Word of the day

January 31, 2017

Alacritous – quick and eager;  brisk; speedy; cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness.


Rural round-up

January 31, 2017

 – Allan Barber:

When sheep and beef farmers in New Zealand grumpily ponder their forecast returns for 2016-17, they may be able to take some comfort from the precarious state of farmers in Europe, particularly the UK where they are facing even more uncertainty of income.

Private Eye’s Bio-Waste Spreader column contrasts the rhetoric of the Environment Minister saying farm subsidies must be abolished post Brexit with a report by her own Ministry, Defra, which finds British farmers would be unable to keep going without them. In the 2014/15 year dairy farms were the most profitable averaging GB Pounds 12,700, whereas cropping farms made GBP 100, lowland livestock farms (most like our sheep and beef) lost GBP 10,900 and grain growers did even worse. These profits or losses came before farmers paid themselves any wages or drawings. . . 

Heavy market share losses affect Silver Fern Farms’ financial performance – Allan Barber:

In recent weeks there has been an exchange of views about PPCS’s acrimonious takeover of Richmond in 2003. Keith Cooper, ex CEO of the renamed Silver Fern Farms, emerged from anonymity in Middlemarch to castigate the appointment of Sam Robinson to the board of Silver Fern Farms as the Shanghai Maling representative. He was critical of Richmond’s rejection of the original approach by PPCS to buy the Freesia Investments shares from the Meat Board in the mid-1990s and Robinson’s role as Richmond’s chairman.

Farmer, SFF shareholder and columnist Steve Wyn-Harris took Keith to task on the grounds of selective memory of what actually happened during the bitter but ultimately successful campaign by PPCS to buy Richmond. I must confess my recollection of events, without being in any way personally involved, is closer to Steve’s perspective than Keith’s and I still remember clearly Ron Clarke’s superb last column on the topic just before he died which was an eloquent attack on what he considered PPCS’s underhand approach. At the time Justice William Young referred to the company’s “gross commercial misconduct.” . . 

 

Quake ends dairy farmer’s season – Nigel Malthus:

Don Galletly’s Loch Ness dairy farm on the Emu Plain, near Waiau, remains the only one in North Canterbury unable to milk since the November 14 quake.

While farms either side were back up and operating within a few days, Galletly’s rotary shed is deemed a write-off.

“Three-quarters of the season is down the drain for us,” he told Rural News. . . 

Patriotism means we should eat more lamb – Jamie Mackay:

 . . On the subject of one-man crusades, last week on my radio show I launched my 2017 tilt at a windmill. In fairness, past crusades have had mixed results. While I failed to bring back rucking, I proudly and vicariously claimed some reflected glory when Fonterra, to its eternal credit, brought back milk in schools.

I also like to think I played a small part in the media publicity which aided a much-deserved knighthood for David Fagan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So what’s 2017’s on-air crusade? I reckon we should be like the Ockers in the West Island and make it a patriotic pastime to eat lamb on our national day. And if we can’t agree to do that because, let’s face it, we don’t agree on much on Waitangi Day, maybe we could all eat lamb on what I’d like to be our national day, April 25. . . . 

 

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Farming is like any other job. Only you punch in at age 5 and never punch out.


Where are the protests?

January 31, 2017

Otago rivers are fine for swimming, except for the Kakanui where the cause of poor water quality, once again, is seagulls.

Water quality in Otago has been good so far this summer, Otago Regional Council (ORC) seasonal recreational water quality testing shows.

Three sites have had alert/amber warnings at certain times since the summer round of testing began at the beginning of December, but readings for those sites at other times and for all other sites have been considered safe for swimming. . .

This summer the Kakanui River at Clifton Falls Bridge is the only site to have its most recent reading in the amber/alert range, recording 510 parts of E. coli per 100ml of water on December 28.

ORC duty director Scott MacLean said there was a large colony of nesting gulls at the site, in rugged terrain, about 5km above the Clifton Falls bridge.

“Unfortunately, these nesting gull colonies are likely to continue to cause high E. coli concentrations in the upper Kakanui River, particularly during the breeding season.”

The gulls are natives and can’t be culled, but why can’t something be done, after the breeding season, to deter them from returning next year?

If farming, and particularly dairying, was responsible, the usual suspects masquerading as environmental warriors would be calling for action but they have been silent on this.

They have also been silent on the appalling state of Auckland waterways which are unsafe for swimming.

Kerre McIvor points out hygiene and sanitation are one of the basic requirements for a community to properly function and yet New Zealand’s biggest city is being let down badly on that count.

