Omphalos – the centre or hub of something; someone who thinks they are the centre of the universe; a stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi thought to mark the centre of the earth.
Changes afoot in red meat sector – Allan Barber:
The much maligned red meat sector may at last be about to undergo a structural change if a majority of processors and farmers can reach agreement on a proposed capacity moratorium. Past history suggests that is a big IF, but a document being circulated among processors, Meat Industry Association (MIA), Beef + Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers and the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group contains a realistic basis for agreement on a solution to the capacity problem which has dogged the industry for years.
The concept proposes to issue plant and chain licences which would effectively freeze (excuse the pun) the number of sheep and beef processing plants and chains at the current level from the start of next season. The document suggests a 12 year moratorium on any new licences being issued as a means of protecting existing owners’ investment in the industry. . .
Lack of dairy workers a real concern – Susie Nordqvist:
Dairy New Zealand is warning the agricultural sector is in dire need of workers, and if we don’t do something to plug the gap there’s no way we’ll meet our target of doubling our primary exports by 2025.
Agriculture is an industry where jobs go begging, and the next generation of workers are in short supply.
“I think farmers need to pull up their socks a wee bit,” says dairy farmer David Fullerton.
By 2025 it is estimated there could be a shortfall of 8000 workers – so why isn’t agriculture attracting young workers?
“Each individual farmer has to build up a reputation of being fair and that’s time off, remuneration, housing, the whole works,” says Mr Fullerton. . .
Point, park and anchor – the three essential steps farmers have been advised to take to protect expensive irrigation equipment from being knocked down and damaged during high winds.
Rural insurer FMG has posted a new guide on this on its website.
The company and Lincoln University launched a joint study following the violent wind storms that hit Canterbury in September 2013, causing massive damage to plantations as well as hundreds of pivot or travelling irrigators on dairy and cropping farms.
It resulted in farmers and growers lodging more than 260 claims with the FMG at a cost of $7.6 million.
FMG’s advice and insurance general manager, Conrad Wilkshire, says more than 100 Canterbury farmers also contributed to the guide with practical advice on preventative measures taken to protect their machines. . .
Merino out of this world – Tim Cronshaw:
Merino clothing has gone where no sheep has gone before – the final frontier.
Space is the latest extreme environment where high-performance merino T-shirts made from New Zealand wool are being worn. Nasa astronauts wear them on board the International Space Station and during training on Earth.
Armadillo Merino, a British company owned by the South Island family of Andy Caughey, began manufacturing a merino base layer range last year and has secured contracts with national military and police services and now the United States space programme.
Caughey said Nasa had up to 100 astronauts training at any one time, and their clothes needed to be suitable for both orbit and Earth. . .
French farmers have brought their sheep to the Eiffel Tower to express their frustration over increasing attacks by wolves that some say have been over protected by the government.
Some 300 sheep grazed at the foot of the French capital’s most famous monument on Thursday (local time) as the farmers gathered under foggy skies to demand an effective plan to stop the wolf attacks.
“Today farmers, tomorrow unemployed,” read one banner, while one of the protesters dressed as a wolf carried around a lamb.
But a rival demonstration by animal rights activists, calling for the wolves to be protected, also made an appearance under the Eiffel Tower. . .
LIC is making plans to get more cows in-calf at Christmas in response to high demand for its short gestation genetics offering and as farmers find new ways to maximise the benefits this season.
The leading genetics supplier for the national dairy herd has already set a new semen record this season with 142,006 straws for artificial insemination dispatched from its Newstead laboratory in one day. More than five million straws will be processed by Christmas Eve when the peak time usually ends – but this season farmers want more.
“It’s been a cracker of a season here at LIC, and the massive response to short gestation has been a huge part of that,” says Malcolm Ellis, SGL breeding programme manager. . .
Martha had a parrot called Magnus who talked.
He was good company but he had a propensity for cursing at inopportune moments.
Martha was having her in-laws over for Thanksgiving, and so she needed to train Brutus quickly not to swear.
The morning the guests were Magnus let out a string of obscenities so Martha but him in the freezer for a minute to literally cool off.
When she opened the door to let the parrot out she also got out a frozen turkey.
‘And have you learned your lesson about bad language?’ Martha asked the parrot.
Magnus took one look at the dead turkey and said: ‘Oh yes, definitely. But now I have a I have a question – what did the turkey do?’
