366 days of gratitude

15/07/2016

Today, in sorrow at the slaughtering of innocent people in France, I am grateful for all of those who follow the good and fight evil.


Word of the day

15/07/2016

Fudgel – to pretend to work when you’re not actually doing anything at all.


Terror in Nice

15/07/2016

The Charlie Hebdo attack, in January last year,  the November 13 killings in Paris and now scores of people have been killed and others injured in Nice:

A lorry has struck a crowd after Bastille Day celebrations in the southern French city of Nice, killing at least 80 people and injuring dozens, officials say.

It happened on the famous Promenade des Anglais after a firework display. The driver was shot dead and guns and grenades were found inside the lorry.

President Francois Hollande said the attack was of a “terrorist nature”.

He said he was extending a state of emergency by three months.

France had been on high alert following last November’s attacks in Paris in which 130 people died and hundreds were wounded.

The state of emergency had been due to end on 26 July.

“France is badly hit,” Mr Hollande said, adding that “we need to do everything we can to fight against” such attacks.

“All of France is under the threat of Islamic terrorism.” . . 

These actions are the antithesis of liberty which Bastille Day celebrates.


Rural round-up

15/07/2016

Aussie townies put us to shame over support for dairy farmers – Jon Morgan:

A campaign in Australia to support hard-pressed dairy farmers by paying an extra dollar for milk has – surprise, surprise – been a roaring success.

Like us, the Aussie farmers are struggling with low prices. But for them, the perceived villain is closer to home.

Because the Australians have a large domestic market, sales of fresh milk to supermarkets are a big money-earner. But this is being undermined by competition between the two big chains, Woolworths and Coles.

They have used milk as a loss-leader and retail prices have plummeted to as low as $1 a litre. Dairy farmers have struggled because of this, and factors such as international prices and drought, and the call has gone out to city folk to help out. . . 

There are not two sides to the GMO story – Julia A. Moore:

Regarding the May 18 Politics & the Nation article “Are GMO crops safe? Focus on the plant, not the process, scientists say”:

Enough already! How many National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reports does it take to give the answer that after decades of research there is no conclusive evidence that genetically engineered crops pose heightened health risks or environmental problems?

Whether it is GMOs, climate change or evolution, two critical issues persist. First, how do you stop partisans from ignoring the weight of scientific evidence and cherry-picking or buying research findings that suit their prejudices or self-interest? And second, how do you build public trust in and regulate scientific and technological knowledge that is hitting us, to quote Isaac Asimov, “faster than society gathers wisdom”? . . 

You can’t buy the rain – Nick Hamilton:

You can’t buy the rain….

Thursday afternoon last week I was rung by a reporter asking if I had time to comment on the effect the drought was having. I got the feeling that she had absolutely no idea when I had to explain the term ‘grazing’ to her, but we pushed on. When she hung up the phone I thought to myself, at least the general public will know that we are still struggling with this bloody drought. Doesn’t help us much but it’s nice to know we are not being ignored.

On Friday morning I got a nice message on Facebook from my Aunty congratulating me on my article in the paper. Must have a look at that at some stage I thought as I leapt out of bed, helped Megan make the school lunches, let the dogs off for a quick run then headed off to work, not on the farm, down the road at Sherwood Estate wines. I was driving the tractor up and down the frosty rows of pruned vines when I got a text from a footy mate. “They’re talking about the drought on Newstalk ZB”. . . .

The story to which he refers is:

Two-year drought drives long-term farmer off his land – Leah Flynn and Gerard Hutching:

The farm has been in Nick Hamilton’s family for four generations, but today it sits barren and stockless.

Hamilton was born on North Canterbury’s Minnivey Downs, but abandoned it after two years of drought made the farm unsustainable. 

He took up work pruning grapes in Waipara to make ends meet.  . .

Recognition for passionate young sheep farmer – Sally Rae:

Ever since he was a young lad, Will Gibson’s passion for the farming sector has been remarkable.

Whether it was exhibiting his coloured merino sheep and fleeces at A&P shows, entering stock-judging competitions with considerable success, or embracing life at home on the farm, he displayed maturity beyond his years.

