Quote of the day

January 19, 2018

A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art. – Paul Cézanne who was born on this day in 1839.

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January 19 in history

January 19, 2018

1419 – Hundred Years’ War: Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy.

1511 – Mirandola surrendered to the French.

1520  – Sten Sture the Younger, the Regent of Sweden, was mortally wounded at the Battle of Bogesund.

1607 San Agustin Church in Manila, now the oldest church in the Philippines, was officially completed.

1736 James Watt, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1819).

1764  John Wilkes was expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel.

1788  Second group of ships of the First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay.

1795  Batavian Republic was proclaimed in the Netherlands. End of theRepublic of the Seven United Netherlands.

1806 – The United Kingdom occupied the Cape of Good Hope.

1807  Robert E. Lee, American Confederate general, was born  (d. 1870).

1809 Edgar Allan Poe, American writer and poet, was born (d. 1849).

1817 An army of 5,423 soldiers, led by General José de San Martín, crossed the Andes from Argentina to liberate Chile and then Peru.

1829 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s Faust Part 1 premiered.

1839  Paul Cézanne, French painter, was born (d. 1906).

1839 The British East India Company captured Aden.

1840 Captain Charles Wilkes circumnavigated Antarctica, claiming what became known as Wilkes Land for the United States.

1845 Hone Heke cut down the British flag pole for the third time.

Hone Heke cuts down the British flagstaff - again

1848 Matthew Webb, English swimmer/diver  first man to swim English Channel without artificial aids, was born (d. 1883).

1853 – Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Il Trovatore premiered in Rome.

1875 –  Ethel Rebecca Benjamin – University of Otago’s and New Zealand’s first woman law graduate, was born (d. 1943).

Ethel Rebecca Benjamin

1883  The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, began service at Roselle, New Jersey.

1893 Henrik Ibsen‘s play The Master Builder premiered in Berlin.

1899 – Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was formed.

1915  Georges Claude patented the neon discharge tube for use in advertising.

1915  German zeppelins bombed the cities of Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn killing more than 20, in the first major aerial bombardment of a civilian target.

1917 German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann sent theZimmermann Telegram to Mexico, proposing a German-Mexican alliance against the United States.

1917 – Silvertown explosion: 73 killed and 400 injured in an explosion in a munitions plant in London.

1918 Finnish Civil War: The first serious battles between the Red Guardsand the White Guard.

1923 Jean Stapleton, American actress, was born.

1935 Coopers Inc.  sold the world’s first briefs.

1935  Johnny O’Keefe, Australian singer, was born (d. 1978).

1937 Howard Hughes set a new air record by flying from Los Angeles, California to New York City in 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds.

1939 Phil Everly, American musician, was born (d 2014).

1942  Michael Crawford, British singer and actor, was born.

1943 Janis Joplin, American singer, was born (d. 1970).

1943  Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, was born.

1945  Soviet forces liberated the Łódź ghetto. Out more than 200,000 inhabitants in 1940, less than 900 had survived the Nazi occupation.

1946  Dolly Parton, American singer and actress, was born.

1946 General Douglas MacArthur established the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo to try Japanese war criminals.

1947 Rod Evans, British musician (Deep Purple), was born.

1951  Dewey Bunnell, American singer and songwriter (America), was born.

1953 – 68% of all television sets in the United States were tuned in to I Love Lucy to watch Lucy give birth to Desi Arnaz, Jr., American actor.

1966 Indira Gandhi was elected Prime Minister of India.

1967 – 19 men were killed in an explosion in the Strongman mine, at Rūnanga.

19 killed in Strongman mine explosion at Runanga
1972 – Princess Kalina of Bulgaria, was born.

1977 – Snow fell in Miami, Florida for the only time time in the history of the city.

1978  The last Volkswagen Beetle made in Germany left VW’s plant in Emden.

1981 United States and Iranian officials signed an agreement to release 52 American hostages after 14 months of captivity.

1983  Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was arrested in Bolivia.

1983 – The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, was announced.

1996  The barge North Cape oil spill occurred as an engine fire forced the tugboat Scandia ashore on Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

1997 Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron after more than 30 years and joined celebrations over the handover of the last Israeli-controlled West Bank city.