Whenever Auckland gets more than 5mm of rain, rainwater flows into the shared stormwater pipes and flushes raw sewage into streams or straight into the harbour.

These overflows happen at least 12 times a year.

Newsflash, Auckland gets a lot of rain – and the equivalent of four Olympic swimming pools of raw sewage pour into our waterways every single time.

It’s appalling. And the problem is not new. . .

No business, farming or otherwise, would be able to continue to pollute in this way, why are councils and why aren’t the usual suspects protesting?

Alan Emerson asks that question too:

We are continually told in the most emotive terms about the health problems with dairy and irrigation but I’d venture to suggest those issues would be absolutely minimal when compared with raw sewerage.

I ask again; where are the protesters?

The ongoing problem of raw sewerage continuing unabated for the next 18 years is infinitely worse than anything our farming industry can do.

I went to the Greenpeace website believing I must have missed something but no. There was a headline telling me to stop seismic blasting. Maybe that causes sewerage to go into harbours and on beaches.

There was also a rant about a bank presumably funding forest destruction. I can see the logic there, destroy the forest, build houses and pollute beaches.

Greenpeace also wants the Huntly coal power plant shut down. Maybe it was polluting the Waikato River.

What irritated me most though was a mealy-mouthed release about the shocking vandalising of a North Otago farmer’s irrigation equipment.

Paradoxically, Greenpeace claimed to be a peaceful protester but could understand the vandalism as being “a sign of overwhelming public frustration about polluted rivers”.

Show me the science. . .

We are told ad nauseum about farming’s supposed threat to our clean, green image. There’s an appalling lack of science behind the accusations but the anti-farming rants are extreme.

Correspondingly, we have the country’s largest city with far more people than all the provinces combined pumping raw sewerage into the supposed pristine beaches of Auckland.

Where are the environmental protesters?

The Green Party, always willing to castigate farming and generally show indecent haste in the process, hasn’t said anything about the crap-covered beaches of Auckland.

On its website it accused National of plundering our fisheries, claimed the recent extreme weather was a sign of things to come and pontificated, naively in my view, that a fresh start was needed for European Union trade agreements.

There was nothing I could find about the scandalous pollution of our pristine Auckland beaches and the compromising of our clean, green image.

Again if they can slag off farmers for whatever reason they will do it with alacrity no matter what the facts may be.

When it comes to our largest city they seem cowed by the number of voters there. . . 

Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO, draws a similar conclusion:

A recent meeting between Irrigation New Zealand and Greenpeace failed to resolve differences because the environmental group needs a polarising issue to preserve its Auckland funding base, Irrigation chief executive Andrew Curtis says.

Greenpeace gave scant acknowledgement of the role of irrigation or that farmers were reducing their environmental footprint.

The group’s true agenda was laid bare soon after the meeting in a press release that was understanding of Auckland dumping millions of cubic metres of raw sewage into the harbour each year while again admonishing the dairy industry.

Curtis said it showed Greenpeace was a fundraising body determined to protect its Auckland funding base.

“That point was highlighted by the press release this week about Auckland sewage flowing into the harbour which said it was a concern but not majorly because the Auckland Council recognised it is an issue.

“Contrast that with its view of dairy farming and the irrigation industry, which is that there is no acknowledgement they have an issue and are doing nothing to improve the water quality. . .

Clean water is a fundamental necessity for human health.

It is an issue for both rural and urban New Zealand.

Farmers have collectively spent many millions of dollars cleaning up their acts to safeguard waterways.

Regional councils take their responsibilities to monitor farms very seriously. They have the right to prosecute farmers and have done so not only for polluting waterways but for pollution which could reach a waterway even if it hasn’t.

Yet city councils are given not just years but decades to bring their sewer and waste water systems up to 21st century standards.

If farmers were causing even a fraction of the problems that Auckland faces, protesters would be strident.

Their silence on the city pollution and slower than snails’-pace action on improving it is deafening.

 

 


Quote of the day

January 31, 2017

I sing from the heart… I sing the words of a song and really feel them, from the top of my head to the tip of my toes… I sing as though my life depends on it, and if I ever stop doing that then I’ll stop living Mario Lanza who was born on this day in 1921.


January 31 in history

January 31, 2017

1606  Guy Fawkes was executed for his plotting against Parliament.

1673 Louis de Montfort, French catholic priest and saint, was born (d. 1716).

1747 The first venereal diseases clinic opened at London Lock Hospital.

1797 Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1828).

1814 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas became Supreme Director of Argentina.

