Word of the day

July 31, 2017

Bezel – the rim which encompasses and fastens a jewel, watch crystal, lens or other object; rim that holds a transparent covering (as on a watch, clock, or headlight) or that is rotatable and has special markings (as on a watch);  a band of metal containing a groove and a flange (i.e. projecting lip) holding a watch crystal or gemstone in its setting; the oblique side or face of a cut gem, specifically the upper faceted portion of a brilliant projecting from the setting; the diagonal face at the end of the blade of a chisel, or the like, leading to the edge.


Water woes

July 31, 2017

After last week’s floods a local wit quipped, ah well, we must be a day nearer the next drought.

It’s difficult to remember parched paddocks when yours are sodden, or worse as they are for some, still flooded.

But while we live in a pluvial country the pluviality doesn’t always come at the right time and the right places.

Sooner or later, drought will be causing water woes for farmers again in those places which don’t have the insurance of irrigation.

In other parts of the world, the problem isn’t just the lack or rain, it’s lack of infrastructure and I can’t avoid the temptation to ask: if it was men’s job to get the water would wells, pumps and pipes be a bigger priority?


Rural round-up

July 31, 2017

MPI urges vigilance – Annette Scott:

While he may be the first in New Zealand to have the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis detected on his farm, South Canterbury dairy farmer Aad van Leeuwen is confident he won’t be the last.

The Ministry for Primary Industries notified the detection of Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) disease on a South Canterbury dairy farm on July 25, but the identity of the property wasn’t revealed until four days later, on Friday, prompting speculation to run rife meantime.

Devastated that the disease – listed as an unwanted organism under NZ’s Biosecurity Act 1993 – had hit his dairy operation, van Leeuwen said he was co-operating 100% with MPI. . .

Japan frozen beef tariffs expected – Alan Williams:

New Zealand beef exporters are facing 50% tariffs on frozen exports to Japan over the next eight months.

Suppliers in this country have been caught in the reaction to big shipments from Australia, and especially the United States this year, so that total volumes have reached a trigger point at which the Japanese government has decided it needs to protect domestic farmers. . .

Give up farming generate power – Neil Malthus:

Farmers installing solar power can now get a better return from it than from farming itself, a solar power installer claims.

Electrical contractor Andrew Wells, of ABW Electric, Christchurch, recently set up Sunergy Solar to market solar photovoltaic systems. His company specialises in farm installations, marketed at farming field days and A&P shows; it also does residential systems.

Wells sees huge potential for solar power on farms: electricity charges for a dairy shed average $5000 – $6000 a month and solar panels now cost only about 8% of what they did 10 years ago. . . 

More wool needed for a brighter future – WNZ – Pam Tipa:

Greater sales volume is critical for Wools of NZ, says chair Mark Shadbolt.
The trademarked scouring process Glacier XT will be a more volume-focused business, he says.

“That will create lot more demand. It is creating a wool that is a lot whiter and brighter and is the sort innovation and technology we need to invest in to add value to the wool.

“We have had a lot of interest in the market for it because the brightness is the key aspect that the industry hadn’t been able to acquire until this technology became available.” . .

Southland a winner – Sonita Chandar:

Southlander Katrina Thomas knew “absolutely nothing about cows” when she and husband James Dixon converted to dairy farming.

But she turned that lack of knowledge around by joining the Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) and volunteering her time to the community.

It is this generosity that saw her win the 2017 Dairy Women’s Network Dairy Community Leadership award. . .

NZ’s prosperity still tethered to farm gate – Liam Dann:

There’s nothing like a biosecurity scare to remind us that New Zealand’s economic prosperity is still – for better or for worse – tethered to the farm gate.

The instant that news of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak in South Canterbury hit the headlines last Tuesday the dollar plunged.

Luckily it only dropped 20 basis points (0.2 per cent) before it became apparent that this was a more benign disease than foot and mouth.

But it was enough to put a deep V shape in the daily dollar chart and illustrate how quickly a more serious outbreak could take this country to the brink of recession. . .

Fonterra Australia increase farmgate milk price for the 2017/18 season:

Fonterra Australia has today advised its farmers of an increase of 20 cents per kilogram of milk solids (kgMS) to its farmgate milk price for the 2017/18 season, bringing its average farmgate milk price to $5.50kgMS. The increase will apply from 1 July 2017 and will be paid on 15 August 2017.

