365 days of gratitude

July 21, 2018

My optometrist told me I am a victim of tartan genes which has given me eyes not suited to New Zealand’s bright light.

I am especially conscious of this when driving home late in the afternoon at this time of the year and heading straight in to the setting sun.

Even with a very clean windscreen and lots of squinting visibility is less than optimal which makes me very grateful for sunglasses.

 


Word of the day

July 21, 2018

Grockle – a holiday maker or tourist, especially one visiting a resort in Devon or Cornwall.


Saturday’s smiles

July 21, 2018

A couple of cows were standing in a field when the  first one said to the other, “I was artificially inseminated this morning.”

The second cow replied, “No way, I don’t believe you.”

The first said, “It’s true, no bull.”

 

A farmer was milking his cow one fine morning.

He was just starting to get a good rhythm going when a fly flew into the barn and started buzzing around his head.

Then the fly flew into the cow’s ear.

The farmer didn’t think much about it, until the fly suddenly squirted out into his bucket.

It went in one ear and out the udder.

 

Two cows were in a paddock eating grass when the first one turned to the second and said “Mooooo”.

The second cow replied, “Hey, I was just about to say the same thing!”

 


Rural round-up

July 21, 2018

Crop biotech 3.0: a farmer’s perspective – Craige Mackenzie:

Here in New Zealand, we did not participate in the GE Gene Revolution. Farmers like me see an advantage in making sure that we do not miss the next one. 

You’ve seen the statistics. Farmers around the world have planted and harvested billions of acres of genetically engineered crops. Not long ago, we used to talk about GMOs and conventional crops as if they belonged in different categories. Increasingly—and especially in North and South America—GMOs are the new conventional. They’ve become an ordinary part of agriculture. 

Some nations, of course have resisted the use of GMOs, starting with members of the European Union. New Zealand has taken its own wait-and-see approach, turning it into a sort of permanent delay. The science on GMOs safety to human health and our environment may be settled but my country has wanted to preserve its clean-green image in food production, in the belief that this gives us a competitive advantage as we market ourselves to the world.  . . 

Eradicating cattle disease M. bovis in New Zealand may be costly, even impossible, but we must try – Riachard Laven:

In May this year, the New Zealand government decided that it would attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, a bacterial disease that affects cattle.

A phased eradication means that an additional 126,000 livestock will need to be culled, at an estimated cost of NZ$886 million.

Here’s what we know, what we don’t know and what’s at stake.

How do we know this is a new incursion?

M. bovis causes mastitis and arthritis in adult cattle and pneumonia in calves. It is found around the world, but New Zealand was one of the last disease-free countriesuntil the detection of infected cows on a dairy farm in July 2017.  . .

Career path judged correctly – Sally Rae:

Brooke Flett never intended a career in farming.

But now, settled on the family dairy farm at Scotts Gap in Southland, it was “working out all right”.

“Most of the time, I love it,” she laughed.

Miss Flett (26), who is chairwoman of Thornbury Young Farmers Club, was recently named Young Farmers national stock-judging champion.

She grew up on the farm and boarded at Southland Girls’ High School before studying at Victoria University for a bachelor of arts in education.

But it “never really clicked” and she did not pursue a career in that area. .

Farm sales and prices ease on year June but horticulture farms shine –  Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – Farm sales fell 7 percent on the year in the three months to June and the median price per hectare was down 16.3 percent although horticulture farm prices continued to push higher, according to the Real Estate Institute.

Overall, 427 farms were sold in the three months ended June 30 from 459 farms in the same period a year earlier. Some 1,480 farms were sold in the year to June, down 17 percent on the year. . .

Software to keep containment’s out:

Fertiliser co-op Ballance will commercially launch a new farm environment planning tool, MitAgator, by spring.

Developed by Ballance and AgResearch, MitAgator measures the loss of four main farm contaminants — nitrogen, phosphorous, sediment and E. coli.

New Zealand-wide trials are pointing to a launch by late September. . .

Deer velvet looking good in Asia

Long-term prospects for NZ velvet in the major Asian markets are looking positive says Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) Asia manager Rhys Griffiths.

“There has been an explosion in consumer demand for consumer-ready velvet-based products in Korea. Ten years ago this product category didn’t even exist,” he says.

“In the past six months, 23 new velvet-based healthy food products have been launched in Korea; the majority of them using NZ velvet. . .

Importers snap up cheap U.S. soybeans as China stops buying – Karl Plume:

China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans, threatened for weeks and enacted Friday, have driven down prices and triggered a wave of bargain shopping by importers in other countries stocking up on cheap U.S. supplies, according to a Reuters analysis of government data.

Chinese buyers have so far this year accounted for just 17 percent of all advanced purchases of the fall U.S. soybean harvest – down from an average of 60 percent over the past decade, the analysis found. They are instead loading up on Brazilian soybeans, which now sell at a premium of up to $1.50 a bushel as U.S. soybean futures have fallen 17 percent over six weeks to about $8.50, their lowest level in nearly a decade. . .

The rise of soil carbon cowboys – Peter Byck:

Ranching is a rare occupation. Rarer still are the ranchers pioneering new ways to graze cattle, transforming their ranches and farms into vibrant ecosystems, producing black ink for their bank accounts and giving their incredibly robust animals a great life (with the exception of one bad day).

