Word of the day

December 26, 2017

Piroot – to whirl around; wander about idly or aimlessly; gad about; prowl, snoop.


When I rule the world . . .

December 26, 2017

When I rule the world* batteries will be included.

There may well be reasons for not including them with goods which require their power but I am not convinced they’d outweigh the inconvenience of finding you need batteries to operate whatever it is you’ve just bought/been given and don’t have them.

*Accepting that global health and happiness have already been achieved.


Rural round-up

December 26, 2017

‘Drag ‘n drop’ grazing now a reality – Nigel Malthus:

The idea of virtual fencing has been around for 20 years, but AgResearch believes its time has come and will soon start testing an Australian product.
Farm systems scientist Warren King, of AgResearch Ruakura, says it has been watching the technology for years and now believes the eShepherd product from Melbourne company Agersens is “the real deal”.

New Zealand’s Gallagher Group is a lead investor in Agersens, with marketing manager Mark Harris on the board. . .

Recent heat boost for lavender crops:

A South Canterbury lavender grower is experiencing an early start to the season.

Rob Martin, of Limestone Valley Estate, near Cave, said his crop of Pacific blue lavender was two weeks early this year, and his other varieties were following close behind.

He put the ”very early” start down to the year’s weather patterns, which were ”excellent” for lavender.

”[There was a] sudden heavy wet winter and spring and that immediately changed to hot weather,” he said. . .

Mozzarella plant on track for May start – Alexia Johnston:

Clandeboye’s $240million mozzarella plant is on target for commissioning in May.

AThe project, which is the third mozzarella plant for Fonterra’s Clandeboye site, is three-quarters complete and has already created 75 new jobs.

A further 25 employees will join the team in February.

Clandeboye operations manager Steve McKnight was among those watching progress.

”There’s a real buzz in the air on site as we have more people on site and the plant takes shape,” he said. . .

Decades of service:

The 2017 NZ Winegrower Personality of the Year goes to the NZSVO and its departing Executive Officer, Nick Sage and the recently announced life member, Rengasamy Balasubramaniam – better known as Bala.

There seems to be a common thread when you look at the retiring committee members of the NZSVO. All seem to have landed the job after being lured to an AGM by the offer of free wine. . .

I can’t wait for when we don’t have any possums – Andrew Austin:

The rabbits populating my neighbourhood seem to have begun breeding like, well, rabbits.

They are all around – on the roads, in the gardens, in the paddocks. They are a menace. As I am not a gun owner, I simply have to live with them.

The dogs give them (literally) a run for their money, so at least they don’t come too close to the house.

But even worse than rabbits are the possums. I drive along a one kilometre-long shared rural driveway to get to my house and every night I see at least one possum waddling along the road. Workmates and others tell me that I should aim for them and run them over. I have tried, but always seem to pull out at the last moment. . .

Gove tells Brits to be more patriotic about cheese buying habits

Brits who are worried about the price of their foreign produce going up after Brexit should be more patriotic about their choices, according to Michael Gove.

Mr Gove, who attended the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) on Wednesday (20 December), has criticised claims that the price of cheddar cheese will go up by 40 percent if Britain leaves the EU without a trade deal.

The Defra Secretary said Brits should instead focus their priority on British cheddar. He said that, in a WTO scenario, if cheese prices rise steeply then the British public should buy more British cheese. . .


Quote of the day

December 26, 2017

The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love.  Henry Miller who was born on this day in 1891.


December 26 in history

December 26, 2017

1135 – Coronation of King Stephen of England.

1481 – Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeated troops of Utrecht.

1620 Pilgrim Fathers landed at what became New Plymouth in Massachusetts.

1716  Thomas Gray, English writer, was born (d. 1771).

1780  Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician, was born (d. 1872).

1791 Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born (d. 1871).

1860  The first ever inter-club football match took place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield.

1862 Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

1870 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps was completed.

1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis.

1879 In Christchurch, 30 Catholic Irishmen attacked an Orange (Protestant) procession with pick-handles, while in Timaru 150 men from Thomas O’Driscoll’s Hibernian Hotel surrounded Orangemen and prevented their procession taking place.

Sectarian violence in Canterbury

1891 Henry Miller, American writer, was born  (d. 1980).

1893 Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician, was born (d. 1976).

1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.

1919   Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee.

1933 FM radio was patented.

1935 – Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops), was born.

1940 –  Phil Spector, American music producer, was born.

1942 Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president, was born.

1949 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate, was born.

1953 Leonel Fernández, President of the Dominican Republic, was born.

1953 Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, was born.

1980 Aeroflot put the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.

1982 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time a non-human, the personal computer.

1986 World Population reached 5 billion according to www.ibiblio.orgworld population tracker.

1991  The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the USSR.

2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated southeast Iranian city ofBam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.

2004 A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.

2004 – Orange Revolution: The final run-off election in Ukraine was held under heavy international scrutiny.

2006 – An oil pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria exploded, killing at least 260 people.

2006 The 2006 Hengchun earthquake (7.1 magnitude)  hit Taiwan.

2009 – China opened the world’s longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing and Guangzhou.

2011 –  Cyclone Dagmar swept over Scandinavia, deracinating trees, disrupting public traffic, and destroying buildings.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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