366 days of gratitude

May 20, 2016

A return valve in our heating system isn’t working properly which means we have to restore water pressure when it drops.

Doing that isn’t difficult but it requires two hands and at night it also requires enough light for us to see what we’re doing.

Today I’m grateful for headlamps and whoever invented these portable hands-free lights gets my thanks.


Word of the day

May 20, 2016

Atelier – a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artist, artisan or designer.


Rural round-up

May 20, 2016

Major Japanese suit retailer commits to Kiwi wool – Dave Gooselink:

Fifty sales representatives from one of Japan’s largest suit retailers have spent the day on a Kiwi sheep farm.

They’ve been inspecting some of the merino sheep behind the company’s premium clothing, and it’s a market that’s expanding.

“We show them where it comes from off the sheep [and] we have some sheep out the back, which they’ve seen,” says Maniototo’s Closeburn Station’s Tony Clarke.

“We have some shearing so they see how it’s taken off them.” . . 

Westland launches UHT Product in China:

Only a few weeks after officially opening its new UHT milk and cream plant at its premises in Rolleston (April 15), Westland Milk Products has launched its whipping cream product into the Chinese market.

The Hokitika-based co-operative (New Zealand’s second largest dairy co-op) chose the 19th International Bakery Exhibition of China (Bakery China 2016) to launch the brand ‘Westgold Mu En’ (pronounced ‘moo ern’), aiming to bring a wider range of authentic New Zealand dairy products to Chinese consumers. Westgold Mu En, Westland’s flagship consumer and foodservice brand in China, literally translates as ‘nourishment from the pasture.’ The brand will initially comprise of Westland’s UHT milk, whipping cream and butter. . . 

China dominates global dairy imports – Keith Woodford:

In New Zealand, we have yet to come to terms with the reality that the future of our dairy industry is highly dependent on China.

America does not need us. Europe does not need us. The oil producing countries can no longer afford us. Africa has never been able to afford us.

So it is all about Asia. . . 

Government welcomes Māori forestry collective announcement:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) welcomed the announcement of Te Taitokerau Maori Forestry Collective Incorporated’s Action Plan to 2020 launched today at the He Kai Kei Aku Ringa (HKKAR) Regional Hui in Kerikeri.

The Collective is made up of 10 Māori land entities, and together they plan to replant more than 32,000 hectares of their land in forest – an initiative that offers business, education and employment opportunities. The Action Plan to 2020 will pave the way for the Collective’s future.

Ben Dalton, Deputy Director General at the Ministry for Primary Industries, is pleased with the significant progress the Collective has made. . . 

Nurturing the World: dairying with a difference – Caitlin McGee:

Miraka is a dairy company with a difference. It is the only one in the world that uses geo-thermal steam to power its plant. It also uses a worm farm to help get rid of waste.

Richard Wyeth is the chief executive and he says Miraka has a real point of difference in the industry.

“We have a full, closed-loop recycling system, which is reasonably unique in the New Zealand dairy sector. The other thing that is unique about Miraka is that we are predominantly Maori-owned, so 80 percent of our shareholders are Maori trust corporations.” . . .

Uncontrolled Urban Sprawl Will Increase Vegetable Prices:

It’s a simple equation: Auckland spreads its housing into our fruit and vegetable production land = we all pay more for food.

Horticulture New Zealand says if more houses are built on the most productive rural land then we can all expect to pay more for fresh vegetables and fruit.

“We know we need a bigger Auckland, but do we want to pay $10 a kilo for vegetables imported from China?” HortNZ natural resources manager Chris Keenan says.

HortNZ is worried the true cost of uncontrolled Auckland sprawl is not understood. . . 

 

Positivity Pumping At 2016 NZ Dairy Awards Final:

The winners and finalists in the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are evidence of the opportunities for people to prosper in the country’s dairy industry.

In front of 530 people at Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena last night, Mark and Jaime Arnold were named the 2016 New Zealand Share Farmers of the Year, Thomas Chatfield became the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year and Nicholas Bailey was announced the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year. They shared prizes worth nearly $170,000. . . 

Research into rural disease transmission:

The transmission of diseases passed between animals and humans is the focus of research to be carried out by Otago University.

Known as Zoonotic disease transmission, around 60 percent of micro-organisms causing human diseases are passed that way.

The research led by Dr Pippa Scott will concentrate on two diseases, Escherichia coli, a particularly nasty bug that causes severe diarrhoea, and Staphylococcus aureus, a skin and blood infection. . . 

Onion Industry Strategy Delivering Increased Export Earnings:

Onions New Zealand Inc says with 75% of this season’s crop shipped, the industry is pleased with the direction it’s heading in.

“Returns are expected to be up 50% on last year,” chief executive Michael Ahern says.

“This means an increase from $81 million to $125 million FoB. This forecasted result will re-assert onions position as the third largest fresh horticulture export item after kiwifruit and pipfruit.” . . 

Accurate fertiliser spreading could save NZ agriculture millions:

A research study, commissioned by the New Zealand Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC), estimates that New Zealand agriculture could save tens of millions of dollars in lost production and wasted fertiliser – every year.

Conducted by Massey University’s Centre for Precision Agriculture, the report, which reviewed spreading accuracy from twin disc fertiliser spreaders, found that several factors contributed to ‘off target’ fertiliser spreading – including the physical properties of the fertiliser product, demand for spreaders to spread wider, as well as topography and wind. . . 

