365 days of gratitude

November 21, 2018

Each day I walk through my garden I’m greeted by a new profusion of blooms.

Today it was s rhododendron for which I’m grateful.


Word of the day

November 21, 2018

Quaquaversal – directed outward from a center toward all points of the compass; dipping uniformly in all directions.


Sowell says

November 21, 2018


Rural round-up

November 21, 2018

Big year for young viticulturist – Adam Burns:

The hard graft of the past year has paid off with two big industry awards for Bannockburn woman Annabel Bulk. Central Otago reporter Adam Burns talks to the viticulturist about the key ingredients to her success.

A semi-rural upbringing in Dunedin’s Pine Hill kindled Annabel Bulk’s love of the outdoors.

“My mum is an avid gardener.

“We were always encouraged to grow our own veges as a kid.”

That childhood introduction to horticulture is reaping rewards for Ms Bulk.

Last week the 30-year-old beat five other finalists to take out the New Zealand Young Horticulturist of the Year prize.

The award capped off a fruitful year for Ms Bulk. . . 

Huge’ frost could have been dire – Pam Jones:

Central Otago viticulturists and orchardists are feeling “positive” about the upcoming season and pleased to have “dodged a bullet”  recently in the form of  “once in a lifetime” frosts, horticulture leaders say.

Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey said a “huge and highly unusual” frost throughout Central Otago on October 13 could have been catastrophic but ended up causing “very little damage” to grapes.

Extremely dry air conditions at the time of the -5degC frost meant there was a “freeze” rather than a frost, Mr Dicey said.

The phenomenon had been “totally, 100% unheard of” for at least 60 years, but the unusual nature of the conditions meant there was very little damage and viticulturists had “dodged a bullet”, only losing about 5% to 10% of grapes overall, he said. . . 

Re-elected Fonterra director keen to restore trust – Angie Skerrett:

Newly re-elected Fonterra director Leonie Guiney wants to have New Zealand farmers “proud” of the company again.

She was voted back onto the board at the annual Fonterra AGM earlier this month after previously serving on the board from 2014 to 2017.

Ms Guiney is keen to see faith restored in Fonterra.

“Trust is everything in a co-operative, and it’s our responsibility at board level to ensure that Fonterra’s owners trust their leaders with their capital,” she told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange. . .

 

Wool prices are still falling – Alan Williams:

Wool prices fell sharply again, dampening the spectacle of the third annual live auction at the Agricultural Show in Christchurch on Thursday.

The crossbred market heads towards Christmas with a lot of concern about the international wool textile sector after earlier price falls in the North Island, PGG Wrightson’s South Island sales manager Dave Burridge said.

CP Wool auctioneer Roger Fuller didn’t want to sound too pessimistic but said the trend is quite concerning. . . 

Westland Milk Products seeks outside capital in bid to improve payouts – Heather Chalmers:

Despite low payout returns for the last three years, Westland Milk Products shareholder-supplier Stu Bland says he’s done the sums and wouldn’t be better off joining Fonterra. 

That’s even if he could, with many Westland Milk Products (WMP) suppliers tied to the co-operative because of their geographical isolation. 

At a payout of $6.07 a kilogram of milksolids after a five cent company retention for the 2017-18 season, Bland would have been $77,000 better off it he’d been supplying Fonterra or Synlait, who both paid 50 cents/kg more.   . . 

Death of disease still the aim – Annette Scott:

The Mycoplasma bovis response is focused squarely on phased eradication despite rumours to the contrary, Primary Industries Ministry M bovis response director Geoff Gwyn says.

“There’s some belief out there that MPI is preparing for long-term management – that is totally not the case at all.

“Many farmers are going through a challenging time with the M bovis outbreak and, unfortunately, their stress and anxiety is being compounded by some misinformation.”

Gwyn assures farmers the Government and industry partners remain highly committed to eradicating the cattle disease and early results from nationwide bulk milk testing indicate eradication is possible. . . 

Massive Canterbury irrigation scheme to transform region – for better or worse – Heather Chalmers:

Water is flowing through a huge new irrigation scheme on the Plains. But the water is so expensive farmers may turn away from dairy to more profitable crops. Heather Chalmers reports.

