Word of the day

December 5, 2015

Picayune – of little account, significance or value; paltry; petty; trifling; a Spanish half-real; a small coin of little value, especially a 5-cent piece.


Saturday’s smiles

December 5, 2015

An elderly woman was getting increasingly deaf and also very forgetful when it came to using her hearing aid.

She got to church one Sunday and realised she’d forgotten it but decided she was sufficiently familiar with the service to get away with it.

Remembering the routine and taking cues from others in the congregation she stood when they stood, sat when they sat, sang the hymns and recited the Lord’s Prayer without any problems.

She had trouble catching most of the sermon but sat upright and alert as if she was taking in every word.

The service finished and knowing that with weather top of mind for a country congregation she could get away with a stock response for the cold, wet spring.

All went well until the minister asked after her husband and she responded, “Damp, dirty and disagreeable and there’s no sign of change.”


No tolerance for animal welfare abuse

December 5, 2015

Seven groups in the dairy, meat and other industries together to ensure ill-treatment of bobby calves won’t happen again.

The industry groups have joined with the Ministry for Primary Industries to “eradicate” bobby calves being mistreated and ensure animal welfare codes were being followed.

The groups are DairyNZ, the Meat Industry Association, Federated Farmers, the Road Transport Forum, the New Zealand Petfood Manufacturers Association, the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, the New Zealand Veterinary Association. . . 

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said there has been a lot of talk over the last few days and the dairy industry was now focused on its next steps.

“Resolving these issues will depend, not on words, but on actions. We are committed to working with everyone in the supply chain to ensure bobby calves are well cared for.” . . 

Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie said the meat industry and the dairy industry was undertaking a systematic review from farm to processor to identify any opportunities for improvement and this would be completed before the next bobby calf season.

New Zealand Petfood Manufacturers Association chief executive Richard Brake said strong codes were in place for the treatment of bobby calves on the farm and during transport and in processing.

“The vast majority of New Zealand’s dairy farmers, transport operators and processors uphold and, in many cases, exceed these world-class codes,” said Brake. “We want everybody to uphold them.  That’s what we will all be working on.” . . .

The law is there and it’s clear – there is no tolerance for ill-treatment of animals and everyone in the supply chain must adhere to the high standards the law requires.


Saturday soapbox

December 5, 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.
Sue Fitzmaurice, Author's photo.

When you’re a giraffe and you get criticised by turtles, just remember they’re just reporting the view from the level they’re on. – T.D. Jakes.


December 5 in history

December 5, 2015

63 BC Cicero read the last of his Catiline Orations.

663 – Fourth Council of Toledo.

1360 The French Franc was created.

1408 – Emir Edigu of Golden Horde reached Moscow.

1484  Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes, a papal bull that deputised Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany and led to one of the most oppressive witch hunts in European history.

1492  Christopher Columbus became the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola, now Haiti.

1496 – King Manuel I of Portugal issued  a decree of expulsion of “heretics” from the country.

1590 – Niccolò Sfondrati became Pope Gregory XIV.

1766  James Christie held his first sale.

1830 Christina Rossetti, English poet, was born  (d. 1894).

1839 George Armstrong Custer, American general, was born (d. 1876

1848 California Gold Rush: US President James K. Polk confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.

1859 John Jellicoe, British admiral, was born (d. 1935).

1872  Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player, was born  (d. 1906).

1879 Clyde Cessna, American aeroplane manufacturer, was born (d 1954).

1890 New Zealand’s first one-man-one-vote election took place.
First 'one man one vote' election

1901 Walt Disney, American animated film producer, was born (d. 1966).

1932  German-born Swiss physicist  Albert Einstein was granted an American visa.

1932  Little Richard, American singer and pianist, was born.

1933 Prohibition in the United States ended when : Utah ratified theTwenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, thus establishing the required 75% of states needed to enact the amendment (this overturned the 18th Amendment which had made the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol illegal in the United States).

1938  J. J. Cale, American songwriter, was born (d. 2013).

1943  Abyssinia Crisis: Italian troops attacked Wal Wal in Abyssinia, taking four days to capture the city.

1936 The Soviet Union adopted a new constitution and the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic was established as a full Union Republic of the USSR.

1945 Flight 19 was lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

1955 E.D. Nixon and Rosa Parks led the Montgomery Bus Boycott

1957 Sukarno expelled all Dutch people from Indonesia.

1958  Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) was inaugurated in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II when she spoke to the Lord Provost in a call from Bristol to Edinburgh.

1958 The Preston bypass, the UK‘s first stretch of motorway, opened to traffic for the first time.

1963 Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, English ski jumper was born.

1964 Captain Roger Donlon was awarded the first Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War.

1983  Dissolution of the Military Junta in Argentina.

2005 – The Lake Tanganyika earthquake caused significant damage, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2005 – The Civil Partnership Act came into effect in the United Kingdom, and the first civil partnership was registered there.

2006 Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrew the government in Fiji.

2007 – Westroads Mall massacre: A gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at an Omaha mall, killing eight people before taking his own life.

2012 – At least 8 people were killed and 12 others injured after a 5.6 earthquake struck Iran’s South Khorasan Province.

2013 – Militants attacked a Defense Ministry compound in Sana’a, Yemen, killing at least 56 people and injuring 200 others.

2014 – The first flight test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft launched successfully.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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