Word of the day

June 13, 2015

Coherentific – causing to become coherent; causing cohesion.


Rural round-up

June 13, 2015

 Farmer Wellness Big Breakfast – Nathan Guy

The title of my speech today is “Managing Through Tough Times”.

I came up with the idea of this function when I was out running about six weeks ago and felt the time was right for the Government to communicate two very important messages to our farming families and communities.

Firstly, I want to acknowledge that these are challenging times for many farmers and the wider rural community, particularly in the dairy sector, but that we expect much improved conditions in the longer term.

Secondly, I wanted to reinforce the message that if farmers are struggling, or have concerns about how things are going, you are not alone and help is out there.

We know there are plenty of challenges this year, as there always is with farming. . .

$500,000 boost to help rural mental health:

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced a $500,000 funding boost to support mental health initiatives targeted at rural communities.

“Rural depression is a significant issue. The physical isolation as well as the uncertainties of being reliant on the land creates different pressures to those living in an urban setting,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary Industries have each contributed $250,000 to the one off funding boost. . .

Federated Farmers Fielday Seminars: “The essence of farming: water, land, capability”:

Agribusiness expert, Jaqueline Rowarth, has told a Federated Farmers seminar at the Mystery Creek Fieldays this afternoon that investment is necessary for ensuring supplies of sufficient farm water, but meanwhile maintaining water quality.

She said this investment is only possible if primary produce meets the huge challenge of attracting good prices.

Professor Rowarth told the 50 odd people at the seminar New Zealand has both water quantity and quality, which farmers are capturing and using responsibly. . .

 

Greenhouse gas study tour winners announced:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced the two winners of the 2015 Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) – World Farmer Organisation Study Tour in Argentina later this year.

Doug Avery and Zach Mounsey have been selected as winners by a panel including Mr Guy and Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew after giving presentations at Fieldays this year.

“The purpose of this study tour is to increase global understanding and engagement on agricultural greenhouse gas research. These two winners will have an important role as ambassadors for New Zealand in sharing environmental management practices that support sustainable productivity. . .

Breeder confident of sheep’s safety:

A Canterbury sheep breeder with stock on board a major shipment to Mexico says she has been in touch with the destination farm and has no concerns about the animals’ safety.

Penni Loffhagen, who is one of the biggest Suffolk stud breeders in the country, has sold 15 young pedigree sheep to a Mexican farm for breeding.

Her ewes and rams are among 50,000 sheep now at sea on the way to Mexico. . .

They’re not ‘our’ sheep – Kiwiblog:

Newstalk ZB reports:

Labour wants assurances that tens of thousands of sheep and cattle being shipped to Mexico won’t be killed when they get there.

The shipment leaves Timaru today.

Leader Andrew Little told Newstalk ZB’s Rachel Smalley the regulations are clear – you can export live sheep for breeding purposes, you can’t for slaughter. . .

PGG Wrightson lifts annual earnings outlook for a second time, warns of weak farmer confidence – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson, the rural services firm controlled by China’s Agria Corp, lifted its annual earnings outlook as second-half trading comes in ahead of expectations, but warned weak farmer confidence may weigh on future sales.

The Christchurch-based company expects annual operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be between $66 million and $69 million in the year ending June 30, above the February forecast for earnings between $62 million and $68 million. That in itself was an upgrade from previous guidance to beat last year’s earnings of $58.7 million. . .

New Zealand Avocados Achieve Record Sales Volume:

New Zealand’s largest ever avocado crop has been successfully harvested, packed and marketed with a massive 7 million trays sold during the 2014-15 season.

Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, today announced the new record volume which was 43 per cent higher than last season, and up from a previous industry high of 6.1 million trays sold in 2011-12 and a great industry return.

“Growth in the consumption of avocados in our key markets continues to be very impressive. . .

Best Young Butchers in the Region:

Two of New Zealand’s top young butchers have been named following the Alto Young Butcher & Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year Lower North Island regional final yesterday.

Havelock North local, Justin Hinchco from New World Havelock North took out the Alto Young Butcher category and Vernon Atutahi from New World Marton finished first place in the Competenz Butcher Apprentice category. . .

 

Body condition score to become a breeding trait:

Body condition score (BCS) is to be included as a new trait in Breeding Worth (BW) from February 2016.

Breeding Worth provides farmers with an economic measure of genetic merit (profit per five tonne of dry matter) and is calculated for all dairy cattle. During a National Breeding Objective Review in 2012, BCS (particularly late lactation BCS) was identified as an important trait with economic value to farmers. . .

 

Wool values ease:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s General Manager, Mr John Dawson reports that the North Island offering this week, made up predominantly of short coarse Second Shear wools compared to the more varied South Island longer selection last sale on 4th June, saw prices ease despite the weakening New Zealand dollar.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies came back by 1.95 percent with a 98 percent clearance of the 9,400 bales on offer. . .

NIWA’s Fieldays stand a winner:

NIWA’s Fieldays team is today basking in the glory of winning the Best Indoor Agribusiness Site awarded by the National Agricultural Fieldays organisation for the 2015 event.

