Word of the day


Diastema – a space separating teeth of different functions, especially that between the biting teeth (incisors and canines) and grinding teeth (premolars and molars) in rodents and ungulates; a gap between a person’s two upper front teeth; an abnormal space, fissure , or cleft in a bodily organ or part; the modified protoplasm at the equator of a cell, existing before mitotic division.

Things You Might Want to Know About Magic


things you might want to know about magic

The most important thing to know is simple: magic is real. There are lots of books out now that have magic in them. A lot of people think they are fiction. Except when you read them, something deep inside you stirs. Like a little spark or an ember. Or a bright hummingbird that suddenly wakes & darts up into the quiet dark & starts to hum.

Magic has been quietly waiting for a long time for us to stop being so busy with our shiny things made of metal & glass & wires & electricity. It has been waiting for us to wake up & see that we’re already where we always wanted to be. That we’re already home.

A lot of people get confused about Life because when they were young, something happened that hurt. Maybe it was someone who made fun of their hair. Or the color of their skin. Or the number of freckles they had. Or they were too skinny. Or too fat.

But there are worse things than that when you are young. The worst thing is when you have adults around you that forget that children are there to remind us the magic is real, that innocence is one of the things that’s big enough to create the world all over again every day, bigger & brighter every time. When you have adults around you who forget that, they do mean & stupid things that can hurt for your whole life.

When you have a hurt like that, it’s easy to get confused about Life because instead of playing the game called Trust Love & Adventure & Magic, you start playing another game called Stop the Hurt.

You start doing things that stop the hurt, like gathering people around you who would never, ever do anything that even reminds you of the hurt. Or worse, you start hurting other people first because hurt people leave you alone. That’s the biggest problem with hurt: you think if you can get enough alone, the hurt will stop. Because it was people who made it hurt to begin with. Funny how that works. The only real way for hurt to stop is to be with people who hear you say It hurts & they hold you & kiss you & put Bactine & a band-aid on it & they maybe make you a grilled cheese sandwich with some animal crackers & they tell you the truth: everyone hurts sometimes because being alive is not an exact science & we bump into each other because we’re not looking & we’re so busy not looking that we miss the thing that’s right in front of us the whole time: every human being on the planet, every dog & every cat, every cow & fish & flower, maybe even every rock & all the pieces of dust under your bed, everything is alive. Everything is here to love being alive & to love every other thing that’s alive.

Have you ever seen the way a small child squats down in the grass & talks to the bugs & the twigs & the ants going about their own business? The way they’ll dance & sing songs to the wind? If you could stop for even a minute from your busy & serious life & listen with every cell of your body, you would understand again every song that child is singing.

I say ‘again’ because you already know. You just forget for awhile. Try it. Stop for a minute. Not just any way of stopping, but a special way of stopping. Like this: close your eyes. (Oh, wait a minute. First, read all of this & then close your eyes. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep opening them & it’ll never work.)

When you finally do close your eyes, here’s what you’re NOT going to do:

1. You’re not going to work hard at it.

2. You’re not going to do it exactly like I say, because there’s going to be someone who’s going to show up to help you out. This could be a favorite relative, or a saint. Or Divine Mother. Or that old guy with the smiling eyes who sits outside of the liquor store who sees everything. Just welcome them & listen to what they say, because they’re here to help. Follow them, because they know the shortcut for you.

3. You’re not going to watch your breathing. That’s so boring & you’ll just get frustrated & when you’re frustrated, nothing happens. (Note: the reason nothing ever happens when you’re frustrated is that you’re so involved with being frustrated that you forget that what you’re here to do is listen with every cell of your body.)

4. You’re not going to argue with me. You’re not going to tell me things like this’ll never work. Or science has proven magic doesn’t exist. Or even something like How can you be so sure? I can be so sure, because I can do it & if you can’t & you’d like to learn, it might make sense to stop arguing. If you want to argue, go right ahead. But don’t mind me if I ignore you & go on filling my world with magic & love every moment of my life.

Here’s what you ARE going to do. It’s actually quite simple:

1. Close your eyes.

2. Remember your favorite place. This doesn’t have to be real. I have a favorite place that’s a field of grass & a mountain & a counter with an endless supply of treats & there is always a breeze & sun & there are always one or two friendly clouds. So, what’s your favorite place? What’s it look like? What colors are there? What does it smell like? What are you wearing? Really be there.

