Word of the day

June 4, 2019

Barrug – hoarfrost; dew-drops which have undergone deposition and frozen into ice crystals to form a white deposit on an exposed surface, when the air is cold and moist; the fine and featherlike frost that forms when water vapour freezes fast onto surfaces.

 


Sowell says

June 4, 2019


Rural round-up

June 4, 2019

Climate change – it’s fossil fuels not farming that’s the problem – Andrew Hoggard:

Climate change is more about burning fossil fuels than the farming of animals, writes Federated Farmers climate change spokesman Andrew Hoggard.

To borrow the words of climate champion Al Gore, the “inconvenient truth” about climate change is that it’s more about the burning of fossil fuels than the farming of animals.

It is inarguable that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the world’s No 1 global warming culprit, and that’s no less so in New Zealand, never mind our significant pastoral farming profile. . . 

Accolade caps off career of note – Sally Rae:

Growing up in Upper Hutt, a young Geoff Asher could see wild deer and pigs from his bedroom window.

That sparked his interest in deer which has led to a career focusing on the deer industry that has spanned nearly 40 years.

At the recent deer industry conference in Wellington, Dr Asher (63) received the deer industry award – the industry’s highest honour.

Back in his office at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Dr Asher said he was “blown away” by the recognition, which caught him “completely off-guard”. . . 

Jersey breed casts off ‘poor cousin’ tag – Sally Rae:

Seeing Jersey milk in the spotlight has been “a long time coming”, Jersey New Zealand president Alison Gibb says.

Last week, boutique dairy company Lewis Road Creamery launched a range of milk sourced solely from Jersey cows. It was the first single-breed standard milk to go on sale in supermarkets nationwide.

Lewis Road founder Peter Cullinane, who spoke about the initiative at Jersey NZ’s conference in Dunedin last week, said the Jersey cow was “rightly famous” for her milk. . .

Young Aucklander to tackle global food security:

Kiwi ideas and solutions for tackling global food security are set to be canvassed on the world stage thanks to the drive and passion of Dairy Flat cattle breeder Courtney Davies, 23.

The environmental educator, who teaches students about sustainability and the environment through virtual reality, will represent New Zealand at the Bayer Youth Ag Summit, taking place in Brasília, Brazil, November 4 – 6 2019.

Courtney will be one of 100 young participants from 45 countries attending the Summit, which is part of Bayer’s Agricultural Education Program. . .

How an ag company most people have never heard of could prove itself more disruptive than Netflix or Airbnb – Charlie Mitchell:

The number-one spot on CNBC’s Top 50 Disruptors List went to a brand that’s not yet a household name: Indigo Agriculture. Why?

This month, CNBC published its Top 50 Disruptors List, a guide to the new generation of not-yet-public companies vying to change the way the world does business. Among them are some of the world’s most recognizable and talked-about startups: Airbnb, the wildly popular room-for-rent platform; The We Company, parent to the burgeoning network of WeWork coworking spaces; and Impossible Foods, the buzzy alternative protein company likely headed towards an eagerly awaited I.P.O. later this year.

But the number-one spot went to a brand that’s not yet a household name: Indigo Agriculture. It’s not immediately obvious why. The company sports some impressive fundamentals including $650 million in funding, a reported value of over $3.5 billion, and 750 employees across the world—but, as described by CNBC, its business model sounds uninspired and fuzzy. . .

 

The challenge of making UK ruminant production sustainable – Matthew Jordon:

Ruminant agriculture has received increasing attention in recent years as a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions1 and other negative environmental externalities such as reduced water quality2 and water flow regulation3. Some in academia and the media portray reducing consumption of animal products – particularly red meat and dairy products – as a priority in climate change mitigation4, whilst environmentalists endeavour to tempt the British public with alternative uses for the British countryside that, they argue, would be preferable to ruminant production5,6. It is increasingly easy to accept the simple narrative of ‘the less meat we eat, the better’.

However, I believe that UK ruminant livestock farmers have the unique potential to manage the British countryside to deliver a number of public goods, alongside profitably producing environmentally-sustainable premium-quality meat. The potential ‘prize’ is a carbon-neutral UK ruminant livestock sector, as part of a rural landscape that delivers a number of publicly-desired ecosystem services. . . .


Budget inquiry must be widened

June 4, 2019

The National Party is calling for the Budget inquiry to be widened:

The Prime Minister must be open and transparent about what questions she has asked her Finance Minister since spurious allegations were made that National acquired Budget documents through criminal activity, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Paula Bennett says.

National has written to State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes requesting the SSC widen its Budget investigation into Treasury and its Secretary to address a number of serious questions about the behaviour of both the department and the Finance Minister.

“The GCSB’s National Cyber Security Centre has said publically that it told Treasury its computer system was not compromised, yet both Gabriel Makhlouf and Grant Robertson chose to issue statements implying National carried out a ‘systematic hack’,” Ms Bennett says.

“Among the many questions that still need answering is what information Treasury and the Finance Minister had at their disposal before they issued those statements.

“The SSC inquiry should also include a complete review of all communications between the Finance Minister’s office and the Prime Minister’s office under the ‘no surprises’ approach.

“It took 36 hours for Treasury to come clean that it was sitting on a lie, and the Prime Minister needs to explain why she allowed her Government to mislead the public for so long.

“Did she and Grant Robertson ask the right questions of Gabriel Makhlouf, or did they take a ‘see no evil, speak no evil’ approach to all of this?

“It is concerning that even after Treasury admitted the Budget information was obtained without any hacking, its statement failed to offer an apology or take responsibility, and continued to disparage the Opposition in an entirely inappropriate way. . . 

John Armstrong isn’t waiting for an investigation he’s calling for resignations:

The chief executive of the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, must resign.

It might have been Budget Day, thereby making his departure hugely inopportune for the Labour-led Government. That’s just tough. Makhlouf has to go. And forthwith. His exit on the most important date in the Treasury’s calendar may have piled humiliation on embarrassment.

It left Grant Robertson’s shiny new wellbeing budget feeling somewhat sick on its first public appearance. That’s just too bad. Makhlouf has to go. He has no choice in the matter. . .

He has to go — and for two simple reasons. Budget secrecy is sacrosanct; Budget secrecy is paramount. That is the bottom-line. It is non-negotiable. Any breach is sufficient grounds alone for heads to roll.

In Makhlouf’s case, there is another factor which should have sealed his fate — competence.

The ease with which National extracted Budget-connected information from the very heart of the (usually) most infallible branch of the Wellington bureaucracy demonstrated the shocking inadequacy of the Treasury’s cyber security.

It seems it is no exaggeration to say that the protections currently in place to guard that information have been at best lax and at worst non-existent. . . .

On top of that, the department’s handling of the aftermath of the breach of security raised further questions of competence.

The rapidity with which Makhlouf referred matters to the police following the hacking which soon enough turned out not to be hacking conveyed the impression that he believed National was responsible.

Although he endeavoured to avoid making that insinuation, in process, he veered dangerously close to soiling the Treasury’s neutrality.
While he might well be as neutral as he ever was, he is no longer seen as neutral. That is unacceptable. . . .

But this isn’t the only resignation Armstrong thinks should happen:

Should Robertson also be tending his resignation as a Cabinet minister or be sacked by the Prime Minister? The answer is an emphatic “yes”.

A breach of Budget secrecy — especially one of this week’s magnitude — is something so serious that resignation is mandatory.The applicability of ministerial responsibility demands nothing less. But it ain’t going to happen.

Robertson is exempt from having to fall on his sword. That exemption is by Labour Party decree. He is just too darned valuable.

Both he and the Prime Minister have made it very clear that they will move mountains to ensure Robertson emerges from this episode as untarnished as possible by placing responsibility for the breach fairly and squarely in the Treasury’s lap. . .

It’s been fascinating following commentary from the left which is trying to paint Simon Bridges as the wrong-doer in the botched Budget saga.

While we are mentioning Bridges, let’s deal with the bogus claims of his critics that his accessing of Budget documents was unethical, even if it was not unlawful. That is nonsense. Since the dawn of time, it has been incumbent on Opposition parties that they expose faults and failings in the policies and procedures adopted by the government of the day.

In revealing that the Treasury’s notion of what passes for Budget secrecy is screamingly flawed, Bridges has acted in the public interest.

Can his critics in Labour’s ranks put their hands on their hearts and affirm they would do things differently if they faced the same circumstances in Opposition? Of course not.

Bridges has simply been doing his job. On this week’s form, it is conceivable that he is going to be doing it a lot longer than both friend and foe have been predicting.

The machinations may be of little interest to any but political tragics but the botched Budget provided the Leader of the Opposition with an opportunity to shine in a week when the spotlight ought to have been on the Finance Minister and his leader, and shine he did.


Quote of the day

June 4, 2019

 It [writing] is an art, which has to be kept alive, and worked at with an excitement and the hope for something special to occur.  –  Elizabeth Jolley who was born on this day in 1923.


June 4 in history

June 4, 2019

1039 Henry III became Holy Roman Emperor.

1584 Sir Walter Raleigh established the first English colony on Roanoke Island, old Virginia (now North Carolina).

1615 Siege of Osaka: Forces under the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu took Osaka Castle.

1738 King George III was born (d. 1820).

1760 Great Upheaval: New England planters arrived to claim land in Nova Scotia taken from the Acadians.

1769 A transit of Venus was followed five hours later by a total solar eclipse, the shortest such interval in history.

1783 The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrated their montgolfière(hot air balloon).

1792 Captain George Vancouver claimed Puget Sound for Great Britain.

1794 British troops captured Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

1802 Grieving over the death of his wife, Marie Clotilde of France, King Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia abdicated in favor of his brother, Victor Emmanuel.

1825 French-American Revolutionary War: General Lafayette spoke at what would become Lafayette Square, Buffalo during his United States visit.

1859 Italian Independence wars: In the Battle of Magenta, the French army, under Louis-Napoleon, defeated the Austrian army.

1862 American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuated Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for Union troops to take Memphis, Tennessee.

1876 The Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City.

1878 Cyprus Convention: The Ottoman Empire ceded Cyprus to the United Kingdom but retained nominal title.

1879 Mabel Lucie Attwell, English children’s author and illustrator, was born (d. 1964).

1907 Patience Strong, English poet and journalist was born (d. 1990).

1912 Massachusetts became the first state of the United States to set a minimum wage.

1913 Emily Davison, a suffragette, ran out in front of King George V’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby.

1917 The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall received the first Pulitzer for biography (forJulia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receivesd the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope received the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.

1919 The U.S. Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed suffrage to women, and sent it to the U.S. states for ratification.

1920 Hungary lost 71% of its territory and 63% of its population when the Treaty of Trianon was signed in Paris.

1923 Elizabeth Jolley, Australian writer, was born (d. 2007).

1924 Tofilau Eti Alesana, Prime Minister of Samoa, was born (d. 1999).

1927 Geoffrey Palmer, English actor, was born.

1928 Ruth Westheimer, German-born American sex therapist and author, was born.

1928 Chinese president Zhang Zuolin was assassinated by Japanese agents.

1932 Maurice Shadbolt, New Zealand writer, was born (d 2004).

1937 Freddy Fender, American musician, was born (d. 2006).

1937 Robert Fulghum, American author, was born.

1939 Holocaust: The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, was denied permission to land in Florida, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, many of its passengers later died in Nazi concentration camps.

1940 World War II: The Dunkirk evacuation ended– British forces completed evacuation of 300,000 troops.

1940 – World War II: Nazi forces entered Paris, they finished taking control of the city 10 days later. (June 14, 1940)

1941 Kenneth G. Ross, Australian playwright and screenwriter, was born.

1942 World War II: The Battle of Midway began – Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo ordered a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese navy.

1943 the Cromwell-Dunedin express, travelling at speed, was derailed while rounding a curve near Hyde in Central Otago. Twenty-one passengers were killed and 47 injured in what was at the time New Zealand’s worst-ever rail accident.

Rail tragedy at Hyde

1943 A military coup in Argentina ousted Ramón Castillo.

1944 Michelle Phillips, American singer (The Mamas & the Papas) and actress, was born.

1944 World War II: A hunter-killer group of the United States Navy captured the German submarine U-505 – the first time a U.S. Navy vessel had captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century.

1944 – World War II: Rome fell to the Allies, the first Axis capital to fall.

1945 Gordon Waller, Scottish musician (Peter and Gordon), was born.

1961 Ferenc Gyurcsány, 6th Prime Minister of Hungary, was born.

1967 Stockport Air Disaster: British Midland flight G-ALHG crashed in Hopes Carr, Stockport, killing 72 passengers and crew.

1970 Tonga gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1973 A patent for the ATM was granted to Donald Wetzel, Tom Barnes and George Chastain.

1979 Daniel Vickerman, Australian rugby union player, was born.

1979 Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings took power in Ghana after a military coup in which General Fred Akuffo was overthrown.

1986 Jonathan Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage for selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel.

1989 Ali Khamenei was elected the new Supreme Leader of Iran by the Assembly of Experts after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

1989 – The Tiananmen Square protests were violently ended by the People’s Liberation Army.

1989 Solidarity‘s victory in the first (somewhat) free parliamentary elections in post-war Poland sparked off a succession of peaceful anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe, led to the creation of the Contract Sejm and began the Autumn of Nations.

1989 Ufa train disaster: A natural gas explosion near Ufa, Russia, killed 575 as two trains passing each other threw sparks near a leaky pipeline.

1996 The first flight of Ariane 5 exploded after roughly 20 seconds.

2001 Gyanendra, the last King of Nepal, ascended to the throne after the massacre in the Royal Palace.

2010 – Falcon 9 Flight 1  – maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.

2012 – The Diamond Jubilee Concert was held outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall, London. Organised by Gary Barlow, the concert was part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

2015 – An explosion at a gasoline station in Accra, Ghana, killed  more than 200 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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