Word of the day

February 15, 2014

Qualunquismo (Italian) – indifferent to political and social issues; apathetic or sceptical of party politics.


Rural round-up

February 15, 2014

Blind cows find love:

Two blind, aging cows were 350 miles apart, distressed and facing a dark future.

What happened next is a love story starring, not cows, but rescuers who worked across international borders for nearly a month to bring the bovines together.

It started when Sweety, an 8-year-old Canadian cow with a hoof infection, was rescued from the slaughterhouse by a horse sanctuary in Ontario. Workers at Refuge RR put out the word to the small legion of folks devoted to saving aging farm animals that she needed a permanent home.

Farm Sanctuary in New York is just such a place and they had a 12-year-old Holstein named Tricia, who seemed lonely and anxious after losing her cow companion to cancer a year ago. Cattle are herd animals and she was the only one at the shelter without a partner. . .

Synlait Milk commits to state of the art full service laboratory:

Synlait Milk has committed to building a state of the art full service quality testing laboratory to further support its position as a supplier of high quality value added ingredients, and infant formula and nutritional products.

The Company’s quality strategy has been to build in-house capabilities to support the testing requirements for the products it produces, however it has now significantly expanded the scope of the proposed laboratory from chemical and physical property testing to include full microbiological testing using the latest technologies.

In addition to the quality testing function there will now also be integrated facilities to support new product development, including the ability to conduct pilot scale trials, as well as allowing for sensory analysis to ensure the needs of the Company’s customers are met. . .

Farm toll on the decline:

Federated Farmers is pleased to see that on farm deaths are on the decline, with both WorkSafe NZ and ACC statistics showing a declining trend in fatalities since 2008.

“We are seeing some positive results from industry efforts with WorkSafe statistics, released to us yesterday, showing that on farm fatalities for the Christmas New Year period have declined from four in 2010 to just one in 2014,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Health & Safety Spokesperson.

“Coinciding with that, ACC’s statistics, on annual farm fatalities, show a 17.5 percent reduction (decline of 32) in deaths since 2008. We have also seen growth in farmers using Health and Safety plans on farm with a 48 percent increase in purchases of our Occupational Health & Safety Policy, and a 13.5 percent increase in purchases of our Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy, since 2012. . .

Environmental champions sought:

Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced that entries are open for the Government’s premier environmental awards, which honour those dedicated to protecting and improving our environment.

The Green Ribbon Awards recognise outstanding contributions by individuals, organisations or businesses to addressing New Zealand’s environmental problems.

“There are so many people, communities and businesses who work hard to improve our environment in their own quiet way, but it is often without thanks,” Ms Adams says.

“The awards are a fitting occasion to show the human face of environmental issues, and promote the fantastic work that is happening in our communities.

Upskilling for horticulture workers:

A training scheme for horticultural workers in Hawke’s Bay has led to permanent jobs for some people who were relying on seasonal work and the dole.

The scheme, which began last year, is a partnership between grower John Bostock, the Eastern Institute of Technology, Work & Income and community groups.

Ten students from the first course graduated on Wednesday at Te Aranga Marae near Hastings.

Mr Bostock heads a group of companies that grow, pack and market squash, onions, grain, organic apples and ice cream. . . 

Agrantec Launches Farmango Animal Management for Sheep:

Agrantec, the British agri-food supply chain management service company, today announced the launch of a version of its animal management system, Farmango, for sheep.

Farmango offers a full range of animal management functions. This covers everything from recording the full genetic history through multiple generations to recording sales information when the sheep are eventually sold on. The service offers two specific new functions designed for the management of sheep.

One is the system capability to manage groups of animals. Groups can be defined using a scanning “wand” to collect a list of individuals. Data can be directly connected as the wand is being used out and about on the farm. There is no need to return to the farmhouse to upload information onto a computer. This makes it quick and easy to record things such as treatments and movements. The second function is a direct automatic link to the ARAMS movement reporting system. Movements can be reported with few clicks of the mouse. . .

Hamilton’s manuka honey producers SummerGlow Apiaries sets up base in Taranaki region:

A LARGE quantity of quality manuka plants and an ideal landscape to produce pure manuka honey are the reasons why Te Kowhai-based SummerGlow Apiaries has decided to expand its operation into the Taranaki region.

SummerGlow Apiaries owners Bill and Margaret Bennett have recently purchased 900 acres of marginal farmland in the area, says company director, beekeeper and office administrator James Jeffery.

“We haven’t had a lot of experience with [the Taranaki manuka] yet given that it’s only our first season down there but the quality, density and amount of it is amazing,” he says. . .


Saturday smiles – differences between men and women

February 15, 2014

How women are different from men and vice versa:


Growing, growing

February 15, 2014

Businesses come and go and jobs come and go with them.

