Word of the day

June 8, 2017

Psychrophobia – fear of cold, especially of cold water; an abnormal sensitivity to cold.


Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize lecture

June 8, 2017

Bob Dylan has delivered his Nobel Prize lecture :

When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.

If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly. Buddy died when I was about eighteen and he was twenty-two. From the moment I first heard him, I felt akin. I felt related, like he was an older brother. I even thought I resembled him. Buddy played the music that I loved – the music I grew up on: country western, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm and blues. Three separate strands of music that he intertwined and infused into one genre. One brand. And Buddy wrote songs – songs that had beautiful melodies and imaginative verses. And he sang great – sang in more than a few voices. He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be. I saw him only but once, and that was a few days before he was gone. I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed. . .

John Donne as well, the poet-priest who lived in the time of Shakespeare, wrote these words, “The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts. Not of two lovers, but two loves, the nests.” I don’t know what it means, either. But it sounds good. And you want your songs to sound good.

When Odysseus in The Odyssey visits the famed warrior Achilles in the underworld – Achilles, who traded a long life full of peace and contentment for a short one full of honor and glory – tells Odysseus it was all a mistake. “I just died, that’s all.” There was no honor. No immortality. And that if he could, he would choose to go back and be a lowly slave to a tenant farmer on Earth rather than be what he is – a king in the land of the dead – that whatever his struggles of life were, they were preferable to being here in this dead place.

That’s what songs are too. Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, “Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.”

I like that the meaning doesn’t have to matter.

Sometimes I don’t get the meaning of what I read or hear but I still like the way the words sound and the power they have to affect my feelings.

You can listen to Dylan delivering the lecture at the link above.


Thursday’s quiz

June 8, 2017

You’re welcome to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual chocolate cake.


Rural round-up

June 8, 2017

Te Mana lamb – Jo Elwin:

Standing high on a hill on Minaret Station was no place to be this cold, blustery snow-on-the-way day, but there I was, exhilarated and remarking at the pretty white faces of the lambs being shepherded around us. “They are very good looking sheep,” says Matt Wallis, one of four brothers who own the station, “but we are careful who we say that around.”

It was one of many quips from Matt and his brother Jonathan as they helicoptered me around their 50,000 acre property, which has no road access but enjoys 27km of Wanaka lakefront. Matt’s focus is the hospitality side of the business. . . 

New stock exclusion rules require greater flexibility – Feds – Nigel Malthus:

New rules excluding stock from waterways are coming, but they have to be sensible, practical and affordable, says Cathy Begley, leader of Federated Farmers’ water team.

Begley told attendees at the recent Feds South Island high country group conference that the proposals could affect the way they run their farms.

She says that since the Minister for the Environment, Dr Nick Smith, and the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, announced in February the goal of having 90% of rivers swimmable, her group has been making submissions on how farmers could be affected. . .

Rural sector achievements and value highlighted in honours list:

Federated Farmers congratulates all those who received awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this year and is delighted to see the rural sector and the people involved in it commended for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

“The number of Queen’s Birthday Honours which have an agricultural connection shows the significant contribution farmers and agribusiness continue to play in New Zealand.

“These awards recognise contributions in science and innovation, mental health, business and the environment indicating the diversity of effort in the rural community,” says Dr William Rolleston Federated Farmers ‘ National President. . . 

Rotorua woman excited and thankful for honour – Shauni James:

Rotorua’s Wendy McGowan is excited and thankful about being made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rural women.

Mrs McGowan has been a member of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) since 1975 and has held offices with the Kaharoa Branch, Provincial and Inter-Provincial Committees.

She said she felt excited about the honour and very thankful to the people who had nominated her. . .

Maori growing part of NZ ag – PM:

Prime Minister Bill English says in most regions Maori now have the potential to become the largest long-term investors.
People are starting to realise Maori are not fly-by-night investors, he says. They are in business – farms, commercial buildings, investments — for the long haul.

