365 days of gratitude

March 22, 2018

When we say our friendship is older than our memories, that’s not a poor reflection on our memories.

We first met when we were two.

We’ve laughed together, cried together, kept each other’s secrets, spread each other’s news,  comforted each other in sad times and celebrated with each other in the good.

We now live more than two hours drive from each other and see each other only a few times a year.

One of those times was today when we met for lunch and did a lot more talking than eating.

Today I’m grateful for the blessing of an old friend who’s still a truly good friend.


Carpool Karaoke with Down Syndrome children

March 22, 2018

Fifty mothers and their children with Down Syndrome lip-sync in carpool karaoke:

 

You can read about it here.


Word of the day

March 22, 2018

 Smultronstallet (Swedish) – wild berry patch; an underrated gem of a place; a quite, cultivated place to which one goes to retreat or relax.


Thursday’s quiz

March 22, 2018

You’re invited to pose the questions.

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


Rural round-up

March 22, 2018

NZ led study reveals DNA of cattle and sheep bacteria – Eric Frykberg:

International scientists led by New Zealanders have identified the genetic makeup of over 500 species of bacteria found in the gut of cattle and sheep.

Previously the genomes of just 15 rumen microbial genomes were available to the scientific community.

The project was led by the former AgResearch scientist Bill Kelly and a current AgResearch scientist Sinead Leahy.

They were joined by nearly 60 scientists from 14 research organisations across nine countries. . . 

Organic dairy dreams backed by science – Fritha Tagg:

Fritha Tagg meets an organic dairy farmer who has the science to make his dreams come true.

Ged Goode is not shy when it comes to improving his herd. “We want to produce the tastiest, healthiest milk in the world,” he says with a big grin.

Dreams don’t get much bigger but this organic dairy farmer who has farmed south of Tokoroa for 26 years has the track record to back it up and the determination to keep forging ahead. His 800ha (500ha effective, the rest is native bush and forestry) farm is home to 680 organic milk-producing cows.

Now he is embracing A2 milk production and establishing a polled herd. . .

Wetlands hold secret ingredient of future water quality – Aslan Wright-Stow, Tom Stephens, David Burger, DairyNZ, Kit Rutherford, Chris Tanner, NIWA:

Wetlands are the kidneys of the land – filtering, absorbing and transforming contaminants before they can affect streams or lakes. DairyNZ’s water science team and NIWA experts share how wetlands benefit water quality.

A NIWA review of research into seepage wetlands in New Zealand over the past two decades showed wetlands are remarkably effective at stripping nitrate, a problematic form of nitrogen, through a process known as denitrification.

The review offers robust evidence into ‘how’ seepage wetlands benefit water quality. DairyNZ commissioned the NIWA work because it firmly believes that seepage wetlands offer a unique opportunity to reduce nitrogen loss and should be prioritised for stock exclusion and protected against further drainage. The independent research commissioned certainly supports those claims. . . 

Federated Farmers pays tribute to John O’ Connor:

Federated Farmers offers its deepest condolences to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and family after the passing of his father, West Coast dairy farmer John O’Connor.

Mr O’ Connor ONZM was a passionate advocate for the dairy industry and was regarded as a pioneer for introducing dairy to the Buller district on the West Coast.

He was a Nuffield Scholar, Federated Farmers National Dairy Chair, West Coast Provincial President and served for 48 years as a director on the Buller Valley, Karamea and Westland Dairy Companies. . .

Rabobank New Zealand announces new board appointment:

Rabobank New Zealand has announced the appointment of Jillian Segal AM to its board of directors.

Ms Segal, a respected Australian company director with extensive regulatory and legal experience, joins the boards of Rabobank New Zealand Limited, as well as Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group’s other major operating entities – Rabobank Australia Limited and Rabo Australia Limited.

Announcing the appointment, Rabobank’s Australia & New Zealand chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said Ms Segal’s extensive board experience across the private and public sectors, including in financial services – coupled with a career-long background in governance and law – made her an “ideal fit” for Rabobank’s New Zealand and Australian boards. . . 

Mammoth kiwifruit property portfolio placed on the market for sale:

One of New Zealand’s biggest privately-owned kiwifruit orchard portfolios has been placed on the market for sale.

The portfolio consists of three separate mid to large-sized productive blocks at Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty – the centre of New Zealand’s highly lucrative kiwifruit-growing industry.

Combined, the three blocks comprise some 98 canopy hectares – on track to produce between 1.2 million – 1.3 million trays once all in mature production, and with the potential to increase production even further. . . 

An easing in the late summer market:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) shows there were 52 fewer farm sales (-11.9%) for the three months ended February 2018 than for the three months ended February 2017.

