Word of the day

July 11, 2015

Sorbto take up and hold by either adsorption or absorption; the fruit of the true service tree.


Rural round-up

July 11, 2015

Toughest farming conditions fro more than 25 years – Tim Fulton:

The micro-climate at Tim and Katie Wilding’s farm at Conway Flat in Canterbury is balmy enough for a crop of garden macadamias but the couple haven’t seen dry conditions like this since the 1980s.

All the natural springs “on the hill” have dried up. That’s never happened before, lifelong resident Tim says.

 Last summer had lifted soil temperatures to about 50 degrees Celsius. It killed a block of hopeful young grass with barely a fight.

The family runs one of New Zealand’s largest beef cattle studs, Te Mania. Their place is a narrow strip between North Canterbury and Kaikoura that usually gets plenty of rain and sun. hence the macadamias. The Wildings have been in full charge of the herd since 1982. . .

Farm worked by same family for 171 years:

A Nelson farm owned by the same family for 171 years is still going strong – and that’s despite the slump in dairy prices.

The Raine family have owned Oaklands farm since 1844 and began milking cows there in the 1930s, but they reckon weather and urban growth are bigger threats to its future. They have become the oldest family in New Zealand to receive a Century Farms Award, which recognises families who have worked the same land for a century or more.

The farm is now run by Richard’s eldest son Julian Raine and his wife Cathy, who live on a neighbouring house on the property. The farm currently milks 200 cows year-round and is run as part of an integrated farm business alongside other farms and horticultural interests in the Nelson region. . .

Most dairy farmers will run at loss this season:

The national dairy industry body says at current forecast milk prices, in Fonterra’s case $5.25 a kilo, most dairy farms will run at a loss this season.

To help them survive that, DairyNZ is providing a new service that they can tap into.

Farmers can go on-line and check out detailed budgeting information from top performing farms, which have pared back their production costs to below $3.50 a kilo of milk solids.

DairyNZ’s research and development head, David McCall, says as things stand the average dairy farmer will lose $150,000 to $200,000 this season if they don’t make changes. . .

West Coast wetlands protected by Nature Heritage Fund:

A significant wetland on the West Coast home to rare birds and plants will be preserved for the public thanks to the Nature Heritage Fund, Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner says.

“The Nature Heritage Fund has purchased 56 hectares of land in Okuru, South Westland to become part of the conservation estate. This land is a great example of open pakihi, a type of wetland characterised by low soil fertility,” Ms Wagner says.

“The pakihi provides a perfect home for the declining South Island fernbird and supports several types of native plants, including sun orchids, carnivorous sundews and bladderworts. . .

US market offers huge potential for New Zealand wines, especially Sauvignon Blanc:

New Zealand wine exports to the United States are growing faster than to our traditional international markets of Australia and the UK, and that pace is being matched by increasing recognition at the top competitions.

In the five years from 2010-2015, exports of Kiwi wines increased three times faster than the UK and Australia. For the 12 months ended April 2015, New Zealand exported 5.88 million cases of wine to the US – up three million since 2010. During that period, exports to Australia increased to 6.4 million (4.8 million five years ago), and in the UK to 6.3 million (4.7 million). . .

 

New possibilities for NZ urea production:

Tenders have been called for a possible redevelopment of Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ ammonia-urea plant at Kapuni in Taranaki.

The only plant of its kind in New Zealand, Ballance CEO Mark Wynne says the call follows a year-long feasibility study including discussions with international specialists in converting gas to fertiliser.

“This has given us confidence to make the next move and ask global experts to scope and cost a re-development. . .

 

Success at Fieldays means boost for Kiwi economy:

With the success of James & Wells’ clients at this year’s and previous Fieldays, there’s no denying that agriculture is still a huge part of New Zealand’s economy.

But it’s not necessarily agriculture as we used to consider it – traditionally farming, machinery and fruit growing – but innovation in agriculture that is allowing wealth to be created from ideas.

In the 27 years James & Wells have been involved with Fieldays, we’ve seen plenty of innovative agricultural ideas, and having our roots in the Waikato since the 1970s, we know a good one when we see it.  . .

 


Saturday’s smiles

July 11, 2015

Snow puns are cool puns:

Central Otago in winter is snow country for cold men.

 I told my doctor I slipped on his front step, and she said, ‘Icy.’

How did the snowman get to the snow ball? He rode his icicle.

Me? Ski backwards down the mountain ? Snow way!

An avalanche is snow place to be.

Do mountain resort waiters worry about the wine-chill factor?

Those who play poker in a snowstorm must carefully shovel their decks.

Do soldiers serving in winter wear flake jackets for protection?

The stressed out snowman was acting flaky then he had a meltdown.

Hear about the Roman general who, every time there was an ice storm, he had an epileptic fit? It was ‘Hail… Seizure!’

Will  fist-sized ice pellets will clog our vacuum?
Maybe when hail freezes hoover.


Flag of the day

July 11, 2015

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

There are more than 5000 in the gallery already.

