365 days of gratitude

July 17, 2018

One of the yard sticks by which I measure farms is the gates.

Does the chain closing them have enough links to allow it to be undone and done up easily?

Do they swing properly, allowing the opener and closer to open and close them without having to lift and drag them?

Today I’m grateful for chains with enough links and gates that swing.


Word of the day

July 17, 2018

Hoosh – to force or turn or drive off or out; to shoo away; to move quickly; to land at great speed;  an exclamation used when shooing or driving animals and, in particular, when ordering camels to sit down; thick stew made from pemmican or other meat, thickener and water.


A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

July 17, 2018

A beauty, a brainwave, a brilliance?

I couldn’t find a collective noun for books, but any and all of those three would be an appropriate one for A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies by Kate Hursthouse.

The seed for the book was planted during a conversation about zebras in which she was told the collective noun for the animals is a dazzle.

The seed grew and blossomed into a book of collective nouns for animals, beautifully and creatively illustrated with pictures which reflect the words.

Each time I open the book I see something more.

It is described as a children’s book but will interest and delight adults too.

You can buy the book from the artist’s website.

There’s more about the artist and the book at: Renaissance artist – the Aucklander helping keep alive age-old art of calligraphy.


Rural round-up

July 17, 2018

Frustration leads to success – Neal Wallace:

John Falconer makes something of an understatement describing his Central Otago deer farm business as diverse. Neal Wallace visits the Falconers’ Clachanburn Station in the Maniototo, a farmer who says he is benefiting from two generations of careful deer breeding.

The stencilled 1988 on a shed wall at Clachanburn Station in Central Otago is more than a piece of graffiti or a casual reference to a year last century.

It marks the year John Falconer’s parents, Charles and Jane, started progressively replacing sheep with deer on the property near Patearoa in the Maniototo Basin. . .

Couple offer tips for the hive minded -David Hill:

Producing honey can be a sweet addition to farm income, but there are some sticky regulations to comply with.

Culverden farmers Dan and Mandy Shand shared their experiences of running a 2000 hive operation on their 7000ha high country farm, Island Hills Station, at Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s northern South Island farmer council ”FarmSmart” conference last week.

Before returning home to the family farm, Mrs Shand was a scuba diving instructor, while Mr Shand was a software developer. . .

Women in Wine launch pilot national mentoring programme:

A nationwide mentoring programme has been launched to help women within the New Zealand wine industry achieve success.

It’s an initiative of Women in Wine, which was launched by New Zealand Winegrowers in 2017.

Women in any role within the wine industry were welcomed to apply to be a mentor or mentee in June. Applications were then assessed by a selection panel and, after careful consideration, suitable mentor-mentee matches were made. . .

Matt Gomm named first Gisborne Young Fruit Grower:

Matt Gomm, orchard leader at the Burnside Trust, has been named as the first ever Gisborne Young Fruit Grower of the Year at a gala awards dinner on Thursday night.

Some of the best young horticulturalists in Gisborne took part in the competition at Kaiaponi Farms yesterday. The event saw contestants facing a series of challenges designed to test their knowledge and skills around topics vital to the management of a successful orchard, including fencing, biosecurity, and tractor safety. They also delivered a speech to a crowd of 110 people at the White House, including Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon, on the importance of innovation and technology in fruit growing. . .

Sustainability and Traceability key themes for Apiculture New Zealand Conference, Sunday 22 to Tuesday 24 July, Blenheim:

Beekeepers, packers, processors, and affiliated businesses from the apiculture industry are gearing up for the Apiculture New Zealand National Conference and Trade Exhibition, opening next Sunday, 22 July in Blenheim.

The three-day conference is filled with presentations and workshops from apiculture experts all over New Zealand and the world. International keynote speakers include Sue Cobey, David Mendes, and Alisha Taff, who are all travelling from the United States to speak to Kiwi delegates. Find their bios, along with the list of local speakers here. . .

Brexit and agriculture – Richard Corbett:

Leaving the EU will presumably mean leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

It is claimed that replacing the CAP could be an opportunity for the UK to develop an agricultural policy which promotes competitive and environmentally sustainable farming better than the CAP does, by reducing direct payments to farmers and increasing subsidies for public goods (such as environmental stewardship and high animal welfare standards). It could also be an opportunity to think afresh about how to create a more resilient, innovative and effective agricultural sector.

It is indeed easy to make a list of desirable changes, though one person’s wish list may be another’s hate-list. And securing support for continued farming subsidies from an overwhelmingly urban electorate is likely to produce its own particular tensions, as my colleague Paul Brannen has explored. . . 

 


10% can’t be counted

July 17, 2018

The release of data from this year’s census has been delayed because not enough people participated in it:

Stats NZ has revised the date for first release of census information from October 2018 to March 2019.

