Word of the day

June 24, 2015

Necromancer – a person who practises necromancy; one who supposedly communicates with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future; a wizard or magician.


Rural round-up

June 24, 2015

Still more milk than market – Rabobank’s latest dairy outlook:

A recovery in global dairy prices is still on the horizon, however burgeoning stocks have pushed out any sustained upturn in the market until the first-half of 2016, according to Rabobank’s latest Dairy Quarterly report.

The global outlook, released exclusively to Rabobank’s agribusiness clients earlier this week, reaffirms the bank’s position that a recovery phase is imminent, however it has pushed out the timeframe by at least three months. . .

 The good and bad of farming with lifestyle neighbours – Kate Taylor:

The views from Philip and Robyn Holt’s farm, Maraetara, are spectacular – across the Ahuriri estuary to Hawke Bay and Napier Hill.

They’re not the only ones to appreciate it though. When Philip was growing up the only neighbours were other farmers. Now houses dot the hillsides and Maraetara has boundaries with about 70 neighbours.

This growth of lifestyle blocks has negatives and positives, says Philip. . .

NZ beekeeper plans bee sanctuary on Niue – Cheryl Norrie:

When beekeeper Andy Cory went to Niue in 1999 in search of a honey business, he had to hack his way through a jungle to find a collection of beehives which had been abandoned 30 years previously.

He remembers finding 240 hives.

“They were all rotten and had fallen on their sides. The bees were still in them and they were fine.” . . .

Too little data to pinpoint cause of NZ beehive deaths – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – The sudden and devastating demise of honey bee hives, known overseas as colony collapse disorder, may threaten New Zealand’s $5.1 billion apiculture industry, after thousands of colonies were lost over last spring.

North Island beekeepers spanning the Coromandel, Great Barrier, Wairarapa and Taranaki suffered significant losses with some reporting up to 95 percent of adult bees disappearing from hives. However, a lack of reporting to the Ministry for Primary Industries or the Environmental Protection Agency meant there was no certainty about whether the sudden collapses were linked, the New Zealand Apiculture Conference in Taupo heard. . .

Farm debt pressures being surveyed:

Lincoln University researchers want to know how farmers and their families are dealing with being in debt and the stress it can bring.

Bruce Greig, Dr Kevin Old and Dr Peter Nuthall, from the University’s Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce, are conducting a nationwide survey investigating farm debt and the level of anxiety experienced by farmers who incur it.

Mr Greig says they want to discover how they manage debt as it is one of the many skills farmers require. . .

NZ lambskin, sheepskin face ‘lose-lose’ with over-supply, weak demand – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand exports of sheepskin and lambskin, at their lowest level in more than four years, are unlikely to recover any time soon as a glut of excess stock and weak demand weigh on prices.

The value of raw sheepskin and lambskin exports fell to $128.6 million in the year through April, the 15th straight decline in annual exports and the lowest level since January 2011, according to Statistics New Zealand data. The latest figures, for May, will be published on Friday. . .

 

Settlement reached over ASB rural interest rate swaps:

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has reached a settlement with ASB regarding the sale, promotion and marketing of interest rate swaps to some rural customers.

The Commerce Commission (the Commission) investigated ASB for the sale of interest swaps and reached a separate settlement with ASB in December 2014.

The FMA settlement was reached based on the conclusions from the Commission’s investigation and the FMA’s engagement with ASB in relation to its processes for selling and marketing interest rate swaps to rural customers. . .

 


No shades of grey for governors

June 24, 2015

The Herald opines:

Fairly or not, politicians are expected to have solid, unambiguous positions on every issue. Not for them the shades of grey that influence the decision-making of most people in everyday life. Consequently, it is unsurprising that the Auckland councillors who are thinking of abstaining to allow the council’s 10-year budget to pass are being strongly criticised. . .

The issue is too important for any councillor to choose not to choose. They were elected to provide a voice for the citizens of their ward. That should not be lost when they are so adamant about the budget’s shortcomings.

Abstaining would allow the budget and the extortionate rates rise it requires to pass.

In effect the councillors abstaining are voting for the budget without having the courage to commit themselves to it.

That is a gross failure of competence and dereliction of duty.

People are elected to governance positions to govern and these councillors are paid more than many full-time workers are to do their best for the city and the people they represent.

If they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to vote for or against the budget which is the most important vote each year, they shouldn’t be on the council.


Wanaka wow

June 24, 2015


Flag of the day

June 24, 2015

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

There are more than 4000 in the gallery already.

This one is Aotearoa a flag for New Zealanders by William Hindmarsh.

flag1

 


Baby it’s cold inside

June 24, 2015

The South Island has woken to the second morning in a row of sub–zero temperatures.

. . . It was -6.4degC in Queenstown at 6.30am and -8.1degC in Alexandra, while Wanaka was -3.7degC and Oamaru was -3.1degC. Dunedin was -0.5degC.

Omarama was sitting at -20degC while Tara Hills near Twizel was -18.9degC about 6.30am.

The all time record low is – 25.6degC, recorded in Ranfurly in 1903. . .

This is winter as it used to be.

Breaking ice on puddles and skating on icy patches on footpaths as we walked to school was a regular occurrence.

