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


365 days of gratitude

July 27, 2018

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength. Corrie ten Boom:

Today I’m grateful for a solution to something that although relatively minor was niggling enough to empty the day of its strength.

In searching for an apposite quote I came across the story of Cornelia Arnolda Johanna (Corrie) ten Boom and I’m also grateful for the inspiration of that.

 


15 years fomenting happy mischief

July 27, 2018

Kiwiblog marks 15 years of David Farrar’s fomenting happy mischief * today.

To maintain both the quantity and quality of posts every day for so long is no small achievement.

David has a readership that would be the envy of many professional pundits and media outlets.

His blog is one of relatively few that is consistently well reasoned and reasonable.

He is partisan but will give credit and criticism where it’s due regardless of political hue.

His was the first blog I ever read, it’s one I read every day and I look forward to the next 15 years and beyond of essential reading.

* Fomenting happy mischief was adopted by David as a slogan after a letter to the NZ Herald by Peter Davis, husband of then-PM Helen Clark, accused the paper of doing that.

 


Word of the day

July 27, 2018

Selenelion – an uncommon type of lunar eclipse when both the sun and the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time; a lunar eclipse occurring as the moon sets, simultaneously with sunrise; blood moon.

Weather permitting, southerners will see a selenelion at about 8 o’clock tomorrow morning.

Dr Duncan Steel, of Otago’s Centre for Space Science Technology, said this might be figured impossible, given an eclipse occurred when the sun, Earth and moon were all in a straight line.

“If the moon is above the horizon then the sun must surely be below it – but the bending of the rays of light caused by our atmosphere makes it feasible to see both the eclipsed moon and the sun at the same time, so long as you are in the right place.”

The areas of our planet from which this can be experienced were very limited, because the total lunar eclipse must be ongoing at the time of moonset and sunrise.

“In this case, the further south you are in New Zealand the better, with Otago and Southland being favoured.”

In Auckland, the eclipse would still be partial as the moon disappeared below the horizon.

For those in areas from Whanganui to Wellington, there was just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed moon as the sun peeked above the horizon.

The opportunity was longer in the southernmost parts of the country. . . 


Rural round-up

July 27, 2018

Renewed calls for essential rural healthcare:

A petition calling on the Government to deliver for rural New Zealanders and provide essential healthcare for 600,000 rural New Zealanders has been tabled in Parliament by Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger.

“Rural New Zealanders remain frustrated with Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor’s failure to ensure vital health services are provided to rural New Zealand and are angry about the Government’s decision not to continue funding for the Rural Health Alliance. . .

’Best science since Rutherford split the atom’ – Sally Brooker:

New Zealand scientists are trialling genetically modified ryegrass they believe could revolutionise agriculture.

South Canterbury farmer, biotechnologist, and former Federated Farmers national president William Rolleston says it’s the best Kiwi science since Ernest Rutherford split the atom.

AgResearch has developed a ryegrass with high metabolisable energy (HME) that can grow up to 50% more quickly than conventional ryegrass, store more energy, be more drought-resistant, and produce up to 23% less methane. . .

Farmers keen to expand tech use – Toni Williams:

Electronic identification tags, scanning wands, weighing scales, farm business courses and drone use to check on animal welfare are all management tools used by Mt Somers deer farmers Duncan and Lorna Humm to improve, and add value, to their deer operation.

The young couple run a deer farm on a 43ha property, nestled near the foothills of the Southern Alps. Duncan isa fourth-generation farmer. The farm has been in his family since the mid-1960s, after his great grandparents moved from dairy farming near Kaikoura.

His parents, Christina and Bryan — now retired — ran sheep and cattle before diversifying a section of the property to deer in the 1990s. . . 

Making the leap from city to country:

Chloe Mackle was scared of the dark and anything that moved – but when she was challenged to try dairy farming, she decided to go for it.

Chloe Mackle After growing up in North Shore, Auckland, her first day on the job was a massive learning curve. “

All I knew was that my milk came in a bottle and my meat in a packet,” says Chloe. Now she is a farm manager and likes nothing better than working with cows and hanging out with her golden Labrador Nala . . .

Golden Shears on silver screen – Beckie Wilson:

Shearing a sheep is said to be one of the hardest jobs in the world, and that is what documentary director Jack Nicol hoped to prove in his new movie, She Shears.

Following the life of five female shearers gunning for glory at the Golden Shears, the portrayal of each woman is “quite delightful”, according to Masterton-based champion shearer Jills Angus Burney.

Angus Burney is one of the five whose story is told in the movie, produced by Miss Conception, which will be shown to the public for the first time next month at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

“Part of my role is the narrator, because I’m the old bag who retired,” she said. . .

Trade war chickens home to roost: Billions of pounds of meat fill US warehouses with nowhere to go:

More than 2.5 billion pounds of meat and poultry produced by US farmers have been stockpiled in cold-storage warehouses with the amount expected to grow further, according to the latest federal data.

Record production of beef, pork, poultry and turkey has become increasingly dependent on exports as US consumers cannot buy up the huge amount of meat. That would drive down prices for American consumers, restaurants and retailers. However, the recent import tariffs imposed by the country’s trade partners on the wide range of US goods, including agricultural produce, have slowed down sales of US meat and poultry abroad. . .


Principles pay price of power

July 27, 2018

The Green Party has paid for power with the loss of its principles in supporting the waka jumping legislation.

. . .Labour promised to support the waka jumping legislation in its coalition agreement with NZ First, but the legislation is not covered in its agreement with the Green Party.

However, a clause in the agreement seemingly holds the Greens to supporting any legislation not specifically flagged in the coalition talks, meaning the Greens MPs feel they have to vote for the waka jumping bill. . .

Have they voted for every piece of government legislation so far and will they continue to do so?

Didn’t they vote against the CPTTP? If they could stick to their principles then, when they were in the wrong, why not now when they’d be in the right?

It’s understood that the Green negotiators were asked to produce a list of potential NZ First legislation they could not agree with during coalition talks, and did not think to include Waka Jumping as it had been so long since the law had been an issue.

That was at best naive.

Former Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, who was part of the negotiating team, said earlier this year the agreement did not in fact force the Greens into supporting the bill.

Then why are they doing it?

Green MP Eugenie Sage said “we don’t like it” but it was “very important” to one of the coalition parties.

“It is a dead rat they we have to swallow,” Sage said.

The Greens have long opposed such legislation. . .

Proponents argue that it maintains the proportionality of Parliament while opponents say it stifles democracy.

If maintaining proportionality was so important, National would have got another list MP when Peters won the seat of Northland. Instead of which NZ First got another MP.

National MP Nick Smith said the Greens had “sold their soul” and were “trashing their core values.”

“We’ve never before had a party saying it opposed a bill – leat alone a bill that makes changes to our electoral law and constitution where they are oppose to it but are going to vote it anyway.

“This is the Green Party selling its soul for power,” Smith said.

“They are the last party I would expect to do this.”

He goes further in a media release:

Government changes to New Zealand MMP electoral law enabling a party leader to dismiss an MP would break the constitutional law Allied Powers put in place following the end of the Second World War, National’s Electoral Law spokesperson Dr Nick Smith says.

“The Government cannot justify this draconian law change on the basis of MMP. Germany has had MMP for over 70 years and has no such provisions. In fact, the Human Rights Commission has drawn to Parliament’s attention that it would be ironic and wrong for New Zealand to have insisted on specific democratic protections in Germany, but to be breaching those protections at home,” Dr Smith says.

It is not just Germany that has constitutional protections for MPs’ free speech. The European Court has over-ridden similar laws like those being proposed for New Zealand as undemocratic. The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea struck down similar laws there in 2010.

New Zealand is putting itself in the company of totalitarian states like Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Sierra Leone with these electoral law changes.

That isn’t company any country, government or party that stands up for democratic rights would want to be in.

In these countries, Members of Parliament have been dismissed for challenging corruption in their own Government, for participating in a press conference without their leaders consent and for voting in Parliament differently to how their leaders instructed them. The Government is opening up the risk of this happening in New Zealand.

“New Zealanders should be deeply concerned that changes are being made to our electoral law that would be illegal and unconstitutional in most parts of the world. At a time when autocratic rulers are on the rise, New Zealand should be strengthening and not weakening our protections for democracy and free speech.

“This draconian bill that the Government accepts will have a ‘chilling effect on the expression of dissenting views by MPs’ must be abandoned.”

The select committee received submission after submission from legal experts, academics and a broad cross-section of people concerned for this assault on democracy.

And all because New Zealand First’s leader Winston Peters is so insecure and distrustful of his caucus.

Labour swallowed the dead rat in coalition negotiations. Green Party MPs are facing up to swallowing it now so the legislation will go through.

Their members won’t be happy but they are the ones who wouldn’t have countenanced the party going with National.

Had they agreed to a blue-green government they would have got several conservation gains, including the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

Instead of which they’re watching their MPs dine on a large dead rat and wondering what other principles they might sacrifice as the price of power.


John Wilson stands down as Fonterra chair

July 27, 2018

John Wilson  has announced that he is standing down as Fonterra chair immediately and will retire from the board in November.

In an email to shareholders he said:

  • I have made the difficult decision to stand down as your Chairman to recover from a recent serious health scare.
  • Within the last month I have undergone a significant surgery.
  • I have made a very good recovery and am well but need on-going treatment.
  • I have been humbled by the support of my fellow Directors, and after deep discussions with them and with my family, I have decided to stand down as Chairman as of today and will retire from the Board at the Annual Meeting in November.
  • It has been a privilege to serve you as Chairman and give something back to this great Co-operative that continues to give my family and me so much.
  • As many of you will know from experience, governance roles are incredibly rewarding, but equally demanding on the individual and their families.
  • Continuing as Chairman when I cannot put my full energy and attention into the role is not appropriate.
  • I look forward to spending more time back on the farm with Belinda and the girls.
  • Long standing director, John Monaghan has been selected by the Board as the new Chairman of Fonterra.
  • John, who has been on the Board since 2008, has been closely involved in the process to appoint a new CEO to Fonterra and will now be responsible for advancing this appointment with the full involvement and support of the Board.
  • I know you will join me in putting your full support behind John and the Board as he leads the Co-operative through this critical period of CEO transition, the DIRA review, farmer flexibility, and the vision and purpose work alongside the Shareholders’ Council.

Fonterra is facing criticism from outside but the shareholders who are the farmers who supply the milk can’t argue with the second highest payout and John Wilson must get credit for that.

It is New Zealand’s only internationally rated company and the country ought to be proud of it.

It is constrained by some of the conditions of the DIRA regulations and the review is an opportunity to fix that.

A serious health scare is a serious business and he is doing the right thing for himself, his family and the company by standing down as chair. I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Fonterra is in the process of appointing a new chief executive.

It isn’t always ideal to replace both the chair and CE at the same time.

But if a board is functioning properly and all board members are pulling their weight there ought to be no problems with new people in both positions.

John Monaghan served as chair of the Shareholders Council and has both the skills and experience to lead Fonterra well.

 


Quote of the day

July 27, 2018

Of all fatiguing, futile, empty trades, the worst, I suppose, is writing about writing. Hilaire Belloc who was born on this day in 1870.


July 27 in history

July 27, 2018

1054  Siward, Earl of Northumbria invaded Scotland to support Malcolm Canmore against Macbeth of Scotland, who usurped the Scottish throne from Malcolm’s father, King Duncan. Macbeth was defeated at Dunsinane.

1214 Battle of Bouvines: Philip II of France defeated John of England.

1302  Battle of Bapheus: Decisive Ottoman victory over the Byzantines, opened up Bithynia for Turkish conquest.

1549 Jesuit priest Francis Xavier’s ship reached Japan.

1663 The English Parliament passed the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies had to be sent in English ships from English ports.

1689  Glorious Revolution: Battle of Killiecrankie ended.

1694  A Royal Charter was granted to the Bank of England.

1720  The second important victory of the Russian Navy – the Battle of Grengam.

1768 Charlotte Corday, French aristocrat who killed Jean-Paul Marat, was born (d. 1793).

1778  American Revolution: First Battle of Ushant – British and French fleets fought to a standoff.

1794  Maximilien Robespierre was arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 “enemies of the Revolution”.

1824 Alexandre Dumas, fils, French author, was born (d. 1895).

1862 The SS Golden Gate caught fire and sank off Manzanillo, Mexico, killing 231.

1866  The Atlantic Cable was  completed, allowing transatlantic telegraph communication for the first time.

1870 Hilaire Belloc, English writer, was born (d. 1953).

1880  Second Anglo-Afghan War: Battle of Maiwand – Afghan forces led by Ayub Khan defeated the British Army.

1882  Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer, was born (d. 1965).