We will confirm the exact response and the coverage rates for the census after we complete our reconciliation processes. Stats NZ’s interim calculations show that full or partial information for at least 90 percent of individuals was received, compared with 94.5 percent for the 2013 Census.

As with previous censuses, we will use statistical methodology to compensate for missing data. For the 2018 Census we are revising this methodology because of the lower-than-expected response. We are discussing this new methodology with our technical customers. We’re also undertaking analysis on how to improve data for small populations, subgroups, and small geographies. The new date for our first release will give us time to develop revised methodology for processing and analysing census data. We are committed to delivering a high-quality and accurate dataset.

There is a long term, international trend of declining census response rates. Because of this we have made a strategic decision to use more administrative data to improve the quality of census data.

Stats NZ is in a good position to adopt this approach as we have been investigating future census models that would supplement census data with administrative data.

How significant is the drop?

Over at Kiwiblog David Farrar says:

. . .The Minister of Statistics should call for an independent review of this failure, to ensure the next census has a much higher participation rate.

Also we should not be given spin for months about how great the census went and then find out only now, how bad the participation rate was.

The last Australian census had a 96% response rate. They regarded 93.3% as the minimum required.

The Canadian census had a 98.4% response rate.

A better way to look at it is the non response rate. In Canada is was 1.6% and in NZ it was 10% – six times higher.

The move to on-line forms was supposed to make it easier to complete the census.

We won’t know if completion would have been worse if Stats NZ had stuck to the paper-based system but there were lots of complaints from people about the difficulty of dealing with the call centre by those requesting paper forms.

We were in Queenstown on census night. Nothing was said at the hotel when we checked in but there were papers under the door when we left at 6:30 next morning. I picked them up, stuffed them in my bag and forgot about them until I got home when I found forms at the door.

We had breakfast with around 50 farmers from Australia and New Zealand so I did a census on census completion and asked everyone if they’d done it.

One of the hotels had run out of forms, none of the Australians had completed them and all of the New Zealanders had done theirs at home, as if they were at home.

A woman who gave forms to tourists staying at her B&B was told where she could put them.

A friend has a holiday home in Wanaka with two houses and one mail box. She presumes her tenant would have got the letter fromStats NZ that went to every household, but would have filled it in for only one of the houses.

Anecdotes don’t make good data but they do illustrate problems with this year’s census.

With the old system someone visited every house and some census staff went many extra miles. A friend was climbing in the Southern Alps on census night and was presented with forms by a worker who came to the hut.

The on-line census was easy if you have a computer and are comfortable using it but that’s not everybody and problems with the call centre didn’t help.

It would have been more expensive to have people calling on every house as they used to do, but it would have ensured a better count which is important for planning and funding.

It’s also necessary for working out electorate boundaries and the delay in the data release will delay the final release of new boundaries which in turn will delay the candidate selection process.

As National’s Statistics spokesman Nick Smith points out:

. . .There is over $10 billion of health funding allocated to the twenty DHBs each year based on census population data. The funding formula for the operating grants for our 2500 schools is derived from the census as are decisions about the allocation of resources in social services, police, sports, transport and many other services.

“It also has major implications for the Representation Commission. The number of general and Maori electorates in Parliament are determined by the Census and the process for determining the new boundaries was due to start in November.

“Changes in population figures as small as 1 per cent can impact on whether there is, for instance, an extra or the removal of one of the Maori electorates. This process will now not be able to start until April next year and the compromised statistics will affect the integrity of the make-up and boundaries for the 2020 and 2023 elections. . . 

The significant drop in completion rates and consequent delay in releasing data are concerning.

Having 10% of the population not counted is serious, especially when it is likely to include more people who for example have intellectual or mental disabilities, don’t speak English, are illiterate or for other reasons are more likely to be in need of publicly funded support.

A review must determine what went wrong and why, and ensure that it doesn’t happen again in 2024.


Quote of the day

July 17, 2018

By smiling, we turn devils into angels, enemies into friends; the cup of poison becomes the loving cup.Christina Stead who was born on this day in 1911.


July 17 in history

July 17, 2018

180 Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa  were executed for being Christians. This was the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.

1203 The Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople by assault. The Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus fled into exile.

1402  Zhu Di, better known by his era name as the Yongle Emperor, assumed the throne over the Ming Dynasty of China.

1453  Hundred Years’ War:  Battle of Castillon: The French under Jean Bureau defeated the English under the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was killed in the battle in Gascony.

1586 A meeting took place at Lüneburg between several Protestant powers to discuss the formation of an ‘evangelical’ league of defence, called the ‘Confederatio Militiae Evangelicae’, against the Catholic League.

