365 days of gratitude

July 9, 2018

A friend gave me a daphne which struggled at first but this year it’s decided to bloom, reminding me of both the kindness of my friend and that spring is on its way, for both of which I’m grateful.

 


Word of the day

July 9, 2018

Fibrin – a fibrous, insoluble blood protein: in the clotting process, thrombin converts fibrinogen to fibrin monomers which polymerize to form clots;  an elastic, insoluble, whitish protein produced by the action of thrombin on fibrinogen and forming an interlacing fibrous network in the coagulation of blood.


Rural round-up

July 9, 2018

Documentary explores Dannevirke sheep shearers’ international success – Kerry Harvey:

Overseas visitors are flocking to Dannevirke – looking to get down and dirty in the shearing shed.

The tourists come from all over Europe to learn from – and work for – Paewai-Mullins Shearing, a fourth-generation family business which is at the centre of Māori TV’s new documentary series Shear Bro.

“We’ve got the best teachers here and that’s why we get such a big influx of foreign shearers,” says Tuma Mullins, a world-class trainer who has worked in shearing sheds around the world. . .

Takapau farmer a public hit at Young Farmer of the Year Competition – Andrew Ashton:

Takapau farmer Patrick Crawshaw admits he was pushed to the “absolute limit” at this year’s FMG Young Farmer of the Year grand final but says he “loved every minute of it”.

Speaking to Hawke’s Bay Today after taking on six other finalists over three days of gruelling competition in Invercargill, Crawshaw said he was feeling “tired but not too bad”.

“I learnt a lot through the process, it was a very cool project to go through but certainly one that challenges the body and mind more than anything. I’ve never pushed it that far before in my life. . . 

Disrupters are here – Annette Scott:

Red meat farmers are facing the biggest disruption in more than 30 years, Beef  + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor told farmers at the annual FarmSmart conference in Christchurch.

“We are facing a bigger disruption for our sector than seen in the 1980s when a lamb was $4 and a ewe 50c, if you could get killing space.

McIvor outlined seven forces B+LNZ has identified as driving disruption.

They include global and government institutions putting the impact of meat consumption on the agenda and while it will move slowly the conversation has started. . .

NZ kiwifruit experts share tips with Chinese growers – Gerard Hutching:

It used to be called the Chinese gooseberry; now New Zealand experts are showing Chinese growers how to create the perfect kiwifruit.

Even though China is the home of the kiwifruit, New Zealanders have honed the art of growing them and are now sharing their expertise.

It is all part of Zespri’s Project Bamboo, which aims to contract selected growers to supply the Tauranga-based marketer with fruit for its expanding Chinese market.

Sales in China reached $505 million at the end of June and turnover is expected to double in four years’ time. . .

Synlait applauds high performing farmers:

Synlait recognised high achievers in their milk supplier network at their annual conference in Christchurch for dairy farmers and partners on Thursday 28 June.

Nine accolades were up for grabs at the 2018 Synlait Dairy Honours Awards.

“We make a point of celebrating the significant achievements of an increasingly large number of high performing dairy farmers each year,” says John Penno, Synlait’s CEO and Managing Director. . . 

Icebreaker’s sustainability report sets new standard to follow – Lyn Meany:

Corporate sustainability reporting is almost de rigueur. According to the Governance & Accountability Institute, the number of S&P 500 companies issuing sustainability reports has grown from just 20 percent in 2011 to 82 percent in 2016. That’s quite a trend, and quite a good thing, for the companies and their stakeholders — but only if they do it right.

How can you ensure your sustainability report is a good thing for your company?

Many look at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework as the gold standard for reporting in the private sector. It is not a quick or easy framework to use — but then again, no effective sustainability report is quick or easy. You have to set goals in all the expected categories: energy; waste; water; and so forth. You have to establish metrics and track your progress against those goals, then write, design and publish your report. . .

Premium Pāmu Venison conquering Auckland and US

From The Sugar Club at SkyCity  to the  Archive Bar and Bistro on Waiheke, premium quality venison from Pāmu in partnership with Duncan Venison and Carve, is livening up the plates of over a dozen restaurants in Auckland and further afield, with more queuing up.

Duncan Venison chief executive Andy Duncan says the demand for the Pāmu Venison is growing as chefs discover the superior taste and quality of the Bistro Fillet product. . .