1849 Corn Laws were abolished in the United Kingdom (following legislation in 1846).

1862 Alvan Graham Clark discovered the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an eighteen inch telescope at Northwestern University.

1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee became general-in-chief.

1865  Henri Desgrange, Founder of the Tour-de-France, was born (d. 1940).

1872 Zane Grey, American Western writer, was born.(1939)

1876 The United States ordered all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1881  Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina was born  (d. 1931).

1884 Theodor Heuss, 1st President of Germany (Bundespräsident), was born (d. 1963).

1918 A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night led to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships.

1919 The Battle of George Square took place in Glasgow.

1919  Jackie Robinson, American baseball player,  first black player in Major League Baseball, was born (d. 1972).

1921 New Zealand’s first regular air mail service began with a flight by the Canterbury Aviation Company from Christchurch to Ashburton and Timaru.

NZ’s first regular airmail service begins

1921 Carol Channing, American actress and singer, was born.

1921 Mario Lanza, American singer was born (d. 1959).

1923 Norman Mailer, American writer and journalist, was born  (d. 2007).

1929 The Soviet Union exiled Leon Trotsky.

1930 3M began marketing Scotch Tape.

1938 – Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, was born.

1943 German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus surrendered to the Soviets at Stalingrad, followed 2 days later by the remainder of his Sixth Army, ending one of World War II’s fiercest battles.

1944 – Connie Booth, American-English actress and psychotherapist, was born.

1945 US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion, the first such execution of a US soldier since the Civil War.

1946 Terry Kath, American musician (Chicago), was born (d. 1978).

1946 Yugoslavia‘s new constitution, modelling the Soviet Union, established six constituent republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).

1950 President Harry S. Truman announced a programme to develop the hydrogen bomb.

1951 Harry Wayne Casey, American singer and musician (KC and the Sunshine Band), was born.

1953 A North Sea flood caused over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands.

1956 John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, English singer (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd.), was born.

1958  Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.

1958  James Van Allen discovered the Van Allen radiation belt.

1960 – Željko Šturanović, Montenegrin politician, 31st Prime Minister of Montenegro, was born (d. 2014).

1961 Mercury-Redstone 2Ham the Chimp travelled into outer space.

1966 The Soviet Union launched the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna programme.

1968 – Nauru became independent from Australia.

1971 Apollo 14 Mission – Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, andEdgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lifted off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.

1971 – The Winter Soldier Investigation, organised by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicise war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, began in Detroit.

1990 The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow.

1996 An explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400.

2000 Alaska Airlines flight 261 MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 persons aboard.

2001 In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicted a Libyan and acquitted another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie in 1988.

2003 The Waterfall rail accident near Waterfall, New South Wales.

2009 – At least 113 people were killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, Kenya.

2010 – Avatar became the first film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.

2011 – A winter storm hit North America for the second time in the same month, causing $1.8 billion in damages across the United States and Canada and killing 24 people.

2013 – An explosion at the Pemex Executive Tower in Mexico City killed at least 33 people and injured more than 100.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

January 30, 2017

Morosoph – a philosophical or learned fool; one who puts up the pretense of knowledge or wisdom; a person who lacks good judgment; muggins; sap, saphead; tomfool.


Rural round-up

January 30, 2017

Farmers speak up for industry during a hostile year – Gerald Piddock:

Being named as one of Waikato’s top environmental farmers has given a platform for John Hayward and Susan O’Regan to show that agriculture is not the villain it is made out to be.

Nearly a year after being named supreme winners of the Waikato Farm Environment Awards, the couple’s farm has hosted countless individuals and groups, ranging from the former United States ambassador Mark Gilbert to cabinet ministers, MPs and school children.

O’Regan said they had tried to do their best to improve people’s understanding and perspective of dairying in what had been a pretty hostile year. . . 

Dairy strategy about more than just producing extra milk – Andrew Hoggard:

All manner of self-appointed experts have recently been making claims around the dairy industry’s strategy, and how we associate with others.

About the only thing they got right is that we actually do have a strategy. Its official title is The Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming. Its purpose is firstly to inform DairyNZ’s funding priorities, but also to co-ordinate industry action on the various strategy objectives.

The strategy is focused primarily around on-farm, but also covers domestic issues that will take into account the processors. So it’s not about telling the various processors which markets to operate in, and what products to sell. . . 

Shearing champs labour of love falling into place – Sally Rae:

“Imagine the biggest roller coaster in the world and being on it.”

That is how World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships organising committee chairman Tom Wilson describes preparing for the event in Invercargill next week.‘‘Some things have happened easily and the next minute you’ve got to really dig in with something a bit more challenging. ‘‘It is a bit of a labour of love but you work through it. Everything’s falling into place,’’ he said.

Mr Wilson, shearing great Sir David Fagan and Gavin Rowland, from Shearing Sports New Zealand, made the bid at the previous world championships in 2014 to hold the 2017 event in New Zealand. The bid was successful and planning began in earnest for the championships which will be held at the ILT Stadium Southland on February 8-11. The championships have a 40-year history, dating back to when they were first held at Bath and West in England in 1977.Mr Wilson’s involvement stretches nearly as far, contesting his first world championships in Masterton in 1980. . . 

Finalist looks forward to tough competition – Sally Rae:

Alan Harvey is looking forward to next month’s Otago-Southland regional final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

He is one of eight regional finalists who will compete in the event in Roxburgh on February 18. The winner will go on to the grand final in the Manawatu in July.

Organisers have touted it as shaping up to be the toughest competition of the seven regional finals nationwide. Mr Harvey (25) was fourth in the Tasman regional final last year. Brought up on a sheep and beef farm in North Otago, he joined the Five Forks Young Farmers Club when he was 15 and was involved in setting up a club at Waitaki Boys’ High School.

Summer heats up for Hawkes Bay farmers – Alexa Cook:

Farmers in Hawke’s Bay are selling stock because they don’t have enough food or water for them, livestock agent John Kingston says.

Mr Kingston, who works for Carrfields, said although the region had had a good spring, weeks of wind had dried out the land.

“We normally have a dry season here but it’s getting beyond a joke now.

“Stock water is the biggest issue. Some people have had to buy water for houses. The feed is absolutely swept around most of Hawkes Bay.”

Dry weather spells trouble for Northland farmers – Sarah Robson:

Extra blankets and raincoats haven’t been far from reach in many parts of the country this summer, but farmers in Northland are worried they’re in for another prolonged dry spell.

Federated Farmers Northland president John Blackwell said while there was a welcome burst of rain last week, strong winds have whisked most of the moisture away from the soil.

Dairy farmers were trying to source extra feed and looking at culling their herds. A lot of sheep and beef farmers had already de-stocked, while a wet October meant many crops had failed. . .

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Gordon “Gorden” Kaye 7.4.41 – 23.1.17

January 30, 2017

Gordon “Gorden” Kaye has died:

 . .  . Born Gordon Kaye, the unusual spelling of his stage name – Gorden – is said to have come from a typing error at Equity, the actors’ union. He used to say that this was “the result of a misspelt youth”.

Gorden Kaye had his first taste of the entertainment industry when he interviewed The Beatles while working in hospital radio in 1965.

The former grammar school student and rugby player had worked in a variety of jobs – including in radio, positions at a tractor factory and textile mills – when he signed up for a radio play directed by playwright and director Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

Apparently impressed with his ability, Ayckbourn suggested Kaye try out for a theatre company, and his acting career was launched.

He got his TV break playing Elsie Tanner’s nephew, Bernard Butler, in Coronation Street in 1969. Later roles included appearances in the film version of Porridge, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and a BBC production of Mansfield Park.

But it was being vast as cafe owner René Artois in ‘Allo ‘Allo! in 1982 that really put Kaye on the showbiz map.

He appeared in all 84 episodes of the series, which ran until 1992, and reprised the role in a 2007 special. . . .


Quote of the day

January 30, 2017

When you realize someone is trying to hurt you, it hurts less. Unless you love them. Shirley Hazzard who was born on this day in 1931.

She also said:

At first, there is something you expect of life. Later, there is what life expects of you. By the time you realize these are the same, it can be too late for expectations. What we are being, not what we are to be. They are the same thing.


January 30 in history

January 30, 2017

1018 – The Peace of Bautzen was signed between Poland and Germany.

1648 Eighty Years’ War: The Treaty of Münster and Osnabrück was signed, ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain.

1649 King Charles I of England was beheaded.

1661 Oliver Cromwell, was ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.

1790  The first boat specializing as a lifeboat was tested on the River Tyne.

1806 The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), was opened.

1820 Edward Bransfield sighted the Trinity Peninsula and claimed the discovery of Antarctica.

1826 The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world’s first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, opened.

1835 In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but failed and was subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.

1841 A fire destroyed two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

1847 Yerba Buena, California was renamed San Francisco.

1858 The first Hallé concert was given in Manchester marking the official founding of the Hallé Orchestra as a full-time, professional orchestra.

1862 The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor was launched.

1882  Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, was born (d. 1945).

1889 – Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, was found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetserain Mayerling.

1911 An amendment to the Gaming Act at the end of 1910 banned bookmakers from racecourses in New Zealand. Bookies were officially farewelled at the now defunct Takapuna racecourse.

Bookies banned from NZ racecourses

1911 The destroyer USS Terry (DD-25) made the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of James McCurdy 10 miles from Havana.

1911 – The Canadian Naval Service became the Royal Canadian Navy.

1913 The House of Lords rejected the Irish Home Rule Bill.

1925 The Government of Turkey threw Patriarch Constantine VI out of Istanbul.

1929 Lucille Teasdale-Corti, Canadian surgeon and international aid worker, was born (d. 1945).

1930 Gene Hackman, American actor, was born.

1930 – The Politburo of the Soviet Union ordered the extermination of the Kulaks.

1931 Shirley Hazzard, Australian-born author, was born (d. 2016).

1933 Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

1937 Vanessa Redgrave, English actress, was born.

1941 – Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1945  World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with refugees, sunk in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, leading to the deadliest known maritime disaster, killing approximately 9,000 people.

1945  Raid at Cabanatuan: 126 American Rangers and Filipino resistance liberated 500 prisoners from the Cabanatuan POW camp.

1947 Steve Marriott, English musician (Humble Pie, The Small Faces), was born  (d. 1991).

1948 – Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.

1951 Phil Collins, English musician, was born.

1956 American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s home was bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1960 The African National Party was founded in Chad through the merger of traditionalist parties.

1960 Lily Potter, (fictional character) Mother of Harry J. Potter and Member of The Order of the Phoenix, was born.

1962 King Abdullah II of Jordan, was born.

1964  Ranger 6 was launched.

1968 Prince Felipe of Spain, was born.

1969 The Beatles‘ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London.

1971 Carole King’s Tapestry album was released, it became the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sold 24 million copies worldwide.

1972 Bloody Sunday: British Paratroopers killed 14 unarmed civil rights/anti internment marchers in Northern Ireland.

1972 Pakistan withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.

1979 Varig 707-323C freighter,  disappeared over the Pacific Ocean 30 minutes after taking off from Tokyo.

1982 Richard Skrenta wrote the first PC virus code, which was 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot programme called “Elk Cloner”.

1989 The American embassy in Kabul, closed.

1994 Péter Lékó became the youngest chess grand master.

1995 Workers from the National Institutes of Health announced the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.

1996 Gino Gallagher, the suspected leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, was killed while waiting in line for his unemployment benefit.

1996 – Comet Hyakutake was discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake.

2000 Off the coast of Ivory Coast, Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashed into the Atlantic  killing 169.

2003 – The Kingdom of Belgium officially recognised same-sex marriages.

2013 – Naro-1 became the first carrier rocket launched by South Korea.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

January 29, 2017

Winkle – a small herbivorous shore-dwelling mollusc with a spiral shell; to pry something out of a place; displace, remove, or evict from a position; obtain or draw out by effort.


Legacy

January 29, 2017

 I promise you not a moment will be lost as long as I have heart & voice to speak & we will walk again together with a thousand others & a thousand more & on & on until there is no one among us who does not know the truth: there is no future without love. – Legacy – ©2016 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

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Sunday soapbox

January 29, 2017

Sunday’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.

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the quieter you become, the more you can hear – Ram Dass.


January 29 in history

January 29, 2017

661 – The Rashidun Caliphate ended with the death of Ali.

757 – An Lushan, leader of a revolt against the Tang dynasty and emperor of Yan, was murdered by his own son, An Qingxu.

904 – Sergius III came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.

1676 – Feodor III became Tsar of Russia.

1814 – France defeated Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Brienne.

1834– US President Andrew Jackson ordered first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labour dispute.

1842 Auckland’s first Anniversary Day regatta was held.

“a regatta took place between a five-oared gig belonging to the Surveyor-General, and a six-oared gig belonging to the “Anna Watson,” both pulled in excellent style by amateurs. This was followed by a match for a purse of five pounds between two whale boats pulled by sailors – and by another between two large canoes, paddled by Natives.”

1845 “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe  was published in the New York Evening Mirror.

1856 Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross.

