Word of the day

January 29, 2019

Mien – a person’s appearance or manner, especially as an indication of their character or mood; bearing or demeanor, as showing character, feeling or thoughts.


Thatcher thinks

January 29, 2019


Rural round-up

January 29, 2019

Book charts history of Young Farmer contest – Sally Rae:

For 50 years, the Young Farmer of the Year contest has been part of the fabric of New Zealand’s rural sector.

Dubbed “the challenge second only to the land”, it tests the knowledge and skills of the country’s young farmers.

To mark the milestone, Hawke’s Bay writer Kate Taylor has recorded the contest’s history in 50 Years Young — A History of the Young Farmer of the Year.

But it is more than just a comprehensive history; it contains interviews with various winners, finalists and organisers, and is peppered with interesting and amusing anecdotes. . . 

Farmer shocked heifers missing – Hamish MacLean:

A North Otago dairy farmer says he is in a state of disbelief after realising 60 rising 2-year Friesian heifers had been taken from his farm.

Russell Hurst, of Awamoko, said the animals, taken between the week before Christmas and New Year’s Day, could be worth $100,000.

He and his staff went ”around and round the farm in circles” double-checking the mobs on the 2500ha farm to make sure the animals had been stolen.

”It’s just disbelief, really,” Mr Hurst said. . . 

Restrictions loom for river irrigators in Marlborough – Matt Brown:

New Zealand’s largest wine region could soon be facing water restrictions as record-high temperatures affect rivers.

The Rai, Waihopai and Wairau Rivers’ minimum flow rates were rapidly being approached and surface water “takes” were expected to be halted by the end of next week.

Marlborough District Council hydrologist Val Wadsworth said it was trying to “forward forecast” on the current rate of flow decline, but it was difficult to be concise. . . 

Pioneer works with maize insurer – Richard Rennie:

The country’s largest maize seed supplier is working with an insurance company to settle losses incurred after seed treatment failure in some hybrid varieties this season.

Early in the maize planting season late last year a number of growers in Waikato and Northland reported stunted crops post-germination, prompting some to replant crops before mid December.

Pioneer’s investigation team head Raewyn Densley said a number of growers have . . 

Taranaki honeymoon: whacking possums – Jamie Morton:

Forget Paris: for one newlywed couple, there’s no better honeymoon than killing possums in Taranaki.

Fresh from their wedding, Andrea and Max Hoegh are working at the frontline of New Zealand’s first large-scale possum eradication operation.

The biggest pest-busting project of its kind in the country, Towards Predator-Free Taranaki divided the region into pizza-slice sections around the mountain, with work kicking off in the New Plymouth area. . . 

Your dinner’s in the lab – the future of ‘cell-based’ meat – Gwynne Dyer:

“Right now, growing cells as meat instead of animals is a very expensive process,” says Yaakov Nahmias, founder and chief scientist of Israel-based startup Future Meat Technologies. But it will get cheaper, and it probably will be needed.

The global population is heading for 10 billion by 2050, from the current 7.7b. Average global incomes will triple in the same period, enabling more people to eat meat-rich diets. . .

 


Comedians striking

January 29, 2019

Comedians across New Zealand are striking in protest against a hostile takeover of their territory.

“When people say politics is a joke, that’s not supposed to be taken seriously, but seriously what’s happening now is a joke and that’s a threat to our livelihoods,”  Funny Business spokesperson Fairly Humourous said.

“It started some years ago. Remember how the bloke who wouldn’t want his daughter dating anyone who isn’t Maori and who’s anti-immigration was bought by a German fraudster with a fetish for racist humour?

“Then an ardent campaigner for feminism and against capitalism, racism and business allowed herself to be bought by the same bloke even though he’d made much of his money from pornography.

“They compounded that by starting a campaign against the very rules which they were rorting to get into parliament.

“So it’s not new but it’s getting worse.

“We’ve got a government that won’t entertain a change in tax thresholds to keep middle income earners out of the top tax bracket but will give tax breaks for good looking horses.

”It tells us it’s going to tackle poverty but leaves poor people homeless while subsidising people on high incomes into flash new houses.

“If that wasn’t a sick enough joke they’ve made it even sicker by not being able to build a fraction of the number of houses they set as a target and now they’re arguing about whether or not it’s still a target.

”It wants New Zealand to be smoke-free and also wants to decriminalise or even legalise pot.

”It’s got an Immigration Minister who gifts a crook residence after spending less than an hour reading a report when anyone else would’ve deported him in seconds.

”It’s spending billions giving fee-free education to tertiary students whether or not what they study has any value and chucking billions at projects in the regions without any cost-benefit analysis. But it won’t put a cent into Taratahi to train farm workers when there’s a crying need for staff throughout the horticultural and agricultural sector.

“And this sort of silliness is not just in New Zealand. Ponder this: Saudi Arabia has been elected to the UN Board for Gender Equality.

“We couldn’t make this sort of nonsense up, we’d be booed off the stage.

”It’s all very well for the Prime Minister to get headlines round the world mouthing pretty phrases about wellbeing. But what’s this governmental funny business doing to our wellbeing?

”Fine words don’t fill seats in theatres and clubs and why would people pay to see us when they can watch the government playing for laughs for free.

“These jokers have  blurred the lines between tragedy and comedy for us and now we don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

Ms Humorous said the incursion into comedians territory by politicians was no laughing matter.

“Adding insult to injury, it’s our tax that’s paying them and they’re earning more than we could dream of.

“We can’t compete with them so we’re striking in the hope we can mobilise support for our campaign to get jokes and jokers out of government.

”They must leave the funny business to real comedians, get it out of the Beehive and back on stage and screen where it belongs.“


Quote of the day

January 29, 2019

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees are bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.  – AntonChekhov who was born on this day in 1860.


January 29 in history

January 29, 2019

661 – The Rashidun Caliphate ended with the death of Ali.

757 – An Lushan, leader of a revolt against the Tang dynasty and emperor of Yan, was murdered by his own son, An Qingxu.

904 – Sergius III came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.

1676 – Feodor III became Tsar of Russia.

1814 – France defeated Russia and Prussia in the Battle of Brienne.

1834– US President Andrew Jackson ordered first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labour dispute.

1842 Auckland’s first Anniversary Day regatta was held.

Auckland's first Anniversary Day Regatta

1845 “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe  was published in the New York Evening Mirror.

1856 Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross.

1860 Anton Chekhov, Russian writer, was born (d. 1904).

1863 Bear River Massacre.

1874 John D. Rockefeller Jr., American entrepreneur, was born (d. 1960).

1880 W.C. Fields, American actor and writer was born  (d. 1946).

1886 Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

1891 Liliuokalani was proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, its last monarch.

1916  Paris was first bombed by German zeppelins.

1939 Germaine Greer, Australian writer and feminist, was born.

1940 Three trains on the Sakurajima Line, in Osaka collided and exploded while approaching Ajikawaguchi station. 181 people were killed.

1944  USS Missouri (BB-63) the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy was launched.

1944 Approximately 38 men, women, and children died in the Koniuchy massacre in Poland.

1944 In Bologna the Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio was destroyed in an air-raid.

1945 Tom Selleck, American actor, screenwriter and film producer, was born.

1949 Tommy Ramone, Hungarian-born musician and record producer (The Ramones), was born.

1954  Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host and actress, was born.

1996 President Jacques Chirac announced a “definitive end” to French nuclear weapons testing.

1996 – La Fenice, Venice’s opera house, was destroyed by fire.

2001 Thousands of student protesters in Indonesia stormed parliament and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals.

2002 In his State of the Union Address, United States President George W. Bush described “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of Evil.

2005 The first direct commercial flights from the mainland China(from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines carrier landed in Beijing.

2006 – India’s Irfan Pathan became the first bowler to take a Test cricket hat-trick in the opening over of a match.

2009 – The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that people who do not adhere to one of the three government-recognised religions, while not allowed to list any belief outside of those three, were still eligible to receive government identity documents.

2009 – Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich was convicted of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for then-U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.

2013  – SCAT Airlines Flight 760 crashed near the Kazakh city of Almaty, killing 21 people.

2015 – Malaysia officially declared the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident and its passengers and crew presumed dead.

2017  – Quebec City mosque shooting: Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire at mosque in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, killing six and wounding 19 others in a spree shooting.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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