1914  Felix Manalo registered the Iglesia ni Cristo with the Philippine government.

1916  Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic and novelist, was born (d. 2007).

1919  The Chicago Race Riot erupted after a racial incident on a South Side beach, leading to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.

1917 The Allies reached the Yser Canal at the Battle of Passchendaele.

1921  Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemistFrederick Banting announced the discovery of the hormone insulin.

1928  Tich Freeman became the only bowler ever to take 200 first-class wickets before the end of July.

1929 Jack Higgins, British novelist, was born.

1940 The animated short A Wild Hare was released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.

1941  Japanese troops occupied the southern portion of French Indochina..

1944 Bobbie Gentry, American singer and songwriter, was born.

1949 – Maureen McGovern,  American singer, was born.

1949 – Robert Rankin, English novelist, was born.

1949  Initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner.

1953 – Armistice ended fighting in the Korean War.

Armistice ends fighting in Korean War

1955  The Allied occupation of Austria stemming from World War II, ended.

1958 Christopher Dean, English figure skater, was born.

1963 Pioneeer aviator George Bolt died.

Pioneer aviator George Bolt dies

1964 – Vietnam War: 5,000 more American military advisers were sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.

1968 Cliff Curtis, New Zealand actor, was born.

1969 Jonty Rhodes, South African cricketer, was born.

1974  Watergate Scandal: The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.

1976  Former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka was arrested on suspicion of violating foreign exchange and foreign trade laws in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals.

1981  On Coronation Street, Ken Barlow married Deirdre Langton.

1983  Black July: 18 Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo were massacred by the Sinhalese prisoners, the second such massacre in two days.

1987 RMS Titanic, Inc. began the first expedited salvaging of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.

1990  The Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian Soviet Republic declared independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union.

1990 – The Jamaat al Muslimeen staged a coup d’état attempt in Trinidad and Tobago, occupying Parliament and the studios of Trinidad and Tobago Television, holding Prime Minister A. N. R. Robinson, most of his Cabinet, and the staff at the television station hostage for 6 days.

1995  The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C..

1996  Centennial Olympic Park bombing: In Atlanta, Georgia, a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Alice Hawthorne was killed, and a cameraman had a heart attack fleeing the scene. 111 were injured.

1997  Si Zerrouk massacre in Algeria; about 50 people killed.

2002  Ukraine airshow disaster: A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashed during an air show at Lviv, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others, the largest air show disaster in history.

2006  The Federal Republic of Germany was deemed guilty in the loss of Bashkirian 2937 and DHL Flight 611, because it was illegal to outsource flight surveillance.

2007  Phoenix News Helicopter Collision: News helicopters from television stations KNXV and KTVK collided over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase; there were no survivors.

2012 – The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics take place at the Olympic Stadium in London.

2014  – Centennial anniversary celebration of Iglesia ni Cristo in Philippine Arena, the largest arena in the world at Ciudad de Victoria complex which was built by the church itself.

2015 – At least seven people were killed and many injured after gunmen attacked an Indian police station in Punjab..

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


365 days of gratitude

July 26, 2018

What’s for dinner?

For some people, that question is asked with the knowledge there may be little or nothing to eat.

Others might have something but no choice about what that is.

Others might have plenty but lack the appetite to eat it.

Today I’m grateful that I have more than enough in my fridge, freezer, garden and pantry to provide plenty of choices and a healthy appetite to enjoy eating it.


Word of the day

July 26, 2018

Assemblagist – a creative person or artist who specialises in producing works of art by the process of assemblage or assembling things.


Rural round-up

July 26, 2018

Virgin Australia hunting for New Zealand’s best meat – Sally Rae:

Virgin Australia has taken a not-so-subtle dig at rival airline Air New Zealand by launching a campaign to find New Zealand’s “finest meat supplier”.

Earlier this month, Air New Zealand announced it would be serving the plant-based Impossible Burger as part of its business premier menu on its Los Angeles to Auckland flight.

That attracted ire from many in the rural sector, who believed the airline should be pushing the country’s premium products. . .

Young Vinnies show farmers their support – Sally Rae:

Otago Rural Support Trust chairman Gavan Herlihy was “blown away” to receive handmade cards from school pupils to be distributed to farmers affected by Mycoplasma bovis.

Members of the Young Vinnies at St John’s School in Ranfurly were to be congratulated for the caring gesture, Mr Herlihy said.

It was a very stressful time for those affected and he expected receipt of the cards – which he was distributing on the pupils’ behalf – would be both treasured and appreciated. . .

Dairy herds may change from black and white to brown and brindle – Keith Woodford:

In coming years, we are likely to see the colour of New Zealand dairy cows change from predominant black and white to a mix containing more brown and brindle.  It will be a response to changes in the relative price of protein and fat.

Black and white Friesian cows produce about 1.2 kg of fat for every kg of protein.  In contrast, the brown Jerseys produce about 1.4 kg of fat for each kg of protein. Jersey milk is also richer with less water.  Jersey milk is about 5.7 percent fat whereas Friesian milk is about 4.5 percent.

For many years, protein has been worth a lot more than fat, but in the last two years that has changed. Milk protein prices are the lowest they have been for many years whereas fat prices are at record highs. This is the reason why butter is now so expensive in our supermarkets. . .

Third world water restrictions may be introduced if Waimea Dam canned – Cherie Sivignon:

Water tankers may be needed on the streets of Brightwater during severe droughts if the Waimea dam project is shelved.

“We’ll be slipping into Third World provisions [in a severe drought],” said Tasman district mayor Richard Kempthorne. “I think, the community doesn’t realise that’s what we have ahead of us without the dam.”

Kempthorne said he expected to be accused of scaremongering but the rules for tougher rationing in dry spells were in place under the no-dam provisions in the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP). The rationing and related restrictions would affect rural and urban water users in the Richmond, Hope, Mapua, Brightwater and Redwood Valley areas including businesses and industry. . .

Govt to appeal landmark negligence finding in Psa case – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – The Crown will appeal last month’s High Court’s decision that the government was negligent in allowing Psa, the virus which devastated the kiwifruit industry, into the country.

Psa infected 80 percent of kiwifruit orchards nationwide and is estimated to have cost the industry up to $1 billion in lost exports. The growers’ group, called Kiwifruit Claim, sought more than $376 million in compensation. The group of 212 growers, led by Strathboss Kiwifruit and Seeka, claimed the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry – which was merged into the Ministry for Primary Industries in 2012 – was negligent under the Biosecurity Act. . .

Horticulture holds reduced levy

Horticulture growers voted to keep the levy at its current rate, at the Horticulture New Zealand Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Christchurch today.

“Last year, we proposed reducing the levy by 0.01% to 0.14% (14c per $100 of sales) and this year, we recommended maintaining that rate,” Horticulture New Zealand Board Chairman Julian Raine says. . .

Young Farmer event wins national award:

An event bringing the country to Wellington has won a national award

A ground-breaking event which brought the country to the nation’s capital has received a sought-after award.

Wellington hosted the Taranaki/Manawatū Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year in February.

The contest was organised by Wellington Young Farmers and has been named the country’s best regional final in 2018. . .


If it’s medicine treat it like medicine

July 26, 2018

If cannabis is medicine it should be treated like one:

National has today lodged a Member’s Bill to implement a comprehensive medicinal cannabis regime that would widen access to medicinal cannabis and license high quality domestic production, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

“Over the past few months the National caucus has been considering the issue of medicinal cannabis while our Health Caucus committee members have been hearing submissions on the Government’s own, limited, medicinal cannabis Bill.

“New Zealanders deserve greater access to high quality medicinal cannabis products to ease their suffering but we must have the right regulatory and legislative controls in place.

“The Government’s Bill utterly fails both those tests, so we will vote against it. It includes only minor improvements to how cannabidiol products are treated, which the previous National Government had already facilitated.

“It is also totally silent on how a medicinal cannabis regime would operate in practice. The Government has said it will increase access now and leave it to officials to think through the controls and the consequences later. That’s typical of this Government but it’s not acceptable. So we’re putting forward a comprehensive alternative,” Mr Bridges says.

