Word of the day

July 28, 2018

Oam – steam, vapour, condensation; warm steamy air, heat haze; an aroma of cooking.


Saturday’s smiles

July 28, 2018

A dairy farmer always enjoyed having his grandchildren visit and spend time with him on the farm. It was an opportunity to share with them his love of the land and the cows under his care.  While she was not that much help, his 5-year-old granddaughter could open gates, and help with the feeding, but mostly she was just along for the company.

One particular fall weekend, the granddaughter was with the farmer when he went to check the calving heifers.  One heifer was having a hard time and from the look of things had been trying for more than an hour to have her calf.

The heifer was on the ground and would not get up,  the farmer examined her and worked out that the calf was coming backwards.

The farmer  could only see one rear foot sticking out, and the heifer was groaning and pushing, but the calf was not moving.  There wasn’t enough time to take his grandaugher back to the house, he going to have to pull that calf in front of her.

The farmer striped off his shirt, put on a glove and and worked for several minutes to get the calf pushed back so he could release the other rear foot.

He hooked a rope on the calf’s feet and began rearing back and pulling with every contraction.  After working for more than half an hour, he finally pulled the calf out of the heifer.  The calf was wobbly but alive. The heifer slowly got up and immediately started cleaning her calf.

As the farmer was cleaning up and putting his shirt back on, he was watching his wide‑eyed grandaugher sitting on the tailgate of the ute.

The man thought, “Great, she’s 5 and I’m going to have to start explaining the birds and bees. No need to jump the gun. I’ll just let her ask, and I’ll answer.”

He sat down beside the child and said, “Well, do you have any questions?”

”Just one.” The still wide‑eyed girl blurted out, “Just how fast was that calf running when she ran into the back of the cow?”


Rural round-up

July 28, 2018

Ag sector backs gas reductions – Hugh Stringleman:

The primary sector has put forward a harmonious position in more than 14,000 submissions on the proposed Zero Carbon Bill and New Zealand’s 2050 targets, policies and budgets.

All agricultural and horticultural bodies have supported option two for emissions reductions for long-lived greenhouse gases and stabilisation for short-lived gases like methane.

The six-week public consultation, Our Climate Our Say, began in early June and has now closed so the Ministry for the Environment can collate the responses. . .

Nitrogen is necessary for food production – Jacqueline Rowarth:

In a world of 7.64 billion human mouths the food production system cannot cope without the use of nitrogen fertiliser.

It is estimated the Haber-Bosch process, which is fundamental in the production of ammonia (the precursor to the making of nitrogenous fertiliser), feeds 50% of the global population. 

Though some sectors of the world are now overweight because food is both available and cheap, in other parts of the world food security and malnourishment are still problems. 

Remove nitrogen fertiliser from the equation and the problems will increase. . . 

Tegel Foods calls for hearings on Kaipara’s mega chicken farm plans to be suspended – Annette Lambly:

A controversial application to farm nine million chickens a year on a proposed free range poultry farm in Northland has been suspended.

Applicant Tegel Foods said it needed more time to respond to issues raised by Northland Regional Council and Kaipara District Council ahead of a hearing planned for August 8.

Thousands of people have opposed the plans over concerns about the smell the farm, near Dargaville, could cause. . .

Chiefs prop turns award winning farmer – Esther Taunton:

Former Chiefs prop Shane Cleaver talks about the day his promising rugby career ended in blunt terms.

“I walked off the field and chucked the boots in the bin,” he says. “I knew I was done after that.”

Plagued by concussion throughout his six-year professional career, Cleaver was playing for Taranaki against Southland in 2013 when yet another knock to the head left him out cold.  

“Before that game I was already struggling.  I’d had a knock the week before and I was in the toilet trying not to spew pre-game, I was dizzy, I was really battling,” he says. . .

Turning the dirt on carbon farming:

With growing knowledge and new tools, carbon farming is emerging as a major consideration for agriculture in its effort to combat climate change.

The USA lead the world in exploring the sequestering of carbon in soil. Californian Jeff Creque, who has a PhD in rangeland ecology, has been to the fore since the early 2000s, co-founding the Marin Carbon Project (MCP), a consortium of university researchers, county and federal agencies, non-profits and a science advisory task force.

“Most folks don’t understand soil and its potential as a carbon sink,” Creque told Fonterra. “And most (of) agriculture does not understand or engage with that process either. Carbon has been missing from our agricultural curricula for a very long time and we see it finally coming back into the conversation today.” . .

