Word of the day

July 5, 2018

Cornu – a horn, especially a bony part that resembles a horn; a horn-shaped projection of the thyroid cartilage or of certain bones (such as the hyoid and the coccyx); either of the two lateral cavities of the uterus, into which the fallopian tubes pass.


Political Compass

July 5, 2018

Scrubone is back and is inviting us to do the Political Compass test.

I scored:

Economic left/right 3.0

Social libertarian/authoritarian -3.79

personalised chart

Scrubone has the results from the past which showed me as 3.5 on the left/right and -.5 on the libertarian/authoritarian.

Does this mean I’m a bit closer to the centre and more liberal or that when, as many questions left me wanting to put neutral/don’t know, I went to the more liberal answer more often this time?


Thursday’s quiz

July 5, 2018

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone stumping everyone will win a virtual batch of Spicy Lemon Biscuits.


Rural round-up

July 5, 2018

Discovery that could help save the world – new diet to make cows burp less methane – Gerard Hutching:

New Zealand could be the first country in the world to change a cow’s diet so it burps out less methane.

Dutch nutrition company Royal DSM is developing a commercial feed additive which it hopes will be on the market in two years’ time. Studies had shown it could reduce up to 30 per cent of cattle methane in intensive farm systems.

It is focusing on New Zealand because the country’s livestock produce a lot of methane, one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

A single dairy cow generates about 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year in the form of methane (CH4). . .

Robotic technology running at Alliance Dannevirke plant :

State-of-the-art robotic technology is now running as part of the Alliance Group’s $10.6 million investment in its Dannevirke meat processing site.

The primal/middle cutting machinery is part of the co-operative’s investment programme in the plant which also included a redsigning the boning room.

The technology is the most advanced system of its kind in New Zealand. The custom-built primal/middle cutting technology features an x-ray unit which analyses each carcass and instructs two cutting machines where to cut.

It automatically adjusts to a wide variation in carcass size, a challenge in the red meat processing sector. The technology also minimises waste and improves the accuracy of the cut. . .

New fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and NZ merino :

A unique, environmentally friendly fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and a New Zealand merino wool blend will be displayed as part of the Material Innovation exhibition at the London Design Museum.

The material, which was created by renowned Danish designers Kvadrat, was designed to be a sustainable replacement for leather in the latest Range Rover model.

Jaguar Land Rover NZ sales operations manager Ben Montgomery says the merino wool blend was chosen by the designers for its premium characteristics. . . 

Kiwi meat can cut the mustard – Annette Scott:

There are no facts in the future. It’s all just an educated or opinionated guess, agri-futurist and digital strategist Melissa Clark-Reynolds told 250 sheep and beef farmers in Christchurch.

In her keynote address to Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s FarmSmart 2018 Clark-Reynolds said the biggest challenges in futureproofing farming will come in a changing business farming model.

“The future is already here. It’s just not very evenly distributed,” she said. . . 

LIC takes disease precautions – Glenys Christian:

Breeding companies are gearing up for the busy spring mating season with extra measures to stop the spread of Mycoplasma bovis between dairy farms.

LIC shareholder councillor Mark Meyer, who farms at Tangiteroria, told a farmer meeting in Dargaville AI technicians have already inspected nearly 5000 dairy farms to make sure they have one major suitable entry point and footbaths were in place.

There was 100% compliance with 60 technicians in the field for winter milk inseminations despite some pushback from farmers to start with, he said.  . . 

Best advice to U.S. dairy farmers? ‘Sell out as fast as you can’ – Phil McCausland:

Small-dairy farmers are getting squeezed out by corporate agriculture. “That is not what America is about,” a struggling farmer said.

All Curtis Coombs wanted was to raise cows and run his family’s dairy farm in this slice of Kentucky hill country, less than 35 miles from Louisville. But a few weeks ago, he was forced to sell his milking herd of 82 cows, putting an end to his family’s nearly 70-year dairy business.

On a rain-drenched Monday, Coombs, his father and his uncle struggled to shove their last 13 cows into a trailer destined for auction and slaughter. As the earthy smell of manure filled the air, the men yelled for the Holsteins to move and urged them forward with the whack of a plastic stick. . . 


Farmers aren’t on strike

July 5, 2018

When I skim read a headline I thought it said hundreds of farmers were walking off the job.

They aren’t:

The nation need not worry today – the farmers that produce your food and the lion’s share of the nation’s export earnings still got up at the crack of dawn today. While those that work at the Farmers department store, that started as a sears-type mail order catalogue for rural customers, may be on strike today.

Federated Farmers employment spokesperson Chris Lewis confirmed the nation’s farmers have not walked off the job.

“Having no source of income is a frightening reality – hence farmers work.”

Farmers, the department store was founded by Robert Laidlaw CBE. Laidlaw was born in Scotland and emigrated to Dunedin when he was a boy. In Auckland he founded Laidlaw Leeds, a Sears-type mail order catalogue for rural customers.

This later merged with older The Farmers Union Trading Company to become what is now Farmers Trading Company Ltd, the last remaining nationwide chain of department stores in the country.

In all seriousness, we hope both sides of this issue can soon find a middle ground and everything can get back to normal for everyone involved.

“Strikes can be mentally damaging for those involved so during this time we hope everyone keeps an eye on their health.” . . 

The media release which sparked this story is here.


Beware council well-beings

July 5, 2018

Giving councils the power to put well-beings before core services poses big risks for ratepayers:

Federated Farmers says a return to a looser legislative mandate for local government activities presents a “depressing scenario” for those who foot the bill – ratepayers.

Feds President Katie Milne fronted the Government Administration Select Committee this morning and said farmers were deeply concerned that proposed changes will act as an impetus for higher local government spending and rates.

The Local Government (Community Well-being Amendment) Bill also “puts the cart before the horse” because the Productivity Commission hasn’t yet started its local government inquiry.

“Park this Bill at least until the Commission has done the grunt work and sorted out the drivers of council spending and recommended how councils should be funded in future,” Katie said.

Federated Farmers believed the vast majority of ratepayers favour the current purpose statement for local government, to provide good quality local infrastructure, local public services and legislative functions “…in a way that is most cost effective for households and businesses…”.

The bill proposes a return to the so-called ‘four well-beings’ purpose, where local authorities “…promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities…”, with no mention of cost-effectiveness.

The last time the four well-beings were in the Act, 2002-2012, local government annual rates revenue jumped 94%, when inflation was 28%.

“Since the removal of the four well-beings, growth in spending and rates have moderated significantly.  This despite stronger population growth,” Katie said.

“Despite some crazy ideas, like Rotorua’s infamous Mudtopia debacle, the signal from the Act’s current purpose statement has generally helped to focus council behaviour. However, in this year’s round of long-term plans we are starting to see some creep back; perhaps councils have been encouraged by the signals they are getting from government and this Bill.”

The original “four well-beings” legislation also included a robust consultative regime.  That’s missing in the current bill.

“With weak community engagement provisions and no relationship with funding, the re-insertion of the four well-beings is flawed and risky.

“Ratepayers cannot afford for us to go back to the out of control spending and rates increases of the 2002 to 2012 decade.”

Katie referred to the Local Government Business Forum’s report on council funding, noting the growth in non-core vs core spending over recent years, and the concern this Bill will exacerbate this trend.  To see the report, go to https://www.fixcouncilfunding.co.nz/

Property-value based rating imposes a disproportionate cost of local body funding on farmers.

This Bill will inevitably lead to higher rates and higher costs for farming.

It will also enable central government to load even more responsibilities and costs on to local government.

Councils should concentrate on core services and not saddle ratepayers with feel-good well-being projects that they can ill afford.


Quote of the day

July 5, 2018

The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Bill Watterson who celebrates his 60th birthday today.