Fonterra’s additional payment of 40 cents/kgMS is payable on top of the revised farmgate milk price, and brings the total average cash paid to $5.90kgMS.

Fonterra Australia Managing Director René Dedoncker said that improved market conditions and the strength ohf the Australian business supported this step up. . . .


Once were friends

July 31, 2017

This could be from one of  Labour”s foes:

The people in charge of Labour have guided the party through a period of strategic ineptitude, policy torpor, financial ruin and organisational decay. They are just not very good at politics.

Until the party reckons with this, root and branch, their only other idea — changing leaders periodically in the hope that doing so will transform the party’s fortunes — is merely window dressing to distract from the shambles within.

Bur Phil Quin and Labour once were friends.

He like several other commentators are already calling the election for National.

But while it certainly looks like Labour is losing it doesn’t mean that National will win:

The latest poll results show voters recognise National offers a strong stable government, in contrast to the opposition, Prime Minister Bill English says.

But Mr English said party needed to lift its support further to ensure its re-election. . . 

. . . Labour’s poor poll showing would not ensure National’s re-election. “Despite Labour doing worse, the Greens are doing a bit better, and they could have a majority with New Zealand First so our view is that our support, while it’s good, isn’t enough.’

One of the determinants of who leads the next government will be what happens to the wasted votes.

If for example National got a similar level of support as it did in this poll and TOP got around 4.5%, the reallocation of those and other votes for parties that didn’t make the 5% might just be enough.

But National can’t rely on that outcome, it must earn the right to lead the government and in doing so get the votes to enable it to do so.

That won’t be easy because after nearly nine years in government it too has people who once were friends but for a variety of reasons are no longer.


Could there be a Labour overhang?

July 31, 2017

In MMP it’s almost always the party vote that counts.

The exception is with electorates like Epsom or Ohariu where minor party leaders win the seat and get their parties into parliament without getting at least 5% of the party vote.

Even though we’ve had MMP for more than 20 years some people still don’t understand the importance of the party vote.

And some people who do understand the system split their vote, giving their electorate vote to the person in spite, rather than because, of their party.

If a party gets more electorate seats than it’s party vote entitles it to we  end up with more than 120 MPs which is called an overhang.

Labour has slumped to its lowest level in more than  20 years in the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll.

It’s fallen three points to 24 per cent this poll. That’s one per cent lower than the 25 per cent recorded at the last election. The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll began in 1995.

It’s important not to read too much into a single poll but this one does confirm a downward trend for Labour.

When a party loses support electorate MPs are vulnerable too, especially those in marginal seats.

But voters sometimes stay loyal to individual electorate MPs even though they no longer support their party.

If Labour’s party vote continues to fall not only would it get no list MPs, which would end its leader, Andrew Little’s parliamentary career, it could end up with more electorate MPs than its party vote entitles it to.

Ironically, that wouldn’t be good for National because parliament would end up with an overhang and therefore a government would need more than 61 votes to get a majority.

Another way we might end up with an overhang would be if Labour bleeds enough electorate votes to allow more Maori Party MPs into parliament through winning more seats than their party vote would entitle them to.

That might or might not help National. The Maori Party has been part of National-led governments since 2008. It has given the government confidence and supply but it’s voted against National more often than for it so while National has been able to govern it hasn’t always been able to pass legislation.

National support stayed steady on 47% in this poll.

To my surprise and despair, the Green Party gained 4% support which is being attributed to Meteria Turei’s confession of fraud and possibly the mad policy that would increase benefit dependency.

However, this is only one poll and that level of increase is against the trend.


Quote of the day

July 31, 2017

 The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who ‘disappeared’. That’s what the candle is for. –   Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International, who was born on this day in 1921.


July 31 in history

July 31, 2017

30 BC  Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieved a minor victory over Octavian’s forces, but most of his army subsequently deserted, leading to his suicide.

781 The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji.

904 Thessalonica fell to the Arabs, who destroyed the city.

1009  Pope Sergius IV became the 142nd pope, succeeding Pope John XVIII.

1200 Attempted usurpation of John Komnenos the Fat.

1423  Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Cravant – the French army was defeated at Cravant.

