Word of the day

February 14, 2015

Pragma ( πράγμα) – mature love;  deep understanding that develops between long-married couples; that which has been done, a deed, an accomplished fact; what is done or being accomplished; a matter, question, affair; that which is or exists, a thing.


Rural round-up

February 14, 2015

Drought déjà vu

Dairy production plunging at the same time prices are spiking.

Lamb prices soft on drought impact.

Reserve Bank signals OCR could go up or down.

Stronger dairy prices in the most recent dairy action are a double-edged sword, according the latest ASB Farmshed Economics Report.

“Strengthening dairy prices in the 2 February dairy auction have given upward momentum to prices,” says ASB’s Rural Economist Nathan Penny. “However, farmers still have to navigate this summer’s drought and potential falls in production. But if farmers can manage through this tough drought and low milk price combo, we expect a rebound in the milk price for the 2015/16 season to around $6.00/kg.” . .

Farmers need to evolve new systems:

New Zealand farmers face a new evolutionary pressure – farming within nutrient limits – and together with scientists and industry bodies, they will need to evolve new farming systems in response to this challenge, a University of Waikato economist told the Australian Agricultural & Resource Economics Society’s conference in Rotorua this week.

Associate Professor Graeme Doole, an economist who specialises in the connections between agriculture and the environment and acts as an advisor to the government on water issues, says the economic impact of nutrient limits that are now being developed and implemented around the country will be significant for farmers.

“It is something that the industry has to deal with because generally around 75 to 90 percent of Nitrogen eaten by cows is lost in urine,” he says. . .

Future proofing our pastures against drought – Lynley Hargreaves:

New Zealand may have escaped another official declaration of drought, but climate-change forecasts make dry periods more likely. Good news, then, that a New Zealand high school student has helped improve the drought-resistance of future pastures. Former Palmerston North Girls’ High School student Minushika Punchihewa explains her Gold CREST research that ensures successful cross-breeding just by looking closely at a clover plant.  

Why are clovers being cross-bred?

Currently Trifolium repens (White Clover) is the most common species of clover used in New Zealand’s agricultural sector and is depended upon by farmers to feed their live stock and for pastoral growth. However, a relativity new type of clover called Trifolium ambiguum was introduced to New Zealand from regions surrounding the Black Sea. This clover has many advantageous traits such as drought tolerance, pest and disease resistance and strong rhizomes for spreading, so scientists are beginning to cross breed this clover with T.repens to try incorporate some of these beneficial traits. . .

New Zealand captures over 10% of its freshwater resource – Waiology:

Following a recent Timaru Herald article (3 February, 2015), I learned of a claim that 98% of NZ’s rainfall is left to flow out to sea, and that we only capture the other 2%.

‘‘This country doesn’t have a water shortage issue. What it has is a water storage issue. We capture a mere 2 per cent of our country’s total rainfall, the rest pours out to sea!’’ – Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean’s office.

‘‘It is wasteful that we only capture around 2 per cent of rainfall in New Zealand, with the rest roaring out to sea.’’ – Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, in a speech to Crown Irrigation Investment Ltd.

These statements aren’t quite right, but because the topic is of vital importance, it is worth commenting on what is actually happening. Some of the rain evaporates before it can reach the sea or get used by us, and the “2%” isn’t actually how much we capture anyway. . .

 Liveweight breeding values and breeding worth calculations change this month:

Liveweight breeding values for dairy cattle are to improve as a result of data analyses carried out by NZ Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of DairyNZ.

Changes to these breeding values and the flow-on effects for the overall measure of cow and sire genetic merit; Breeding Worth (BW) will be implemented from 16 February 2015.

These improvements are focused around the conversion of liveweight information into a mature weight equivalent.

“Historically this conversion has been done within the liveweight animal evaluation model, but over time the information that we receive has become heavily weighted towards data for two-year-olds which skews the calculation,” says NZAEL Manager Dr Jeremy Bryant. . .

 


Saturday’s smiles

February 14, 2015

A very shy young man was in a pub with friends on Valentine’s Day night and spotted a beautiful young woman sitting alone at the bar.

After an hour of encouragement from his mates he finally went over to her and said tentatively, “Would you mind if I brought you a drink?”

She responded by yelling, at the top of her lungs, “No, I won’t sleep with you tonight!”

Everyone in the pub started staring at them. Naturally, the bloke was terribly  embarrassed and he slunk back to his table red-faced.

After a few minutes, the woman walked over to him, smiled and said, “I’m really sorry if I embarrassed you just then. You see, I’m a graduate student in psychology and I’m studying how people respond to embarrassing situations.”

At this the man responds, at full volume, “What do you mean? $500?”


