Word of the day

July 20, 2017

Flench – slice or strip the flesh or fat from a carcass, especially that of a whale.


Thursday’s quiz

July 20, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual batch of chocolate hazelnut biscuits.


Rural round-up

July 20, 2017

Woman of the land counts herself lucky – Rose Harding:

Kate MacFarlane has always known what she wanted to do.

She grew up on Waiterenui Angus Stud at Raukawa so is a farm girl “to her DNA” and considers herself lucky in her life.

Lucky that her parents, Will and Viv, told her to follow her dreams, lucky she was able to travel and gain experience overseas, lucky she got the jobs she wanted and lucky with all the “amazing people” who have helped her. . . 

The mysteries of grass-fed milk – Keith Woodford:

Here in New Zealand, we live the notion that milk from grass-fed cows is superior to milk from cows fed other rations. Supposedly it is better for health. And supposedly the cows are happier if they can dance around in the sunshine doing what comes naturally. And supposedly it makes us more cost-efficient than our international competitors.

There is an element of truth to all of the above notions. But more often than not there is lots of myth intertwined with truth. Here, I want to tease out what is truth, what is myth, what depends on specific context, and some things that are still unknown. . . 

Sunless season dries up olive oil production – Susan Murray:

New Zealand’s olive oil producers have had a tough production season.

Harvesting is just ending, and for some growers their fruit volume and oil production is less than half last year’s.

Andrew Priddle is a Wairarapa olive grower and harvester and said there has been a lack of sunshine hours in summer and autumn, and the crops had matured three weeks later than usual.

He said the late crops led to more bird damage and coincided with an “off” year for the biennially producing trees. . . 

“Nightmare’ kumara season for farmers:

A kumara famer has described this year as a nightmare, with horrendous weather cutting the yield of red kumara by up to 45 percent.

The low yield of all varieties has had a big impact on prices as Statistics New Zealand reported kumara hit a high of more than $8 a kilo last month.

John Adolf from the kumara co-operative Delta Produce, said this year had been a shock for farmers after last season’s bumper crop.

A wet, cold spring, a long dry summer and heavy downpours through autumn caused major headaches for farmers, he said. . . 

$300,000 to help preserve native bush and fauna:

The Forest Bridge Trust has been awarded $300,000 from the Community Environment Fund, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.

“The vision of The Forest Bridge Trust is to create a connected landscape of healthy forest and flourishing indigenous wildlife from the Kaipara Harbour in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. They plan to achieve that vision by connecting up bush remnants, fencing, planting and doing weed and pest control throughout the area,” Mr Simpson says. . . 

CropLogic plans A$8 mln IPO in ASX listing – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – CropLogic, the agricultural technology company, has launched its prospectus and is planning an A$8 million capital raising before listing on the ASX.

The Christchurch-based company is offering 40 million shares at 20 Australian cents each with a minimum subscription of 25 million shares, or A$5 million. The capital will be used to fund market development, research & development, ASX listing costs and working capital, it said. In May, it completed an A$2 million pre-initial public offering funding round. . . 

Polluted waterways issue widens town and country divide:

The contentious issue of our polluted waterways is deepening a country and town divide, with many farmers saying they are being unfairly blamed by city folk.

“We get lambasted by these allegations for polluting the rivers when in Canterbury we have very few polluted rivers whatsoever,” Canterbury dairy farmer Willie Leferenk said.

Further north sheep and beef farmer Lydia Murchison has noticed that townies seem to have lumped all farmers together. . . 

Farm sales and prices inch down in three months to June on year – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – The number of farms sold in the three months inched down on the year as did the median price per hectare for all farms, pointing to a softening tone in the rural real estate market, the Real Estate Institute said.

There were 459 sales in the year ended June 2017, 13 fewer than the same period a year earlier, or a decline of 2.8 percent. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to June 2017 was $25,992 versus $26,361 in the same period a year earlier, a decline of 1.4 percent.

Eight regions recorded increases in sales volumes on the year in the three months ended June. Otago recorded the largest increase in sales, with 13 more sales, followed by Gisborne where nine more farms were sold. . . 

Nominations for Fonterra Board of Directors’ Election Open Monday:

Nominations for the Fonterra Board of Directors’ Election open Monday, 17 July with an election to be held for three farmer-elected Directors.

The Independent Nomination process will be run first with nominations needing to have been received by the Returning Officer, Warwick Lampp of electionz.com by 12 noon on Monday, 7 August 2017.

The Returning Officer will announce the Independent Nomination process candidates on Monday, 11 September 2017. . . 

Autogrow announces global first API Solution for indoor agriculture:

Autogrow has become the first of the established players to launch an API (Application Programming Interface) for indoor agricultural growers; greenhouses, vertical urban, containers, plant factories, offering access to data traditionally not available to them.

