Word of the day

July 20, 2013

Mondongo – a Latin American soup made from tripe; fortitude and determination.

Thanks to Andrei.

Rural round-up

July 20, 2013

Threats to manuka honey industry found by scientists:

A team of scientists has discovered threats to the manuka honey industry.

Manuka honey fetches a premium price overseas because it contains special bioactive compounds.

But research that is yet to be published by a consortium of universities and Crown research institutes has discovered those properties can be faked by adding chemicals to normal honey, such as regular clover or low grade manuka honey. . .

Group to prepare for social impacts of irrigation scheme:

If the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme does get the go-ahead then it could have a significant impact on the way of life in parts of Hawke’s Bay.

The scheme’s advocates say more irrigation will allow for more intensive farming – which could have a huge impact on the region’s economy.

The proposed $660 million scheme will store 90 million cubic metres of water and take about three to four years to build.

With the social impacts of the dam in mind, a Socio-Economic Working Party has been established to help prepare the community for the changes the dam could bring. . .

Franks links with MIE as advisor – Alan Williams:

Commercial lawyer and former ACT Party MP Stephen Franks has joined the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group in an advisory role.

Franks had a background in advising on major agri-business issues, as well as having his own farming interests, MIE chairman Richard Young said.

He is the second appointment for the group, following that of agri-businessman Ross Hyland, who will oversee the setting up of an establishment group to work on meat-industry restructuring. . .


Country Life food for free – Robert Guyton:

Cosmo Kentish-Barnes, armed with microphone and recording device, visited Robyn and I recently.
Here’s the blurb from National Radio:

21:29 Robert and Robyn Guyton have planted a ‘Food Forest’ around their house in Riverton, Southland so no lawns need to be mowed and in season, the forest is dripping with organic fruit and nuts. . .

Agricultural Scholarships Develop Young Farmers:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and New Zealand Young Farmers are calling for applications for a unique agricultural scholarship.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand each year offer one New Zealand Young Farmer member the opportunity to receive the Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA) Young Ranchers Scholarship and foot it with other young ranchers from Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States at their annual conference.

“It’s a chance to gain valuable international connections to benefit New Zealand beef farming which is the driver for B+LNZ’s support and investment,” said Diane Falconer on the organisation’s behalf.  . .

Wolf Blass takes out prestigious ‘International Red Winemaker of the Year’ award at the International Wine Challenge.

Wolf Blass has been awarded the title of ‘International Red Winemaker of the Year’ at last night’s International Wine Challenge in London. 

This is the second time that Wolf Blass has been awarded this accolade, the first was in 2008.   

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is recognised as the world’s finest, most meticulously judged and most influential wine competition in the world. . .

Saturday smiles

July 20, 2013

After a tiring day, a commuter settled down in her seat and closed her eyes.

As the train rolled out of the station, the bloke sitting next to her pulled out his cellphone and started talking in a loud voice:  “Hi sweetheart. It’s Eric.  I’m on the train.”

“Yes, I know it’s the six-thirty and not the four-thirty, but I had a long meeting.”

“No, honey, not with that blonde from the accounts office. It was with the boss.”

“No, sweetheart, you’re the only one in my life.”

“Yes, I’m sure, cross my heart.”

Fifteen minutes later, he was still talking loudly.

When the young woman sitting next to him had enough, she leaned over and said into the phone, “Eric, hang up the phone and come back to bed.”

Eric doesn’t use his cell phone in public any longer.

Boredom boosts creativity

July 20, 2013

Children should be allowed to be bored so they can develop their innate creativity.

Dr Teresa Belton told the BBC cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination

She quizzed author Meera Syal and artist Grayson Perry about how boredom had aided their creativity as children.

Syal said boredom made her write, while Perry said it was a “creative state”.

The senior researcher at the University of East Anglia’s School of Education and Lifelong Learning interviewed a number of authors, artists and scientists in her exploration of the effects of boredom. . .

And neuroscientist and expert on brain deterioration Prof Susan Greenfield, who also spoke to the academic, recalled a childhood in a family with little money and no siblings until she was 13.

“She happily entertained herself with making up stories, drawing pictures of her stories and going to the library.”

Dr Belton, who is an expert in the impact of emotions on behaviour and learning, said boredom could be an “uncomfortable feeling” and that society had “developed an expectation of being constantly occupied and constantly stimulated”.

But she warned that being creative “involves being able to develop internal stimulus”.

“Nature abhors a vacuum and we try to fill it,” she said. “Some young people who do not have the interior resources or the responses to deal with that boredom creatively then sometimes end up smashing up bus shelters or taking cars out for a joyride.” . . .

My generation was left to its own devices a lot more than children are today.

We didn’t have many toys, we didn’t have so many structured activities and we had a lot more freedom to explore our communities.

Adults too had more unstructured time.

Sundays in particular were very different from how they are for most people now. There was church in the morning for many, only essential tasks were attended too leaving time for reading or with family and friends at each others’ homes, the river or beach.

We have a lot more choices for activities any day or night of the week now. That’s not all bad but we spend a lot more time doing and a lot less just being.

That can leave people of all ages not knowing what to do with themselves when left to their own devices and with a lot less time for creativity.

Spelling is easy

July 20, 2013

Share your spelling posts with us today on the Wall/Timeline! This post idea was sent in from our friend, Alexa V.
Apropos of this, what does ghoti spell?

Hat tip: Grammarly

Subsidies blight on wine industry

July 20, 2013

Australian winemakers get tax subsidies and guess what?

They’re producing too much wine.

Treasury Wine Estates chief executive David Dearie said the over-production was encouraged by an uneven tax and rebate system.

He has called for the Wine Equalisation Tax to be scrapped.

“It is widely rorted, underpins the excess supply that has blighted Australian wine,” he said.

“For a cost of circa $200 million in 2008-9, the WET rebate is now forecast to reach $310 million in 2015-16, something that should dismay us as an industry and as taxpayers.”

Any subsidies distort market signals, interfere with the natural relationship between supply, are very expensive and eventually harm the industry they’re trying to protect.

Saturday soapbox

July 20, 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.

>:) kindest, Boris

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