Word of the day

March 22, 2019

Halidom   – a holy or sacred place,relic or thing; sanctuary; lands held of a religious foundation; something regarded as sacred.


Broken-hearted not broken

March 22, 2019

The Spinnoff has an abridged transcript of the speech delivered by Al Noor Mosque Iman Gamal Fouda of  in Christchurch this afternoon.

Last Friday I stood in this mosque and saw hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist who killed 50 people, wounded 48 and broke the hearts of millions around the world. Today, from the same place I look out and I see the love and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings from across the globe who fill the hearts of millions.

The terrorist tried to tear the nation apart with evil ideology. Instead we have shown that New Zealand is unbreakable. And that the world can see injustice an example of love and unity.

We are brokenhearted but we are not broken.

We are determined to not let anyone divide us.

We are determined to love one another and to support each other. This evil ideology of white supremacy did not strike us first, yet it has struck us hardest. But the solidarity in New Zealand is extraordinary.

To the families of the victims, your loved ones did not die in vain. Their blood has watered the seeds of hope. . .

Our loss of you is a gain to New Zealand’s unity. Your departure is an awakening not just for our nation, but for all humanity. Your martyrdom is a new life for New Zealand and a chance of prosperity for many. Our assembly here, with all the shades of our diversity, is a testament of our giant humanity.

We are here in our hundreds and thousands, unified for one purpose. That hate will be undone, and love will redeem us. . .

We don’t have to share others’ faith, to worship as they do, to believe what they do.

But we must be unified in our resolve to undo the hate and be redeemed by love.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

March 22, 2019

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your hearts
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your hearts
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone


Rural round-up

March 22, 2019

Staff shortages impacting on rural health – Peter Burke:

The health of rural business people – including farmers, orchardists and health facilities — is being affected because they cannot get sufficient good staff and must work longer hours to compensate.

So says rural health professional Professor Jane Mills, pro vice-chancellor of the College of Health at Massey University. She was raised on a farm in Australia and has extensively researched rural health issues.

She told Rural News that the staff shortage in rural areas is forcing many people to work extra hours beyond what is reasonable and that their work/life balance is out of sync, resulting in physical or mental health issues. . . 

Inhibitor can solve methane issue – Neal Wallace:

News the world’s first methane inhibitor for livestock will be released in New Zealand later this year has been greeted by scientists as evidence technology can solve our greenhouse gas problem.

Dutch company DSM has developed 3-NOP, a feed additive that inhibits a methane producing micro-organism in the rumen, reducing emissions by about 30% while also being safe for animals and consumers.

However, the effet stops within a few hours of feeding so it must be ingested regularly. . . 

Brexit: Should I stay or should I go now? – Stephanie Honey:

Just over a week before the Brexit deadline, the UK faces the prospect of a lengthy delay – but equally, the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit looms larger than ever.  It is hard to predict which of these two extremes we may see next Friday.   In anticipation of no-deal, however, the UK has released a new temporary post-Brexit tariff schedule.  While most imports would be duty-free, sensitive agriculture products, including New Zealand exports of lamb, beef and dairy, would still face barriers.

If anything, the roadmap to Brexit is less clear than it was even at the start of this week.  (See our last blog here.)  The Parliamentary process has descended into chaos after “meaningful vote 3” was disallowed, under which PM May’s Withdrawal Agreement would have come back again to the House to attempt to clear the path for an orderly Brexit.   All eyes are now on Brussels.  The European Council meets on Thursday and will consider an extension – although this would need to have a clear purpose to satisfy EU member states. . . 

School and Trust boost farming – Neal Wallace:

Students at Wairarapa College are to get more farm training and career opportunities following an initiative with a Masterton community trust.

The Masterton Trust Lands Trust has provided 14ha next to the college for agricultural training for 64 years but is taking it a step further by establishing an advisory panel of local industry leaders to provide advice and expertise for the course.

More than 330 years nine to 13 students, a third of the roll, are studying agriculture this year and trust chairman Karl Taucher says the advisory panel will ensure teaching and skills developed on the farm are in line with what the industry needs. . . 

Cows are turning desert back into grassland by acting like bison – Sara Burrows:

The Savory Institute is transforming 40 million acres of desert back into grassland by “rewilding” cows and other domesticated grazing animals

Two thirds of the land on Earth is now desert or in the process of becoming desert, according to world-renowned ecologist and environmentalist Allan Savory.

If you know anything about deserts, you know that’s not good news, as neither humans nor many other species can survive very well in them.

Responsible for the collapse of many civilizations and now threatening us globally, Savory says humanity has never understood the causes of desertification. But the fact that it began around 10,000 years ago and has accelerated dramatically in the last 200 gives us a clue, he says. . . 

Yes, eating meat affects the environment, but cows are not killing the climate Frank M. Mitloehner:

As the scale and impacts of climate change become increasingly alarming, meat is a popular target for action. Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. Some activists have called for taxing meat to reduce consumption of it.

