Word of the day

July 3, 2019

Herm – a squared stone pillar with a carved head on top (typically of Hermes), used in ancient Greece as a boundary marker or a signpost; a monument consisting of a four-sided shaft tapering inward from top to bottom and bearing a head or bust.


A plan so cunning

July 3, 2019

Blackadder might be coming back:

Beloved British comedian Rowan Atkinson has reportedly told friends he is planning a reboot of the cult black comedy Blackadder and is “extremely excited”.

The Mr Bean superstar is set to team up with his original co-stars again to bring the 80s series back to life, including Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, The Sun reports.

It had been previously reported the cast would perhaps consider a one-off show, but now it’s believed a full fifth series is being considered.

The original series ran for four seasons between 1983 and 1989, with each season taking place in a different period of history.

The new season – according to a source of the Sun’s – will be set in the “modern day”, in which Edmund Blackadder (Atkinson) would be a university lecturer. . . 

Another series and set in a university?

That is, to quote Blackadder, . . . a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog


Sowell says

July 3, 2019


Rural round-up

July 3, 2019

Snowstorm inspires stock-saver – Tim Fulton:

A shattering snowstorm changed David Brown’s life and inspired a life-saving product.

The founder of the Woolover started out as a sheep and cropping farmer at Clandeboye in South Canterbury, near the Fonterra milk factory. 

Running 3500 ewes he had lost his fair share of new-born lambs over a couple of decades, especially in three-day southerly storms. . . 

Iwi milk plant delivers value – Richard Rennie:

The skyline of the small Bay of Plenty town Kawerau has been dominated for the past 40 years by the big Tasman paper mill but now has another profile in the form of the new Waiu Dairy plant.

The joint iwi-Cedenco plant has been commissioned and its first commercial milk collection this week will be processed through the 900kg-an-hour drier.

Waiu chairman Richard Jones said the plant is the result of a bar-side conversation in 2012 with iwi business representatives when they were kicking around options for revitalising eastern Bay of Plenty. . . 

 

One Plan changes should bring relief to nearly 180 unconsented farmers – Jono Galuszka:

Nearly 180 farms in the wider Manawatū are operating without a consent and cannot get one without changes to contentious planning rules.

But even if the changes are made, the region’s economy is expected to lose tens of millions of dollars.

Horizons Regional Council is putting proposed changes to its One Plan out for consultation, with people having 60 days from July 22 to make a submission. . . 

Mataura Valley Milk expanding plant near Gore – Rachael Kelly:

Infant nutrition formula producer Mataura Valley Milk has begun work on a $5m expansion to its plant at McNab near Gore, less than a year since it began operations.

General manager Bernard May said the company had secured a 37 per cent increase in milk supply for the coming season and needed to expand the plant.

New silos would be constructed and a new tanker bay were included in the expansion, and there was the possibility of more jobs being created. . . 

Application to import wilding conifer herbicide :

Views are sought on an application to import Method 240 SL Herbicide to control wilding conifers and other woody weeds.

Your views are sought on an application to import Method 240 SL Herbicide to control wilding conifers and other woody weeds.

Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd has applied for approval to import the herbicide. . .

Agri-tech sector to pioneer govt industry transformation strategy Pattrick Smellie

(BusinessDesk) – Agricultural technology should be one of New Zealand’s leading sources of high-value jobs, exports and improved farming practice, but has failed to grow much in the last decade, prompting the government to make it the focus of the first of four new industry sector transformation plans.

In what was probably his last public act as Economic Development Minister before handing the portfolio to Phil Twyford after last week’s Cabinet reshuffle, Parker released both a general guide to the industry transformation plan concept and a draft ITP for the agri-tech sector this morning.

The other sectors targeted for such plans are food and beverages, digital technology, and forestry and wood processing.

Speeding breeding and other ways of feeding 10 billion people

Improvements to make crops more nutritious, disease resistant and climate smart are essential to feed a burgeoning world population.

While a host of fascinating innovations are primed to change the face of agriculture, there remains a stubborn limiting factor for plant breeding.

This is the long generation times of crops that allow only one or two generations per year. Unless this changes it is unlikely that we will be able to feed the 10 billion people who will be sharing the planet by 2050.

This roadblock to progress has been alleviated by speed breeding protocols developed by research teams at the John Innes Centre and the University of Queensland. . .


H word and F word

July 3, 2019

In opposition the three parties now in government were opposed to foreign ownership of farmland.

In government they have made it so much harder for foreigners to buy farms to farm it’s almost impossible for them to do so. But the hoops the overseas buyers have to go through to buy farms to convert to forestry are much lower.

That means would-be foreign buyers are very, very unlikely to get Overseas Investment Office approval to buy distressed dairy or sheep and beef farms, even with plans, and both the ability and funds, to  improve them.

But the same buyers would be Almost certain to get OIO approval to buy those same farms if they intended to turn them into forests.

Overseas interests already own 70% of New Zealand forestry.

Making it much easier to buy farms to plant trees than to raise stock, for arable farming or horticulture,  will mean even more forestry is foreign owned.

Forestry is becoming an F word among farmers and rural communities concerned about the environmental, economic and social impacts of the rapid afforestation of productive farmland.

They can rightly apply the  H word – hypocrisy – to Labour, New Zealand First and Green Parties for their policy of making it easier for overseas purchasers to do this.

But wait there’s more.

These overseas entities will be able to offset their carbon emissions in their homelands, or from investments in other countries, with the trees they plant here.

It’s very tempting to use another F word to express my feelings about this.


Quote of the day

July 3, 2019

Tears are sometimes an inappropriate response to death. When a life has been lived completely honestly, completely successfully, or just completely, the correct response to death’s perfect punctuation mark is a smile. Julie Burchill who celebrates her 60th birthday today.


July 3 in history

July 3, 2019

324  Battle of Adrianople Constantine I defeated Licinius.

987 Hugh Capet was crowned King of France, the first of the Capetian dynasty.

1608  Québec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

1728 Robert Adam, Scottish architect, was born (d. 1792).

1754  French and Indian War: George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to French forces.

1767 Pitcairn Island was discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret.

1767  Norway’s oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, was founded and the first edition published.

1775 American Revolutionary War: George Washington took command of the Continental Army.

1778 American Revolutionary War: British forces massacred 360 people in the Wyoming Valley massacre.

1819 The Bank of Savings in New York City, the first savings bank  in the United States, opened.

1839  The first state normal school in the United States, the forerunner to today’s Framingham State College, opened in Lexington, Massachusetts with 3 students.

1844 The last pair of Great Auks was killed.

1848  Slaves were freed in the Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) by Peter von Scholten in the culmination of a year-long plot by enslaved Africans.

1849  The French entered Rome to restore Pope Pius IX to power.

1852  Congress established the United States’ 2nd mint in San Francisco, California.

1863  U.S. Civil War: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminated with Pickett’s Charge.

1866  Austro-Prussian War was decided at the Battle of Königgratz,resulting in Prussia taking over as the prominent German nation from Austria.

1884  Dow Jones and Company publishes its first stock average.

1886  Karl Benz  officially unveiled the Benz Patent Motorwagen – the first purpose-built automobile.

1886  The New York Tribune became the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.

1898  Spanish-American War: The Spanish fleet, led by Pascual Cervera y Topete, was destroyed by the U.S. Navy in Santiago, Cuba.

1913  Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenacted Pickett’s Charge; upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they were met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.

1937 Tom Stoppard, Czech-born, British playwright, was born.

1938  World speed record for a steam railway locomotive was set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 126 miles per hour (203 km/h).

1938  President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lights the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.

1940  World War II: the French fleet of the Atlantic was bombarded by the British fleet, coming from Gibraltar, causing the loss of three battleships:DunkerqueProvence and Bretagne, and death of 1200 sailors.

1944 World War II: Minsk was liberated from Nazi control by Soviet troops during Operation Bagration.

1947 Dave Barry, American humorist and author, was born.

1950 – Ewen Chatfield, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1951  Richard Hadlee, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1952-  The Constitution of Puerto Rico was approved by the Congress of the United States.

1952  The SS United States set sail on her maiden voyage to Southampton. During the voyage, the ship took the Blue Riband away from the RMS Queen Mary.

1959 Julie Burchill, British journalist and author, was born.

1960 Vince Clarke, British songwriter (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure), was born.

1962  Tom Cruise, American actor, was born.

1962  The Algerian War of Independence against the French ended.

1963 In New Zealand’s worst internal civil aviation accident, all 23 passengers and crew were killed when a DC3 crashed in the Kaimai Range. Helicopters were used for the first time in the search and rescue operation that followed.

DC-3 crashes in Kaimai Range

1964 Joanne Harris, British author, was born.

1969  The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when theSoviet N1 rocket exploded and destroyed its launchpad.

1970 The Troubles: the “Falls Curfew” began in Belfast.

1970  A British Dan-Air De Havilland Comet chartered jetliner crashed into mountains north of Barcelona killing 113 people.

1977 The Senegalese Republican Movement was founded.

1979  US President Jimmy Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.

1986  US President Ronald Reagan presided over the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.

1988  United States Navy warship USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 killing all 290 people aboard.

1988 Winston Reid,   New Zealand– Danish Football Player, was born.

1988  The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey was completed, providing the second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus.

1996 Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland.

2001 A Vladivostok Avia Tupolev TU-154 jetliner crashed on approach to landing at Irkutsk, Russia killing 145 people.

2006 Valencia metro accident left 43 dead.

2006  Asteroid 2004 XP14 flew within 432,308 kilometres (268,624 mi) of Earth.

2009  Mark II.5 Skytrain cars entered service in Metro Vancouver.

2013 – Egyptian coup d’état: President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by the military after 4 days of protests all over the country calling for Morsi’s resignation, to which he didn’t respond. President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Adly Mansour was declared acting president.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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