365 days of gratitude

June 3, 2018

The long weekend has provided the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

For them and happy times with them, I’m very grateful.


Word of the day

June 3, 2018

Tael – a weight used in China and East Asia, of varying amount but fixed in China at 50 grams (1 3/4 oz.); a unit of weight, used in the Far East, having various values between one to two and a half ounces; a former Chinese monetary unit based on the value of a tael of standard silver.


Extra room

June 3, 2018

Extra Room Prints

On the day you open your heart to a dog don’t be surprised when the whole rest of the world starts to fit in there, too. – Extra Room  © 2016 Brian Andreas – posted with permission.

You can buy books, posters, cards, ornaments and more and sign up for a daily dose of whimsy like this by email at Story People.


Rural round-up

June 3, 2018

Already-stressed farmers will need to use all resources available to cope with the added impact of mycoplasma bovis. Their personal resilience faces a severe test – Daniel Tisch:

The mycoplasma bovis eradication programme underway will challenge farmer resilience. Resilience addresses the return to normal after a shock.

The shock felt by farmers from culling their herds has been widely reported. From what we know about resilience, this initial impact will be followed by a recovery period, in which the mental and emotional state of farmers will be affected for years.

The incidence of depression, suicide and other mental health conditions will rise.

An average of one farmer every other week commits suicide in New Zealand and this rate increases during stressful times such as a drought. International studies of farmers highlight their vulnerability. Many countries have programmes to support farmer resilience.  For example, US-lawmakers are currently discussing The Stress Act for farmers.  . . 

Just get on with it farmer says – Neal Wallace:

Leo and Maite Bensegues aren’t really interested in how Mycoplasma bovis arrived on their South Canterbury farm last August.

It meant the destruction of 950 cows and 222 yearlings but the Morven sharemilkers do not dwell on those dark days.

Instead the Argentinian who arrived in New Zealand in 2005 with $728 to his name focuses on the future and a day in late June when his farm will be declared free of the disease and he can start preparing for the calving of his recently bought 700-cow herd. . .

MPI answers questions:

When did Mycoplasma bovis arrive in New Zealand?

All the evidence we have is that Mycoplasma bovis arrived in New Zealand in late 2015 to early 2016. Investigations are ongoing.

Why do you think this?

We have two lots of evidence. A genetic clock and our tracking and tracing activity where we identify and test animals on farms that have received cattle or other risk items from Mycoplasma bovis positive farms, like milk for feeding calves.

What’s a genetic clock?

Since we discovered Mycoplasma bovis in NZ in July 2017 we have been gene sequencing the disease to identify its genetic fingerprint. . . 

Leisurely trip with cows allows rubbish pick-up – Jono Edwards:

Dairy farmers across the country braved the cold yesterday to embark on a yearly stock pilgrimage.

In some areas, they were concerned about the travel and mixing of stock that came with Gypsy Day in the era of Mycoplasma bovis.

Taieri dairy farmer Philip Wilson was not too worried about the  threat of the infection yesterday as he moved a small herd just 3km down the road. . . 

Wilson, Spierings argue valid comparisons, value-add – Hugh Stringleman:

For the Fonterra Scorecard series Farmers Weekly sought an interview with chairman John Wilson and chief executive Theo Spierings, now in his last year at the top of the world’s second-largest dairy processor and trader.

Aspects of Fonterra’s historical performance, Spiering’s strategies, the dairy industry review and Fonterra’s most-recent downgrade in earnings and dividends were discussed. It was their only joint interview with rural media during the past seven years. Hugh Stringleman reports. 

Fonterra’s performance

New Zealand dairy farmers who supply Fonterra now receive better payouts than their counterparts almost everywhere in the world, chairman John Wilson and chief executive Theo Spierings say. . .

New directors elected to Horticulture NZ board:

Horticulture New Zealand’s Board welcomes new director Bernadine Guilleux and re-elected director Mike Smith, after four well-qualified candidates contested two vacant roles on the Board.

Horticulture New Zealand’s President Julian Raine was advised of the results by Electionz, which ran an independent voting process for the Board.

Welcome Bay kiwifruit grower Mike Smith offered himself for re-election and Bernadine Guilleux, marketing manager at Balle Bros in Auckland, is a first-time candidate. . . 

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Sunday soapbox

June 3, 2018

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

One step at a time is good walking.


June 3 in history

June 3, 2018

350 – Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor.

1140  French scholar Peter Abelard was found guilty of heresy.

1326 Treaty of Novgorod delineated borders between Russia and Norway in Finnmark.

1539 Hernado de Soto claimed Florida for Spain.

1608  Samuel de Champlain completed his third voyage to New France at Tadoussac, Quebec.

1620 Construction of the oldest stone church in French North America, Notre-Dame-des-Anges, began in Quebec City.

1621  The Dutch West India Company received a charter for New Netherlands.

1658  Pope Alexander VII appointed François de Laval vicar apostolic in New France.

1659 David Gregory, Scottish astronomer and mathematician, was born  (d. 1708).

1665  James Stuart, Duke of York (later to become King James II of England) defeated the Dutch Fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

1770  Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo was founded in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

1726 James Hutton, Scottish geologist, was born  (d. 1797).

1800 U.S. President John Adams took up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern because the White House was not yet completed).

1808 Jefferson Davis, American politician and President of the Confederate States of America was born (d. 1889).

1839 Lin Tse-hsü destroyed 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War.

1861  Battle of Philippi (also called the Philippi Races) – Union forces routed Confederate troops in Barbour County, Virginia in first land battle of the War.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Cold Harbor – Union forces attacked Confederate troops in Hanover County, Virginia.

1865 George V was born  (d. 1936).

1866  The Fenians were driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the United States.

1885 In the last military engagement fought on Canadian soil Cree leaderBig Bear escaped the North West Mounted Police.

1888 – The poem “Casey at the Bat“, by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, was published in the San Francisco Examiner.

1889  The coast to coast Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.

1889  The first long-distance  electric power transmission line in the United States was completed, running 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.

1916 The Reserve Officer Training Corp, ROTC , was established by the U.S. Congress.

1916 – The National Defense Act was signed into law, increasing the size of the United States National Guard by 450,000 men.

1921 Forbes Carlile, Australian Olympic swimmer and coach, was born.

1924 Jimmy Rogers, American blues guitarist, was born  (d. 1997).

1935 One thousand unemployed Canadian workers boarded freight cars in Vancouver,  beginning a protest trek to Ottawa, Ontario.

1936 Sir Colin “Pine Tree”  Meads, farmer and former All Black, was born.

Colin 'Pinetree' Meads born

1937  The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson.

1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk ended with a German victory and Allied forces in full retreat.

1941 – The first women entered police training in New Zealand.

First women enter police training

1947 Mickey Finn, British guitarist and percussionist (T.Rex), was born  (d. 2003).

1950 Suzi Quatro, American musician and actress, was born.

1956 British Railways renamed ‘Third Class’ passenger facilities as ‘Second Class’ (Second Class facilities had been abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class).

1962 Susannah Constantine, British fashion guru, was born.

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 charter, Chateau de Sully crashed after an aborted takeoff from Paris, killing 130.

1963  The Buddhist crisis: Soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam attacked protesting Buddhists in Huế,  with liquid chemicals from tear gas grenades, causing 67 people to be hospitalised for blistering of the skin and respiratory ailments.

1963  A Northwest Airlines DC-7 crashed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia, killing 101.

1965  Launch of Gemini 4, the first multi-day space mission by a NASA crew. Crew-member Ed White performed the first American spacewalk.

1968 Valerie Solanas, author of SCUM Manifesto, attempted to assassinate Andy Warhol by shooting him three times.

1969  Melbourne-Evans collision: Off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne cut the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans in half.

1973  A Soviet supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 crashed near Goussainville  killing 14, the first crash of a supersonic passenger aircraft.

1979  A blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the southern Gulf of Mexico caused at least 600,000 tons (176,400,000 gallons) of oil to be spilled into the waters.

1982  The Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, was shot on a London street. He survived but was permanently paralysed.

1989  The government of China sent troops to force protesters out ofTiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.

1989  SkyDome was officially opened in Toronto.

1991 Mount Unzen erupted in Kyūshū, Japan, killing 43 people, all of them either researchers or journalists.

1992 Aboriginal Land Rights were granted in Australia in Mabo v Queensland (1988), a case brought about by Eddie Mabo.

1998  Eschede train disaster: an ICE high speed train derailed in Lower Saxony causing 101 deaths.

2006 The union of Serbia and Montenegro ended with Montenegro’s formal declaration of independence.

2007  USS Carter Hall engaged  pirates after they boarded the Danish ship Danica White off the coast of Somalia.

2012 – A Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 crashed into a residential neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria, killing 163 people.

2013 – At least 120 people were killed in a fire at a poultry plant in Northeast China.

2013 – The trial of United States Army private Bradley Manning for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks began in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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