Southeast Asian entrepreneurs to gain insights into New Zealand agriculture:

Top Southeast Asian agribusiness leaders and entrepreneurs will be visiting Hamilton agricultural show Fieldays as part of a programme run by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The group is coming to New Zealand for a week-long programme through the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative, managed by the Asia New Zealand Foundation for the New Zealand Government. ASEAN is a grouping of 10 Southeast Asian nations with a population of more than 620 million. New Zealand has a free trade agreement in place with ASEAN through the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA). . . 


Friday’s answers

May 20, 2016

Andrei and Teletext posed the questions for which they get my thanks.

Should they have stumped us all they can claim a virtual batch of chocolate rough by leaving the answers below.


Quote of the day

May 20, 2016

Power is action; the electoral principle is discussion. No political action is possible when discussion is permanently established. Honore de Balzac who was born on this day in 1799.


May 20 in history

May 20, 2016

325 The First Council of Nicea – the first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church was held.

526  An earthquake killed about 300,000 people in Syria and Antiochia.

685  The Battle of Dunnichen or Nechtansmere is fought between a Pictish army under King Bridei III and the invading Northumbrians under King Ecgfrith, who are decisively defeated.

1217  The Second Battle of Lincoln resulting in the defeat of Prince Louis of France by William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke.

1293  King Sancho IV of Castile created the Study of General Schools of Alcalá.

1497  John Cabot set sail from Bristol,on his ship Matthew looking for a route to the west (other documents give a May 2 date).

1498  Vasco da Gama arrived at Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut), India.

1521  Battle of Pampeluna: Ignatius Loyola was seriously wounded.

1570  Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issued the first modern atlas.

1609  Shakespeare’s Sonnets were first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.

1631  The city of Magdeburg in Germany was seized by forces of the Holy Roman Empire and most of its inhabitants massacred, in one of the bloodiest incidents of the Thirty Years’ War.

1733 Captain James Cook released the first sheep in New Zealand.

NZ's first sheep released

1772  Sir William Congreve, English inventor, was born  (d. 1828).

1776 Simon Fraser, Canadian Explorer, was born  (d.1862).

1799 Honoré de Balzac, French novelist, was born  (d. 1850).

1802 By the Law of 20 May 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery in the French colonies.

1806 John Stuart Mill, English philosopher, was born (d. 1873).

1813 Napoleon Bonaparte led his French troops into the Battle of Bautzenin Saxony, Germany, against the combined armies of Russia and Prussia.

1818 William Fargo, co-founder of Wells, Fargo & Company  was born (d. 1881).

1835  Otto was named the first modern king of Greece.

1840  York Minster was badly damaged by fire.

1845  HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with 134 men under John Franklin sailed from the River Thames, beginning a disastrous expedition to find the Northwest Passage.

1861  American Civil War: The state of Kentucky proclaimed its neutrality.

1862  Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Ware Bottom Church – in the Virginia Bermuda Hundred Campaign, 10,000 troops fight in this Confederate victory.

1865 The paddle steamer City of Dunedin was lost with all hands on board.

1873  Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

1882  The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy was formed.

1883  Krakatoa began to  erupt.

1891 The first public display of Thomas Edison’s prototype kinetoscope.

1896  The six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier fell on the crowd resulting in the death of one and the injury of many others.

1902  Cuba gained independence from the United States. Tomás Estrada Palma became the first President.

1916  The Saturday Evening Post published  its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting (“Boy with Baby Carriage”).

1920  Montreal radio station XWA broadcast the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America.

1927  By the Treaty of Jedda, the United Kingdom recognises the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merged to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

1927  At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh took  off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island on the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, touching down at Le Bourget Field in Paris at 22:22 the next day.

1932  Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to begin the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot.

1938 – Marinella, Greek singer and actress, was born.

1940  Holocaust: The first prisoners arrived at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz.

1941 New Zealand, British, Australian and Greek forces defending the Mediterranean island of Crete  fought desperately to repel a huge airborne assault by German paratroopers.

German paratroopers assault Crete

1941 – Goh Chok Tong, Singaporean politician, 2nd Prime Minister of Singapore, was born.

1946  Cher, American singer, was born.

1949  In the United States, the Armed Forces Security Agency, the predecessor to the National Security Agency, was established.

1949  The Kuomintang regime declared  martial law in Taiwan.

1956  In Operation Redwing the first United States airborne hydrogen bomb was dropped over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

1959  – Susan Cowsill, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Cowsills and Continental Drifters) was born.

1965  PIA Flight 705, a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 720 – 040 B, crashed while descending to land at Cairo International Airport, killing 119 of the 125 passengers and crew.

1969  The Battle of Hamburger Hill in Vietnam ended.

1980  In a referendum in Quebec, the population rejected by a 60% vote the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada.

1983  First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo individually.

1983  A car-bomb explosion killed 17 and injures 197 in the centre of Pretoria.

1985  Radio Martí, part of the Voice of America service, began broadcasting to Cuba.

1989  Chinese authorities declared martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations setting the scene for the Tiananmen Square massacre..

1990  The first post-Communist presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Romania.

1995  In a second referendum in Quebec, the population rejected by a slight majority the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada.

1996   The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Romer v. Evansagainst a law that would have prevented any city, town or county in the state of Colorado from taking any legislative, executive, or judicial action to protect the rights of gays and lesbians.

2002  Portugal recognised the independence of East Timor , formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself is the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976).

2006 – Dhaka wildcat strikes: A series of massive strikes began, involving nearly 1.8 million garment workers in Bangladesh.

2013 – An EF5 tornado struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing 24 people and injuring 377 others.

2014 – More than 118 people are killed in two bombings in Jos, Nigeria.

Sourced from Wikipedia & NZ History Online


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