1451  Jacques Cœur was arrested by order of Charles VII of France.

1492 Jews were expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree took effect.

1498 On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

1658 Aurangzeb was proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.

1667   Treaty of Breda ended the second Anglo-Dutch War.

1703  Daniel Defoe was placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but was pelted with flowers.

1741  Charles Albert of Bavaria invaded Upper Austria and Bohemia.

1777 Pedro Ignacio de Castro Barros, Argentine statesman and priest, was born (d. 1849).

1777 The U.S. Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette “be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.”

1790  First U.S. patent was issued to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

1800 Friedrich Wöhler, German chemist and founder of organic chemistry, was born (d. 1882).

1803 John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer, was born (d. 1889).

1843 – The foundation stone was laid for New Zealand’s first purpose-built theatre, the  Royal Victoria Theatre on Manners St, Wellington.

Foundation stone laid for New Zealand's first purpose-built theatre

1856  Christchurch, New Zealand, was chartered as a city.

1860 Mary Vaux Walcott, American artist and naturalist, was born (d. 1940).

1865 The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opened atGrandchester, Australia.

1895  The Basque Nationalist Party (Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco) was founded by Basque nationalist leader Sabino Arana.

1909  Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Austrian writer and polyglot, was born (d. 1999).

1912  Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2006).

1913 The Balkan States signed an armistice at Bucharest.

1919 German national assembly adopted the Weimar constitution.

1921 Peter Benenson, British founder of Amnesty International, was born (d. 2005).

1930  The radio mystery programme The Shadow  aired for the first time.

1932  The NSDAP won more than 38% of the vote in German elections.

1936  The International Olympic Committee announced that the 1940 Summer Olympics would be held in Tokyo. However, the games were given back to the IOC after the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, and are eventually cancelled altogether because of World War II.

1938 – Bulgaria signed a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanti (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia).

1938 Archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis.

1940 A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collided with a multi-car freight train heading in the opposite direction, killing 43 people.

1941  Holocaust: under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, ordered SS General Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”

1943 Lobo, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1944  Geraldine Chaplin, American actress, was born.

1944 – Jonathan Dimbleby, British journalist and television presenter.

1945  Pierre Laval, the fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrendered to Allied soldiers in Austria.

1945  John K. Giles attempted to escape from Alcatraz prison.

1948  New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) was dedicated.

1951  Japan Airlines was established.

1954 First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.

1959  The Basque separatist organisation ETA was founded.

1964 Jim Corr, Irish singer and musician (The Corrs), was born.

1964  Ranger 7 sent back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.

1970 Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

1972 – Operation Motorman: British troops moved into the no-go areas of Belfast and Derry. End of Free Derry.

1972 – Three car bombs detonated in Claudy, Northern Ireland, killing nine.

1973 A Delta Air Lines jetliner crashed while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89.

1976 John Walker won gold in the 1500 metres at the Montreal Olympics.

John Walker wins gold in Montreal

1976 NASA released the  Face on Mars photo.

1978 Will Champion, English musician (Coldplay), was born.

1980 Mils Muliaina, New Zealand rugby union player, was born.

1980 Mikko Hirvonen, Finnish rally driver, was born.

1981 – General Omar Torrijos of Panama died in a plane crash.

1981 A total solar eclipse occured.

1987  A rare, class F4 tornado ripped through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.

1988  32 people died and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapsed in Butterworth, Malaysia.

1991  The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacked Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.

1992  A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashed into a mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.

1999  Lunar Prospector – NASA intentionally crashed the spacecraft into the Moon, ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon’s surface.

2002  Hebrew University of Jerusalem was attacked when a bomb exploded in a cafeteria, killing 9.

2006  Fidel Castro handed over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro.

2007 Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever, ended.

2012 – Michael Phelps broke the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for the greatest number of medals won at the Olympics.

2014 – Gas explosions in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung killed at least 20 people and injured more than 270.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

July 30, 2017

Phosphene –  a ring or spot of light produced by pressure on the eyeball or direct stimulation of the visual system other than by light; a sensation of light caused by excitation of the retina by mechanical or electrical means rather than by light; an impression of light that occurs without light entering the eye.


National Party list released

July 30, 2017

The National Party has released its 2017 party list:

National’s 2017 Party List is a strong mix of experienced talent and fresh faces, Party President Peter Goodfellow says.

