365 days of gratitude

October 11, 2018

Today’s word of the day stirred happy memories of browsing in second-hand bookshops.

New books have their appeal but sometimes I come across a book by an author, want to read previous work and find none still in print.

But a browse through the shelves of a second-hand bookshop can find out-of-print books and other gems.

New Zealand is well supplied with second-hand book shops and two of the better ones are Adventure Books and Slightly Foxed in Oamaru’s Historic Precinct.

Today I’m grateful for second-hand book shops.

 


Word of the day

October 11, 2018

Vellichor – the wistful smell of a second-hand book shop; the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time – filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.

Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows


On World Mental Health Day

October 11, 2018

Everyone has bad moments, bad days, bad times. Some people feel they are having a bad life.

We can’t easily see when someone’s heart is bleeding; we can’t bandage mental wounds and we can’t put broken spirits in splints.

But mental health problems can be as serious as physical ones and you can no more lift the black clouds of depression by bucking up, thinking positive or following any of the other well-intentioned exhortations than you can heal a physical injury or illness that way.

This is Mental Health Awareness week   and this year’s theme is:  Let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing – Mā te taiao kia whakapakari tōu oranga!

If you or someone you know needs help The Mental Health Foundation has a list of helplines, websites and other resources here and  Farmstrong has a list of places to go for help here.

For less serious issues there’s always Leunig:

 

What are you doing? I’m using my device. What is your device? My device is the sky. Does your device have many applications? Yes. It has sun, moon, clouds and birds. ANd do you have to recharge your device very often? I don’t ever have to recharge my device, It recharges me.

And Twitter:

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Rural round-up

October 11, 2018

Fonterra is in a fix but farmers should beware of what happens when the Govt steps in … – Point of Order:

“Govt won’t fix Fonterra’s problems” – so ran  the  strapline  on  the  NZ Herald’s  weekly  “The Business”  last  Friday.

And  thousands   of  Fonterra’s  farmer-suppliers,  reading  the  article which quoted Agriculture Minister Damien  O’Connor,  almost  certainly would have sighed  with relief.

Who  would want   this   government  to  “fix”  their  industry?  Look what happened to  the   oil and  gas  exploration industry  after  Energy Resources  Minister   Megan Woods  applied  her  “fix”  to  it. . . 

NZ plays down threat to European agri interests in FTA talks – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand trade negotiators are trying to get their European counterparts to recognise that the nation’s agricultural exports are small-fry in comparison to the regional bloc’s farming sector.

The second round of free trade negotiations between New Zealand and the EU is underway in Wellington, with 31 European officials in the capital to make progress in a deal politicians say they’re keen to fast-track. In a 90-minute public forum, the chief negotiators – Peter Berz for the EU and Martin Harvey of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – said there was a lot of commonality between the parties, but that agriculture is a sticking point.  . .

Breakthrough technology could save dairy industry millions:

A new device that detects processing losses in dairy plants could save the industry millions of dollars a year and help prevent pollutants from entering waterways.

Lincoln University-owned research and development company, Lincoln Agritech Ltd, developed the breakthrough technology and it was then commercialised by Christchurch-based start-up company, CertusBio.

The result is a robust, automated biosensor capable of continuous monitoring in commercial operating conditions. Known as Milk-Guard, the device uses a lactose-specific enzyme to measure the percentage of dairy products present in waste streams and processing lines
.. .

12 lessons from the Future of Farming Dialogue – Jamie Mackay:

What’s in store for the rural sector? Host of The Country radio show Jamie Mackay got a glimpse at the Bayer Future of Farming Dialogue conference in Düsseldorf and Amsterdam. Here’s what he discovered:

1)

Even though it was very much tempered by sitting much closer to the front than the back, 17 hours is a hell of a long time to be stuck on a plane.

The Auckland-Dubai direct flight is the third-longest commercial flight on the planet, behind Auckland-Doha and Perth-London.

2)

The world faces a food crisis. How to feed a potential population of 10 billion people by 2050? In 1960 we had more than one acre (0.4 ha) of arable land for every person on the planet. Today that number is less than half that. Many of our most productive soils now grow only houses. . . 

 

Multi-pronged approach critical to successful environment strategy – Allan Barber:

Since announcing its environment strategy in May, the Beef + Lamb New Zealand team responsible for developing the plans, processes and tools to help farmers achieve the ambitious goals of being carbon neutral by 2050 and every farm having an active farm plan by 2021 has been working flat out to get the right farm planning systems in place. The strategy identifies four areas of focus – cleaner water, carbon neutrality, thriving biodiversity and healthy productive soils – with their own specific goals and a detailed implementation plan, supported by a series of what are termed ‘foundations’.