Kenyan Farmer: on cusp of a biotech revolution, Africa faces resistance from Europe and anti-GMO activists – Bilbert arap Bor:

Farmers have good years and bad years. Here in Kenya, however, the good years never seemed quite as good as they could have been and the bad years have felt worse than necessary.

Why?

It’s because we can’t take advantage of tools that farmers in much of the developed world take for granted: genetically engineered crops, often referred to as GMOs. In many countries, they’ve transformed farming, helping farmers contend with weeds, pests and drought. In my country, Kenya, we’re still languishing in the 20thcentury, waiting for the arrival of this 21st-century technology. . .

 


Saturday soapbox

July 28, 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.

It’s not denial, I’m just very selective about the reality I accept  – Calvin


July 28 in history

July 28, 2018

1364  Battle of Cascina.

1540 Thomas Cromwell was executed at the order of Henry VIII on charges of treason.

1540  Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

1609 Bermuda was first settled by survivors of the English ship Sea Venture en route to Virginia.

1794 Maximilien Robespierre was executed by guillotine.

1809 Peninsular War: Battle of Talavera: Sir Arthur Wellesley’s British, Portuguese and Spanish army defeated a French force under Joseph Bonaparte.

1821  José de San Martín declared the independence of Peru from Spain.

1844 Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet, was born (d. 1889).

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Ezra Church: Confederate troops made a third unsuccessful attempt to drive Union forces from Atlanta, Georgia.

1865  Welsh settlers arrived at Chubut in Argentina.

1866 Beatrix Potter, English author, was born (d. 1943).

1868  The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was passed, establishing African-American citizenship and guaranteeing due process of law.

1879 Lucy Burns, American suffragist, was born (d. 1966)

1893 The third massive suffrage petition was presented to Parliament in three years, this one was signed by nearly 32,000 women − almost a quarter of the entire adult European female population of New Zealand.

Women's suffrage petition presented

1901 Rudy Vallee, American entertainer, was born (d. 1986).

1902 Karl Popper, Austrian-born philosopher, was born (d. 1994).

1907 Earl Tupper, American inventor (tupperware) was born(d. 1983).

1909 Malcolm Lowry, English novelist, was born (d. 1957).

1914 World War I: Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after Serbia rejects the conditions of an ultimatum sent by Austria on July 23 following the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand.

1929 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, First Lady of the United States, was born (d. 1994).

1935 First flight of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

1936 Garfield Sobers, Barbadian West Indies cricketer, was born.

1942   Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 227 in response to alarming German advances into the Soviet Union. Under the order all those who retreated or otherwise left their positions without orders to do so were to be immediately executed.

1943 : Operation Gomorrah: The British bombed Hamburg causing a firestorm that killed 42,000 German civilians.

1943   Richard Wright, English musician, was born (Pink Floyd) (d. 2008).

1945 Jim Davis, American cartoonist, was born.

1945 – A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 and injuring 26.

1948 Gerald Casale, American musician and director (founding member of Devo), was born.

1948 The Metropolitan Police Flying Squad foiled a bullion robbery in the “Battle of London Airport”.

1949 Peter Doyle, Australian singer (The New Seekers), was born (d. 2001).

1955 The Union Mundial pro Interlingua was founded at the first Interlingua congress in Tours, France.

1957 Heavy rain and a mudslide in  Isahaya,  western Kyūshū, Japan, killed 992.

1965  – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.

1973  Summer Jam at Watkins Glen: 600,000 people attended a rock festival at the Watkins Glen International Raceway.

1976  The Tangshan earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 moment magnitude flattened Tangshan, China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.

1996  Kennewick Man, the remains of a prehistoric man, was discovered near Kennewick, Washington.

2001 Australian Ian Thorpe became the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single World Championships.

2002  Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, were rescued after 77 hours underground.

2005 The Provisional Irish Republican Army called an end to its thirty year long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.

2005 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army called an end to its thirty-year-long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.

2008  – The historic Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare burned down for the second time in 80 years.

2010 – Airblue Flight 202 crashed into the Margalla Hills north of Islamabad, Pakistan, killing all 152 people aboard. It was the deadliest aviation accident in Pakistan history and the first involving an Airbus A321.

2017 – Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for lifetime by Supreme Court of Pakistan finding him guilty of corruption charges.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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