3. Now, listen. You’ll hear something. Maybe a song in a little girl’s voice. Or a hum, like bees.

4. Whatever that sound is, I want you to let it slip inside you until your bones start to vibrate with it.

5. When you are vibrating inside, almost like you are a tuning fork, let your skin disappear so there is nothing between you & the sound & your favorite place.

6. This is you all the time. This is the you that you forget. This is the you that hears the music in raindrops & the sound of sunlight & the secret whispers of the rocks & trees. This is the you that has never forgotten that magic is at the heart of the world.

7. Trust this. Start now. (Yeah, I know. This can be hard. But not as hard as not trusting it. The magic is in this exact moment. Go & be joyful in it…)

Things You Might Want to Know About Magic © 2013 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


Story of Hakataramea farrmer and his sausage dog subject of new children’s book – Jody O’Callaghan:

The instant bond between a South Canterbury farmer and his vertically-challenged sausage dog is the stuff legends are made of.

An unlikely friendship formed the day miniature dachshund Poppy was handed to Hakataramea farmer James Hayman. It has become the subject of children’s book Bob n Pops, their nicknames.

Author Harriet Bremner, Hayman’s partner, has released the book nine months after the 27-year-old was killed in a farm accident in January. . . 

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Irish love their farmers why don’t kiwis? – Peter Burke:

During the election campaign NZ farmers – and the rural community in general – came under attack from politicians and the public, and felt they were being demonised.

This is in sharp contrast to what’s happening 20,000km away in Ireland, where the people are proud of what their farmers do. Peter Burke reports.

In Ireland the public are proud of what their farmers are doing, says Padraig Brennan, director of markets for Origin Green. . . 

Run by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Origin Green is a highly successful quality assurance programme that most of Ireland’s dairy farmers have signed up to; o have the nation’s major food and drink manufacturers, some beef farmers and even major retail outlets such as McDonalds restaurant chain. . .

Poo is powering a Southland dairy shed – Sonita Chandar:

Poos and wees are heating and lighting up a cowshed in Southland.

In what could only be described as an environmental game-changer, Glenarlea Farm, one of Fortuna Group’s farms in Southland, is converting effluent methane into electricity.

Dairy Green agricultural and engineering consultant John Scandrett says the new system has been 13 years in the making and is now generating enough electricity to power the cowshed and heat the shed hot water. . . 

Reducing nutrient losses wins dairy science award:

Investing in cutting edge science paid off for the Pastoral 21 (P21) research team from DairyNZ and AgResearch at the 2017 Kudos Science Excellence Awards.

The P21 team won the Agricultural Science Award for the research, being applied on commercial farms across the country, that has helped increase productivity while lowering the environmental footprint through the reduction of nutrient losses.

The research has led to 30-40 percent reductions in nitrate losses on farm.

Small changes have led to big environmental gains, says DairyNZ principle scientist Dr David Chapman. . . 

Polish Dairy to join Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade platform from Nov 21 – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Polish Dairy, the fifth largest producer of milk in the European Union, will join Fonterra Cooperative Group’s Global Dairy Trade platform from Nov 21, initially offering skim milk powder, whole milk powder, butter and lactose on the platform.

“Central Europe has become an increasingly important dairy region. The addition of a seller from Poland is evidence of the emerging strength of that nation’s dairy sector, and will be welcomed by our network of over 500 registered GDT Events buyers,” said Eric Hansen, director of Global Dairy Trade in a press release. The platform, which has moved more than US$20 billion in dairy products since it launched in 2008, is looking to broaden its offering to meet customer needs. . . 

Why are we waiting?


The official election results left National with two fewer seats than on election night and Labour and the Green party with one more each:

  • The number of seats in Parliament will be 120.
  • The National Party has 56 seats compared with 58 on election night.  
  • The Labour Party has 46 seats compared with 45 on election night.
  • The Green Party has 8 seats compared with 7 on election night.  
  • There are no changes to the number of seats held by New Zealand First and ACT New Zealand which remain at 9 and 1 respectively.
  • All electorate candidates leading on election night have been confirmed as winning their seats.
  • The total number of votes cast is 2,630,173.  47% of votes were cast in advance.
  • The turnout as a percentage of enrolled electors is 79.8% (2014 – 77.9%).  This is the highest turnout since 2005 (80.9%).
  • The final enrolment rate is 92.4% (2014 – 92.6%).

This still leaves a possibility of National and NZ First governing with 65 seats or Labour, NZ First and the Greens governing with 63 seats, or NZ First giving confidence and supply to one of the bigger parties while sitting on the cross benches.

The difference between the numbers has got a little smaller but nothing else has changed about the options since election night so why couldn’t negotiations have started sooner and why are we still waiting for an outcome?


