Word of the day

April 24, 2019

Borbhan – the murmur or purling sound made by a stream; the sound of small stones falling.


Maya muses

April 24, 2019


Rural round-up

April 24, 2019

Otago’s long rabbit war wages on – Jono Edwards:

They are fluffy, cute, and devastating to agriculture. Jono Edwards examines Otago’s rabbit problem and asks if there is any solution.

Otago’s problems with the long-eared grey/brown menace – the rabbit – began as early as the 1830s, when colonists brought them to New Zealand shores for food and sport.

They quickly realised their mistake as the pests spread and destroyed crops nationwide.

In the 1860s they became established between Invercargill and Riverton, and were devastating crops all over the south by the early 1880s. . .

Horticulture welcomes call for protection of versatile land:

An environmental report released last week further substantiates Horticulture New Zealand’s concerns about ongoing urban and lifestyle block expansion into prime growing land, and shows that urgent action is required to slow this down.

The Environment Aotearoa 2019 report, released by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, shows that the growth of urban centres threatens the limited versatile land surrounding regional centres such as Auckland, Waikato, and Canterbury. . .

Handling psychological pressure key – Sally Rae:

Lance Burdett describes his job as helping people as much as he can.

A safety, wellness and resilience expert, Mr Burdett has worked with elite international tactical units across police, the military, emergency services, prisons and the FBI.

Now he focuses his time on helping people understand the pressures on their brains and how to handle them.

Rural Support Trusts are bringing Mr Burdett to the South, where he will be speaking in Oamaru on May 13, Balclutha on May 14, Gore on May 15 and 16, and Winton on May 16 . . 

Fonterra mulling Tip Top offers :

Fonterra has moved to the next stage of its plan to sell-off its Tip Top ice cream business.

A spokesperson for the co-operative said it received a number of offers from buyers last month and is now considering them.

Follow-up offers are due on 29 April. . .

N surplus shows performance:

Nitrogen leaching varies significantly depending on soil type and climate, which means it’s not a straightforward performance indicator. An alternative approach is to look at a farm’s nitrogen surplus.

It’s a goal of many farmers to improve sustainability, with a significant focus on N leaching in many regions. However, nitrogen (N) leaching varies significantly depending on soil type and climate, factors that cannot be changed (though irrigation can alleviate dry conditions, but also increase drainage).

Focusing on N surplus instead is an easier method of determining farm performance and gaining environmental benefits. Reducing N surplus can also save farmers money. . .

Applications now open for Silver Fern Farms Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships 2019:

Silver Fern Farms welcomes applications for the Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships for 2019. In its third year, the Plate to Pasture Scholarship programme will award six winners from across the country $5000 to assist with developing their careers and capabilities in the red meat sector.

Silver Fern Farms Chief Executive Simon Limmer says that supporting emerging talent in the red meat sector is vital to developing relationships that will strengthen the red meat sector.


If definition is wrong . . .

April 24, 2019

A request from Colmar-Brunton landed in my in-box asking me to complete an online survey.

I took the bait and found among the questions was one which asked participants where they sit on the right-left political spectrum.

It defined them thus:

Parties to the left are liberal and believe governments should support the less fortunate people in society. Parties to the right are more conservative and believe in individual responsibility.

 

The belief that governments should look after the less fortunate is the preserve of the political left is a fallacy.

You’d have to be at the very extreme right end of the political spectrum to believe the government has no role in looking after those in need.

Those on the right do favour less government. They expect those who can look after themselves to do so, but that doesn’t mean they don’t accept there is a role for government in helping those who can’t look after themselves.

The survey was an online one which invited participation which makes data unreliable anyway, but if the definition of left and right is skewed, the results will be even less reliable.

It also makes me wonder, given how the media covers political discourse if at least some of them share the survey question writer’s incorrect idea of the difference between left and right.

 


Quote of the day

April 24, 2019

In times of storm and tempest, of indecision and desolation, a book already known and loved makes better reading than something new and untried … nothing is so warming and companionable. – Elizabeth Goudge who was born on this day in 1900.


April 24 in history

April 24, 2019

1479 BC – Thutmose III ascended to the throne of Egypt, although power effectively shifted to Hatshepsut.

1184 BC – The Greeks entered Troy using the Trojan Horse (traditional date).

1533 William I of Orange was born (d. 1584), .

1558 Mary, Queen of Scots, married the Dauphin of France, François, at Notre Dame de Paris.

1581 Vincent de Paul, French saint was born  (d. 1660),

1620  John Graunt, English statistician and founder of the science of demography, was born  (d. 1674), .

1704 The first regular newspaper in the United States, the News-Letter, was published.

1800 The United States Library of Congress was established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”.

1815 Anthony Trollope, English novelist was born (d. 1882), .

1862 American Civil War: A flotilla commanded by Union Admiral David Farragut passed two Confederate forts on the Mississippi River on its way to capture New Orleans.

