365 days of gratitude

October 1, 2018

Hazelnuts.

I keep some in the freezer so they’re not too available but they’re there when I need a little something to address a little hunger and I’m grateful for them.


77.8%

October 1, 2018

I scored 77.8% in the Spinoff’s NZ First’s New Zealand values citizenship test.:

7-8 out of 9 PASS You show a certain grasp of NZ values, but if we catch you speaking foreign you’re out.


Word of the day

October 1, 2018

Bedgasm – a feeling of euphoria when climbing into bed at the end of a very long day.


12/14

October 1, 2018

12/14 in this French test – given how rusty the slight grasp I have on that language is, the test must be pretty simple.


Rural round-up

October 1, 2018

Getting to the next generation – Glenys Christian:

Ken Hames thinks a lot about the big issues facing farming and society. He accepts change as part of life and gets on with doing the necessary work then moves on as he keeps looking to the future. He talked to Glenys Christian about his views on the challenges facing farmers and what they need to do to meet them.

Northland farmer Ken Hames always has an eye to the future.

So, when he pays local school children $1.20 for each tree they plant on his Paparoa farm he is already thinking about what will happen when they’re adults.

Seventy percent of them will be living in cities,” he said.

Rural New Zealand needs to get wider NZ on side to lock in our licence to farm and this is how we can influence the next generation. . .

 Nebraska tour generates new ideas :

A team of farmers and irrigation experts has returned from a trip to Nebraska with some fresh ideas about how to improve environmental management in New Zealand.

IrrigationNZ organised a five-day trip to Nebraska for its members. The 25-member team included 15 farmers; the team also included farm and environmental consultants and irrigation schemes and service industry representatives.

The party visited the Husker Harvest days – the world’s largest irrigated farm show, the University of Nebraska’s Water for Food Global Institute, research farms and research trials, irrigation schemes, natural resource districts which manage water resources and irrigation manufacturers.

 Study looks at kumera as potential baby health food–  Charlie Dreaver:

New Zealand researchers are hoping to find out if kumara could promote healthy bacteria in an infant’s gut.

The work is part of the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge, using a technique dubbed ‘reverse metabolomics’.

Infant health programme principal investigator Clare Wall said when infants were introduced to solid food for the first time, they underwent a transformation of their microbiome, or gut bacteria. . .

Manuka scores in runoff trials  – Peter Burke:

A new field trial in Wairarapa is using native plants to clean up farm runoff into Lake Wairarapa.

Scientists from ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research) are looking at the potential of mānuka and other native trees to reduce the leaching of nitrate and other pathogens from farm runoff.

Dr Maria Gutierrez-Gines, a scientist at ESR, says laboratory work show that mānuka and kānuka enhance the die-off of E.coli in the soil and reduce nitrate leaching more effectively than pasture or pine trees.

On the farm – what’s happening in rural New Zealand:

What’s happening on farms and orchards around New Zealand? Each week Country Life reporters talk to people in rural areas across the country to find out.

The North island-Te Ika a Maui

In Northland, the farmer we called was drafting bulls on Friday morning. He suggested a good pair of eyes and one arm to draft well. As for the whole of the North Island it was cooler in the north this week, around 9 to 10 degree days. Farms are also a little wetter than usual so grass is only just turning a corner in terms of growth. Prices for store cattle are only just starting to pick up
.

Industry teams up to double genetic gain:

MerinoLink CEO and Project Manager Sally Martin has been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of participants in a project designed to double the rate of genetic gain in participating Merino flocks by 2022.

The DNA Stimulation project is a collaboration between the not-for-profit research group MerinoLink, University of New England, stud and commercial Merino breeders and MLA Donor Company (MDC).

It aims to double the rate of genetic gain among participating flocks within five years by providing breeding program support and expertise. . .


The other families

October 1, 2018

The costs of the Pike River recovery agency are high and rising:

Pike River Recovery Agency has spent $2.5 million in its first financial year, including nine staff paid more than $100,000 a year.

And its boss warns that re-entering the West Coast coal mine, the site of a 2010 explosion that cost 29 lives, might cost millions of dollars more than its original $23 million budget, as the complexities of the operation become apparent. . .

And what of the human cost, not just for the families who always feature in the news, the ones who want the mine re-entered; what of the other families who don’t?

This letter to the editor of The Listener is from one of the other mothers:

My son died in the PIke River mine accident and I couldn’t agree more with the views of Heather Levack (Letter July 28). Not all the 29 families seek recovery of any remains. I am vehemently opposed to it for many reasons, cost being one of them.

My understanding is  the $23 million budget quoted is for only for re-entering the drift and not the actual mine where it is presumed any remains are.

Millions of dollars have already been spent. Any more should go on the living – perhaps on health services in Westland and elsewhere, or on education or on low-cost housing.

I was disgusted but not surprised when Pike River was used for politically before the last election, the present situation being the outcome .

Lack of sensitivity and compassion is distressing to most who are affected by these tragedies. . .

