365 days of gratitude

July 25, 2018

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures. – Jessamyn West

Today I’m grateful for fiction that helps me understand real life.


Word of the day

July 25, 2018

Yeuk – to itch; an unpleasant feeling that makes you want to scratch; a prickly feeling.


Rural round-up

July 25, 2018

Consistent performer helps others – Hugh Stringleman:

The Cookson family are at the true heart of Northland’s beef finishing industry beside State Highway 1 at Kawakawa and consistently producing carcaseweight yield and financial results well above the provincial average. Their pursuit of knowledge from hosting trials and research projects energises the Cooksons and draws hundreds of farmers to their field days. Hugh Stringleman went along.

Former New Zealand Spearfishing champion and international representative Geff Cookson has an impressive record in the water and on the land.

He has hit target after target and inspired many fishers and farmers over a lifetime of sports activities and on the Kawakawa hill country home farm he took over from his father in 1970.. .

Farm sales quiet but resilient – Alan Williams:

The rural real estate market remained resilient through the quiet June trading period, especially for drystock farms even though prices were lower overall.

Despite a positive pricing outlook for most sectors, the Mycoplasma bovis virus is a worry in dairy and beef farming zones and early spring is likely to be a test for the Government and industry animal eradication programme, Real Estate Institute rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said. 

Sales turnover was lower for the three months to the end of June compared to the three months to the end of May, with 32 fewer sales. . .

1080 drop to kill rabbits – Tom Kitchin:

A Manuherikia Valley farmer is making a last-ditch effort to rid his land of rabbits by dropping 1080 for the first time in three decades.

Ophir farmer Sam Leask, who owns the Booth Rd farm, said it was the first time a 1080 drop had been done on  his land in about 30 years.

“The rabbits have just got away … I’ve never seen rabbits like this in my life. It’s just got out to the stage that there’s so many rabbits we have to go back to the old methods. We hate to have to drop 1080 but we have no other choice.”

He had used pindone pellets, and completed shooting day and night but wanted something more effective . .

Mutual aid helps us survive winter – Bryan Gibson:

A mate of mine posted a picture on Instagram last night of the first three calves born on her dairy farm. For her, and for countless other dairy farmers around New Zealand, it has begun.

Calving is an intense period for dairy farmers. There are long hours, late night outings, sleep deprivation and bad weather to contend with. Of course, most farming families also have children to attend to, households to run and cows to milk again.

There were new lambs in the fields on my drive to work this morning too, a reminder this time of year is equally as stressful for sheep and beef farmers who are nurturing this abundance of new life. . .

Grape harvest up; season warmest in decades – Tom Kitchin:

The weather for this year’s Central Otago wine vintage was the warmest since 1956 and tonnage was up, on trend with the rest of the country.

A statement from New Zealand Winegrowers said New Zealand benefited from ”a warm summer” and 419,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in the country’s vintage this year.

This was up 6% on the 2017 tonnage, but still lower than first anticipated, due to an early start to the season. . .

What are the challenges facing modern farming around the world? – Mary Boote:

Kenya is on the brink of embracing biotechnology in agriculture. On the brink. Now I’m ready to say something new. We’ve been on the brink for too long.”

These words, offered by Gilbert arap Bor, a Kenyan smallholder farmer and lecturer at the Catholic University of East Africa- Eldoret, illustrate the frustration shared by many farmers -smallholder and large across Kenya and much of the African and Asian continents. With the safety of GE crops confirmed and supported by scientists, approved by every regulatory agency around the world, based on thousands of reports and 21 years of data, why does the war regarding the safety of these often life-changing crops continue to rage?

Have no doubt: The impacts of this ‘war’ are real, and they challenge farmers in the developing and developed countries around the world. . .

 


Shearing here and there

July 25, 2018

All but the smallest of New Zealand sheep farms have their own shearing sheds.

Their primary purpose is for shearing and crutching sheep.

Between shearings they’re used for storage and they can also host social occasions. I’ve been to some very good parties, and a wedding, in them.

As sheep have given way to other stock or different types of farming, some shearing sheds have been repurposed as shops, cafes and function venues.

