Word of the day

November 8, 2017

Ailurophobia – extreme or irrational fear of cats; cat phobia.


Rural round-up

November 8, 2017

Tackling water resource conservation with modern agriculture – Craige Mackenzie:

As I sat in a board room in Minneapolis, I used a break in my meeting to check the moisture of the soil on my farm in New Zealand.   I didn’t walk into a field and dig a hole or stick a meter into the dirt. Instead, I pulled out my phone, looked at its screen, and saw what my sensors were saying.

Fellow Global Farmer Network board member V Ravichandran was checking his phone as well.  Ravi was looking at photos of his cotton crop that had just been sent to him from his farm in Tamil Nadu India. Ravi checked the photos and sent a reply e-mail to India with his observation and actions required.

This is what modern agriculture looks like: It’s global, it’s high-tech, and it’s all about sustainable conservation. . .

Diversifying in the Catlins – Sally Rae:

Enterprising Catlins farmers Carey and Tracey Hancox have diversified their busy farming operation near Owaka with an accommodation venture and an on-farm butchery, processing their homegrown lamb. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae pays them a visit.

Carey and Tracey Hancox make the most of opportunities as they arise.

The couple have a simple philosophy when it comes to their business — “no-one gets anywhere without hard work”.

“It’s just a fact of life, really. It’s not easy. People look happy once they’re successful but I think it’s reflected in how hard they have to work.

“That little bit of happiness is the payment for the stress and the worry. It balances itself out,” Mr Hancox explains. . . 

One enterprising rural woman – Yvonne O’Hara:

When Debra Cruikshank left school, she was not sure what she wanted to do.

She grew up on a sheep and beef farm in the Catlins and at the very least knew she wanted to do physical work.

She thought she might try art school.

Now, at 37, she has her own vineyard and winery and a successful business, DC Wines, that is growing each year.

After leaving school and the farm she chose to spend a year in Central Otago. . . 

New confidence and culture at Westland Milk Products:

New ways of working at board and management levels have led to a change of culture at Westland Milk Products, with a brighter outlook and growing shareholder confidence in the company, said Chairman Pete Morrison in the company’s 2017 Annual Report released today.

Commenting on the 2016-17 season, Morrison said extensive new thinking had come into the company with new management, a revised board structure and better ways of working.

“The 2016-17 financial year for Westland Milk Products was characterised by challenge and change,” Morrison said. “We began the 2016-17 year under considerable financial pressure. Shareholders, quite rightly, were demanding answers and calling for both the board and management to do much better and reverse the loss making result of the year before.” . . 

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When you lied on your CV abut having previous sheepdog experience – NZ Farming

Reda eyes Australia to secure supply – Annabelle Cleeland:

AN exclusive long-term contract has whet the appetite of a European fabric maker who is appealing to the very best Australian superfine woolgrowers to partner with them to help feed the growing demand for luxury and active wear fabrics.

There are only 20 members in the current Reda Future Project, set-up by 152 year-old Italian fabric maker Reda, who meet the quality standards of set by the country’s largest integrity scheme, SustainaWOOL. 

Last year, Reda chief operating officer Francesco Botto Poala said the company acquired 1500 bales of 15.8 to 19.2 micron wool from this exclusive group, and they are hungry for more. . . 

 


Let PHA find alternative funding

November 8, 2017

The Public Health Association thinks it’s being misrepresented over its opposition to Ronald McDonald Houses near hospitals:

“The Public Health Association strongly supports facilities for families of children in hospital with serious conditions receiving publicly funded health care. Our criticism is of the undesirable marketing of the fast food industry arising from the naming rights held by the McDonald’s brand”, says Warren Lindberg, Chief Executive of the Public Health Association.

“Funds to maintain the services provided to families come from community fundraising efforts and Ministry of Health subsidies as well as from the fast food industry. Yet by holding the naming rights, there is a powerful perception that the service is dependent on the generosity of McDonald’s. People are unaware of the funding sources and of the power of branding,” Lindberg says.

“It is time powerful figures in the food industry are willing to join us in changing the environments that promote ‘junk food’. If McDonald’s Restaurants (New Zealand) Limited and its corporate partners have any sense of social responsibility, they will continue to contribute to the delivery of such a valuable health service and give up the naming rights.”

Our sons had several long and repeated stays in Dunedin hospital when they were babies.

Because they were so young I was able to stay in the parents’ room and we had friends in the city who had space for my farmer and our daughter.

More recently I had to spend time in Christchurch supporting someone in hospital there. As I paid for accommodation and food I was very grateful I could do so knowing it didn’t mean I couldn’t afford groceries or other necessities as well.

Parents of older children aren’t usually able to stay in the hospital; not everyone has family or friends who can accommodate them, and many don’t have money to spare for board and keep.

Ronald McDonald Houses offer not just accommodation and meals. They provide pastoral care and emotional support to families dealing with the challenges of seriously ill or injured children.

The meals provided are nutritious and the irony is that without them many of the families would probably be living on fast food because it’s fast and relatively cheap.

McDonalds will pay a lot of money for the naming rights for the houses. It will do so for a variety of reasons, one of which will be an association between its philanthropy and its business but does that association lead people to eat more of its products and to become obese?

I don’t know if that association leads people to eat more of its products than they would have otherwise.

But the causes of obesity are complex and eating fast food occasionally isn’t one of them.

In more irony the PHA is generating support for McDonalds through its campaign.

If it wants to get rid of the branding it would be better putting its effort into finding another very generous sponsor to name the houses than acting like the food police bullying a business whose philanthropy has helped so many people.


Quote of the day

November 8, 2017

The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them. – Dorothy Day who was born on this day in 1897.


November 8 in history

November 8, 2017

519 – Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán and Aztec rulerMoctezumawelcomed him with a great celebration

1520 – Stockholm Bloodbath began A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces resulted in the execution of around 100 peopl

1576 – Eighty Years’ War: Pacification of Ghent – The States-General of the Netherlands met and united to oppose Spanish occupation

1602 The Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public.

1620 The Battle of White Mountain ended in a decisive Catholic victory in only two hours.

1656 Edmond Halley, British astronomer and mathematician, was born (d. 1742).

1745 Charles Edward Stuart invaded England with an army of ~5000.

1793 – The French Revolutionary government opened the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1836 Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer, was born  (d. 1911).

1837 Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later became Mount Holyoke College.

1847 – Jean Casimir-Perier, French politician, 6th President of France, was born (d. 1907).

1847 Bram Stoker, Irish novelist, was born  (d. 1912).

1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair” – The USS San Jacinto stopped the United Kingdom mail ship Trent and arrested two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.

1892 The New Orleans general strike began, uniting black and white trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.

1895 – While experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray.

1897 – Dorothy Day, American journalist and activist, was born (d. 1980).

1900 Margaret Mitchell, American author, was born  (d. 1949).

1901 Bloody clashes in Athens following the translation of the Gospels into demotic Greek.

1917 The People’s Commissars gave authority to Vladimir LeninLeon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.

1923 Beer Hall PutschAdolf Hitler led the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.

1927 – Patti Page, American singer and actress, was born (d. 2013).

1932 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32d President of the United States defeating Herbert Hoover.

1933 – Great Depression: New Deal – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the Civil Works Administration, an organisation designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.

1935 – A dozen labour leaders came together to announce the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).

1936 – New Zealanders Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers who marched into Madrid, bolstering the city’s defences against the assault of General Franco’s rebel armies.

New Zealanders march into besieged Madrid

1937 – The Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude (“The Eternal Jew”) opened in Munich.

1939 The Centennial exhibition opened in Wellington.

 NZ Centennial Exhibition opens

1939 – Venlo Incident: Two British SIS agents were captured by the Germans.

1939 – Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.

1941 – The Albanian Communist Party was founded.

1942 – Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces landed in French North Africa. French resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralised Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrested several Vichys generals.

1947  – Margaret Rhea Seddon, American physician and astronaut, was born.

1950 Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfightin history.

1957 – Operation Grapple X, Round C1: Britain conducted its first successful hydrogen bomb test over Kiritimati in the Pacific.

1965 – The British Indian Ocean Territory was created, consisting of Chagos Archipelago, Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches islands.

1965 – The Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 was given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom.

1965 – The 173rd Airborne was ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong inOperation Hump while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fought one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Vietcong at the Battle of Gang Toi.

1966 Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the United States Senate.

1973 The right ear of John Paul Getty III was delivered to a newspaper with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay $US 2.9 million.

1977 Manolis Andronikos, discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina

1978 A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Thessaloniki killed 40 people.

1983  – Nikola Rachelle, English-New Zealand singer-songwriter and producer, was born.

1987 Remembrance Day Bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explode in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a Remembrance Day – killing 12 and wounding 63.

2002 Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.

2003 The Harris Theatere opened commencing a renaissance in the Chicago performing arts community.

2011 – The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15in 1976.

2013 – Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in history hit the Visayas region in the Philippines. The typhoon killed 6,201 people as of 29 January 2014 and was considered the deadliest typhoon to hit the country. It caused around $1 billion in damages unofficially.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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