“National is incredibly lucky to have so many capable people we can draw on, from our Leader and Prime Minister Bill English right through to our newest candidates.

“Putting together a list is never easy, but this strikes the right balance between recognising experience, diversity, and pursuing ongoing renewal.”

The current Cabinet and Speaker David Carter make up spots one through 21, with existing MPs and new candidates following that. If National matched its result from 2014, 13 new MPs would enter Parliament alongside 47 returning MPs.

“Rejuvenation is important for any political party, and National is going into this election with some fantastic new candidates. We are also farewelling some very dedicated MPs who have served their constituents, our party and the country with distinction,” Mr Goodfellow says.

“This is National’s most diverse list ever. We’re incredibly proud to represent New Zealanders from all walks of life, with a range of ethnicities and backgrounds. We’ve got businesspeople, teachers, farmers, community advocates, scientists, and a pilot – just to name a few.

“National is working hard to build a strong economy so we can afford to invest in the things that matter to New Zealanders, like training more teachers, investing in health services, building more schools and roads, and boosting family incomes.

“Every MMP election is very close. All of our candidates will be campaigning hard to ensure National gets a strong Party Vote result so we can keep delivering for New Zealanders.

“The only way to secure another strong, National-led Government and avoid a chaotic Labour/Greens/New Zealand First coalition is by Party Voting National, and that’s what all of our candidates and volunteers will be focused on over the next eight weeks.”

National’s 2017 List:

1 Bill English List

2 Paula Bennett Upper Harbour

3 David Carter List

4  Steven Joyce List

5 Gerry Brownlee Ilam

6 Simon Bridges Tauranga

7 Amy Adams Selwyn

8 Jonathan Coleman Northcote

9 Chris Finlayson Rongotai

10 Michael Woodhouse Dunedin North

11 Anne Tolley East Coast

12 Nathan Guy Otaki

13 Nikki Kaye Auckland Central

14 Todd McClay Rotorua

15 Nick Smith Nelson

16 Judith Collins Papakura

17 Maggie Barry North Shore

18 Paul Goldsmith Epsom

19 Louise Upston Taupo

20 Alfred Ngaro Te Atatu

21 Mark Mitchell Rodney

22 Nicky Wagner Christchurch Central

23 Jacqui Dean Waitaki

24 David Bennett Hamilton East

25 Tim Macindoe Hamilton West

26 Scott Simpson Coromandel

27 Jami-Lee Ross Botany

28 Barbara Kuriger Taranaki-King Country

29 Matt Doocey Waimakariri

30 Brett Hudson Ohariu

31 Melissa Lee Mt Albert

32 Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi Manukau East

33 Jian Yang List

34 Parmjeet Parmar Mt Roskill

35 Jonathan Young New Plymouth

36 Joanne Hayes Christchurch East

37 Ian McKelvie Rangitikei

38 Simon O’Connor Tamaki

39 Andrew Bayly Hunua

40 Chris Bishop Hutt South

41 Sarah Dowie Invercargill

42 Nuk  Korako Port Hills

43 Todd Muller Bay of Plenty

44 Maureen Pugh West Coast Tasman

45 Shane Reti Whangarei

46 Alastair Scott Wairarapa

47 Stuart Smith Kaikoura

48 Nicola Willis Wellington Central

49 Agnes Loheni Mangere

50 Paulo Garcia New Lynn

51 Matt King Northland

52 David Hiatt Wigram

53 Matthew Gregory Dunedin South

54 Adrienne Pierce Palmerston North

55 David Elliott Napier

56 Katrina Bungard Manurewa

57 Bala Beeram Kelston

58 Carolyn O’Fallon Rimutaka

59 Euon Murrell Mana

60 Simeon Brown Pakuranga

61 Andrew Falloon Rangitata

62 Harete Hipango Whanganui

63 Denise Lee Maungakiekie

64 Chris Penk Helensville

65 Erica Stanford East Coast Bays

66 Tim Van de Molen Waikato

67 Lawrence Yule Tukituki

68 TO BE CONFIRMED Clutha-Southland

69 Sarah Jo Barley List

70 Lisa Whyte List

71 Linda Cooper List

72 Dan Bidois List

73 Rahul Sirigiri List

74 Hadleigh Reid List

75 Graham Collins List

A party in its third term wouldn’t usually be given much chance at all of being able to form a fourth government but National’s support has held up.

