365 days of gratitude

April 2, 2018

Social media friends have been reporting nose to tail traffic heading north from Dunedin today.

I am very grateful that this is unusual and that I wasn’t among the traffic.


Word of the day

April 2, 2018

Circinate – denoting leaves or fronds that are rolled up with the tip in the centre; rolled in the form of a flat coil with the apex as a centre; rounded, coiled; circular in appearance.


Rural round-up

April 2, 2018

Action call over any found to have illegally brought in ‘M.bovis’ – Sally Rae:

Consequences are needed if any farmers have put other farmers, animals and livelihoods at risk, let alone the New Zealand economy, DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says.

Dr Mackle was responding to an announcement by the Ministry for Primary Industries yesterday that it had simultaneously executed search warrants at three locations as part of the Mycoplasma bovis investigation.

The New Zealand Herald reported there was growing speculation the bacterial cattle disease was introduced to New Zealand through illegally imported livestock drugs, and sources suggested Tuesday’s simultaneous searches were in Auckland and Southland. . .

Fonterra negotiating ‘roadblocks’ in China – Fran O’Sullivan:

Fonterra’s news that it was writing down its $774 million investment in Chinese infant formula company Beingmate by $405m inevitably dominated news headlines after the dairy co-operative announced its 2018 interim result to the NZX.

But that was eclipsed when chairman John Wilson announced the seven-year reign of his chief executive Theo Spierings was in its final phase.

It was a brutal press conference. . .

Food for thought: How to secure New Zealand’s food supply in the face of a changing climate – Tess Nicholl:

We take for granted the bounty on offer at our supermarkets, but destructive cyclones and the hottest month in 150 years are turning attention to how long New Zealand can provide fresh food for its growing population. Tess Nichol investigates.

On the outskirts of Dargaville, Andre de Bruin has been growing kumara for the past two decades.

He produces 40 hectares of the purple tuber annually, but last year his yield was halved thanks to what de Bruin calls a “perfect storm” — drought followed by unseasonal amounts of rain right before harvest.

“We had drought drought drought, then bam, floods,” he recalls. . .

Get the basics right – Sam Whitelock:

I come from a farming background and once I complete my rugby career I’ll be taking the lessons I’ve learnt from professional sport and applying them back on the farm. (Sam Whitelock, Farmstrong Ambassador)

Rugby has certainly taught me heaps about how to look after myself and handle pressure.

I reckon rugby and farming are really similar that way – there’s always targets to meet and results to achieve.

So how can you prepare for the ups and downs of it all? . .

Merino stud tour held in conjunction with awards – Yvonne O’Hara:

About 170 people took part in a two-day self-drive tour visiting eight merino studs in Central Otago earlier this month.

The tour was held in conjunction with the Otago Merino Association Awards, which were announced at a formal dinner in Alexandra on March 16.

The studs on the tour were Nine Mile Station, Malvern Downs, Earnscleugh Station, Matangi Station, Little Valley Station, Matarae Station, Stonehenge Station and Armidale Merino Stud.

Lunch was at Earnscleugh Station’s woolshed . .

 Art Basel Hong Kong 2018: Loro Piana’s cloud-like “The Gift of Kings” exhibition 590 panels of the world’s finest wool make for a jubilant immersive experience   – Alessandro De Toni:

In conjunction with Art Basel Hong Kong, Loro Piana—one of the world’s most prestigious cashmere and luxury fabric manufacturers—pays homage to its most renowned material known as The Gift of Kings.

It’s quite a bold name but it represents an incredibly fine, feather-light and rare wool sourced by Loro Piana through a 30-year-long collaboration with a selection of Merino sheep breeders in Australia and New Zealand. This material, measuring only 12 microns (one thousandth of a millimeter), is far finer than cashmere and only available in very limited quantities, meaning it’s quite extraordinary that it was used as the principal source material for this installation.


Hardly cricket, more thicket but

April 2, 2018

Australian cricketers cheated by sandpapering the ball in the test against South Africa. That was wrong.

The players involved have been punished. Captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner have lost their positions and been banned for a year, Cameron Bancroft, who wielded the sandpaper has been banned for 9 months and their coach Darren Lehmann has resigned. That is right.

Team sponsors have withdrawn their support. That is understandable.

The sandpapering certainly wasn’t cricket. It was more thicket with the emphasis on thick.

But the vilification of the men seems to be over the top and the reaction to their actions lacks perspective.

Cheating is wrong and should be punished.

But unlike a lot of ethical and moral lapses and crimes where the victims are innocent, the people most hurt by this cheating are the wrong-doers themselves.

They’ve lost their reputations, a lot of money and possibly even their careers.

They should now be left to live with the consequences of their actions. Cricketers should reflect on what happened and use the lessons to improve the game and the behaviour of players.

And the rest of us should direct our indignation where it might right a wrong or help the wronged.


Quote of the day

April 2, 2018

Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.  – Hans Christian Andersen who was born on this day in 1805.


April 2 in history

April 2, 2018

742 Charlemagne was born (d. 814).

1453  Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul).

1513 Juan Ponce de Leon set foot on Florida, becoming the first European known to do so.

1743 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, was born  (d. 1826).

1755 Commodore William James captured the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.

1792 The Coinage Act was passed establishing the United States Mint.

1801 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen – The British destroyed the Danish fleet.

1805 Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer, was born  (d. 1875).

1810  Napoleon Bonaparte married Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

1814 Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor, was born (d. 1879).

1840 Émile Zola, French novelist and critic, was born  (d. 1902).

1863 Richmond Bread Riot: Food shortages incited hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia and demand that the Confederate government release emergency supplies.

1865 American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg was broken – Union troops capture the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.

1865 – American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

1875 Walter Chrysler, American automobile pioneer, was born  (d. 1940).

1900 US Congress passed the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.

1902  Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, was assassinated in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg.

1902 “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opened in Los Angeles.

1914 Sir Alec Guinness, English actor, was born (d. 2000).

1915 – Anzac soldiers rioted in Cairo’s Wazzir brothel district.

 

1916 Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana was arrested.

Arrest of Rua Kenana

1917 World War I: President Woodrow Wilson asked the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.

1917 The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin, took her seat as a representative from Montana.

1930 Haile Selassie was proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.

1939 Marvin Gaye, American singer, was born (d. 1984).

1940 Penelope Keith, English actress, was born.

1947 Emmylou Harris, American singer, was born.

1947 Camille Paglia, American feminist writer, was born.

1956 As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiered on CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.

1961  Keren Woodward, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1962 The first official Panda crossing was opened outside Waterloo station, London.

1972 Actor Charlie Chaplin returned to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.

1972 – Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive began– North Vietnamese soldiers of the 304th Division took the northern half of Quang Tri Province.

1973  Launch of the LexisNexis computerized legal research service.

1975 Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees fled from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.

1975 – Construction of the CN Tower was completed in Toronto. At 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height, it became the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

1980  President Jimmy Carter signed the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.

1982 Falklands War: Argentina invaded the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.

1984  Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and becomes the first Indian in space.

1989 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in Havana to meet Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.

1991  Rita Johnston became the first female Premier of a Canadian province when she succeeded William Vander Zalm (who had resigned) as Premier of British Columbia.

1992 Mafia boss John Gotti was convicted of murder and racketeering and later sentenced to life in prison.

2002  Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated.

2004 Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks were thwarted in an attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid.

2006 More than  60 tornadoes broke out; hardest hit was Tennessee with 29 people killed.

2011 – India won the Cricket World Cup against Sri Lanka in Wankhede Stadium.

2012 – A mass shooting at Oikos University at Oakland, California left seven people dead and three injured.

2014 – A spree shooting occurred at Fort Hood Army Base near the town of Killeen, Texas, with four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 others sustaining injuries.

2015 – Gunmen attacked Garissa University College in Kenya, killing at least 148 people and wounding 79 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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