If yours is one of the businesses or jobs that go it’s hard.

But at least if it happens now, there’s more growing than going, the chances of finding another job are better.

New Zealand National Party's photo.


10/10

February 15, 2014

10/10 in the Herald’s politics quiz.


Com Com investigationg Countdown

February 15, 2014

The Commerce Commission has received a complaint about alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown towards their suppliers and says confidentiality is available.

The Commission advises that anyone who has information relevant to the allegations can request that the Commission keep their identity and/or the information provided confidential. The Commission will not disclose the identity and/or information unless consent is given or the Commission is required to by law. If confidentiality is a concern then it should be raised when first contact is made with the Commission.

Anyone who has relevant information is encouraged to contact us on 0800 943 600.

Shane Jones made accusations against the supermarket chain under parliamentary privilege and Katherine Rich CEO of the Food and Grocery Council confirmed it had received complaints:

“We’re aware of a number of incidents where our member companies have been asked for retrospective payments. We have raised our general concerns about this practice with the supermarket chain involved,” Ms Rich said.

“This is a serious issue that is new to the New Zealand grocery sector and we view it as an unwelcome development.

“We have asked members to report further occurrences.”

Countdown has rejected the accusations and says it will co-operate with any inquiry.

Consumers benefit from competition between supermarkets but not the sort of behaviour that has been alleged which would make business too tough for suppliers and put them out of business.

 

 


Saturday soapbox

February 15, 2014

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, amuse or bemuse.

 

Kissing Fish's photo.


February 15 in history

February 15, 2014

590 –  Khosrau II was crowned king of Persia.

1564 Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist, was born (d. 1642).

1637 – Ferdinand III became Holy Roman Emperor.

1804 – Serbian revolution started.

1805 – Harmony Society was officially formed.

1812 Charles Lewis Tiffany, American jeweller, was born (d. 1902).

1820 Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist, was born  (d. 1906).

1835 – The first constitutional law in modern Serbia was adopted.

1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admitted its first patient.

1874 Sir Ernest Shackleton, Irish Antarctic explorer, was born  (d. 1922).

1877  Louis Renault, French automobile executive, was born (d. 1944).

1879 American President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

1882 The first shipment of frozen meat left New Zealand.

First shipment of frozen meat leaves NZ

1891 AIK was founded at Biblioteksgatan 8 in Stockholm by Isidor Behrens.

1898 – Spanish-American War: The USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbour, killing more than 260.

1906 – The British Labour Party was formed.

1909 Miep Gies, Dutch biographer of Anne Frank, was born (d. 2010).

1909 The Flores Theatre fire in Acapulco, 250 died.

1942  The Fall of Singapore. Following an assault by Japanese forces, British General Arthur Percival surrendered. About 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. The Sook Ching massacre began.

1944 The assault on Monte Cassino, started.

1944 Mick Avory, British drummer (The Kinks), was born.

1945  – John Helliwell, British musician (Supertramp), was born.

1947 David Brown, American musician (Santana), was born (d. 2000).

1950 – The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China signed a mutual defense treaty.

1951 Jane Seymour, British actress, was born.

1952 – King George VI was buried in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

1959 Ali Campbell, British singer and songwriter (UB40), was born.

1960 Mikey Craig, British musician (Culture Club), was born.

1961 – Sabena Flight 548 crashed in Belgium, killing 73, with the entire United States Figure Skating team, several coaches and family.

1965 – A new red-and-white mapleleaf design was adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner.

1970 – A Dominican DC-9 crashed into the sea during takeoff from Santo Domingo, killing 102.

1971 – Decimalisation of British coinage was completed on Decimal Day.

1972 – Sound recordings were granted U.. federal copyright protection for the first time.

1976 – The 1976 Constitution of Cuba was adopted by the national referendum.

1978 New Zealand beat England in a cricket test for the first time.

New Zealand beats England in a cricket test for the first time

1980 Television One and Television Two (formerly South Pacific Television) under the newly formed Television New Zealand went to air for the first time.

1982 The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sank during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 rig workers.

1989 Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan: The Soviet Union officially announced that all of its troops have left Afghanistan.

1991 The Visegrád Agreement, establishing cooperation to move toward free-market systems, was signed by the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

2001 First draft of the complete Human Genome is published in Nature.

2003 Protests against the Iraq war occurred in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between 8 million to 30 million people took part, making this the largest peace demonstration in the history of the world.

2005 – YouTube, was launched in the United States.

2013 – A meteor exploded over Russia, injuring 1,500 people as a shock wave blows out windows and rocks buildings. This happened unexpectedly only hours before the expected closest ever approach of the larger and unrelated asteroid 2012 DA14.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: