Word of the day

April 20, 2017

Wytai – a feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque—from zoos and milk-drinking to organ transplants, life insurance, and fiction—part of the faint background noise of absurdity that reverberates from the moment our ancestors first crawled out of the slime but could not for the life of them remember what they got up to do.

From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

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Rural round-up

April 20, 2017

Good PR is a self-help exercise – Neal Wallace:

A united agricultural sector needs to promote itself by telling positive farming stories, public relations expert Deborah Pead says.

Industries such as dairy were constantly under scrutiny and having to defend themselves when the correct strategy was to get in first and tell the public what they were doing to address those concerns.

“It is hard to argue when you see a river dried up and farmers are flat-out irrigating but what is the solution? What are farmers doing about it?” . . 

High country community divided by fence plan – Conan Young:

Green groups are outraged at a plan to spend ratepayer money on a fence that would allow iconic high country land to be more intensively farmed.

The 6km fence is proposed for Flock Hill Station, which is leased by a US-based company and contains scenery made famous in 2005’s The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Until now, Coast Range Investments has only been allowed to graze it in a low-level way, so as to have a minimal impact on the landscape and its environment. . . 

Water Fools? – Greening of Mackenzie – Kate Gudsell:

It’s the closest thing New Zealand has to a desert. The Mackenzie Basin landscape is not replicated anywhere else in the country, let alone the world, and it is being changed irreversibly.  

Not just the land is being changed, the once-pristine lakes are showing signs of strain too.  

The area has been at the centre of a 10-year court battle after farmers and landowners opposed tougher development rules proposed by the Mackenzie District Council.  . . 

Stable milk price crucial for strong farming season – Sally Rae:

Rabobank is picking a farm- gate milk price around $6.25 for the 2017-18 season, as it says a figure in that area would finally allow dairy farmers to ”emerge from the woods”.

Global dairy prices were now better balanced than at the start of this season.

This was likely to flow through and create largely stable commodity pricing in the new season, a bank report said.

However, despite the improved market balance, the possibility of further lifts to the current season milk price was limited, report author and Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins said.

The price rally experienced since the second half of 2016 had ”some of the gloss” removed, with stronger-than-anticipated New Zealand production impacting on prices.

Job Seekers drawn to plant – Sally Rae:

Hordes of job seekers from Nelson to Dunedin – including a group of Cadbury employees – converged on Fonterra’s Clandeboye site for a recent recruitment day.

A $240 million mozzarella plant development at the South Canterbury site is under way, creating full-time employment for a further 100 people.

There was a “fantastic” response to the recent recruitment day, with between about 1500 and 2000 people attending. That led to about 700-odd applications for the roles, operations manager Steve McKnight said.

The mozzarella plant, the third at Clandeboye, was the single largest food service investment in the history of New Zealand’s dairy industry. . . 

Cervena seeks its place in the sun – Annette Scott:

Marketing Cervena venison as a lighter summer eating option in Germany will be a challenge but it’s a move Deer Industry New Zealand has confidence in, venison marketing manager Marianne Wilson says.

Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) had begun marketing Cervena in Germany during the northern hemisphere summer as part of a market development trial. While relatively small the trial was symbolically important, Wilson said.

Traditionally the deer industry had been heavily reliant on sales of venison to the German game trade which was highly seasonal, with demand and prices peaking in the northern autumn and winter. . . 

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

 


Thursday’s quiz

April 20, 2017

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win an electronic batch of Anzac biscuits.


Schools can’t teach everything

April 20, 2017

Outgoing Education Minister Hekia Parata is right – schools can’t teach everything:

Outgoing Education Minister Hekia Parata says a push for schools to cover all civic and social responsibilities needs to be resisted – saying families and society must step up.

Parata highlighted the issue during an exit interview with the Herald before she steps down from the role on May 1, with Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye expected to take over.

“We should demand a lot from our education system because we have a quality one. But we shouldn’t demand everything,” Parata said.

“Financial literacy, sex education, bullying – any number of issues – whenever they emerge in the public domain the first response is, ‘This should be taught by schools’. I think there needs to be a much fairer shared responsibility here between parents, family, whanau.

“Schools are there to deliver an education. They are not there to take over all the roles and responsibilities of families or society. The more there is balance in those expectations the more the schools can have the space to be the best that it can be.” . . 

A lot of what is called educational failure is parental and societal failure.

Teachers can’t be held responsible for children who don’t have the foundation skills for learning when they start school.

Children who don’t have the language and behaviour skills and other basic requirements for learning by age five are at a significant disadvantage which the best of teachers will struggle to overcome.

Giving children the love, attention and helping them master the skills they need before they start school is the responsibility of parents.

Not all parents have the ability and/or will to nurture their children, to teach them all they need to ensure they’re school-ready, and to support and supplement their education once they’re at school.

That is a failure of both parenting and society, not schools.


Quote of the day

April 20, 2017

I don’t know how you can understand other people or yourself if you haven’t read a lot of books. I just don’t think you’re equipped to deal with the demands and decisions of life, particularly in your dealings with other people. Sebastian Faulks who celebrates his 64th birthday today.


April 20 in history

April 20, 2017

1303 The University of Rome La Sapienza was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

1453 The last naval battle in Byzantine history when three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fought their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.

1494 Johannes Agricola, German Protestant reformer was born (d. 1566) .

1534  Jacques Cartier began the voyage during which he discovered Canada and Labrador.

1535 The Sun Dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting “Vädersolstavlan

1653  Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament.

1657 Admiral Robert Blake destroyed a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

1657  Freedom of religion was granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1689 The former King James II of England,  then deposed, lay siege to Derry.

1775 American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston began.

1792 France declared war on Austria, beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

1809 Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 The Governor of Caracas declared independence from Spain.

1828 René Caillié became the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.

1861 American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

1862 Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard completed the first pasteurisation tests.

1871 The Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law.

1884 Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum Genus.

1889 Adolf Hitler, German Nazi dictator, was born  (d. 1945) .

1893 Joan Miró, Spanish painter, was born  (d. 1983).

1902 Pierre and Marie Curie refined radium chloride.

1914 Forty-five men, women, and children died in the Ludlow Massacreduring a Colorado coal-miner’s strike.

1918 Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

1926 Western Electric and Warner Bros. announced Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

1939  Billie Holiday recorded the first Civil Rights song “Strange Fruit“.

1939 – Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norwegian physician and politician, 22nd Prime Minister of Norway, was born.

1941  Ryan O’Neal, American actor, was born.

1945  World War II: US troops captured Leipzig, Germany.

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler made his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.

1945 – Thein Sein, Burmese general and politician, 8th President of Burma, was born.

1948 – Hugh Roberts, English historian and curator, was born.

1948 Craig Frost, American musician (Grand Funk & Bob Seger), was born.

1949 – Massimo D’Alema, Italian journalist and politician, 76th Prime Minister of Italy, was born.

1949  Jessica Lange, American actress, was born.

1953 Sebastian Faulks, British novelist, was born.

1958  The first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern Hemisphere opened in Hamilton.

Mormon temple opens in Hamilton

1961 Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.

1964  BBC Two launched with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.

1968  Enoch Powell made his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.

1972 Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.

1978  Korean Air Flight 902 was shot down by Soviets.

1980 Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists were arrested.

1981 – Alison Roe won the Boston Marathon.
Allison Roe wins Boston marathon
1985 ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.

1986 Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

1986 Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director, was born.

1986 Professional basketball player Michael Jordan set a record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.

1998 German terrorist group Red Army Faction announced their dissolution after 28 years.

1999 Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

2007 Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricaded himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008 Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

2010 – Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion killed 11 and causes rig to sink, initiating a massive oil discharge in the Gulf of Mexico.

2012 – One hundred twenty-seven people were killed when a plane crashed in a residential area near the Benazir Bhutto International Airportnear Islamabad, Pakistan.

2013 – Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’s – last reactor was shut down at midnight.

2013 – A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan County, Ya’an, in China’s Sichuan province, killing more than 150 people and injuring thousands.

2015 – 10 people were killed in a bomb attack on a convoy carrying food supplies to a United Nations compound in Garowe in the Somali region of Puntland.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


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