Word of the day

February 16, 2017

Effutiation – spoken or written words that have no meaning or make no sense; twaddle; humbug.


Thursday’s quiz

February 16, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual bunch of garden flowers.


Rural round-up

February 16, 2017

Farming leader warns of Post Factual Science:

Our free trade prospects have been a victim of Brexit and the US Presidential election. New Zealand must be careful not to be caught in the crossfire of any ensuing trade war, Dr William Rolleston says.

Rolleston, the President of Federated Farmers, told its National Council in Wellington today that there were opportunities in disruption but our officials would need to play their cards with skill and tact.

“If there is any area of government which needs investment priority right now, it is our trade division,” he said. . . 

Special stock auction raises hope for young cerebral palsy sufferer – Dave Gooselink:

Stock prices were higher than normal today at a special sheep and cattle sale near Oamaru, bringing a big smile to the face of a four-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy.

Charlee McLachlan is used to being around farm animals but the special stock sale raised money to help her undergo lifechanging surgery in the United States, which will go some way towards alleviating her cerebral palsy.

“They go into her spine, they take a bit of her vertebrae out to pull out the spinal cord, and then put electrodes on her legs,” her mother, Anna McLachlan, told Newshub. . . 

The search for new agri-food markets – Keith Woodford:

The proposed 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is now well and truly dead.  The question is where do we go from here?

We are hearing talk from various sources about possibilities for a ‘TPP minus Mr Trump’s USA’. But that too is highly unlikely to happen. Getting Japan, in particular, to agree to something without the USA being involved is wishful thinking. And simply waiting for another four years and hoping the USA might came back into negotiations is also likely to prove wishful.  Both major American political parties know that supporting a new version of the TPP is a sure way to lose the next presidential election in 2020. . . 

Lamb price higher than expected – Sally Rae:

The 2016-17 season average lamb price is shaping up to be a bit over $5 per kg, economists predict.

While that was not quite as low as previously thought, it was still below its five-year average, BNZ’s latest Rural Wrap said.

Lamb prices have lifted some 15% in the UK over the past six months but the plunge in the British pound following the Brexit vote had “offset all of that and then some”, creating very challenging conditions for New Zealand exporters.

Chinese demand indicators have been positive and fewer New Zealand and Australian lambs had added some support to prices.

BNZ economist Doug Steel said the bank’s best guess was that this season’s lamb numbers were similar to, although probably marginally lower than initial industry estimates, perhaps about 23.5million. . . 

Sharemilking payment model has merit but awaiting review says Federated Farmers:

Federated Farmers has been concerned for some time at the reduction in herd owning sharemilking opportunities and possible impact on the industry’s future sustainability.
We encourage and support the development of new business concepts that will potentially make sharemilking more attractive and resilient as an industry.
The development of the variable rate payment option for herd owning sharemilkers has some merit, with Federated Farmers party to discussions relating to this option over the past year. . . 

This all-natural native corn is bejeweled with brilliantly colored kernels – Lacy Cooke:

Oklahoma farmer Carl Barnes decided to reconnect with his Native American heritage, so he began a hunt for old, native varieties of corn. He uncovered a brilliant strain of corn now called Glass Gem Cornthat looks almost too good to eat. These all-natural corn ears are riots of color, and are also a testament to the beauty we stand to lose as biodiversity vanishes.

Through his quest to reconnect to his roots, Barnes isolated several traditional strains of seeds that fell to the wayside when his ancestors traveled to what’s now Oklahoma in the 1800s. Through years of selective growing, Barnes grew corn that looks bejeweled, creating a colorful celebration of native heirloom varieties of corn. . . 

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Quote of the day

February 16, 2017

In so much of politics you’re not allowed to disagree with what’s been agreed. –  Iain Banks who celebrates his 63rd birthday today.


February 16 in history

February 16, 2017

1032 Emperor Yingzong, of China, was born  (d. 1067).

1646  Battle of Great Torrington, Devon – the last major battle of the firstEnglish Civil War.

1770 Captain James Cook sighted what he called Banks Island but later discovered was a peninsula.

James Cook sights Banks 'Island'

1804  First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur led a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia (1799).

1838 Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus.

1852 Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

1859 The French Government passed a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.

1899 President Félix Faure of France died in office.

1899 – Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland‘s first football club was founded.

1918 The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopted the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state.

1923 – Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of PharohTutankhamun.

1926 Margot Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish holocaust victim, was born (d. 1945).

1931 – Otis Blackwell, American singer-songwriter and pianist, was born (d. 2002).

1934 – Austrian Civil War ended with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund.

1934 – Commission of Government was sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.

1935 – Sonny Bono, American actor, singer, and politician, was born (d. 1998).

1936 – Elections brought the Popular Front to power in Spain.

1937 – Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon.

1940 Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark was boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners were freed.

1941  – Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader, was born (d. 2011).

1946 – Ian Lavender, English actor, was born.

1947 – Canadians were granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King became the first Canadian citizen.

1954 – Iain Banks, Scottish author, was born.

1956 Vincent Ward, New Zealand director and screenwriter, was born.

1957 The “Toddlers’ Truce“, a controversial television close down between 6.00pm and 7.00pm was abolished in the United Kingdom.

1959 John McEnroe, American tennis player, was born.

1959 Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.

1960 Pete Willis, English guitarist (Def Leppard), was born.

1961 Andy Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran, The Power Station), was born.

1961 – Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) was launched.

1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service.

1973  Cathy Freeman, Australian athlete, was born.

1978 – The first computer bulletin board system was created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).

1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claimed the lives of 75 people.

1985 – The founding of Hezbollah.

1986 – The Soviet liner Mikhail Lermontov ran aground in the Marlborough Sounds.

Sinking of the <em>Mikhail Lermontov</em>

1987 – The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed “Ivan the Terrible” in Treblinka extermination camp, started in Jerusalem.

1991 – Nicaraguan Contras leader Enrique Bermúdez was assassinated in Managua.

1999 – Across Europe Kurdish rebels took over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Öcalan.

2005 – The Kyoto Protocol came into force, following its ratification by Russia.

2005 – The National Hockey League cancelled the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs, becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so over a labour dispute.

2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the United States Army.

2013 – A bomb blast at a market in Hazara Town in Quetta, Pakistan, killed more than 80 people and injures 190 others.

2015 – A CSX train crashed in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, resulting in large fires.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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