He was always destined to go places in the industry and, last week, that passion was recognised when he received the emerging talent award at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand sheep industry awards in Masterton. . .

Yards ‘sold out from under us’ – Sally Rae:

Some Upper Clutha farmers are outraged by the sale of the Cromwell saleyards to a property developer, labelling the loss of the facility as a “disaster”.

Tarras farmer Beau Trevathan described the attitude of the Cromwell Saleyards Company’s directors as “bizarre”, saying they were elected to run the facility and ensure it was there for future generations.

“They’ve allowed it to be sold out from under us. As far as the farming community here is concerned, the majority of people are bewildered, to say the least. . . 

Breeding bulls for efficiency :

MILLAH Murrah Angus has taken part in the sire benchmarking program from the outset, with stud principal Ross Thompson a member of the program’s steering committee.

“The program has reached a state of useful maturity,” he said, noting that nominations were now being called for a seventh annual trial.

Mr Thompson said: “Traits such as feed conversion efficiency are very hard to measure without a structured progeny test and that’s one great positives of the sire benchmarking program. . .

Dorper value-adding idea leads Kings to LamHam – Sally Cripps:

It was a flourishing organic Dorper lamb grazing operation, combined with an online paddock to plate business that led Andrew and Maree King to a new lamb food marketing venture that is turning heads around Australia.

The couple were in Dubai in 2014, at the world’s largest food trade show, one of the prizes offered as MLA’s 2013 Queensland Sheepmeat Producer of the Year, when Maree had a “lightbulb” moment.

“We went over there with opportunities for our fresh Dorper lamb in mind but it all changed while we were eating at our hotel, where there were so many smoked offerings – turkey and fish and the like – standing in for bacon and pork. . . 


Friday’s answers

15/07/2016

J Bloggs, Andrei and Teletext posed yesterday’s questions for which they get my thanks.

If they’ve stumped us all they can claim a virtual chocolate cake by leaving the answers below.


Kiwi factor in net migration

15/07/2016

Higher net immigration is prompting calls for a curbs on migrants.

But, Statistics New Zealand shows the kiwi factor in net migration:

A record net gain of 71,900 non-New Zealand citizen migrants in the May 2016 year, was partly offset by a smaller-than-usual net loss of 3,500 New Zealand citizens (Kiwis), and produced a record-breaking net gain of 68,400 people. The last time the difference between Kiwi migrants arriving and departing was this narrow was 25 years ago.

More Kiwis are coming back after living overseas and fewer are leaving than in recent years. These historically small net losses of New Zealand citizens combined with record net gains in non-New Zealand citizens have created our current record in migration.

The graph below shows New Zealand’s annual net permanent and long-term migration for 1986–2016.

 

Each year, typically more Kiwis depart overseas than return after a year or more away, and more non-New Zealand citizens arrive here to stay for a year or more, than leave.

The flow of New Zealand citizens can be large, and at times significantly offset the net gain in non-New Zealand citizen migrants. For example, in the May 2012 year 22,400 Kiwis arrived back in New Zealand and 61,800 headed overseas for a year or more, creating a net loss of 39,400 Kiwis. In the same period, there was a net gain of 35,800 non-New Zealand citizens which was outweighed by the loss of Kiwis, creating a total net loss of 3,700 migrants.

Since 1986, an average of 21,600 more Kiwis have left than arrived back, compared with an average of 32,100 more non-New Zealand citizens arriving than departing per year. These figures contribute to an average net gain of 10,500 migrants a year.

There are many ways of analysing net migration including by country of residence. The biggest net gains by country of citizenship in the May 2016 year, contributing to the 68,400 total net gain, were from:

  • India (13,100)
  • China (9,600)
  • the Philippines (6,200)
  • the United Kingdom (5,600).

Net migration is the difference between arrivals and departures of migrants. The biggest flows in either direction in the May 2016 year were:

  • New Zealand citizen departures (34,200)
  • New Zealand citizen arrivals (30,700)
  • Indian citizen arrivals (14,400)
  • Chinese citizen arrivals (11,500)
  • United Kingdom citizen arrivals (10,300).