It is irresponsible to pass a law and then leave it to officials to think through controls and consequences later.

National’s proposed regime includes:

Medicinal cannabis products will be approved in the same way a medicine is approved by Medsafe. No loose leaf cannabis products will be approved.

Medical practitioners will decide who should have access to a Medicinal Cannabis Card, which will certify them to buy medicinal cannabis products.

Medicinal cannabis products will be pharmacist-only medicine.

Cultivators and manufacturers must be licenced for commercial production. Licence holders and staff will be vetted to ensure they are fit and proper persons.

A licensing regime that will create a safe market for medicinal cannabis products. Cultivators and manufacturers will not be able to be located within 5km of residential land, or 1km of sensitive sites such as schools and wahi tapu.

Legalising medical cannabis provides an opportunity for farmers. Restricting where it can be grown, and who can grow it provides safeguards.

We visited farms growing opium poppies in Tasmania and they managed to do that without encouraging or enabling illicit drug use.

No advertising of medicinal cannabis products to the public will be permitted.

The Ministry of Health will review the legislation in five years.

“National is determined to be a constructive opposition working on new ideas and new policies. National’s Bill is the result of significant work in recent months including study by MPs overseas and reflects a blend of international best practice, tailored to New Zealand.

“I encourage the Government to pick up the enormous amount of work done by National in Opposition and implement our comprehensive reforms to ensure New Zealanders in need can access high quality medicinal cannabis products to ease their suffering.”

I’ve never found a satisfactory answer to why medicinal cannabis should be treated differently from other medicines.

If medical research shows a place for it – and there are questions about that – then it should be available for those it could help as other medicines are, through doctors and pharmacies.

That would be  achieved by National’s Bill.

Legalising medicinal cannabis this way could also provide opportunities for not just domestic use but exports too.


Quote of the day

July 26, 2018

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.  ~ George Bernard Shaw who was born on this day in 1856.


July 26 in history

July 26, 2018

657  Battle of Siffin.

811  Battle of Pliska; Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I was slain, his heir Stauracius was seriously wounded.

920 Rout of an alliance of Christian troops from Navarre and Léon against the Muslims at Pamplona.

1309  Henry VII was recognized King of the Romans by Pope Clement V.

1469  Wars of the Roses: Battle of Edgecote Moor – Pitting the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick against those of King Edward IV.

1581 Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration). The declaration of independence of the northern Low Countries from the Spanish king, Philip II.

1745  The first recorded women’s cricket match took place near Guildford,.

1758  French and Indian War: Siege of Louisbourg ended with British forces defeating the French and taking control of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

1803 The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opened in south London.

1822  José de San Martín arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to meet Simón Bolívar.

1847 Liberia declared independence.

1856 George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, Nobel Laureate, was born (d. 1950).

1861 American Civil War: George B. McClellan assumed command of theArmy of the Potomac following a disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.

1863 – Approximately 25 gold miners died on the Arrow diggings, north-east of Queenstown, as a result of flash floods.

Floods kill 25 miners in Central Otago

1863 American Civil War: Morgan’s Raid ended –  Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers were captured by Union forces.

1865 New Zealand’s parliament moved from Auckland to Wellington.

Parliament moves to Wellington

1875  Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist, was born  (d. 1961).

1878 Poet and American West outlaw calling himself “Black Bart” made his last clean getaway when he stole a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box was found later with a taunting poem inside.

1882 Premiere of Richard Wagner‘s Parsifal at Bayreuth.

1882 The Republic of Stellaland was founded in Southern Africa.

1887 Publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.

1890 In Buenos Aires, the Revolución del Parque forced President Juárez Celman’s resignation.

1891  France annexed Tahiti.

1894 Aldous Huxley, English-born author, was born (d. 1963).

1895 Jane Bunford, Britain’s tallest-ever person, was born (d. 1922).

1897  Paul Gallico, American author, was born  (d. 1976).

1908  United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issued an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

1909 – Vivian Vance, American actress, was born (d. 1979).

1919 – James Lovelock, English biologist and chemist, was born.