1860 Anton Chekhov, Russian writer, was born (d. 1904).

1863 Bear River Massacre.

1874 John D. Rockefeller Jr., American entrepreneur, was born (d. 1960).

1880 W.C. Fields, American actor and writer was born  (d. 1946).

1886 Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

1891 Liliuokalani was proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch.

1916  Paris was first bombed by German zeppelins.

1939 Germaine Greer, Australian writer and feminist, was born.

1940 Three trains on the Sakurajima Line, in Osaka collided and exploded while approaching Ajikawaguchi station. 181 people were killed.

1944  USS Missouri (BB-63) the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy was launched.

1944 Approximately 38 men, women, and children died in the Koniuchy massacre in Poland.

1944 In Bologna the Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio was destroyed in an air-raid.

1945 Tom Selleck, American actor, screenwriter and film producer, was born.

1949 Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-born musician and record producer (The Ramones), was born.

1954  Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host and actress, was born.

1996 President Jacques Chirac announced a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing.

1996 – La Fenice, Venice’s opera house, was destroyed by fire.

2001 Thousands of student protesters in Indonesia stormed parliament and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals.

2002 In his State of the Union Address, United States President George W. Bush described “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of Evil.

2005 The first direct commercial flights from the mainland China(from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines carrier landed in Beijing.

2006 – India’s Irfan Pathan became the first bowler to take a Test cricket hat-trick in the opening over of a match.

2009 – The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that people who do not adhere to one of the three government-recognised religions, while not allowed to list any belief outside of those three, were still eligible to receive government identity documents.

2009 – Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich was convicted of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for then-U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.

2013  – SCAT Airlines Flight 760 crashed near the Kazakh city of Almaty, killing 21 people.

2015 – Malaysia officially declared the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident and its passengers and crew presumed dead.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

January 28, 2017

Beamish – beaming  or smiling with happiness, optimism, or anticipation;  bright, cheerful, and optimistic.


Saturday’s smiles

January 28, 2017

Lonely hearts seeking soulmate:

FISHERMAN
Wife wanted, must be able to dig for worms and clean and cook fish. Must have own boat with motor. Please send photograph of motorboat.

SALESMAN
Once in a lifetime offer, to get yourself the original, genuine article. One of the most handsome and smartest bachelors around is now looking for a wife. And you could be the lucky one he chooses! Has own house, car and successful career!

ECONOMIST
I am in demand of a wife. Supply is great though my requirements are high. However the elasticity of my demands should not bear too heavy a burden upon the national interest.

MATHEMATICIAN
Husband required to complete the formula of my life. Must be numerate and understand complex algebraic logarithms. Needed to help further my family unit.

IT CONSULTANT
Well there is definite room for improvement in my life. The speed of my current flows of information and processes is slowing down and the injection of a wife into my life is bound to improve efficiency. Compatibility could be an issue.

BUSINESSMAN
Wife wanted for company.

POLITICIAN
I feel there is a need in this world, to improve the ways we live, to harmonize the processes of life and to build upon past differences and short comings. I believe that we the people need someone to share our lives. To feel the joys of parenthood, and bear the social responsibilities, as we should in a civilised society. I am looking for someone to help me build a better life and world and who will always vote for me.

CAR DEALER
Wanted a sturdy, reliable, low depreciating wife. Should be in excellent working condition.

FARMER
Wanted a wife from good stock; ability to drive essential; must be able weather any weather and to handle stock and machinery with the same concern and tenderness she will apply to their owner.

LAWYER
I hereby propose to solicit myself as an eligible candidate for the post of husband. The man should be willing to surrender to the service and jurisdiction of the senior partner, i.e. me. Any objections would be overruled and will not be sustained. Apply in limited confidence as all liabilities are null and void in the event of failure on our part of any kind whatsoever.

PILOT
Wife required to complete my life. Please only level headed applicants. She must not have her heads in the clouds, but have her feet firmly on the ground. Her heart must be in it for the long haul. And she absolutely must also be aerodynamically sound.

BANKER
Wanted wife who takes interest in me and credits me with her service.

ACCOUNTANT
Required a girl – 5’8′ & 36′ 24′ 36′ with a good head for figures. She must be averse to making unnecessary expenditure and her very nature should be one of generating as few expenses in my life as possible. She should profit from a nice personality and be a credit to her family.

BUILDER
Wanted a wife to help build upon the foundations of my life. Must be homely and willing to build relationship from the ground up.

DOCTOR
I am looking for a husband to cure the emptiness in my life. However if you feel the need for a second opinion then it’s fine by me.

ARMY COMMANDO
My mission in life is to find myself the perfect wife. Successful applicants must be able to use a penknife and a compass. She who dares wins. Camouflage provided.

