365 days of gratitude

June 11, 2018

His son wanted a reading for his father’s funeral.

The father was a farmer and I found one the whole family agreed was just right.

It was Shut the Gate by Norm Murray, from his book Exit Lines.

Norm has been a funeral director and celebrant for more than 20 years, the book is a collection of his original verse based on the lives of ordinary people.

Tonight I’m grateful for the words that allowed a son to farewell his father so appropriately.


Word of the day

June 11, 2018

Affrug/aafrug  – reflux of waves after breaking on the shore; a spent wave receding or drawing down a strand; the streaming-back of the water after the breaking of the billows; an off-shore ebb-tide.


Rural round-up

June 11, 2018

Good farm practice plan launched – Richard Rennie:

A plan to put the entire primary sector on the same environmental page might set the scene for a wider industry plan encompassing greenhouse gas emissions, animal welfare, labour rights and sustainability.

A high-profile collective including DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, regional councils, Horticulture NZ and Irrigation NZ and the Environment and Primary Industries Ministries this week oversaw the launch of the Good Farming Practice Action Plan. . . 

Wiping out Mycoplasma bovis is a shot worth taking – Andrew McGiven:

So, it’s been nearly two weeks now since the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced the decision to continue to pursue Mycoplasma bovis eradication.

This decision was greeted with some relief by many farmers as it gave us all some clarity and reduced some of the Chinese whispers happening around the regions.

But there are plenty of farmers who are confused by this verdict and what the potential consequences may be for their businesses.

What I hope to provide here is some of the reasoning behind the decision that was reached and why it has been supported by all industry bodies and levy paying groups. . .

New Zealand gets it right – David Beggs:

NEW Zealand has just announced it will cull about 150,000 cows in order to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a disease that is hard to diagnose and which is well established in most of the world.

It’s not a nice disease to have on your farm. While there are no human health issues, Mycoplasma can cause a wide range of diseases and when it does, they don’t respond well to treatment. In a farm with no immunity, disease rates can be very high. There are major problems with production loss from mastitis, arthritis, pneumonia, abortion and more. Not to mention the stress caused to farm staff or the animal welfare implications of high disease levels. But our experience, and that overseas, shows that as time goes on, the herd builds up an immunity and disease levels become low in unstressed animals. . .

Nation figures the Fieldays wide influence beyond farms – Hugh Stringleman:

Thirty eight permanent staff members, up to 10 temporary workers including interns and 300 volunteers make the National Fieldays happen, National Fieldays Society chief executive Peter Nation says.

Most of the volunteers do shifts on all four days and have done so for many years, being very valued members of the Fieldays Family, he said.

On site this week will also be more than 100 emergency service personnel and employees of contractors like Allied Security.

Nation said more than 9000 people were inducted into health and safety, of which 2500 put themselves through the online induction. . .

Recommended by ‘I wouldn’t be drinking that water’: Poo dumping plagues Waikato – Katrina Tairua:

A Waikato farmer is worried truck drivers are dumping stock effluent on a road, next to a stream supplying drinking water to hundreds of people.

Others are also worried effluent discarded on roads could hinder efforts to stop Mycoplasma bovis from spreading in the region.

Marcel Hannon said he had, on multiple occasions, witnessed effluent being dumped on Waterworks Road, a rural route between Te Miro and Morrinsville. . .

Massive fund manager BlackRock reveals 5 per cent holding in a2 Milk:

One of the world’s biggest fund managers has emerged as a significant shareholder in a2 Milk with a 5.03 per cent stake.

In a notice to the NZX, New York-headquartered BlackRock said recent purchases had taken it from 4.99 per cent to over the 5 per cent threshold, thereby requiring it to declare its stake.

A2 Milk earlier this year become New Zealand’s largest listed company by market capitalisation after announcing another bumper profit and the formation of a joint venture with the world’s biggest dairy exporter, Fonterra. . .

Loro Piana: the world’s most majestic wool :

Noted for their soft wool coats, Merino sheep are everywhere in Australia and New Zealand, and they account for more than 50% of the world’s sheep population. The thing that sets Australian/Kiwi Merino apart from wool produced in northern climates is its superfine quality, however not all Merinos are superfine.

