Word of the day

September 12, 2015

Moodle – to dawdle aimlessly; to idle time away.


Rural round-up

September 12, 2015

Meat returns to rise over next year – Alan Royal:

A lower New Zealand currency will do much of the running for sheep meat and beef returns to farmers over the next year.

Beef + Lamb NZ expected slight increases in product values but they were likely to be outweighed by lower volumes, especially for lamb.

B+LNZ forecast an average lamb price of $5.47/kg for the export year ending September 30, 2016, a 4% lift on the provisional figure for the year finishing in a couple of weeks. . .

Few animal welfare issues in dry North Canterbury:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has complimented farmers on how they have managed animal welfare through the prolonged North Canterbury drought.

Canterbury-based MPI Animal Welfare Manager Peter Hyde says there have had been very few animal welfare issues to deal with in North Canterbury.

“Sheep are a bit lighter than ideal but not to the extent where they are below the minimum standard that breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.”

Mr Hyde says farmers have adopted different management strategies to maintain the condition of their animals. . . 

Finalists in the NZ Innovators Awards:

Finalists in the New Zealand Innovators Awards 2015 demonstrate that Kiwi innovation is thriving, with a 24 per cent increase in entries that are of world class standard.

Announced today are the finalists who represent game changing innovation from every corner of the country, with new products and services from a broad range of industries and business disciplines. Included in the finalists are an exciting range of entries, from electric farm bikes, dairy free cheese, anti-cancer treatments and free school lunches. Spoilt for choice with this year’s entries – these are ordinary Kiwi’s doing extra-ordinary things.

New Zealand Innovation Council CEO Louise Webster says the 2015 entrants give a real sense that Kiwi innovation is moving into the main stream, demonstrating world leading approaches to innovation with many businesses going global from day one. . . 

Wool Jumps:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s Marketing Executive, Mr Malcolm Ching reports that a weakening New Zealand dollar and steady off-shore buying interest saw all wool types improve for the South Island offering of 9,300 bales with 87 percent selling.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currency came down 1.29 percent compared to the last sale on 3rd September.

Mr Ching advises that compared to the last time sold on 27th August, Merino Fleece 21.5 micron and finer were 5 to 10 percent dearer with 22 to 23.5 microns 1 to 2 percent firmer. . . 

Ballance Farm Environment Awards Showcase Sustainable Farming Success:

Entering the Ballance Farm Environment Awards is a great way for farmers to show they care about the environment, say Waikato dairy farmers Susan O’Regan and John Hayward.

The couple entered the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards for the first time last year and were thrilled to win two category awards, including the LIC Dairy Farm Award.

“Waikato Regional Council has been working with us on a planting programme on the farm for several years and they encouraged us to enter,” Susan says.

“We went in to the competition pretty cold and didn’t really know what to expect. We didn’t do any window dressing on the farm and we were fairly relaxed when the judges showed up and started asking us questions.” . . .

PGP delivering much needed support to rural communities:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says a further 400 rural professionals will be trained in 20 workshops delivered over the next month to support farming families and rural communities.

“These workshops are about creating a culture of mental health awareness and training within service organisations, a key outcome from ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’, a Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme between the Ministry for Primary Industries, DairyNZ and Fonterra.

“This adds to the more than 400 rural professionals already trained in mental health awareness by the programme.

“While the economic benefits of PGP are well known as the Government’s flagship research and development programme for the primary sector, it’s great to see it is also supporting the wellbeing of dairy farmers in what is a difficult year for some. . . 

$345,000 for wilding conifers in War on Weeds:

Five groups tackling the major problem of wilding conifers have received $345,000 from the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund as part of the War on Weeds, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

“Wilding conifers cover more than 1.7 million hectares of land, and are advancing at an estimated rate of 5 per cent a year,” Ms Barry says.

“They alter entire landscapes and are notoriously difficult to clear once established, representing a major threat to our unique New Zealand ecosystems, land and farms.” . . .

Sharp Blacks ‘meat’ victory for third time:

New Zealand’s national butchery team the Pure South Sharp Blacks have carved their way to victory for the third time, during last night’s Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge.

The team of butchers have been reigning champions for three years now, and last night they once again showed their world-class form at Auckland’s Shed 10.

Going up against the best-of-the-best from Australia and England, the Sharp Blacks endured three hours of intense competition, turning a side of beef, pork and whole lamb into art based on a Kiwiana theme. . . 

PEP agrees to buy Manuka Honey for undisclosed sum – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – Pacific Equity Partners, the biggest private equity firm in Australia and New Zealand, has agreed to buy Manuka Health, the functional food and dietary supplement company, for an undisclosed amount, subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.

The Te Awamutu-based honey firm currently has 37 shareholders, according to records on the Companies Office, with Watermann Capital a cornerstone owner. Founder Kerry Paul owns 7.3 percent, while Milford Asset Management owns 6.3 percent. The New Zealand Herald has reported the purchase price was $110 million.

Manuka Health was founded in 2006 and exports 90-plus products based on propolis, royal jelly, bee pollen, and manuka honey to 45 countries. It has annual turnover of more than $50 million. . . 

More biosecurity detector dog power for Christchurch:

Two new biosecurity detector dog teams have started at Christchurch airport to sniff out risk goods carried by international travellers, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Anna Howie and Alice McKay started work on Monday. They finished their detector dog handler training in Auckland last week, along with 9 other new MPI handlers who have since started at Auckland and Wellington.

