365 days of gratitude

August 16, 2018

Yesterday it was daffodils. Today it’s a rhododendron.

This one was transplanted by my mother-in-law from the garden of her parents-in-law.

It survived successive droughts when the only water it got had to be carried to it in a bucket.

It’s also survived frosts and snow.

Tonight I’m grateful for the lesson from nature’s resilience, and for a garden where the plants hold stories of generations past.


Word of the day

August 16, 2018

Dousing – a technique for searching for underground water, minerals, ley lines, or anything invisible, by observing the motion of a pointer (traditionally a forked stick, now often paired bent wires); a form of divination involving a rod or wand, especially the art of finding underground supplies of water or minerals; the changes in direction of a pendulum, supposedly in response to unseen influences; plunging into water; drenching.


Fresh from the nut milkery

August 16, 2018

Nick Saik at Know Ideas Media take sus into the nut milkery to explain the intricacies of nut milking:

 

Hat tip: AgDaily


Rural round-up

August 16, 2018

 A flow of “fresh air” – here’s hoping Fonterra’ s financial performance gets a good whiff – Point of Order:

Fonterra’s  latest move, appointing Miles Hurrell as interim CEO  “with immediate  effect”, has   sent  fresh rumbles  through the  dairy industry.

The  co-op’s  chairman John Monaghan, announcing the move,  spoke of the need  to  “breathe  some fresh  air  into the business”.

He is  not alone with this observation:  several  politicians  have been calling for just that – but  many of the  co-op’s 10,500 farmer-suppliers may be wondering  what exactly  a  blast of   “fresh air”  may do. . .

Animal tracking legislation to be debated under urgency – Gia Garrick:

Legislation to properly enforce the animal tracking guidelines, which were found to be hugely inadequate during the Mycoplasma bovis response, is to be debated under urgency tonight and through tomorrow.

It will mean farmers’ compliance with the National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme (NAIT) – the country’s cattle and deer tracking system – will be properly monitored.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said there would be penalties for those who did not comply.

“We will certainly have enforcement of these new guidelines, I can promise you that,” he said. . . 

Farmers encouraged to open homes to drought-hit Australians –  Esther Taunton:

Kiwi farmers are being urged to extend the hand of mateship to their drought-stricken Australian counterparts.

Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne said the organisation was working on ways to help farmers hit by severe drought across the Tasman.

Much of southeastern Australia is struggling with drought but conditions in New South Wales are the driest and most widespread since 1965.  . . 

Poorest performing iwi invested in large farms, ANZ report says – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – The poorest performing iwi investment in recent years has come from farming, which is often favoured for cultural rather than economic considerations, according to the latest annual ‘Iwi Investment Insights’ report by ANZ Bank New Zealand.

In its 2018 annual ‘Te Tirohanga Whānui’ research report, ANZ evaluated the asset base of 34 iwi and hapū, finding the commercial assets of the combined group had increased by just over $1 billion, or 12 percent, to $5.4 billion since 2015. The report found the most common asset in the top quartile for underlying returns was the significant holdings in managed funds which have performed well in recent years. On the flip-side, most iwi/hapū in the lower quartile were actively managing large farms. . .

Raising triplets indoors works – Joanna Grigg:

It’s raining outside, again, but it’s not worrying these new lambs.

All 250 of Richard Dawkins’ triplet-bearing ewes get seven days or so indoors to adjust to supplementary feed, birth their lambs, bond and feed.

Then it’s out to the real world, albeit a nearby paddock with ad-lib clover and a watchful eye for that fading third lamb. . .

Sheep meats are in a sweet spot – Keith Woodford:

This year has been an exceptional year for many sheep farmers.  Lamb and mutton prices have been at record levels.

The key drivers have been increasing demand from China combined with lower exchange rates. Sales to Britain have slowed down, linked to a ‘buy British’ campaign over there. But that has not been enough to counter the overall good news story.

Sheep farmers are telling me that, for the first time in many years, sheep farming is fun again. The cash is coming through to upgrade tracks and other infrastructure. Venison prices have also been exceptional for those sheep farmers who also farm deer. Most sheep farmers also run beef cattle and they too have been paying well. . .

LIC’s Murray King named Co-operative Leader of the Year:

Farmer owned co-operative LIC is pleased to announce its board chairman Murray King has been named Co-operative Leader of the Year at the Co-operative Business NZ Awards 2018.

The annual award recognises those who have shown strong leadership and commitment to the co-operative sector.

A Nelson-based dairy farmer, Murray has a long-standing connection to LIC and the dairy farming community of the upper South Island. . .


Working groups breeding working groups

August 16, 2018

First the good news – the government is providing $8.5 million to better manage freedom camping.

 . . .Recycling collection facilities, infrastructure and operating costs in Grey District will receive a $850,000 funding boost.

Westland District Council has been allocated about $780,000 for new camping facilities and to cover operating costs, education and enforcement.

Tasman District Council is set to receive $660,000 from the fund to improve tourism infrastructure in the lead up to summer.

Queenstown Lakes, Buller, Mackenzie and Waitaki district councils will receive more than $500,000 in the lead up to the tourism season, with Mackenzie and Waitaki receiving a joint payment. . .

Visitor numbers are well in excess of ratepayers’ ability to fund infrastructure for tourists. This money will be thinly spread in areas with great and urgent need but it is a good start.

But then there’s the bad news.

The working group set up to review freedom camping wants five more reviews.

One of the Government’s infamous 140 working groups has, incredibly come back with a recommendation to have five more reviews, National’s Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis’s Responsible Camping Working Group has reported back not with a plan but with a recommendation the Government reviews the Freedom Camping Act, the compliance regime, the administration system, the camping-grounds regulations and the ‘responsible camping rules’.

“That’s right. Five more reviews leading us to the extraordinary situation where we have working groups calling for working groups.

These working groups are like mushrooms, breeding more of their kind in the dark.

In a damning indictment on its lack of work in Opposition this Government came to power with so few ideas it’s launched 140 working groups and inquiries costing $170-odd million, to tell it what to do.

“Now it turns out not even those working groups have any answers and decisions are being kicked further down the road, with Mr Davis saying his ‘cross-Government plan of action’ is still off somewhere in the never-never. We’re talking two years before any major legislative change will bring relief to most popular tourist destinations, and to the communities in those areas.

“Worryingly, Mr Davis also says even those recommendations the Responsible Camping Working Group did make won’t all be ready in time for this summer’s peak influx of tourists.

“That will be hugely disappointing for a sector which generates $14.5 billion of export earnings.

It’s not just disappointing for tourism, it’s frustrating for locals who have to put up with rubbish and human waste left behind and councils who have to pay the bills for cleaning it up.

New Zealand’s natural beauty and relatively unspoiled countryside are among the reasons tourists want to come here.

Too many freedom camping, washing themselves, their dishes and their clothes in rivers and lakes, and leaving their rubbish and waste behind are damaging the environment and posing health risks.

An answer to the problems needs to be found and acted on in the next few months before the summer tourism rush starts.

“This is symptomatic of a Government that loves to set up reviews and working groups rather than actually get on and do the job. At a time when businesses are crying out for certainty this Government gives them less.

“What is Mr Davis actually doing? Tourism is a full-time profession and it deserves more than a part-time minister.

“In the meantime, the Government could pick up National MP Anne Tolley’s Freedom Camping Bill which would prohibit Freedom Camping more than 200 metres from public toilet facilities, provide more organisations with the right to restrict freedom camping, and provide for instant fines that have been issued to be collected by rental car companies. That will make an immediate difference.”

All of this could be easily implemented, could take effect and make a difference immediately.

Tourism competes with dairying as our top income earner.

We owe it to the people who contribute to that to provide them with facilities and infrastructure they need to visit without despoiling our country.


Quote of the day

August 16, 2018

I think that we have a responsibility to make certain that we are fiscally responsible in order to assure, frankly, future generations don’t have to pay our bills. – Carol Moseley Braun who celebrates her 71st birthday today.


August 16 in history

August 16, 2018

1 B.C.  – Wang Mang consolidated his power and was declared marshal of state. Emperor Ai of Han, who had died the previous day, had no heirs.

963 – Nikephoros II Phokas was crowned emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

1328 – The House of Gonzaga seized power in the Duchy of Mantua, and ruled until 1708.

1513 – Battle of the Spurs (Battle of Guinegate) – King Henry VIII of England defeated French Forces.

1777  American Revolutionary War: The Americans led by General John Stark routed British and Brunswick troops under Friedrich Baum at theBattle of Bennington.

1780 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Camden – The British defeated the Americans.

1792  Maximilien Robespierre presented the petition of the Commune of Paris to the Legislative Assembly, which demanded the formation of a revolutionary tribunal.

1819  Seventeen people died and more than 600 were injured by cavalry charges at the Peterloo Massacre at a public meeting at St. Peter’s Field, Manchester.