RACE CAR DRIVER
A model wife required to fit in with my fast track life. Must be able to keep pace.

ASTRONAUT
I’m searching for a husband to fill the space in my life. Someone to share my universe and create experiences that are out of this world.


Saturday soapbox

January 28, 2017

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.

Image may contain: cat and text

Sometimes you need to look at life from a different perspective.


January 28 in history

January 28, 2017

1225 Saint Thomas Aquinas, was born (d. 1274).

1457  King Henry VII, was born (d. 1509).

1521 The Diet of Worms began.

1547 Henry VIII died. His nine year old son, Edward VI became King, and the first Protestant ruler of England.

1573 – Articles of the Warsaw Confederation were signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland.

1582  John Barclay, Scottish writer, was born (d. 1621).

1624 Sir Thomas Warner,  founded the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

1706 John Baskerville, English printer, was born  (d. 1775).

1724 The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in the Senate decree.

1754 Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coined the wordserendipity.

1813 Pride and Prejudice was first published in the United Kingdom.

1820 – Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen andMikhail Petrovich discovered the Antarctic continent approaching the Antarctic coast.

1827  French explorer Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville sailed theAstrolabe through French Pass and into Admiralty Bay in the Marlborough Sounds.

D'Urville sails through French Pass

1833 Charles George ‘Chinese’ Gordon, British soldier and administrator (d. 1885).

1841 Henry Morton Stanley, Welsh-born explorer and journalist, was born (d. 1904).

1855 The first locomotive ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the Panama Railway.

1857 William Seward Burroughs I, American inventor, was born (d. 1898).

1863 Ernst William Christmas, Australian painter, was born (d. 1918).

1864 Charles W. Nash, American automobile entrepreneur, co-founder Buick Company,  was born  (d. 1948).

1864 – Herbert Akroyd Stuart, English inventor of the hot bulb heavy oil engine, was born (d. 1927).

1871 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris ended in French defeat and an armistice.

1873 Colette, French writer, was born (d. 1954).

1878 Yale Daily News became the first daily college newspaper in the United States.

1887  Arthur Rubinstein, Polish pianist and conductor, was born (d. 1982).

1887  In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world’s largest snowflakes were reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.

1890 Robert Stroud,  American convict, the Birdman of Alcatraz, was born (d. 1963).

1896  Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent became the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined 1 shilling plus costs for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thus exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).

1901 Wellington blacksmith, William Hardham, won the Victoria Cross – the only New Zealander to do so in the South African War.

Hardham wins VC in South Africa

1902The Carnegie Institution was founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.

1909 United States troops left Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish-American War.

1912  Jackson Pollock, American painter, was born (d. 1956).

1915 An act of the U.S. Congress created the United States Coast Guard.

1916 Louis D. Brandeis became the first Jew appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

1917 Municipally owned streetcars began operating in the streets of San Francisco, California.

1918  Harry Corbett, English puppeteer (Sooty), was born (d. 1989).

1921 A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe to honor the unknown dead of World War I.

1922 Knickerbocker Storm, Washington D.C.’s biggest snowfall, causes the city’s greatest loss of life when the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater collapses.

1929 Acker Bilk, English jazz clarinetist, was born  (d. 2014).

1933 – The name Pakistan was coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence.1934 The first ski tow in the United States begins operation in Vermont.

1935 David Lodge, English author, was born.

1935 Iceland became the first Western country to legalise therapeutic abortion.

1936 Alan Alda, American actor, writer, and director, was born.

1938 The World Land Speed Record on a public road was broken by driver Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7 kilometres per hour (268.9 mph).

1943 Dick Taylor, English musician (The Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things), was born.

1944 Susan Howard, American actress, was born.

1955 Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, was born.

1958 – The Lego company patented their design of Lego bricks.

1964 A United States Air Force T-39 Sabreliner  training plane that strayed into East Germany  was shot down by Soviet fighters near Erfurt ; all 3 crew men were killed.

1965  The current design of the Flag of Canada was chosen by an act of Parliament.

1977 The first day of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977, which severely affected and crippled much of Upstate New York, but Buffalo, NY, Syracuse, NY, Watertown, NY, and surrounding areas were most affected, each area accumulating close to 10 feet of snow on this one day.

1980 USCGC Blackthorn (WLB-391) collided with the tanker Capricorn while leaving Tampa Florida and capsizes killing 23 Coast Guard crewmembers.