WA farmers go full Monty to reveal mental health issues – Cally Dupe and Zoe Keenan:

A groundswell of goodwill and humour caused by farmers getting their kit off has drawn attention to a more serious issue: mental health.

The founder of popular Instagram page The Naked Farmer wrapped up his month-long tour of Western Australia this week, visiting farmers across the State.

From Dumbleyung to Kununurra, Victorian farmer Ben Brooksby and his best mate Emma Cross photographed WA grain, sheep and cattle farmers on their broadacre and pastoral properties. . .

 


Do as they say not as they do

July 9, 2018

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter wants more women on boards.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting but this sounds more like a warning:

. . .CORIN Yeah. But are you saying that some of those men have got into that position because they were white men?

JULIE ANNE Well, I think the reason there’s not diversity on boards is because we haven’t actively sought to overturn the status quo, which is the result of historic discrimination and bias and unconscious bias. So we just have to make an active effort to find those talented people. And through attrition, it can happen. You can replace people. I think there’s a role for men to play in terms of identifying people they can mentor and bring on to boards and champion that diversity. And so the key question is, you know, who is going to be responsible for this? And ultimately, the private sector is responsible for making those changes.

CORIN But what you’re saying is that they are going to have to get there themselves. You’re not going to force them to do it. Because that’s the point that I’m trying to make, which is, you know, you are going to get some resistance there. And are you willing to do that?

JULIE ANNE Well, the evidence is mixed on how successful that is. So quotas in some places have been successful, but they also can have perverse consequences. So what I would say is let’s start by putting up the challenge. NZX did have a diversity policy that they released. So they’ve said to their members you have to have a diversity policy or explain why not. That has increased diversity to some extent. We’re awaiting the next report, and I’m keen to see where they get to. But yeah, if they’re not going to make progress, if it’s going to sit there at 19%, then we might have to start thinking about ways government can incentivise them.

CORIN Quotas? 

JULIE ANNE Well, I think there’ll be a range of tools available. But we want to do what’s most effective, right? So whatever’s going to be most effective at motivating that change and ensuring that it doesn’t have any perverse consequences. . . 

Motivating sounds more carrot than stick but whether it would be or not isn’t clear.

But it’s what she seems to forget, or not know that is of most concern.

It’s shareholders who elect directors to the boards of companies in the private sector and what she’s saying suggests that the government might come up with something that would interfere with their right to elect who they want.

There is evidence that diversity can make a positive difference to governance but that still doesn’t give government the right to second guess shareholders or usurp their right to elect the directors of their own choosing without government motivation or what could well be regarded as meddling.

Before stirring up the private sector, the Minister should start much closer to home by addressing the gender imbalance in cabinet:

Ardern has released a list of 16 Cabinet ministers and five ministers outside Cabinet, including all 12 MPs on its current front bench.

Just seven of the 21 are women, six of whom are in Cabinet.

That is fewer than National which had nine in total, including seven inside Cabinet – and was often pilloried by Labour for its lack of representation.

In a Newshub debate during the election campaign, Ardern had said she believed Cabinet should be 50/50 female and male and would make it a target.

However, even the five ministers outside Cabinet chosen by Ardern herself rather than by caucus included just one woman – Meka Whaitiri. . . 

Genter’s aim for equal representation would look much less hypocritical if Cabinet didn’t show it’s a case of do as government says, not as it does.


Quote of the day

July 9, 2018

If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self – himself – he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it. – Oliver Sacks who was born on this day in 1933.


July 9 in history

July 9, 2018

455 Roman military commander Avitus was proclaimed emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

1357  Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor assisted in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.

1540 Henry VIII  annulled his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

1541 Estevão da Gama left Massawa, leaving behind 400 matchlock men and 150 slaves under his brother Christovão da Gama, with orders to help the Emperor of Ethiopia defeat Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi who had invaded his Empire.

1755  French and Indian War: Braddock Expedition – British troops and colonial militiamen were ambushed and defeated by French and Native American forces.

1764 Ann Radcliffe, English writer, was born (d. 1823).

1789  In Versailles, the National Assembly reconstituted itself as theNational Constituent Assembly and began preparations for a French constitution.

