Word of the day

December 28, 2017

Fernweh – wanderlust, the desire to travel; a longing for far-off places.


Thursday’s quiz

December 28, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions for the last Thursday’s quiz of the year.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual black bun, which is traditionally eaten at Hogmanay.


Rural round-up

December 28, 2017

Lamb prices surprise in good year for farmers – Dene Mackenzie:

The year was one of surprises, consistency, comebacks and consolidation for New Zealand’s agricultural industry, ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny says.

Lamb prices surprised by surging over the year, while beef prices were consistently strong.

Butter made a stunning comeback during the year, helping the dairy sector consolidate its position with another positive year.

The meat sector took centre stage in 2017 and the year was one out of the box for lamb prices, he said. . .

Sale marks new era for rail trail – Pam Jones:

A business that has transported thousands of cyclists over the Otago Central Rail Trail has notched up another milestone in its own journey. Pam Jones talks to Neville and Barbara Grubb about the beginnings of Trail Journeys and where the business will travel to next.

In the early days of the Otago Central Rail Trail it was not only the businesses and operators along the trail that were working things out from scratch, one of the biggest operators on the trail says.

”Those very first cyclists, they were the real pioneers of the trail,” Trail Journeys co-founder Neville Grubb said. ”They were just great. They didn’t mind what was there and they didn’t mind where they stayed. All they wanted was somewhere to rest their head at the end of the day.” . . 

MyFarm $13M Rockit apple investment offer closes oversubscribed – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – MyFarm Investments, which pools funds for rural investment, said its $13 million offer for growing miniature Rockit snack apples closed oversubscribed.

The company said its offer, under the Rakete Orchards Limited Partnership, closed on Dec. 15 having attracted 67 investors with an average investment of $195,000. The partnership will lease and fund the planting of 55 hectares of the Rockit apple variety across four orchard blocks in the Heretaunga Plains of Hawkes Bay, the only planting of new orchards of Rockit apple trees in the country in 2018. . .

Sealord’s annual profit falls 19% on write down of now-exited UK business – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Sealord’s annual profit fell 19 percent largely on an impairment charge of its British-based Sealord Caistor processing business, which was sold to shareholder Nippon Suisan Kaisha.

Net profit fell to $18.5 million in the year ended Sept. 30 versus $22.9 million a year earlier, according to holding company Kura’s financial statements, lodged with the Companies Office. Discontinued operations contributed a loss of $3.2 million to the bottom line, including an impairment charge of $4.9 million. Sealord’s income tax expense was $6.4 million versus $3.7 million in the prior year. . .

Dale Farm announcement widens North-South dairy split – Richard Halleron:

Confirmation of the two new production incentives announced last week by Dale Farm is further evidence of the growing production divide that now exists between the dairy industries on the island of Ireland.

The aforementioned measures, one targeting new entrants and the other encouraging the production of milk the year-round, confirm yet again that processors north of the border are committed to securing milk 12 months of the year.

And, what’s more, they are prepared to pay for this commitment on the part of farmers. 

Meanwhile, the southern co-ops and Teagasc remain totally wedded to the principle of getting as much milk as possible from grazed grass. At one level, this makes perfect sense. Irish dairy farmers should be getting as much milk from the cheapest source of feed available to them – grazed grass. . .


Quote of the day

December 28, 2017

You can’t learn pathos or profundity. – Nigel Kennedy who celebrates his 62nd birthday today.


December 28 in history

December 28, 2017

457– Majorian was crowned emperor of the Western Roman Empire and recognised by Pope Leo I.

484 – Alaric II succeeded his father Euric and became king of the Visigoths. He established his capital at Aire-sur-l’Adour (Southern Gaul).

893 – An earthquake destroyed the city of Dvin, Armenia.

1065  Westminster Abbey was consecrated.

1612 Galileo Galilei becomes the first astronomer to observe the planet Neptune, although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.

1635  Princess Elizabeth of England was born (d. 1650).

1768 King Taksin‘s coronation achieved through conquest as a king of Thailand and established Thonburi as a capital.

1795 Construction of Yonge Street, the longest street in the world, began in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto.

1836 South Australia and Adelaide were founded.

1836 – Spain recognised the independence of Mexico.

1856  Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1924).

1867  United States claimed Midway Atoll, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.

1879 –  The Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapsed as a train passed over it, killing 75.

1879 –  Billy Mitchell, American military aviation pioneer was born  (d. 1936).

1895 The Lumière brothers performed for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines marking the debut of thecinema.

1908 An earthquake rocked Messina, Sicily killing over 75,000.

1912 The first municipally owned streetcars took to the streets in San Francisco, California.

1929 ‘Black Saturday’ in Samoa – the day that New Zealand military police fired on a Mau demonstration in Apia, killing 11 Samoans, including the independence leader Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III. This led the Mau movement to demand independence for Samoa.

'Black Saturday' - NZ police open fire in Apia

1934 Dame Maggie Smith, British actress, was born.

1935 Pravda published a letter by Pavel Postyshev, who revived the New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union.

1945 The United States Congress officially recognised the Pledge of Allegiance.

1950 The Peak District became the United Kingdom’s first National Park.

1953 Richard Clayderman, French pianist, was born.

1954  Denzel Washington, American actor, was born.

1956 Nigel Kennedy, British violinist, was born.

1981 The first American test-tube babyElizabeth Jordan Carr, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.

1989 A magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit Newcastle, New South Wales, killing 13 people.

1999  Saparmurat Niyazov was proclaimed President for Life in Turkmenistan.

2009 43 people died in a suicide bombing in Karachi, Pakistan, where Shia Muslims were observing the Day of Ashura.

2010 – Arab Spring: Popular protests began in Algeria against the government.

2011 – Uludere airstrike: Turkish warplanes bombed 34 Kurds of Turkish nationality in the district of Uludere.

2014 – Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed into the Karimata Strait en route from Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 people aboard.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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