Word of the day

May 24, 2015

Aether/æther – the ancient Greek personification of the clear upper air of the sky; the poetic personification of the clear upper air breathed by the Olympians.

Hat tip: The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.


Rural round-up

May 24, 2015

Farming at 17: Cheviot teen raises sheep, cattle – Beck Eleven:

Louisa McClintock is just 17 but with her 80-year-old grandfather by her side, she’s taking on a dry North Canterbury farm. BECK ELEVEN watches two generations work together.

For a teenage girl, she’s got a decent pair of lungs.

It’s another dry day in Cheviot, North Canterbury and Louisa McClintock is driving a couple of hundred sheep through a race, funnelling the corriedales towards the shower dip to stave off lice and fly strike. . .

Rural Broadband extension secured:

The passing of the Telecommunications (Development Levy) Amendment Levy Bill underscores the Government’s commitment to extending enhanced connectivity to regional New Zealand, says Communications Minister Amy Adams

The Bill passed last night with support from all parties, other than Labour.

“The extension of the Telecommunications Development Levy (TDL) will fund the $100 million expansion of fast, reliable broadband to the regions. It will also establish a $50 million fund to extend mobile coverage in black spot areas such as along main highways and in popular tourist destinations,” says Ms Adams. . .

Farming women band together – Rebecca Harper:

A gap in the market for a women’s progress group focusing on sheep and beef has been addressed by the new Wairarapa Rural Women’s Initiative. 

Sheep and beef farmer and Baker & Associates agribusiness consultant Ellie Meadows cottoned on to the need for such a group after speaking to other like-minded farmers, Lynley Wyeth and Lucy Thorneycroft.

Both women had taken part in the Understanding Your Farm Business course run by the Agri Women’s Development Trust and wondered “what next”? . .

 Seeing green – Sandra Taylor:

Seeing a bulk of greenfeed in a scorched landscape was enough to make any farmer salivate this summer and growing bulk is what forage maize does best.

A number of dryland farmers in Canterbury have been growing forage maize and while it generates a bulk of feed at a time of the year when little else grows, as a feed it is not suitable for every class of stock.

Charlotte Westwood, an animal nutritionist and vet with PGG Wrightson Seeds, cautions against feeding it to young stock such as newly weaned beef calves. . .

Budget funding boost welcomed:

A 20 per cent increase in tertiary funding for agriculture announced in today’s budget is being welcomed by Lincoln University Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Business Development Jeremy Baker.

The increase is part of an $85.8 million boost over four years for targeted increases in tuition rates at degree level and above, which also includes a 7.5 per cent increase for science.

Mr Baker described the announcement as recognition of the vital role agriculture plays in the New Zealand economy, and for institutions like Lincoln University, with its specific land-based focus, in providing world-class graduates to meet the growing demand in the sector for highly-trained workers.

It shows the area is a priority for the Government and for New Zealand, he says, as it needs to be. . .

Resilient farmer Doug Avery will lead a tlak on drought in North Canterbury – Kim Nutbrown:

North Canterbury farmers are being urged to heed the advice of Doug Avery who will visit the drought-stricken area next week.

Farmers in the Cheviot area are experiencing record low rainfalls, putting their businesses under extreme stress.

Many are searching for a stress-relief valve. . . .


Life wants

May 24, 2015

Life Wants Prints (contemporary)

I hope someday you see this is all life wants: for you to be your own kind of beautiful & not the kind that makes you forget who you are.

©2015 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can sign up for an email delivery of a daily dose of whimsy like this at Story People.

 


Flag of the day

May 24, 2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There’s more than 1000 in the gallery already.

This one is One Zealand by Julie Sprott:

flag

 


Why not more cheese than cracker?

May 24, 2015

An Air New Zealand passenger is cheesed off at getting more cheese than he considers the two crackers accompanying it can handle:

Air New Zealand is facing a grilling over concerns it has miscalculated the ratio of cheese-to-cracker for one of its inflight snack options.

The unsavoury revelation was brought to the attention of the airline by disgruntled customer Jeremy Chaston, who posted his complaint to Facebook on Thursday night.

“Your cheese to cracker ratio is completely out of whack,” he wrote, accompanied by a photo showing two crackers dwarfed by their respective cheese slices.

“I mean I like cheese, I REALLY like cheese but often the best part of the cheese is having it accompanied by a firm and crisp cracker.

“I feel that there is sufficient cheese to justify at least four crackers!!” . . .

I beg to differ. the best part of the cheese and crackers is the cheese so why not have more cheese than cracker?

I’ve been on several Koru hour flights recently when the cheese is served and I’ve noticed that there’s a generous serving of cheese – two chunks – which could be considered to swamp the two crackers allotted with it.

But as cheese is what pleases and the crackers are only there to carry it, I don’t consider there’s any miscalculation in the cheese to cracker ratio.

A cheesemaker told me that cheese is best served with oat crackers or bread, not water biscuits or other types of crackers.

Gourmands  might not agree but I’m also partial to cheese as a topping for apple, pear and fruit cake.

But whatever accompanies it, I’m never concerned if there’s more cheese than whatever it’s topping.

In fact more than not worrying me it reminds me of Pooh Bear who when asked if he wanted a honey or condensed milk sandwich replied both, then so as not to appear greedy said don’t worry about the bread.

In the spirit of Pooh I think Air New Zealand has got it right – pleny of cheese and just enough cracker so as not to leave passengers feeling greedy.


Budget changes will benefit children – Dr Lance O’Sullivan

May 24, 2015

Northland GP and New Zealander of the Year says the Budget announcement of more money for beneficiary families and the requirement to seek work when the youngest child turns three is a good move:

Dr O’Sullivan says in the Northland communities he works in, the kids of beneficiaries are often better off out of the home because they’re less exposed to social dysfunction.

“Now that could be alcohol, drug abuse; that could be violence; that could be mental health problems; that could be problems with incarceration,” says Dr O’Sullivan.

He says putting those children into childcare during the day ensures they have some good role models early on.

“I think we should be able to expose them to positive environments, keep them warm, safe and dry and give them a learning opportunity that will prepare them for school. I don’t believe we should waiting until they’re five.” . . .

Home ought to be the safest place for children.

Parents ought to be the best teachers and role models but tragically for too many children they aren’t.

Dr O’Sullivan sees them and knows that these children will be better away from their homes, if only while their parents are at work.


Sunday soapbox

May 24, 2015

Sunday’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.
SimpleReminders.com's photo.

The words of the tonuge should have three gate keepers: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?


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