365 days of gratitude

January 10, 2018

It’s a long time since I’ve posted a birthday card, but I do my best to email a group of university friends when one of them has a birthday.

It’s not the same as a card, but the missive shows the ones celebrating they’re not forgotten and provides an opportunity to keep in touch with the other old friends at the same time.

Today one of the group has a birthday. In sending the email to everyone I was reminded of the fun we’ve had together and I’m grateful for that.

 


Word of the day

January 10, 2018

Celebritoxicity  –  the degree to which an obsession with celebrities can harm humans.

Hat tip: Pete George


Rural round-up

January 10, 2018

Tests confirm cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis on Ashburton farm:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that the bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is present on a farm in the Ashburton area.

The Ministry’s response incident controller David Yard says milk sampling carried out by the dairy industry just before Christmas revealed a suspected positive result and MPI’s Animal Health Laboratory testing has just confirmed this.

“The affected farm and an associated property have been under controls since Christmas Eve as a precautionary measure. No animals or other risk goods such as used farm equipment have been allowed on or off the property during this time and these controls stand,” Mr Yard says. . . 

Water taxi arrives in North Otago

It’s been a funny old year on Gareth and Sarah Isbister’s farm, Balruddery, near Five Forks.

Swamped by rain, the cattle farmers finished 2017 beside the Kakanui River with new irrigation and options.

The Isbisters are happy to have the extra water on hand after a difficult 12 months for an irrigation rollout in their area.

Their supplier, the farmer-owned North Otago Irrigation Company, was meant to be pumping high-pressure flow to downland farmers like them in late 2016. Joint faults in pipes put paid to that idea, costing shareholders as the contractor fixed its faulty workmanship. . .

Ruawai farmer survives being trampled by stampeding herd:

Dairy farmer Chris Baker says he is “hellishly lucky” to have survived a stampede by his 180 cows that left him trampled, unconscious and with broken bones.

The 61-year old Ruawai man has been a dairy farmer for 40 years, and has never before been in such a life threatening situation.

He does admit to being kicked in the chest and elsewhere a few times by cows, “but that’s just day to day farming.”

Baker said he did nothing different or wrong last Tuesday but the freak occurrence could have left him dead. He now has a cautionary tale for anyone working on their own on a farm, and with animals. . . 

Pastures imperiled by seawater flooding – Jessie Chiang:

Seawater flooding of rural properties in Kaiaua is going to have a serious impact on farmers, Federated Farmers says.

Wild weather and a king tide last week caused widespread flooding in the coastal region on the western side of the Firth of Thames, leaving behind soaked properties filled with debris.

The federation’s Hauraki-Coromandel president Kevin Robinson said saltwater destroys pastures.

He said farmers would now have to wait for rain to wash away the salt before they could replant grass.

“It’s become evident that there are quite a few farmers there who [have been] significantly affected by the tidal inundation – one farmer 100 percent and others to a lesser degree,” said Mr Robinson. . . 

MyFarm sees dairy farm investments waning, eyes growth in horticulture – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – MyFarm Investments, New Zealand’s largest rural investment syndicator, is moving its focus away from its dairy farming origins and expects future growth to come from smaller overlooked investments such as fruit.

The rural investment firm was set up in 1990, initially investing in dairy farms which it syndicated to investors. It has since diversified into sheep and beef farms, horticulture and mussel farming and has more than $500 million of rural assets under management. About half its assets are dairy farms, with some 30 percent in sheep and beef farms and 20 percent in other investments, and the company expects its dairy investments to shrink as farms are sold when investments mature while the proportion in other areas grows. . . 

Have banks signalled they’ve had enough of funding the dairy industry? If funding is closed off, the new Govt’s obligations for the industry are likely to be expensive and even more stressful– David Chaston:

Rural borrowers currently owe banks in New Zealand $60.4 bln, according to the Reserve Bank.

With banks over the past decade rushing to support the capital needs of the growing dairy sector, two thirds of this rural debt is held by dairy farmers.