Travellers across the upper Central Canterbury plains in the last year will have noticed a quiet transformation of the landscape. 

Shelterbelts have been bowled and burnt and trenches dug across paddocks and roads. 

The biggest clue is the hulking metal spans emerging in paddocks as dozens of centre pivot irrigators are put together like giant Lego sets.   . . 

New biosecurity fines to be introduced:

Arriving vessels, transitional and containment facilities and cruise ship passengers will face new infringement offences for sloppy biosecurity practices that expose New Zealand to risk from harmful diseases and pests.

The new offences will introduce fines of $400 for individuals and $800 for other entities, such as companies, for low-level offending that is not significant enough to warrant prosecution, says Steve Gilbert, Border Clearance Services Director, Biosecurity New Zealand. . . 

Dairy farmers face squeeze:

Dairy farmers are getting a lower payout for milk but their costs are rising for goods and services like feed, fuel, and freight, Stats NZ said today.

The prices received by dairy farmers fell (4.8 percent) in the September 2018 quarter, due to a lower farm-gate milk price. In contrast, their costs rose (1.5 percent), mainly influenced by higher prices for animal feed, fuel, and freight.

“Dairy manufacturers paid less to buy raw milk in the latest quarter. They also received higher prices from our export markets and local customers,” business prices manager Sarah Johnson said.

It’s important to note there’s often a lag time between changes in costs and what businesses charge customers. . . 


Fee-free & fewer students

November 21, 2018

The money spent on fee-free tertiary education hasn’t resulted in more students:

The Labour-led Government’s election bribe of fees-free tertiary education has been a complete failure, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Paula Bennett says.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ own numbers show there are 2,400 fewer students in tertiary education and training than a year ago.

We don’t know if numbers would have dropped even more had the fee-free policy not been introduced.

But we do know that gifting a fee-free first year to all students, regardless of whether or not they need it, is poor use of public money.

“This expensive policy was designed to attract more students into tertiary education and it has completely failed.

“This policy is costing taxpayers $2.8 billion dollars and we’re going backwards. They should never have over promised and should be spending this money in education areas where it is really needed. . . 

Helping children who start school without the language and other skills needed to learn to read, write and do maths; helping those further through school and failing; helping those with special needs . . .

If the government has spare money to spend on tertiary education it should go on ensuring the quality of teaching; helping people who would otherwise not be able to study.

Then, rather than fee-free education for all, it should expand the policy of the previous government of writing off student loans for people like health professionals and vets who work in areas where it is difficult to recruit staff.

Throwing away money on fee-free study is even worse when teachers have a good case for improved pay and conditions but the government is telling them it doesn’t have enough to meet their demands.

The $2.8 million would be far better spent paying more to people who have successfully completed their studies and are working to educate the next generation than throwing it every first year student regardless of what they’re studying and whether or not they pass.


Quote of the day

November 21, 2018

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. –  Voltaire who was born on this day in 1694.


November 21 in history

November 21, 2018

164 BC – Judas Maccabaeus restored the Temple in Jerusalem, an event commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

235 – Pope Anterus succeeded Pontian as the nineteenth pope.

1272 – Prince Edward became King of England.

1620 – Plymouth Colony settlers signed the Mayflower Compact.

1694 Voltaire, French philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1783 – Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes, made the first untethered hot air balloon flight.

1787 Samuel Cunard, Canadian-born shipping magnate, was born (d. 1865).

1789 – North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 12th U.S. state.

1791 – Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte was promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic.

1863 Maori surrendered at Rangiriri.

 Maori surrender at Rangiriri

1877 – Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

1894 – Port Arthur massacre: Port Arthur, Manchuria fell to the Japanese, a decisive victory of the First Sino-Japanese War.

1897 – Mollie Steimer, Russian-American activist, was born (d. 1980).

1905 – Albert Einstein’s paper, Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?, was published in the journal “Annalen der Physik”. This paper revealed the relationship between energy and mass which led to the mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc².