1922 Blake Edwards, American film director, was born.

1925 – Ana María Matute, Spanish author and academic, was born (d. 2014).

1928  Gisborne-born Tom Heeney took on Gene Tunney for the world heavyweight title in front of 46,000 spectators at Yankee Stadium, New York. Although he was defeated, his title bid aroused tremendous interest in both New Zealand and the US.

Kiwi boxer fights for world heavyweight title

1928 Stanley Kubrick, American film director, was born (d. 1999).

1928 – Sally Oppenheim-Barnes, Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes, English politician, was born.

1928  – Bernice Rubens, Welsh author, was born (d. 2004).

1936 Mary Millar, English actress, was born(d. 1998).

1936  The Axis Powers decided to intervene in the Spanish Civil War.

1936  King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicated the throne, officially unveiled the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

1937  End of the Battle of Brunete in the Spanish Civil War.

1939 John Howard, 25th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1941 In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.

1942  – Vladimír Mečiar, Slovak politician, 1st Prime Minister of Slovakia, was born.

1943 Mick Jagger, English singer (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1944  World War II: Soviet army entered Lviv,  liberating it from the Nazis. Only 300 Jewish survivors left, out of 160,000 prior to Nazi occupation.

1944 – The first German V-2 rocket hit Great Britain.

1945 Dame Helen Mirren, English actress, was born.

1945  The Labour Party won the United Kingdom general election of July 5by a landslide, removing Winston Churchill from power.

1945  The Potsdam Declaration was signed.

1945 The US Navy cruiser Indianapolis arrived at Tinian with the warhead for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

1946 Aloha Airlines began service from Honolulu International Airport.

1947  Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act into law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.

1948  U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981desegregating the military of the United States.

1949 Roger Taylor, English musician (Queen), was born.

1950 Susan George, English actress, was born.

1952 King Farouk of Egypt abdicated in favor of his son Fuad.

1953 Fidel Castro led an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks beginning the Cuban Revolution.

1953  Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle ordered an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on residents of Short Creek – the Short Creek Raid.

1956  Following the World Bank’s refusal to fund building the Aswan High Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.

1957  Carlos Castillo Armas, dictator of Guatemala, was assassinated.

1958 Explorer 4 was launched.

1959 Kevin Spacey, American actor, was born.

1963  Syncom 2, the world’s first geosynchronous satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster.

1963 – Earthquake in Skopje, Macedonia left 1100 dead

1964 Sandra Bullock, American actress, was born.

1965  Full independence was granted to the Maldives.

1966  Lord Gardiner issued the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House was not bound to follow its own previous precedent.

1968 Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Truong Dinh Dzuwas sentenced to five years hard labour for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.

1971   Apollo 15 launched.

1973 Kate Beckinsale, British actress, was born.

1974  Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis formed the country’s first civil government after seven years of military rule.

1975 Formation of a military triumvirate in Portugal.

1977 The National Assembly of  Quebec imposed the use of French as the official language of the provincial government.

1989 A federal grand jury indicted Cornell University student Robert T. Morris, Jr. for releasing the Morris worm, the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

1994 Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered the removal of Russian troops from Estonia.

1999 Cessation of combat activities after the Kargil War; celebrated asKargil Vijay Diwas in India.

2005   STS-114 Mission – Launch of Discovery, NASA’s first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003.

2005  Mumbai received 99.5cm of rain (39.17 inches) within 24 hours, bringing the city to a halt for over 2 days.

2005  Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces (LF) leader, was released after spending 11 years in a solitary confinement.

2007 – Shambo, a black cow in Wales that had been adopted by the local Hindu community, was slaughtered due to a bovine tuberculosis infection, causing widespread controversy.

2008 – 56 people were killed and over 200 people were injured in 21 bomb blasts in Ahmedabad bombing in India.

2009 – The militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram attacked a police station in Bauchi, leading to reprisals by the Nigeria Police Force and four days of violence across multiple cities.

2013 – A gunman, Pedro Alberto Vargas, killed six people in Hialeah, Florida, and was fatally shot by police.

2016 – Sagamihara stabbings  in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan in which 19 people were killed.

2016 – Hillary Clinton became the first female nominee for President of the United States by a major political party at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

2016 – Solar Impulse 2 became the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the earth.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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.


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