All rural debt represents just 14% of the debt held by banks in New Zealand and pales in comparison to the 56% of all debt banks hold over urban residences ($240 bln). These numbers don’t include another $4.9 bln lent to the rural support sector or the forestry or fishing sectors. . . 

Young Taranaki local wins Poultry Industry Trainee of the Year Award:

Henry Miles is a busy young man who is about to become even busier. Next month, the 21-year-old New Plymouth resident, who is currently Assistant Manager of a Tegel meat chicken farm, will step up to manage a large new free-range farm – which will expand to a total of eight sheds by adding a shed every seven weeks.

It is a role that Henry is well prepared for, having gained a thorough grounding in poultry farming since leaving school in 2014. . . 


Milk Must Have a Future

January 10, 2018


When I rule the world

January 10, 2018

When I rule the world*, all drivers who aren’t going to pass a slow vehicle will keep enough space between the vehicle in front and their own to allow others to pass them.

Furthermore, all drivers travelling at less than the legal and safe speed will keep to the left when they reach passing lanes and won’t speed up so no-one can pass them safely and legally.

*Accepting that we’ve already attained global health and happiness.


Quote of the day

January 10, 2018

I found one had to do some work every day, even at midnight, because either you’re professional or you’re not. –  Barbara Hepworth who was born on this day in 1903.


January 10 in history

January 10, 2018

49 BC Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, signalling the start of civil war.

1776 Thomas Paine published Common Sense.

1806  Dutch settlers in Cape Town surrendered to the British.

1810 The marriage of Napoleon and Josephine was annulled.

1815 Sir John Alexander Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, was born  (d. 1891).

1834 Lord Acton, British historian, was born (d. 1902).

1838 French Bishop Jean Baptiste François Pompallier, a priest and brother of the Society of Mary, arrived at Hokianga.

Catholic missionaries arrive at Hokianga

1863 The London Underground, the world’s oldest underground railway, opened between London Paddington station and Farringdon station.

1901  The first great Texas oil gusher was discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.

1903 Barbara Hepworth, English sculptor, was born (d. 1975).

1908 Bernard Lee, English actor was born (d. 1981).

1920 The League of Nations held its first meeting and ratified the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I.

1922  Arthur Griffith was elected President of the Irish Free State.

1928 – Pioneer aviators George Hood and John Moncrieff vanished over the Tasman.

1930  Roy Edward Disney, American film executive, was born (d. 2009).

1936 Burnum Burnum, Australian activist, actor and author, was born (d. 1997).

1945 Rod Stewart, Scottish singer, was born.

1946 The first General Assembly of the United Nations opened in London. Fifty-one nations were represented.

1948 Donald Fagen, American musician (Steely Dan), was born.

1949 George Foreman, American boxer, was born.

1959  Fran Walsh, New Zealand screenwriter, was born.

1960 – Brian Cowen, Taoiseach of Ireland, was born.

1962  NASA announced plans to build the C-5 rocket booster. It became better known as the Saturn V moon rocket, which launched every Apollo moon mission.

1972 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to the newly independent Banglades  as president after spending over nine months in prison in Pakistan.

1974 Jemaine Clement, New Zealand actor, was born.

1984 – The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations.

1990  Time Warner was formed from the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications Inc.

2001 – A large piece of the chalk cliff at Beachy Head collapsed into the sea.

2005 – A mudslide in La Conchita, California, killed10 people, injured many more and closed Highway 101, the main coastal corridor between San Francisco and Los Angeles, for 10 days.

2011 – 2010–2011 Queensland floods: Torrential rain in the Lockyer Valley region of south-east Queensland caused severe flash flooding, killing 9 people.

2013 – More than 100 peoplewere killed and 270 injured in several bomb blasts in Pakistan.

2015 – A mass poisoning at a funeral in Mozambique caused by beer that was deliberately contaminated with crocodile bile leaving at least 56 dead and nearly 200 hospitalized.

2015 – A traffic accident between an oil tanker truck and passenger coach en route to Shikarpur from Karachi on the Pakistan National Highway Link Road near Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Karachi, killing at least 62 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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