365 days of gratitude

June 16, 2018

Take 11 women with a wide variety of life experiences.

Add tutor poet and memoirist Diane Brown.

Mix with exercises to suit the theme: Muse over Memoir.

Blend thoughtfully for five hours.

Drive home with gratitude for the inspiration and creativity.


Word of the day

June 16, 2018

Valence – relating to or denoting electrons involved in or available for the degree of combining power of an element as shown by the number of atomic weights of a monovalent element (such as hydrogen) with which the atomic weight of the element will combine or for which it can be substituted or with which it can be compared; the chemical bond formation; relative capacity to unite, react, or interact; the intrinsic attractiveness/”good”-ness or averseness/”bad”-ness of an event, object, or situation; the degree of attractiveness an individual, activity, or thing possesses as a behavioral goal.


Saturday’s smiles

June 16, 2018

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers.

Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future.

This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!

Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative ‘F’, and thus the words are often used in conjunction with the one‐finger‐salute.

It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’   And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing

Hat tip: BakerAg’s weekly AgLetter.


Rural round-up

June 16, 2018

Cube cleans up farm and orchard footwear – Hugh Stringleman:

Farm and orchard gate footwear cleaning and disinfection is expected to be a growing business for Jacson3 of Hamilton, which launched its portable biosecurity system at the National Fieldays.

Partners Jackie Humm and Russell Knutson, pictured, showed their Jacson Cube for the first time, after 18 months in development.

The product replaces the messy and often ineffective buckets and brushes that are now used on most farms and orchards. . . 

Regulator says Fonterra’s asset beta for calculating milk price ‘not practically feasible’ – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – The Commerce Commission says it is concerned that the ‘asset beta’ Fonterra Cooperative Group uses to determine the farmgate milk price is too low, meaning it ends up paying its farmers a higher price for their milk than would be warranted under the company’s enabling law.

“The impact of this is that Fonterra calculates a higher milk price than would be the case if it used a more feasible allowance for risk in the cost of finance, consistent with other processors,” the commission said in a statement accompanying an ’emerging views’ paper. . . 

Second place still winner for NZ food if branded:

Lincoln University agrifood marketing expert Dr Nic Lees says we need to make more of being second when it comes to international food ratings.

Research from Lincoln University and the University of Florida, showed that most western consumers view New Zealand food as the next best thing to their local products.

However, Dr Lees said we are not taking advantage of this positive perception of the quality and safety of our food products.

“Unfortunately we are missing out on this premium because many overseas consumers are unaware their food originates in New Zealand.” . .

Deer milk wins Innovation Award at Fieldays:

Pāmu’s (formerly Landcorp) focus on innovation in the food business has been recognised at the 50th Fieldays, winning the Innovation Grassroots awards, with its ground-breaking deer milk product.

After three years of trial and testing, with partners Sharon and Peter McIntyre, who farm near Gore, today’s award caps an exciting week for deer milk, with a chefs tasting in Auckland on Monday.

Chief Executive Steve Carden says that deer milk was the sort of innovation that the agriculture sector needs to invest in to make sure we remain competitive. . .

Growing the future of forestry – top scholars rewarded:

Winners of the inaugural IFS Growth Tertiary Scholarship awards have been announced for 2018.

This prestigious scholarship initiative was established by innovative industry specialists IFS Growth, to support exemplar students, in pursuit of a qualification for the forestry industry. The award provides a powerful kick-start into the world of forestry with cash towards course tuition fees, work experience opportunities and entry into the company’s graduate career programme. . .

Sowing seeds of healthy childhood motivation for new charity partnership :

Helping young New Zealanders have the best chance of a healthy childhood is the driving force behind a new partnership between New Zealand’s leading charitable child health research funder and premier seed supplier, Pioneer® brand products.

Pioneer Head of Commercial Operations, Steve Richardson, said that the partnership with Cure Kids is a tangible way that our organisation, as a seed supplier can take an active role in improving health outcomes for New Zealand children. . .


Common ground on climate change

June 16, 2018

National leader Simon Bridges wants to take the politics out of climate change:

“Today I have written to the Prime Minister and Minister for Climate Change offering to work with them to establish an independent, non-political Climate Change Commission which would support emissions reductions by both advising on carbon budgets and publishing progress reports on emissions,” Mr Bridges says.