Called MyData(v0.2), this is the first release in a series of cloud-based solutions offering a universally accessible API to recent and historical growing data including light and relative humidity, wind speed, pH and EC. With a 24-hour data refresh and 180-day historical data available, growers will be able to utilise their information to discover operational insights or even custom-build or develop their own data solutions, services or apps without limitations. . . 

Image may contain: one or more people and food

Oh you did 20 reps at the gym? Cool story Bro. #AgProud


From WIIFM to WIIFNZ

July 20, 2017

The common thread in announcements from opposition parties, and media reporting on them, this week has been the high WIIFM factor – what’s-in-it-for-me.

Of course policies from all parties are almost always aimed to woo voters and the media finds the people who will benefit, or politically partisan, to comment with very little in-depth analysis.

(There is good analysis in the likes of Politik and the paid content in the NBR but most people don’t get beyond the paywall).

Good policy, and reporting, would look beyond WIIFM to WIIFNZ – what’s-in-it-for-New Zealand.

They would take into account not only at who gets what, but the cost – in the short and long terms – and who pays.

When Bill English became Finance Minister he asked ministries to take an actuarial approach to spending with the aim of getting value for money and reducing costs in the long term, even if that meant spending more in the short term.

That is already paying dividends in the reduction in the number of beneficiaries.

That’s good not just for the individuals who have moved from benefit dependence to paid work, it’s good for the country.

Contrast that with opposition policies which will encourage people to stay on benefits which is bad for them and bad for the country.

WIIFM is a shallow approach which encourages selfishness.

WIIFNZ is a more thoughtful approach. It would encourage people to look beyond the short-term and selfish to the longer term and wider benefits not just for themselves but the country.


Quote of the day

July 20, 2017

If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. Sir Edmund Hillary who was born on this day in 1919.


July 20 in history

July 20, 2017

356 BC  – Alexander the Great, Macedonean king and conqueror of Persia, was born (d. 323 BC).

70 –  Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, stormed theFortress of Antonia. The Roman army was drawn into street fights with the Zealots.

911 Rollo laid siege to Chartres.

1304 Wars of Scottish Independence: Fall of Stirling Castle – King Edward I  took the stronghold using the War Wolf.

1402  Ottoman-Timurid Wars: Battle of Ankara – Timur, ruler of Timurid Empire, defeated forces of the Ottoman Empire sultan Bayezid I.

1656  Swedish forces under the command of King Charles X Gustav defeated the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the Battle of Warsaw.

1712 Riot Act took effect in Great Britain.

1738  French explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye reached the western shore of Lake Michigan.

1810 Citizens of Bogotá, New Granada declared independence from Spain.

1822 Gregor Mendel, German scientist, father of modern genetics, was born (d. 1884).

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek – Confederate forces led by General John Bell Hood unsuccessfully attacked Union troops under General William T. Sherman.

1866 Austro-Prussian War: Battle of Lissa – The Austrian Navy , led by Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, defeated the Italian Navy.

1881 Indian Wars:Sioux Chief Sitting Bull led the last of his fugitive people in surrender to United States troops at Fort Buford, North Dakota.

1885  The Football Association legalised professionalism in football under pressure from the British Football Association.

1892 – The Wellington and Manawatu Railway (WMR) Company’s locomotive No. 10 established a world speed record for the narrow 3 foot 6 inch (1067 mm) gauge, averaging 68 km per hour on a two-hour run and hitting a peak speed of 103 kph.

1893 George Llewelyn-Davies, English Peter Pan character model, was born (d. 1915).

1898  Spanish-American War: A boiler exploded on the USS Iowa off the coast of Santiago de Cuba.

1902 Jimmy Kennedy, Irish composer, was born (d. 1984).

1903 Ford Motor Company shipped its first car.

1917  World War I: The Corfu Declaration, which led to the creation of the post-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia, was signed by the Yugoslav Committee and Kingdom of Serbia.

1918  Cindy Walker, American singer, was born (d. 2006).

1919  Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer, was born (d. 2008).

1921 – Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson became the first woman to preside over the US House of Representatives.

1922 The League of Nations awarded mandates of Togoland to France andTanganyika to the United Kingdom.

1924  Teheran, Persia came under martial law after the American vice-consul, Robert Imbrie, was killed by a religious mob enraged by rumors he had poisoned a fountain and killed several people.

1925  Jacques Delors, French President of the European Commission, was born.

1926 A convention of the Southern Methodist Church voted to allow women to become priests.

1928 The government of Hungary issued a decree ordering Gypsies to end their nomadic ways, settle permanently in one place, and subject themselves to the same laws and taxes as other Hungarians.

1930 Sally Ann Howes, English-born singer and actress, was born.

1932  In Washington, D.C., police fired tear gas on World War I veterans part of the Bonus Expeditionary Force, who attempted to march to the White House.

1932  Crowds in the capitals of Bolivia and Paraguay demanded their governments declare war on the other after fighting on their border.

1933 Buddy Knox, American singer and songwriter, was born (d. 1999).

1933  Vice-Chancellor of Germany Franz von Papen and Vatican CardinalEugenio Pacelli sign a concordat on behalf of their respective nations.

1933  In London, 500,000 marched against anti-Semitism.

1933  Two-hundred Jewish merchants were arrested in Nuremberg and paraded through the streets.

1934  Police in Minneapolis fired upon striking truck drivers, during theMinneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934, killing two and wounding sixty-seven; Seattle police fired tear gas on and club 2,000 striking longshoremen, and the governor of Oregon called out the National Guard to break a strike on the Portland docks.

1935  A Royal Dutch Airlines plane en route from Milan to Frankfurt crashed into a Swiss mountain, killing 13.

1936 The Montreux Convention was signed in Switzerland, authorising Turkey to fortify the Dardanelles and Bosphorus but guaranteeing free passage to ships of all nations in peacetime.

1938 –  Dame Diana Rigg, English actress, was born.

1938 Natalie Wood, American actress, was born (d. 1981).

1940 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act of 1939, limiting political activity by Federal government employees.

1941 Soviet leader Joseph Stalin consolidated the Commissariats of Home Affairs and National Security to form the NKVD and named Lavrenti Beria its chief.

1942  World War II: The first unit of the Women’s Army Corps began training in Des Moines, Iowa.

1943  Chris Amon, New Zealand racing driver

AmonChris19730706.jpg

1943  Wendy Richard, English actress (d.2009).

1944   World War II: Adolf Hitler survived an assassination attempt (known as the July 20 plot) led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.

1944  Franklin D. Roosevelt won the Democratic Party nomination for the fourth and final time at the 1944 Democratic National Convention.

1944   Fifty people were hurt in rioting in front of the presidential palace inMexico City.

1944 Attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler at his Rastenberg headquarters as part of Operation Valkyrie.

1945 John Lodge, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born.

1945 The US Congress approved the Bretton Woods Agreement.

1947  Police in Burma arrested former Prime Minister U Saw and 19 others on charges of assassinating Prime Minister U Aung San and seven members of his cabinet.

1948  U.S. President Harry S. Truman issued a peacetime military draft amid increasing tensions with the Soviet Union.

1948 Twelve leaders of the Communist Party USA were indicted under theSmith Act including William Z. Foster and Gus Hall.

1949 Israel and Syria signed a truce to end their nineteen-month war.

1950 Cold War: In Philadelphia, Harry Gold pleaded guilty to spying for the Soviet Union by passing secrets from atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs.

1951  King Abdullah I of Jordan was assassinated.

1953 Dave Evans, Australian singer (AC/DC), was born.

1953 Marcia Hines, American-born Australian singer, was born.

1954  Otto John, head of West Germany’s secret service, defected to East Germany.

1955 Jem Finer, English musician and composer (The Pogues), was born.

1958 Mick MacNeil, Scottish musician (Simple Minds), was born.

1959  The Organization for European Economic Cooperation admitted Spain.

1960 Ceylon elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world’s first elected female head of government.

1960 – The Polaris missile was successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.

1961  French military forces broke the Tunisian siege of Bizerte.

1964 Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attacked the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, Cai Be, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of whom were children).

1964 – The National Movement of the Revolution was instituted as the sole legal political party in the Republic of Congo.

1965 – Riots at Mt Eden prison followed a botched escape attempt and lasted into the next day.

1968  Special Olympics founded.

1969 Apollo Program: Apollo 11 successfully landed on the Moon.

1969 – A cease fire was announced between Honduras and El Salvador, 6 days after the beginning of the “Football War

1974 Turkish occupation of Cyprus: Forces from Turkey invaded Cyprus after a “coup d’ etat”, organised by the dictator of Greece, against president Makarios.

1976  The Viking 1 lander successfully landed on Mars.

1982   The Provisional IRA detonated two bombs in Hyde Park and Regents Park killing eight soldiers, wounding forty-seven people, and leading to the deaths of seven horses.

1984 Officials of the Miss America pageant asked Vanessa Lynn Williamsto quit after Penthouse published nude photos of her.

1985  The government of Aruba passed legislation to secede from the Netherlands Antilles.

1989 – Burma’s ruling junta put opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyiunder house arrest.

1992 Václav Havel resigned as president of Czechoslovakia.

1997  – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrated its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

1999 Falun Gong was banned in China, and a large scale crackdown of the practice is launched.

2012 – During a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunmanopened fire at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58.

2013 – Seventeen government soldiers were killed in an attack by FARC revolutionaries in the Colombian department of Arauca.

2015 – A huge explosion in the mostly Kurdish border town of Suruç, Turkey, targeting The Socialist Youth Associations Federation, killed at least 31 people and injured more than 100.

2015 – The United States and Cuba resumed full diplomatic relations after five decades.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: