Word of the day

February 23, 2015

Automaticity – the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low-level details required, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern or habit, usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice; done unconsciously or from force of habit; mechanical; the state or quality of being spontaneous, involuntary, or self-regulating; having the capability of starting, operating, moving, etc., independently; occurring independently of volition, as certain muscular actions; the capacity of a cell to initiate an impulse without an external stimulus; a property of specialised excitable tissue that allows self-activation through spontaneous development of an action potential, as in the pacemaker cells of the heart.

Hat tip: Tracey


Rural round-up

February 23, 2015

MPI confirms fourth fruit fly find in controlled area:

The Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed a fourth fruit fly in Grey Lynn and believes it to be part of the same localised population as previous detections.

A single male Queensland fruit fly was found on Sunday in a trap inside the existing Controlled Area.

There are no changes to the Controlled Area as a result of the find at this stage, says MPI Chief Operations Officer Andrew Coleman.

“We have been expecting to find more flies, so the latest detection is no surprise, and confirms that the trapping systems continues to be successful.

“The find was close to the original detections, so we believe the fly is likely to be part of the same population.” . . .

Te Hui takes out merino record:

King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia has taken out the merino shearing world record in Australia.

He managed to shear 530 finewooled merino ewes in nine hours at Parkdale Stud, about 40 kilometres northwest of Dubbo in New South Wales, on Friday.

He beat the previous record of 513 ewes, set by New Zealand-born Dwayne Black, in Western Australia, 10 years ago. . .

My Interview on Radio New Zealands Country Life Programme – Milking on the Moove:

I featured on Radio New Zealand Nationals Country Life programme on the weekend. You can hear it here if you have 20 minutes spare. . .

Now is time to buy winter feed – Annette Scott:

Cole Groves has big decisions to make for his dairy farming operation at Pleasant Point in South Canterbury.

With the drought creating a severe feed shortage on his property and irrigation no longer an option, it’s “crunch time again”.

“Unfortunately I am on Opuha water,” Groves said.

Without significant rainfall, Opuha would run dry on Wednesday. . .

Sustainable salmon farming subject of $5.2 million research project:

New Zealand government, research and commercial groups are aligning with international salmon experts to make salmon farming here even more sustainable.

The $5.2 million project is spearheaded by Nelson-based New Zealand King Salmon and aims to fully understand the specific dietary requirements of King salmon.

To conduct the programme, New Zealand King Salmon has brought together a research group comprising Seafood Innovations Ltd (SIL), Nelson’s Cawthron Institute, the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and Danish feed producer BioMar. . .

Dairy trainees not meeting expectations – Bryan Gibson:

Farmers are unhappy with the quality of training provided by agricultural training organisations, Craig Litten from Waikato told the Federated Farmers Dairy meeting last week.

“There are more and more training organisations popping up all the time and it appears to be more of a bums on seats type of scenario rather than an actual (focus on) quality of entrants and the people coming out the other end of the training institutions.”

Dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard said Federated Farmers had met Primary ITO chief executive Mark Jeffries who did realise there was an issue in terms of the quality of the people coming through.  . .

Bee numbers rising:

According to Agcarm, bee numbers in New Zealand are on the rise and the crop protection industry will work with government and industry to help keep bees healthy.

 Agcarm says the industry takes pollinator health very seriously and they are keen to work with regulators and stakeholders to encourage further bee population growth.

According to official data, there are now 546,837 managed hives in New Zealand up from 2004 figures of 292,530 hives. . .

Pinot – New Zealand’s answer to burgundy – Fiona Beckett:

These days, even the Burgundians are flocking to New Zealand’s pinot noir heartland.

As you drive out towards the Central Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island, you come across the Kawarau bridge, where the bungee-jump craze started all those years ago. It must have taken a similar leap of faith, you feel, to plant vines in this extreme mountainous region. Yet in less than a generation, “Central”, as the locals call it, has become one of the best places on the globe to find great pinot, even though the area accounts for only 2.4% of New Zealand’s wine production.

Wine has been made in these parts for 150 years, but it took off commercially in the 1980s due to a group of local burgundy obsessives who yearned to get their pinot fix a bit closer to home. They’ve been so successful that, nowadays, young Burgundian winemakers regularly come from France to Otago to see how the Kiwis do it. . .

 Dual focus in the Hunter – Nick Heydon:

SINCE purchasing “Redman Park” in 2006, Stuart and Amanda Thomas have sought to continually improve their property to the point where it stands today – a holding of high quality clearly evident across its two major enterprises: horses and lucerne.

