Word of the day

January 6, 2015

Tarantisma  psychological illness characterised by an uncontrollable impulse to dance; a nervous disease characterised by hysteria and popularly believed to be curable by dancing or manifested by a mania for dancing; overcoming melancholy by dancing.


Rural round-up

January 6, 2015

Pink is in vogue as the ‘girls’ forge ahead with family farm – Sally Rae:

An inspirational North Otago mother-and-daughter duo who run a busy pig-farming operation are proof that women can do anything.   Sally Rae reports. 

“Pink definitely belongs on the farm,” Sam Fox reckons.

Sam (24) can be found most days in hot-pink overalls, working alongside her mother, Debbie, at their North Otago piggery.

”She says that’s the boss’ colour,” her mother says, while Sam quips she needs a badge to identify that she is ”chief executive” of Rayburn Farm Ltd.

The pair’s obviously strong relationship goes deeper than the usual mother-daughter bond because they are also business partners, together running an intensive farming operation. . .

Century of family’s effort celebrated with fine fruit –  Leith Huffadine:

The Webb family recently celebrated 100 years of horticulture on the same property, a part of an iconic Central Otago industry which evokes memories of hot summer days and ripe fruit. Leith Huffadine discussed family history, technology changes, and growing fruit with fourth-generation orchardist Simon Webb.

From father to son for four generations, the Webb family has been supplying people with fruit from their orchard, located just outside Cromwell, which has been in the family since 1914.

Established by John Robert Webb, in early summer that year, about 8ha of the 32ha section he purchased was planted in fruit trees.

Going by the numbers, Stonehurst Orchard is now just over 100 years old and has about 25ha planted in trees which produce about 550 or 600 tonnes of fruit a year. . .

Journalist writing new life on the farm Hamish McLean:

Gumboots are more part of Nigel Stirling’s wardrobe than suits these days but the former journalist has not gone “cold turkey” on his news
background, despite the demands of farming life. He tells Hamish McLean about his return to the family farm in South Otago.

One would forgive former colleagues for doing a double take, but Nigel Stirling has no trouble recalling how he was introduced to audiences in his four years at Radio New Zealand.

”They’d read out an intro that I’d written and then they’d say, `Economics correspondent Nigel Stirling has been covering the story – and he joins us now.’ ”And I’d say, ‘Good morning, Jeff’ or `Good morning, Sean’ or I’d just launch straight into it.

”They’d finish it by saying, `Thanks, Nigel.

”That was our economics correspondent Nigel Stirling.” . . .

More than just a cottage industry – Sally Rae,

An enterprising Central Otago farming family has diversified to successfully add tourism to its busy business operation, as Sally Rae reports.

Life is just busy enough at Penvose Farms.

Ask Stu and Lorraine Duncan how they balance a wide-ranging farming operation in the Maniototo with a successful tourism venture, family life and even civic duties, and the answer comes quick.

”Bloody hard at times,” says Mrs Duncan, a calm and capable woman who appears the perfect foil for her dry-witted and ever-thinking husband.

Stu Duncan is a fourth-generation farmer on the block at Wedderburn that was taken up by his forebears in 1894.

Additional land has since been bought and the enterprise now encompasses 2000ha, running sheep, deer and beef cattle, including an Angus stud. . .

Lack of sheep shearers threatens future events:

Falling sheep numbers are threatening the future of rural New Zealand shearing competitions due to a shortage of local shearers. 

The sheep population is at its lowest since World War II which has led to a lack of shearers. 

According to Statistics New Zealand the number of sheep declined by 1.2 million between 2013 and 2014 and now sits at 29.6 million.

Doug Laing of Shearing Sport New Zealand said the reduced flock is threatening the future of the events, which have dropped from around 100 nationally to 60 events a year.

Laing said the problem was a lack of shearers. “It’s a question of how long we can keep running these shows.” . . .

Planning for FMD outbreak – Simone Norrie:

THE Department of Primary Industries (DPI) estimates an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Australia could cost the economy up to $52 billion over a decade.

Exercise Odysseus brought together representatives from key industry bodies and government agencies to step out the action that could be taken if an outbreak occurred.

DPI hosted one of 40 simulation exercises across Australia at Wagga Wagga in December, with discussions centred on the ripple effect of an umbrella 72-hour livestock standstill if an outbreak did occur.

Independent consultant Ron Glanville, Biosecurity Advisory Service, Melbourne, Victoria, had run 10 exercises across Australia, and said the workshops discussed existing plans and highlighted the gaps. . . .