An official Whitehouse photo of President Barack Obama phoning troops for Thanksgiving shows him wearing a merinomink – merino and possum – jumper from New Zealand’s Untouched World:
This is publicity money can’t buy for the company which is understandably delighted at the unintentional endorsement:
Christchurch clothing brand Untouched World is bracing for a surge in sales after United States President Barack Obama was photographed wearing one of their jumpers in the White House Oval Office.
Mr Obama donned the dark grey merino and possum-blend pullover as he made Thanksgiving Day phone calls to US troops and service members from behind the most famous desk in the US.
Untouched World CEO Peri Drysdale is thrilled with the “happy accident”.
“What’s really nice about it is that it’s something he’s gotten up in the morning and chosen to wear, so it’s really cool,” she says.
She believes the sweatshirt, which retails for NZ$399, was given to Mr Obama by Prime Minister John Key when Mr Key visited the White House in June. . .
Mr Obama is the second US President to be pictured in Untouched World clothing. Bill Clinton has been a fan ever since being given one of the brand’s jackets at the APEC conference in Auckland in 1999. . .
Merino and possum is warmer than wool by itself, it’s soft, silky and wears well.
I’ve owned a jumper similar to the one the president is wearing for several years. In spite of many wears and several washes it still looks good.
Untouched World’s website is here.
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, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
939 – Edmund was crowned King of England as his half-brother Aethelstan died.
1394 – The Korean king Yi Song-gye, founder of the Joseon-Dynasty, moved the capital from Kaesŏng to Hanyang, today known as Seoul.
1777 – San Jose, California, was founded as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe.
1781 – The crew of the British slave ship Zong murdered 133 Africans by dumping them into the sea in order to claim insurance.
1807 – The Portuguese Royal Family left Lisbon to escape from Napoleonic troops.
1830 – November Uprising: An armed rebellion against Russia’s rule in Poland began.
1832 Louisa May Alcott, American novelist, was born (d. 1888).
1845 – The Sonderbund was defeated by the joint forces of other Swiss cantons under General Guillaume-Henri Dufour.
1849 Sir John Ambrose Fleming, British physicist, was born (d. 1945).
1850 – The treaty, Punctation of Olmütz, signed in Olomouc meant diplomatic capitulation of Prussia to Austrian Empire, which took over the leadership of German Confederation.
1864 – Indian Wars: Sand Creek Massacre – Colorado volunteers led by Colonel John Chivington massacred at least 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Spring Hill – Confederate advance into Tennessee missed the opportunity to crush the Union army.
1872 – Indian Wars: The Modoc War began with the Battle of Lost River.
1890 – The Meiji Constitution went into effect in Japan and the first Diet convened.
1893 Elizabeth Yates became the first woman in the British Empire to win a mayoral election when she became Mayor of Onehunga.
1898 C. S. Lewis, Irish writer, was born(d. 1963).
1910 – The first US patent for inventing the traffic lights system was issued to Ernest E. Sirrine.
1915 – Fire destroyed most of the buildings on Santa Catalina Island, California.
1917 Merle Travis, American singer/guitarist, was born (d. 1983).
1922 – Howard Carter opened the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the public.
1929 – U.S. Admiral Richard Byrd became the first person to fly over the South Pole.
1932 Jacques Chirac, French President, was born.
1933 John Mayall, British blues musician, was born.
1943 – The second session of AVNOJ, the Anti-fascist council of national liberation of Yugoslavia, was held determining the post-war ordering of the country.
1944 – Albania was liberated by the Albanian partisans.
1945 – The Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was declared.
1947 – The United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine (The Partition Plan).
1950 – Korean War: North Korean and Chinese troops force United Nations forces to retreat from North Korea.
1952 – Korean War: U.S. President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfilled a campaign promise by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.
1961 – Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, was launched into space.
1963 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
1963 – Trans-Canada Airlines Flight 831: A Douglas DC-8 carrying 118, crashed after taking-off.
1965 – Canadian Space Agency launched the satellite Alouette 2.
1972 – Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) released Pong (the first commercially successful video game) in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.
1987 – Korean Air Flight 858 exploded over the Thai-Burmese border, killing 155.
1990 – The United Nations Security Council passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, authorizing “use all necessary means to uphold and implement” United Nations Security Council Resolution 660″ to restore international peace and security” if Iraq did not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991.
2007 – The Armed Forces of the Philippines laid siege to The Peninsula Manila after soldiers led by Senator Antonio Trillanes staged a mutiny.
2007 – A 7.4 magnitude earthquake off the northern coast of Martinique.
2009 – Maurice Clemmons shot and killed four police officers inside a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington.
2013 – LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 crashed in Namibia, killing 33 people.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia