Word of the day

August 3, 2015

Wabi-sabi – a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience; a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete; an acceptance of the cycle of life and death.


Rural round-up

August 3, 2015

Ballance delivers cash to shareholders up front:

. . . Farm nutrient co-operative Ballance Agri-Nutrients has fast-tracked its 2014/15 rebate and dividend payment to get much-needed cash to farmers early.

On 31 July, the co-operative will begin its distribution of an average $60 per tonne, seven weeks ahead of its normal payment schedule. The rebate, averaging $55.83 a tonne along with a 10 cent dividend per share will see a total distribution to shareholders of $76 million – equating to 94 percent of its $81 million gross trading result.

Chairman David Peacocke said today that the co-operative’s solid performance meant it could support its shareholders and move quickly to do so. . .

Mixing style, substance and ambition – Sally Rae:

Chanelle Purser is possibly the most stylish calf rearer in Crookston.

Her fur jacket might usually remain in the wardrobe while she is in the calf shed, but brightly painted fingers dispense milk to hungry charges.

Mrs Purser (42) is somewhat of a dynamo, farming with her husband Phil in West Otago and running a successful retail business in Gore, but she takes it all in her well-manicured stride. . .

Strong demand for good farm dogs – Diane Bishop:

A shortage of good working dogs pushed prices up at the Gore dog sale.

PGG Wrightson Gore livestock manager Mark Cuttance said the top heading dogs fetched $5500 to $5700 while the top huntaways made about $5600 at the sale on Wednesday July 29.

Cuttance wasn’t surprised.

“We expect that sort of money for the top end dogs,” he said.

Cuttance said there was a shortage of good working dogs, because of less shepherds on the land, and vendors saw the Gore dog sale as the perfect opportunity to achieve market value for their dogs in a competitive environment. . . .

Mid Canterbury farmland sold to foreign-owned Craigmore Farming – Jack Montgomerie:

A company associated with a South Canterbury rich-lister has bought more Canterbury farmland.

An Overseas Investment Office decision released on Friday stated the 95 per cent foreign-owned Craigmore Farming NZ Limited Partnership had received approval to buy 83 hectares of land.

Craigmore planned to incorporate the cropping land on New Park Rd, located about 15 kilometres southwest of Ashburton, into its Wairepo dairy farm operation. . .

End the squabbling over free range – David Leyonhjelm:

TO scramble the metaphors, various thin-shelled types are running around like headless chooks over free-range eggs, proclaiming the sky will fall if the law doesn’t tell us all what the term means.

Facts and evidence are as scarce as hen’s teeth, while market forces are disappearing faster than a randy rooster.

The cause is the fact that consumers are increasingly choosing free-range eggs over cage eggs. There are no health, welfare, nutritional or environmental advantages to this. Cage and free-range eggs are no different, although free-range eggs are more likely to be contaminated by chook poo. . .

 Pretty Woman protecting soils:

JULIA Roberts is getting dirty with the aim of helping agriculture.

The Academy Award winner and star of such films as Pretty Woman and Mystic Pizza, has become the latest in a line of international VIPs to call for action to protect soils.

The Hollywood actress has become the newest face of the Save Our Soils initiative, following in the footsteps of several dedicated environmentalists including the Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu, activist Vandana Shiva and conservationist Douglas Tompkins. . .

Green dilemma – a GE rice that reduces greenhouse gas emissions – Kiwiblog:

This will pose a dilemma for the Greens. Scientists have developed a genetically engineered rice crop that has significantly reduced methane (the most powerful greenhouse gas) emissions over normal rice.

So if the Greens truly believe their rhetoric that greenhouse gas emissions are the biggest threat to Earth today, surely this means they will drop their opposition to genetically engineered crops and welcome this GE rice?

Nature Magazine reports:

Atmospheric methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, and is responsible for about 20% of the global warming effect since pre-industrial times1, 2. Rice paddies are the largest anthropogenic methane source and produce 7–17% of atmospheric methane2, 3. Warm waterlogged soil and exuded nutrients from rice roots provide ideal conditions for methanogenesis in paddies with annual methane emissions of 25–100-million tonnes3, 4. This scenario will be exacerbated by an expansion in rice cultivation needed to meet the escalating demand for food in the coming decades4.  . .

Apropos of which with a hat tip to Utopia:


Three more years

August 3, 2015

Tiwai Point smelter will stay open for at least another three years:

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter will stay open until at least 2018, with a new agreement reached between owner New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) and electricity suppliers Meridian and Contact.

The revised contract will see 572MW of energy supplied to the smelter until 2030, with NZAS able to reduce the load or terminate the deal altogether from 2018, depending on market conditions.

“We have crossed a hurdle today and now have more certainty about our immediate future,” says NZAS chief executive Gretta Stephens.

“The agreement provides short-term security for the smelter and allows time for market fundamentals to improve.” . . .