Sunday soapbox


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.

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These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed  to climb – Najwa Zebian

October 8 in history


314 Roman Emperor Licinius was defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and lost his European territories.

451  The first session of the Council of Chalcedon began.

1075  Dmitar Zvonimir was crowned King of Croatia.

1200  Isabella of Angoulême was crowned Queen consort of England.

1480  Great standing on the Ugra river, a standoff between the forces ofAkhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia which resulted in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and the eventual disintegration of the Horde.

1573  End of the Spanish siege of Alkmaar, the first Dutch victory in Eighty Years War.

1600  San Marino adopted its written constitution.

1789 – William John Swainson, English-New Zealand ornithologist and entomologist, was born (d. 1855).

1806  Napoleonic Wars: Forces of the British Empire laid siege to the port of Boulogne by using Congreve rockets.

1807  – Harriet Taylor Mill, English philosopher and activist, was born (d. 1858).

1813  The Treaty of Ried was signed between Bayern and Austria.

1821  The government of general José de San Martín established thePeruvian Navy.

1829  Stephenson’s The Rocket won The Rainhill Trials.

1847 Rose Scott, Australia social reformer, was born (d. 1925).

1856  The Second Opium War began with the Arrow Incident on the Pearl River.

1860  Telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco opened.

1862  American Civil War: Battle of Perryville – Union forces under General Don Carlos Buell halted the Confederate invasion of Kentucky by defeating troops led by General Braxton Bragg.

1871  Four major fires broke out on the shores of Lake Michigan including the Great Chicago Fire, and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire.

1879 War of the Pacific: the Chilean Navy defeated the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau was killed.

1895 Zog I, King of Albania, was born (d. 1961).

1895 Juan Perón, Argentinean President, was born  (d. 1974).

1895 Eulmi incident– Queen Min of Joseon, the last empress of Korea, was assassinated and her corpse burnt by the Japanese in Gyeongbok Palace.

1912 First Balkan War began when Montenegro declared war against Turkey.

1918  World War I: In the Argonne Forest in France, United States CorporalAlvin C. York led an attack that killed 25 German soldiers and captures 132.

1920 Frank Herbert, American writer, was born (d. 1986).

1925 Cubana de Aviación founded.

1928  Joseph Szigeti gave the first performance of Alfredo Casella‘s Violin Concerto.

1932  The Indian Air Force was established.

1939 Paul Hogan, Australian actor, was born.

1939  World War II: Germany annexed Western Poland.

1941  Stan Graham shot dead three policemen and fatally wounded two other men before escaping into the bush.

Stan Graham runs amok on West Coast

1941 US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was born.

1943 US actor Chevy Chase was born.

1943 US children’s horror writer R.L (Robert Lawrence) Stine was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Crucifix Hill – Capt. Bobbie Brownreceived a Medal of Honor for his heroics.

1948 Johnny Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born (d. 2004).

1949 Sigourney Weaver, American actress, was born.

1952  The Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash killed 112 people.

1961 – Jon Stevens, New Zealand-Australian singer-songwriter, was born.

1962  Spiegel scandalDer Spiegel published the article “Bedingt abwehrbereit” (“Conditionally prepared for defense”) about a NATO manoeuver called “Fallex 62″, which uncovered the sorry state of the Bundeswehr (Germany’s army) facing the communist threat from the east at the time.

1965 C-Jay Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born.

1967  Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men were captured in Bolivia.

1968  Vietnam War: Operation Sealords – United States and South Vietnamese forces launched a new operation in the Mekong Delta.

1969 The opening rally of the Days of Rage, organised by the Weather Underground in Chicago, Illinois.

1970  Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejected US President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion”.

1973  Yom Kippur War: Gabi Amir’s armored brigade attacked Egyptian occupied positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal  in hope of driving them away. The attack failed, and over 150 Israeli tanks were destroyed.

1974 Franklin National Bank collapsed due to fraud and mismanagement.

1978 Australia’s Ken Warby set the  world water speed record of 317.60mph at Blowering Dam, Australia.

1982  Poland banned Solidarity and all trade unions.

1990  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Police killed 17 Palestinians and wounded over 00.

1998  Oslo’s Gardermoen airport opened.

2001 A twin engine Cessna and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) jetliner collided in heavy fog during takeoff from Milan, Italy killing 118.

2001  U.S. President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security.

2005 – Kashmir earthquake: Thousands of people were killed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in parts of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

2016 – In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the death toll rises to nearly 900.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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