This is party due to the inability of the opposition to look like a government in waiting.

But National can’t afford to let the opposition lose, it needs to earn the right to lead the next government by its own merits, not by the opposition’s failures.

David Farrar has a demographic breakdown of the likely caucus.


A river of sound

July 30, 2017

When you are fluent in a language you know when one word stops and the next one starts.

When you’re learning a new language you don’t. It’s more like a river of sound flowing past your brain with occasional islands of words which you understand.

It’s difficult for people who speak only one language to understand what this is like, and why it’s so difficult for foreigners to comprehend what they’re hearing, but this might help.

It’s Prisencolinensinainciusol a song  by Adriano Celentano, an Italian, who’s singing what English sounds like to him – but it’s not really English, it’s gibberish.

Just between you and me, English is my first language and I find a lot of what passes for songs in a lot of modern music, just as incomprehensible as this one.

The song starts at about 1:40.

 


Stress Management

July 30, 2017

stress management StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

I can imagine it working out perfectly, I said. I can’t, she said & I said no wonder you’re so stressed. Stress Management © 2014 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can buy books, posters, cards, ornaments and more and sign up for a daily dose of whimsy like this by email at Story People.


Rural round-up

July 30, 2017

Restrictions on group’s farms – Sally Rae:

Sixteen properties belonging to the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group in South Canterbury have had Restricted Place Notices imposed on them by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) after the outbreak of the bacterial cattle disease mycoplasma bovis.

The effect of the notices is to control the movement of stock.

Two dozen cows on one of the group’s farms have tested positive for the disease and are the first in New Zealand to have the disease. A further 150 cows on the property have signs of infection.

MPI veterinarians are working with local vets to assess stock on the affected farm, which has a milking herd of about 1000 cows.

MPI regional controller Dr Chris Rodwell said the situation was well under control, praising Glenavy farmer Aad van Leeuwen for the way he had handled the outbreak. . .

Immigration announcement: Disappointing but there’s hope, says DairyNZ:

DairyNZ is disappointed that today’s announcement by Government has not addressed the concerns raised about migrant staff.

However, DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says there is hope for farmers who need to employ people from overseas.

“Government has committed to tackling the issues as a priority to help provide certainty for farmers who need to employ migrant staff, and those staff members themselves, as well as their families.” . . .

Opening the farm gates  – Sonita Chandra:

Metaphorically speaking, dairy farmers have closed their farm gates in recent times for fear of criticism, but this now needs to change, says Federated Farmers dairy vice-chairman Wayne Langford.

“The farm gates need to be opened again so that we can show what we are doing, but also see what our communities want us to be doing.

“As dairy farmers, we have to be proud of the industry and proud of what we are doing. If we are not proud of it, then we need to make changes.” . .

Top performing farm quick to adopt tech :

Take a scenic drive ten minutes west of Masterton in the Wairarapa and you’ll be greeted with a rustic sign announcing your arrival at “Spring Valley farms”. Nestled deep in the Kaituna valley, it’s the home of Matt and Lynley Wyeth and their two sons.

Spring Valley Enterprises farms roughly ten thousand sheep and another four thousand stock units made up of three hundred Angus breeding cows. It sits on 16 hundred hectares of hard hill country with some decent quality flat lands. It consistently rates in the top 5 per cent of performers in the red meat industry, in part this is due to their early adoption of agri-tech.

The Wyeth’s employ a range of technology each with a specific, measurable outcome that allows them to make small tweaks, accumulatively, saving them money. . .

Plan for calving – include talking to staff about risks:

Farmers preparing for calving should also be thinking about effective ways to keep workers safe and well, said WorkSafes Agriculture Sector Lead Al McCone.28 July 2017

Plan for calving – include talking to workers about risks

Farmers preparing for calving should also be thinking about effective ways to keep workers safe and well, said WorkSafe’s Agriculture Sector Lead Al McCone. . .

Zespri opens new pan-American office in California, growing sales:

It was an all-New Zealand affair in Orange County, California today as Zespri officially opened its regional office to manage growing sales across Northern, Central and Southern America.

Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager says Zespri is growing strongly across North America with most of this growth coming from the new gold variety Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, which is proving hugely popular.

“The New Zealand kiwifruit industry is on track to more than double sales to $4.5 billion by 2025 and an important part of this growth will come from developing markets like North America, as well growing sales in our more established markets. Zespri is relaunching the kiwifruit category in the United States and the wider Americas region to attract new consumers and grow sales,” says Mr Jager. . .


Sunday soapbox

July 30, 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.

Image result for quotes laughter

If love is the treasure, laughter is the key – Yakov Smirnoff


July 30 in history

July 30, 2017

762  Baghdad was founded.

1419  First Defenestration of Prague.

1502 Christopher Columbus landed at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.

1549 Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, was born (d. 1609).

1608  Samuel de Champlain shot and killed two Iroquois chiefs which set the tone for FrenchIroquois relations for the next 100 years.

1619  The first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convened for the first time.

1629  An earthquake in Naples killed 10,000 people.

1733  The first Masonic Grand Lodge in what became the United States was constituted in Massachusetts.

1756 Bartolomeo Rastrelli presented the newly-built Catherine Palace to Empress Elizabeth and her courtiers.

1811  Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican insurgency, was executed by the Spanish.

1818 Emily Brontë, English novelist, was born (d. 1848).

1825 Malden Island was discovered.

1859 First ascent of Grand Combin.

1863 Henry Ford, American industrialist, was born (d. 1947).

1863 Indian Wars: Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signed the Treaty of Box Elder, agreeing to stop the harassment of emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of the Crater – Union forces attempt edto break Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia by exploding a large bomb under their trenches.

1866 New Orleans’s Democratic government ordered police to raid an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing 40 people and injuring 150.

1871  The Staten Island Ferry Westfield’s boiler exploded, killing over 85 people.

1893 Fatima Jinnah, Pakistani Mother of the Nation, was born (d. 1967).

1898 Henry Moore, English sculptor, was born (d. 1986).

1916  Black Tom Island explosion in Jersey City.

1925 Alexander Trocchi, Scottish writer, was born (d. 1984).

1926 Christine McGuire, American singer (The McGuire Sisters), was born.

1930  Uruguay won the first Football World Cup.

1932  Premiere of Walt Disney’s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.

1935 Ted Rogers, English comedian and game show host, was born (d. 2001).

1940 Sir Clive Sinclair, English entrepreneur and inventor (pocket calculator, home computer), was born.

1941 Paul Anka, Canadian singer and composer, was born.

1945   Japanese submarine I-58 sank the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen.

1947 Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austrian-born American actor and 38th Governor of California, was born.

1950 Frank Stallone, American singer and actor, was born.

1953  Rikidōzan held a ceremony announcing the establishment of theJapan Pro Wrestling Alliance.

1956  A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress was signed by PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.

1958 Kate Bush, English singer/songwriter, was born.

1958 Daley Thompson, English decathlete, was born.

1965  US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

1969 Vietnam War: US President Richard M. Nixon made an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and met  President Nguyen Van Thieu and U.S. military commanders.

1971  Apollo 15 Mission – David Scott and James Irwin on Apollo Lunar Module module, Falcon, landed with first Lunar Rover on the moon.

1971  An All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 and a Japanese Air Force F-86collided over Morioka killing 162.

1974  Watergate Scandal: US President Richard M. Nixon released subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the United States Supreme Court.

1974  Six Royal Canadian Army Cadetswere  killed and fifty-four injured in an accidental grenade blast at CFB Valcartier Cadet Camp.

1975  Three members of the Miami Showband and two gunmen were killed during a botched paramilitary attack in Northern Ireland.

1978  The 730 (transport), Okinawa changed its traffic on the right-hand side of the road to the left-hand side.

1979 Carless days were introduced in New Zealand to combat the second oil shock.

Carless days introduced

1980 Vanuatu gained independence.

1980  Israel’s Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law

1997  Eighteen lives were lost in the Thredbo Landslide.

2003  In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line.

2006 World’s longest running music show Top of the Pops was broadcast for the last time on BBC Two after 42 years.

2006 Lebanon War: At least 28 civilians, including 16 children were killed by the Israeli Air Force in what Lebanese call the Second Qana massacre.