2006 – The New Horizons probe was launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto.

2007 – Armenian Journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in front of his newspaper’s office by 17 year old Turkish ultranationalist Ogün Samast.

2012 – The Hong Kong-based file-sharing website Megaupload was shut down by the FBI.

2013 – A failed attempt to assassinate Ahmed Dogan, chairman of the Bulgarian political party Movement for Rights and Freedoms, on live television is foiled by security guards.

2014 – A bomb attack on an army convoy in the city of Bannu killed at least 26 soldiers and injured 38 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online, Te Ara encyclopedia of NZ & Wikipedia


365 days of gratitude

January 18, 2018

This morning’s history post informed me that today was the birthday of Joseph Glidden who patented barbed wire.

There’s been the odd occasion when I’ve been snagged in it and cursed it, but many more when I’ve appreciated its usefulness and I’m grateful for it.

 


Word of the day

January 18, 2018

Prestidigitation –  sleight of hand; quick hand movements and secret techniques of an illusionist;  performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands.


Thursday’s quiz

January 18, 2018

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual box of nectarines.


Rural round-up

January 18, 2018

Mycoplasma bovis is unlikely to go away – Keith Woodford:

It now seems likely that Mycoplasma bovis is in New Zealand to stay. Just like the rest of the world, we must learn how to live with it. We do not yet have to give up totally on hopes of eradication, but eradication is looking more and more unlikely.

The control program has suffered from incorrect information and poor communication, and there is much to be learned from that. These information flaws have affected farmer and public attitudes. In some cases, this has created additional and unnecessary stress, and unfair criticism of individuals.

However, the probability is that these flaws have not affected the success or failure of the eradication program. The chances are that Mycoplasma bovis has been here for some years, in which case eradication was always going to be impossible. . .

Plants dying as drought threatens vegetable and fruit supplies to shoppers – Pat Deavoll:

Droughts are threatening the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables on shopping shelves and storing water in dams would rectify this, says Horticulture New Zealand.

“Relying on water to fall from the sky simply isn’t enough,” said HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman. “HortNZ believes we should be more proactive in capturing and storing that water to ensure sustainability of supply during times of drought.”

Chapman said the dry conditions of early summer were putting fruit and vegetable growers under pressure to the point where some of them were having to make decisions about which plants and trees they would plant or harvest. . . 

Kiwi-born Nasa scientist for CSST – Pam Jones:

An award-winning Nasa scientist has been appointed director of research for the Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST).

The appointment of Delwyn Moller was announced yesterday.

Dr Moller was born and raised in the Waikato, studied at the University of Auckland and went on to design and implement technology for Nasa space missions. She will be moving to Central Otago from Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

CSST chief executive Steve Cotter said Dr Moller’s contribution would be invaluable to CSST and to New Zealand as a whole. . . 

Ask a farmer, we don’t hate you – Pete Fitzherbert:

It must be so easy for the average New Zealander to just start again at the end of one year and begin another – make some resolutions, forget about them within the week, and then if you are feeling a little overweight just go down to the food court at the local mall and problem solved, because compared to the fatty at the smorgasbord you are an athlete!

It’s fair to say it is not as easy for your average farmer. Our seasons roll over without ever having a definitive start or finish.

So, what kind of New Year resolutions or hopes could we have? The best we can do sometimes is hope for the best, plan for the worst and the rest of the time play it as it lays.

Maybe we could hope the next year brings the chance to take off a couple of those public holidays.

Maybe hope for a totally average year in every way, or hope that we can farm, just farm, to the best the season presents us with without the public scrutiny that has begun to develop around agriculture.

Could you imagine a return to a world where the only people that gave dairy farmers grief were sheep farmers and bank managers? . . 

Fonterra partners with Alibaba’s Hema Fresh to launch fresh milk product into China:

Fonterra has launched a new fresh milk product in China in partnership with Hema Fresh, Alibaba’s innovative new retail concept which combines traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping with a digital experience.

The new Daily Fresh milk range is now available in Hema’s 14 stores in Shanghai and Suzhou in 750mL bottles, sourced directly from Fonterra’s farm hub in Hebei province. The product boasts unique product labels to match each day of the week in order to emphasise freshness, with stock being replenished overnight ready for each new day.