“National recognises the importance to New Zealanders – current and future – of addressing climate change and responsibly playing our part in a global response.

“Long-lasting change requires broad and enduring support, so I want to work with the Government to make meaningful bipartisan progress on climate change.

“This will be challenging and require compromises on both sides. But the prize is too great not to try, and the consequences on our economy, jobs and the environment are too serious if we don’t do so responsibly.

“The design of the Commission will be critical, but both the Productivity Commission and Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment have offered a clear steer as to what they see as an enduring model to drive long-lasting change.

“I am confident that we can work constructively together to establish an enduring non-political framework for all future governments when considering climate change issues.

Mr Bridges also said that simply getting the institutional arrangements such as carbon budgets right isn’t enough – we also need to address the specific policy choices that will be taken to reduce emissions over time.

“Of course there will be ongoing debate and differing views about what steps are appropriate. National want to see sensible, practical solutions, not extreme policies that would damage the economy and unnecessarily drive up costs for Kiwi households.

“National have a core set of principles that will guide the work we do on climate change:

  • taking a pragmatic, science-based approach,
  • utilising innovation and technology,
  • getting the incentives right to drive long-term change rather than short-term shocks
  • acting as part of a global response, and
  • considering the wider impacts on the economy, jobs and incomes

“Addressing climate change isn’t easy. We all know that.

“But if we are all pulling in the same direction we can help ensure that our beautiful natural environment is preserved for our grandchildren and their grandchildren,” Mr Bridges says.

 

This announcement came in a speech at the Fieldays:

. . . My time as Economic Development Minister underlined for me the importance of the primary sector and regional New Zealand.

There can be a lot of talk from politicians about diversification away from primary industries – moving away from farming into areas like IT and finance.

Promoting other industries is good, but we must remember that you are the engine room of the economy.

Other industries could take lessons from how the primary sector operates.

It is full of people that are outward looking and back themselves.

People who constantly innovate so they can be the best at what they do.

People who care about conservation and the environment.

People who know that if you put in the hard yards, you reap the rewards.

These values are at the heart of what it means to be a New Zealander.

These attitudes are part of the reason why New Zealand is filled with fantastic opportunities right now.

They’re why in the two years before the last election, 10,000 new jobs were being created every month.

Why the average annual income increased by $13,000 between 2008 and 2017 – twice the rate of inflation.

They’re why the proportion of Kiwis in work is the third highest in the developed world.

New Zealand is a successful, prosperous, confident country, filled with people and businesses that can foot it with the best in the world.

I know that as Leader of the Opposition I’m supposed to complain about everything.

But that’s not my style.

I genuinely believe we are doing really well as a country, although we can always do better.

This success wasn’t always the case – ten years ago 30,000 people were leaving New Zealand every year to move to Australia, because that’s where the opportunities were.

As of last year there are more coming the other way.

We’ve made great progress – but we must keep pushing hard to ensure all Kiwis enjoy the gains.

I’m concerned that more and more of the Ardern-Peters Government’s policies will put those opportunities at risk.

While they talk a lot about good intentions, the policies like higher fuel taxes and a reversion to 1970s style pay agreements are anti-growth. They’ll shut down opportunities for our young people to get a job, and they’ll increase costs on New Zealand families.

Almost half of businesses believe the economy will deteriorate over the next six months. Half. That’s not an environment where people are hiring another employee or investing for growth.

I talked about values earlier, and there is one other value that I believe makes New Zealand so special.

And that’s our belief in doing the right thing, in giving a helping hand to those in need.

People like the single parent who needs taxpayer support to help raise their children.

And the worker who has just been laid-off and is trying but struggling to find their next job.

Most recently we’ve seen it in the primary sector too, with the M Bovis outbreak.

This is an extremely challenging time for farmers and the rural community.

These are animals that you have bred and cared for, and now your livelihoods are on the line.

I’m not going to dwell on how we got where we are, but I am pleased that farmers finally have certainty.

I feel for those who are having their stock culled – truly taking one for the team

For National’s part, we’re not going to play politics with this issue. That’s my commitment to you.

Our primary sector team of MPs, led by Nathan Guy, is here to support farming families and to advocate for you through this painful process.

I want to talk about more than just M Bovis today.