Back then it was cold outside and in.

We lived in uninsulated houses with little heating.  We had a fire in the kitchen and in the very depths of winter a kerosene heater was lit in the hall to take the chill off the bedrooms before we went to bed.

It was colder still for my mother who was one on nine children in a house with too few bedrooms to accommodate them. The oldest ones slept on an open veranda winter and summer.

Children sleeping in conditions like that now would almost certainly be reported to welfare agencies.

Back then it wasn’t unusual although temperatures were regularly lower.

Were cold-related illnesses also normal and not reported, or has something else changed that people in cold houses and the health problems resulting from that have become news?

 

 


Quote of the day

June 24, 2015

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.” ― Robert Fulghum


June 24 in history

June 24, 2015

972 Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces.

1128  Battle of São Mamede, near Guimarães:Portuguese forces led by Alfonso I defeated his mother D. Teresa and D. Fernão Peres de Trava.

1314  First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn concluded with a decisive victory of the Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, though England did not recognise Scottish independence until 1328 with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.

1340  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Sluys: The French fleet was almost destroyed by the English Fleet commanded in person by Edward III of England.

1374  A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and began to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion.

1441  King Henry VI founded Eton College.

1497  John Cabot landed in North America at Newfoundland; the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.

1497  Cornish rebels Michael An Gof and Thomas Flamank were executed at Tyburn, London.

1509  Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England.

1535  The Anabaptist state of Münster was conquered and disbanded.

1542  St. John of the Cross, Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet, was born (d. 1591).

1571  Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.

1597  The first Dutch voyage to the East Indies reached Bantam (on Java).

1604  Samuel de Champlain discovered the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick.

1662  The Dutch attempted but failed to capture Macau.

1664  The colony of New Jersey was founded.

1692 Kingston, Jamaica was founded.

1717  The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), was founded in London.

1748  John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley opened the Kingswood School in Bristol.

1793 The first Republican constitution in France was adopted.

1794 Bowdoin College was founded.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River beginning his invasion of Russia.

1813 Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman and reformer, was born  (d. 1887).

1813  Battle of Beaver Dams : A British and Indian combined force defeat the U.S Army.

1821  The Battle of Carabobo took place – the decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain.

1859  Battle of Solferino: (Battle of the Three Sovereigns). Sardinia and France defeat Austria in Solferino, northern Italy.

1866  Battle of Custoza: an Austrian army defeats the Italian army during the Austro-Prussian War.

1880  First performance of O Canada, the song that became the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.

1893 Roy O. Disney, a founder of the Walt Disney Company, was born  (d. 1971).

1894  Marie Francois Sadi Carnot was assassinated by Sante Geronimo Caserio.

1901  First exhibition of Pablo Picasso‘s work opened.

1902 King Edward VII developed  appendicitis, delaying his coronation.

1905 NZ Truth was launched.

New Zealand Truth hits the newstands

1916  Mary Pickford became the first female film star to get a million dollar contract.

1916  World War I: The Battle of the Somme began with a week long artillery bombardment on the German Line.

1918  First airmail service in Canada from Montreal to Toronto.

1922  The American Professional Football Association formally changed its name to the National Football League.

1928  With declining business, the International Railway (New York – Ontario) began using one-person crews on trolley operations in Canada.

1932  A bloodless Revolution instigated by the People’s Party ended the absolute power of King Prajadhipok of Siam (Thailand).

1938  Pieces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded, land near Chicora, Pennsylvania.

1939  Siam was renamed to Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the third Prime Minister.

1944 Jeff Beck, English musician (The Yardbirds).

1945  The Moscow Victory Parade took place.

1947  Mick Fleetwood, English musician (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1947  Kenneth Arnold made the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.

1947 – Patrick Moraz, Swiss keyboard player (Yes) was born.

1948  Start of the Berlin Blockade. The Soviet Union makes overland travel between the West with West Berlin impossible.

1949 John Illsley, English bassist (Dire Straits) was born.

1949  The first Television Western, Hopalong Cassidy, was aired on NBC starring William Boyd.

1957  In Roth v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that obscenity was not protected by the First Amendment .

1961 Curt Smith, English musician and songwriter (Tears for Fears), was born.

1963  The United Kingdom granted Zanzibar internal self-government.

1975  An Eastern Air Lines Boeing 727 crashed at John F. Kennedy Airport, New York. 113 people died.

1981  The Humber Bridge was opened to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

1982  British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to as “the Jakarta incident”, flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines.

1985  STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery completed its mission.

1993  Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter lost the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand after receiving a mailbomb from the Unabomber.

1994  A United States Air Force B-52 aircraft crashed at Fairchild Air Force Base, killing all four members of its crew.

2002  The Igandu train disaster in Tanzania killed 281, the worst train accident in African history.

2004  In New York state, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional.

2007  The Angora Fire started near South Lake Tahoe, California destroying 200+ structures in its first 48 hours.

2010 – John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

2012 – The last known individual of Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii, a subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise, died, making the species extinct.

2013 –  – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was found guilty of abusing his power and having sex with an underage prostitute, and is sentenced to seven years in prison.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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