Word of the day

April 22, 2015

Anniversary – the date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year; the date on which a couple were married in a previous year; the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event; the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event;  a date that follows such an event by a specified period of time measured in units other than years.


Rural round-up

April 22, 2015

The kumara’s transgenic origins revealed  – Dan Satherley:

Kumara, a South American native that became a Kiwi favourite, has been naturally genetically modified with bacterial DNA, researchers have found.

But the foreign genes are generally only found in kumara – also known as sweet potatoes – that have been cultivated by humans, suggesting they bring with them beneficial traits.

Researchers hope the finding, published in the latest issue of journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, will help to break down negative perceptions of genetically engineered crops. . .

Boost for Maori leadership in agriculture:

A South Island iwi-led agricultural training programme is expanding and offering higher level qualifications as it seeks to boost Māori leadership.

Whenua Kura is a tribal-led training partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University.

It started last year as a one-year certificate in agriculture providing both classroom learning and on-farm experience at the Ngāi Tahu farms. . .

No Supermarkets Or Major Butchery Chains Implicated in Preservative Prosecutions:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand support the actions taken by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in the prosecution of 15 meat wholesalers/retailers and three company Directors for the non-compliant use of sulphites/sulphur dioxide in raw meat.

Charges were laid after an MPI operation in the greater Auckland area in 2013 after meat samples were tested and these cases were heard in the Manukau and Auckland District Courts in late 2014 and early 2015.

None of those prosecuted are part of any major supermarket or high profile butchery chains. . . .

Interesting Demographics in Farm Manager Contest:

The demographic make-up of the 11 finalists contesting the 2015 New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year competition ensure an interesting mix of talent.

“There’s a real lolly scramble in that the finalists represent a bit of everything – we have young versus not so young, males up against females as well as couples and those that are relatively new to the industry up against some old hands,” national convenor Chris Keeping says. “It’s going to be really interesting to see who comes up trumps!”

National judging begins today , with the three judges – a farmer, banker and consulting officer – visiting the 11 finalists on their farms over a 10-day period. The judges spend two hours on each farm and score the finalists on aspects like their financial planning and management, HR practices, farm environment, future aims, and community and industry involvement. . .

 

Unique Farm-Scale Dairy Trial Confirms Live Yeast Benefits:

Improving rumen function in grazing cows through addition of the active live yeast Vistacell can improve dry matter digestibility by 30%, lift average daily milk yields by 2.1 litres/cow and increase cow liveweight (LW) by up to 20kg in just five weeks.

The results come from a unique farm-scale study using a herd of 300 robotically-milked cows in Waikato. The herd contained a mix of autumn and spring calvers, with all cows also having access to a mixed ration of grass silage, maize silage, straw and concentrates, plus an extra 3-6kg/day of concentrates fed during milking depending on yield. . . .

 

Bluelab to spend growth grant taking new product to market – Fiona Rotherham:

 (BusinessDesk) – Bluelab Corp, which makes electronic metering and control devices to aid plant growth, will use a new research and development growth grant to speed up taking a new sensory product to market in the next year.

Tauranga-based Bluelab decided in 2004 to focus solely on manufacturing measuring equipment which is used in controlled growing spaces such as greenhouses, hydroponics and aquaponics by commercial growers and backyard hobbyists. It exports nearly all it produces to 15 countries, with the major markets being the US, Australia, and the UK. . .

LIC and Lely enter R&D partnership in farm sensor technology – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – Livestock Improvement Corp, a farmer cooperative that sells bull semen and manages a dairy genetics database, has entered a research and development partnership with Dutch agricultural company Lely Group.

As part of the deal the Hamilton-based company has acquired Lely Sensortec, the Dutch company’s Hamilton-based development division, whose five staff design farm sensor technology to monitor animal health and production, for an undisclosed amount, the companies said in a joint statement. The deal will accelerate development of sensor technology used on farms and support wider global distribution of its inline milk sensors. . .


Scottish Country Dog Dancing

April 22, 2015

I can’t get the clip to embed but if you like dogs and Scottish country dancing, Mary Ray, Richard Curtis and Levy at Crufts are a must-watch.

 


Blog birthday

April 22, 2015

It is seven years since I launched this blog and this is the 18,326th post.

There’ve been 46,886 comments published and  1,614,405 more have been rejected as spam.

In September last year I wrote I would be blogging lighter.

That was the truth but not the whole truth.

I did want to reduce the number of posts I wrote but I didn’t say one reason for that was I was going to India for three weeks and wanted to enjoy the company of friends and all we were seeing and doing without the niggle of the need to write distracting me.

I thought I might go back to writing more posts when we returned and some days I do. But mostly I stick with just a few and I plan to continue that.

Thanks for popping by and thanks especially to those of you who contribute to the conversation.


