Word of the day

June 21, 2013

Limning – depict or describe in painting or words; suffuse or highlight (something) with a bright colour or light.


Rural round-up

June 21, 2013

Ski patrol rescues sheep buried in snow – Thomas Mead:

Three mountain climbers needed an alpine rescue last night after bearing the brunt of a snow storm – but the stranded patients weren’t your regular mountaineers.

A ski patrol was part-way through a regular avalanche monitoring routine on Wanaka’s Treble Cone ski field when they spotted a little head sticking out of a snow drift.

A closer inspection revealed three sheep stranded in a snow drift, still breathing and warm, but buried in the snow.

Ski patrol member Luke Lennox says the surprising discovery left the team with the perfect opportunity to practice an alpine rescue. . . . (click on the link for a video).

Kiwi firm tackles burger giant at home:

US ICONIC company McDonald’s may have dumped lambburgers – but a thriving New Zealand fast-food company plans to take on the land of beef and burgers on its home ground.

After a successful drive into the Middle East, Burger Fuel, whose premium burgers are based on New Zealand beef, is strategising to enter the US, says New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chief executive Peter Chrisp. . .

New company becomes TB agency:

The Animal Health Board is relinquishing its role as the management agency for the National Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Pest Management plan.

The role will pass to a new limited-liability company TBfree New Zealand Ltd. The Animal Health Board (AHB) will resign its role as the management agency on June 30.

From July 1, 2013 TBfree New Zealand Ltd and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Ltd will become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (OSPRI) New Zealand Ltd. . .

Zespri running to keep ahead of the game:

THE GLOBAL business environment is evolving so quickly it’s “about running to keep up so we are not made obsolete,” Zespri chief Lain Jager says. 

“Two high-level strategic thoughts occupy our minds: where will our growth come from and how can we develop our advantage so we can make a margin and be profitable?” he told the Go Global export conference in Auckland. . .

Changes to Layer Hens Code of Welfare Proposed:

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) is seeking public consultation on proposed changes to the Layer Hens Code of Welfare 2012.

The most significant effect of the Code is that it requires battery cages to be phased out by 31 December 2022. This was to be managed in three transition stages. While the final phase-out date has not changed, the potential for severe price increases has highlighted the need to move each of the transition steps back by two years.

The amended transition steps within the ten year period are as follows: . . .

Meat Industry Excellence Makes First Key Appointment:

Ross Hyland, an influential figure in both agribusiness and the commercial sector, has become Meat Industry Excellence’s (MIE) first key appointment.

“Ross’s commitment and success in New Zealand agriculture is well documented,” says Richard Young, Chairman of Meat Industry Excellence.

“Ross Hyland’s on-going commitment to continually improve the profitability of our primary sector will be vital as we push for a stronger and more vibrant red meat sector. . .

Fluufy cows – old beauty practice gains attention:

ADEL, Iowa — Grooming cows so they look like unusually large poodles is a well-known beautification practice in the show cattle industry.

But although it may be decades old, it’s just now getting attention on the Internet.

It started with a photo of a male cow named Texas Tornado who had a particularly fluffy coat. “Fluffy cow” photos are now making the rounds.

The practice is meant to help sell livestock for breeding or harvesting. . .


Friday’s answers

June 21, 2013

Thursday’s questions were provided by Andrei and Rob:

(1) Who wrote “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”.

And what book is this quote taken from?

(2) The ubiquitous “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn was part of his Op 61 written as incidental music – what was this written for?

(3) It is novia in Spanish, sposa in Italian, mariée in French and Невеста (nevesta) in Russian.

What is it in English?

(4) Who wrote the musical “Kiss Me, Kate” and what earlier work does it reference and mirror?

(5) The author of the quotation in the first question also wrote
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”

Agree/disagree – do you have your own recipe for marital bliss?

1. What is a ‘brass monkey’ and why are its appendages used as a temperature gauge?

2. What is an ‘oodle’ and where and how did the plural of this word become a term for a lot of things?

3. What is a ‘great wadge’ of something and is this a measurable amount?

4. For the agriculturally minded (and completely unseasonably): hay turner, hay tedder or hay rake?

5. June 22 1982: what did Robert Muldoon do?

(nb: I only know the answer to one of these questions)

They both win an electronic sticky date pudding for stumping us all.

They can be collected by leaving the answers below.


Campaigning with OPM

June 21, 2013

The left keep trying to get public funding for central government election campaigns.

Now Auckland mayoral candidate is trying to get other people’s money for local body campaigns:

Mana Party candidate John Minto said the current cap of $580,000 is a barrier to candidates who don’t have corporate backing. . .

Mr Minto said that if the Government provided a pool of funding, similar to the money given to political parties contesting the general election, it would help all candidates to get their message out. . .

The pool he refers to is, I think, public money allocated for broadcasting.

I can’t see any justification for that and definitely don’t see nay justification for giving money to local body candidates.

Some money is required for campaigns but if the bigger spenders got more votes then Colin Craig and his Conservative Party would be in parliament.

Participatory democracy shouldn’t need other people’s money.

If candidates can’t get the help they need, in both financial and people terms, they don’t deserve public funding and if they can they don’t need public funds.


Wet, wet, white

June 21, 2013

We’ve had rain, then more rain and now we’re getting snow.

It’s lying on the paddocks but not very deep and roads around our farm are still open.