1910 – Sailors onboard Brazil’s most powerful military units, including the brand-new warships Minas GeraesSão Paulo, and Bahia, violently rebelled in what is now known as the Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Whip).

1916 – World War I: A mine exploded and sank HMHS Britannic in the Aegean Sea, killing 30 people.

1918 – Flag of Estonia, previously used by pro-independence activists, is formally adopted as national flag of the Republic of Estonia.

1920 – Irish War of Independence: In Dublin, 31 people were killed in what became known as “Bloody Sunday“.

1922 – Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia took the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator.

1927 – Columbine Mine Massacre: Striking coal miners were allegedly attacked with machine guns by a detachment of state police dressed in civilian clothes.

1929 – Marilyn French, American author and academic, was born (d. 2009).

1932 – Beryl Bainbridge, English author and screenwriter, was born (d. 2010).

1936 Victor Chang, Australian physician, was born.

1941 Juliet Mills, British actress, was born.

1942 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) was celebrated (however, it was not usable by general vehicles until 1943).

1945 Goldie Hawn, American actress, was born.

1948 George Zimmer, American entrepreneur, was born.

1953 – The British Natural History Museum announced that the “Piltdown Man” skull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.

1962 – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army declares a unilateral cease-fire in the Sino-Indian War.

1964 – The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened to traffic.

1964 – Second Vatican Council: The third session of the Roman Catholic Church’s ecumenical council closed.

1969 – U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agreed on the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972.

1969 – The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI.

1970 – Vietnam War: Operation Ivory Coast – A joint Air Force and Army team raided the Son Tay prison camp in an attempt to free American prisoners of war thought to be held there.

1971 – Indian troops, partly aided by Mukti Bahini (Bengali guerrillas), defeat the Pakistan army in the Battle of Garibpur.

1974 – The Birmingham Pub Bombings killed 21 people.

1977 – Minister of Internal Affairs Allan Highet announced that ‘the national anthems of New Zealand would be the traditional anthem “God Save the Queen” and the poem “God Defend New Zealand“, written by Thomas Bracken, as set to music by John Joseph Woods, both being of equal status as national anthems appropriate to the occasion.

God Defend New Zealand manuscript cropped.jpg

1979 – The United States Embassy in Islamabad, was attacked by a mob and set on fire, killing four.

1980 – A fire broke out at the MGM Grand Hotel in Paradise, Nevada (now Bally’s Las Vegas). 87 people were killed and more than 650 injured in the worst disaster in Nevada history.

1980 – Lake Peigneur drained into an underlying salt deposit. A misplaced Texaco oil probe had been drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine, causing water to flow down into the mine, eroding the edges of the hole. The resulting whirlpool sucked the drilling platform, several barges, houses and trees thousands of feet down to the bottom of the dissolving salt deposit.

1985 – United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations.

1986 – Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver Northand his secretary start to shred documents implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channelling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1990 – The Charter of Paris for a New Europe refocused the efforts of theConference for Security and Co-operation in European post-Cold War issues.

1995 – The Dayton Peace Agreement was initialled ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1996 – A propane explosion at the Humberto Vidal shoe store and office building in San Juan, Puerto Rico killed 33.

2002 – NATO invited Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.

2004 – The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election led to massive protests and controversy over the its integrity.

2004 – The island of Dominica was hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history.

2004 – The Paris Club agreed to write off 80% (up to $100 billion) of Iraq’s external debt.

2006 – Anti-Syrian Lebanese Minister and MP Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in suburban Beirut.

2009 – A mine explosion in Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, killed 108.

2012 – At least 28 people were wounded after a bomb was thrown onto a bus in Tel Aviv.

2013 – A supermarket roof collapsed in Riga, Zolitude, Latvia killing 54 people.

2014 – A stampede in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe caused by the police firing tear gas killed at least eleven people and injured 40 others.

2105  – The government of Belgium imposed a security lockdown on Brussels including the closure of shops, schools, public transportation, due to potential terrorist attacks.

2017 – Robert Mugabe formally resigned as President of Zimbabwe after some 37 years in office.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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