Word of the day

May 17, 2019

Pappus – the tuft of hairs on each seed of thistles, dandelions, and similar plants, which assists dispersal by the wind; a downy, bristly, or other tuft-like appendage of the achene of certain plants, as the dandelion and the thistle; an appendage or tuft of appendages that crowns the ovary or fruit in various seed plants and functions in dispersal of the fruit; the modified calyx, the part of an individual floret, that surrounds the base of the corolla tube in flower heads of the plant family Asteraceae.


Thatcher thinks

May 17, 2019


Rural round-up

May 17, 2019

Time for agricultural industry to lead the way – Anna Campbell:

It seems a long time ago that National MP Shane Ardern rode ”Myrtle”, his elderly tractor, up the parliamentary steps in protest at the proposed ”fart tax”.

That was back in 2003 and there have been many iterations of carbon reduction schemes since then with agriculture sliding along relatively unscathed. One did feel that it was only a matter of time before the grace period was over. Climate change has not gone away, a raft of regulations are on their way, but they do look a little different from what we were expecting.

The biggest difference to the current scheme versus previous schemes is the split gas regime, where methane is treated separately due to its shorter lifespan in the atmosphere – the target is a 10% reduction in biological methane emissions by 2030, with a provisional reduction of 24% to 47% by 2050. . . 

‘Major reset’ for honey industry – Yvone O’Hara:

There has been strong growth by the honey industry during the past few years but with demand and prices dropping by as much as 50% compared to the previous season, there will be belt tightening and rationalisation, Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos says.

She said the strong growth and good returns in the past few years had attracted a lot of new entrants to the industry.

However, the domestic and international markets have been ”a bit sluggish”. . . 

Katie Milne responds to Shane Jones’ claim that farmers are ‘moaners‘:

Farmers have come under fire this week from MP Shane Jones, who says they need to stop “bitching and moaning”. Jones launched into farmers while talking to host Jamie Mackay on The Country yesterday. But what do farmers say in response? Mackay catches up with one of Jones’ targets, Federated Farmers president Katie Milne, who says the urban/rural divide has damaged people’s opinions of farmers.

“I don’t like the term ‘whingeing’,” says Katie Milne. “But we do like to highlight and try to talk to the issues that do affect us that people do have control over.”

The Federated Farmers president is responding to claims from the Minister of Forestry and Regional Economic Development Shane Jones that farmers are moaners. . . 

Facts ‘overrated’ in farming’s fight for social licence – Glen Herud:

There’s the “thing” and there’s the perception of the “thing” and they are not the same thing.

You could say, there’s the “dairy farm” and there’s the perception of the “dairy farm” and they are not the same thing.

You can change the thing but that doesn’t necessarily change the perception of the thing. . . 

FarmStrong: Shearer’s look after top paddock :

An initiative in the wool harvesting industry is changing traditional attitudes to injury prevention and wellbeing and it’s not just shearing crews who are benefiting.  

Times are changing in the woolshed, Shearing Contractors’ Association spokesman Mark Barrowcliffe says.

He’s been running his King Country business for nearly 20 years, employing up to 50 staff at peak season. . .

Busby takes the feijoa for New Zealand’s oldest sheep – Tracey Neal:

Busby’s genetic roots might lie in the blustery North Sea island of Texel, but the owners of what was possibly New Zealand’s oldest sheep said he has thrived on a more gentle lifestyle.

The Texel-Romney cross wether is estimated by Lynley and Barry Bird to be 24-years-old, measured against the ages of their now-adult children who rescued him as a lamb. . .


Cheque-ing out

May 17, 2019

Kiwibank has announced an end to cheques.

. . .“Stopping our cheque service wasn’t an easy decision to make. However, for the past five years, the use of cheques has been steadily declining. With less than one percent of Kiwibank payments now made by cheque, we’ve come to a tipping point. We’ve chosen not to invest in a shrinking service and outdated technology, instead we’re moving forward and equipping customers for a world that is increasingly digital,” said Kiwibank CEO Steve Jurkovich. . .

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a cheque.

I do remember a conversation a few years ago with some young adults who had no idea how to write one.

A voluntary organisation I chaired kept a cheque book with the requirement for two signatures as a security measure. That’s no longer necessary now  banks offer  dual verification with electronic banking.

This decision isn’t surprising and I think it won’t be long before other banks follow suit.


Quote of the day

May 17, 2019

I shall endeavour still further to prosecute this inquiry, an inquiry I trust not merely speculative, but of sufficient moment to inspire the pleasing hope of its becoming essentially beneficial to mankind. –  Edward Jenner who was born on this day in 1749.


May 17 in history

May 17, 2019

152 Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason.

1536  George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford and four other men were executed for treason.

1590  Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland.

1642 Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve  founded the Ville Marie de Montréal.