English said this at an event celebrating the award of the Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Maori sheep and beef farm, this year won by the Omapere Rangihamama Trust farm, near Kaikohe. . .

Rural fuel stop from a paddock – Christine McKay:

A partnership between Pongaroa and Allied Petroleum is a first for New Zealand, pumping profits back into the community.

On Monday the first sod was turned for the Pongaroa Fuel Stop, which will be a driver for community development, thanks to the unique relationship between the fuel company and the community.

“When we were approached about the fuel stop, our overwhelming view was yes,” Paul Peetoom, territory manager for the lower North Island for Allied Petroleum, said. . .

 


130 Muslim leaders refuse to perform prayer for London attackers

June 8, 2017

More than 130 Imans and religious leaders have refused to perform a funeral prayer for the London attackers:

Muslim Imams and religious leaders condemn the Manchester and London terror atrocities and urge fellow Imams to refuse to perform Islamic funeral prayers for the terrorists

“We, as Muslim Imams and religious leaders, condemn the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London in the strongest terms possible. Coming from a range of backgrounds, and from across the UK; feeling the pain the rest of the nation feels, we have come together to express our shock and utter disgust at these cold-blooded murders.

We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks have been committed in our country once more by murderers who seek to gain religious legitimacy for their actions. We seek to clarify that their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy.

Though at no time is it acceptable, that such ruthless violence was perpetrated during the season of Ramadan, in which Muslims worldwide focus on pious devotion, prayer, charity and the cultivation of good character, demonstrates how utterly misguided and distant the terrorists are from our faith and the contempt which they hold for its values.

Alongside our friends and neighbours, we mourn this attack on our home, society and people, and feel pain for the suffering of the victims and their families. We pray to God that the perpetrators be judged in accordance with the gravity of their crimes in the hereafter. Their acts and wilful dismissal of our religious principles alienates them from any association with our community for whom the inviolability of every human life is the founding principle (Q.5:32).

Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege. This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.

These vile murderers seek to divide our society and instil fear; we will ensure they fail. We implore everyone to unite: we are one community. In the face of such dastardly cowardice, unlike the terrorists, we must uphold love and compassion.

Such criminals defile the name of our religion and of our Prophet, who was sent to be a mercy to all creation.

We commend our police and emergency services – with whom we stand shoulder to shoulder – for their rapid response, arriving at the scenes while risking their own lives to protect the victims and public. Their response exemplifies the courage, humanity and honour we must exhibit in such difficult times.

We pray for peace and unity, and for all the victims of terror both at home and across the globe, who are targeted, irrespective of their faith.”

This is a an unprescedented, and welcome, move.

I don’t pretend to know, or understand, much about Islam.

But terrorist attacks and the people who perpetrate them in the name of the faith are as abhorrent to the few Muslims I know as they are to people of other faiths and no faith at all.


Quote of the day

June 8, 2017

No stream rises higher than its source. What ever man might build could never express or reflect more than he was. He could record neither more nor less than he had learned of life when the buildings were built. – Frank Lloyd Wright who was born on this day in 1867.


June 8 in history

June 8, 2017

68  The Roman Senate accepted emperor Galba.

793 Vikings raided the abbey at Lindisfarne in Northumbria, commonly accepted as the beginning of the Scandinavian invasion of England.

1191 Richard I arrived in Acre thus beginning his crusade.

1405  Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk, were executed in York on Henry IV’s orders.

1671 Tomaso Albinoni, Italian composer, was born (d. 1751).

1690  Siddi general Yadi Sakat, razed the Mazagon Fort in Mumbai.

1776  American Revolutionary War: Battle of Trois-Rivières – American  attackers were driven back at Trois-Rivières, Quebec.

1783 Laki, in Iceland, began an eight-month eruption which killed over 9,000 people and started a seven-year famine.

1789  James Madison introduced 12 proposed amendments to the United States Constitution in the United States House of Representatives, 10 of which were ratified by the state legislatures and become the Bill of Rights.

