Word of the day

November 11, 2017

Lambda – the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Λ, λ), transliterated as ‘l’, the eleventh star in a constellation; a  type of bacteriophage virus used in genetic research; the point at the back of the skull where the parietal bones and the occipital bone meet; denoting one of the two types of light polypeptide chain present in all immunoglobulin molecules.


Rural round-up

November 11, 2017

Young sheep and beef farmers lift their performance with small tweaks – Brittany Pickett:

For Matt and Joe McRae, getting their ewes to perform at a consistently high level is their number one goal.

The young Southland brothers – who farm their 575 hectare effective rolling hill country farm Eilean Donan in partnership – are aiming to have their ewes lambing more than 150 per cent every year and, more importantly, grow the lambs to maximise every kilogram produced per hectare.

“The lambing percentage is only one part of it, it’s the product out the gate that pays the bills,” Matt says. . . 

Let’s get the facts, not fiction, on M.bovis – Geoff Gwyn:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) wishes to set the record straight regarding the article titled ‘Imported semen fingered for M.bovis outbreak’ in Rural News October 24.

Read the article here

In the article, Chris Morley, DairyNZ biosecurity manager stated that, in his opinion, he would bet on semen as the most likely source of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. Of course, Mr Morley is entitled to his opinion, but the fact of that matter is that MPI does not know how or when Mycoplasma bovis entered NZ, although significant efforts are being made to find out.

A full investigation is looking at six possible means of entry: live animals, imported semen, embryos, contaminated equipment, biological material (such as vaccines) and feed. While this is underway, we are not going to speculate on the origin of the disease in NZ. . .

Saltwater intrusion – Waimea Water:

What is saltwater intrusion

In the 2001 drought, saltwater intrusion occurred in the lower reaches of the Waimea River and was threatening to migrate further inland. In March Tasman District Council opened talks to consider options to protect the dry riverbed. Because the river had no flows, no river water was flushing the saltwater out and it was instead accumulating on the estuary. The Council discussed building a bund across the river and drilling monitoring bores to better monitor how the saltwater contamination was migrating inland, including to the urban supply bores. Ultimately, three urban supply wells were shut down over this period and two were decommissioned at the end of the drought.

Saltwater intrusion is a threat to coastal communities. Once saltwater has entered an underground freshwater system (aquifer) and contaminates it, it can cost much more to treat it for consumption or simply render the supply unusable. For people along the Waimea Plains who rely on bores for their water supply, saltwater intrusion is a real issue. . . 

Why blaming farmers doesn’t hold water – Vaughan Jones:

Water is being discussed across the country, but without solutions. Farmers are blamed, never townies, but look at this photo of polluted water entering the Waikato River just upstream of Fairfield Bridge, in September 2016. If a farmer did the same, they would be fined up to $50,000 and closed down until fixed. I’ve been told by a person that what looked like toilet paper was in some of it.

Environment Waikato told me in 1995 that Hamilton needed four sediment ponds. There are still none while thousands have been built on farms at high cost. This is another example showing that rules for farmers are stricter than for townies.

Waikato Regional Council has forced some farmers to build sediment ponds, but they are negatives because of high costs, and because fresh effluent is of more value and causes less polluting when spread fresh, not months later during which time much has been lost into the air, polluting it, and reduced its fertilising value. . . 

Bay of Islands P&I Show runs in the family:

Sam and Christine Ludbrook will be at the Bay of Islands Pastoral and Industrial Show at Waimate North this weekend, as they have been every year for decades. And they won’t be the only Ludbrooks there by any means.

The show was first staged, as an agricultural demonstration, at the Waimate North mission in 1842. It’s still going strong 175 years later, making it the oldest show of its kind in the country.

And Ludbrooks have been there from the start.

Sam’s grandfather was there in the early days, exhibiting stock, and his brother was on the committee. And while no one can be absolutely sure, it is almost certain that his great-grandfather, Samuel Blomfield Ludbrook, was there in 1842. . . 

Which NZ university has the best employment rates?

As we get older what we talk about with friends changes. This is because of the challenges faced and experiences shared. So when Megan Hands’ friends from her hometown started talking about the choices they had to make when they finished studying, she found she couldn’t join in.

After finishing school, Hands left home in the Manawatu and moved south because she wanted to study both environmental management and agriculture, and Lincoln University offered exactly what she was looking for. Fast forward to graduation and she found some of her contemporaries were having conversations completely outside what she had experienced.

Hands is now running her own farming sustainability company as an environmental consultant.

The experience of Hands and others in her year group are typical for Lincoln University graduates. In Ministry of Education statistics released recently, Lincoln University Bachelor’s Degree graduate employment rates are consistently the highest among New Zealand universities. A survey of graduates from the Lincoln class of 2016 found that 93 percent of those employed were in career-related positions. . . 

#My60acres: soybean harvest – Uptown farms:

#My60Acres is harvested again!  This was the second year Matt let me play a leading role in the management of a sixty acre field on our home farm, and my first soybean crop. 
 
I didn’t get to start the morning with him because my work schedule has been a little hectic, so I didn’t join until late afternoon.  But as soon as I got there, he slid over and let me take the wheel.
 
It might sound odd that he couldn’t wait a day or two for my schedule to be better, but soybean harvest is very time sensitive.  We have to wait long enough the plants are dry, but not too long. . . 


Saturday’s smiles

November 11, 2017

A photon checks into a hotel and is asked if she needs any help with her luggage. She says, “No, I’m travelling light.”

Don’t trust atoms, they make up everything.

Have you heard the one about a chemist who was reading a book about helium?
He just couldn’t put it down.

Oxygen went for a date with potassium. It went OK.

Why do chemists like nitrates so much?
They’re cheaper than day rates.

Anyone know any jokes about sodium?
Na

I asked the guy sitting next to me if he had any Sodium Hypobromite…
He said NaBrO

 What is the show cesium and iodine love watching together?
CSI

What do you do with a sick chemist?
If you can’t helium, and you can’t curium, then you might as well barium.

If the Silver Surfer and Iron Man team up, they’d be alloys.

A fellow accidentally ingested some alpha-L-glucose and discovered that he had no ill effect. Apparently he was ambidextrose.

The name’s Bond. Ionic Bond. Taken, not shared.

Making bad chemistry jokes because all the good ones Argon.

 

 


Horses served too

November 11, 2017

Today is the 99th anniversary of the signing – at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month – of the armistice which ended World War I.

My maternal grandfather served with the New Zealand Army.

Mum said he never talked about the war and buried his medals in his garden.

We got his records from the War Archives and found his occupation was farmhand and that he looked after the horses in Egypt.

A bronze war horse by artist Matt Gauldie to acknowledge the 10,000 New Zealand horses that served in WW1 will be unveiled at Memorial Park, Hamilton at 11am this morning.


So close but so far away for TPP

November 11, 2017

Yesterday’s excitement over agreement on the TPP 11 was premature.

It was so close but now it’s far away again, but it’s not dead.

Canada says Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau’s no-show at a leaders’ meeting was due to a misunderstanding over schedules.

And CBC News says partners have reached agreement on core elements of the deal.

All deals require giving and taking. None are perfect.

But New Zealand has more to gain than lose from tariff-free access to markets which currently disadvantage our exporters.

Consumers in other countries will gain too. If Canadians only knew how much better our cheese is than the orange plastic apology for it I saw in their supermarkets, they’d be demanding their government signs the deal.


Saturday soapbox

November 11, 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.

No automatic alt text available.

I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


November 11 in history

November 11, 2017

1215 – The Fourth Lateran Council met, defining the doctrine of transubstantiation, the process by which bread and wine are, by that doctrine, said to transform into the body and blood of Christ.

1500 – Treaty of Granada – Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragonagree to divide the Kingdom of Naples between them.

1620 – The Mayflower Compact was signed in what is now Provincetown Harbor near Cape Cod.

1634 – Following pressure from Anglican bishop John Atherton, the Irish House of Commons passed An Act for the Punishment for the Vice of Buggery.

1673 – Second Battle of Khotyn in Ukraine: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under the command of Jan Sobieski defeated the Ottoman army. In this battle, rockets made by Kazimierz Siemienowicz were successfully used.

1675 – Gottfried Leibniz demonstrated integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).

1724 – Joseph Blake, alias Blueskin, a highwayman was hanged.

1748 – Charles IV of Spain was born (d. 1819)

1778 – Cherry Valley Massacre: Loyalists and Seneca Indian forces attacked a fort and village in eastern New York killing more than forty civilians and soldiers.

1792 –  – Mary Anne Disraeli, Welsh wife of Benjamin Disraeli, Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was  born (d. 1872).

1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Dürenstein – 8000 French troops attempted to slow the retreat of a vastly superior Russian and Austrian force.

1813 – War of 1812: Battle of Crysler’s Farm – British and Canadian forces defeated a larger American force, causing the Americans to abandon their Saint Lawrence campaign.

1839 – The Virginia Military Institute was founded in Lexington.

1854 – The Ballarat Reform League Charter adopted “At a Meeting held on Bakery Hill in the presence of about ten thousand men”.

1857 – Janet Erskine Stuart, English nun and educator, was born (d. 1914).

1864 – American Civil War: Sherman’s March to the Sea – Union GeneralWilliam Tecumseh Sherman began burning Atlanta, Georgia to the ground in preparation for his march south.

1865 – Treaty of Sinchula was signed: Bhutan ceded areas east of the Teesta River to the British East India Company.

1869 – The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act was enacted, giving the government control of indigenous people’s wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations.

1880 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

1885 – George S. Patton, American general, was born (d. 1945)

1887 – Anarchist Haymarket Martyrs August SpiesAlbert ParsonsAdolph Fischer and George Engel were executed.

1887 – Construction of the Manchester Ship Canal began at Eastham.

1889 – Washington was admitted as the 42nd U.S. state.

1911 – Many cities in the Midwestern United States broke their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolled through.

1918 – The signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany was celebrated in many cities and towns around New Zealand. Enthusiasm was dampened, though, by the ongoing impact of the influenza pandemic then ravaging the country. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiègne in France. The war officially ended at 11:00 (The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).

Armistice Day

1918 – Józef Piłsudski came to Warsaw and assumed supreme military power in Poland. Poland regained its independence.

1918 – Emperor Charles I of Austria relinquished power.

1919 – The Centralia Massacre resulted in the deaths of four members of the American Legion and the lynching of a local leader of the Industrial Workers of the World.

1919 – Lāčplēša day – Latvian forces defeated the Freikorps at Riga in theLatvian War of Independence.

1921 – The Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery.

1922 Kurt Vonnegut, American novelist, was born (d. 2007).

1924 – Prime Minister Alexandros Papanastasiou proclaimed the first recognized Greek Republic.

1926 – Maria Teresa de Filippis, Italian race car driver, was born (d. 2016).

1926 – U.S. Route 66 was established.

1928 Carlos Fuentes, Mexican writer, was born (d. 2012).

1930 – Patent number US1781541 was awarded to Albert Einstein andLeó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.

1934 – The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne was opened.

1940 – Battle of Taranto – The Royal Navy launched the first aircraft carrier strike in history, on the Italian fleet at Taranto.

1940 – The German cruiser Atlantis captured top secret British mail, and sent it to Japan.

1940 – Armistice Day Blizzard: An unexpected blizzard killed 144 in the U.S. Midwest.

1942 Trans tasman liner Awatea was attacked by swarms of German and Italian bombers. Although its gunners shot down several planes, theAwatea was set on fire and holed by torpedoes. Remarkably, everyone on board got off safely (except for the ship’s cat, which was apparently killed by a bomb blast).
Troop ship <em>Awatea</em> goes down fighting

1944 – Dr. jur. Erich Göstl, a member of the Waffen SS, was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, to recognise extreme battlefield bravery, after losing his face and eyes during the Battle of Normandy.

1945 Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, was born.

1945 –  Chris Dreja, British musician (The Yardbirds), was born.

1958 Kathy Lette, Australian-English author, was born.

1960 – A military coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam was crushed.

1960 – Cristina Odone, Kenyan-Italian journalist and author, was born.

1962 – Kuwait’s National Assembly ratified the Constitution of Kuwait.

1962 – Demi Moore, American actress, was born.

1965 – In Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the white-minority government ofIan Smith unilaterally declared independence.

1966 – NASA launched Gemini 12.

1968 – Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt initiated.

1968 – A second republic was declared in the Maldives.

1974 Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor, was born.

1975 – Australian constitutional crisis of 1975: Australian Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the government of Gough Whitlam, appointed Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister and announced a general election to be held in early December.

1978 – Andy Haden dived to save a rugby match.

Andy Haden dives to save rugby test

1992 – The General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow women to become priests.

1999 – The House of Lords Act was given Royal Assent, restricting membership of the British House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage.

2000 – In Kaprun, Austria, 155 skiers and snowboarders died when a cable car caught fire in an alpine tunnel.

2001 – Journalists Pierre BillaudJohanne Sutton and Volker Handloikwere killed in Afghanistan during an attack on the convoy they are traveling in.

2004 – New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington.

2004 – The Palestine Liberation Organization confirmed the death ofYasser Arafat from unidentified causes. Mahmoud Abbas was elected chairman of the PLO minutes later.

2006 – Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the New Zealand War Memorial in London, commemorating the loss of soldiers from the New Zealand and British Armies.

2008 – The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) set sail on her final voyage to Dubai

2012  – A strong earthquake with the magnitude 6.8 hits northern Burma, killing at least 26 people.

2014 – 58 people were killed in a bus crash in the Sukkur District in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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