Word of the day

January 9, 2019

Bibliotaph – someone who caches, hides or hoards books.


Sowell says

January 9, 2019


Rural round-up

January 9, 2019

Chucks empire lays golden egg – Bryan Gibson:

For many in business 1987 was a bad year but for Max Bryant it was the beginning of something special.

Under pressure from the bank over a kiwifruit development that hadn’t panned out Bryant decided to build a chicken shed at home in Halcombe, the small Manawatu settlement where he lived.

Thirty years later he has sold the company, Proten, for $400 million.

Bryant estimates about $60m of that will stay with shareholders in the district, who were ground-floor investors.

He admits Proten has come a long way since that first shed was built out the back. . . 

A new wave of stress relief – Luke Chivers:

The Gisborne farming community is testing the waters this summer and seeing how surfing can be used as a way to let off steam.

Staff at AgFirst have created a programme dubbed Surfing for Farmers to help rural communities reduce stress and it works, AgFirst consultant and programme founder Stephen Thomson said.

“When you get off the farm and into the water it’s like taking a plunge into another world.

“For an hour or two you forget about everything else.” . . 

It’s time to look at soil health – Dr Han Eerens:

Spare a thought for soil — arguably our most underappreciated natural resource.

Globally, 95% of the food we consume comes from the earth. Soil serves as the earth’s largest natural water filter helping supply the world with fresh, clean water. Additionally, one-quarter of the world’s biodiversity — including millions of microbes which are key to the success of today’s antibiotics — are found in soil. Yet despite all this our soil is being destroyed at a rapid rate. . . 

Mycoplasma bovis eradication is far from done and dusted – Keith Woodford:

There is a widespread belief in both the rural and urban communities that Mycoplasma bovis is well on the way to being eradicated from New Zealand. My response here is that there is a still a long way to travel before any declarations of success are appropriate.

In December, Prime Minister Ardern, no doubt choosing her words carefully and based on official advice, talked of ‘substantial progress’.  However, the broader tone of both MPI and DairyNZ messaging has led to parts of the media and then the general public taking a further step and concluding that the battle is almost over. . . .

A career in dairy might be more different than you think

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer of Farm Source and Global Operations, Robert Spurway, says a career in dairy doesn’t necessarily mean milking cows.

According to Primary ITO chief executive Dr. Linda Sissons, one in five applicants for their new dairy apprenticeship programme are from Auckland. The programme, in partnership with Federated Farmers, is responding to the need for an estimated 17, 000 new workers by 2025. It will encourage more smart, innovative and ambitious people – including those from urban centres – to consider a career on a dairy farm.

This is great news because with increasing animal welfare, environment, and compliance requirements, number 8 wire will only go so far. Today, our farmers need to be everything from agronomists, environmental scientists, veterinarians to high-tech experts. . . .

New Wanaka A&P Show campaign explores what it means to be “local”:

The Wanaka A&P Show today launches a timely campaign about the sense of community and what it means to be a local in Wanaka.

The ‘Call Me Local’ campaign is a tongue-in-cheek inquiry into the tricky question of ‘how long does a person have to live in Wanaka before they’re considered a local?’

Correspondingly, Wanaka is experiencing significant growth, development and change – leading residents to prioritise the sense of ‘community’ even more. The Wanaka A&P Show campaign acknowledges this to remind people about the importance of being part of a community. . . .


Some animals more equal

January 9, 2019

Forest and Bird  says the SPCA’s call for a ban on 1080 is naive:

Forest & Bird says the SPCA’s statement calling for 1080 to be banned shows a naïve failure to understand how nature works in the wild, and they will be seeking a meeting with the organisation to discuss its position.

Forest & Bird CE Kevin Hague says “The SPCA’s statement on the use of 1080 is seriously misinformed, and contains errors of both fact and logic.

Their position reflects their history of caring for domesticated animals such as cats and dogs, without understanding the needs of New Zealand’s native animals and ecosystems.

The SPCA is generally respected for its care of domestic and farm animals.  Extending its concern to pests which carry disease, and torture and kill native birds puts its reputation at risk.

It’s not hard to get public support for an organisation that promotes the wellbeing of cats, dogs, sheep and cattle. It would be very easy to lose support by giving rats, stoats and possums equal status with native birds.

“While the idea of stoats and rats peacefully coexisting with native birds sounds great, the reality is that an estimated 25 million native birds, eggs, and chicks are cruelly eaten alive by introduced predators every year in New Zealand.

“This is the terrible death that countless native animals across New Zealand suffer every night.

“The SPCA’s position on 1080 is a blow to their credibility. It’s sad to see them promoting flawed logic whose outcome is the extinction through being eaten alive of treasured animals like our kiwi, kereru, and kokako.

“Without scientific, ethical, and precision pest control, of which 1080 is a key tool, there is no way to protect our native animals from the overwhelming numbers of introduced predators. Giving up 1080 would lead to an ecocide of huge proportions in New Zealand, and the SPCA need to understand this is the outcome of their pest control position.”

The SPCA might think all animals are equal but when it comes to conservation, some are more equal than others.