1810 Robert Schumann, German composer, was born (d. 1856).

1856 The community of Pitcairn Islands and descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty consisting of 194 people arrived on the Morayshire atNorfolk Island commencing the Third Settlement of the Island.

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Cross Keys – Confederate forces under General Stonewall Jackson saved the Army of Northern Virginia from a Union assault on the James Peninsula led by General George B. McClellan.

1867  Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, was born (d. 1959).

1887  Herman Hollerith received a patent for his punched card calculator.

1906  Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, authorising the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.

1912  Carl Laemmle incorporated  Universal Pictures.

1916 Francis Crick, English molecular biologist; Nobel laureate, was born (d. 2004).

1928 Second Northern Expedition: The National Revolutionary Army captured Peking, (Beijing).

1933 Joan Rivers, American comedian and author, was born.

1934 Millicent Martin, English singer and actress, was born.

1940 Nancy Sinatra, American singer, was born.

1941 World War II: Allies invaded  Syria and Lebanon.

1942 Chuck Negron, American singer (Three Dog Night), was born.

1942  World War II: Japanese imperial submarines I-21 and I-24 shelled the Australian cities of Sydney and Newcastle.

1948 Milton Berle hosted the debut of Texaco Star Theater.

1949 Celebrities Helen Keller, Dorothy Parker, Danny Kaye, Fredric March,John Garfield, Paul Muni and Edward G. Robinson were named in an FBI report as Communist Party members.

1950 Sir Thomas Blamey became the only Australian-born Field Marshal in Australian history.

1953   A tornado hit Flint, Michigan, and killed 115.

1953  The United States Supreme Court ruled that Washington, D..C. restaurants could not refuse to serve black patrons.

1959  The USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempted the delivery of mail via Missile Mail.

1962 Nick Rhodes, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1966 One of the XB-70 Valkyrie prototypes was destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and United States Air Force test pilot Carl Cross were  killed.

1966  Topeka, Kansas was devastated by a tornado that registers as an “F5″ on the Fujita Scale: the first to exceed US$100 million in damages. Sixteen people were killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.

1967  Six-Day War: The USS Liberty incident occurred , killing 34 and wounding 171.

1968  James Earl Ray was arrested for the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1968 – The body of assassinated U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1974  An F4 tornado struck  Emporia, Kansas,  killing six.

1979 Adine Wilson, New Zealand netball player, was born.

1982 Falklands War: Up to 50 British servicemen were killed in an Argentine air attack on two supply ships – RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram.

1984 Homosexuality was declared legal in New South Wales.

1984 An F5 tornado struck  Barneveld, Wisconsin, killing 9 and injuring 200; 90% of the homes, seventeen out of the eighteen businesses, and the three churches are destroyed.

1986  Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, was elected president of Austria.

1987  The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act was passed into law, establishing this country as a nuclear and biological weapon-free zone.

New Zealand becomes nuclear free

1992 The first World Ocean Day was celebrated.

1995 Downed U.S. Air Force pilot Captain Scott O’Grady was rescued by U.S. Marines in Bosnia.

1995  The first release of the PHP programming language was released byRasmus Lerdorf.

2001  Mamoru Takuma stabbed 8 elementary school pupils to death during the Osaka school massacre.

2007 Newcastle, New South Wales, was hit by the State’s worst storms and flooding in 30 years resulting in the death of nine people and the grounding of trade ship, the MV Pasha Bulker.

2008 The Akihabara massacre: Tomohiro Katō drove a two-ton truck into a crowded pedestrianised area before leaving the truck and attacking people with a knife, killing seven and injuring ten.

2009 – Two American journalists wre found guilty of illegally entering North Korea and sentenced to 12 years of penal labour.

2013 – The Wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill took place in Stockholm, Sweden.

2014 – At least 28 people were killed in an attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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