July 5 in history

July 5, 2018

1295  Scotland and France formed an alliance, the beginnings of the Auld Alliance, against England.

1316  Battle of Manolada between the Burgundian and Majorcan claimants of the Principality of Achaea.

1321 Joan of The Tower, Queen consort of Scotland, was born (d. 1362).

1610  John Guy set sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland.

1687  Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

1755 Sarah Siddons, British actress, was born (d. 1831).

1770  Battle of Chesma started, between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

1775  United States Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition.

1803 The Convention of Artlenburg led to the French occupation of Hanover.

1809  Battle of Wagram started.

1810 P.T. Barnum, American circus owner, was born (d. 1891).

1811  Venezuela declared independence from Spain.

1813  War of 1812: Three weeks of British raids on Fort SchlosserBlack Rock and Plattsburgh, New York began.

1814 War of 1812: Battle of Chippawa – American Major General Jacob Brown defeated British General Phineas Riall.

1833 Admiral Charles Napier defeated the navy of the Portuguese usurper Dom Miguel at the third Battle of Cape St. Vincent.

1853 Cecil Rhodes, British founder of Rhodesia was born (d. 1902).

1865  The Salvation Army was founded in the East End of London.

1878 The coat of arms of the Baku governorate was established.

1881 A poll tax was imposed on Chinese people in New Zealand.

Poll tax imposed on Chinese

1884  Germany took possession of Cameroon.

1888  – Louise Freeland Jenkins, American astronomer and academic, was born (d. 1970).

1902 Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., American diplomat, was born (d. 1985)

1911 Georges Pompidou, French politician, was born (d. 1974).

1911 – Giorgio Borġ Olivier, Maltese lawyer and politician, 7th Prime Minister of Malta, was born (d. 1980).

1928 – Pierre Mauroy, French educator and politician, Prime Minister of France, was born (d. 2013).

1934 ”Bloody Thursday” – Police opened fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco.

1935  The National Labor Relations Act, which governs labour relations in the United States, is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1937  Spam, the luncheon meat, was introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

1937  Highest recorded temperature in Canada, at Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan: 45°C (113°F).

1940  World War II: The United Kingdom and the Vichy Francegovernment broke off diplomatic relations.

1941  World War II: German troops reached the Dnieper River.

1943  The Battle of Kursk, the largest full-scale battle in history started.

1943 – World War II: An Allied invasion fleet sailed for Sicily (Operation HuskyJuly 10, 1943

1945 World War II: Liberation of the Philippines declared.

1946 The bikini was re-introduced in Paris.

1947 Larry Doby signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians baseball team, becoming the first black player in the American League.

1948 National Health Service Acts created the national public health systems in the United Kingdom.

1950  Huey Lewis, American musician (Huey Lewis and the News), was born.

1950 – Michael Monarch, American guitarist (Steppenwolf), was born.

1950 Korean War: Task Force Smith – First clash between American and North Korean forces.

1950 The Knesset passed the Law of Return which granted all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

1951 William Shockley invented the junction transistor.

1954 John Wright, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1954 Jimmy Crespo, American guitarist (Aerosmith), was born.

1954 The BBC broadcast its first television news bulletin.

1954  Andhra Pradesh High Court was established.

1958 Bill Watterson, American cartoonist, was born.

1958 First ascent of Gasherbrum I, 11th highest peak on the earth.

1962  Algeria became independent from France.

1962 The Late Late Show, the world’s longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster, aired on RTÉ One for the first time.

1970 Air Canada Flight 621 crashed near Toronto International Airport killing 109 people.

1971  The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years, is formally certified by President Richard Nixon.

1973 Catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) in Kingman, Arizona, following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank, killed 11 firefighters.

1975  Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.

1975  Cape Verde gained its independence from Portugal.

1977  Military coup in Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan was overthrown.

1979  Shane Filan, Irish musician (Westlife), was born.

1987 First instance of the LTTE using suicide attacks on Sri Lankan Army. The Black Tigers were born.

1989  Iran-Contra Affair: Oliver North was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service.

1995 Armenia adopted its constitution, four years after their independence from the Soviet Union.

1996  Dolly the sheep became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

1999 – President Clinton imposed trade and economic sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

2003 SARS was declared to be contained by the WHO.

2004  First Indonesian presidential election by the nation.

2009  Roger Federer won a record 15th Grand Slam title in tennis, winning a five set match against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon.

