government of South Africa declared Afrikaans an official language.

1936  Italian troops occupied Addis Ababa.

1940  World War II: Norwegian refugees formed a government-in-exile in London

1941  Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa; the country commemorates the date as Liberation Day or Patriots’ Victory Day.

1942 Tammy Wynette, American musician was born (d. 1998).

1943 Michael Palin, British writer, actor, and comedian, was born.

1944 John Rhys-Davies, English-born Welsh actor was born.

1945  World War II: Canadian and UK troops liberated the Netherlands and Denmark from Nazi occupation.

1945 – World War II: Prague uprising against German occupying forces in Czechoslovakia.

1945 – World War II: US Army troops liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria

1945 – World War II: Admiral Karl Dönitz, President of Germany after Hitler’s death, ordered all German U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases.

1948  Bill Ward, British drummer (Black Sabbath) was born.

1949 The Treaty of London established the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as the first European institution working for European integration.

1950 Bhumibol Adulyadej crowned himself King Rama IX of Thailand.

1950 Mary Hopkin, Welsh singer, was born.

1955 West Germany gained full sovereignty.

1961 The Mercury programme: Mercury-Redstone 3Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into outer space making a sub-orbital flight of 15 minutes.

1964 The Council of Europe declared May 5 as Europe Day.

1980 Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service stormed the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege.

1981 Bobby Sands died in the Long Kesh prison hospital after 66 days of hunger-striking, aged 27.

1987  Iran-Contra affair: start of Congressional televised hearings in the United States of America

1991 Mt Pleasant riots broke out in the Mt. Pleasant section of Washington, D.C. after police shoot a Salvadoran man.

1994  The signing of the Bishkek Protocol between Armenia and Azerbaijan effectively froze the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

2005  Tony Blair’s Labour Party was elected for a third consecutive term.

2006 The government of Sudan signed an accord with the Sudan Liberation Army.

2007  Kenya Airways Flight KQ 507 crashed in Cameroon.

2010 – Mass protests in Greece erupted in response to austerity measures imposed by the government as a result of the Greek debt crisis.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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