You know we always have to look ahead – to next year and the year after, to how you want your farm to be operating in five years’ time, and perhaps even to how your children and grandchildren could take over one day.

Just like you, much of what I do is driven by what I want for my kids when they grow up.

My wife Natalie and I have three amazing young children. Emlyn who is six, Harry who’s four, and little Jemima who is a whole six months old.

As a politician sometimes there are sacrifices you make, and that includes spending less time with your children.

But it also means that when I go to Parliament, I’m driven by the desire to make New Zealand an even better place for all our kids when they grow up.

One of the big long-term challenges we face is protecting the environment.

In a hundred years, when we’re all long gone, I want to be sure our grandchildren will be living in a New Zealand that is still the envy of the world because of its stunning natural environment as well as its prosperity.

I want them to live in a pristine New Zealand, where they can take their children to swim at Piha, or tramp in the Waitakere ranges like I did growing up.

I want our grandchildren to know that all of us have done what we can to protect the environment – our most precious natural resource. 

I doubt there are any New Zealanders who don’t think like this.

We can have the best sportspeople, the finest scholars, and the most innovative entrepreneurs.

We can have a world class economy and the prosperity to pay for education, hospitals, infrastructure, social services and care for our vulnerable.

But none of that is worthwhile if we haven’t protected the natural environment as well.

I’ve charged our environmental MPs, led by Scott Simpson, Todd Muller, Sarah Dowie and Erica Stanford with the task of modernising our approach to environmental issues. To run a ruler over our policies. To ask the questions and to push us harder.

And that is also true of climate change.

I know there might be some surprises about a National leader talking about climate change at Fieldays.

But I know this sector is committed to conservation and environmental sustainability.

You don’t get enough credit for that.

We’re not doing anyone any favours if we can’t have a robust conversation about the steps we need to take to protect our natural resources.

New Zealand feeds the world. We produce more food per person than any other OECD country.

Unfortunately being a large food producer means our per capita emissions are high.

But we are also the most efficient food producers. The world needs to be fed and we know how to do it well. 

But simply being the most efficient isn’t enough. We need to do more to reduce emissions further. I know that, and every farmer I talk to knows that too.

Despite our small individual profile of one fifth of one per cent of global emissions, our size does not abdicate us from our responsibility.

National recognises the importance to New Zealanders – present and future – of addressing climate change, and playing our part in the global response.

We’ve made good progress recently, but we need to do more.

We implemented the world-leading Emissions Trading Scheme, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic productivity.

When I was Transport Minister I implemented a significant package of measures to increase electric vehicle usage, so that we use fewer fossil fuels.

New Zealand is a great place for electric vehicles, because almost 90 per cent of our electricity is renewable. That’s the fourth highest in the developed world. 

There are now as many new electric vehicles in New Zealand each year as there have been in Australia, ever.

I want us to do more of that.

Since 2008 our greenhouse gas emissions fell, despite a growing economy and growing population.

That is a big deal. In the previous 18 years emissions increased by 25 per cent.

But we now need to wrestle them down further.

I am proud to have been a part of the previous National Government which signed New Zealand up to the Paris agreement with its ambitious challenge of reducing our emissions to 30 per cent less than 2005 levels by 2030.

I was there in Paris as the Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues and I stand by our commitment.

It will be challenging to achieve, and will require an adjustment to our economy. But we must do so.

In order to drive long-lasting change, broad and enduring political support is needed for New Zealand’s climate change framework – on the institutional arrangements we put in place to support a reduction in emissions.

Both the Productivity Commission and Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment were clear about this.

Stability is required to allow people and businesses to plan and respond.

It requires a consensus between the major political parties on the overall framework through which we address climate change issues. . . 

Seeking consensus with a common ground approach to climate change is the only way to make enduring progress.

The principles National wants to guide the process are sensible and sustainable.

  • taking a pragmatic, science-based approach,
  • utilising innovation and technology,
  • getting the incentives right to drive long-term change rather than short-term shocks
  • acting as part of a global response, and
  • considering the wider impacts on the economy, jobs and incomes

The test will be whether other parties will accept them or put politics before progress.

 


Saturday soapbox

June 16, 2018

Saturday’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.