Initially there are two foundations which explicitly rely on the participation of individual farmers. The first is helping farmers navigate the myriad of farm environment plans out there so they can identify the one that complies with local regulations and is best suited to help them document their individual on farm environment plan; the second foundation will encourage the establishment and facilitation of catchment communities which are relevant to the farmers’ local areas.  . . 

CP Wool announces exclusive partnership to distribute NZ wool carpets in US:

Premium New Zealand wool carpets and rugs will soon be available to thousands more US consumers under a new distribution partnership between Carrfields Primary Wool (CP Wool) and J Mish Mills.

Under the agreement, leading carpet business J Mish will design and manufacture carpets and rugs from yarn grown and spun in New Zealand. The products will then be distributed throughout the US via J Mish’s large network of dealer and designer relationships. . . 

Feral sheep’s wool could set world record

A feral ewe captured on a remote bluff will have her first brush with the shears this weekend and organisers say she could have the longest wool in the world.

The crossbred sheep was caught in the Mapiu district, south of Te Kuiti, by Amie Ritchie and Carla Clark.

Named Suzy by her captors, the ewe is not believed to have been shorn before.  However, that will change at The Wool Shed, the national museum of sheep and shearing, in Masterton on Sunday. . . 

Why we need a real forestry strategy – Rod Oram:

We’re an odd country when it comes to trees. We have a lot of them but no overarching long-term policy for them. Consequently, our short-term forestry decisions deliver some adverse outcomes, both economic and environmental.

And on our current course it’s going to get worse. We’re racing to plant one billion trees in a decade to help us meet our climate commitments (as last week’s column discussed), develop regional economies, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance biodiversity such as helping to save native birds from extinction.

Trees could do all of that for us. But only if they can flourish in healthy ecosystems. To do so, they need all the help we can give them over three or four human generations. Instead, we’re working in silos over just a decade or two, the longest time most commercial enterprises can wait for an investment to pay off. . .

Major investors back medicinal cannabis with stake in Helius:

Cannabis-focused biotechnology company, Helius Therapeutics, announced today it has completed its $15m capital raise and is now backed by a small group of New Zealand investors, led by tech entrepreneur, Guy Haddleton.

Haddleton says “Helius Therapeutics has all the features we seek in a high-potential investment. The company has a clear and large vision, extraordinary talent and deep go-to-market experience. More importantly, Helius will improve significantly the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders”. . .


Human progress

October 11, 2018

And apropos of good news economic progress has been even more helpful to women:

Economic freedom and resulting competitive markets empower women in at least two interrelated ways.

First, market-led innovation has improved the lives of women even more so than for men. For example, women have reaped greater benefits from health advances financed by the prosperity created by free enterprise: female life expectancy has risen faster than men’s and today women outlive men almost everywhere. Women are also less likely to die in childbirth.

Labor-saving household devices have also freed women from the burden of housework. Thanks to time-saving kitchen appliances, in the United States cooking has gone from consuming the same hours as a full-time job, to taking up only around an hour a day. And thanks to laundry machines, in rich countries washing has gone from taking up a full day each week to less than two hours a week on average. This freeing of women’s time is ongoing as appliances spread throughout the world. Market competition and the profit motive incentivized the invention of labor-saving household devices and continue to motivate their ongoing marketing to new customers in developing countries. Countries that liberalize their economies often see rapid economic progress, including more households able to afford modern conveniences. China’s economy has grown dramatically since it adopted policies of greater economic freedom in 1978. In 1981, less than 10 percent of urban Chinese households had a washing machine. By 2011, over 97 percent did. As women spend less time on household chores, more choose to engage in paid labor.

Second, labor market participation offers women economic independence and heightened societal bargaining power. Factory work, despite its poor reputation, empowered women in the 19th century United States by helping them achieve economic independence and social change. It also softened attitudes about women engaging in paid labor. Today, the same process is repeating in the developing countries. . . 

Every day tasks of running a household still largely fall on women but these tasks are so much less arduous than they were for previous generations.

Time saved on cooking and cleaning is time free for other pursuits, paid or unpaid and with freedom comes independence.


