Word of the day

January 3, 2019

Cryosphere – the frozen water part of the earth system; the places where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow.


Maggie muses

January 3, 2019


Rural round-up

January 3, 2019

Dairy farming: No job for just any mug off the street – Sam Kilmister:

GIVE IT A GO: There is a common misconception dairy milkers merely slap on some cups and watch their herd of cows circle the shed. 

But the battle to find skilled employees is worsening and working in the dairy shed is no job for just any punter off the street.  

To understand why the industry struggles to recruit young Kiwis, I went undercover on Murray Holdaway’s Tararua farm to experience a morning in the life of a dairy farmer.  . . 

Dairy farmers’ profitable sideline – Pam Tipa:

The jersey-cross beef business at his Whangarei Heads dairy farm is a sideline – but it is a valuable sideline, says Murray Jagger.

Last year beef sales – not including bobbies – totalled $155,000 returning back about $30,000 – 40,000, he told the recent Jersey NZ conference in Whangarei. . . 

Happy Cow Milk Company plans crowd-funding campaign – Rob Stock:

Happy Cow Milk Company founder Glen Herud hopes to raise money through crowd-funding in March.

In May last year, Happy Cow went into liquidation, which seemed to end Herud’s dream of re-inventing dairying, with ethical farmers supplying milk to local consumers.

The dream has been reborn, however, with Happy Cow having transformed from a milk company into a technology company with support from 779 people making regular donations through the online Patreon patronage service. . . 

NAIT online to be upgraded:

NAIT says its online system is set to be enhanced by an interactive map to help users accurately define a NAIT location.

The development uses Land Information New Zealand’s (LINZ) parcel data as the primary building block of NAIT’s Farm Location information. The system upgrade is scheduled for early 2019; it follows a recommendation in a review of NAIT. . . 

Data shows farmers are more progressive and engaged than many city folk – Peter Hunt:

THE urban myth that farmers are a bunch of ageing rural red-necks living in isolation on their land has been well and truly busted.

But the growing disconnect between rural and urban Australians mean it’s a battle to debunk the myth, despite survey and census data showing 20-30 per cent of farmers live in towns and regional cities, are more engaged with their communities than city folk and often more progressive, less religious and increasingly female. . .

TPP redux: why the United States Is the biggest loser – Jeffrey J. Schott:

On the first anniversary of President Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the remaining 11 signatories in that pact have agreed in Tokyo to enter into a revised pact without US participation.

The biggest loser from their agreement, not surprisingly, is the United States. US real income under the original TPP would have increased by $131 billion annually, or 0.5 percent of GDP.

Under the new deal without US participation, the United States not only forgoes these gains but also loses an additional $2 billion in income because US firms will be disadvantaged in the TPP markets. . .

 


Mixed message

January 3, 2019

Police Minister Stuart Nash thinks testing drugs at festivals is a fantastic idea.

Independent testing tents that let you know what’s in recreational drugs could become a regular feature at New Zealand festivals, Police Minister Stuart Nash says.

“I think they’re a fantastic idea and should be installed at all our festivals,” he said. “But I need to see how it works and better understand the implications of it first.”

The idea behind recreational drug testing is not to stop drug use but reduce harm, by letting consumers of illicit pills know if the drugs they are taking have been mixed with other dangerous chemicals.

This sends the message that if there are no other dangerous chemicals mixed in the drugs they will be harmless when they may well not be.

“The war on drugs hasn’t worked in the past 20 years, so it’s time to change to a more compassionate and restorative approach,” Nash said. . . 

The war on drugs hasn’t stamped them out but is there any data to say what its impact has been?

Would more or fewer people take drugs if they weren’t illegal?

What about the danger of drug driving and would it be any less if drugs weren’t illegal?

Alcohol and tobacco are legal substances which cause multiple problems.

Condoning recreational drug use as the testing would do, while devoting a lot of resources to persuade people of the ill-effects of smoking and drinking too much alcohol sends a very mixed message.


Quote of the day

January 3, 2019

Watch the mouth, it reveals what the eyes try to hide. John Thaw who was born on this day in 1942.


January 3 in history

January 3, 2019

106 BC Cicero, Roman statesman and philosopher, was born (d. 43 BC).

1431  Joan of Arc was handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon.

1496 Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tested a flying machine.

1521 – Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther in the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.

1793 Lucretia Mott, American women’s rights activist, was born  (d. 1880).

1823 Stephen F. Austin received a grant of land in Texas from the government of Mexico.

1831 Savitribai Phule,  social activist, first female teacher in India, and first female poet in Marathi language, was born  (d. 1897).

1840 Surveyors arrived in Port Nicholson to lay out plans for the proposed New Zealand Company settlement of Britannia at Pito-one (Petone). When this original site proved unsuitable, the decision was made to relocate across the harbour in a settlement they called Wellington.

New Zealand Company surveyors arrive in Port Nicholson

1848 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts was sworn in as the first president of the independent African Republic of Liberia.

1870 Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began.

1883  Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1967).

1887 Helen Parkhurst, American educator, was born (d. 1973).

1888 The refracting telescope at the Lick Observatory, measuring 91 cm in diameter, was used for the first time. It was the largest telescope in the world at the time.

1892  J. R. R. Tolkien, British writer, was born (d. 1973).

1899 – The first known use of the word automobile, was seen in an editorial in The New York Times.

1909  Victor Borge, Danish entertainer, was born (d. 2000).

1916 Maxene Andrews, American singer (The Andrews Sisters), was born (d. 1995).

1922  Bill Travers, British actor and director, was born  (d. 1994).

1923 Charles Tingwell, Australian actor, was born  (d. 2009).

1924 British explorer Howard Carter discovered the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt.

1930 – The first New Zealand-made talkie , Coubray-tone News, the work of the inventive Ted Coubray, had its first public screening at Auckland’s Plaza Theatre.

1933 Minnie D. Craig became the first female elected as Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, the first female to hold a Speaker position anywhere in the United States.

1942  John Thaw, British actor, was born  (d. 2002).

1945  Stephen Stills, American musician (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) was born.

1946 John Paul Jones, British musician (Led Zeppelin), was born.

1950  Victoria Principal, American actress, was born.

1953 Frances Bolton and her son, Oliver from Ohio, became the first mother and son to serve simultaneously in the U.S. Congress.

1956 A fire damaged the top part of the Eiffel Tower.

1956  Mel Gibson, Australian actor and director, was born.

1957 The Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch.

1958 The West Indies Federation was formed.

1961 The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.

1962 Pope John XXIII excommunicated Fidel Castro.

1977 Apple Computer was incorporated.

1988 Margaret Thatcher became the longest-serving British Prime Minister in the 20th Century.

1990 Former leader of Panama Manuel Noriega surrendered to American forces.

1993 George H. W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

1994 – More than seven million people from the former Apartheid Homelands, received South African citizenship.

1999 The Mars Polar Lander was launched.

2004 – Flight 604, a Boeing 737 owned by Flash Airlines, an Egyptian airliner, plunged into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people on board.

2007 – National Express had its worst coach crash just outside Heathrow Airport.

2009  – The first block of the blockchain of the decentralized payment system Bitcoin, called the Genesis block, was established by the creator of the system, Satoshi Nakamoto.

2015 – Boko Haram militants razed the entire town of Baga in north-east Nigeria, killing up to as many as 2,000 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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