Overall, there were 384 farm sales in the three months ended February 2018, compared to 396 farm sales for the three months ended January 2018 (-3.0%), and 436 farm sales for the three months ended February 2017.1,524 farms were sold in the year to February 2018, 13.5% fewer than were sold in the year to February 2017, with 20.3% more finishing farms, 19.0% more dairy farms and 32.4% fewer grazing and 36.2% fewer arable farms sold over the same period.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to February 2018 was $27,523 compared to $27,395 recorded for three months ended February 2017 (+0.5%). The median price per hectare fell 2.6% compared to January. . . 


Troubles in threes plus

March 22, 2018

If troubles really did come in threes then the Young Labour camp sex scandal, Foreign Minister Winston Peter’s initial refusal to accept Russia’s involvement in the spy poisoning case and questions over Defence Minister Ron Mark’s use of Air Force helicopters would have been the only problems for the government last week.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had another fire to fight – Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa spending more than $30,000 on travel in three months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa is “hugely disappointed” her travel expenses are so high and is working to fix it.

People don’t know what they don’t know, but it would be helpful if all Ministers did know what was and wasn’t appropriate spending and that they knew about overspending when it was happening and not so long after the event.

The PM had another problem yesterday and was forced to say Minister Shane Jones calling for heads to roll at Air New Zealand was a step too far.

Mr Jones, the Minister for Regional Economic Development, said earlier this week that Air New Zealand had turned its back on the regions.

When the company’s board and chief executive objected to his comments and told him to back off, he then called for people to resign. . . 

That’s three New Zealand First Ministers causing problems in less than a fortnight.

Politik reports tensions between that party and Labour over water and defence.

It would be risky to bet there won’t be more before too long.


Quote of the day

March 22, 2018

Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words? – Marcel Marceau – who was born on this day in 1923


March 22 in history

March 22, 2018

238 Gordian I and his son Gordian II were proclaimed Roman emperors.

1599 Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1641).

1621  The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty withMassasoit of the Wampanoags.

1622 Jamestown massacre: Algonquian Indians killed 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population.

1630  Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables.

1638 Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

1765  British parliament passed the Stamp Act, which introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.

1784 The Emerald Buddha was moved to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

1809 Charles XIII succeeded Gustav IV Adolf to the Swedish throne.

1818 John Ainsworth Horrocks, English-born explorer of South Australia, was born  (d. 1846).

1829 The three protecting powers (Britain, France and Russia) established the borders of Greece.

1849 The Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara.

1871 William Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.

1873 A law was approved by the Spanish National Assembly in Puerto Rico to abolish slavery.

1887 Chico Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1961).

1894 The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started.

1895 First display (a private screening) of motion pictures by Auguste and Louis Lumière.

1902 – George von Zedlitz, Victoria College’s first professor of modern languages,  joined the fledgling institution’s four foundation professors.

George von Zedlitz arrives in Wellington

1906 First Anglo-French rugby union match at Parc des Princes in Paris

1908 Louis L’Amour, American author, was born  (d. 1988).

1910 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist, was born (d. 1979).

1916 The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicated the throne and theRepublic of China was restored.

1923 Marcel Marceau,  French Mime, was born  (d. 2007).

1930 Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist, was born.

1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a bill legalizing the sale of beer and wine.

1936 Roger Whittaker, British singer, was born.

1939  Germany took Memel from Lithuania.

1941 Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam began to generate electricity.

1942 Britain’s Royal Navy confronted Italy’s Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte.

1942 Keith Relf, English musician (The Yardbirds), was born (d. 1976).

1943 The entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces.

1945 The Arab League was founded when a charter was adopted in Cairo.

1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer, was born.

1954 The London bullion market reopened.

1955 Valdis Zatlers, 7th President of Latvia, was born.

1960  Arthur Leonard Schawlow & Charles Hard Townes received the first patent for a laser.

1978 Karl Wallenda of the The Flying Wallendas died after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1982 NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia, was launched on its third mission,STS-3.

1993 The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.

1995 Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned after setting a record for 438 days in space.

1997 Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest champion of the women’s world figure skating competition.

1997 – The Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to earth.

2004 Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.

2006 ETA, armed Basque separatist group, declared permanent ceasefire.

2006 – BC Ferries’ M/V Queen of the North ran aground on Gil Island British Columbia and sinks; 101 on board, 2 presumed deaths.

2006 – Three Christian Peacemaker Teams Hostages were freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days captivity and the death of their colleague, American Tom Fox.

2009 Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska began erupting after a prolonged period of unrest.

2013  – At least 37 people were killed and 200  injured after a fire destroyed a camp containing Burmese refugees near Ban Mae, Thailand.

2014 – At least 35 people died in Balochistan, Pakistan, in a collisionbetween a petrol tanker and two buses.

2014 – Forty-three people were killed in a mudflow near Oso, Washington.

2014 – Turtle Canyon was opened in Newport, Kentucky.

2016 – Three suicide bombers killed 32 people and injured 316 in the 2016 Brussels bombings at the airport and at the Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station.

2017  – A terrorist attack in London near the Houses of Parliament leaves four people dead and at least 20 injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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