Aluminium is a commodity and like many others, including dairy produce, it is in the midst of a downturn.

The announcement the smelter will stay open will be a relief to the hundreds of people working there, the businesses which service and supply it and the wider Southland economy.

It is probably good news for Meridian and Contact shareholders too. Even though the smelter gets power at a discounted price, losing such a big customer would have hurt the companies, though it might have meant lower power prices for the rest of us.


Does Auckland deserve this?

August 3, 2015

Colin Craig could run for Auckland mayor:

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has not ruled out running for Auckland mayor next year, despite another week where his personal life has been dragged through the media.

Craig said he had been asked on more than one occasion to run for mayor and said he sees a strong constituency for a conservative, particularly a fiscally conservative, candidate to run in Auckland. . . .

The rest of New Zealand likes to not like Auckland, but does the city deserve Len Brown and then Craig?


Cilla Black 27.5.43 – 2.8.15

August 3, 2015

Cilla Black has died.

. . . Born Priscilla White in Liverpool, Black changed her name to launch a singing career with hits such as Anyone Who Had a Heart and You’re My World.

Her career focus shifted to television in 1968, when she was given her own BBC One primetime series, and she went on to host a number of shows for ITV.

Black’s journey to stardom began at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club, where she started work as a part-time cloakroom attendant.

It was there she met her husband-to-be Bobby Willis and went on to perform alongside such acts as The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

She was soon brought to the attention of manager Brian Epstein and released her first single, Love of the Loved, in September 1963.

The following year she released the ballads You’re My World and Anyone Who Had a Heart, both of which went to number one. . . .


Quote of the day

August 3, 2015

“It used to be that in the 1960s, you only needed to say ‘I’m a farmer’ and the poor, simple bit was thrown in,” he comments wryly. “Now there are some wealthy farmers out there, so you have to add it in.  . .”Chris Reeve


August 3 in history

August 3, 2015

8  Roman Empire general Tiberius defeated Dalmatians on the river Bathinus.

881  Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu: Louis III of France defeated the Vikings, an event celebrated in the poem Ludwigslied.

1492  Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

1527  First known letter was sent from North America by John Rut.

1645  Thirty Years’ War: Second Battle of Nördlingen (Battle of Allerheim).

1678  Robert LaSalle built the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

1783  Mount Asama erupted in Japan, killing 35,000 people.

1801 Joseph Paxton, English gardener, was born (d. 1865).

1811 Elisha Graves Otis, American inventor, was born (d. 1861).

1811  First ascent of Jungfrau, third highest summit in the Bernese Alps.

1852 First Boat Race between Yale and Harvard, the first American intercollegiate athletic event. Harvard won.

1860 The Second Land War began in New Zealand.

Newzealandwarsmemorial.jpg

1860 W. K. Dickson, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1935).

1867 Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1947).

1872 – Anthony Trollope, one of the Victorian era’s most famous novelists, landed at Bluff at the start of a two-month tour of New Zealand.

1887 Rupert Brooke, English poet, was born (d. 1915).

1900 The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded.

1913  Wheatland Hop Riot.

1914  – World War I: Germany declared war against France.

1916   Battle of Romani – Allied forces, under the command of Archibald Murray, defeated an attacking Ottoman army, under the command of Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, securing the Suez Canal, and beginning the Ottoman retreat from t.e Sinai.

1920   P. D. James, English novelist, was born.

1923 Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States following the death of Warren G. Harding the previous day.

1924 Leon Uris, American novelist, was born (d. 2003).

1926 Tony Bennett, American singer, was born.

1934  Adolf Hitler beaome the supreme leader of Germany by joining the offices of President and Chancellor into Führer.

1936  Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

1938 Terry Wogan, Irish television presenter, was born.

1940  Italy began the invasion of British Somaliland.

1941 Five days after its arrival in Wellington, the four-masted barque Pamir was seized in prize by the New Zealand government, which then regarded Finland as ‘territory in enemy occupation’.

Finnish barque Pamir seized as war prize

1941 Martha Stewart, American media personality, was born.

1949  The National Basketball Association was founded in the United States.

1958 The nuclear submarine USS Nautilus travelled beneath the Arctic ice cap.

1960  Niger gained independence from France.

1972  The United States Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1975 A privately chartered Boeing 707 crashed into the mountainside near Agadir, Morocco killing 188.

1981  Senegalese opposition parties, under the leadership of Mamadou Dia, launched the Antiimperialist Action Front-Suxxali Reew Mi.

1985 Sonny Bill Williams, New Zealand rugby and league footballer, was born.

1997  Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre in Algeria; 40-76 villagers killed.

2001  The Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Ealing injuring seven people.

2005  President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup while attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

2007 Keeping Stock was launched.

2010 – Widespread rioting erupted in Karachi, Pakistan, after the assassination of a local politician, leaving at least 85 dead and at least 17 billion Pakistani rupees (US$200 million) in damage.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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