Word of the day

February 2, 2019

Syncytium – a single cell or cytoplasmic mass containing several nuclei, formed by fusion of cells or by division of nuclei; a structure composed of syncytia, forming the outermost layer of the trophoblast;  a multinucleated cell that can result from multiple cell fusions of uninuclear cells.


Thatcher thinks

February 2, 2019


Saturday smiles

February 2, 2019

The tax accountant had just read the story of Cinderella to her four-year-old daughter for the first time.

The little girl was fascinated by the story, especially the part where the pumpkin turns into a golden coach.

Suddenly she piped up, “Mummy, when the pumpkin turned into a coach, would that be classed as income or a long-term capital gain?”


Reading facts

February 2, 2019

Fact 1

Reading can make you a better conversationalist.

Fact 2

Neighbours will never complain you are reading too loud.

Fact 3

Knowledge by osmosis had not yet been perfected so you’d better read.

Fact 4

Books have stopped bullets. Reading could save your life.

Fact 5

Dinosaurs did not read. Look what happened to them.


Rural round-up

February 2, 2019

Oamaru chef makes the cut – Rebecca Ryan:

Cucina head chef Pablo Tacchini isn’t one to talk up his own reputation – but his food says it all.

Mr Tacchini’s exceptional culinary skills have seen him named a Beef + Lamb New Zealand ambassador chef for 2019.

He is one of five New Zealand chefs to have been selected, all recognised for driving innovation and creativity using New Zealand beef and lamb.

 

Fertigation: a new way of applying fertiliser:

A new guide has been released which will assist farmers and the irrigation industry to adopt the use of fertigation.

The method is a new way of applying fertiliser which is likely to reduce nitrogen leaching and save labour on farms.

Fertigation allows irrigators to be used to apply liquid fertiliser or liquid soluble fertiliser in small quantities at the same time as water. . . 

Potato sector looking chipper – Pam Tipa:

The opportunities for the potato industry lie in a planned series of sustainable developments, says Potatoes NZ chief executive Chris Claridge.

“We don’t see a boom and bust with potatoes, just a gradual improvement,” he says.

The sector is now close to a one billion dollar industry. . . 

NZ blackcurrant harvest improves:

Despite a difficult growing season, 2019 has delivered a high-quality blackcurrant harvest, signalling positive signs for the industry as research and international science point to the unique health boosting properties found naturally in New Zealand blackcurrants.

BCNZ chairman and grower, Geoff Heslop, says this season’s high-quality harvest has come at a good time for blackcurrant growers. . . 

NZ to take ownership of a new global agritech initiative:

New Zealand is going to take ownership of a new global agritech initiative, AgritechNZ chief executive Peter Wren-Hilton says.

Wren-Hilton has just returned from the US where he met a number of key AgritechNZ partners in Farm2050 which was set up to solve the global food challenge. By the year 2050, the global population will reach 10 billion people, requiring a 70 percent increase in food production. . . 

Lamb is meat of choice for environmentally conscious millennials, group says :

As the end of Veganuary comes close, sheep farmers are reminding consumers of the dietary and environmental benefits of locally produced lamb.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has reiterated the benefits of British lamb as the month-long vegan campaign, ‘Veganuary’, comes to an end. Lamb producers have spent much of January responding to queries and giving interviews on why sheep reared in Britain are beneficial for the environment and why consuming British sheepmeat is one of the most sustainable options for the country. . . 

Understanding the values behind farmer perceptions of trees on farms to increase adoption of agroforestry in Australia – Aysha Fleming, Anthony P O’Grady, Daniel Mendham, Jacqueline England, Patrick Mitchell, Martin Moroni, Arthur Lyons:

Agriculture faces increasing sustainability pressures. Land intensification and degradation, energy use and inputs, complex environmental management, social issues facing farming communities and climate change are just some of the headline sustainability concerns threatening the viability of farming. Simultaneously, there is a need to increase food and fibre production and resource use efficiency. For many of these sustainability issues, increasing the number of trees planted in agricultural systems, or agroforestry, can improve the productivity and sustainability of future rural agricultural landscapes. In many parts of the world, the benefits of agroforestry remain under-realised. To understand the reasons behind this, interviews were conducted with 44 predominantly mixed enterprise farmers and farm advisors in Tasmania, Australia.  . . 


Saturday soapbox

February 2, 2019

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

I am in favour of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason whenever it is possible – Milton Friedman


February 2 in history

February 2, 2019

962 Pope John XII crowned Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

1032 Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor became King of Burgundy.

1536  Pedro de Mendoza founded Buenos Aires, Argentina.

1653  New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) was incorporated.

1709 Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

1790 The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time.

1812 Russia established a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, California.

1829  William Stanley, inventor and engineer, was born (d. 1909).

1848 Mexican-American War: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed.

1848 California Gold Rush: The first ship with Chinese emigrants arrives in San Francisco, California.

1876 The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs of Major League Baseball was formed.

1880 The first electric street light was installed in Wabash, Indiana.

1882 James Joyce, Irish author, was born (d. 1941).

1882 The Knights of Columbus were formed in New Haven, Connecticut.

1887 In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day was observed.

1899 The Australian Premiers’ Conference decided to locate Australia’s capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne.

1901 Queen Victoria’s funeral took place.

1905 Ayn Rand, Russian-born American author and philosopher, was born (d 1982).

1913 Grand Central Station opened in New York City.

1922 Ulysses by James Joyce was published.

1925 Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1925 – The Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake struck northeastern North America.

1931 – Les Dawson, British comedian, was born (d. 1993).

1933 Adolf Hitler dissolved the German Parliament.

1934 The Export-Import Bank of the United States was incorporated.

1935 Leonarde Keeler tested the first polygraph machine.

1939 – A massive fire destroyed the nearly-completed three-storey Social Security building.

Welfare plan gets baptism of fire

1940 David Jason, English actor, was born.

1940  Frank Sinatra debuted with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

1943 – World War II: The Battle of Stalingrad ended as Soviet troops accepted the surrender of 91,000 remnants of the Axis forces.

1946 The Proclamation of Hungarian Republic was made.

1947 Farrah Fawcett, American actress, was born (d. 2009).

1948 Al McKay, American guitarist and songwriter (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1957 Iskander Mirza of Pakistan laid the foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage.

1967 The American Basketball Association was formed.

1971 Idi Amin replaced President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda.

1974 The men’s 1500-metre final at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games was called the greatest middle distance race of all time. Tanzanian Filbert Bayi won in a new world record time of 3 minutes 32.16 seconds. New Zealand’s emerging middle distance star John Walker came second, also breaking the existing world record. The remarkable feature of this race was the fact that the third, fourth (New Zealander Rod Dixon) and fifth place getters ran the fourth, fifth, and seventh fastest 1500m times to that date. The national records of five countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand – were all broken in this race.

‘The greatest middle distance race of all time’

1974 The F-16 Fighting Falcon flew for the first time.

1976 The Groundhog Day gale hits the north-eastern United States and south-eastern Canada.

1987 The Philippines made a new constitution.

1989 Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armored column left Kabul.

1989 Satellite television service Sky Television plc launched.

1990  F.W. de Klerk allowed the African National Congress to function legally and promised to release Nelson Mandela.

1998 A Cebu Pacific Flight 387 DC-9-32 crashed into a mountain near Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, killing 104.

2002 Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange married Máxima Zorreguieta.

2007 Four tornadoes hit Central Florida, killing 21 people.

2007 – Widespread flooding in Jakarta, began, eventually killing 54 and causing more than US$400 million in damages.

2009  – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe devalued the Zimbabwean dollarfor the third and final time, making Z$1 trillion now only Z$1 of the new currency (this is equivalent to Z$10 septillion before the first devaluation).

2012  – The ferry MV Rabaul Queen sank off the coast of Papua New Guinea near the Finschhafen District, with an estimated 300 people missing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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