The Rose

February 14, 2015

Sole Mio for Valentine’s Day:

 


Saturday soapbox

February 14, 2015

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 abuse.
Genius

Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost. – Khalil Gibran.


February 14 in history

February 14, 2015

270 St. Valentine was killed.

842 – Charles the Bald and Louis the German swore the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German languages.

1014 – Pope Benedict VIII crowned Henry of Bavaria, King of Germany and of Italy, as Holy Roman Emperor.

1076  – Pope Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor.

1349 Approximately 2,000 Jews were burned to death by mobs or forcibly removed from the city of Strasbourg.

1483 Babur, Moghul emperor of India, was born d. 1530).

1556 Thomas Cranmer was declared a heretic.

1743  Henry Pelham became British Prime Minister.

1778 The United States Flag was formally recognised by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

1779 James Cook was killed by Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.

1797 Battle of Cape St. Vincent – John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent and Horatio Nelson (later 1st Viscount Nelson) led the British Royal Navy to victory over a Spanish fleet in action near Gibraltar.

1803 Chief Justice John Marshall declared that any act of U.S. Congress that conflicts with the Constitution was void.

1804 Karadjordje led the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.

1819 Christopher Sholes, American inventor, was born (d. 1890).

1831 Ras Marye of Yejju marched into Tigray and defeated and killed Dejazmach Sabagadis in the Battle of Debre Abbay.

1835 The original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, iws formed in Kirtland, Ohio.

1838  Margaret E. Knight, American inventor, was born  (d. 1914).

1847 Anna Howard Shaw, American suffragette, was born  (d. 1919).

1849 James Knox Polk became the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.

1859 George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., American engineer and inventor (Ferris Wheel) , was born (d. 1896).

1872 Government forces led by Captain Preece tackled Te Kooti for the last time along the Mangaone stream, near Lake Waikaremoana.

Te Kooti's last clash with government forces

1876 Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent for the telephone, as did Elisha Gray.

1879 The War of the Pacific broke out when Chilean armed forces occupied the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta.

1899 Voting machines were approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections.

1900 Second Boer War: 20,000 British troops invaded the Orange Free State.

1912 – The first diesel-powered submarine was commissioned.

1915 Maori soldiers set sail for World War I.

Maori soldiers sail to war

1919 The Polish-Soviet War began.

1920 The League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago.

1924 The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) was founded.

1929  St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone‘s gang, are murdered in Chicago.

1942 Battle of Pasir Panjang contributed to the fall of Singapore.

1942 – Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, was born.

1943  Tunisia Campaign – General Hans-Jurgen von Arnim’s Fifth Panzer Army launches a concerted attack against Allied positions in Tunisia.

1944 – Carl Bernstein, American journalist, was born.

1944 Anti-Japanese revolt on Java.

1945  Prague was bombed probably due to a mistake in the orientation of the pilots bombing Dresden.

1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, officially starting the U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relationship.

1945  Mostar was liberated by Yugoslav partisans.

1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.

1946  ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, was unveiled.

1949 The Knesset (Israeli parliament) convened for the first time.

1949 – The Asbestos Strike began in Canada, marking the beginning of the Quiet Revolution in Quebec.

1961 Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, was first synthesized at the University of California.

1962 USA First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy took television viewers on a tour of the White House.

1966 Australian currency was decimalised.

1979 Muslims kidnapped the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs.

1981 Stardust Disaster: A fire in a Dublin nightclub killed 48 people

1983  United American Bank of Knoxville, Tennessee collapsed.

1989  Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal Disaster.

1989 Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill the author of The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie.

1989 – The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System were placed into orbit.

1990 92 people were killed aboard Indian Airlines Flight 605 at Bangalore.

1996 China launched a Long March 3 rocket, carrying the Intelsat 708 satellite which flew off course 3 seconds after liftoff and crashed into a rural village.

2000 The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker entered orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.

2002 – Tullaghmurray Lass sank off the coast of Kilkeel, County Down killing three members of the same family on board.

2004 – In a suburb of Moscow, Russia, the roof of the Transvaal water park collapses, killing more than 25 people, and wounding more than 100 others.

2005 – Seven people were killed and 151 wounded in a series of bombings by suspected Al-Qaeda-linked militants that hit the Philippines’ Makati financial district in Metro Manila, Davao City, and General Santos City.

2008 – Northern Illinois University shooting: a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall of the DeKalb County, Illinois university resulting in 6 fatalities (including gunman) and 18 injuries.

2011 – As a part of Arab Spring, the Bahraini uprising, a series of demonstrations, amounting to a sustained campaign of civil resistance, began with a ‘Day of Rage’.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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