365 days of gratitude

April 5, 2018

“I’ve got a bag of peaches for you,” she said.

They’re black boys, they’re delicious and I’m grateful for them.


Word of the day

April 5, 2018

Cacodemonomania – the pathological belief or delusion that one is inhabited by an evil spirit.


Rural round-up

April 5, 2018

Feds welcomes NAIT recommendations:

Federated Farmers says its members will jump at the chance to contribute to the drive for improvements to the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme.

A report detailing a major review of NAIT, with 38 recommendations aimed at streamlining processes and boosting access and compliance, was released today after a long process involving OSPRI, MPI and a host of industry groups including Federated Farmers. . . 

Organic produce sitting pretty in a tasty $90 billion global market – Neil Hodgson:

The perception of organic fruit and vegetables is often of misshapen produce that doesn’t look very appetising, and it is fair comment.

However, the reality is many of those perfect looking fruits and vegetables have a beautiful appearance because producers use synthetic products to treat various bugs and diseases.

If you grow your own produce at home, then chances are they won’t look as perfect as the goods piled high on the supermarket or general food store shelves because chances are you don’t use too many synthetics in your garden at home.

You might use a bug spray and you probably add fertilisers and that is about it. . . 

Unusually, farmers and meat processors doing well at the same time. Beef prices slip. Deer prices get boost from pet food market – Guy Trafford:

SHEEP
Since allowing Shanghai Maling to purchase 50% of Silver Fern Farms (SFF) the meat company has had a significant turn around of fortune. For the twelve months from the $261 mln injection from Shanghai Maling, SFF has paid of $203 mln worth of debt and has managed to achieve a $15.4 mln after tax profit.

In the past it has often been a toss up between farmers and processors as to whom makes the profit. Rarely is it both. . . 

International acclaim for Whitestone:

Whitestone Cheese Co. is riding a wave of international critical acclaim after recent achievements at the world’s biggest cheese competition in Wisconsin USA and a trophy from the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards.

At Wisconsin, Ohau Goat’s Blue achieved the highest accolade with 4th place in its category with a near perfect 99.7 out of a 100 – an incredible result and just 0.1 points off the bronze medal. Ohau Goat’s Blue is a new addition to Whitestone’s Premium Black Label range. The goat milk comes from a Washdyke farm just north of Whitestone’s Oamaru cheese factory, and the cheese is made with Whitestone’s Windsor Blue culture. . . 

Samantha is a cut above the rest – Robyn Bristow:

The knives were out last week as Samantha Weller, from New World Rangiora, trimmed her way to the title of World Champion Apprentice Butcher.

The 23-year-old travelled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, with New Zealand’s butchery team, the Pure South Sharp Blacks, to compete in the cutting test.

She competed against 10 others from five countries, who had two hours to turn a beef rump on the bone, a side of lamb, and a loin of pork belly into a display of value-added cuts – much like that seen in a butcher shop or supermarket. . . 

Seeka  sells out of Zespri after opposing changes to constitution tying shares to trays – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – Seeka, New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit grower, has sold out of Zespri Group after opposing constitutional changes at the monopoly export body that tie shareholdings to trays of fruit produced.

The changes were approved by more than 75 percent of shareholders last month but among the resolutions was that shareholders who voted all their shares against the overhaul could require Zespri to buy back their shares. . . 

OIO signs off on Icebreaker sale to US clothing giant VF Corp – Sophie Boot:

Icebreaker Holdings has been sold to US-based VF Corporation for at least $100 million after the Overseas Investment Office approved the deal.

In a media release today, North Carolina-based VF Corp said the OIO signed off on the transaction, which completed the transaction. The acquisition “is an ideal complement to VF’s Smartwool brand, which also features merino wool in its clothing and accessories. Together, the Smartwool and Icebreaker brands will position VF as a global leader in the merino wool and natural fibre categories.” The brand is expected to be immediately accretive to VF’s earnings per share, it said. . . 

Kiwi apple remains ‘Envy’ of others in USA:

American’s have once again selected New Zealand-born Envy™ apple as their favourite in a consumer competition run by the US Apple Association.

The interactive tournament-style competition called on American apple fans to vote for their favourite from 16 different apple varieties during the month of March.

Kiwi grower, T&G Global, was well represented in the competition with three of its premium apples namely JAZZ™, Envy™ and Pacific Rose™ being voted on by apple-lovers. . . 

Berry orchard sale offers horticultural operators a sweet growth opportunity:

One of the North Island’s most diverse boutique orchards –encompassing blueberry, raspberry and avocado production operations – has been placed on the market for sale.

Tomo Orchard at Pukenui near Houhora in the Far North, is an intensive 6.2 hectare horticultural venture growing blueberries under some 10,000 square metres of fully-enclosed framed canopies and 8000 square metres of covered netting. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

April 5, 2018

Everyone is invited to posse the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win four* virtual punnets of kiwiberries.

* one seems a little mean but they have to be eaten quickly so I couldn’t offer too many in case they go off.


Waste-to-energy plan expensive lemon

April 5, 2018

Who would think taking rubbish to the West Cost to turn it into energy was a good idea? Not the experts who advise the government:

The government announced hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for a proposed waste-to-energy scheme two days after experts advised it was a lemon.

The Environment Ministry warned the Provincial Growth Fund that the proposed project on the West Coast did not stack up economically or environmentally.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones placed the proposed scheme on ice in February after RNZ informed him its chief executive, Gerard Gallagher, had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

Now, advice obtained under the Official Information Act shows the Environment Ministry warned the scheme had enormous flaws just two days before Mr Jones announced $350,000 for its feasibility study.

Not only would the scheme undermine other incentives to reduce waste – like recycling, it would increase carbon emissions the experts cautioned.

Mr Jones said he never received the advice and even if he had it would have made no difference. . . 

A few weeks ago Martin van Beynen wrote:

. . . The incident has also highlighted the danger of a government full of academics, health professionals, public servants, teachers and career politicians picking business winners.

The idea that councils around the country would rail or truck their rubbish to Westport for incineration is one of those ludicrous ideas that only regional development officials would think is a flyer.   . . 

It doesn’t take a $350,000 to know this scheme isn’t a flyer, it’s a very expensive and environmentally unfriendly lemon.


Quote of the day

April 5, 2018

If a man is not to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to him, what is he to do, or what is he good for? Joseph Lister who was born on this day in 1827.


April 5 in history

April 5, 2018

456 St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop.

1242 During a battle of the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuffed an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.

1254  Willen van Rubroeck, a Flemish Franciscan, meets the Mongolian Khan Möngke

1566 Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.

1609 – Daimyo (Lord) of the Satsuma Domain in southern Kyūshū, Japan, completed his successful invasion of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in Okinawa.

1614 Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.

1621 The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain.

1649 – Elihu Yale, American benefactor of Yale University, was born  (d. 1721).

1722 The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.

1761 – Sybil Ludington, heroine of the American Revolutionary War, was born (d. 1839).

1792  U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.

1804 High Possil Meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland fell in Possil.

1818 In the Battle of Maipú, Chile’s independence movement – led byBernardo O’Higgins and José de San Martín – won a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead.

1827 Joseph Lister, English surgeon, was born (d. 1912).

1837 Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, was born (d. 1909).

1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Yorktown started.

1871 – NZ’s first overseas diplomatic post was created with Isaac Featherston’s appointment as agent-general in London.

1874 Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park,opened in Birkenhead.

1879  Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

1897  The Greco-Turkish War, also called “Thirty Days’ War”, was declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

1900 Spencer Tracy, American actor, was born  (d. 1967).

1904 The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan.

1908 Bette Davis, American actress, was born  (d. 1989).

1916 Gregory Peck, American actor, was born (d. 2003).

1920 Arthur Hailey, American writer, was born (d. 2004)

1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began production of balloon-tyres.

1928 Tony Williams, American singer (The Platters), was born. (d. 1992)

1929 Nigel Hawthorne, British actor, was born (d. 2001).

1930  In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi broke British law after marching to the sea and making salt.

1932 Champion race horse Phar Lap died.

Death of Phar Lap

1932  Alcohol prohibition in Finland ended. Alcohol sales begin in Alkoliquor stores.

1932 – Dominion of Newfoundland: 10,000 rioters seized the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government.

1933  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102“forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates” by U.S. citizens.

1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado killed 233 in Tupelo, Mississippi.

1937 Colin Powell, U.S. Army General, 12th Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff; and 65th Secretary of State, was born.

1937 Allan R. Thieme, American inventor, was born.

1942 World War II: The Japanese Navy attacked Colombo. Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk southwest of the island.

1944 World War II: 270 inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura were executed by the Germans.

1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip “Tito” Broz signed an agreement with the USSR to allow “temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory.”

1946 Jane Asher, British actress, was born.

1946 Soviet troops left the Danish  island of Bornholm after an 11 month occupation.

1949 Fireside Theater debuted on television.

1949 – A fire in a hospital  in Effingham, Illinois, killed 77 people and leads to nationwide fire code improvements in the United States.

1950 Agnetha Fältskog, Swedish singer (ABBA), was born.

1951 – Dave McArtney, New Zealand singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born (d. 2013).

1955 – Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

1955 – Anthony Horowitz, English author and screenwriter, was born.

1956 Fidel Castro declared himself at war with the President of Cuba.

1956  In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was sworn in as the Prime Minister.

1957 In India, Communists won the first elections in united Kerala andE.M.S. Namboodiripad was sworn in as the first chief minister.

1958 Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.

1966 Mike McCready, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1969 Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations occured in many U.S. cities.

1971 In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launched insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

1976 The April Fifth Movement led to the Tiananmen incident.

1986 Three people were killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin.

1991 An ASA EMB 120 crashed in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 aboard.

1992 Alberto Fujimori,  president of Peru, dissolved the Peruvian congressby military force.

1992 The Siege of Sarajevo began when Serb paramilitaries murder peace protesters Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic on the Vrbanja Bridge.

1998 The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about $3.8 billion, opened to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.

1999 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down  Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 were handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.

2009 North Korea launched its controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket.

2010 – Twenty-nine coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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