A key claim underlying these arguments holds that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. However, this claim is demonstrably wrong, as I will show. And its persistence has led to false assumptions about the linkage between meat and climate change.

My research focuses on ways in which animal agriculture affects air quality and climate change. In my view, there are many reasons for either choosing animal protein or opting for a vegetarian selection. However, foregoing meat and meat products is not the environmental panacea many would have us believe. And if taken to an extreme, it also could have harmful nutritional consequences. . . 


We can be grateful

March 22, 2019

We can be grateful that, by and large, the response to last week’s massacre has been the opposite of what the killer intended – unity instead of division.

We can be grateful that Muslims in Christchurch and the wider New Zealand Muslim community reacted with forgiveness and inclusiveness.

We can be grateful that by and large, the horror of last week’s massacre has been met with compassion here and overseas.

We can be grateful that, by and large, the response from politicians has been appropriate and non-partisan.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern invited Opposition leader Simon Bridges to accompany her to Christchurch on her first visit, following the example set by then-PM John Key who invited the then-Labour leader to accompany him to the city after the earthquakes.

Since then the PM has shown compassion, empathy and resolve and the Opposition leader has offered support when it’s been appropriate but otherwise left her to it, as he should.

We can be grateful that the changes to gun laws announced are reasonable.

We can be grateful that today those who choose to can observe a two-minute silence in honour of the 50 people who died.

We can be grateful that this will provide a prompt to the media to reduce the saturation coverage so they don’t cross the line from news to voyeurism.


Quote of the day

March 22, 2019

Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music. Marcel Marceau who was born on this day in 1923.


March 22 in history

March 22, 2019

238 Gordian I and his son Gordian II were proclaimed Roman emperors.

1599 Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1641).

1621  The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty withMassasoit of the Wampanoags.

1622 Jamestown massacre: Algonquian Indians killed 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population.

1630  Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables.

1638 Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

1765  British parliament passed the Stamp Act, which introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.

1784 The Emerald Buddha was moved to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

1809 Charles XIII succeeded Gustav IV Adolf to the Swedish throne.

1818 John Ainsworth Horrocks, English-born explorer of South Australia, was born  (d. 1846).

1829 The three protecting powers (Britain, France and Russia) established the borders of Greece.

1849 The Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara.

1871 William Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.

1873 A law was approved by the Spanish National Assembly in Puerto Rico to abolish slavery.

1887 Chico Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1961).

1894 The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started.

1895 First display (a private screening) of motion pictures by Auguste and Louis Lumière.

1902 – George von Zedlitz, Victoria College’s first professor of modern languages,  joined the fledgling institution’s four foundation professors.

George von Zedlitz arrives in Wellington

1906 First Anglo-French rugby union match at Parc des Princes in Paris

1908 Louis L’Amour, American author, was born  (d. 1988).

1910 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist, was born (d. 1979).

1916 The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicated the throne and theRepublic of China was restored.

1923 Marcel Marceau,  French Mime, was born  (d. 2007).

1930 Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist, was born.

1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a bill legalizing the sale of beer and wine.

1936 Roger Whittaker, British singer, was born.

1939  Germany took Memel from Lithuania.

1941 Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam began to generate electricity.

1942 Britain’s Royal Navy confronted Italy’s Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte.

1942 Keith Relf, English musician (The Yardbirds), was born (d. 1976).

1943 The entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces.

1945 The Arab League was founded when a charter was adopted in Cairo.

1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer, was born.

1954 The London bullion market reopened.

1955 Valdis Zatlers, 7th President of Latvia, was born.

1960  Arthur Leonard Schawlow & Charles Hard Townes received the first patent for a laser.

1978 Karl Wallenda of the The Flying Wallendas died after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1982 NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia, was launched on its third mission,STS-3.

1993 The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.

1995 Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned after setting a record for 438 days in space.

1997 Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest champion of the women’s world figure skating competition.

1997 – The Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to earth.

2004 Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.

2006 ETA, armed Basque separatist group, declared permanent ceasefire.

2006 – BC Ferries’ M/V Queen of the North ran aground on Gil Island British Columbia and sinks; 101 on board, 2 presumed deaths.

2006 – Three Christian Peacemaker Teams Hostages were freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days captivity and the death of their colleague, American Tom Fox.

2009 Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska began erupting after a prolonged period of unrest.

2013  – At least 37 people were killed and 200  injured after a fire destroyed a camp containing Burmese refugees near Ban Mae, Thailand.

2014 – At least 35 people died in Balochistan, Pakistan, in a collision between a petrol tanker and two buses.

2014 – Forty-three people were killed in a mudflow near Oso, Washington.

2014 – Turtle Canyon was opened in Newport, Kentucky.

2016 – Three suicide bombers killed 32 people and injured 316 in the 2016 Brussels bombings at the airport and at the Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station.

2017  – A terrorist attack in London near the Houses of Parliament leaves four people dead and at least 20 injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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