A joker is near akin to a buffoon; and neither of them is the least related to wit.  – Lord Chesterfield


June 16 in history

June 16, 2018

1487  Battle of Stoke Field, the final engagement of the Wars of the Roses.

1586 Mary, Queen of Scots, recognised Philip II of Spain as her heir.

1738 –  Mary Katharine Goddard, American printer and publisher, was born (d. 1816).

1745  British troops took  Cape Breton Island,.

1745 – Sir William Pepperell captured the French Fortress Louisbourg,  during the War of the Austrian Succession.

1746  War of Austrian Succession: Austria and Sardinia defeated a Franco-Spanish army at the Battle of Piacenza.

1755  French and Indian War: the French surrendered Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians.

1779  Spain declared war on  Great Britain, and the siege of Gibraltar began.

1815  Battle of Ligny and Battle of Quatre Bras, two days before the Battle of Waterloo.

1821 Old Tom Morris, Scottish golfer, was born (d. 1908).

1829 Geronimo, Apache leader, was born  (d. 1909).

1836  The formation of the London Working Men’s Association gave rise to the Chartist Movement.

1846  The Papal conclave of 1846 concluded. Pius IX was elected pope, beginning the longest reign in the history of the papacy (not counting St. Peter).

1858  Abraham Lincoln delivered his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois.

1858  Battle of Morar during the Indian Mutiny.

1871  The University Tests Act allowed students to enter the Universities of Oxford,  Cambridge and Durham without religious tests, except for courses in theology.

1883  The Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland killed 183 children.

1890 Stan Laurel, British actor and comedian, was born  (d. 1965).

1891 John Abbott became Canada’s third prime minister.

1897  A treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States was signed.

1903  The Ford Motor Company was incorporated.

1903– Roald Amundsen commenced the first east-west navigation of theNorthwest Passage.

1904  Eugen Schauman assassinated Nikolai Bobrikov, Governor-General of Finland.

1904 Irish author James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle, and subsequently used the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses; traditionally “Bloomsday“.

1911  A 772 gram stony meteorite struck the earth near Kilbourn, Columbia County, Wisconsin damaging a barn.

1912 Enoch Powell, British politician, was born  (d. 1998).

1915  The foundation of the British Women’s Institute.

1922  General election in Irish Free State: large majority to pro-TreatySinn Féin.

1923 Baby farmer Daniel Cooper was hanged.

Baby-farmer Daniel Cooper hanged

1924  The Whampoa Military Academy was founded.

1925  The most famous Young Pioneer camp of the USSR, Artek, was established.

1929 Pauline Yates, English actress, was born.

1930 Sovnarkom established decree time in the USSR.

1934 Dame Eileen Atkins, English actress, was born.

1937 Erich Segal, American author, was born  (d. 2010).

1938  Joyce Carol Oates, American novelist, was born.

1940  World War II: Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain becomes Premier of Vichy France.

1939 Billy Crash Craddock, American country singer, was born.

1940 – A Communist government was installed in Lithuania.

1948 The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marked the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.

1955 Pope Pius XII excommunicated Juan Perón.

1958  Imre Nagy, Pál Maléter and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising were executed.

1961  Rudolf Nureyev defected at Le Bourget airport in Paris.

1963   Vostok 6 Mission – Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.

1967  The three-day Monterey International Pop Music Festival began.

1972 Red Army Faction member Ulrike Meinhof was captured by police in Langenhagen.

1972  The largest single-site hydro-electric power project in Canada started at Churchill Falls, Labrador.

1976 Soweto uprising: a non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto turned into days of rioting when police open fire on the crowd and kill 566 children.

1977 Oracle Corporation was incorporated as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.

1989  Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian Prime Minister, was reburied in Budapest.

1997 The Dairat Labguer massacre in Algeria; 50 people killed.

2000 Israel complied with UN Security Council Resolutiwen 425  and withdrew from all of Lebanon, except the disputed Sheba Farms.

2010 – Bhutan became the first country to institute a total ban on tobacco.

2012 – China successfully launched its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts – including the first female Chinese astronaut, Liu Yang– to the Tiangong-1 orbital module.

2012 – The United States Air Force’s robotic Boeing X-37Bspaceplanereturned to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.

2013 – A multi-day cloudburst centered on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides becoming the country’s worst natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami.

2013 – The 2013 Baga massacre started when Boko Haram militants engaged government soldiers in Baga.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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