In the UK where most farms have far fewer sheep, the shearing machines are on a trailer that travels from farm to farm.

Shearing is hot work at the best of times, it must be even hotter this summer as the UK swelters in a heatwave.


Pressure proves Steven Joyce right

July 25, 2018

Labour is under pressure to increase its self-imposed debt limit to address wage claims and social spending requests.

That pressure proves former Finance Minister Steven Joyce was right when he said Labour’s pre-election budget had several billion dollar holes in it.

Those holes were where the money for pay increases for health professionals, teachers, police and other public servants should have been.

The pay offer to nurses sounds generous, but as they keep saying they don’t just want more pay, they want better conditions.

. . . Some nurses have talked about being rostered on for three days a week, but working on average 80-86 hours a fortnight.

Being called back in on days off is a regular occurrence, and rosters often have blank spaces left while managers look for nurses to fill the gaps.

The most recent pay offer brought forward $38 million of new funding to provide immediate relief for staffing and workload issues, but was seemingly viewed as being too little, too late.

The strike vote shows the depths of anger in the rank-and-file – if it was underestimated beforehand, it cannot be now.

Striking nurses have two demands – to be paid more, and to be valued. . . 

Teachers who are poised to strike too are also wanting not just more pay but better support.

. . .They are negotiating on teacher and principal pay, but also on workload and things like special education needs co-ordinators.

“There’s a real depth of feeling out there. The whole issue around workload is very, very significant and that’s come through very, very strongly.” . .

While the public isn’t enamoured of strikes, nurses and teachers do have widespread sympathy and have valid questions about why there’s no more money for them.

Labour set its debt target to show that it could be fiscally responsible but the government it leads has already failed at that.

Billions have been wasted on fripperies leaving holes where funds for better pay and conditions for nurses and teachers should be.

And every time they say there’s no more money, they’ll be asked: how can there be enough for fee-free tertiary education and the regional slush fund but not enough for health and education professionals?

Just like Labour of old and previous governments it’s led, this one is making a fuss about how much they spend with little or no attention to how well they’re spending.

It’s quantity over quality, what they spend not what it achieves, and with every mis-spent cent they’re proving the former Finance Minister right.

 


Quote of the day

July 25, 2018

That was the way with grief: it left you alone for months together until you thought that you were cured, and then without warning it blotted out the sunlight.Josephine Tey who was born on this day in 1896.


July 25 in history

July 25, 2018

285 Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler.

306 Constantine I was proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops.

864 The Edict of Pistres of Charles the Bald ordered defensive measures against the Vikings.

1139  Battle of Ourique: The independence of Portugal from the Kingdom of León declared after the Almoravids, led by Ali ibn Yusuf, were defeated by Prince Afonso Henriques.

1261  The city of Constantinople was recaptured by Nicaean forces under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, re-establishing the Byzantine Empire.

1536  Sebastián de Belalcázar on his search for El Dorado founded the city of Santiago de Cali.

1547 Henry II of France was crowned.

1567 Don Diego de Losada founds the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas, modern-day Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela.

1593  Henry IV of France publicly converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

1603 James VI of Scotland was crowned bringing the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into personal union.

1722 The Three Years War began along the Maine and Massachusetts border.

1755  British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Councilordered the deportation of the Acadians.

1758 Seven Years’ War: the island battery at Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia was silenced and all French warships destroyed or taken.

1788 Wolfgang Mozart completed his Symphony number 40 in g minor (K550).

1792 The Brunswick Manifesto was issued to the population of Paris promising vengeance if the French Royal Famiy was harmed.

1795 The first stone of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was laid.

1797 Horatio Nelson lost more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife.

1799 David Douglas, Scottish botanist, was born (d. 1834).

1799 At Aboukir in Egypt, Napoleon I of France defeats 10,000 Ottomans under Mustafa Pasha.

1814 War of 1812: Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

1837 The first commercial use of an electric telegraph was successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town.

1848 – Arthur Balfour, Scottish-English lieutenant and politician, 33rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1930)

1853 Joaquin Murietta, the Californio bandit known as “Robin Hood of El Dorado”, was killed.

1861 American Civil War: the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress stating that the war was being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery.