1673  Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette began exploring the Mississippi River.

1749 Edward Jenner, English medical researcher was born (d. 1823).

1775  American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress banned trade with Canada.

1792 The New York Stock Exchange was formed.

1805 Muhammad Ali became Wāli of Egypt.

1809 Napoleon I of France ordered the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.

1814  Occupation of Monaco changed from French to Austrian.

1814 The Constitution of Norway was signed and the Danish Crown PrinceChristian Frederik was elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.

1833 – James Busby was inaugurated as a British resident of New Zealand.

First British Resident inaugurated

1849 A fire threatened to burn St. Louis, Missouri to the ground.

1860 German football club TSV 1860 München was founded.

1863 Rosalía de Castro published Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language.

1865 – The International Telegraph Union (later International Telecommunication Union) was established.

1868 Horace Elgin Dodge, American car manufacturer, was born (d. 1920).

1873 El Paso, Texas was established by charter from the Texas Legislature.

1875  Aristides won the first Kentucky Derby.

1877 The Victorian Football League was founded.

189– The first Omonoia station of the Athens metro was inaugurated in Greece.

1900  Second Boer War: British troops relieved Mafeking.

1902 Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.

1911 Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish actress, was born (d. 1998).

1914  The Protocol of Corfu was signed recognising full autonomy toNorthern Epirus under nominal Albanian sovereignty.

1915 The last British Liberal Party government (Herbert Henry Asquith) fell.

1919 War Department (UK) ordered the use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes.

1922 – James Liston, the assistant Catholic bishop of Auckland, was found not guilty of sedition.

1927 U.S. Army aviation pioneer, Major Harold Geiger, died in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane.

1928 – The first official flight of the  Australian Inland Mission (AIM), the predecessor of the Royal Flying Doctor Service took place.

1933  Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort formed Nasjonal Samling— the national-socialist party of Norway.

1935  Dennis Potter, English writer, was born (d. 1994).

1936 Dennis Hopper, American actor and director, was born  (d. 2010).

1939 The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers played in the first-ever televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game.

1939 Gary Paulsen, American author, was born.

1940 World War II: Germany occupied Brussels.

1940 World War II: the old city centre of the Dutch town of Middelburgwas bombed by the German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland.

1943 The United States Army contracted with the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School to develop the ENIAC.

1943 – World War II: the Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams.

1949  Bill Bruford, English musician (Yes), was born.

1954 The United States Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education which declared that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students and denying black children equal educational opportunities unconstitutional.

1956 Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer, was born.

1961 Enya, Irish singer and songwriter, was born.

1962 George Wilder escaped from New Plymouth prison.

George Wilder escapes from prison

1963  Bruno Sammartino defeated Nature Boy Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds in Madison Square Garden for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. It begins the longest heavyweight championship reign in professional wrestling history.

1967 Six-Day War: President Abdul Nasser of Egypt demanded dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt.

1969 Venera program: Soviet Venera 6 began its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.

1970 – Thor Heyerdahl set sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean.

1971 Princess Máxima of the Netherlands was born.

1973 – Watergate scandal: Hearings begin in the United States Senateand are televised.

1974 Andrea Corr, Irish singer (The Corrs), was born.

1974 Police in Los Angeles raided the Symbionese Liberation Army‘s headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.

1974  Thirty-three people were killed by terrorist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan.

1980 General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea declared martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations.

1980 – On the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacked a polling location in the town of Chuschi, Ayacucho, starting the Internal conflict in Peru.

1983 U.S. Department of Energy declassified documents showing world’s largest mercury pollution event in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (ultimately found to be 4.2 million pounds), in response to Appalachian Observer’s Freedom of Information Act request.

1983 Lebanon, Israel, and the United States signed an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

1984 Prince Charles called a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend,” sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.

1987  An Iraqi fighter jet fired two missiles into the U.S. warship USS Stark (FFG-31), killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.

1992 Three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon began in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that resulted in 52 officially confirmed deaths, many disappearances, hundreds of injuries, and more than 3,500 arrests.

1994  Malawi held its first multiparty elections.

1995  After 18 years as the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac took office as President of France.

1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic Of Congo.

2004 Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.

2006 The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico to be an artificial reef.

2007 Trains from North and South Korea crossed the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This was the first time that trains crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.

2009 Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected the first female President of Lithuania.

2013 – Two Metro-North commuter trains collided near Bridgeport, Connecticut injuring at least 72 people.

2014 – A plane crash in northern Laos killed 17 people.

2015 – At least 9 people were killed and 18 injured, some by law enforcement and others in gunfire exchanges, in a shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas.

2018  – The United States Senate confirmed Gina Cheri Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency becoming the first woman to hold the post on a full-time basis.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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