Waiology pointed me to Niwa’s Citizen Snow Project:

Snowfall is not routinely measured in New Zealand, but is an important part both of our natural hazards and our water resources.

Snow which falls at high elevations will generally melt slowly in spring; it will be absorbed by soil (for use by vegetation) or become runoff, which adds to stream flow. Snow which falls at low elevations will generally melt quickly after the snowfall, and be absorbed by soil and added to groundwater.

Measurements of snowfall at low elevations around New Zealand are few and far between, and yet the data would be really helpful in understanding how snowfall occurs, and quantifying snow-related risks to infrastructure (e.g. buildings, power lines, etc.) and impact on water resources. After all, the large majority of New Zealand’s population and infrastructure reside closer to the coast than the mountains.

And so we’d like your help to measure snowfall. You can measure the snow depth after it snows and, if you’re extra keen, measure the snow water equivalent (snow density) too.

Your measurements will help us to characterise the complex patterns of snow depth and water content which are important for monitoring New Zealand’s water resources and snow-related risks. . .

Instructions for measurement are at the second link.

Quote Unquote has a photo of 70cm of snow at Lake Heron Station.

And the ODT has a slide show of wintry weather in the south.


Shortest day, longest night, Matariki

June 21, 2013

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day when we have a couple of seconds less daylight than we did yesterday and will tomorrow.

It’s also getting to the end of Matariki:

Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or the Seven Sisters and what is referred to as the traditional Maori New Year. The Maori New Year is marked by the rise of Matariki and the sighting of the next new moon. The pre-dawn rise of Matariki can be seen in the last few days of May every year and the New Year is marked at the sighting of the next new moon which occurs during June. Matariki events occur throughout New Zealand and the timing of the events varies depending on Iwi and geographical differences.

Some Iwi recognize and celebrate a different cluster of stars called Puanga or Puaka. Matariki, Puanga or Puaka are generally celebrated during the months of June and July. Common principles apply to all celebrations whether they are Matariki, Puanga or Puaka. The duration of events and activities varies from a few hours to two months. . .

Whatever we call it, mid winter is a good excuse for a celebration.

However, in the south the snow many people will be putting their energy into keeping warm and fed and looking after their stock so any festivities will have to wait.


June 21 in history

June 21, 2013

524  Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeated the Franks at the Battle of Vézeronce.

1307  Külüg Khan enthroned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan.

1528 Maria of Spain, Holy Roman Empire Empress, was born (d. 1603).

1582  The Incident at Honnō-ji  in Kyoto.

1621  Execution of 27 Czech noblemen on the Old Town Square in Prague as a consequence of the Battle of White Mountain.

1732 Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, German composer, was born  (d. 1791).

1734  In Montreal, a slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique was put to death, having been convicted of the arson that destroyed much of the city.

1749  Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded.

1768   James Otis, Jr. offended the King and parliament in a speech to the Massachusetts General Court.

1788   New Hampshire ratified the Constitution of the United States and is admitted as the 9th state in the United States.

1791 Robert Napier, British engineer, was born  (d. 1876).

1798   Irish Rebellion of 1798: The British Army defeated Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill.

1813   Peninsular War: Battle of Vitoria.

1824   Greek War of Independence: Egyptian forces captured Psara in the Aegean Sea.

1826   Maniots defeated Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha in the Battle of Vergas.

1854  First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands.

1864   New Zealand Land Wars: The Tauranga Campaign ended.

1877   The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrants, were hanged at the Schuylkill County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania prisons?

1895  The Kiel Canal was officially opened.

1898   The United States captured Guam from Spain.

1905 Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and writer, Nobel Prize  laureate, was born  (declined) (d. 1980).

1912  Mary McCarthy, American writer, was born  (d. 1989).

1915  The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down an Oklahoma law denying the right to vote to some citizens.

1919  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police fired a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg General Strike.

1919   Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttled the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed were the last casualties of World War I.

1921  Judy Holliday, American actress, was born  (d. 1965)

1921  Jane Russell, American actress, was born.

1940  The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage began at Vancouver, British Columbia

1942   World War II: Tobruk fell to Italian and German forces.

1942  World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaced near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by the Japanese against the United States mainland.

1944 Ray Davies, English musician (The Kinks), was born.

1945  World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ended.

1947  Joey Molland, English musician (Badfinger), was born.

1948 Ian McEwan, English writer, was born.

1948  Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

1952  Philippine School of Commerce, through a republic act, was converted to Philippine College of Commerce; later to be the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

1957  Ellen Louks Fairclough was sworn in as Canada’s first woman Cabinet Minister.

1964 The Beatles landed in New Zealand.

The Beatles land in NZ

1964  Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi,, by members of the Ku Klux Klan?

1973   In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States established the Miller Test, which now governs obscenity in U.S. law.

1982 Prince William of Wales, British prince and heir, was born.

1982 John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

2000   Section 28 (outlawing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in the United Kingdom) was repealed in Scotland with a 99 to 17 vote.

2001  A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, indicted 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.

2004   SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.

2006   Pluto’s newly discovered moons were officially named Nix & Hydra.

2009 – Greenland assumed self-rule.

2012 – A boat carrying more than 200 refugees capsised in the Indian Ocean between Java and Christmas Island, killing 17 people and leaving 70 other missing,

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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