Quote of the day

October 11, 2018

That’s the key, you know, confidence. I know for a fact that if you genuinely like your body, so can others. It doesn’t really matter if it’s short, tall, fat or thin, it just matters that you can find some things to like about it. Even if that means having a good laugh at the bits of it that wobble independently, occasionally, that’s all right. It might take you a while to believe me on this one, lots of people don’t because they seem to suffer from self-hatred that precludes them from imagining that a big woman could ever love herself because they don’t. But I do. I know what I’ve got is a bit strange and difficult to love but those are the very aspects that I love the most! It’s a bit like people. I’ve never been particularly attracted to the uniform of conventional beauty. I’m always a bit suspicious of people who feel compelled to conform. I personally like the adventure of difference. And what’s beauty, anyway? Dawn French who celebrates her 61st birthday today.


October 11 in history

October 11, 2018

1138 A massive earthquake struck Aleppo, Syria.

1531 Huldrych Zwingli was killed in battle with the Roman Catholic cantons of Switzerland.

1614  Adriaen Block and 12 Amsterdam merchants petitioned the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony.

1634  The Burchardi flood — “the second Grote Mandrenke” killed around 15,000 men in North Friesland, Denmark and Germany.

1649  Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.

1727  George II and Caroline of Ansbach were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain.

1776  American Revolution: Battle of Valcour Island – 15 American gunboats were defeated but give Patriot forces enough time to prepare defenses of New York City.

1809  Explorer Meriwether Lewis died under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder’s Stand.

1811  Inventor John Stevens‘ boat, the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service between New York, New York, and Hoboken, New Jersey).

1821  – George Williams, English philanthropist, founded the YMCA, was born (d. 1905).

1833  A big demonstration at the gates of the legislature of Buenos Aires forced the ousting of governor Juan Ramón Balcarce and his replacement with Juan José Viamonte.

1844 Henry Heinz, American food manufacturer, was born (d. 1916).

1852 – The University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university was inaugurated.

1861 The first Cobb & Co coach service ran from Dunedin to the Otago goldfields.

First Cobb & Co. coach service runs to Otago goldfields

1865  Paul Bogle led hundreds of black men and women in a march in Jamaica, starting the Morant Bay rebellion.

1872  – Emily Davison, English educator and activist, was born (d. 1913).

1884 Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States and humanitarian, was born (d. 1962)

1890  In Washington, DC, the Daughters of the American Revolution was founded.

1899 Second Boer War began.

1906  San Francisco public school board sparked United States diplomatic crisis with Japan by ordering Japanese students to be taught in racially segregated schools.

1910  Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers.

1912 – Betty Noyes, singer who dubbed Debbie Reynolds’ singing voice in Singin’ in the Rain, was born (d 1987).

1915 – T. Llew Jones, Welsh author and poet,2 was born (d. 2009).

1926 Neville Wran, Premier of New South Wales, was born.

1929 JC Penney opened store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.

1937 Sir Bobby Charlton, English footballer, was born.

1941  Beginning of the National Liberation War of Macedonia.

1942  World War II: Battle of Cape Esperance – On the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, United States Navy ships intercepted and defeat a Japanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.

1944 Tuvinian People’s Republic was annexed by the U.S.S.R.

1950 Television: CBS’s mechanical colour system was the first to be licensed for broadcast by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

1954 First Indochina War: The Viet Minh took control of North Vietnam.

1956 – Nicanor Duarte, Paraguayan lawyer and politician, President of Paraguay, was born.

1957 Dawn French, Welsh comedian,actress and screenwriter, was born.

1958  NASA launched the lunar probe Pioneer 1.

1962  Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convened the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.

1968  Apollo program: NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.

1969 Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, was born.

1972 A race riot on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.

1975 The NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuted with George Carlin as the host and Andy Kaufman, Janis Ian and Billy Preston as guests.

1976  George Washington‘s appointment, posthumously, to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States by congressional joint resolution Public Law 94-479 was approved by President Gerald R. Ford.

1982  The Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack which sank on July 19 1545, was salvaged from the sea bed of the Solent.

1984 Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a space walk.

1986 Cold War: U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe.

1987  Start of Operation Pawan by Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka that killed few thousand ethnic Tamil civilians, several hundred Tamil Tigers and few hundred Indian Army soldiers.

1996 Pala accident: a wood lorry and school bus collided in Jõgeva county, Estonia, killing eight children.

2001 The Polaroid Corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

2002  A bomb attack in a shopping mall in Vantaa, Finland killed seven.

2013 – A migrant boat sank in the Channel of Sicily with at least 34 people dead.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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