Artistic take on Molong’s scrap – Rebecca Sharpe:

FOR motorists heading through Molong along the Mitchell Highway, Caldwell Molong may only look like a scrap metal business.

But looking closer, gems of fine art sculptures are hidden.

A dinosaur proudly stands above the scrap while sunflowers poke their bright yellow heads into the sky.

Panel beater Mark Oates and mechanic Ben Caldwell are an unlikely artistic duo but they are the masterminds behind the beautiful recycled sculptures. . .

 


Shifting summer shut-down

January 6, 2015

Would it be better to shift the summer shut-down to February?

A poll of 500 people by Research New Zealand showed nearly half were in favour of a shift because the weather was better in February – when most people returned to work.

Statutory holidays are, as the name implies, set by statute and school holidays are prescribed by the Ministry of Education.

But there is no legal requirement for any business to shut-down over the Christmas-New Year period.

Some businesses do find it easier to stop altogether. Factories for example use the shut-down to do maintenance that can’t be done while manufacturing is in progress. Some which stop for the statutory breaks prefer to stay shut than stop, start then stop and start again a few days later.

Others close so that all staff take at least part of their four-weeks annual leave at one time, lessening the inconvenience and pressure of having staff off for too long during the rest of the year.

However, some continue to operate and pay staff the extra and give them the days in lieu required later.

Many don’t  shut because they provide essential services, cater for holiday-makers or are dictated to by the season and staff stagger their holidays throughout the year to allow the operation to continue.

Research New Zealand director Emanuel Kalafatelis said city dwellers were most in favour, while those in rural areas were against the idea.

“The nature of the business activity in those [rural] areas as opposed to main urban centres, the average farmer can’t stop whatever their doing at the moment and shift their activities.”

Summer is the busiest time for most rural businesses and most can’t shut down, whether it’s over the traditional shut-down period or later.

Stock has to be monitored, cows have to be milked, fruit and vegetables have to be picked, hay, silage and balage have to be made, crops have to be harvested . . .  and businesses which process the produce and service and supply other businesses  doing all this have to keep operating.

Whenever the shut-down occurs it would be very frustrating if you are a business which can’t, or doesn’t, stop and you find you need goods and services which aren’t available because the business supplying them does.


January 6 in history

January 6, 2015

1367 – Richard II of England, was born (d. 1400).

1412  Joan of Arc, Roman Catholic Saint and national heroine of France, was born -legendary date, some scholars think it was January 7-  (d. 1431).

1494  The first Mass in the New World was celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola.

1540 King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves.

1714 Percivall Pott, English physician, was born. He was one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen (d. 1788).

1721 The Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings.

1781 In the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade Jersey.

1838 Samuel Morse first successfully tested the electrical telegraph.

1878 Carl Sandburg, American poet and historian, was born  (d. 1967).

1883 Khalil Gibran, Lebanese writer, was born (d. 1931).

1893 The Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress.

1907 Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare centre for working class children in Rome.

1923 Norman Kirk, New Zealander Prime Minister, was born  (d. 1974).

1929 – Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta to begin a her work amongst India’s poorest people.

1930The first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed (from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York City).

1931 Thomas Edison submitted his last patent application.

1934 Harry M. Miller, New Zealand-born Australian entrepreneur, was born.

1936 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act was unconstitutional in the case United States v. Butler et al.

1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his Four Freedoms Speech in the State of the Union Address.

1942 Pan American Airlines became the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

1946  Syd Barrett, English guitarist, singer and songwriter Pink Floyd, was born  (d. 2006).

1953 Godfrey Bowen set a world record by shearing  456 full-wool ewes in nine hours.

Godfrey Bowen sets world sheep-shearing record

1953 Malcolm Young, Scottish-born Australian guitarist (AC/DC), was born.

1955 Rowan Atkinson, English comedian and actor, was born.

1959 Kapil Dev, Indian cricketer, was born.

1960   Nigella Lawson, English chef and writer, was born.

1964 Mark O’Toole, English bass guitarist (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), was born.

1965 Bjorn Lomborg, Danish mathematician, environmentalist and author, was born.

1974  In response to the 1973 energy crisis, daylight saving time commenced nearly four months early in the United States.

1978 The Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) ws returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.

1995 A chemical fire in an apartment complex in Manila, Philippines, led to the discovery of plans for Project Bojinka, a mass-terrorist attack.

2010 – The Ady Gil, a ship owned by Sea Shepherd, was sunk during a skirmish with the Japanese Whaling Fleet’s Shōnan Maru.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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