This one is Kiwi Fern Cross Blue by Peter Baker:

flag

 

 

 


Omar Sharif 10.4.32 – 10.7.15

July 11, 2015

Omar Sharif has died:

Actor Omar Sharif, best known for his roles in classic films Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, has died aged 83.

Egypt-born Sharif won two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean’s 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia.

He won a further Golden Globe three years later for Doctor Zhivago.

Earlier this year, his agent confirmed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. . .

 

 


Saturday soapbox

July 11, 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.

If you laugh a lot, when you get older your wrinkles will be in the right places.


July 11 in history

July 11, 2015

472  After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius was captured in the Old St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death.

911 Signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple and Rollo of Normandy.

1274 Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was born (d. 1329).

1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Dutch) – a coalition around the Flemish cities defeats the king of France’s royal army.

1346  Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1405  Ming admiral Zheng He set sail to explore the world for the first time.

1476 Giuliano della Rovere was appointed bishop of Coutances.

1576 Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland.

1616 Samuel de Champlain returned to Quebec.

1735 Mathematical calculations suggested that on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.

1740   Jews were expelled from Little Russia.

1750  Halifax, Nova Scotia was almost completely destroyed by fire.

1767 John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, was born (d. 1848).

1776 Captain James Cook began his third voyage.

1789 Jacques Necker was dismissed as France’s Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.

1796  The United States took possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.

1798  The United States Marine Corps was re-established.

1801  French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons made his first comet discovery.

1804 Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

1833  Noongar Australian aboriginal warrior Yagan, wanted for leading attacks on white colonists in Western Australia, was killed.

1848 Waterloo railway station in London opened.

1859 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  was published.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempted to invade Washington, D.C..

1877 Kate Edgar became the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a BA.

Kate Edger becomes NZ’s first woman graduate

1882  The British Mediterranean fleet began the Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt as part of the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.

1888 Carl Schmitt, German philosopher and political theorist, was born  (d. 1985).

1889 Tijuana, Mexico, was founded.

1893  The first cultured pearl was obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.

1893  A revolution led by the liberal general and politician, José Santos Zelaya, takes over state power in Nicaragua.

1895 The Lumière brothers demonstrated film technology to scientists.

1897  Salomon August Andrée left Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North pole by balloon.

1899  E. B. White, American writer, was born  (d. 1985).

1906 The Gillette-Brown murder inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.

1914  Babe Ruth made his debut in Major league baseball.

1916 – Reg Varney, English actor, was born (d. 2008).

1916 – Gough Whitlam, 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1919  The eight-hour working day and free Sunday became law in the Netherlands.

1920 Yul Brynner, Russian-born actor, was born (d. 1985).

1920 In the East Prussian plebiscite the local populace decided to remain with Weimar Germany

1921 A truce was called in the Irish War of Independence.

1921 – Former U.S. President William Howard Taft was sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to ever be both President and Chief Justice.

1921 – The Red Army captured Mongolia from the White Army and establishes the Mongolian People’s Republic.

1922 The Hollywood Bowl opened.

1929 David Kelly, Irish actor, was born.

1929 The Gillingham Fair fire disaster killed 15 in England.

1932 Bob McGrath, American actor, was born.

1936 The Triborough Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic.

1940 World War II: Vichy France regime was formally established. Henri Philippe Pétain became Prime Minister of France.

1943  Massacres of Poles in Volhynia.

1943 – World War II: Allied invasion of Sicily – German and Italian troops launched a counter-attack on Allied forces in Sicily.

1947 The Exodus 1947 headed to Palestine from France.

1950 Bonnie Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1955  The phrase In God We Trust was added to all U.S. currency.

1957 Prince Karim Husseini Aga Khan IV inherited the office of Imamat as the 49th Imam of Shia Imami Ismaili worldwide, after the death of Sir Sultan Mahommed Shah Aga Khan III.

1959 Richie Sambora, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1960 Independence of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger.

1960  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published.

1962 Pauline McLynn, Irish actress, was born.

1962  First transatlantic satellite television transmission.

1971  Copper mines in Chile were nationalised.

1973 A Brazilian Boeing 707 crashed near Paris on approach to Orly Airport, killing 123 of the 134 on-board.

1977 Martin Luther King Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1978 Los Alfaques Disaster: A truck carrying liquid gas crashed and exploded at a coastal campsite in Tarragona, Spain killing 216 tourists.

1979  America’s first space station, Skylab, was destroyed as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

1983 A Boeing 727 crashed into hilly terrain after a tail strike in Cuenca, Ecuador, claiming 119 lives.

1987  According to the United Nations, the world population crossed the 5,000,000,000 mark.

1990 Oka Crisis: First Nations land dispute in Quebec began.

1991  A Nationair DC-8 crashed during an emergency landing at Jeddah, killing 261.

1995  A Cubana de Aviacion Antonov An-24 crashed into the Caribbean off southeast Cuba killing 44 people.

1995   Over 8000 Bosnian men and children (mostly Bosniaks) were killed by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic.

2006 –  209 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Mumbi.

2012 – Astronomers announced the discovery of Styx, the fifth moon of Pluto.


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