1841  U.S. President John Tyler vetoed a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Enraged Whig Party members riot outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in U.S. history.

1858 U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurated the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria.

1859  The Tuscan National Assembly formally deposed the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

1865  Restoration Day in the Dominican Republic which regained its independence after 4 years of fighting against Spanish Annexation.

1868  Arica, Peru (now Chile) was devastated by a tsunami which followed a magnitude 8.5 earthquake in the Peru-Chile Trench off the coast. An estimated 25,000 people in Arica and perhaps 70,000 people in all were killed.

1869  Battle of Acosta Ñu: A Paraguay battalion made up of children was massacred by the Brazilian Army during the War of the Triple Alliance.

1870  Franco-Prussian War: The Battle of Mars-La-Tour resulted in a Prussian victory.

1888 T. E. Lawrence, English writer and soldier, was born (d. 1935).

1896 Skookum Jim Mason, George Carmackn and Dawson Charlie discovered gold in a tributary of the Klondike River in Canada, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.

1902 Georgette Heyer, English novelist, was born (d. 1974).

1913  Tōhoku Imperial University of Japan (modern day Tōhoku University) admitted its first female students.

1913 Menachem Begin, 6th Prime Minister of Israel, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1992).

1913 – Completion of the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary.

1914  World War I: Battle of Cer began.

1920  Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was hit in the head by a fastball thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, and dies early the next day.

1920 – The congress of the Communist Party of Bukhara opened.

1929  The 1929 Palestine riots in the British Mandate of Palestine between Arabs and Jews.

1930 The first colour sound cartoon, Fiddlesticks, was made by Ub Iwerks.

1940 Bruce Beresford, Australian film director, was born.

1940  World War II: The Communist Party was banned in German-occupied Norway.

1941  HMS Mercury, Royal Navy Signals School and Combined Signals School opened at Leydene, near Petersfield, Hampshire, England.

1942  World War II: The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappeared on a routine anti-submarine patrol over the Pacific Ocean.

1944 Council of Organisations for Relief Service Overseas (CORSO) was formed.

CORSO formed

1944  First flight of the Junkers Ju 287.

1945  An assassination attempt on Japan’s prime minister, Kantaro Suzuki.

1945 – Puyi, the last Chinese emperor and ruler of Manchukuo, was captured by Soviet troops.

1947  – Carol Moseley Braun, American lawyer and politician, United States Ambassador to New Zealand, was born.

1954  The first edition of Sports Illustrated was published.

1954 – James Cameron, Canadian director, producer, and screenwriter, was born.

1957 Tim Farriss, Australian musician (INXS), was born.

1958 – Madonna, American singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and director, was born.

1960  Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1960  Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,330 m), setting three record: High-altitude jump, free-fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft.

1962 Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) as drummer for The Beatles.

1964  Vietnam War: A coup d’état replaced Duong Van Minh with GeneralNguyen Khanh as President of South Vietnam.

1966 Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee began investigations of Americans who aided the Viet Cong.

1972 Emily Robison, American country singer (Dixie Chicks), was born.

1972 The Royal Moroccan Air Force fired on, Hassan II of Morocco‘s plane.

1987 A McDonnell Douglas MD-82 carrying Northwest Airlines Flight 255crashed on take-off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan, killing 155 passengers and crew. The sole survivor was four-year-old Cecelia Cichan.

1989  A solar flare created a geomagnetic storm that affected micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto’s stock market.

1992  In response to an appeal by President Fernando Collor de Mello to wear green and yellow as a way to show support for him, thousands of Brazilians took to the streets dressed in black.

2005  West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 crashed near Machiques, Venezuela, killing the 160 aboard.

2008 – Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell defended Olympic rowing title at Beijing – winning gold by 1/100th of a second

2008 – The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was topped off at 1,389 feet (423 m), at the time becoming the world’s highest residence above ground-level.

2010 – China Overtook Japan as World’s Second-Biggest Economy

2012 – South African police fatally shot 34 miners and wounded 78 more during an industrial dispute near Rustenburg.

2013 – The ferry St. Thomas Aquinas collided with a cargo ship and sinks at Cebu, Philippines, killing 61 people and 59 others missing.

2015 – More than 96 people were killed and hundreds injured following a series of air-raids by the Syrian Arab Air Force on the rebel-held market town of Douma.

2015 – At least 22 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Punjab, Pakistan.

2017 – Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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