366 days of gratitude

November 23, 2016

My husband can keep a secret but I’m not so sure about the people he tells.

Behind those words, said in jest, is the knowledge that although most people will answer yes to the question can you keep a secret? few can and do.

Today I’m grateful to have people in my life who can be trusted to hold in confidence anything by anyone who confides in them.


Word of the day

November 23, 2016

Thrummy – made of or with or abounding in thrums; having a shaggy or downy surface; tufted.


Rural round-up

November 23, 2016

Dog shot after more sheep maulings – Mike Dinsdale:

Four sheep dead, at least 14 more badly mauled and at least one of the dogs responsible dead.

It was a weekend of death near Dargaville as landowners again saw their sheep killed or mauled by marauding dogs, but at least one of those responsible was caught this time.

Overnight on Friday two dogs went onto two properties at Colville Rd and attacked flocks of sheep belonging to Lynley Thompson in one paddock and neighbour Nick Thompson in another. . . 

Search for perfect horse proves fruitful – Sally Rae:

On a farm near Ranfurly, there is a big grey stallion living the life of Brian.
Ballineen Blue Mountain, aka Brian, is making a name for himself in equine circles. As well as the Irish Draught’s own plaudits, success is now coming for his offspring, notably Trevalda Mountain Storm, who was recently recognised as one of five outstanding exhibits at the Canterbury A&P Show in Christchurch.

Such an accolade was “pretty cool” and “a little bit unexpected” for Trevalda Mountain Storm’s breeder and Brian’s owner Tracy Crossan. . . 

Silver Fern sale to complete ahead of schedule

The controversial deal which will see meat processor Silver Fern Farms sell a 50% controlling stake to China’s Shanghai Maling for $267 million in cash is to completed before the end of the year.

The transaction, which was approved by farmer shareholders at two separate meetings, was due to proceed by January 4, 2017.

In a statement, SFF said it would now complete the deal prior to mid-December. Silver Fern Farms chair Rob Hewett said there was little merit in ” simply waiting”. . . 

Dairying in Argentina not for the faint-hearted – Pablo Fraga:

Argentina, once seen as a world ‘bread basket’, today faces many obstacles in achieving this. Argentinean student Pablo Fraga reports on the challenges of dairy farming in his country.

Let me first point out some figures, for context: milk production in Argentina is 11 billion litres per year (versus 20.7b L/year in New Zealand) – twice the production of the 1980s but static for the past ten years.

This places the country eighth in the world in milk production. Exports represent only 20% of national production, the balance being consumed domestically; we are big milk consumers. . . .

British Wool: a thriving industry, thanks to running the last marketing board in the country  Julia Bradshaw:

Every sheep is different, so every fleece is different, you open one up and never know what you’re going to get,” says Ian Brooksbank, a senior head grader for the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) – the country’s last surviving agricultural commodities co-operative.

Brooksbank works at its North of England depot, a massive warehouse on the outskirts of Bradford, next to the headquarters of the marketing board. There, he and a team of workers grade and package fleeces from the surrounding counties. Grading takes huge skill, and Brooksbank has years of experience. “I started here in 1990 when I was 16, just pushing the skeps,” he says as he touches the fleece in front of him, pulling out and inspecting the fibres to see how strong and uniform they are. . . 

Iowa farmer challenges activist Vandana Shiva after ‘myth-filled’ anti-GMO lecture – Michelle Miller:

As a farmer, writer, and public speaker, I work very hard to dispel the myths of modern agriculture. Over 90% of certain crop farmers here in the US are growing GMOs for good reasons which I’ve previously outlined here. So when I heard that one of the world’s most famous anti-GMO activists–Indian philosopher Vandana Shiva–was coming to my area in Iowa to speak at Drake University, I felt I need to hear what she had to say and hopefully get the opportunity in a Q&A to speak up.

And, fortunately I got my wish! She had a Q&A and I nervously approached the microphone to speak up on behalf of farmers everywhere. Shiva is known for spreading misinformation about agriculture. . . .


Another death at Moeraki turn-off

November 23, 2016

Another person has died at a North Otago highway black spot:

One person was killed in a three-car collision opposite the turn-off to tourist hot spot Moeraki Boulders, yesterday afternoon.

Police were called to the site about 3.30pm.

One person died at the scene and another with critical injuries was transported by rescue helicopter to Dunedin Hospital.

Two people with moderate injuries were taken to Oamaru Hospital.

Earlier this year, the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) released information to the Otago Daily Times which showed eight deaths had occurred between Maheno and Moeraki since 2011.

Information provided by the agency identified 10 serious crashes in the area from 2011 to 2015. . .

 The turn-off to the Moeraki Boulders is on a straight stretch of road, which slopes moderately down-hill if you’re traveling south.

Visibility shouldn’t be a problem.

But if you aren’t used to looking right, left and right again, don’t look carefully enough, overshoot the intersection  and slow suddenly, concentrate on your GPS instead of the road and traffic . . . there are lots of opportunities for driver error to turn into tragedy.

 


Quote of the day

November 23, 2016

I was the same kind of father as I was a harpist – I played by ear.Harpo Marx who was born on this day in 1888.


November 23 in history

November 23, 2016

534 BC – Thespis of Icaria became the first actor to portray a character onstage.

1227 – Polish Prince Leszek I the White was assassinated at an assembly of Piast dukes at Gąsawa.

1248 – Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile.

1499 – Pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck was hanged for reportedly attempting to escape from the Tower of London.

1531 – The Second war of Kappel resulted in the dissolution of the Protestant alliance in Switzerland.

1644 – John Milton published Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship.

1808 – French and Poles defeated the Spanish at battle of Tudela.

1837 – Johannes Diderik van der Waals, Dutch physicist and thermodynamicist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1923).

1838 – Stephanos Skouloudis, Greek banker and politician, 97th Prime Minister of Greece, was born (d. 1928)

1859 – Billy The Kid, American outlaw, was born (d. 1881).

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Chattanooga began.

1867 – The Manchester Martyrs were hanged for killing a police officer while freeing two Irish nationalists from custody.

1868 – Mary Brewster Hazelton, American painter, was born (d. 1953).

1876 –  Tammany Hall leader William Marcy Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) was delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.

1887  Boris Karloff, British actor, was born (d. 1969).

1888 Harpo Marx, American comedian, was born (d. 1964).

1889 – The first jukebox went into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

1890 – King William III of the Netherlands died without a male heir and a special law was passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir.

1903 – Governor of Colorado James Peabody sent the state militia into the town of Cripple Creek to break up a miners’ strike.

1909 – Nigel Tranter, Scottish historian and author, was born, (d. 2000).

1910 – Johan Alfred Ander was the last person in Sweden to be executed.

1914 – Mexican Revolution: The last of U.S. forces withdrew from Veracruz.

1915 – Anne Burns, British aeronautical engineer and glider pilot, was born (d. 2001).

1916 – P. K. Page, English-Canadian author and poet, was born (d. 2010).

1918 – Heber J. Grant succeeded Joseph F. Smith as the seventh president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1922 – Võ Văn Kiệt, Vietnamese soldier and politician, 6th Prime Minister of Vietnam, was born (d. 2008).

1923 – Gloria Whelan, American author and poet, was born.

1925 – Elaine Horseman, English author and educator, was born (d. 1999).

1925 – José Napoleón Duarte, Salvadoran engineer and politician, President of El Salvador, was born(d. 1990).

1934 – An Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission in the Ogaden discovered an Italian garrison at Walwal, well within Ethiopian territory which led to the Abyssinia Crisis.

1936 – The first edition of Life was published.

1940 – World War II: Romania became a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

1943 – World War II: The Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstraße in the Berlin was destroyed.

1946 – French Navy fire in Hai Phong, Viet Nam, killed 6,000 civilians.

1947 A civic funeral was held for the 41 victims of the Ballantynes Fire.

Civic funeral for 41 Ballantynes fire victims

1949 – Alan Paul, American singer-songwriter and actor (The Manhattan Transfer)

1949  Sandra Stevens, British singer, member of pop group Brotherhood of Man, was born.

1955 – The Cocos Islands were transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia.

1959 – General Charles de Gaulle,  declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a “Europe, “from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

1962 – Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan union leader and politician, President of Venezuela, was born.

1963 – The BBC broadcast the first episode of Doctor Who (starringWilliam Hartnell) which is the world’s longest running science fiction drama.

1971 – Representatives of China attended the United Nations, for the first time.

1979 –  Provisional Irish Republican Army member Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.

1980 – A series of earthquakes in southern Italy killed approximately 4,800 people.

1981 – Iran-Contra Affair: Ronald Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1985 – Gunmen hijacked EgyptAir Flight 648,  when the plane landed in Malta, Egyptian commandos stormed the  jetliner, but 60 people died in the raid.

1992  Miley Cyrus, American actress and singer/songwriter, was born.

1993 – Rachel Whiteread won both the £20,000 Turner Prize award for best British modern artist and the £40,000 K Foundation art award for the worst artist of the year.

1996 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was hijacked, then crashed into the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel, killing 125.

2001 – Convention on Cybercrime was signed in Budapest.

2003 – Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigned following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections.

2005 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected president of Liberia and became the first woman to lead an African country.

2007 – MS Explorer, a cruise liner carrying 154 people, sank in the Antarctic Ocean south of Argentina after hitting an iceberg. There were no fatalities.

2009 – The Maguindanao massacre.

2010 – The Bombardment of Yeonpyeong  on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea. The North Korean artillery attack killed 2 civilians and 2 South Korean marines.

2011 –  Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, The Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.

2015  – Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle became the first rocket to successfully fly to space and then return to Earth for a controlled, vertical landing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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