Rats, stoats and possums are introduced species which carry diseases that can infect people, farm and domestic animals, and they are not endangered. They prey on native species which are.

No-one says 1080 is perfect but experts including the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Conservation say it is the best option available to protect  native species when trapping and shooting aren’t possible.

Attempting to put pests on equal footing with endangered natives is not only denting the SPAC’s credibility, it’s costing it support.


Quote of the day

January 9, 2019

One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others.  ― Simone de Beauvoir who was born on this day in 1908.


January 9 in history

January 9, 2019

475 – Byzantine Emperor Zeno wasforced to flee his capital at Constantinople, and his general, Basiliscus gained control of the empire.

681 – Twelfth Council of Toledo: King Erwig of the Visigoths initiated a council in which he implements diverse measures against the Jews in Spain.

1127  – Invading Jurchen soldiers from the Jin Dynasty besieged and sacked Bianjing (Kaifeng), the capital of the Song Dynasty of China, and abduct Emperor Qinzong and others, ending the Northern Song Dynasty.

1150 – Prince Hailing of Jin and other court officials murdered Emperor Xizong of Jin. Hailing succeeds him as emperor.

1349 The Jewish population of Basel, Switzerland, believed by the residents to be the cause of the ongoing Black Death, was rounded up and incinerated.

1431 Judges’ investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc began in Rouen, France, the seat of the English occupation government.

1768  Philip Astley staged the first modern circus in London.

1773 – Cassandra Austen, English watercolourist and sister of Jane Austen, was born (d. 1845).

1793  Jean-Pierre Blanchard became the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States.

1799 British Prime Minister William Pitt introduced income tax to raise funds for the war against Napoleon.

1806 – Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson received a state funeral and was interred in St Paul’s Cathedral.

1816 Sir Humphry Davy tested the Davy lamp for miners at Hebburn Colliery.

1822  Portuguese prince Pedro I of Brazil decided to stay in Brazil against the orders of the Portuguese king João VI, starting the Brazilian independence process.

1839 The French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotypephotography process.

1854 Jennie Jerome, American society beauty and mother of Winston Churchill, was born (d. 1921).

1859 Carrie Chapman Catt, American suffragist leader, was born  (d. 1947).

1861  The “Star of the West” incident near Charleston, South Carolina – considered by some historians to be the “First Shots of the American Civil War”.

1878  Umberto I became King of Italy.

1880 – The Great Gale of 1880 devastated parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow.

1894 New England Telephone and Telegraph installed the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.

1896 Warwick Braithwaite, New Zealand-born British conductor, was born (d. 1971).

1898  Gracie Fields, English music hall performer, was born  (d. 1979).

1902 Saint Josemaría Escrivá, Spanish Catholic priest and founder of Opus Dei, was born (d. 1975) .

1903  Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, son of the poet Alfred Tennyson, became the second Governor-General of Australia.

1905 According to the Julian Calendar which was used at the time, Russian workers staged a march on the Winter Palace that ended in the massacre by Tsarist troops known as Bloody Sunday, setting off the Russian Revolution of 1905.

1908  Simone de Beauvoir, French author, was born (d. 1986).

1911 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American burlesque entertainer, dancer, actress, and author (d. 1970)

1913  Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, was born  (d. 1994).

1916  The Battle of Gallipoli concluded with an Ottoman Empire victory when the last Allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula.

1916 Peter Twinn, English World War II code-breaker, was born (d. 2004) .

1918 Battle of Bear Valley: The last battle of the American Indian Wars.

1920 Clive Dunn, British actor, was born (d. 2012).

1923 Katherine Mansfield died.
Death of Katherine Mansfield

1928  Judith Krantz, American author, was born.

1933 Wilbur Smith, Zambian-British novelist, was born.

1939 Susannah York, British actress, was born.

1941 Joan Baez, American singer and activist, was born.

1942 Lee Kun-hee, Korean industrialist, chairman of Samsung, was born.

1944 –  Jimmy Page, British musician and producer (Led Zeppelin), was born.

1948 – Bill Cowsill, American singer (The Cowsills), was born (d. 2006).

1951 –  Crystal Gayle, American singer, was born.

1951 – The United Nations headquarters officially opened in New York City.

1953 –  Morris Gleitzman, British-Australian children’s author, was born.

1978 – AJ McLean, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1980 – Sergio Garcia, Spanish golfer, was born.

2005  Rawhi Fattouh succeeded  Yasser Arafat as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization .

2007  – Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone.

2011 – Iran Air Flight 277 crashed near Orumiyeh in the northeast of the country, killing 77 people.

2013 – A SeaStreak ferry travelling to lower Manhattan, New York City, crashed into the dock, injuring 85 people.

2014  – An explosion at a Mitsubishi Materials chemical plant inYokkaichiJapan, kills at least five people and injures 17 others.

2015 – The perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris two days earlier were both killed after a hostage situation. Elsewhere, a second hostage situation, related to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, occurred at a Jewish market,Hypercacher, in the eastern Paris suburb of Vincennes.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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