The couple, who are selling in order to downsize, established a horse stud on Denman’s “Redman Park”, running it jointly as a Thoroughbred broodmare farm and a lucerne property.

“We used to have 30 mares plus progeny on the farm, and we have a lot of local clients for the lucerne, some local horse studs, and some clients as far afield as Taree,” Mrs Thomas said. . .


Patriotic Call To Yarn

February 23, 2015

The National Army Museum at Waiuru made a patriotic Call to Yarn:

They started by calling for a handcrafted poppy for each of the 18,166 New Zealanders killed in service during World War I:

On 16th October the National Army Museum officially launched their ‘Patriotic Call to Yarn’ project commemorating all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice on an important day in history when the first soldiers left New Zealand for Europe and the First World War.

On 16th October 1914 over 8,000 New Zealand troops and their horses left Wellington harbour and New Zealand shores bound for Egypt. They left thinking, “it will all be over by Christmas”, that it was an adventure of a lifetime, the opportunity for overseas travel. Little did they know what awaited them on the other side of the world.

Over the course of the next four to five years on the battlefields of Gallipoli and later Europe, New Zealand lost 18,166 men and women to the ravages of war.

Back home the war effort was strong as the women realised they also could ‘do their bit’.

“For the empire and for freedom, we all must do our bit, the men go forth to battle, the women wait and knit” Lady Liverpool

Patriotic associations were formed all over the country with over 5 million pounds raised. Women got together and knitted and stitched items of clothing for the soldiers including balaclavas, shirts, underclothing, socks and darning kits.

In honour of all those men and women 100 years ago, the National Army Museum is seeking assistance from the general public of New Zealand and have made a ‘patriotic call to yarn’ by aiming to produce one hand crafted poppy for each serviceman and woman lost by our nation in the Great War. That is 18,166 poppies!

These very special tributes will be on show in the form of a cascading waterfall of poppies in the museum’s Tears on Greenstone memorial area.

Poppy project coordinator, Alison Jones said, “We hope to achieve this traget by 2018 and have already had an overwhelming response with well over 1,000 poppies made.

Poppies can be knitted, crocheted, sewn or hand crafted in anyway and there are several different patterns available to assist people in their contributions.

With that total of 18,166 already exceed, they are now making a bigger call:

A Patriotic Call to Yarn – The Last Post

To achieve, one hand crafted poppy for EVERY New Zealand Serviceman or Woman lost during War or conflict.

Based on the Tears on Greenstone database at the Museum – that is 30,475 personnel from all services
(Army, Navy, Airforce and Merchant Navy).

We have already achieved 18,166 – so that is a further 12,309 poppies.

These poppies must be smaller – no more than 7cm in diameter* – so that they can be remembered together in one memorial piece.

*Please note: All poppies will be accepted so do send poppies already constructed larger than 7cm. Smaller poppies are encouraged for the new format to ensure they are able to be displayed all together. . .

poppy reveal 4 200x300 A Patriotic Call to Yarn

The first panel is unveiled in the Tears on Greenstone memorial

Rural women has links to patterns.

Kathryn Ryan interviewed the project coordinator, Alison Jones on Friday.


What do we do about tourist drivers?

February 23, 2015

A five-year-old lost her life in a head-on collision on Saturday.

The driver of one of the vehicles has been charged with dangerous driving causing death.

He’s a Chinese tourist.

. . . The latest figures, from 2013, show overseas drivers were involved in 11 fatal accidents, 90 causing serious injury and more than 400 that caused minor injuries. In all 11 fatalities, the overseas driver was found to be at fault.

In the four years to 2013, 37 percent of crashes in Westland involved an overseas driver, 25 percent in Southland, 24 percent in Queenstown-Lakes and 17 percent in Central Otago.

Yesterday’s accidents come just days after three American citizens were killed when their car crossed the centre line and collided with a logging truck north of Tokoroa.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss told 3 News any fatal or serious accident is a tragedy and the Government, police and NZTA are trying to reduce crashes through what’s called the Visiting Drivers Signature Project.

That includes better signage on tourist routes, directional arrows on the road, the use of rumble strips, guidelines for rental vehicle companies and steering wheel safety tags in rental cars. . .

This will inevitably bring more calls for tourists to have to do a driving test before they can drive here, which the AA does not favour:

. . .  AA national manager for policy Simon Douglas told MPs that visiting drivers are not ove-represented at a national level in road accidents.

“AA does not believe that a practical test at the border for visitors is pragmatic or practical. We just don’t believe it will be able to be implemented or make a difference,” he said.

Instead Simon Douglas said the Government should prioritise the roll-out in tourist areas of rubber strips, wire-rope barriers, and arrows reminding drivers to keep left.