1980  – Nick Carter, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1981 Ronald Reagan lifted remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls in the United States helping to end the 1979 energy crisis and begin the 1980s oil glut.

1981 Elijah Wood, American actor, was born.

1982 US Army general James L. Dozier was rescued by Italian anti-terrorism forces from captivity by the Red Brigades.

1985 Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) records the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.

1986 Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart after lift-off killing all seven astronauts on board.

2002 TAME Flight 120, a Boeing 727-100 crashed in the Andes mountains in southern Colombia killing 92.

2006 – The roof of one of the buildings at the Katowice International Fair in Chorzów / Katowice, Poland, collapsed due to the weight of snow, killing 65 and injuring more than 170 others.

2010 – Five murderers of President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh: Lieutenant Colonel Syed Faruq Rahman, Lieutenant Colonel Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Major AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, Major Bazlul Huda and Lieutenant Colonel Mohiuddin Ahmed were hanged.

2011 – Hundreds of thousands of protesters thronged Egyptian streets in demonstrations  against the Mubarak regime, referred to as “Friday of Anger” .

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

January 27, 2017

Viridity – the quality or state of being green; greenness; verdancy; innocence;  freshness; liveliness.


Rural round-up

January 27, 2017

Trade is the life blood of the New Zealand sheep and beef sector:

While disappointed by the US decision to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the New Zealand sheep and beef sector remains strongly supportive of the Agreement and its aims, its representative organisations, the New Zealand Meat Industry Association (MIA) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) say.

Multilateral trade liberalisation creates a stable and level playing field on which to compete and it’s hugely important to the growth and future prosperity of the sheep and beef sector and New Zealand as a whole, the two organisations say.

“We estimated that a 12 nation TPP would have delivered around $72 million in tariff savings a year for the red meat sector alone – not to mention that volume growth in high-value markets that would flow from tariff reduction. The US withdrawing from the TPP is a real setback to our capitalising on these opportunities – and it’s a loss for consumers in the TPP nations,” MIA Chief Executive Tim Ritchie said. . . 

Three astronauts land in Manawatu – Mark Daniel,

Brian and Margaret Schnell bought their Bunnythorpe, Manawatu dairy farm in 1984, and were joined by their daughter Amy and husband Greg Gemmell, who became sharemilkers in 2003.

Fast forward to 2016, when they decided to replace a tired 24-aside herringbone set-up with three Lely Astronaut robots, meaning labour requirements dropped from 1.5 to 0.5 units, and a change from being milkers to supervisors.

The Schnell and Gemmell Partnership farms 240 Friesians, split 75:25 between spring and autumn calvers, now producing about 390kgMS/cow on an all grass system, and expected to rise to 450- 500kgMS/cow within three years. . . 

Champion schooled in some hard sheds – Sally Rae:

As a youngster growing up in Gisborne, champion woolhandler Joel Henare struggled with mainstream schooling.

He left school when he was about 11 and continued his studies through correspondence. 

Sometimes he accompanied his mother, who worked as a shedhand, and would “help out a bit and play around” in the woolsheds. . . 

Bee keepers say honey season ‘worst in 20 years’ :

Some frustrated beekeepers have now declared our dismal summer the worst in two decades for honey-making – but it’s still too early to say whether consumers will also feel a sting.
Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos said the consistent message from beekeepers across the country was this had been a particularly bad season for yields, as poor weather kept bees from collecting nectar.

“We’ve had unseasonable weather conditions, and less predictable and shorter flowering seasons, and that is absolutely affecting honey production this year.”

No Increase in Bid for Blue Sky Meats:

NZ Binxi has received a good volume of acceptances for its offer for Blue Sky Meats (BSM) to date but would need to see acceptances continuing to flow if the offer is to succeed. All acceptances must be received by BSM shareholders by 18 February 2017.

The directors of NZ Binxi consider the cash offer of $2.20 per BSM share correct and full value for the BSM company, as it is at the top end of the value scale and is supported by the Target Company Statement. We have fully considered all aspects of the business, the competitive environment, historical and current financial results, overseas market conditions and future capital required to operate the improved business performance. . . 

The public is finally coming round to GM crops – Tom Bawden:

The public has become much more welcoming towards genetically-modified crops in the past few years, preparing the ground for them to be introduced to the UK, a leading expert has predicted.

Professor Christine Raines is in charge of a major GM project that could herald the beginning of a new era in an area that detractors say has seen disappointing progress in the past three decades.

The project, which the government will decide whether to approve next March, would involve trialling a new type of GM wheat – the first time a crop has been engineered to produce a higher yield.


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