Losing a child in tragic circumstances and living with and accepting that loss is not alleviated by the unwelcome intrusion of those who wish to ‘use’ those circumstances . . My son’s death for me is neither about political grandstanding nor entertainment – Marion Curtin. 

Michael Wright interviewed this mother for a story on bereaved  parents who want to let the past be:

When it got really bad, Marion Curtin would turn on Concert FM. Any sort of music worked, really, but Curtin was a devout Radio New Zealand listener, so the public broadcaster was her first choice. It wasn’t the music she was interested in so much, though. Over on RNZ National the words ‘Pike River’ could be uttered at any moment. On Concert FM, you only needed to avoid the news bulletins.

Curtin, from Christchurch, has spent almost eight years in quiet opposition to what the public could be forgiven for mistaking was the united front of the Pike River families. For most of that time, a group of victims’ family members have fought for accountability over the tragedy and lobbied governments to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies of the 29 who died there, including Curtin’s son, Richard Holling​.

Their efforts have commanded considerable media coverage. This month, stories have focused on the efforts of experts in reviewing options for possible re-entry into the mine drift.

It’s not hard to find stories in favour of re-entry. The Listener letter, this story, and a long ago email read on breakfast TV are the only ones I’d come across before this which give the view of the other parents, those who oppose the idea of attempting re-entry.

Curtin finds the idea abhorrent.

“I don’t understand [the pro-re-entry] view. To me it’s an irrational one. Why they think there are bodies to bring out just beggars belief as far as I’m concerned. The amount of money that’s been spent I think is disgusting. To me it’s just sacrilege. It’s like grave-robbing. It’s awful.”

Mostly, Curtin has kept her counsel on this. Occasionally she has spoken to the media, or written letters to the editor of the Press . But maintaining a public opposition to a prevailing view isn’t easy.

“It’s very hard to go against what is perceived as the majority,” she said. “Because I would much rather not be doing it. I do it to stop an inaccurate picture being painted of ‘the families’. It’s very seldom that someone speaks up and says to them ‘enough’s enough’.”

Curtin has been resolute throughout that the explosion was an accident and retribution against Pike River bosses was pointless. As soon as the re-entry question was raised, she was against that too. Though she received some “positive” feedback when she did speak publicly, she isn’t in contact with any other like-minded bereaved families. Her two daughters and wider family share her view. . .

It was some comfort after the deaths of our two sons to know that no-one was at fault.

Those grieving the loss of the men killed in Pike River don’t have that comfort and the strong wish of some of them to find answers is understandable.

But at what cost and not just in dollar terms?

The re-entry has been politicised by Labour and New Zealand First which is despicable.

Would they have done so if media coverage had made it clear that the campaign for re-entry was not supported by all the families?

Would knowing that the on-going publicity makes matters worse for some of the families have influenced public opinion? Would that in turn have stopped the politicalisation of the tragedy?

All the re-entry planning has done is prolong the agony for all the families – those wanting to let their dead be and those wanting to find answers.

But what if someone gets up the drift and finds nothing? Will the pressure then be to enter the mine itself?

What if someone dies in the attempt?

The living should never be put at risk to recover the dead.

Had there been more balanced coverage, the public support of the agitating families would have been more muted and that might, just might, have stopped the politically motivated and misguided support for a re-entry attempt.


Quote of the day

October 1, 2018

Every path, every steep hillside and grassy slope, every familiar rutted road has its memories of moments of insight when the solution, or at least a way forward for some problem that had been holding things up, suddenly became clear – Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw  who was born on this day in 1912.


October 1 in history

October 1, 2018

331 BC Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela.

959  Edgar the Peaceable became king of all England.

1189  Gerard de Ridefort, grandmaster of the Knights Templar since 1184, was killed in the Siege of Acre.

1207 – Henry III of England, was born (d. 1272).

1787  Russians under Alexander Suvorov defeated the Turks at the Battle of Kinburn.

1791  First session of the French Legislative Assembly.

1795  Belgium was conquered by France.

1800  Spain ceded Louisiana to France via the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

1811 The first steamboat to sail the Mississippi River arrived in New Orléans, Louisiana.

1814   Opening of the Congress of Vienna, intended to redraw the Europe’s political map after the defeat of Napoléon the previous spring.

1827  The Russian army under Ivan Paskevich stormed Yerevan, ending a millennium of Muslim domination in Armenia.

1832 – Caroline Harrison, American educator, 24th First Lady of the United States (d. 1892).

1835 – Ádám Politzer, Austrian physician (d. 1920).

1843  The News of the World tabloid began publication in London.

1847  German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens founded Siemens AG & Halske.

1854   The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocated to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

1869   Austria issued the world’s first postcards.

1880  John Philip Sousa became leader of the United States Marine Band.

1880  First electric lamp factory opened by Thomas Edison.

1881 – William Boeing, American engineer and businessman, founded theBoeing Company (d. 1956).

1887  Balochistan conquered by the British Empire.

1890  – Stanley Holloway, English actor and singer (d. 1982).

1890  The Yosemite National Park and the Yellowstone National Parkwere established by the U.S. Congress.

1891  Stanford University opened.

1898  Czar Nikolay II expelled Jews from major Russian cities.

1898  The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administrationwas founded under the name k.u.k. Exportakademie.

1903  Baseball: The Boston Americans played the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.

1905  František Pavlík was killed in a demonstration in Prague, inspiringLeoš Janáček to the piano composition 1. X. 1905.

1908  Ford put the Model T car on the market at a price of US$825.

1910  Los Angeles Times bombing: A large bomb destroyed the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21.

1910  – Bonnie Parker, American criminal (d. 1934).

1912 – Kathleen Ollerenshaw, English mathematician and politician was born.

1918  World War I: Arab forces under T. E. Lawrence (a/k/a “Lawrence of Arabia”) captured Damascus.

1920 – Walter Matthau, American actor (d. 2000).

1920 Sir Percy Cox landed in Basra to assume his responsibilities as high commissioner in Iraq.

1920 US actor Walter Matthau was born.

1923  –  First Chatham Cup football final.

First Chatham Cup football final

1924 US President Jimmy Carter was born.

1926  An oil field accident cost aviator Wiley Post his left eye – he used the settlement money to buy his first aircraft.

1928 The Soviet Union introduced its First Five-Year Plan.

1931  The George Washington Bridge linking New Jersey and New York opened.

1935 British actress and singer  Julie Andrews was born.

1936  Francisco Franco was named head of the Nationalist government of Spain.

1938  Germany annexed the Sudetenland.

1939  After a one-month Siege of Warsaw, hostile forces entered the city.

1940  The Pennsylvania Turnpike, often considered the first superhighway in the United States, opened to traffic.

1942 USS Grouper torpedoed Lisbon Maru not knowing she was carrying British PoWs from Hong Kong.

1942  First flight of the Bell XP-59 “Aircomet”.

1945 US musician Donny Hathaway was born.

1946  Nazi leaders sentenced at Nuremberg Trials.

1946  Mensa International was founded in the United Kingdom.

1947  The F-86 Sabre flew for the first time.

1949  The People’s Republic of China was declared by Mao Zedong.

1958  NASA created to replace NACA.

1960  Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1961  East and West Cameroon merged as Federal Republic ofCameroon.

1962 – Sir Guy Powles was appointed New Zealand’s first Ombudsman.

Government watchdog appointed

1962  First broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

1964 The Free Speech Movement was launched on the campus of University of California, Berkeley.

1964  Japanese Shinkansen (“bullet trains”) began high-speed rail service from Tokyo to Osaka.

1965 Apostasia of 1965, a political move in Greece designed to overthrow the Prime Minister, George Papandreou.

1965 – General Suharto crushed an attempted coup in Indonesia.

1966 West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashed with 18 fatal injuries and no survivors 5.5 miles south of Wemme, Oregon.

1969  The Concorde supersonic transport plane broke the sound barrierfor the first time.

1971 –  Walt Disney World  opened near Orlando, Florida.

1975  The Seychelles gained internal self-government.

1975  The Ellice Islands split from Gilbert Islands and took the nameTuvalu.

1975  Thrilla in Manila: Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila.

1978  Tuvalu gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1978  The Voltaic Revolutionary Communist Party was founded.

1979 The United States returned sovereignty of the Panama canal toPanama.

1982  Helmut Kohl replaced Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor of Germany through a Constructive Vote of No Confidence.

1982  EPCOT Centre opened at Walt Disney World.

1982  Sony launched the first consumer compact disc player (modelCDP-101).

1985  The Israeli air force bombs PLO Headquarters in Tunis.

1986 Goods & Services Tax (GST) was introduced in New Zealand.

Goods and Service Tax Act comes into force

1987  The Whittier Narrows earthquake shook the San Gabriel Valley, registering as a magnitude 5.9.

1989  Denmark: World’s first legal modern same-sex civil union called “registered partnership”

1991  New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991 started.

1992  Turkish destroyer TCG Muavenet (DM-357) crippled causing 27 deaths and injuries, by missiles negligently launched by U.S. aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.

1994  Palau gained independence from the United Nations (trusteeship administered by the United States of America).

1998  Vladimir Putin became a permanent member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

2009  The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which acquired the judicial functions of the House of Lords, began work.

2012 – A ferry collision off the coast of Hong Kong killed 38 people and injured 102 others.

2012 – Domestic and International flights of Thai AirAsia transferred all operations from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Don Mueang International Airport.

2013 – The U.S. federal government shut down non-essential services after it was unable to pass a budget measure.

2014 – A series of explosions at a gunpowder plant in the village of Gorni Lom in Northwestern Bulgaria completely destroyed the factory, killing 15 people.

2015 – Umpqua Community College shooting: a gunman killed nine people at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.

2015 – Heavy rains triggered a major landslide in the village of El Cambray Dos within Santa Catarina Pinula, killing 280 people.

2016 – The Western Bulldogs first Australian Rules Football grand final win in 62 years.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia


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