1674 Isaac Watts, English hymnwriter, was born (d. 1748).

1717  King George I  sailed down the River Thames with a barge of 50 musicians, where George Frideric Handel’s Water Music was premiered.

1762  Catherine II became tsar of Russia on the murder of Peter III.

1771  Bloody Falls Massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee, travelling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacred a group of unsuspecting Inuit.

1791 Members of the French National Guard under the command ofGeneral Lafayette opened fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.

1794  The sixteen Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne were executed 10 days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.

1815  Napoleonic Wars: In France, Napoleon surrenders at Rochefort, Charente-Maritime to British forces.

1856  The Great Train Wreck of 1856 in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania killed over 60 people.

1863 The British invasion force led by General Duncan Cameron had its first significant encounter with Waikato Maori at Koheroa, near Mercer.

1867 Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the first dental school in the USA, was established.

1870 Charles Davidson Dunbar, British military piper, was born (d. 1939).

1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, American lawyer and author (Perry Mason), was born  (d. 1970).

1899 James Cagney, American actor, was born  (d. 1986).

1899  NEC Corporation was organised as the first Japanese joint venture with foreign capital.

1902 Christina Stead, Australian novelist, was born  (d. 1983).

1912 Art Linkletter, Canadian television host, was born  (d. 2010).

1917 Phyllis Diller, American comedienne, was born.

1917  King George V of the United Kingdom issued a Proclamation stating that the male line descendants of the British royal family would bear the surname Windsor.

1918  The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, was sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; 5 lives were lost.

1920 Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spanish chairman of the International Olympic Committee, was born (d. 2010).

1920 Gordon Gould, inventor of the laser , was born (d. 2005).

1933 After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Lithuanian research aircraft Lituanica crashed in Europe.

1935 Donald Sutherland, Canadian actor, was born.

1936 Spanish Civil War: An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain started the civil war.

1938  Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn to fly the “wrong way” to Ireland and becames known as “Wrong Way” Corrigan.

1939 Paddy, a ginger and brown Airedale terrier, which achieved national celebrity status due to his exploits on the Wellington waterfront (and beyond)., died.

Death of Paddy the Wanderer

1939  Spencer Davis, British singer and guitarist (Spencer Davis Group), was born.

1940  Tim Brooke-Taylor, English comedian, was born.

1942  World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad started.

1944 Port Chicago disaster: Two ships laden with ammunition for the war exploded in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.

1944  World War II: Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France.

1945 World War II: Potsdam Conference – U.S. President Harry Truman, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the three main Allied leaders, began their final summit of the war.

1947 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was born.

1948  The South Korean constitution was proclaimed.

1954 Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, was born.

1955  Disneyland televised its grand opening in Anaheim, California.

1962  Nuclear weapons testing: The “Small Boy” test shot Little Feller Ibecomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada Test Site.

1968   Abdul Rahman Arif was overthrown and the Ba’ath Party installed as the governing power in Iraq with Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr as the new Iraqi President.

1973  King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was deposed by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan while in Italy undergoing eye surgery.

1975 Andre Adams, New Zealand Cricketer, was born.

Andre Adams.jpg

1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft docked with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.

1976  East Timor was annexed, and becomes the 27th province of Indonesia.

1976  The opening of the Summer Olympics in Montreal was marred by 25 African teams boycotting the New Zealand team.

1979  Nicaraguan president General Anastasio Somoza Debayle resigned and fled to Miami.

1981 The opening of the Humber Bridge.

1981  Structural failure led to the collapse of a walkway at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri killing 114 people and injuring more than 200.

1989  First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

1996  TWA Flight 800: Off the coast of Long Island, New York, a Paris-bound TWA Boeing 747 exploded, killing all 230 on board.

1997  The F.W. Woolworth Company closed after 117 years in business.

1998 Papua New Guinea earthquake: A tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake destroyed 10 villages in Papua New Guinea killing an estimated 3,183, leaving 2,000 more unaccounted for and thousands more homeless.

1998  A diplomatic conference adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, establishing a permanent international courtto prosecute individuals for genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

1999 The animated television show Spongebob Squarepants made its official series premiere on Nickelodeon.

2002 Apple Inc. premiered iCal at Macworld Expo, this date appears default on Dock.

2007  TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas) Flight 3054 crashed on landing during rain in São Paulo with an estimated 199 deaths.

2007 – Trans-Neptunian Object 2007 OR10 is discovered.

2009   Jakarta double bombings at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels killed 9 people including 4 foreigners.

2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashed near the border of Ukraine and Russia after being shot down. All 298 people on board were killed.

2014  – A French regional train on the Pau-Bayonne line crashed into a high-speed train near the town of Denguin, resulting in at least 25 injuries.

2015 – At least 120 people were killed and 130 injured by a suicide bombing in Diyala Province, Iraq.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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