1877  Russo-Turkish War: Russia declared war on Ottoman Empire.

1898 The Spanish-American War: The United States declared war on Spain.

1900 – Elizabeth Goudge, English author and educator, was born (d. 1984).

1904 The Lithuanian press ban was lifted after almost 40 years.

1906 – Mimi Smith, English nurse, aunt and guardian of John Lennon, was born (d. 1991).

1907 Hersheypark, founded by Milton S. Hershey for the exclusive use of his employees, was opened.

1913 The Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York was opened.

1915  The Armenian Genocide began when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople.:

1916 Easter Rising: The Irish Republican Brotherhood led by nationalists Patrick PearseJames Connolly, and Joseph Plunkett started a rebellion.

1916 Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launched a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island to organise a rescue for the ice-trapped ship Endurance.

 Men with digging tools removing ice surrounding the ship's hull, creating an icy pool of water

1918 First tank-to-tank combat, at Villers-Bretonneux, when three British Mark IVs met three German A7Vs.

1920 – King George V’s son, Edward, Prince of Wales (who later reigned briefly as Edward VIII), arrived in New Zealand partly to thank the Dominion for its contribution to the Empire’s war effort.

Prince of Wales arrives for New Zealand tour

1922 New Zealand’s first Poppy Day.

New Zealand's first poppy day

1924 – Clement Freud, German-English radio host, academic, and politician, was born (d. 2009).

1926 The Treaty of Berlin was signed. Germany and the Soviet Union each pledged neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a third party for the next five years.

1930 – José Sarney, Brazilian lawyer and politician, 25th President of Brazil, was born.

1932 Benny Rothman led the Mass trespass of Kinder Scout, leading to substantial legal reforms in the United Kingdom.

1933 – Claire Davenport, English actress, was born (d. 2002).

1934 – Shirley MacLaine, American actress, singer, and dancer, was born.

1940 – Sue Grafton, American author, was born (d. 2017).

1941 – A large number of civilians and Commonwealth troops, including New Zealanders, were killed boarding the Greek yacht Hellas at the port of Piraeus, near Athens.
Sinking of the <em>Hellas</em>

1942  – Barbra Streisand, American singer, actress, and producer, was born.

1945 – Doug Clifford, American drummer and songwriter (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, and Don Harrison Band), was born.

1947 – Josep Borrell, Spanish engineer and politician, 22nd President of the European Parliament, was born.

1947 – Denise Kingsmill, Baroness Kingsmill, New Zealand-English lawyer and politician, ws born.

1951 – New Zealand’s Kay Force suffered its first fatal battle casualty with the death of Second Lieutenant Dennis Fielden.

1952 – Jean Paul Gaultier, French fashion designer, was born.

1953 Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

1955 – The Bandung Conference ended Twenty-nine non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa finished a meeting that condemned colonialism, racism, and the Cold War.

1957 Suez Crisis: The Suez Canal was reopened following the introduction of UNEF peacekeepers to the region.

1959 – Paula Yates, British television host and author, was born (d. 2000).

1960 A severe earthquake shook Lar in Fars province, Iran, killing more than 200 people.

1961 The 17th century Swedish ship Vasa was salvaged.

1963 Marriage of Princess Alexandra of Kent to Angus Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey.

1965 Civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic when Colonel Francisco Caamaño, overthrew the triumvirate that had been in power.

1967 Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died in Soyuz 1 when its parachute failed to open. He was the first human to die during a space mission.

1967 – Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland said in a news conference that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gave him hope that he could win politically that which he cannot win militarily.”

1970 The first Chinese satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, was launched.

1970 – The Gambia became a republic with Dawda Jawara as the first President.

1971 Soyuz 10 docked with Salyut 1.

1980 Eight U.S. servicemen died in Operation Eagle Claw as they attempted to end the Iran hostage crisis.

1990 STS-31: The Hubble Space Telescope was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery.

1990 – Gruinard Island, Scotland, was officially declared free of the anthrax disease after 48 years of quarantine.

1993 – An IRA bomb devastated the Bishopsgate area of London.

1996  In the United States, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was introduced.

1997 – Lydia Ko, New Zealand golfer, was born.

2013 Women's British Open – Lydia Ko (1).jpg

2004 The United States lifted economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.

2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as the 265th Pope taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

2005  Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog was born in South Korea.

2006  King Gyanendra of Nepal gave into the demands of protesters and restored the parliament that he dissolved in 2002.

2007 Iceland announced that Norway would shoulder the defence of Iceland during peacetime.

2013 – A building collapsed near Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring 2,500 others.

2013  – Violence in Bachu County, Kashgar Prefecture, of China’s Xinjiang resulted in the deaths of 21 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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