Quote of the day

April 22, 2015

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

Today would have been our son Tom’s 28th birthday but he died at just 20 weeks as the result of a degenerative brain disorder, the cause of which has not been diagnosed.

Tolstoy is right and this quote reinforces my belief in the power of love.

It also reminds me that life after the death of Tom, and his younger brother Dan who had the same condition, is better not just in spite of their lives and deaths but also because of them.

Their deaths freed us to live as we couldn’t when we were caring for them but it is only because of what we learned from them that we truly appreciate that.

Their short lives and their multiple handicaps taught us to lose the ignorance and fear we had of disabilities.

They taught us that we are blessed by extended family and friends whose love and support provided so much when we needed it.

Our sons also taught us that good health and ability aren’t rights but privileges.

A lot of people tell me they couldn’t cope had they lost one child let alone two,

I answer that it would be throwing back the gifts our sons gave us if we didn’t make the most of all that they can’t.

Tolstoy’s quote speaks of the power of love and as Robert Fulgham reminds us in The Story Teller’s Creed, love is stronger than death.

 


April 22 in history

April 22, 2015

1451 Isabella I of Castile was born (d. 1504).

1500  Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral became the first European to sight Brazil.

1529  Treaty of Saragossa divided the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal along a line 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas.

1692 James Stirling, Scottish mathematician, was born (d. 1770) .

1707 Henry Fielding, English author, was born  (d. 1754) .

1724 Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, was born (d. 1804) .

1809  Battle of Eckmühl: Austrian army defeated by the First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France and driven over the Danube at Regensburg.

1832 Julius Sterling Morton, Arbor Day founder, was born  (d. 1902) .

1836 Texas Revolution: A day after the Battle of San Jacinto, forces under Texas General Sam Houston captured Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1863 American Civil War: Grierson’s Raid began when troops under Union Army Colonel Benjamin Grierson attacked central Mississippi.

1870 Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary, was born  (d. 1924) .

1889 At high noon, thousands rushed to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie were formed with populations of at least 10,000.

1898 Spanish-American War: The United States Navy began a blockade of Cuban ports and the USS Nashville captured a Spanish merchant ship.

1912 Pravda, the “voice” of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, began publication in Saint Petersburg.

1914 Jan de Hartog, Dutch writer, was born (d. 2002) .

1915  The use of poison gas in World War I escalated when chlorine gas was released as a chemical weapon in the Second Battle of Ypres.

1916 Yehudi Menuhin, American-born violinist, was born  (d. 1999) .

1923 Aaron Spelling, American television producer, was born  (d. 2006) .

1925 George Cole, English actor, was born.

1930 The United Kingdom, Japan and the United States signed the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting shipbuilding.

1936 The alliance between the Ratana Church and the Labour Party was cemented at a meeting between Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana and Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage

Ratana and Labour seal alliance

1937 Jack Nicholson, American actor, was born.

1944  World War II: Operation Persecution was initiated – Allied forces landed in the Hollandia area of New Guinea.

1944 Steve Fossett, American adventurer, was born (d. 2007) .

1945  World War II: Prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp revolted. 520 were killed and 80 escaped.

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: After learning that Soviet forces have taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admited defeat in his underground bunker and stated that suicide was his only recourse.

1950 Peter Frampton, English musician, was born.

1954 Red Scare: The Army-McCarthy Hearings began.

1964  The 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair opened for its first season.

1969 British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world.

1970 The first Earth Day was celebrated.

1979 The Albert Einstein Memorial was unveiled at The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

1992 Explosion in Guadalajara, Mexico – 206 people were killed, nearly 500 injured and 15,000 left homeless.

1993 The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. was dedicated.

1993 – Version 1.0 of the Mosaic web browser was released.

1997 Haouch Khemisti massacre in Algeria – 93 villagers killed.

1997 – The Japanese embassy hostage crisis ended in Lima, Peru.

1998 Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened at Walt Disney World.

2000 – The Big Number Change took place in the United Kingdom.

2000 Second Battle of Elephant Pass, Tamil Tigers captures a strategic Sri Lankan Army base and held it for 8 years.

2004 Two fuel trains collided in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing up to 150 people.

2006 243 people were injured in pro-democracy protest in Nepal after Nepali security forces open fire on protesters against King Gyanendra.

2008 – Homepaddock blog was launched.

2008 The United States Air Force retired the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service.

2010 – Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig owned by BP and Transocean, sank to the bottom of the Gulf Of Mexico after a blow-out two days earlier.

2023  – Six people died in a shooting in Belgorod, Russia.

2013 – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested and charged two men with plotting to disrupt a Toronto area train service in a plot claimed to be backed by Al-Qaeda elements.

2014 – More than 60 people are killed and 80 were seriously injured in a train crash in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Katanga Province.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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