Initial volumes are currently around three metric tonnes daily, with plans to scale-up over time and expand with the retailer as it rapidly grows its footprint of stores across China. . . 

A blast from the Haast – NZ’s most isolated town – Sarah Harris:

Of the 240 people who call Haast home there’s one policeman, 13 students at the only school, one electrician who is trying to retire and no plumber. If one comes to town residents chase him down the road.

There’s also no doctor – one comes once a fortnight. If there’s a medicial emergency a helicopter can land on the school field.

A drive to the closest supermarket is two hours away and the nearest hospital in Greymouth is a four-hour drive or 90 minute flight. . . 

Can we keep our country shows alive? – Alex Druce:

IT’s been nearly two years since Wingham last held a country show and organisers are determined to get it right.

“We had to go back to the drawing board, and we’ve got some pretty exciting new things,” says press officer Elaine Turner. 

“For starters, there’s the piggy races. And the demolition derby is going to be on again too . Everyone loves that.” . . 


Water storage is the green answer to food shortages

January 18, 2018

HorticultureNZ says drought is threatening food supply:

Water is vital for plants and trees to grow and New Zealand needs to better mitigate droughts that threaten our domestic supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.

“The dry conditions we have seen through early summer are putting fruit and vegetable growers under pressure to the point where some are having to make decisions about which plants and trees they may not be able to plant or harvest, and which may need to be left to die as scarce water supply is used to keep other plants alive,” Chapman says.

“No water means plants die and as a result, fresh fruit and vegetables are unavailable and prices go up because demand is higher than supply.

“Relying on water to fall from the sky simply isn’t enough. HortNZ believes we should be more proactive in capturing and storing that water to ensure sustainability of supply during times of drought.

“The best way to ensure adequate water supply to irrigate fruit and vegetable plants is to store water in dams. Dams also benefit streams and rivers by reducing flood risk and keeping flows up during dry periods, which protects aquatic life.

“There are benefits to every New Zealander from having a reliable water supply. But there are inconsistent policies across central and local government when it comes to water, land use, preparing for climate change goals, and community needs. We believe these should be looked at holistically.

“On the one hand the government wants a  Zero Carbon Act and to plant one billion more trees, but on the other hand, local authorities are increasingly putting pressure on water supplies, limiting water access for irrigation to grow food. There needs to be a wider national approach to these issues and support and recognition for regions that are addressing them as communities.

“For example, Horticulture New Zealand supports the Waimea Dam in the Tasman District and the proposal for it to be a joint venture with the territorial authorities. This is because there are broad community benefits from the dam in an area that is growing in population, and therefore, has a greater need for water supply for people as well as plants.

“The benefits of the dam include water for food security and primary production, security of water supply for urban water users, improved ecosystem health of the Waimea River, recreational benefits, regional economy benefits, business development and expansion, and more jobs.

“The Waimea Dam is the answer to everyone’s water needs in the district.”

Horticulture New Zealand’s submission on the Waimea Dam proposal for governance and funding can be found here

The emotive anti-farming green lobby paints irrigation as bad for the environment but it can be, and often is, good.

Irrigation is like precision rainfall – applied where and when it’s needed.

Storing excess water in times of flood and high river flows to use when there’s not enough rain ticks the economic, environmental and social boxes.

It ensures minimum flows can be maintained to protect water life, it allows plant growth to protect soil from erosion, it provides secure jobs and enables food to be grown during droughts.

Without irrigation farmers and horticulturists are at the mercy of the weather. When it’s dry they produce less food and as the supply drops the price increases which hits the poorest hardest.

There’s irony that many of those opposed to irrigation which enables the growth of fruit and vegetables are often the ones making the most noise about growing obesity.

More irrigation enables the production of food including fruit and vegetables which ought to form the basis of every-day diets. Without irrigation these foods become more expensive leaving the poor no choice but to purchase cheaper, less nutritious and more energy-dense food.

The anti-farming lobby must remove their blinkers and open their minds to the fact that water storage is the green answer to the problems of food shortages, poor diets and soil and water degradation.

 


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