While Kiwis are not contributing net gains to the current record gain in migration, they are a big determinant of total net migration as they dominate both migrant arrivals and departures.

It’s only a few years ago that the number of New Zealanders leaving and not returning was cause for concern.

Now that fewer are leaving and more are returning ought to be cause for celebration.

That people from other countries are also seeing New Zealand as a desirable place to live is a positive reflection on the country, economy and quality of life.


Quote of the day

15/07/2016

 Scientists should never claim that something is absolutely true. You should never claim perfect, or total, or 100% because you never ever get there. – Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell who celebrates her 73rd birthday today.


July 15 in history

15/07/2016

1099 First Crusade: Christian soldiers took the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem  after the final assault of a difficult siege.

1207 John of England expelled Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.

1240  A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.

1381  John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, was hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England.

1410  Battle of Grunwald: allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the army of the Teutonic Order.

1573 Inigo Jones, English architect, was born (d. 1652).

1606 Rembrandt, Dutch artist, was born (d. 1669).

1685  James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth was executed at Tower Hill  after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor.

1741 Alexei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska and sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1779 Clement Clarke Moore, American educator, author, and poet, was born  (d. 1863).

1789 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, was named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.

1799  The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.

1806  Pike expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike began an expedition from Fort Belle Fountaine to explore the west.

1815  Napoléon Bonaparte surrendered aboard HMS Bellerophon.

1823 A fire destroyed the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Wallsin Rome.

1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.

1850  Mother Cabrini, Italian-born Catholic saint, was born  (d. 1917).

1870 Reconstruction era of the United States: Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1870 Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory were transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories were established from these  territories.

1870 The Kingdom of Prussia and the Second French Empire started theFranco-Prussian War.

1888  The stratovolcano Mount Bandai erupted killing approximately 500 people.

1905 Dorothy Fields, American librettist and lyricist, was born (d. 1974).

1906 Rudolf “Rudi” Uhlenhaut, German automotive engineer and test driver (Mercedes Benz), was born  (d. 1989).

1911 Edward Shackleton, English explorer, ws born  (d. 1994).

1914 Akhtar Hameed Khan, pioneer of Microcredit in developing countries, was born (d. 1999).

1914 – The first large group of men wounded at Gallipoli to return to New Zealand arrived in Wellington on the Willochra.

1914 Hammond Innes, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1916  In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporated Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1918 World War I: the Second Battle of the Marne began near the River Marne with a German attack.

1918 – Joan Roberts, American actress, was born.

1919   Iris Murdoch, Irish writer, was born (d. 1999).

1920 The Polish Parliament establishes Autonomous Silesian Voivodeshipbefore the Polish-German plebiscite.

1926  Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine dictator, was born (d. 2003).

1927  Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters were killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.

1929  First weekly radio broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio show, Music and the Spoken Word.

1931 Clive Cussler, American author, was born.

1933 Jack Lovelock’s set a world record for a mile run at Princeton University, beating the old record for the mile, held by Jules Ladoumegue, by almost two seconds. It was dubbed the ‘greatest mile of all time’ byTime Magazine.

Lovelock smashes world mile record

1934 Continental Airlines commenced operations.

1943 Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Irish astrophysicist, was born.

1946 Linda Ronstadt, American singer, was born.

1946  Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, was born.

1947 Peter Banks, British guitarist (Yes), was born.

1954 First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.

1955 Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.

1956 Marky Ramone, American musician (Ramones), was born.

1959  The steel strike of 1959 began, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.

1974  In Nicosia, Greek-sponsored nationalists launched a coup d’état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.

1979 U.S.President Jimmy Carter gave his famous “malaise” speech, where he characterised the greatest threat to the country as “this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.”

1983 The Orly airport attack in Paris left 8 people dead and 55 injured.

1996  A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashed on landing at Eindhoven Airport.

2002  Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan handed down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

2003  AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation was established on the same day.

2006 – Twitter was launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

2014 – – A train derailed on the Moscow Metro, killing at least 24 and injuring more than 160 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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