To qualify as superfine, the wool fibres need to be 19.5 microns or less – 
a micron being a thousandth of a millimetre (the average human hair is about 60 to 70 microns). In short, the smaller the fibre, the softer and
 more comfortable it is against the skin, hence the allure for luxury brands. While Australia is home to around 75 million sheep, only 18 million produce wool finer than 19 microns. In New Zealand, there are 32 million sheep, but only a modest 2.2 million of them yield fibre under 21 microns. . .

 


The h word

June 11, 2018

This isn’t a good look:

Finance Minister Grant Robertson gave a post-Budget speech at a $600-a-head Labour fundraiser at the exclusive Wellington Club, drawing comparisons to the previous National Government’s “Cabinet club” scandal.

According to several attendees, about 40 people, including party supporters, business figures and corporate lobbyists, attended the dinner hosted by Labour president Nigel Haworth on Wednesday, at which Robertson was the key attraction.

A similar dinner is due to be hosted at the even more exclusive Northern Club in Auckland on Thursday night.

National leader Simon Bridges has accused the Government of hypocrisy, after Labour once described National’s events, which appear similar to the one attended by Robertson, as “cash-for-access”.

The concern is that wealthy figures are able to gain access and insight that is not available to the general public.

I don’t think  access and insight are problems, as long as the general public also has reasonable opportunities to meet, hear from and question Ministers at no cost.

If we don’t want public funding of political parties – and I definitely don’t – then parties have to raise funds and these sorts of functions are good ways to do it.

It might be dancing on the head of a pin but the invitation should be clear that the speakers aren’t there as Ministers.

I’ve hosted National fundraisers where guests meet, hear from and talk to party spokespeople. The two-way communication gives value for MPs and those there to meet them.

So it’s not that Robertson was the key attraction that’s the problem, it’s that the invitation said he was there as Finance Minister and that Labour and Robertson in particular criticised National for running similar events.

Now less than a year into government, Labour are displaying gross hypocrisy by doing it themselves and not distinguishing between the role of minister and MP or party spokesperson.

The h-word is never a good look, especially when it’s on display at some of the country’s most exclusive venues.


Quote of the day

June 11, 2018

What one decides to do in crisis depends on one’s philosophy of life, and that philosophy cannot be changed by an incident. If one hasn’t any philosophy in crises, others make the decision. Jeannette Rankin  who was born on this day in 1880.


June 11 in history

June 11, 2018

1184 BC – Trojan War: Troy was sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes.

631 Emperor Taizong of Tang, the Emperor of China, sent envoys to theXueyantuo bearing gold and silk in order to seek the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners captured during the transition from Sui to Tang from the northern frontier;  – 80,000 Chinese men and women were returned to China.

758 Abbasid Arabs and Uyghur Turks arrived simultaneously at Chang’an, the Tang Chinese capital, in order to offer tribute to the imperial court. They quarrelled over diplomatic prominence at the gate and a settlement was reached when both are allowed to enter at the same time, but through two different gates to the palace.

1345  The megas doux Alexios Apokaukos, chief minister of the Byzantine Empire, was lynched by political prisoners.

1429  Hundred Years’ War: The start of the Battle of Jargeau.

1509  Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon.

1594 Philip II recognised the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paved way to the creation of thePrincipalía (i.e., elite ruling class of native nobility in Spanish Philippines).

1776 The Continental Congress appointed Thomas JeffersonJohn Adams,Benjamin FranklinRoger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to theCommittee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.

1776 John Constable, English painter, was born (d. 1837).

1788  Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reached Alaska.

1805  A fire consumed large portions of Detroit.

1815 Julia Margaret Cameron, English photographer was born (d. 1879).

1825 The first cornerstone was laid for Fort Hamilton in New York City.

1837 The Broad Street Riot in Boston, fuelled by ethnic tensions between Yankees and Irish.

1847 Millicent Fawcett, British suffragist and feminist, was born  (d. 1929).

1864 Richard Strauss, German composer and conductor (d. 1949).

1866  The Allahabad High Court (then Agra High Court) iwa established in India.

1877 Renee Vivien, English-born poet, was born  (d. 1909).

1880 Jeannette Rankin, American politician, feminist, and pacifist, was born (d. 1973).

1892  The Limelight Department, one of the world’s first film studios, was officially established in Melbourne.

1898  Spanish-American War: U.S. war ships set sail for Cuba.

1898  The Hundred Days’ Reform was started by Guangxu Emperor in hope of changing social, political and educational institutions in China.

1901  New Zealand annexed the Cook Islands.

1901 Cornwall Park was gifted to Auckland at a civic reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, when Mayor John Logan Campbell handed over the deed to land below One Tree Hill.

Cornwall Park gifted to Auckland

1907 George Dennett, aided by Gilbert Jessop, dismissed  Northamptonshire for 12 runs, the lowest total in first-class cricket.

1910 Jacques-Yves Cousteau, French explorer and inventor, was born (d. 1997).

1917  King Alexander assumed the throne of Greece after his father Constantine I abdicated under pressure by allied armies occupying Athens.

1919 Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown.

1920  During the U.S. Republican National Convention in Chicago, U.S. party leaders gathered in a room at the Blackstone Hotel to come to a consensus on their candidate for the U.S. presidential election, leading the Associated Press to first coin the political phrase “smoke-filled room“.

1933 Gene Wilder, American actor, was born.

1935 Inventor Edwin Armstrong gave the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States.

1936  Jud Strunk, American musician and comedian, was born  (d. 1981).

1936 The International Surrealist Exhibition opened in London.

1937  Great Purge: The Soviet Union executed eight army leaders.

1938  Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Wuhan started.

1938 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Nationalist government created the 1938 Yellow River flood to halt Japanese forces. 500,000 to 900,000 civilians were killed.

1939 Sir Jackie Stewart, Scottish race car driver, three-time F1 world champion and former F1 team principal, was born.

1940 – World War II: First attack of the Italian Air force on the island of Malta.

1942  World War II: The United States agreed to send Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.

1950 Graham Russell, British guitarist and vocalist (Air Supply), was born.

1955  Eighty-three were killed and at least 100 injured after an Austin-Healey and a Mercedes-Benz collided at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1956  Start of Gal Oya riots, the first reported ethnic riots that targeted minority Sri Lankan Tamils in the Eastern Province.

1959 Hugh Laurie, English actor and comedian, was born.

1962  Frank MorrisJohn Anglin and Clarence Anglin became the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.

1963  American Civil Rights Movement: Alabama Governor George Wallace stood at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone andJames Hood, from attending that school. Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they were able to register.

1963  Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burned himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.

1964 Walter Seifert ran amok in an elementary school in Cologne killing at least eight children and two teachers and seriously injuring several more with a home-made flamethrower and a lance.

1968 Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, of Liechtenstein, was born.

1970  Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington became the first women to officially receive their ranks as U.S. Army Generals,

1972  Eltham Well Hall rail crash, caused by an intoxicated train driver, killed six people and injured 126.

1978  Altaf Hussain founded the students’ political movement All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organisation (a.k.a APMSO) in Karachi University.

1981 A 6.9 magnitude earthquake at Golbaf, Iran, killed at least 2,000.

1998  Compaq Computer paid $9 billion for Digital Equipment Corporation.

2001  Timothy McVeigh was executed for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.

2002  Antonio Meucci was acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.

2004  Cassini-Huygens made its closest flyby of Phoebe.

2008  Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an official apology to Canada’s First Nations in regard to a residential school abuse in which children are isolated from their homes, families and cultures for a century.

2012 – Two earthquakes struck northern Afghanistan, causing a large landslide, which buried the town of Sayi Hazara, trapping 71 people. After four days of digging, only five bodies were recovered and the search was called off.

2013 – Shenzhou 10, China’s fifth manned spaceflight mission and the second and final one to the Tiangong-1 space laboratory, was launched with 3 taikonauts on a 15-day mission.

2016 – 49 people were killed and 53 injured in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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