These new grazing methods have many names — mob grazing, managed intensive grazing, holistic management. Our group of scientists and ranchers call it Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) Grazing.  . .


Saturday soapbox

July 21, 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.

Common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden.


July 21 in history

July 21, 2018

356 BC – The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was destroyed by arson.

230 – Pope Pontian succeeded Urban I as the eighteenth pope.

285 – Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler.

365 – A tsunami devastated the city of Alexandria, Egypt. The tsunami was caused by the Crete earthquake estimated to be 8.0 on the Richter Scale. 5,000 people perished in Alexandria, and 45,000 more died outside the city.

1242 – Battle of Taillebourg : Louis IX of France put an end to the revolt of his vassals Henry III of England and Hugh X of Lusignan.

1403 – Battle of Shrewsbury: King Henry IV defeated rebels to the north of the county town of Shropshire, England.

1545 – The first landing of French troops on the coast of the Isle of Wight during the French invasion of the Isle of Wight.

1568 – Eighty Years’ War: Battle of Jemmingen – Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva defeated Louis of Nassau.

1645 – Qing Dynasty regent Dorgon issued an edict ordering all Han Chinese men to shave their forehead and braid the rest of their hair into a queue identical to those of the Manchus.

1656 – The Raid on Malaga took place during the Anglo-Spanish War.

1718 – The Treaty of Passarowitz between the Ottoman Empire, Austria and the Republic of Venice was signed.

1774 – Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774): Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca ending the war.

1831 – Inauguration of Leopold I of Belgium, first king of the Belgians.

1858 Alfred Henry O’Keeffe, New Zealand artist, was born (d. 1941).

1861 American Civil War: First Battle of Bull Run – the first major battle of the war began.

1865 Governor George Grey oversaw the capture of the Pai Marire (Hauhau) pa at Weraroa, Waitotara.

Capture of Weraroa pā

1865  Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.

1873 Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West.

1899 Ernest Hemingway, American writer, Nobel laureate, ws born (d. 1961).

1904  Louis Rigolly,  became the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land. He drove a 15-litre Gobron-Brille in Ostend.

1918  U-156 shelled Nauset Beach, in Orleans, the first time that the United States was shelled since the Mexican-American War.

1919  The dirigible Wingfoot Air Express crashed into the Illinois Trust and Savings Building in Chicago, killing 12 people.

1920 Isaac Stern, Ukrainian-born violinist, was born  (d. 2001).

1922  Mollie Sugden, British comedic actress, was born  (d. 2009).

1924 Don Knotts, American actor, was born (d. 2006).

1925 –  Te Haahi Rātana was formally registered as a church.

Te Haahi Rātana formally registered as church

1925  Scopes Trial: high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in class and fined $100.

1925  Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to break the 150 mph (241 km/h) land barrier at Pendine Sands in Wales. He drove a Sunbeam to a two-way average of 150.33 mph (242 km/h).

1944 World War II: Battle of Guam – American troops land on Guam starting the battle.

1944  Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators were executed in Berlin, Germany for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

1946 Barry Whitwam, British musician (Herman’s Hermits), was born.

1948 Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), English singer/songwriter, was born.

1948 Garry Trudeau, American cartoonist, was born.

1949 Hirini Melbourne, New Zealand musician and composer, was born (d 2003).

1949  The United States Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1951 Robin Williams, American comedian/actor. was born (d. 2014).

1953 Jeff Fatt, Chinese-Australian actor was born.

1954  First Indochina War: The Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

1955 Howie Epstein, American musician (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), was born (d. 2003).

1956 Michael Connelly, American author, was born.

1959 Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate.

1961 Jim Martin, American musician (Faith No More), was born.

1961  Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission – Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 became the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).

1964  Singapore Race Riot – every year since then, Racial Harmony Dayis celebrated on this day.

1966 Sarah Waters, British novelist, was born.

1969  Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.

1970  After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam in Egypt was completed.

1972  Bloody Friday bombing by the Provisional Irish Republican Army around Belfast, Northern Ireland – 22 bomb explosions, 9 people killed and 130 people seriously injured.

1973 In the Lillehammer affair in Norway, Israeli Mossad agents killed a waiter whom they mistakenly thought was involved in 1972′s Munich Olympics Massacre.

1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs British ambassador to the Republic of Ireland was assassinated by the Provisional IRA.

1977  The start of a four day long Libyan–Egyptian War.

1983 The world’s lowest temperature was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica at −89.2°C (−129°F).

1994  Tony Blair was declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in 1997.

1995 Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: The People’s Liberation Army began firing missiles into the waters north of Taiwan.

1997  The fully restored USS Constitution (aka “Old Ironsides”) celebrates her 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

2004 The United Kingdom government published Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country’s armed forces.

2005  Four terrorist bombings in London – all four bombs failed to detonate.

2008  Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić was arrested in Serbia and indicted by the UN’s ICTY tribunal.

2011 – NASA’s Space Shuttle programe ended with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135.

2012 – Erden Eruç completed the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.

2013 – Philippe of Belgium became King of the Belgians

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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