2009 A bomb exploded in Palma Nova, Mallorca, killing 2 police officers. Basque separatist group ETA was believed to be responsible.

2012 – A power grid failure left seven states in northern India without power, affecting 360 million people.

2014 – One hundred and fifty people were trapped after a landslide in the village of Ambe in the Pune district in India’s Maharashtra state with 20 killed.

Sourced from Wikipedia and NZ History Online.


Word of the day

July 29, 2017

Tenebrous – dark and gloomy; shadowy; obscure.


Saturday’s smiles

July 29, 2017

Why does moisture destroy leather?  When it’s raining, cows don’t go up to the farmhouse yelling, “Let us in! We’re all wearing leather! We’re going to ruin the whole outfit here!”

Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation.

Red sky at night, shepherds delight. Blue sky at night, day.

Never mind cats and dogs, this week it’s been raining chickens and ducks  –  really fowl weather.

A friend did her pilot’s exam just after a storm, and flew through a rainbow. She passed with flying colours.


Rural round-up

July 29, 2017

Shearing record falls:

Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith has smashed a World shearing record in England.

The 30-year-old father-of-two shore 644 romney and crossbred ewes in eight hours at Trefranck Farm, near St Clether in Cornwall, beating the previous record of 605 set by Invercargill shearer Leon Samuels in Southland earlier this year.

It was the latest in a string of world shearing records in the family, including the ultimate record of 731 ewes in nine hours by Matthew Smith at Tefranck on July 26 last year. . .

Knee-deep and wanting to cry – Sally Rae:

“It’s just the worst thing to happen to a farm,” Taieri dairy farmer Katie Clark rues as she stands in knee-deep floodwater in front of her home.

Calving is due to start in two days on the Clark family’s property, on Otokia Rd West, yet most of their farm remains under water.

Yesterday, their house was surrounded by water, firewood was floating in the yard, they could not use the shower or toilet, a mattress had floated from a shed into the garden, and there was no sign of the water level dropping.

Ask Mrs Clark how she is faring and she says “it’s horrible. We just want to cry. Look where our cows are.” . . 

Optimism follows record rain – Annette Scott:

Canterbury soils are saturated, crops have drowned and pastures have transformed to mud bowls, but in the aftermath of the worst-ever rain event on record, there are positives.

“Despite the fact we are sludging on in extremely trying conditions, and more rain, the positives would outweigh the negatives,” Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury vice-chairman David Clark said.

In the worst-hit parts of the South Island, the deluge dumped up to 180mm across Mid Canterbury in what has been recorded as the biggest rain event ever for the region, while in South Canterbury 67mm of rain fell in 12 hours, more than its average July rainfall of 40mm. . .

Ballance delivers strong FY2017 result and returns $54m to farmers:

• Gross trading result up $22 million to $56.8 million

• Shareholder rebate of $45 per tonne, with total distribution of $54 million

• Record urea production of 277,224 tonnes, with staged investment in Kapuni

• $35 million investment in distribution network and digital transformation. . .

Silver Fern CEO Dean Hamilton steps down – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Silver Fern Farms announced the resignation of chief executive Dean Hamilton, who will leave at the end of the year, and said a search is underway for his replacement.

Hamilton has been chief executive of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand’s biggest meat company, for three years and steered it through the Shanghai Maling investment and partnership. No reason was given for his resignation but co-chairman Rob Hewett said “we been discussing for some time the demands on him of working away from home” and the board “appreciates and accepts” his desire for change. . .

Wool prices firm ;

At yesterday’s South Island sale, longer 37-micron crossbred second-shear wool increased 40 cents to $3.15 a kilogram compared to last week’s North Island sale, while mid-length fibre gained 25 cents to $2.70/kg and shorter styles were firm at $2.40, according to AgriHQ. Meanwhile, 31-micron lamb wool was also up week on week by 80 cents to $3.70/kg.

Compared with the last South Island sale two weeks ago, 37-micron crossbred fleece was up 5 cents to $3/kg. Meanwhile the improvements in the second shear were not as large due to the premium that is typical for the South Island. The longer 37-micron second shear was up 5 cents to $3.15/kg while the shorter style was firm at $2.40/kg, AgriHQ said. . .


Saturday soapbox

July 29, 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 result for quotes laughter

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter – e e cummings.


July 29 in history

July 29, 2017

1014  Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars: Battle of Kleidion: Byzantine emperor Basil II inflicted a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army.

1030  Ladejarl-Fairhair succession wars: Battle of Stiklestad – King Olaf II fought and died trying to regain his Norwegian throne from the Danes.

1565 The widowed Mary, Queen of Scots, married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, Duke of Albany at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh.

1567  James VI was crowned King of Scotland at Stirling.

1588 Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines – English naval forces under command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake defeated theSpanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France.

1693 War of the Grand Alliance: Battle of Landen – France won a Pyrrhic victory over Allied forces in the Netherlands.

1793  John Graves Simcoe decided to build a fort and settlement at Toronto.

1830  Abdication of Charles X of France.

1836  Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

1847 Cumberland School of Law was founded in Lebanon, Tennessee.

1848 Irish Potato Famine: Tipperary Revolt – an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule was put down by police.

1851  Annibale de Gasparis discovered asteroid 15 Eunomia.

1858 United States and Japan signed the Harris Treaty.

1883 Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator, was born (d. 1945).

1891 Bernhard Zondek German-born Israeli gynecologist, developer of first reliable pregnancy test, was born (d. 1966).

1897 – The Huddart-Parker steamer Tasmania, sank off  Māhia Peninsula.

<em>Tasmania</em> sinks off Māhia with suitcase of jewels

1899  The First Hague Convention was signed.

1900 King Umberto I of Italy was assassinated by Italian-born anarchistGaetano Bresci.

1901  The Socialist Party of America founded.

1905 Stanley Kunitz, American poet, was born (d. 2006).

1907 Sir Robert Baden Powell set up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour. The camp ran from August 1-9, 1907, and is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement.

1920 Construction of the Link River Dam began as part of the Klamath Reclamation Project.

1921  Adolf Hitler became leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

1925 Mikis Theodorakis, Greek composer, was born.

1926 – Robert Kilpatrick, Baron Kilpatrick of Kincraig, Scottish physician, academic, and politician, was born (d. 2015).

1936 – Elizabeth Dole, American lawyer and politician, 20th United States Secretary of Labor, was born.

1937  Tongzhou Incident – assault on Japanese troops and civilians by Japanese-trained East Hopei Army in Tōngzhōu, China.

1945  The BBC Light Programme radio station was launched.

1948  – John Clarke, New Zealand-Australian comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter, was born (d. 2017).

1948 The Games of the XIV Olympiad – after a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held opened in London.

1957  The International Atomic Energy Agency was established.

1958  U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1959  John Sykes, British guitarist (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Tygers of Pan Tang), was born.

1965  Tfirst 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrived in Vietnam.

1967 USS Forrestal caught on fire  killing 134.

1967  During the fourth day of celebrating its 400th anniversary, the city of Caracas, Venezuela was shaken by an earthquake, leaving approximately 500 dead.

1981 Up to 2000 anti-Springbok tour protestors were confronted by policewho used batons to stop them marching up Molesworth Street to the home of South Africa’s Consul to New Zealand.

Police baton anti-tour protesters near Parliament

1981 Marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer.

1987  British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of France François Mitterrand signed the agreement to build a tunnel under theEnglish Channel (Eurotunnel).

1988 The film Cry Freedom was seized by South African authorities.

1987  Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi and President of Sri Lanka J. R. Jayawardene signed the Indo-Lankan Pact on ethnic issues.

1993  The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted alleged Nazi death camp guardJohn Demjanjuk of all charges.

2003 –  Moana Mackey entered the House of Representatives as a Labour Party list MP, joining  her mother, Janet Mackey, who had been a Labour MP since 1993. They became the first mother and daughter to serve together in New Zealand’s parliament.

Moana Mackey joins mother Janet in Parliament

2005  Astronomers announced their discovery of Eris.

2010 – An overloaded passenger ferry capsized on the Kasai River in Bandundu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in at least 80 deaths.

2013 – Two passenger trains collided in the Swiss municipality of Granges-près-Marnand near Lausanne injuring 25 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

July 28, 2017

Precocity – the state of being or tendency to be precocious; exceptionally early or premature development; manifesting or characterised by development, aptitude, or interests considered advanced for a given age.


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