1866 The U.S. Congress passed legislation authorizing the rank of General of the Army (commonly called “5-star general”). Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant becomes the first to be promoted to this rank.

1869 The Japanese daimyō began returning their land holdings to the emperor as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms.

1869 – Platon, Estonian bishop and saint, was born (d. 1919).

1894 The First Sino-Japanese War began when the Japanese fired on a Chinese warship.

1896 – Josephine Tey, Scottish author and playwright, was born (d. 1952).

1898  The United States invasion of Puerto Rico began with U.S. troops led by General Nelson Miles landing at harbour of Guánica.

1907  Korea became a protectorate of Japan.

1908 Ajinomoto was founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovered that a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock was monosodium glutamate (MSG), and patented a process for manufacturing it.

1909  Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine, from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

1915  RFC Captain Lanoe Hawker became the first British military aviator to earn the Victoria Cross, for defeating three German two-seat observation aircraft in one day, over the Western Front.

1917 Sir Thomas Whyte introduced the first income tax in Canada as a “temporary” measure (lowest bracket 4% and highest 25%).

1920 – France captured Damascus.

1920  – Rosalind Franklin, English biophysicist, chemist, and academic, was born (d. 1958).

1925 Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was established.

1930 Murray Chapple,  New Zealand cricketer, was born (d. 1985).

1934 Nazis assassinated Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in a failed coup attempt.

1940  General Guisan ordered the Swiss Army to resist German invasion and makes surrender illegal.

1942  Bruce Woodley, Australian musician (The Seekers), was born.

1942 Norwegian Manifesto called for nonviolent resistance to the Nazis

1943  Jim McCarty, English musician (The Yardbirds), was born.

1943  Benito Mussolini was forced out of office by his own Italian Grand Council and replaced by Pietro Badoglio.

1944 Operation Spring – one of the bloodiest days for the First Canadian Army during WWII:  1,500 casualties, including 500 killed.

1944 – Sally Beauman, English journalist and author, was born.

1946 Operation Crossroads: an atomic bomb was detonated underwater in the lagoon of Bikini atoll.

1946   Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a comedy team.

1946 – Rita Marley, Cuban-Jamaican singer (Bob Marley and the Wailers and I Threes), was born.

1948  The Australian cricket team set a world record for the highest successful run-chase in Test cricket history in the Fourth Test against England.

1951 Verdine White, American musician (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1953 Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, was born.

1956 Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholmin heavy fog and sank the next day, killing 51.

1957  Republic of Tunisia proclaimed.

1958 The African Regroupment Party (PRA) held its first congress in Cotonou.

1959  SR-N1 hovercraft crossed  the English Channel from Calais to Dover in just over 2 hours.

1965  Bob Dylan went electric as he plug in at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music.

1969 Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon declared the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States expected its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense.

1973 Soviet Mars 5 space probe launched.

1978 The Cerro Maravilla incident – two young Puerto Rican pro-independence activists were killed in a police ambush.

1978  Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby” was born.

1981 The invasion of  Hamilton’s Rugby Park by 350 anti-tour demonstrators forced the Springboks-Waikato match to be abandoned.

Anti-Springbok protestors derail Hamilton match

1983  Black July: 37 Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo were massacred by the fellow Sinhalese prisoners.

1984  Salyut 7 Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to perform a space walk.

1993  Israel launched a massive attack against terrorist forces in Lebanon.

1993 The St James Church massacre in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa.

1994  Israel and Jordan signed the Washington Declaration, which formally ends the state of war that had existed between the nations since 1948.

1995 A gas bottle exploded in Saint Michel station in Paris. Eight were killed and 80 wounded.

1996 In a military coup in Burundi, Pierre Buyoya deposed Sylvestre Ntibantunganya.

1997  K.R. Narayanan was sworn-in as India’s 10th president and the first Dalit— formerly called “untouchable”— to hold this office.

2000  Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde supersonic passenger jet, F-BTSC, crashed just after takeoff from Paris killing all 109 aboard and 4 on the ground.

2007  Pratibha Patil was sworn in as India’s first woman president.

2010 – Wikileaks published classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history.

2012  – Pranab Mukherjee became the 13th president of India.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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