1790 Russo-Swedish War: Second Battle of Svensksund – the Swedish Navy captured one third of the Russian fleet.

1793 The Act Against Slavery was passed in Upper Canada and the importation of slaves into Lower Canada prohibited.

1807 The Treaties of Tilsit were signed by Napoleon I and Alexander I.

1810 Napoleon annexed the Kingdom of Holland as part of the First French Empire.

1815 Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Benevente became Prime Minister of France.

1816 Argentina declared independence from Spain.

1836 Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1908).

1850 President Zachary Taylor died and Millard Fillmore became the 13th President of the United States.

1863  American Civil War: the Siege of Port Hudson ended.

1867 An unsuccessful expedition led by E.D Young sets out to search for DrDavid Livingstone.

1868  The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.

1896 William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speechadvocating bimetalism at the 1896 Democratic National Convention.

1900 Queen Victoria gave royal assent to an Act creating theCommonwealth of Australia thus uniting separate colonies on the continent under one federal government.

1901 Dame Barbara Cartland, English novelist, was born (d. 2000).

1916 Sir Dean Goffin, New Zealand composer, was born (d. 1984).

1916  Sir Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 2005).

1918 Great train wreck of 1918: in Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collided with an outbound express killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history.

1922  Johnny Weissmuller swam the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the ‘minute barrier’.

1925 Charles E. Wicks, Professor, co-author of Fundamentals of Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer, was born.

1927   Ed Ames, American singer and actor, was born.

1927  Susan Cabot, American actress (d. 1986).

1929 Lee Hazlewood, American country singer, songwriter and producer, was born (d. 2007).

1932 Donald Rumsfeld, 13th & 21st United States Secretary of Defense, was born.

1932  The state of São Paulo revolted against the Brazilian Federal Government, starting the Constitutionalist Revolution.

1933 Oliver Sacks, British neurologist and author, was born (d. 2015).

1943 World War II: Operation Husky – Allied forces perform an amphibious invasion of Sicily.

1944 World War II: Battle of Normandy – British and Canadian forces captured Caen, France.

1944  World War II: Battle of Saipan – Americans took Saipan.

1944 – World War II: Finland won the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, Red Army withdrewsits troops from Ihantala and dug into defensive position, which ended the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

1945 Dean R. Koontz, American author, was born.

1946 Bon Scott, Australian singer (AC/DC), was born.

1947 O.J. Simpson, American football player, actor, was born.

1948 Pakistan issued its first set of Postage stamps, bearing images of the Constituent Assembly, the Jinnah International Airport (Quaid-e-Azam International Airport), and the Shahi Fort.

1955 The Russell-Einstein Manifesto was released by Bertrand Russell in London.

1956 Tom Hanks, American actor, was born.

1958 Lituya Bay was hit by a mega-tsunami – a wave recorded at 524 meters high, making it the largest wave in history.

1959 Jim Kerr, Scottish singer (Simple Minds), was born.

1962  Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States of America.

1962 Andy Warhol’s  Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

1975  The National Assembly of Senegal passed a law that paved the way for a (highly restricted) multi-party system.

1979  A car bomb destroyed a Renault motor car owned by famed “Nazi hunters” Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. A note purportedly from ODESSA claimed responsibility.

1982 Pan Am Flight 759 crashed in Kenner, Louisiana killing all 145 people on board and eight others on the ground.

1984 York Minster was struck by a lightning bolt and the resulting fire ravaged most of the building.

1986 The New Zealand Parliament passed the Homosexual Law Reform Actlegalising homosexuality.

Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed

1989 Two bombs exploded in Mecca, killing one pilgrim and wounding 16 others.

1991  South Africa was readmitted into the Olympic movement after 30 years of exclusion.

1995  The Navaly church bombing was carried out by the Sri Lankan Air Force killing 125 Tamil civilian refugees.

1999  Days of student protests began after Iranian police and hardliners attacked a student dormitory at the University of Tehran.

2002 The African Union was established in Addis Ababa, with the first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.

2006  At least 122 people were killed after a Sibir Airlines Airbus A310passenger jet, carrying 200 passengers veered off the runway while landing in wet conditions at Irkutsk Airport in Siberia.

2011 – South Sudan gained independence and seceded from Sudan.

2014 – A gunman killed six people including four children near Spring, Texas.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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