If tests could be implemented it would almost certainly result in reciprocal tests for New Zealanders overseas.

It might weed out a few really incompetent tourist drivers but would do nothing to counter the danger of generally competent drivers who revert to their home driving habits after a while.

When we’re in countries where we have to drive on the other side of the road my farmer and I reckon it takes both of us to make sure we don’t get complacent. The few times I’ve driven by myself on the right-hand side of the road I’ve planned the trip meticulously and constantly reminded myself to keep right and look left first.

There’s been an awful start to the road toll this year with 46 deaths from 41 fatal crashes by last Friday compared with 34 from 33 crashes at the same time last year.

Most of those weren’t caused by tourists but of course there are a lot more local drivers than visitors.

Whatever we can do to make tourist drivers safer also needs to apply to all of us.

 


February 23 in history

February 23, 2015

632 The Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of Prophet Muhammad.

1455 Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type?

1633 Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator, man of letters and diarist, was born  (d. 1703).

1660 – Charles XI became King of Sweden.

1739 – Richard Palmer was identified at York Castle by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.

1744 –  Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker, was born  (d. 1812).

1820 – Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers was exposed.

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.

1840  Frederick Wicks, English author and inventor, was born (d. 1910).

1847  Battle of Buena Vista – American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1850 César Ritz, Swiss hotelier, was born (d. 1918).

1854 The official independence of the Orange Free State was declared.

1887 French Riviera was hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000.

1898 Émile Zola was imprisoned in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus.

1903 Cuba leased Guantánamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity”.

1904  940,000 hectares of west Southland were permanently reserved for what became Fiordland national park.

First step in creation of Fiordland National Park

1905 Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.

1909 The AEA Silver Dart made the first powered flight in Canada.

1917 First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg. The beginning of the February Revolution.

1918  First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov. In honor of this victory, the date has been celebrated from 1923 onward as “Red Army Day”; it was renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is colloquially known as “Men’s Day”.

1919 Benito Mussolini formed the Fascist Party in Italy.

1934 Léopold III became King of Belgium.

1940 100,000 people welcomed home HMS Achilles, the ship involved in the Batte of the River Plate, the Allies first naval victory in WWII.

100,000 welcome home HMS <em>Achilles</em> crew

1940 Peter Fonda, American actor, was born.

1941 Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

1944 The Soviet Union began forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people from the North Caucasus to Central Asia.

1945 During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman, reached the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and were photographed raising the American flag. The photo won a Pulitzer Prize and became the model for the national USMC War Memorial.

1945 The 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, freed the captives of the Los Baños internment camp.

1945 Manila, was liberated by American forces.

1945 Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań.

1945 German town of Pforzheim was completely destroyed by a raid of 379 British bombers.

1945  The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was bombed by Allied forces.

1947 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.

1954 The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

1955  First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

1957  The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc was opened in Dakar.

1958 Cuban rebels kidnapped 5-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

1960 Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, was born.

1966 In Syria Baath party member Salah Jadid led an intra-party military coup that replaced the previous government of General Amin Hafiz, also a Baathist.

1969 Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer, was born.

Michael Campbell Wellington 2005.jpg

1981 Antonio Tejero attempted a coup d’état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

1983 The Spanish Socialist government of Felipe González and Miguel Boyer nationalised Rumasa, a holding company founded by entrepreneur José María Ruiz Mateos.

1983 Emily Blunt, British actress, was born.

1983 The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.

1987 Supernova 1987a was seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

1991 Ground troops crossed the Saudi Arabian border and entered Iraq, starting the ground phase of the Gulf War.

1991 Thai General Sunthorn Kongsompong led a bloodless coup d’état, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan.

1992 –  The Socialist Labour Party was founded in Georgia.

1998 –  Tornadoes in central Florida destroyed or damaged 2,600 structures and killed 42.

1998 – Osama bin Laden published a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders”; the latter term is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.

1999 Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan was charged with treason in Ankara.

1999 An avalanche destroyed the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.

2005 n Slovakia, a two-day “Slovakia Summit 2005” took place between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

2005 The French law on colonialism was passed, requiring teachers to teach the “positive values of colonialism”.

2007 – A train derailed on an evening express service near Grayrigg, Cumbria, killing one person and injuring 22.

2008 A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit crashed on Guam, the first operational loss of a B-2.

2010 – Unknown criminals poured more than 2.5 million litres of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, causing an environmental disaster.

2012  A series of attacks across Iraq left at least 83 killed and more than 250 injured.

2014 – The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics took place in Sochi, Russia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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