Word of the day

August 25, 2015

Meliorism  –  the doctrine that the world tends to become better or may be made better by human effort; an idea in metaphysical thinking holding that progress is a real concept leading to an improvement of the world; belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment.


Rural round-up

August 25, 2015

Five Otago entries for farmer of year award – Sally Rae:

Five Otago farming businesses are among those entered for the 2015 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year award.

Twelve entries have been received from throughout the South Island, including a West Coast farm for the first time in the history of the competition.

Operations range from sheep and beef farms to a marine mussel farm, saffron grower and fruit producer. . . 

Pipes full, water coming soon – Alan Williams:

The pipes are full and ready to start irrigating stage one of the Central Plains Water (CPW) scheme in Canterbury.

Once the control system was fully tested over the next few weeks the valves could be turned on, chief executive Derek Crombie said.

The official target date was September 1 but the practical timing for water to flow to most of the 120 farms involved would be late September or early October, depending on rainfall levels and ground temperatures. . . 

Science close to unlocking velvet’s secret:

New Zealand and South Korean scientists may soon be able to identify the compounds that give deer antler velvet its immune-boosting properties.

If successful, it would allow velvet extracts to be sold with a precise measure of the active ingredients they contain. Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) says this will be an important step in getting such products registered for sale as healthy functional foods. . . 

Conservation planting crowdfunded:

Crowdfunding might be better known for assisting fledgling businesses but it is also helping restore New Zealand waterways.

The Million Metres Streams Project, set up by the Sustainable Business Network in collaboration with Enspiral, is New Zealand’s first conservation crowdfunding initiative.  

Launched in October last year, the project gave people the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of waterways. It has already funded almost 5km of riparian restoration work. . . 

Deadly rattle detected in Cuban maracas:

Biosecurity staff detected a deadly rattle in a set of souvenir maracas carried by two air passengers arriving in New Zealand from Cuba.

The couple declared the Cuban percussion instruments to Ministry for Primary Industries biosecurity staff at Auckland airport earlier this month.

X-ray screening revealed the maracas used red seeds for their rattle. MPI later identified the seed asAbrus precatorius, commonly known as crab’s eye and rosary pea.

The seeds contain abrin, which is more toxic than ricin – a deadly poison associated with spies and biological weaponry. . . 

Feed field days address fluctuations:

Tips and information to help manage the ups and downs of fluctuating milk price will be provided at a series of DairyNZ events in September and October.

The Feed Tactics field days will focus on helping farmers get the best returns from all feeds used on farm.

The nationwide events follow on from one-on-one feed review visits which provided more than 750 farms with an assessment of feed allocation and grazing management in early spring. . . 

Commission reconvenes conference on wool scouring authorisation:

The Commerce Commission is to reconvene its conference on Cavalier Wool Holding Limited’s application for authorisation to acquire New Zealand Wool Services International’s wool scouring business.

The conference will be held on Tuesday 1 September to consider specific issues relating to property valuations, which form part of Cavalier’s application. . . 

GMO ‘Right to Know’ movement takes food off of plates of hungry in Africa, Asia – Michael Dzakovich:

One of the most contentious and polarizing issues today is the use of biotechnology in farming. While many farmers in industrialized countries have been safely and successfully using genetically engineered crops for almost two decades, adoption in the developing world has been significantly slower, only recently eclipsing the U.S. in terms of total acreage.

Many of these crops have been developed to produce naturally occurring nutritional compounds, resist aggressive diseases and tolerate extreme environmental conditions. The benefits of GE crops are not equitably spread throughout the developing world, as those in most critical need often cannot benefit from existing solutions created by public scientists. . . 

Dayton community harvests late farmer’s final crop – Taylor Viydo:

A community came together this week to help a family harvest the final crop of a local farmer who passed away from cancer.

Jim Hanger was still running a 5,000-acre family farm in Dayton when he passed away last week. He lost his battle to cancer at age 66.

“He was always on the tractor, the combines — if it was seeding, he was seeding. If it was harvest, he was harvesting,” said daughter Tracy Hanger. . .

Racheal Trail's photo.


Quote of the day

August 25, 2015

“What we’re trying to do is create options for New Zealand over the next 20 years so we never recreate the same dependency that we used to have 40 years ago, which was [on] Britain,” he said. “Southeast Asia, for us, is frankly our number one insurance policy if things go the wrong way in China.” –  Tim Groser


August 25 in history

August 25, 2015

1248 The Dutch city of Ommen received city rights and fortification rights from Otto III, the Archbishop of Utrecht.

1530 Tsar Ivan IV of Russia – Ivan the Terrible – was born (d. 1584)

1537 The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army and the second most senior, was formed.

1580  Battle of Alcântara. Spain defeated Portugal.

1609  Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.

1724 George Stubbs, British painter, was born (d. 1806).

1758 Seven Years’ War: Frederick II of Prussia defeated the Russian army at the Battle of Zorndorf.

1768 James Cook began his first voyage.

1825 Uruguay declared its independence from Brazil.

1830 The Belgian Revolution began.

1835  The New York Sun perpetrated the Great Moon Hoax.

1894  Shibasaburo Kitasato discoversedthe infectious agent of the bubonic plague and published his findings in The Lancet.

1898  700 Greeks and 15 Englishmen are killed by the Turks in Heraklion, Greece.

1900 Hans Adolf Krebs, German physician and biochemist; Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1981).

1910  Yellow Cab was founded.

1912 The Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party, was founded.

1916 The United States National Park Service is created.

1918 Leonard Bernstein, American conductor and composer, was born (d. 1990).

1920 Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw,  ended.

1921  The first skirmishes of the Battle of Blair Mountain.

1930 Sean Connery, Scottish actor, was born.

1930 Bruce Allpress, New Zealand actor, was born.

1933 The Diexi earthquake struck Mao County, Sichuan, China and killed 9,000 people.

1938 Frederick Forsyth, English author, was born.

1942 World War II: Battle of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.

1944 Paris was liberated by the Allies.

1945  Supporters of the Communist Party of China killed Baptist missionary John Birch, regarded by some of the American right as the first victim of the Cold War.

1946 Charles Ghigna (Father Goose), American poet and children’s author, was born.

1948 Three people died and 80 injured when a tornado hit Frankton on the outskirts of Hamilton.

Killer twister hits Frankton

1948 – The House Un-American Activities Committee held its first-ever televised congressional hearing: “Confrontation Day” between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.

1949 Martin Amis, English novelist, was born.

1949  Gene Simmons, Israeli-born musician (Kiss), was born.

1950  President Harry Truman ordered the US Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike.

1954 Elvis Costello, English musician, was born.

1961 Billy Ray Cyrus, American singer and actor, was born.

1970 Claudia Schiffer, German model, was born.

198  Tadeusz Mazowiecki was chosen as the first non-communist Prime Minister in Central and Eastern Europe.

1989  Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune, the outermost planet in the Solar System.

1989  Mayumi Moriyama became Japan’s first female cabinet secretary.

1991  Belarus declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1991 – The Battle of Vukovar began.

1997  Egon Krenz, the former East German leader, was convicted of ashoot-to-kill policy at the Berlin Wall.

2003  The Tli Cho land claims agreement was signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko).

2012 – Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.

2013 – 6 people died and 22were injured when a train derailedinHuimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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