Dr Mark Bojesen-Trepla, NIWA’s manager of marketing and industry engagement, said the win was a great endorsement for the team who had worked extremely hard to put together a space that would be eye-catching and relevant to farmers.

“We are delighted our efforts have been formally recognised but are also looking forward to meeting more farmers during the rest of Fieldays and showing them how we can help.” . . .

 

 


In a past life . . .

June 13, 2015

. . . I was an:

Artist

What your memories show about you is that you have a natural creative streak. To you, the world is more colourful, iridescent and exciting than it is to others, even while you are only sitting in a quiet room. If all else fails, you build entire new worlds in your imagination. In your past life this made you a talented artist who was masterful at translating grandiose ideas into reality and capturing the imagination of the people.

Such a pity that artistic ability didn’t come in to my present life in which any fine motor skills are a challenge.


Saturday’s smiles

June 13, 2015

* One students said to another, “I’m reading a great book on anti-gravity and I can’t put it down.

Her friend replied, “I’m reading a great book on helium and I can’t put it down either.”

* I have a new theory on inertia but it doesn’t seem to be gaining momentum.

* Why can’t atheists solve exponential equations? Because they don’t believe in higher powers.

* Q: If H2O is the formula for water, what is the formula for ice?
   A: H2O –  CUBED.

* A chemistry teacher asks her class, “What is the formula for water?”
A pupil replies, “H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O”
The teacher says, “Where did you get that from? That’s not what you have been taught.”
The pupil responds, “Yes it  is, you told us the formula for water was…H to O.”

* Do you know the name Pavlov? It rings a bell.

*  A group of protesters in front of a physics lab are chanting:
“What do we want?”.
“Time travel”
“When do we want it?”.
“Irrelevant.”

* Q: How did the blonde define hydrophobic in his chemistry exam?
   A: Fear of utility bills.  

* What does a subatomic duck say? Quark!

*  A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a beer.  The barman replies “For you, no charge”.

*  Two atoms are walking together. One of them says:
“Oh, no, I think I lost an electron.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m positive.”

*  An optimist sees a glass half full. A pessimist sees it half empty. An engineer sees it twice as large as it needs to be.

The science theme was prompted by the story of Sir Tim Hunt who told a conference in South Korea:

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.” . . .

He has now resigned:

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, Sir Tim said he was “really sorry that I said what I said”, adding it was “a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists”.

The British biochemist, who was knighted in 2006, said the remarks made at a conference in South Korea were “intended as a light-hearted, ironic comment” but had been “interpreted deadly seriously by my audience”.

He went on to say he stood by some of the comments.

“I did mean the part about having trouble with girls,” he said.

“I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it’s very disruptive to the science because it’s terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.

“I found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult.

“I’m really, really sorry I caused any offence, that’s awful. I certainly didn’t mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually.”

That an apparently intelligent man thinks like this is bemusing, but should he have resigned when universities are supposed to be bastions of freedom of thought and speech?

Especially when female scientists have shown themselves quite capable of countering his contention with their #Distractinglysexy Twitter campaign


Flag of the day

June 13, 2015

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

There are more than 3000 in the gallery already.

This is Future New Zealand by Charly Joan Jacobson:

flag


Public Interest Project launches

June 13, 2015

The New Zealand Public Interest Project is being launched in Christchurch today.

What does it do?

In even the fairest justice system, there are those who fall through the cracks. The New Zealand Public Interest Panel was founded on the belief that it is in the highest interest of the New Zealand public to investigate and appeal potential miscarriages of justice wherever possible.

In some countries, such as in England and Scotland, there are Criminal Cases Review Commissions whose role is to pursue these miscarriages and see that they are amended. While these organisations were created and funded by Acts of Parliament, no such Act exists here in New Zealand. 

We see this as an important absence in our country’s legal system, and so we decided to create one ourselves. 

The New Zealand Public Interest Project was founded by a volunteer team that includes prominent lawyers, academics, investigators and forensic scientists, all of whom are committed to acting in the interest of the public. Prior to the launch of NZPIP, members of this team have been privately involved in public interest cases and potential miscarriages of justice such as those of Teina Pora, Michael October, Mark Lundy and David Bain.

NZPIP is supported by the University of Canterbury School of Law, whose facilities help us to keep costs low. UC law students also play a key role in NZPIP, both as volunteers and working for course credit. Their involvement gives us the manpower to keep running on a day-to-day basis but also provides a great opportunity to develop

We take cases that we think are in the public good, whatever they may be. This includes appealing miscarriages of justice against individuals, but can also extend to civil matters where access to justice is inhibited or where there is a public interest which would not otherwise be  effectively served. This may consist of test cases or class actions where the rights of many citizens are affected, or cases where issues of considerable public interest are involved, such as human rights and freedom from discrimination, civil and political rights, or commercial or consumer matters where fundamental economic security are at risk including health, work, and accommodation.