2009 The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, consisting of more than 1,500 items, was found near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire.

2009 Ethnic rioting broke out in Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China.

2012 – The Shard in London was inaugurated as the tallest building in Europe, with a height of 310 metres (1,020 ft).

2015 – The United States women’s national soccer team won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia.

2016 – The Juno space probe arrived at Jupiter and began a 20-month survey of the planet.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


August 5 in history

July 5, 2018

25 – Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor after a period of political turmoil, restoring the Han Dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin Dynasty.

642  Battle of Maserfield – Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Bernicia.

910  The last major Viking army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward and Earl Aethelred.

1100 Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305 William Wallace, was captured by the English and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed.

1388 Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England.

1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert established the first English colony in North America, at what is now St John’s, Newfoundland.

1620 The Mayflower departed from Southampton on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689 – 1,500 Iroquois attacked the village of Lachine, in New France.

1716 The Battle of Petrovaradin.

1735  New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

1763 Pontiac’s War: Battle of Bushy Run – British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeated Chief Pontiac’s Indians at Bushy Run.

1772 The First Partition of Poland began.

1827 – Deodoro da Fonseca, Brazilian field marshal and politician, 1st President of Brazil, was born(d. 1892).

1858 Cyrus West Field and others completed the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts.

1860 Carl IV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Norway, in Trondheim.

1861   The United States government levied the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872) to help pay for the Civil War.

1861  The United States Army abolished flogging.

1862 Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man” , was born (d. 1890).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Baton Rouge.

1864  American Civil War: the Battle of Mobile Bay began – Admiral David Farragut led a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and sealed one of the last major Southern ports.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Battle of Spicheren resulted in a Prussian victory.

1876 – Mary Ritter Beard, American historian and activist, was born (d. 1958).

1884 The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

1888  Bertha Benz drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back in the first long distance automobile trip.

1901  Peter O’Connor set the first IAAF recognised long jump world record of 24ft 11¾ins.

1908 Harold Holt, 17th Prime Minister of Australia, was born(d. 1967).

1914 – New Zealand entered World War 1.

New Zealand enters the First World War

1914  World War I: The German minelayer Königin Luise laid a minefield about 40 miles off the Thames Estuary. She was intercepted and sunk by the British light-cruiser HMS Amphion.

1914 In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light was installed.

1918 – Betty Oliphant, English-Canadian ballerina, co-founded the Canada’s National Ballet School, was born (d. 2004).

1925 Plaid Cymru was formed with the aim of disseminating knowledge of the Welsh language.

1928 – Carla Lane, English television writer, was born (d. 2016).

1930 Neil Armstrong, American astronaut, was born (d. 2012).

1934 – Wendell Berry, American author, poet, and farmer, was born.

1940 World War II: The Soviet Union formally annexed Latvia.

1944  World War II: possibly the biggest prison breakout in history as 545 Japanese POWs attempted to escape outside the town of Cowra, NSW.

1944  Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberated a German labour camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.

1949  In Ecuador  an earthquake destroyed 50 towns and killed more than 6000.

1957  American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network.

1960  Burkina Faso, then known as Upper Volta, became independent from France.

1962 Nelson Mandela was jailed.

1963  The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union signed anuclear test ban treaty.

1964  Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow – American aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes which attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1979   In Afghanistan, Maoists undertake an attempted military uprising.

1988 The Cartwright report condemned the treatment of cervical cancer.

Cartwright Report condemns cervical cancer treatment

1995  The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, was captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm.

2003  A car bomb exploded in Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.

2010 – Ten members of International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed by persons unknown in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.

2010 – Copiapó mining accident  trapped 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft below the ground.

2012 – The Oak Creek shooting took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people; the perpetrator was shot dead by police.

2015  – The Gold King Mine waste water spill released 3 million gallons of heavy metal toxin tailings and waste water into the Animas River in Colorado.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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