Word of the day


Anacampserote – something which can bring back a lost love;  herb feigned to restore departed love.

Rural round-up


Merino deal lines up with Swanndri – Tim Cronshaw:

A new deal has been inked by the New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) to supply fine and strong wool to Swanndri for its outdoor clothing and new urban range.

An initial 30 tonnes of wool will be supplied by NZM’s supplier network of merino, mid-micron and strong wool farmers with most of the strong wool to come from its business partner Landcorp, the government-owned farming company.

NZM expects the tonnage to grow quickly because of its ability to supply wide ranging wool types for Swanndri’s clothing and accessories, from jackets and vests to baby blankets and luggage. . .

Whitestone Cheese takes on trail guardian role – Rebecca Ryan:

Whitestone Cheese has signed on as the first ”section guardian” of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail and will contribute to maintenance and upkeep of the Duntroon to Oamaru section until at least 2018.

Tourism Waitaki marketing manager Ian Elliott said the new initiative was launched as an opportunity for businesses and individuals to make a more ”significant and ongoing contribution” to the cycle trail in its development period.

Simon and Annabel Berry, of Whitestone Cheese, announced their signing as guardians of Section 8: Duntroon to Oamaru yesterday. . ..

Happy to host hunter in Hawea:

The owner of a Lake Hawea trophy-hunting business says he is ”more than comfortable” about hosting a US hunter who is being slammed for showcasing photos of herself posing with a giraffe, wildebeest and other animals she has shot.

Glen Dene Hunting and Fishing owner Richard Burdon said he expected to host Idaho accountant Sabrina Corgatelli at his station in April next year.

She would hunt red stags during the roar using a bow.

Ms Corgatelli is another trophy hunter being condemned on social media after the allegedly illegal shooting of a lion known as Cecil in Zimbabwe by American dentist Walter Palmer. . .

G.M.O. Dilemma: Swaying a Wary Public – Conrad De Aenlle:

Genetic food modification worked out well the first time it was tried.

By planting seeds from the best grain season after season or breeding the best animals to one another, our ancestors changed gene pools and gave civilization its start.

The earliest known practitioners of biotechnology — Babylonians who added a variety of yeast fungus to grain about 5,000 years ago — produced beer and helped make civilization fun.

Proponents of modern genetic food modification through biotechnology expect it to help keep civilization going by feeding people who otherwise might starve, but the public is wary at best. . .

UniBio plots annimal feed revolution – Big Picture (Hat tip Kiwiblog)

Get set for a revolution in animal feed.

If UniBio’s plans come to fruition it won’t be too long before the company orchestrates a major adjustment to the food-chain, and with very positive implications for the environment.

The company already has letters of intent for 110,000 tonnes of its key product, a biologically engineered animal feed manufactured out of methane called UniProtein.

The UniProtein price will be benchmarked against Peruvian fishmeal, as it has the potential to substitute fishmeal in a feed mix for, for example piglets. . .

And from Peterson Farm Bros:
Peterson Farm Bros's photo.

Things You Might Want to Know About Magic



The most important thing to know is simple: magic is real. There are lots of books out now that have magic in them. A lot of people think they are fiction. Except when you read them, something deep inside you stirs. Like a little spark or an ember. Or a bright hummingbird that suddenly wakes & darts up into the quiet dark & starts to hum.

Magic has been quietly waiting for a long time for us to stop being so busy with our shiny things made of metal & glass & wires & electricity. It has been waiting for us to wake up & see that we’re already where we always wanted to be. That we’re already home.

A lot of people get confused about Life because when they were young, something happened that hurt. Maybe it was someone who made fun of their hair. Or the color of their skin. Or the number of freckles they had. Or they were too skinny. Or too fat.

But there are worse things than that when you are young. The worst thing is when you have adults around you that forget that children are there to remind us the magic is real, that innocence is one of the things that’s big enough to create the world all over again every day, bigger & brighter every time. When you have adults around you who forget that, they do mean & stupid things that can hurt for your whole life.

When you have a hurt like that, it’s easy to get confused about Life because instead of playing the game called Trust Love & Adventure & Magic, you start playing another game called Stop the Hurt.

You start doing things that stop the hurt, like gathering people around you who would never, ever do anything that even reminds you of the hurt. Or worse, you start hurting other people first because hurt people leave you alone. That’s the biggest problem with hurt: you think if you can get enough alone, the hurt will stop. Because it was people who made it hurt to begin with. Funny how that works. The only real way for hurt to stop is to be with people who hear you say It hurts & they hold you & kiss you & put Bactine & a band-aid on it & they maybe make you a grilled cheese sandwich with some animal crackers & they tell you the truth: everyone hurts sometimes because being alive is not an exact science & we bump into each other because we’re not looking & we’re so busy not looking that we miss the thing that’s right in front of us the whole time: every human being on the planet, every dog & every cat, every cow & fish & flower, maybe even every rock & all the pieces of dust under your bed, everything is alive. Everything is here to love being alive & to love every other thing that’s alive.

Have you ever seen the way a small child squats down in the grass & talks to the bugs & the twigs & the ants going about their own business? The way they’ll dance & sing songs to the wind? If you could stop for even a minute from your busy & serious life & listen with every cell of your body, you would understand again every song that child is singing.

I say ‘again’ because you already know. You just forget for awhile. Try it. Stop for a minute. Not just any way of stopping, but a special way of stopping. Like this: close your eyes. (Oh, wait a minute. First, read all of this & then close your eyes. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep opening them & it’ll never work.)

When you finally do close your eyes, here’s what you’re NOT going to do:

1. You’re not going to work hard at it.

2. You’re not going to do it exactly like I say, because there’s going to be someone who’s going to show up to help you out. This could be a favorite relative, or a saint. Or Divine Mother. Or that old guy with the smiling eyes who sits outside of the liquor store who sees everything. Just welcome them & listen to what they say, because they’re here to help. Follow them, because they know the shortcut for you.