The people behind NZPIP are:

* Dr Jarrod Gilbert, a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Canterbury and a coordinator of the Criminal Justice Degree. He is also the lead researcher at Independent Research Solutions.

* Tim Mckinnel, a Director of the investigation firm Zavést.

* Nigel Hampton  OBE QC.

* Dr Anna Sandiford, a forensic science consultant and director of The Forensic Group Ltd, a scientific consultancy based in New Zealand with extensive national and international networks of experts.

* Kerry Cook, a barrister and a member of the New Zealand Criminal Bar Association Committee.

* Glynn Rigby, the founding Director of investigation firm Zavést.

* Dr Duncan Webb, a expert in Professional Responsibility and Liability.

* Associate Professor Chris Gallavin, the Dean of Law and the Head of the School of Law at the University of Canterbury.


Saturday soapbox

June 13, 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.
Dr Rick Kausman's photo.

A well worn path doesn’t mean it’s the right track – Dr Rick Kausman


June 13 in history

June 13, 2015

823 Charles the Bald , Holy Roman Emperor and King of the West Franks,was born (d. 877).

1249 – Coronation of Alexander III as King of Scots.

1373 – Anglo-Portuguese Alliance between England (succeeded by the United Kingdom) and Portugal – the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force.

1525 Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, against the celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests and nuns.

1584  Miyamoto Musashi, Legendary Samurai warrior, artist, and author of The Book of Five Rings, was born (d. 1645).

1625  King Charles I married French princess Henrietta Maria de Bourbon.

1752 Fanny Burney, English novelist and diarist, was born (d. 1840).

1774  Rhode Island became the first of Britain’s North American colonies to ban the importation of slaves.

1777 American Revolutionary War: Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army.

1798 Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded.

1805  Lewis and Clark Expedition: scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sighted the Great Falls of the Missouri River.

1863 Lady Lucy Duff Gordon, English fashion designer, was born (d. 1935).

1865 William Butler Yeats, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1937)

1866 The Burgess Gang murdered five men on the Maungatapu track, south-east of Nelson.
Murder on the Maungatapu track

1881 The USS Jeannette was crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.

1883 Henry George Lamond, Australian farmer and author was born (d. 1969).

1886  A fire devastated much of Vancouver.

1886 – King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead in Lake Starnberg south of Munich.

1893 Dorothy L. Sayers, English author, was born (d. 1957).

1893 Grover Cleveland underwent secret, successful surgery to remove a large, cancerous portion of his jaw; the operation wasn’t revealed to the public until 1917, nine years after the president’s death.

1898 Yukon Territory was formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital.

1910 Mary Whitehouse, British campaigner, was born (d. 2001).

1910  The University of the Philippines College of Engineering was established.

1917  World War I: the deadliest German air raid on London during World War I was carried out by Gotha G bombers and resulted in 162 deaths, including 46 children, and 432 injuries.

1927 – Slim Dusty, Australian singer, was born (d. 2003)

1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh received a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue in New York.

1934  Adolf Hitler and Mussolini met in Venice.

1942 The United States opened its Office of War Information.

1942 The United States established the Office of Strategic Services.

1944 Ban Ki-Moon, South Korean United Nations Secretary-General, was born.

1944 World War II: Germany launched a counter attack on Carentan.

1944 – World War II: Germany launched a V1 Flying Bomb attack on England. Only four of the eleven bombs actually hit their targets.

1949 Dennis Locorriere, American singer and guitarist (Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show), was born.

1952  Catalina affair: a Swedish Douglas DC-3 was shot down by a Soviet MiG-15 fighter.

1953 Tim Allen, American comedian and actor, was born.

1955 Mir Mine, the first diamond mine in the USSR, was discovered.

1966 The United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

1967  U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

1970 Chris Cairns, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Chris Cairns from side.jpg

1970  ”The Long and Winding Road” became the Beatles’ last Number 1 song.

1971  Vietnam War: The New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers.

1978  Israeli Defense Forces withdrew from Lebanon.

1981 At the Trooping the Colour ceremony a teenager, Marcus Sarjeant, fired six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth II.

1982  Fahd became King of Saudi Arabia on the death of his brother, Khalid.

1983 – Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system.

1994  A jury in Anchorage blamed recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.

1995  French president Jacques Chirac announced the resumption of nuclear tests in French Polynesia.

1996 The Montana Freemen surrendered after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.

1997 Uphaar cinema fire, in New Delhi, killed 59 people, and over 100 people injured.

1997 American fugitive Ira Einhorn was arrested in France for the murder of Holly Maddux after 16 years on the run.

2000  President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea met Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, for the beginning of the first ever inter-Korea summit.

2000  Italy pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981.

2002 The United States of America withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2005  A jury in Santa Maria, California acquitted pop singer Michael Jackson of molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch.

2007  The Al Askari Mosque was bombed for a third time.

2010 – A capsule of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, containing particles of the asteroid 25143 Itokawa, returned to Earth.

2012 – A series of bombings across Iraq, including Baghdad, Hillah and Kirkuk, killed at least 93 people and wounds over 300 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: