Word of the day

December 23, 2017

Metagnomy – the acquisition of information by paranormal means; divination, clairvoyance; super sensory perception; paranormal cognition.


Saturday’s smiles

December 23, 2017

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible,
low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral, summer solstice holiday,
practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious
persuasion of your choice , but with respect for the religious
persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well
as those who choose not to practice a religion at all; plus… A
fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically
uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year
2018, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other
cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great,
without regard to the race, creed colour, religious, or sexual
preferences of the wishes, wishers and wished-to.

Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.
It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the
wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any
unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not
caught up in the holiday spirit.


Rural round-up

December 23, 2017

Van Leeuwen owner ‘devastated’ by cattle disease outbreak, says business could go under – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Aad van Leeuwen found himself at the centre of a storm when he reported an outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis in his South Canterbury herds but said the bacterial cattle disease didn’t originate on his farms and if government compensation doesn’t come through soon his operation could go under.

“It’s been devastating,” the owner of Van Leeuwen Dairy Group told BusinessDesk. “We are struggling at the moment. Because we notified the disease we are eligible for compensation, but it’s a battle. It’s not coming through. The government is very slow and confusing. This could put us under if it doesn’t come through. It’s as simple as that.”

Van Leeuwen Dairy is a large-scale, high-performance dairy business in the South Island with 16 farms and associated business, including silage. . . 

ANZCO is now 100% Japanese owned – Allan Barber:

One of Japan’s two largest meat processing and marketing companies, Itoham Yonekyu Holdings, has received OIO consent to increase its shareholding in ANZCO Foods from 65% to 100%. It will acquire the shares currently held by ANZCO’s management (18.24%) and Japanese food company Nissui (16.76%) as a carefully planned transition which will see founder and chairman, Sir Graeme Harrison, retire at the company’s AGM in March.

Itoham Foods have held shares in ANZCO since 1995 when they combined with ANZCO management to complete a buyout of the New Zealand Meat Producers’ Board, forerunner of Beef + Lamb NZ, in 1995, having formed a 50/50 JV with ANZCO in 1989 to establish Five Star Beef Limited with its large scale feedlot near Ashburton. Nissui, a joint owner of Sealord with Maori, have also been involved since the beginning, so this latest transaction means the end of a 28 year association. . . 

South Canterbury blackcurrant farm cashes in on superfood buzz – Adriana Weber:

A South Canterbury blackcurrant farm is cashing in on the berry’s “superfood” status.

Tony Howey and his wife bought a blackcurrant orchard near Pleasant Point, about two hours south of Christchurch, 12 years ago.

In the past few years in particular, and since converting their farm into an organic one, their business and brand ViBERi has taken off.

Mr Howey said since blackcurrants were high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, they were able to market their products for their health benefits. . . 

Community calls for more drought support:

National Party Spokesperson for Rural Communities Barbara Kuriger has backed the call for the Government to declare a medium scale adverse event to better support those affected by the rapidly emerging drought conditions in Taranaki.

“Taranaki Regional Council have today met with organisations such as DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Rural Advisory Group, Rural Support Trust, Taranaki Veterinary Association and Beef & Lamb NZ, with those organisations all calling on the Government to declare a medium scale adverse event for the whole Taranaki region,” Mrs Kuriger says. . . 

Rural Support Trust Making a Difference:

National Party Spokesperson for Rural Communities Barbara Kuriger has thanked the Rural Support Trust for the care and support they extend to people who are facing challenges and encourages those in need to reach out.

“This year has seen a number of challenges for the rural community. The Rural Support Trust has worked tirelessly to help support those who are in challenging times.

“The current extreme weather conditions across the country present hard times for farmers for a number of reasons, especially due to the need to source feed for animals. . . 

Allbirds expands to Australia, eyes further global markets for 2018 – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Allbirds, the merino wool shoe company co-founded by former New Zealand soccer star Tim Brown, has expanded into its third global market, launching in Australia last month, and it’s eyeing up more markets for next year.

San Francisco-based Allbirds started selling its minimalist woollen sneakers direct to consumers in March 2016 and has online operations in the US and New Zealand, shops in San Francisco and New York, and a steady stream of pop-up outlets. It began selling online in Australia on Nov. 21 in response to customer demand from the world’s biggest merino producing country. . . 

Export log prices hit new record on ocntinued strong demand from China:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand export log prices edged higher to a new record, buoyed by continued strong demand from China, a weaker currency and historically low shipping rates.

The price for A-Grade export logs reached $129 a tonne, up from $128 a tonne last month, and $127 a tonne the month earlier, marking the highest level since AgriHQ began collecting the data in 2008, according to the agricultural market specialist’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. All of the main log grades tracked by AgriHQ either held steady or lifted as much as $2 a tonne on the previous month, AgriHQ said. . . 

Sealord operating profit up:

Sealord Group Ltd has reported a profit from continuing operations of $21.8M for its financial year ended 30 September 2017.

Net Profit Before Tax from continuing operations of $28.2M was + 10.2% ahead of the previous year.

This was before a net cost related to discontinued operations of $3.2M. . . 


Saturday soapbox

December 23, 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 christmas

There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour. – Charles Dickens


December 23 in history

December 23, 2017

484 – Huneric died and was succeeded by his nephew Gunthamund, who became king of the Vandals.

558 – Chlothar I was crowned.

583 – Maya queen Yohl Ik’nal was crowned ruler of Palenque.

679 – King Dagobert II was murdered in a hunting accident.

962 – Arab–Byzantine Wars: Under the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas,Byzantine troops stormed the city of Aleppo.

1572 – Theologian Johann Sylvan was executed in Heidelberg for his heretical Antitrinitarian beliefs.

1688 – As part of the Glorious Revolution, King James II of England fled England to Paris after being deposed in favor of his nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary.

1732 Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor, was born (d. 1792).

1822  Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer, was born  (d. 1875).

1867  Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon, was born (d. 1919).

1893 The opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck was first performed.

1913 The Federal Reserve Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, creating the Federal Reserve.

1914  World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrived in Cairo, Egypt.

1918 – Helmut Schmidt, German soldier, economist, and politician, 5th Chancellor of Germany, was born (d. 2015).

1925  Rayner Unwin, British book publisher, was born (died 2000).

1933 Akihito, Emperor of Japan, was born.

1937  First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.

1938  Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.

1943 – Queen Silvia of Sweden was born.

1947 The transistor was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories.

1951  Anthony Phillips, British musician (Genesis), was born.

1955  – Carol Ann Duffy, Scottish poet and playwright was born.

1953 Queen Elizabeth II arrived in New Zealand, the first reigning monarch to visit.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for summer tour

1954  The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

1958  Dedication of Tokyo Tower, world’s highest self-supporting iron tower.

1964 Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1970 The North Tower of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan was topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.

1972 The Nicaraguan capital of Managua was struck by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 10,000.

1972 The 16 survivors of the Andes flight disaster were rescued after 73 days, having survived by cannibalism.

1986  Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California becoming the first aircraft to fly non-stop around the world.

1990  In a referendum, 88% of Slovenia‘s population vote for independence from Yugoslavia.

2002 A MQ-1 Predator is shot down by an Iraqi MiG-25, making it the first time in history that an aircraft and an unmanned drone had engaged in combat.

2004  Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean was hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

2005  Chad declared war against Sudan following a December 18 attack on Adré, which left about 100 people dead.

2007 – An agreement was made for the monarchy of Nepal to be abolished and the country to become a federal republic with the Prime Minister becoming head of state.

2010 – A monsoonal trough crossed the northeastern coast of Australia from the Coral Sea, bringing mass flooding across Queensland.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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