3. You’re not going to watch your breathing. That’s so boring & you’ll just get frustrated & when you’re frustrated, nothing happens. (Note: the reason nothing ever happens when you’re frustrated is that you’re so involved with being frustrated that you forget that what you’re here to do is listen with every cell of your body.)

4. You’re not going to argue with me. You’re not going to tell me things like this’ll never work. Or science has proven magic doesn’t exist. Or even something like How can you be so sure? I can be so sure, because I can do it & if you can’t & you’d like to learn, it might make sense to stop arguing. If you want to argue, go right ahead. But don’t mind me if I ignore you & go on filling my world with magic & love every moment of my life.

Here’s what you ARE going to do. It’s actually quite simple:

1. Close your eyes.

2. Remember your favorite place. This doesn’t have to be real. I have a favorite place that’s a field of grass & a mountain & a counter with an endless supply of treats & there is always a breeze & sun & there are always one or two friendly clouds. So, what’s your favorite place? What’s it look like? What colors are there? What does it smell like? What are you wearing? Really be there.

3. Now, listen. You’ll hear something. Maybe a song in a little girl’s voice. Or a hum, like bees.

4. Whatever that sound is, I want you to let it slip inside you until your bones start to vibrate with it.

5. When you are vibrating inside, almost like you are a tuning fork, let your skin disappear so there is nothing between you & the sound & your favorite place.

6. This is you all the time. This is the you that you forget. This is the you that hears the music in raindrops & the sound of sunlight & the secret whispers of the rocks & trees. This is the you that has never forgotten that magic is at the heart of the world.

7. Trust this. Start now. (Yeah, I know. This can be hard. But not as hard as not trusting it. The magic is in this exact moment. Go & be joyful in it…)

©2015 Brian Andreas

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

Sunday soapbox


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 to abuse.
Grammarly's photo.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters – Grammarly

August 9 in history


48 BC Battle of Pharsalus – Julius Caesar decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus and Pompey fled to Egypt.

378 Gothic War: Battle of Adrianople – A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was defeated by the Visigoths. Valens and more than half his army were killed.

681 Bulgaria was founded as a Khanate on the south bank of the Danube.

1173 Construction of the Tower of Pisa began.

1483 Opening of the Sistine Chapel.

1631 John Dryden, English Poet Laureate, was born (d. 1700).

1814  Indian Wars: The Creek signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving up huge parts of Alabama and Georgia.

1842  Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed, establishing the United States-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.

1854  Henry David Thoreau published Walden.

1862  Battle of Cedar Mountain – General Stonewall Jackson narrowly defeated Union forces under General John Pope.

1877 Battle of Big Hole – A small band of Nez Percé Indians clash with the United States Army.

1892 Thomas Edison received a patent for a two-way telegraph.

1896  Jean Piaget, Swiss psychologist, was born (d. 1980)

1899  P. L. Travers, Australian author, was born  (d. 1996).

1902  Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom.

1908 The Great White Fleet – 16 American battleships and their escorts, under the command of Admiral C. S. Sperry – arrived in Auckland.

US 'Great White Fleet' arrives in Auckland

1922 Philip Larkin, English poet, was born (d. 1985).

1925  Kakori train robbery.

1930 George Nepia played his last test for the All Blacks.

George Nepia plays last All Blacks test

1936  Games of the XI Olympiad: Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the games becoming the first American to win four medals in one Olympiad.

1942 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.

1942 Battle of Savo Island – Allied naval forces protecting their amphibious forces during the initial stages of the Battle of Guadalcanal are surprised and defeated by an Imperial Japanese Navy cruiser force.

1944  The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time.

1944 Continuation war: Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, the largest offensive launched by Soviet Union against Finland during Second World War, ended in strategic stalemate. Both Finnish and Soviet troops at Finnish front dug to defensive positions, and the front remained stable until the end of the war.

1945  The atomic bomb, “Fat Man“, was dropped on Nagasaki. 39,000 people were killed outright.

1949 Jonathan Kellerman, American writer, was born.

1961 John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born.

John Key, in a visit to Brazil, 2013

1963  Whitney Houston, American singer and actress, was born (d. 2012).

1965  Singapore seceded from Malaysia and gained independence.

1965  A fire at a Titan missile base near Searcy, Arkansas killed 53 construction workers.

1969  Members of a cult led by Charles Manson brutally murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish actor Wojciech Frykowski, men’s hairstylist Jay Sebring, and recent high-school graduate Steven Parent.

1971  Internment in Northern Ireland: British security forces arrested hundreds of nationalists and detain them without trial in Long Kesh prison. Twenty people died in the riots that followed.

1974  Richard Nixon became the first President of the United States to resign from office. His Vice President, Gerald Ford, became president.

1977  The military-controlled Government of Uruguay announced that it will return the nation to civilian rule through general elections in 1981 for a President and Congress.

1993  The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan lost a 38-year hold on national leadership.

1999 Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired his Prime Minister, Sergei Stepashin, and for the fourth time fired his entire cabinet.

1999  The Diet of Japan enacted a law establishing the Hinomaru and Kimi Ga Yo as the official national flag and national anthem.

2001  US President George W. Bush announced his support for federal funding of limited research on embryonic stem cells.

2006 – At least 21 suspected terrorists were arrested in the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot in the UK.

2007  Emergence of the Financial crisis of 2007-2008 when a liquidity crisis resulted from the Subprime mortgage crisis.

2014 – Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a police officer, sparking protests and unrest in the city.

Sourced from NZ History Online &  Wikipedia

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