Anna will work detector dog Frank (labrador), originally sourced from an Australian customs breeding programme. Alice will work with Pip, a brand new labrador detector dog purchased from a private home in Hastings. . . 

Dairy goat industry gets $3.6 million research boost:

A research grant of $3.63 million from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is set to boost dairy goat productivity in the near future.

The three year study is led by Professor Russell Snell and Associate Professor Klaus Lehnert from the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland.

The research is aimed at accelerating sustainable productivity gain within the Dairy Goat Co-Operative (NZ) Ltd (DGC) with the primary product target of high value infant formula. . . 

Cadrona Extend Opening Hours & On Track to Break Snowfall Record:

Cardrona is set to have the best season it’s had in 20 years – just 15cm off beating its own record of 333cm total snowfall in a season. The resort is experiencing one of the best seasons in regards to snowfall and snow conditions that it has seen in the past two decades, and with the longest season in the South Island, there are still 4 weeks to break the record.

Spring has officially kicked off with a few early September snowfalls gifting Cardrona guests ideal snow conditions to start the spring season. Currently even Cardrona’s lowest lift, the Valley View Quad, still boasts superb conditions both off and on-piste. . . 


Saturday’s smiles

September 12, 2015

 

A man in a hot air balloon couldn’t work out where he was. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below.

He descended a bit more and shouted:  ‘Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet her an hour ago but I don’t know where I am.’

The woman below replied, ‘You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.’

‘You must be an Engineer,’ said the bloke in the balloon.

‘I am,’ replied the woman, ‘how did you know?’

‘Well,’ answered the balloon bloke, ‘everything you have told me is probably technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip by your talk.’

The woman below replied, ‘You must be in Management.’

‘I am,’ the bloke in the balloon said, ‘but how did you know?’

‘Well,’ said the woman, ‘you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my bloody fault.’


Saturday soapbox

September 12, 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.
Memrise's photo.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective not the truth. – Marcus Aurelius


September 12 in history

September 12, 2015

1213 Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, defeated Peter II of Aragon at the Battle of Muret.

1575 Henry Hudson, English explorer, was born (d. 1611).

1683  Austro-Ottoman War: Battle of Vienna – several European armies joined forces to defeat the Ottoman Empire.

1814 Battle of North Point: an American detachment halted the British land advance to Baltimore in the War of 1812.

1846 Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

1847  Mexican-American War: the Battle of Chapultepec began.

1848  Switzerland became a Federal state.

1852  H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1928).

1857 The SS Central America sank drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon. The ship was carrying 13–15 tons of gold from the San Francisco Gold Rush.

1888 Maurice Chevalier, French singer and actor, was born (d. 1972).

1897  Tirah Campaign: Battle of Saragarhi

1906 The Newport Transporter Bridge was opened by Viscount Tredegar.

1910 Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players).

1913 Jesse Owens, American athlete, was born (d. 1980).

1914 – Forty three miners were killed in an explosion at Huntly.

1919  Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers Party.

1930  Wilfred Rhodes ended his 1110-game first-class career by taking 5 for 95 for H.D.G. Leveson Gower’s XI against the Australians.

1933  Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light conceived the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

1940   An explosion at the Hercules Powder Company plant in Kenvil, New Jersey killed 51 people and injured over 200.

1942  RMS Laconia, carrying civilians, Allied soldiers and Italian POWs wastorpedoed off the coast of West Africa and sankwith a heavy loss of life.

1942 First day of the Battle of Edson’s Ridge during the Guadalcanal campaign.

1943  Benito Mussolini was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi, by German commando forces led by Otto Skorzeny.

1948 Invasion of the State of Hyderabad by the Indian Army on the day after the Pakistani leader Jinnah’s death.

1952 Gerry Beckley, American musician (America), was born.

1952 Strange occurrences, including a monster sighting,  in Flatwoods, West Virginia.

1958  Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit.

1959  Premiere of Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled TV programme presented in color.

1964 Canyonlands National Park was designated as a National Par

1966  Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA’s Gemini programme.

1974  Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed following a military coup by the Derg, ending a reign of 58 years.

1977 South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko was killed in police custody.

1979 Indonesia was hit by an earthquake that measures 8.1 on the Richter scale.

1980 Military coup in Turkey.

1981 Flour bombs ended the rugby test between the All Blacks and Springboks at Eden Park.

'Flour-bomb test' ends Springbok tour

1983  A Wells Fargo depot in West Hartfor,was robbed of approximately US$7 million by Los Macheteros.

1988  Hurricane Gilbert devastated Jamaica.

1990 The two German states and the Four Powers signed the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany in Moscow, paving the way for German re-unification.

1992  NASA launched Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board were Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.

1992 Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Shining Path, was captured by Peruvian special forces.

1994 Frank Eugene Corder crashed a single-engine Cessna 150 into the White House’s south lawn, striking the West wing and killing himself.

2001  Ansett Australia, Australia’s first commercial interstate airline, collapsed due to increased strain on the international airline industry, leaving 10,000 people unemployed.

2003 – In Fallujah, US forces mistakenly shot and killed eight Iraqi police officers.

2005  Hong Kong Disneyland opened.

2007 Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was convicted of the crime of plunder.

2008 The 2008 Chatsworth train collision between a Metrolink commuter train and a Pacific Union Freight Train killed 25 people.

2011 – The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened to the public.

2014  – Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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